Direction of the wiki?

Direction of the wiki?

Postby Samsquatch » Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:54 pm

There's some articles on the wiki with spoiler tags like the Weapons page. Are spoiler tags really necessary? My experience is that almost every page of the wiki contains spoilers in one form or another, to various degrees. I think it might make more sense to have a spoiler free page to introduce basic game concepts, but I think everything else should assume spoilers.

Also, regarding the wiki holes post, I don't know that it has been pruned recently to establish what content is actually missing from the wiki. I'm fairly confident the information about Kenaz has already been added to the wiki, for example.

I would also like to submit a request as a wiki-editor given that a programmer has been hired to rewrite the game engine and given that this means translating inform code into whatever new language is used. Having read a lot of the code, I understand that most of it isn't suitable for automatic translation into wiki-usable material (most npcs, events and the like). I do believe there are a certain degree of standardization required for infections, monsters, and event locations (as well as their descriptions) by inform's code, however. I humbly submit that the coder write a script that turns this information into wiki code automatically. For monsters, all of the information should be there such that it can be pasted automatically. For infections, it'd be good enough if it could be thrown into something like an excel spreadsheet to correlate monsters with affected body parts and their descriptions. For events/situations, it would be nice to have a spreadsheet of primary locations with all events/situations listed for those locations with a notes field indicating which file/lines add or modify that event. This would mean the first column would be places like Urban Woods or "outside". The second column would be events like "survivors" or "smelly garbage". The third column would give the file that adds that situation to the location (Alexandra's file) and hopefully any lines that change or modify that (make it true or false).

There's probably other things that could benefit from this, like a centralized list of items which can exist in your inventory and their features (damage, health restored, hunger satiated, infection bestowed).

I'm not asking to use the coder to necessarily create the pages, just to have him create scripts that generate the information automatically so that it can be pulled from the game when it's updated to make it easier to update the wiki. If he's fancy, he could even implement some sort of comparison function to show only content that has changed between two reports.

Of course, this is just a request, but I think it would make it massively easier to update wiki content compared to crawling through the files manually for that information. I've already made a fairly massive overhaul of the NPC database on the wiki. In terms of total work I think needs to be done to bring things up to date and usable, I think that's maybe a quarter (possibly as much as a third) of what would be needed ultimately. My proposal would allow for the (hopefully near automatic) creation and maintenance of the entire monster/infection database (relatively easy but time consuming). It would allow for the entire list of pages in category:locations to be filled out properly with events and descriptions (probably at least a quarter of the work that needs to be done). It would help immensely in fixing the haphazard state of the quests page (which i've cobbled together in a kludge). It would help maintain NPCs (providing related events, locations, ect). It'd certainly help save hours of research needed to really fill out the details for all the items currently in the game.

I guess the long and short of it is that fixing the wiki is a lot of long and tedious work. Making that work easier would mean that the few of us who bother to edit the wiki can make the best use of our time and focus on things that have to be done manually (like quests). I think the wiki adds to the user's experience by allowing them to discover game content they might not have found on their own. By that virtue, it adds value to the game in a somewhat similar way to the actual content in the game.

Since I edit the wiki, I have an interest in having that work made easier. I'm not sure if I have conveyed my thoughts as well as I could, but i'd welcome discussion on the subject.

Ultimately, i'd like to see a fairly radical reorganizing of the currently frontward facing content (translation: stuff on the main page, at least as far as singleplayer goes) and I think having content divided into pure game mechanics/introduction versus everything else (spoiler content) would be a start. As far as things go, i've been working on two things: filling in missing information and making the information more easily understood/accessed. All this predicated on the time and inclination to make it happen, of course.

Originally I was thinking of posting this in the wiki holes thread, but I think the scope of this post ended up exceeding that, so I thought i'd make it its own thread and invite inquiry into where the wiki should be going and what should/needs to be done. I can also, of course, clarify any of my thoughts or positions I haven't been clear about. This ended up being much more stream-of-consciousness than I intended it to be at first, so it might not be as clear as (I hope) the wiki articles i've created are.
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Re: Direction of the wiki?

