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Things to think about[edit]

  1. I believe the scope will change some day, when we have a larger community, more people, and less importance leaning on actual corporately published games.
  2. As long as a game is popular, how much publicity the game has and how much money it earns people shouldn't be a factor.
  3. SW should be able to cover free games.

I don't think there's much to debate, but yeah, small unknown shareware games don't really fit the bill, but I know that some games have gotten quite popular (i.e. Little Fighter and its sequels). I just think the more games we include the better, because we'll gain more users and have more "portals" for people to collaborate on. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 10:49, 22 June 2007 (CDT)

I have to disagree with Notmyhandle. If we allow freeware and shareware games, it would make StrategyWiki an ideal grounds for advertising one's game that they just invented. The site would be cluttered with front pages filled with sales pitches on why this person's game is the best without actually giving anything more than basic strategy, presumably because basic strategy is as in-depth as the game goes. Games like that really don't even deserve a single page here on StrategyWiki. If a game is completely common sense based and the controls and such are built into the game (which many are), there is NO POINT WHATSOEVER of hosting it here (except for advertising purposes, which should go against our scope). Also, I think that the criteria should be revised so that each one doesn't say "if it meets this criterion, it can go in, just ignore all the rest." If you really want that on every single game, what's the point of even having this page? Every game could be covered because every game fits at least one of the criterion which say "if yes, ignore the rest." -- Skizzerz Talk · Contribs · Spel Chek™ · VFG · RTFM 11:19, 22 June 2007 (CDT)
But I said that a game has to be popular... --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 17:27, 22 June 2007 (CDT)
Well, I guess I DO agree with NMH on one point then :P (publicity and money shouldn't matter anyway). -- Skizzerz Talk · Contribs · Spel Chek™ · VFG · RTFM 17:30, 22 June 2007 (CDT)
Please define popular. -- Prod (Talk) 12:36, 23 June 2007 (CDT)
Played by a lot of people or well known. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 13:04, 23 June 2007 (CDT)
I think that the scope should just be "It has to be a video game or prominently related to video games, including major Flash portals containing a significant number of Flash games." I also believe that Flash games that have enough length to include a guide should be within the scope. We have a guide on Oh Dango Jam, and it certainly fits within the scope. However, I don't think that games made using a game maker program of some sort should be in the scope unless it's a popular game made with the software. This would include mods of games such as Tribes RPG for Tribes 1 and Alien Swarm for UT2004. Additionally, for a mod of a game to fall into the scope, it would have to in some way change the gameplay enough to warrant its own guide. Tribes RPG and Alien Swarm are essentially different games, even in different genres made with their games' respective engines and the Tribes 1 and UT2004 guides would not be enough to cover the mods because of how far they deviate from their base games. --Tathar Tathar.jpg (talk|contribs) 18:50, 21 November 2007 (CST)
I can't believe believe this hasn't gotten more talk than it has, but yes - these things warrant a case by case assessment (see January 14th response to the "Flash Games" section below). --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 03:32, 14 January 2008 (CST)

Flash Games[edit]

Portals such as Ijji and Miniclip are legitimate sources for games that wouldn't get out of hand. I believe these games should be allowed as part of our scope, but represent the most minimal of requirements met for inclusion. Games such as those on and, however, should not be allowed unless there is some considerable hype or notability. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 16:34, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

