Help:Editing guidelines

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Here's some general editing guidelines that you should keep in mind when editing the Mushpedia.

Icon Note: This guide is still under construction and will gradually be expanded.
It's advisable to put this article on your watchlist to keep track of new additions.

Icon Note: Many sections here were adapted from the excellent Dota 2 Wiki's Style guide.

New to wiki editing?

Editing a wiki without any prior knowledge may sound like a daunting task, but it's actually much easier than you'd think! Particularly if you've ever worked with basic Office software, you shouldn't have a lot of issues here.

If you never worked with a MediaWiki before, or you need some basic refreshing pointers, please navigate to the Useful official resources section at the bottom of the page. The rest of this article will be about general Mushpedia-specific practice, rather than editing basics common to all MediaWikis.

To edit Mushpedia articles, you need to sign up for an account. You can (typically) find the button for this on the top right of the site.

General ideas

  • While it's awesome and preferable that editors follow all the instructions below, adding raw, unformatted and "messy" information (as long as it's correct) to the wiki is better than not adding anything at all! If you have something to contribute, don't be afraid that it might be rejected. At the moment of writing, the wiki has certain people who are more than happy to add "polish" to raw data... as long as there IS something to work with!
  • Your vision of the wiki - or an article - may differ from other users'. Try to find a compromise and not create/take offense involving changes! Mushpedia is a cooperative effort, not a competitive one.
  • If there's a feature you think the wiki is missing, for example if there's no template for status icons yet, you're free to try and implement it yourself, or at least request it!
    • However, there are limits. A rule of thumb is to work with what the wiki gives you; some features or changes may either be long present, unnecessary, or unwanted (see the Tables point under Appearance). Never be afraid to communicate and ask (just like in Mush!) before making big changes.
  • Mushpedia is a wiki encyclopedia. The purpose of articles on a wiki is to provide all information on the subject in a structured fashion. While tutorials, tips and advice are within the scope of an article, typically articles aren't just that.
    • Example: Instead of creating a "Gardening" article to paste Rain's gardening guide tips&tricks into it, try to also fill the article with general information; what Gardening is, its mechanics, what Skills and NERON Projects are related to Gardening etc. Advice, good gardening practice etc is just one section of the article.

Introduction

The introduction of a Mushpedia article is the section before the first heading. The table of contents, if displayed, appears between the lead section and the first headline, or to the right.

The lead should be capable of standing alone as a concise overview of the article, briefly describing its most important points. It should contain up to four paragraphs and should be written in a clear, accessible style so as to invite a reading of the full article.

The article's subject should be mentioned at the earliest natural point in the prose in the first sentence, and should appear in boldface. For example:

The heart and soul of your character, Skills determine your unique powers and abilities in Mush.

General writing style

Articles should be written in the third person if possible. While writing on Mushpedia doesn't need to be neutral, you should try to avoid personal reference. Sentences such as "I like to duck behind the boxes because it gives me better cover" could easily be phrased as "Ducking behind the boxes provides better cover".

Formatting functions like bold, italics, and linking are provided to improve readability of articles, so use them (see Wikipedia cheatsheet for additional help). If you wish to emphasize a word, such as a skill or item name, use the appropriate template for the first time in the paragraph, then apply italics rather than bold or CAPITALS. Use of the bold face type should be limited within an article whenever possible to table headersand names of Actions (although names should only be highlighted once per paragraph). Double emphasis should also be avoided but can be used for text such as important warnings by making the word bold italic. Italics and quotation marks are also used in names of pieces of media. For example, game names are italicized.

Do not use
  • ALL CAPS
  • Instant messenger language abbreviations - R U OK?
  • Emoticons - :)
  • Excessive punctuation - !!!
  • Sentences starting with lowercase - "place the portal in the corner"

Using information from the forums

Mushpedia is an independent source of information. Thus, while you can use information from the Mush forums or other players, please do not just copy/paste information, and do not leave it uncredited. Any submitted content should be your own work, and not that of somebody else; unless you have received full permission to use it.

