Guidelines to writing articles

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Here are a few tips to writing articles on the X-COM Wiki:

General Rules

  • You need to log on to your account before posting or editing new articles here as we had to put certain measures in place to reduce spammers.
  • Remember, these are only tips and guidelines. If you have a good reason to break any for your article, do so.

Creating New Pages

  • If you are unsure about creating any new articles, or are having second thoughts about the content, discuss it with other article writers before proceeding. Do this through whatever channels are available to you. The "discussion" (or "talk") pages of articles is a good place for this; Talk:Main Page is where site-wide editing issues are discussed. Users' individual Talk pages are also a good place to conduct editing discussions.

Writing Style & Page Content

  • When writing articles try to keep a Neutral Point Of View (NPOV) regarding its content and avoid personal references. And remember that any content you enter can and will be discussed, edited or changed.
  • Don't fret too much when deciding between American and British spelling variations of the same English words. It does not matter. Use whatever convention is comfortable and avoid editing wars by asking for spelling confirmation from the author. The best way to avoid a spelling dispute is to refer to its in-game usage.
  • Use capital letters when needed.
  • Punctuation. Good punctuation clarifies and eliminates potential confusion.
  • Use ellipses (...) as a last resort and only if it cannot be avoided.
  • Do not write as if you were in a chat room or text messaging. Write out your words and use complete sentences.
  • Avoid emoticons.
  • Always double-check your spelling, punctuation and grammar before submitting new articles or any major edits. This helps reduce future editing work. When submitting changes to an article (no matter how minor), first preview it, then save it. Previewing catches lots of common errors (like broken/wrong wikilinks).
  • Use section headings to divide your articles into manageable segments.
  • When submitting in-game images from any games in the X-COM series, kindly convert it to .PNG (Portable Network Graphics) format. GIF's are also tolerable, but avoid JPEG's at all costs since it is a lossy image format that is suitable for photo-realistic images, but works very poorly with images with limited palettes such as used in the first three X-COM games.
  • For PNGs, remember that the color depth of the image greatly influences the size of the image. Set to 16 million colours, the file size can be depressingly large. Where possible, game images saved as PNG should have the color depth set to 256 color (or lesser) to keep the size small.
  • Consider also using a PNG optimizer such as PNGOUT to reduce the size even further. There may also be other optimizers out there.

Linking Pages

  • Make wikilinks to the names of aliens, equipment, etc. Don't repeat wikilinks within an article: turn the first reference into a wikilink, but leave the remaining references as "plain" text.
  • If you link to existing articles, but they appear red (page does not exist), check to see if you are using the same spelling and capitalization.
  • If your article contains too many links to the same articles, consider revising it and using a See Also... section at the end of the article.

Categorizing Pages

  • If there isn't a category to fit your page you can easily create one by adding the [[Category:NAMEHERE]] at the bottom of your page. If the pages belonging to that category belong to a specific game add a game suffix to the name, such as [[Category: Alien Life Forms (EU)]], [[Category: Alien Life Forms (TFTD)]] or [[Category: Alien Life Forms (Apocalypse)]]
  • When adding non-canon material that is not in the games but that you've created yourself (such as fanfiction) please add the [[Category:Fiction]] tag at the end of the text.

Talk Pages

  • Try not to use the main articles as a chat page. Use the talk page of that page to do so.
  • Do sign your messages in Talk pages. Use four tildes ~~~~ to insert your username and a timestamp. Alternately, the second to last button in the edit box will insert this for you at the cursor.

See Also