Yes, but most of those games are so simple that they do not require guides. For the ones that do, it will have to be determined that they fit into one or more other categories (like notability and whatnot). Games that seem to have no English media mention whatsoever (I am not counting mentions in languages other than English) do not belong here on StrategyWiki. We could also use a policy concerning removing guides outside of our scope. What I am doing right now is just deletion and a message on the creator's talk page for the first two times, then a protected redirect to the Scope page for the third time. -- Skizzerz Talk · Contribs · Spel Chek™ · VFG · RTFM 16:44, 25 July 2007 (CDT)
I have to disagree with your assessment of Newgrounds games being out of our scope. If a Flash game is large enough to have a guide, it shouldn't matter how notable it is as long as that guide is in-depth. Flash games have notoriously minimal press coverage even if they are so complex that a guide would be necessary to expect someone to complete it. For example, Bowmaster Prelude is a very complex game, and once Bowmaster 2 comes out, I can only assume that it will have too much depth for it not to be included in our scope. --Tathar Tathar.jpg (talk|contribs) 18:58, 21 November 2007 (CST)
I already explained this in IRC, but the depth of a Flash game needs to be more important than notability regarding our scope. Spank the Monkey is very notable, but it's so simple that there's no way to make a guide for it. Alternatively, Oh Dango Jam is not, but it has too much depth to not need a guide, especially for people that only speak English. Skizzerz tells me that we decided to keep the Oh Dango Jam guide, so I shouldn't be in the minority by saying this. --Tathar Tathar.jpg (talk|contribs) 19:10, 21 November 2007 (CST)
I think some Flash games belong. If it weren't for the StrategyWiki guide for NANACA†CRASH!!, I would have never figured out how to play. Also, StrategyWiki first introduced me to Flash Flash Revolution, which I now enjoy and play almost every day. So if I am an example of a person who benefited from StrategyWiki's coverage of Flash games, how many others might be similarly pleased that these guides exist? New User 19:07, 21 November 2007 (CST)
Indeed, FFR actually fits within the scope, however NANACA†CRASH!! and ODJ do not. For games like these, we have to take them on a case by case basis, otherwise we will end up with a Spank the Monkey guide (ahaha). I think that the people who have posted here understand this, and should not be afraid to begin a guide on a game they feel would be accepted here, however we should not open the scope to freely allow flash games as this would be a clear invitation to what we don't want. We should, however, put a notice that games that may meet the scope should be talked about in the Community Issues before adding. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 03:32, 14 January 2008 (CST)

Unavailable Games[edit]

There's on sentence about games no longer available that bugs me a little:

games that fulfill the criteria but are now completely unplayable ... are still valid for inclusion here because they are of historical significance

What's the point in having a page (or strategy guide) for a game that nobody's able to play anymore? I can see why historical significance would be a valid criteria for inclusion on an all-purpose videogames information wiki, but so long as this site's focus is on strategy guides, I don't see why we should use up database space on games that aren't playable - who needs a guide for it if nobody can play it? -aniki21 08:49, 11 March 2008 (CDT)

Technically, some games aren't legally available, and if playability was a factor in inclusion, could kill off games considered popular but couldn't be reached because they are on an obsolete format (e.g. NES, Arcade, etc.) Because this is offset with emulators, items with historical significant should be kept since it can be rewritten to another platform. Games such as Starfox 2 is debatable, since it was never released (aside from a prototype cartridge rom dump), but aren't an issue if there's enough information about them (e.g. how some features get worked into a newer version).
It's acceptable to have the "secondary" criteria apply to the stubs, as there's no real need to have several empty pages of obsolete games that give very little information. --Sigma 7 21:44, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Invaild Aim Statment[edit]

You stat that the aim of this wiki is to document "all" games but there are two big problems with this statment.

  1. It should be all video/eletronic games or on those bases
  2. Not all games are said to be real games such as - Flash, web-based, freeware, homebrew, and open-source games so the word all games can't really apply to the aim of this wiki. --plethebest 10:07, 11 March 2008 (CDT)
To address point 1, the wording of our goal: "to become an all-encompassing video game strategy resource" directly states that our aim is exclusive to video games. To address point 2, we do have guides for "Flash, web-based, freeware, homebrew, and open-source games" on this site. That is not incompatible with our criterion for notability. Bejeweled is, no doubt, a very notable flash game. Other flash games that less than 1% of the gaming population have heard of are not notable. Procyon (Talk) 10:30, 11 March 2008 (CDT)
Never heard of Bejewled plethebest 11:24, 11 March 2008 (CDT)
Try getting a cell phone and going to the games section on it. I guarantee a Bejeweled demo will be there. --Skizzerz (talk · contribs) 15:11, 11 March 2008 (CDT)
Mine doesn't have it. But yeah, Bejeweled and its spawns are classic, free, often prize-based flash games. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 23:42, 11 March 2008 (CDT)

Large player base[edit]

What's a good change to the "large player base" requirement? In particular, it is close to conflicting with the portion that says popularity isn't a factor and as such should be modified slightly. Some options include:

  1. Leaving it as-is, and changing the popularity statement to just refer to the unpopularity of a game.
  2. Defining "player base" for those who try exploring the game as much as possible, rather than those who simply go through a game once and continue to the next. This (obviously) will force exclusion of simple games unless you can find a way to draw blood from a stone, and doesn't factor in those who simply play a game to see what it's about. However, this may require making changes to the size of the player base as not everyone is that detailed in examining the game.
  3. Define "player base" as at least medium-term play, where a game is played more than once or for a few months/weeks. This option keeps out random freeware, but allows inclusion of "free games" that keep specific metrics on popularity.