Overlinking and underlinking

For a complete guide to linking please refer to Wikipedia's Manual of Style (links).

The use of links is a difficult balance between providing the reader enough useful links to allow them to "wander through" articles and excessive linking which can distract them from their reading flow.

Underlinking can cause the reader to become frustrated because questions may arise about the article's contents which can only be resolved by using the search option or other sources for clarification, interrupting and distracting the reader.

Overlinking may distract the reader because links are usually colored differently causing the eye to shift focus constantly. Additionally if the same word is linked multiple times in the same paragraph it can cause the reader to question if the links are directing them to different articles or not.

The guidelines for linking are:

  • No more than 10 percent of the words in an article are contained in links.
  • Two links should not be next to each other in the text, so that it looks like one link - such as Mush Hunter.
  • Links for any single term should not be excessively repeated in the same article. Excessive linking is more than once for the same term, in a line or a paragraph, which will almost certainly appear needlessly on the viewer's screen. Remember, the purpose of links is to direct the reader to a new spot at the point(s) where the reader is most likely to take a temporary detour due to needing more information.
  • Duplicating an important link distant from a previous occurrence in an article may well be appropriate. If an important term appears many times in a long article, but is only linked once at the very beginning of the article, it may actually be underlinked. Indeed, readers who jump directly to a subsection of interest must still be able to find a link. But take care in fixing such problems, the distance between duplicate links is an editor's preference, however if in doubt duplicate the term further down the article.

Appearance

  • Generally try to work with the tools given to you by the wiki. Use "thumb", "right", "frame" etc. parameters to display images in various positions, use wikitables to display information in a table, etc. etc.
    • Tables: Please use the regular "wikitable" class and avoid customizing as much as possible. Once we have a design for the site, it will be very very easy to do a global css change to make the wikitable format be whatever color/format/etc looks best down the road. I know it's boring now, but I promise we'll make it better!
  • Before uploading new images, check Image Gallery as almost every image you'll ever need is listed there.

Templates

Familiarize yourself with our selection of Useful Templates before editing. They go a long way in making an article clearer to read and providing valuable information at a glance. Compare:

Phagocyte heals 4 ap and hp

to

Icon Phagocyte heals 4 Action Point and Health Point

The second example immediately shows that Phagocyte is a Mush skill and provides a link for more information. Also it displays the proper icons for AP and health points, as well as making them clickable so the reader can find out what these points stand for.

Avoid overusing and underusing templates; the same directions as for links apply. If you've already referred to a skill with the Skill template once in a paragraph, there is no need to do so again; emphasize the name with italic text instead. This will help cut down on icon spam and help maintain readability of articles. Note that this doesn't apply to small icon templates like Health Point, Morale, Glory etc, as these should be used consistently.

Bad example
You can turn Icon Standard Ration into Icon Cooked Ration to get rid of bacteria, but even Icon Cooked Ration will eventually spoil and need to be refrozen into Icon Standard Ration.
Good example
You can turn Icon Standard Ration into Icon Cooked Ration to get rid of bacteria, but even Cooked Rations will eventually spoil and need to be refrozen into Standard Rations.

Specific wording

It does not help that Mush has extremely inconsistent style and terminology, but the Mushpedia should still follow a consistent approach. What follows are best guesses and recommendations, and is subject to revision.

Capitalization

Words that should be capitalized

Words that should not be capitalized

Icon TODO: Some of those probably exist!

Words with ambiguous or unknown capitalization

  • action
  • skill (unless first referring to the Skills article)

Terminology

  • Players control characters.
  • Characters have skills and levels.
  • Characters can pick up and hold items.
  • Rooms often have interactive equipment.

Words best avoided

  • Neron: Should be NERON.
  • Pilgred: Should be PILGRED.

