Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi all, long time player, first time poster :) I have been playing Spiderweb games for over 20 years, I have played every series back to the original Exile (though not every game).

 

TL;DR - I would like to propose the preemptive creation of a Queen's Wish wiki.

 

Recently I picked A5 back up after 11 years (!) - I put it down after getting to Muck and finally accepting that my archer was going to be dead weight for the rest of the game. But I am pushing through it now so I can get to A6 (which, I am under the impression, is a better game; A5 has not been a highlight for me) and finally finish the Avernum series. As I have re-acclimated myself to A5 I have been using these forums to remember what all the skills do, how the special skills work, what the strategies are, etc. As always, the Strategy Central has been invaluable, and I am very thankful to all of the members of this forum who have posted so much helpful info.

 

BUT... (you knew that was coming)

 

Finding the information that I am looking for is frequently challenging. I can't necessarily tell from the title of a thread exactly what I will find on it. Information about specific skills or mechanics is scattered among various threads. Inaccurate information is frequently posted; though it is usually corrected, that sometimes happens much later in the thread, and sometimes not at all. And some of what I am looking for seems to not be available at all, but I can never be sure: maybe I just haven't found the right thread yet?

 

I have found myself wishing that a wiki existed for A5. I know about EE, but it is primarily focused on information about the game world. What I am looking for is information that helps me decide how I want to play the game, and my experience with other games is that a wiki is a great place for that information. The Geneforge series has had several wikis, mostly started and maintained by passionate individuals; none of them ever really reaching a comprehensive state, in part because the effort was scattered.

 

I propose that we create a wiki now for Queen's Wish, and that it be advertised in the (presumably forthcoming) Strategy Central for the game/series. That way, there is one place for the efforts of anyone who contributes to be applied, and there is some chance of it staying useful over time.

 

I know that some members of this forum have not been particularly excited about the idea of wikis in the past. To preemptively respond to what I believe are the most common objections:

 

  1. "It's not necessary. These forums already provide the information, and the people are helpful. A wiki would be redundant."

    The information on the forums is unassailably invaluable. But a forum is best suited to discussion (hence the name); it does not have good mechanisms for organizing and locating canonical information. For factual information about places, characters, items, quests, and game mechanics, I believe a wiki would have the following advantages over the forums:
    • Each topic would have one canonical entry where the most up-to-date information could be found.
    • Inaccurate data can be changed/removed, rather than corrected separately.
    • Wikis are by nature good at cross-linking, allowing efficient exploration of related topics.
    • The presence of a stub page is a clear indication that information is unavailable.
       
  2. "Maintaining a wiki is too much effort. Spiderweb games are too niche; they don't justify the level of effort it would require. There aren't enough people willing to put in the effort."

    Maintaining a wiki is unquestionably a lot of effort. I am willing to put in some myself, but if I try to do it alone it will undoubtedly fail; that's why I am here seeking other interested players. It's quite likely that a Queen's Wish wiki will never reach the level of maturity or comprehensiveness of a wiki for, say, Fallout 4, or even Pillars of Eternity. But that doesn't mean it can't be an immensely useful resource for new or returning players, with some contributions from passionate people like the members of this forum.

 

I am willing to make the initial effort at creating a wiki and getting it started. But I know that a solo effort is doomed to fail; and there are also some important questions to answer before starting, most notably, where should it be located? So, is anyone else interested in contributing to a wiki for Queen's Wish?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you make a wiki, and there is useful information in it, it will definitely get linked in Strategy Central!

 

That said, Imma be honest here, it's a little off-putting to show up out of nowhere and proclaim "Hey, I don't like the way you've been organizing information over here for literally the last 15 years, you should do it my way instead, and also I want you to advertise this for me."

 

Wikis are potentially great.  But as you note, there is more effort involved -- particularly if you want the advantages you list in point #1 to actually exist.  A lot of effort has to go into organizing and updating the wiki that isn't necessary here.

 

Randomizer collates truly massive amounts of in-game information in incredibly useful lists.  And then they sit in a single thread.  Ctrl-F takes the place of a whole extra level of organization, splitting up pages and organizing links to them.  If you want to take that on, go for it, but the fact that this data gets gathered in the first place is clearly more important.  Just dumping it in a couple threads here makes it easy to just focus on getting the data.  A similar thing could be said when one of us goes on a mechanics spelunking expedition.

 

Strategy Central is well organized, and google search of the forums is available if the place to find a particular piece of information isn't obvious.  (And if you're looking for information that doesn't exist, well, it's not magically going to exist just because there's a wiki.)