I'm siding towards medium-term, but would like to see comments on that before the policy gets changed. --Sigma 7 21:04, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm now recommending a change to the following. In case you're wondering about the statistic, it is part of a report on the correlation of sales and ratings and how they don't usually mix. The number was interpolated from the graph from an arbitrarily selected point (the one on the far left).

Games are expected to fulfill most of the following criteria:

  1. It is produced by or affiliated with a recognized company or brand. Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Sega and countless others are recognized as producing games on a professional level, and meet this criteria. A company recognized for progress in another field (such as Fast Food), may still meet this requirement, although the claim will be marginal.
  2. It was sold commercially (or was in the past) through retail channels. This requirement can be met by appearing as a physical product on store shelves, or on a digital download service such as Xbox Live Arcade or GameTap. Stores and download services won't carry just anything, and as such, game offered through those venues meet this criteria. While common shareware games may still be sold commercially through direct download or direct mail-order, only retail sales meet this requirement.
  3. It has been rated by an organization such as the ESRB or PEGI. This criterion may be discounted if the game pre-dates the existence of ratings, or if it was a subject of a controversy in the main-stream media.
  4. It has received at least one non-trivial mention in a published source (such as PC Gamer or a newspaper) or on a recognized industry website (such as GameSpot). This is an especially important requirement for freeware, homebrew, Flash, open-source, and web-based games, because they are easy to produce when compared to commercial games. Merely being included on a magazine's cover CD or mentioned in a single sentence in an article is considered a trivial mention.
  5. The game has a very large player base (e.g. Flash Flash Revolution), who have played enough of the game to describe or recommend it. This may be hard to judge without metrics, however, retail games have generally sold at least 50000 units to build at least a portion of the player base.

Note that the following factors do not affect a game's inclusion:

  1. What language it is in. The game itself may be Japanese, French, Maori, Martian or a sub-dialect of a language. However, the guide should be in readable English.
  2. Whether it is still available. Games that were canceled but exist as prototypes (e.g. Star Fox 2) are still legitimate games, as are titles available exclusively for a now defunct service such as Sega Channel or the Satellaview. Even games that fulfill the criteria but are now completely unplayable (such as Neverwinter Nights (AOL)) or discontinued are still valid for inclusion here because they are of historical significance.
  3. How popular it was, is, or will be. Popularity should not be confused with a player base. While something may be popular for 15 minutes, a player base is constructed by a community or those who persevered in playing or examining the game. Likewise, pre-release hype doesn't directly affect the criteria listed above.

These changes should fix some loopholes that can allow guides to squeeze in, and if combined with a "2 out of 5" rule, should be enough of a barrier for entry to prevent instant games but accepts the extremely popular webgames and freeware. I don't advice 3/5, as that's borderline on blocking out retail games. The following is of note should apply after these changes and the 2/5 rule:

  • Freeware can't beat it's way in simply by racking up ~4000000 plays. Rather, someone has to spend time writing a newspaper article, or the group/company behind the game somehow becomes recognized as a leader.
  • Freeware that appears on Wikipedia finds it's way in. Wikipedia seems to have a stricter set where there are multiple reliable sources, and that is usually combined with player base.
  • Shovelware is now be excluded since it doesn't have a player base (even if it is sold in retail). However, there might be a reatail/non-trivial combination that causes Phoenix Games to meet the qualifications - or even better, Phoenix Games becomes a recognizable company because they provide a prime example on how not to write a game.
  • It's a bit quirky, since it weakens Reddit/Digg coverage (single sentence), but could still allow Slashdot coverage (single paragraph, but it enters obscurity from what happens overall).

