International Game Developers Association
The Style Guide is here to help. We've all got to work together in this virtual space, and it's important that we try for some consistency where possible. This should reduce confusion, foster opportunity and provide a common language.
There are three areas that are most crucial to the happy growth of a wiki of this size.
1) File naming conventions (which translates into titles of articles)
2) Consistent use of formatting (where pertinent)
3) Using the wiki-ness to its full potential (be brave, as they say)
We'll tackle these one at a time below:
File Naming Conventions
We have multiple chapters and special interest groups all using the same wiki. This can be great for collaboration, but can also result in confusion. For instance, the wiki can have only one page called "Objectives" - should this contain the objectives of the wiki? The objectives of a SIG? Which one? Why not a chapter? Can it contain all objectives for everyone? Probably not.
So we're going to have to take this into account as we choose titles for our pages. In a wiki, the title of the page and the filename are automatically the same thing. So, the title of this page is Help: Style Guide and the name of the file in the database is Help:Style_Guide -- same thing. (For more information on how to create new pages, see the IGDAwiki:Quick Start Guide).
Most content on this wiki will fit into an existing section - they'll belong to a certain SIG or to a certain chapter. You can easily keep things organized by using the / in file names, very much like a folder filesystem on your computer. For example:
/Game_Writers_SIG/Initiatives is the name of Game_Writers_SIG/Initiatives which is a list of projects the Writers SIG is working on. The content belongs within the SIG wiki space, and since the generic name "initiatives" is put in context with the /Game_Writers_SIG it won't cause a conflict if the Women in Games SIG wants to create a list of their own initiatives.
If you want to create a completely new space (for a new SIG, for instance) it's a good idea to go check out other sections of the wiki to see if someone else has already created a similar page. You can copy those file naming conventions or adjust it to your personal use. Just remember that we can't all be on the "top level" - we have to share our toys.
Consistent Use of Formatting
There are five orders of headings. Headings cannot be formatted.
Order Syntax Description H1 =H1= Top-level heading used for article titles. DO NOT USE! H2 ==H2== Section-level heading. H3 ===H3=== Subsection-level heading. H4 ====H4==== Sub-subsection-level heading. H5 =====H5===== Low-level heading. Rarely used.
Please use the headings in order. The automatically generated title of the page is automatically set to H1 and cannot be changed. For subheads within your content, first use H2. Then if you need to further subdivide beneath that subhead, use H3, H4 and then H5.
All words in a title should be capitalized. Subheads should be written in "sentence case" which means you capitalize it like you do a sentence - the first word is capitalized, and any proper names, but other than that, words are lower case.
- Okay: Help:style guide
- Better: Help:Style Guide
- Okay: Example Subhead
- Better: Example subhead
In general, titles work best if you don't start them with "the", "a" and "an."
- Okay: The IGDAâ€™s history
- Better: History of the IGDA
- Italicized text slants right.
The Italic function (
''Italic'') should be used to emphasize terminology intended for explanation, and proper nouns (e.g., International Game Developers Association.)
- Bold text has thicker, heavier lines.
The Bold function (
'''Bold''') should be used to emphasize letterforms, combinations of letterforms (e.g., acronyms, abbreviations, words), and phrases.
- Underlined text is positioned above a line.
The Underline function (
<u>text to be underlined</u>) should be used sparingly or not at all. It can confuse users into thinking the underlined text is a link. Usually italics or bold are a better choice for emphasis or title names.
Using the Wiki-ness to its full potential
Don't be afraid to jump in and change things or create new pages. If you think it would be useful - it would! And if you make a mistake (or someone else makes a mistake on your page) it's easy to rollback to a previous version of a page. Just contact Elonka. She can help.
Use the tools we have
Wikimedia software includes some excellent features for collaboration and consistency including templates, categories and special pages. We encourage you to learn more about these features and make use of them on this wiki.
Discussion or talk tabs
Each page has several tabs at the top. One tab allows you to edit the page, another lets you view the history, add it to your watchlist, etc. Don't overlook the discussion tab (sometimes called the talk tab) which provides space for meta-conversation to go on about the content on the page without actually interrupting the content on the page. Don't feel like you have to use this space to ask permission to make changes to content, but if you'd like to start a dialogue about changing the content (for instance, if you're proposing a full-scale rewrite and want to know what other users think of that) then the discussion tab is the perfect place to get verbose about it.