 

Aaaand wikis do come with disadvantages.  If they end up half-done, it can actually be much harder to locate needed information on them than it is via a super simple format like Strategy Central.  I'm sure you've seen game wikis in that state, just like I have.

 

So, let me make a suggestion.  Instead of complaining about the way we've been doing things for, again, literally the last 15 years... consider proposing your wiki as a project you want to try and would love help with.  That way, you wouldn't pre-emptively put off the very people whose work your wiki will clearly be relying on.

 

Second point: your bold text indicates that you are (wisely) aware that the wiki needs people to work on it especially at the beginning, for it to take off.  But don't put the cart before the horse.  An empty wiki is not going to get advertised in the Strategy Central that you find so inadequate, just because it "could" take off.  You want us to promote your project before it exists.  The reality is, wikis have been attempted before and haven't taken off.  I genuinely hope you succeed.  But for me at least, the proof is in the pudding.  Strategy Central doesn't "advertise", it organizes and attempts to make it easy to find information.  Make the pudding first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having searched the forums and seen the hostility with which previous wiki suggestions were met, I was afraid of a response like this. Nevertheless, it is disappointing to see.

 

Quote

Instead of complaining about the way we've been doing things for, again, literally the last 15 years...

 

How else could I have made my case that would not have come off as complaining? As I said in my OP, the various Strategy Centrals represent significant effort by (mostly) a small number of people and have been invaluable. Even before information and advice started getting collected in Strategy Central, your Slartanalysis threads and Synergy and Randomizer's item threads (among many, many other useful threads) were extremely helpful. I'm not complaining about that; as I said, I am very thankful for all the time and effort put in. And I completely agree that the fact that the information gets compiled in the first place is the most important thing.

 

I am well aware that maintaining a wiki would be even more work than posting here, and as you pointed out, is not guaranteed to succeed. I am not complaining that the small number of individuals who do most of the analysis here are not also putting in the effort to make a wiki. Far from it. I am offering to add my effort - and maybe rally the effort of others - in the hopes of achieving something even more valuable.

 

Perhaps the amount of time I spent in my post describing what I see as the advantages of a wiki is why it felt like complaining? As I said, I have seen some less-than-positive responses to other wiki requests, and I was trying to preemptively respond. That was probably a mistake. But acknowledging that a wiki would have value doesn't have to mean denying the value of these forums, the information here, or the effort it has taken to create it.

 

Quote

An empty wiki is not going to get advertised in the Strategy Central that you find so inadequate, just because it "could" take off.  You want us to promote your project before it exists.

 

I certainly don't find Strategy Central inadequate. But perhaps "advertised" was the wrong word. Yes, I understand that Strategy Central is typically an aggregate of other already useful threads and resources. Maybe Strategy Central is not the right place for what I am looking for. But as you noted, "wikis have been attempted before and haven't taken off". My (unsubstantiated) belief is that one of the main reasons is that most of them have been individual passion projects that have not been linked to these forums, which are undeniably the home of the Spiderweb community. Wikis need participation and contribution to be successful. That's precisely why I am suggesting that the wiki be created before the game is even released, and that it be linked from these forums - so that people can find it and contribute to it.

 

And - just to be perfectly clear - I don't see this as my project. If it is my project, then as soon as something happens in my life that takes me away from gaming, it will probably die. It has to be a joint effort to be successful. But it won't happen at all if someone doesn't jump start it. That's what I am looking to do.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, variableirony said:

Having searched the forums and seen the hostility with which previous wiki suggestions were met, I was afraid of a response like this. Nevertheless, it is disappointing to see.

The "hostility" has nothing to do with the idea of a wiki.  That's why I said wikis are potentially great.  That's also why I said I hope you succeed with the wiki.

 

The "hostility" has everything to do with your attitude.  Your very first post is -- in your words -- "making a case" as to why other people should change what they are doing.  You made a "proposal" for what "we" should do in bold print.  You also asked us to promote your project.

 

It's a little presumptuous.  Throw in your complaints, and I think it's not hard to see why you did not get embraced.

 

Look: a wiki, as an additional resource, isn't a bad idea at all.  But as I said, the proof is in the pudding.  So far, you haven't actually done anything to make the wiki a reality, but you've made two long posts arguing, in one way or another, with what's already on the forums.  That does not bode well.  I suggest you put your effort into making the wiki rather than trying to persuade people here that a currently-imaginary wiki will be awesome.

