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 Revamping the Wiki

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MirrorMonkey2
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PostSubject: Re: Revamping the Wiki   Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:47 am

Ok, I just wanted to make it more accessable to german-speaking people. (almost 100 milions) Are there currently any specific wiki pages I can write?
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PostSubject: Re: Revamping the Wiki   Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:08 am

At the moment the pages on topics pertaining to the organism stages need updating badly. The concept for that needs to be refined itself first on the forum before it can go up on the wiki. This is stuff like niches, biomes, food webs, auto-evo, etc.

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PostSubject: Re: Revamping the Wiki   Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:56 pm

It's been a while since we've paid attention to the wiki, but I think we ought to resume maintaining the wiki as a source for final game design and concept, something a wiki can achieve far better than a forum.

As a rule of thumb, any time a discussion is resolved on the forum, the first instinct of the participants of that discussion should be to upload the main points of what they agreed upon on to the wiki ASAP. The wiki pages can then link back to the appropriate threads on the forum that lead to their creation. This would create the wiki as a source of up-to-date features and concepts, and the forum as the site of their creation. I know right now we don't have that habit, so to initiate that trend I will begin with it myself. Recently I've partaken in several threads, so I will be revisiting them below to add anything concluded out of them into the wiki:

Saved Games: http://thrivegame.canadaboard.net/t1416-saved-games-the-universe-and-everything#30084
New Games: http://thrivegame.canadaboard.net/t1417-starting-a-new-game#30122
Agents: http://thrivegame.canadaboard.net/t1210p90-agents-discussion#30143
Organelles, Plasmids, and other stuff: http://thrivegame.canadaboard.net/t1257p30-microbe-stage-gdd#30173

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PostSubject: Re: Revamping the Wiki   Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:45 pm

Are there any plans to open up wiki access? The restricted access to the wiki is a pretty major reason for its unhealthy lack of life, since making changes by going through the forum first is far too complicated for the continuous stream of editing which a wiki requires to function well. What we can do instead is liberally spread wiki access, and use some good wiki organization to make it clear which pages meet developer standards. I've run wikidot wikis before that have worked much much better than ours, and the starkness of the contrast is actually painful to think about.

Here's a more articulate proposal:

We reorganize the wiki to make clear (similar to wikipedia and many other heavily-edited wikis) the quality level of each article (through templates perhaps). Then, we liberally grant wiki access to pretty much anyone who asks. These excited acolytes can then go ahead and make articles to their hearts' content. Through discussion on both the forums (possibly a new wiki subforum) and the discussion pages for each article, and through mod action for egregious actions, we can improve the quality of articles and eventually mark the article as endorsed or something.

As far as I can tell, the only reason wiki access is limited in the first place is to prevent troll/fanboy editors. But this is a strawman -- wiki changes can be rolled back easily, careful moderation can remove those editors, and as long as we're careful about who we give access to, people will have reputations as good team members to uphold. For example, I might just be a dangerous troll who wants to destroy the wiki, but I'll only get one chance to cause any damage, and it won't last, and I'll have to sacrifice my rep here to do it. So I won't. The same holds true (I think) for pretty much anyone who makes it through the application gauntlet.

tl;dr:
Spreading wiki access will make the wiki better. Spreading wiki access won't make the wiki worse. I rest my case.

Edit: Oh and as usual, here's a reference


Last edited by moopli on Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:08 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : bibliography :D)
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NickTheNick
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PostSubject: Re: Revamping the Wiki   Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:35 am

I've considered that before, and because of the reasons you gave and especially because there is now a selective process for developers, I think it would be a good idea to open up the wiki access to allow for any developer to make a contribution. However, I must first find out whether I am able to add people to the wiki, and if not I'll have to message ~scio to get admin status.

The wiki was originally restricted to ensure that the people who updated the wiki were reliable and well knowledgeable about the subject, and in fact there were previous attempts to move to wikia that were ultimately failures partly due to an open contribution system. However, I do think that by limiting it to developers on the forum, it would work much better than it does now.

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PostSubject: Re: Revamping the Wiki   Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:45 pm

Are we intending to limit or discourage additions to the Wiki not concerning the microbe stage? A lot of the discussion further on has never really been set in stone and still needs going over when we reach a suitable point in development.

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PostSubject: Re: Revamping the Wiki   Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:42 pm

I agree, we should discourage writing new wiki content on that sort of thing -- however, instead of putting it that way, we could just "highly encourage" Microbe Stage pages

But since much of what's on the wiki is kinda up in the air right now, we can't just let it sit there, we have to do some cleanup, even if only to replace whole pages with stubs saying that they're not a current priority or something.
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PostSubject: Re: Revamping the Wiki   Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:54 am

Oliveriver wrote:
Are we intending to limit or discourage additions to the Wiki not concerning the microbe stage? A lot of the discussion further on has never really been set in stone and still needs going over when we reach a suitable point in development.

I do have some WIP documents with me covering the concept on the post-evolutionary stages, but I want to wait until I finish and polish them and the we get a bit farther into development (of the Microbe/Multicellular Stages) to post them and start to accrue attention on the strategy mode. Because of that, it's hard to have any design features to add to the wiki for that section of the game.