Comments? --Sigma 7 04:41, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

These seem like good rules for narrowing down inclusion to fewer, more high profile games. I'm not sure that is what we want or is what is good for us, however. All the rules for inclusion are based on notability, meaning a game is notable if. Notable if commercial, notable if it's sold a lot of units, notable if a lot of people play it. This idea of notability is a holdover from Wikipedia, which deals in the "real world." A small pebble that goes unnoticed in the great sea of reality may yet cause ripples in our small "Gaming" pond. It's likely that the world-at-large hasn't heard of many of the games that actually fit the strictest rules for inclusion.
We won't put up a one-page guide for a flash game, but how many thousands of hits do we miss when all those flash game searches get added up? The cost of hosting a single page or a single guide is relatively small, and yet over the span of years how many views might the most esoteric of games get? 10? 20? 100? Digital storage is only getting cheaper and digital information is only getting more accessible. Though small games bring in small numbers, there are lots of them.
Lastly, I don't think our image as a game guide site will be hurt by expanding our guide lineup. People will be judging us on the quality of our guides, which wouldn't change for flash games, ROM hacks, freeware, etc. However, there may be less people judging us if they can't find the game they came looking for. The fact that someone has played a game and liked it enough to write a guide for it is good enough criteria for inclusion for me. The only thing I want to avoid is blatant self-promotion and large numbers of main pages with empty guides going up. Both of those make the site look crappy, but I don't think a great breadth of games does. - najzereT 06:00, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

I would consider a game notable if it is or has been recognized by at least two (or so) popular websites or magazines. (Excluding YouTube, AddictingGames, etc) While we already have pages on Iji and Cave Story, it easily includes those games plus many other freeware games like them. --Beefster 02:56, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Other things to consider for Scope[edit]

Quite a few games, most notably Ragnarok Online (I'd say) have a lot of private servers. I propose that we disregard them because private servers change too much to track given the way we set things up - stick to the official server, or at the very least something that resembles an official server (along the lines of something where the official servers no longer exist, games like Allegiance).

Additionally, what about things like user-made maps? The Warcraft III guide has a lot of references to fanmade maps like Footmen Frenzy. We can't possibly cover all of them, and if we say we're going to do all of them...same thing with servers for games like Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory.

I also have to do a lot of editing out on the BSM and BSP guides because people keep adding information about how things operate(d) in real life. This is a strategy guide, not an encyclopedia...we should totally keep real life stuff out of scope for all guides, really.

So in summary, things to consider for scope

  • Fanmade maps and servers
  • Games that used to have official servers, but do not anymore
  • Factual data in video game guides

--Arrow Windwhistler (talk) 15:16, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

I think the same scope rules we use for games could be used for maps, meaning mentioned on a disinterested site, etc. If it's popular enough that it's getting mentioned in gaming circles, it might not hurt to host the map's guide page. I don't really play any games like that, so if that would mean hundreds of fan-made maps being added, it might not be worth it. I agree with the other two points – private servers and factual information. Sometimes the factual info is all right though, such as to mention that something is based on a real life counterpart, but it should be clear that in guide pages we're talking about the in-game object or events, not real life ones. — najzereT 15:50, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
That's like saying we shouldn't cover info on Warcraft 3's Defense of the Ancients (which is more popular than the original game). Excluding private servers makes sense. Real-life counterpart information (i.e. BSM/BSP) should be excluded, but the stuff we already have (the ship pages Arrow works on) should be preserved. --Notmyhandle (talk contribs) 16:26, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
You really think that Warcraft 3's Defence of the Ancients is more popular than the game itself? I'm assuming that you need Warcraft 3 to play a Warcraft 3 how is that possible? Any Warcraft 3 player would know about Warcraft 3, but I highly doubt everyone would know about a Warcraft 3 mod.
At any rate, if we really intend to include things like that, we need additional guidelines as to what gets in and whatnot. It's impossible to have clear-cut categories (i.e this map is popular, this map is unpopular) as popularity is more like a continuum. Otherwise we'll have everyone posting everything about their own site, thus degenerating our guides into nothing less than a fansite. --Arrow Windwhistler (talk) 18:46, 14 October 2009 (UTC)