 

Seriously, go make it now.  The game's not out but you can begin putting the structure together.  You clearly have some ideas about what you'd like to see in it, and you are probably the target audience for a wiki, so why not get started?  Once you have something to show, you can then talk up the wiki instead of dumping on what we've done in the past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Your very first post is -- in your words -- "making a case" as to why other people should change what they are doing.

 

I'm still really confused as to where you are getting this from. Did I say anywhere that what the members of this forum are doing is wrong, or not valuable, or should be discontinued? I don't think I said anything like that; and if that is the impression I gave, I apologize for not choosing my words more carefully.

 

Quote

So far, you haven't actually done anything to make the wiki a reality, but you've made two long posts arguing, in one way or another, with what's already on the forums.

...

You clearly have some ideas about what you'd like to see in it, and you are probably the target audience for a wiki, so why not get started?

 

What I have done, so far, to make the wiki a reality is start this thread. Why did I do that instead of just starting the wiki myself? Because it's not about a personal vanity project. I don't want or need to make all the decisions. I definitely cannot do it all myself. I am looking for people who see the same potential that I do to collaborate with. If literally no one but me sees the potential or is interested in working on it, there is no point in starting; it won't succeed.

 

I'm sorry that my first post on the forum did not live up to your expectations. I have never felt like I had anything particularly valuable to contribute, compared to what other members of these forums have done. Especially since I have never played a Spiderweb game in the first year after it was released (maybe the first Nethergate? I don't remember for sure); anything that I would say has usually been said long before I think of it. Queen's Wish is the first time I expect to play a game at release. And I truly believe that a Queen's Wish wiki would be a valuable resource, and that it has the best chance of being successful if it is started early, has multiple maintainers, and is linked to these forums. That's why I chose to post now. I'll be honest, that one of the most prominent members of this forum has chosen to take my idea as a personal attack is pretty disappointing. But it doesn't change my mind.

 

I am still looking for people who see value in a Queen's Wish wiki and are interested in contributing to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Projects in this community that require the collaboration of a large number of people do not have a great history of getting finished. Realistically, for a project like this, one person is going to have to do enough work to make the wiki already useful before anyone else is going to jump on board. It wouldn't even have to be a tremendous amount of work: once the game is released and people start posting information about it, you could ask their permission to copy-paste relevant chunks of text to the wiki. But by and large, I feel like the people who are collecting data on the game don't want the hassle of maintaining a wiki on top of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/16/2019 at 4:23 AM, Lilith said:

I feel like the people who are collecting data on the game don't want the hassle of maintaining a wiki on top of that.

 

Yeah I totally get that. Honestly I wasn't really expecting the current big contributors to sign up for a bunch of extra work. I thought there might be a few other people like me lurking on these forums: want to contribute something to the community; don't feel like they have the expertise (or quite frankly the patience) to produce the kind of analysis that others on these forums already do; see the potential value in a well-constructed wiki; and willing to put some time into finding and organizing information.

 

On 4/16/2019 at 4:23 AM, Lilith said:

Realistically, for a project like this, one person is going to have to do enough work to make the wiki already useful before anyone else is going to jump on board.

 

Fair enough. My experience makes me quite wary of projects owned by a single person; there is just so much in life that can interfere and destroy the value of one person's effort. I will hold out hope that there are a few who "see it before they see it". But if it ultimately takes me getting it started on my own, I can do that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know, for what it's worth, I think this is an interesting idea. It's also something new, so far as I can tell, so it will naturally be something of an experiment. I may be wrong on this, but I don't think anyone has yet tried to set up a Wiki for a Spiderweb series right at the point at which it has been released.

 

Because this is an experiment, I say go for it! It's always possible that it won't pan out, but you won't know if you don't try! This is, after all, an excellent time to try something like this – the beginning of a new series is bound to bring in a whole bunch of interest, and a whole bunch of new players. Indeed, I'd be willing to speculate that this will be particularly true of Queen's Wish; one the merits of putting the game through a Kickstarter is that it seems to have gained a lot more coverage than some of Jeff's other series.

 

I feel that a new project like this needs one person to work through the very, very early stages – just to set things up for others to do further work in the future. I suggest that you go right ahead and set up a skeleton Wiki. All this needs to be at this point is just a domain – somewhere for the Wiki to live – and a name. You could even set up a few stub sections if you wanted to for some idea of the structure, but that's not really necessary right now as so little is known about the game.