Postby Samsquatch » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:28 pm

Hrm, decent number of views, but no replies. I'm going to assume that as far as things go, I have free reign because no one has strong opinions one way or the other.

Edit: looks like the wiki is back up.
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Re: Direction of the wiki?

Postby TigerStripes » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:08 pm

I personally don't know what is and is not possible as far as automatic scripting to collect the data you desire. Using it to grab stuff like a list of current NPCs, a list of situations and their location, a list of infection names and so on is likely possible. That said, some of this can already be done using some of the debugging commands I've created in the past. The more specific data you mention, such as:

I do believe there are a certain degree of standardization required for infections, monsters, and event locations (as well as their descriptions) by inform's code.

This might be possible, at least in general, but in a lot of cases, the 'description' or rooms, monsters and locations are just pointers to subroutines containing their description(s). This is especially true in situations where those descriptions change.

...to correlate monsters with affected body parts and their descriptions.

Not really sure what you mean here. Firstly, there's no difference, as far as Inform is concerned, between infections and monsters. Secondly, are you talking about putting the various infection description portions for the various player body locations into the Wiki? That seems like a lot more data than is needed. In several cases, those descriptions actually contain chunks of code which (usually) tweak the results or (rarely) completely change it.

...a centralized list of items which can exist in your inventory and their features (damage, health restored, hunger satiated, infection bestowed)

A list of items is easy enough to generate, but their effect(s) can come from specified properties on that item, from their unique 'usedesc' subroutine or the general 'to use (x - a grab object)' subroutine in the main file. This means collecting that data isn't really plausible.

The mention about spoilers on the Weapons page dates back from when the Wiki contained much more general game information. Many of the pages, especially the first several options in the table, did not contain any direct in-game information and more talked about how to play the game and how things worked. It was only once you got to the latter ones (with NPCs and so on) that more spoilerific info would appear.

Your mention about the Wiki-holes thread and being able to track work done/needed has given me an idea. Why not make that into a Wiki page and have a link to that appear in a few key spots (like the NPC and Quest pages)? That way notes can be made about what needs to be added/removed/fixed and those working on the Wiki can remove them from the list when those items are completed. Your mention about restructuring the wiki into more game mechanics / intro v. content / spoilers is a good one. That's sort of how I was setting it up in the early days when I was the main one updating the wiki, but by having the first several links in the table cover more gameplay info and specific data coming later. Over time, more spoiler-type info crept into those early pages as feat lists, item lists and so on were added to them.
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Re: Direction of the wiki?

Postby Samsquatch » Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:57 pm

TigerStripes wrote:data collection stuff

Most of that was speculation on my part as for ways that could potentially make data collection for the wiki easier. I don't know the code or coding well enough in general to make more than vague suggestions, but anything that can be collected automatically would be helpful.

TigerStripes wrote:Your mention about the Wiki-holes thread and being able to track work done/needed has given me an idea. Why not make that into a Wiki page and have a link to that appear in a few key spots (like the NPC and Quest pages)? That way notes can be made about what needs to be added/removed/fixed and those working on the Wiki can remove them from the list when those items are completed. Your mention about restructuring the wiki into more game mechanics / intro v. content / spoilers is a good one. That's sort of how I was setting it up in the early days when I was the main one updating the wiki, but by having the first several links in the table cover more gameplay info and specific data coming later. Over time, more spoiler-type info crept into those early pages as feat lists, item lists and so on were added to them.


That's a thought. I'll see about writing something up. Maybe I can figure out how to make one of those banners that appear at the top of a page (the ones like "this article is a stub" or the like) and use that to direct people to that page.
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Re: Direction of the wiki?

Postby TigerStripes » Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:30 pm

Samsquatch wrote:That's a thought. I'll see about writing something up. Maybe I can figure out how to make one of those banners that appear at the top of a page (the ones like "this article is a stub" or the like) and use that to direct people to that page.

I was thinking a 'Does this page need updating? Is something out of date or missing? Let us know here.' and link to the page, but your idea can also work.
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