Skill pages

Skill pages such as Icon Botanist should follow the pattern that has been established for many skills so far. Those skills that are not yet adapted to it need to be changed to reflect this new structure.

As a rule of thumb, it is safe to look at one of the existing, finished skill pages such as Icon Botanist, Icon Shooter or Icon IT Expert, and simply adapt their structure to any other skills. Regardless, the following is an effort to describe the structure.

General structure

Every skill should include the 'data variables' segment at the start, which is currently already included in all of them. This ensures that basic data about the skill (Name, icon, in-game description and effects) are transmitted to other pages that display the skill (such as the Skills overview). It should be followed up by the Template:Skill Tooltip template.

The first paragraph of the skill article should contain basic information, notes, tips, tricks and strategies pertaining to its use. More detailed and structured information about its effects follows in later sections. These are:

Affected actions

This section describes any in-game actions which are directly changed by the skill.

Example from Icon Botanist

Plant (Fruit), Water Plant (Plants), Treat Plant (Plants), Hybridize (Plants):

  • If any Gardening Point are available, 1 Gardening Point is used instead of Action Point.

Participate (NERON's Core):

  • Bonus to efficiency on NERON Projects:
    • Extra Hydropots
    • Heat Lamps
    • Hydroponic Incubator

Affected items

This section describes any pick-up items whose properties are directly influenced by the skill; this is fairly rare among skills, and effects regarding their usage (such as Consume for rations etc.) should to into Affected actions.

Example from Icon Botanist

Fruits:

  • Effects of consumption can be read.

Plants:

  • Can view Fruit Productivity (fruit per day).
  • Can view O2 Productivity (oxygen per day).
  • Can view how many cycles are left before the plant matures.

General effects

This section describes various other effects of the skill, such as the addition of new actions or expedition changes, which do not fit into other categories. Care should be maintained to keep the list structured.

Example from Icon Botanist
  • Gains 2 Gardening Point per day, to a maximum of 4.

New actions

New actions are listed in a particularly structured way to synchronize the skill pages' appearance. Listed should be cost, any requirements, the Privacy Level of the action, the action target, its effect, as well as any related room logs.

Example from Icon Trapper
  • New action: Booby-Trap Unit
    • Cost: 1 Action Point, 1 Icon Spore
    • Target: None
    • Privacy: Icon Secret
    • Effect: Places a spore in the current room.
      • Maximum of 1 spore per room.
      • Consumes a spore to infect any character who performs a room action.
        • Room actions mean action button presses with interactive room objects, such as Pick Up, Access Terminal, Launch etc.
          • Interacting with your inventory (dropping items etc) and viewing shelf units do not count as such.
        • No effect on Icon Chun or Icon Mush, spore will be wasted.
    • Room Log: Looking like the most normal thing in the world, [user] seemed to slip something into the shelving unit.

Undocumented effects

Finally, this section is where any effects undocumented by the game are described.

Example from Icon IT Expert
  • The success chance of using the Icon Hacker Kit is doubled.

Categories

Every skill should be placed in all categories that relate to it.

Icon Warning: Do not add the Category:Skill category or the characters' main categories such as Category:Stephen. Any such categories you see should be removed from skill pages.

Example category list from Icon IT Expert: Category:Human Skill Category:Janice Skill Category:Eleesha Skill Category:Frieda Skill Category:Terrence Skill Category:Mage Book Skill As you can see, it can be learned naturally by all these characters as well as from the Mage Book, which makes the category list comparatively huge.

All in all, observe existing "finished" articles and adapt to them!

Useful official resources

Since the Mushpedia functions in pretty much the same way as any MediaWiki installation (including Wikipedia), you are best off studying some of the official MediaWiki articles for basic pointers on how editing works.

Basics

  1. Basic formatting
  2. Advanced Editing
  3. Wiki Markup Examples
  4. Starting a Page

Advanced