 

I say this because I'm not necessarily sure that you'll get many replies to this post, and I don't think that has anything to do with people not being interested. My feeling is that people will be happier to add something to a Wiki they can see and interact with, rather than committing to a good idea before the fact. As you said yourself, you're looking for lurkers, and lurkers won't necessarily jump to reply to this post – but they might be willing to cut out the middleman and directly interact with your new Wiki!

 

So, go for it! If you build it, they will come!

 

As Slarty pointed out, there are dangers in putting together Wikis, but I think these can be easily averted. If you allow free editing of the Wiki, and it doesn't take off for whatever reason, someone could simply post something on the front page to the effect that the Wiki is obsolete, and divert all traffic to the Strategy Central posts. That way, no-one gets confused, and people looking for information about the game who don't think to look at the forums will still be able to find the information they are looking for.

 

In any case, it's nice to see someone who has been lurking for a long time make an account on the forums. In good Spiderweb tradition, do leave your sanity by the door. Otherwise, the fluffy turtles tend to get a little aggravated ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Geneforge wikis have been attempted in the past, but after a while they get abandoned. There is mention if you search this site for "wiki" of others, but even then it has been years.

 

Strategy Central was first started for Geneforge 3 as a convenient place to locate topics for a debate on character builds. The others have been added for more recent games to save time when hunting for major useful topics because the search function for this site is horrible. Just try locating a topic using the exact title and getting not found.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strategy Central was first started for G3 as a central hub for technical discussion.  I can state this for a fact because I was the one who did it, and I did it right in the middle of that massive defs file unpacking about broken vlish 😛

 

Now shoo.  Go build a wiki, and no supper until you do!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Overwhelping said:

Strategy Central was first started for G3 as a central hub for technical discussion.  I can state this for a fact because I was the one who did it, and I did it right in the middle of that massive defs file unpacking about broken vlish 😛

 

Now shoo.  Go build a wiki, and no supper until you do!

 

I miss the good ol' days (which was I even around for?) of you arguing with Delicious Vlish about builds and stat minutiae. 😂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/16/2019 at 5:23 AM, Lilith said:

Realistically, for a project like this, one person is going to have to do enough work to make the wiki already useful before anyone else is going to jump on board.

I 100% agree.  There have been a lot of one person efforts that have been successful, and while real life can and does get in the way, hopefully it will be after a point at which the effort can be considered an success even if it is not complete.  I have no idea how many people are active right now, but it seems pretty low as the non-game related forum topics have pretty much disappeared.  While there will be a bump up in activity when Queen's Wish comes out I am not sure how many people are watching the boards to sign up to help with something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input everybody. I am going to go ahead and get something started (in fact I already have), so when the game does launch at least some of the basics will be out of the way. Here's what I am doing:

  • I want to use a hosted wiki; I want my effort to go towards finding and organizing information, not on the minutiae of hosting a wiki. My favorite game wiki site is gamepedia; however, it appears that they only allow people directly associated with the game (developers, publishers, etc) to create wikis. My next favorite site is fandom; there are several good wikis there for other video game series, such as Fallout and Borderlands. So I have created a (so far empty) wiki there for Queen's Wish.
  • I have also created wikis for Avernum 5 and Avernum 6, also on FANDOM. I am currently creating some entries in the Avernum 5 wiki, since that's the game I am most recently familiar with, and using them to create templates and layouts, and hopefully some how-tos. Once I have done a couple of pages in each major category, I am going to take those templates and import them into the Avernum 6 wiki. Then I will start Avernum 6, and start filling out that wiki as I play. This should give me an idea of how I want to go about it.
  • Once Queen's Wish is released, I will import whatever I think is useful from the Avernum 6 wiki to the Queen's Wish wiki, at which point I expect to delete the Avernum 5 and 6 wikis. As has been previously mentioned, a fragment of a wiki is worse than no wiki at all.
  • I will start playing Queen's Wish and filling out the wiki as I play. The templates will presumably have to be adjusted somewhat for the new engine, and maybe some new categories added. If basic things like item and ability names can be extracted from the data files as they can with A5/6, I may at least partially automate the process of creating the initial stubs for these things.
  • When I feel like there is some useful information and a basic structure in place that others can follow, I will start a new thread in this forum, linking to the wiki and inviting others to contribute to it.
  • In the beginning, I think the wiki should be limited to "factual" information, i.e. things that don't need to be experimentally derived or debated. This forum is a better place for those conversations than a wiki. As conclusions are drawn about mechanics, and maybe strategy, I will ask for permission to migrate that information to the wiki.

If anybody is interested in getting involved in any of that before the very end, I would welcome the collaboration. Otherwise, I'll see you when the game is launched :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...