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PostSubject: Re: Revamping the Wiki   Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:41 pm

Okay I have recieved admin status on the wiki, so any developer that wishes to start contributing to the wiki please PM me and I can add you as a member on wikidot.

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PostSubject: Re: Revamping the Wiki   Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:28 pm

I'm currently going through the wiki to give it a massive facelift.

Any page that describes something that pertains to a later stage in Thrive should have [[include future-work]] put at the top. "future-work" is the template page where I put a message box that says something like "this page not final", so if we want to change what it says on top of every page like that, then we can just change the one page. An extension to consider is to have one of those for every stage; then all the future stages can say a similar message, but when we get to the next stage we only need to edit one page. I don't think I'll do that right now though *shrug*.

The other thing I'm doing, for all the pages that currently matter, is updating them so they're nice and current (no worries Nick, I'm not touching the Microbe Stage page, no need to duplicate work when you'll have a GDD ready soon).

Some wiki organization ideas:

  • Something I used to great effect a few times is the pagetree module -- a tree of pages linked by parenthood. That's right, you can make pages parents of other pages. What I'm thinking of doing is making a couple metapages, one for each stage perhaps, and going through the wiki and setting parents, then putting a pagetree on the front page, spoilered or something, to make the site easy to navigate.
  • The tag system is pretty ugly right now, and isn't being used too well. I'm going to do a bit of tag pruning. Perhaps we can use tags, instead of as groupers for certain content, as pointers to what sections of wiki need attention, and so on. I'm not sure, I'm just not too keen on unmaintained tag clouds.
  • What about, instead of using the tags to organize stuff in terms of topic, we use them to organize in terms of programmer-readiness?
    So, we would have concept_complete for stuff that's ready to turn into proper spec, fully_specced for stuff that's ready to completely program, concept_todo and spec_todo for both, and stub for, well, stubs.
  • Formatting is important -- whether writing equations or laying stuff out.
  • About the sidebar and top navbar: The sidebar is the much more noticeable of the two, and should thus contain the more useful navigation links. Site Manager, the wiki forum, the changelogs, the member list, and so on are generally much less useful for people browsing through than the useful links, the links to editors, and all the rest on the top navbar. I'm currently setting the parents of loads of pages, and creating some generic pages for things like the thrive editors and the game stages. There's now a pagetree on the sidebar (I find it makes navigation by topic far easier than a tag cloud can)


The wiki is, after all, a dev wiki. It's for us designers to write functional spec, so when we programmers want to implement a thing we can just read something that explains what the thing looks like, all the stuff you do with the thing, where the thing is, and so on; so we don't have to ask around for answers to things unrelated to programming, so we can code happy knowing that we won't be asked to change things too unreasonably too often. Now, this project is still in its infancy in terms of code, so things aren't so bad yet, but eventually this project will have to grow, in which case it better be easy to just program new features without having to ask around and wait for decisions.

todone: sidebar, homepage, and navbar links need to be repermuted.
Okay I gave up and just cleansed the entire wiki of tags. They weren't helping with navigation, and unless anyone complains, I think I'll go ahead and use them to document the completion rating of pages. Once that's done though, anyone will be able to tell at a glance that our wiki isn't actually particularly amazing (still okay, but not any better), despite how much stuff there is on it.


Last edited by moopli on Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:57 pm; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : finished another thing)
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PostSubject: Re: Revamping the Wiki   Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:05 pm

It's been a while this thread was used but this discussion is about the wiki, sooooo...

I PM'd NickTheNick and he says he'll look at the wiki and say what changes he thinks should be made.

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tjwhale
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PostSubject: Re: Revamping the Wiki   Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:18 pm

I have 2 thoughts on this

1) Basically it's not worth putting a huge amount of effort into pages on things which aren't finalised. And not much about the microbe stage is finalised (let alone the game).

It's going to be 2d top down, you're going to be swimming around a lot, there's going to be a CPA system and some ocean modelling, it ends when you become multi-cellular etc

These are fixed but how all these systems will work is still up in the air.

So I suggest try to track things which have been fixed / decided and then make a good page on them but don't worry about things which are still in flux too much.

(Like I'm hoping we can get a master list for the CPA system fixed at some point and then we need a nice page on that explaining everything with formulas and a nice diagram but it's not worth making all that while it is subject to change.)

2) The most important pages will be the tutorial / "wtf is this" pages. So when people are stuck they will google it and end up at the wiki.

So if you're looking for pages to make keep an eye out for when people ask "I tried to install and got this error what do I do" and the response is "do xyz" then that should go in the wiki. (installation faq's page maybe)

And if people ask gameplay questions (e.g. "what is a vacuole and why am I putting them on my microbe?") then that should be in the wiki.

Also a "getting started / tutorial" page would be really nice with installation instructions and then a first guide to playing the game. This will change A LOT when other bits of the game get built but it would be nice to have all the time.

Hope this is helpful, what do you guys think?
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PostSubject: Re: Revamping the Wiki   Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:28 pm

I'll start work on that installations page over the week.

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