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Doom Wiki:Policies and guidelines

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Although this article aims to represent consensus on the Doom Wiki, it is still a work in progress. This site is less complete and less frequently edited than an established site like Wikipedia; furthermore, our editors and administrators traditionally proceed by common sense rather than interpreting policies to the letter. Therefore, this page does not evolve in lockstep with our article content, and no written policy or guideline is expected to cover every situation.

This page, like all project pages, can be edited by anyone. However, please ensure that your revision is compatible with any existing consensus (established by discussion and/or repeated precedent). You are also encouraged to discuss, critique, or challenge any of these policies and guidelines on the talk page.


For new contributors Edit

Welcome! We're working to document 22 years (and counting) of gaming, mapping, programming, and needlepoint, so there are always many places where you can help.

This article is long, but each section is here for a reason, usually because we had a problem and don't want it to happen again. New editors sometimes see their contributions "adjusted" to match the guidelines below; this is normal, and should not be taken personally. Figure out what the other editor did, and learn to do it yourself.

Our site is not nearly as large or as active as Wikipedia, so it takes a while to get consensus on anything. On the one hand, you can take the opportunity to be bold; on the other hand, you may feel at times as though you are the only person interested in a particular topic (which is never true).

History teaches us that assuming good faith on gaming sites is often not constructive; some of our veteran editors have more patience than others. If you are reading this page, however, that's a good sign. Make worthwhile edits and you'll get the benefit of the doubt.

Format of the wikiEdit

If you read only one sentence today, let this be the one:

This is an encyclopedia, not myspace or a forums site.

When you open a dictionary or an economics textbook, you expect a formal tone and a logically organized outline; the same applies here. The main space should contain coherent expository prose, not conversation or excessive decoration. The talk spaces are somewhat less organized, but questions and comments should be directed toward improving the articles, not about random subjects. As a rule of thumb:

  • To discuss a specific edit, post to that user's talk page. (Try not to yell.)
  • To ask broad questions about the wiki, to discuss a policy which might affect many articles, or to report a bug in MediaWiki, post to Central Processing; that way, almost everyone sees it.
  • Otherwise, use the talk page for the article that seems most relevant.

Always sign your posts on talk pages by typing ~~~~ at the end.

To test your understanding of this policy, read Talk:Entryway. About half of the threads either are off topic or belong on other pages. If you know which half is which, you're on your way to becoming a good editor.

Your User: page can say anything you wish, subject to Wikia's terms of use.

Original researchEdit

This policy (see "Neutrality" below) is often misunderstood by new editors. Because the source code and editing utilities for many Doom games are freely available, anyone can look up how many bullets are on the fourth level of Doom II, or how an Imp decides whether to turn left or right when he hits a wall. Therefore, unlike Wikipedia, we do not require a secondary source for such data (which might not exist anyway). This does not mean, however, that every possible interpretation of the data should be included also.

Although certain opinions have wide acceptance in the Doom community, think carefully before posting something non-technical which you have never seen on any major Doom site (aside from forums). Ask yourself, "Could other people look at my monitor and draw a different conclusion than I did, with no reproducible way to choose between them?" If you decide to make the edit anyway, be prepared for an argument.

Examples of good original research:

Examples of things you should not add:

  • An article about how a particular bug affects a particular map, when the bug and the map already have articles.
  • The nicknames that you and your brothers gave the monsters when you first played Doom.
  • What a Dune total conversion might look like.
  • Why Quake is better than Hexen.

Things that may have articles Edit

Before creating a new article, see "Article format", "Article titles", and "Capitalization" below. Almost every new article is far from complete; use the {{stub}} template at the top.

Before starting an article you saw on the list of wanted articles, please check the list of links first. If every link originates in the talk spaces or on Central Processing, that means the article has only been discussed in a hypothetical sense, and probably shouldn't be written.

If a game, WAD, editor, or utility exists only in source/demo/beta form, but is available to the general public and meets all the criteria below, then it can be included.

Games, gameplay, and walkthroughsEdit

Of course. However, some subjects are considered more notable than others.

Commercially released titles in the Doom series, or based on the Doom engine, or both, are emphasized most here. They should have one article per game/episode, one article per map, one article per weapon, one article per item/powerup, and one article per enemy. For commercial ports of these games to non-PC platforms (including Doom RPG and the Xbox releases), create the subsidiary articles only for topics where the new version differs substantially from the original.

Fan-made games, as well as non-commercial games using the Doom engine, are interesting but less significant. They should have one article per game, and perhaps a walkthrough as well.

If any gameplay-related article becomes bloated due to excessive technical detail, the latter may be moved to its own page (see below).

WADsEdit

If released. One article per map, plus one summary page for each multi-level file (as with the episodes of the classic series). This also applies to total conversions which are released as IWADs but do not actually alter the engine, such as Freedoom and Chex Quest. Mod-specific weapons, items, and monsters should not have their own articles.

Mods for non-Doom-engine games should be included only if they have something to do with Doom (e.g. Your Path of Destruction).

Editors, source portsEdit

There aren't that many, so, sure. Port-specific weapons, items, and monsters should not have their own articles.

PeopleEdit

See the criteria for people articles. If in doubt, don't create the article.

WebsitesEdit

See the criteria for website articles.

LMPsEdit

A demo may have its own article only when considered pioneering or unusually well-known (e.g. 30uv1617).

Technical information, terminology, statistics, and triviaEdit

Among other things, this site intends to be an archival resource for programmers, mappers, and historians of gaming. (As Fredrik has remarked, "[t]hings like List of vanilla maps by size are the very purpose of this wiki...") Such topics are extremely variegated, and we therefore have no rigid criteria for notability. Do not create articles, however, which:

  • duplicate information already presented in other articles;
  • describe an obvious consequence of the information in other articles (e.g., "The Mancubus fireball clipping bug might occur on MAP07: Dead Simple");
  • duplicate information from another site without adding any new content; or
  • will never be more than one paragraph long.

Article format Edit

  • For something related to Doom or Doom II in general, it is unnecessary to add "In Doom, ..." at the beginning of the article or name the page "Doom ...". Such modifiers should however always be added for things related to other games (e.g. Strife), including Doom 3. "In XXX..." or something equivalent should also be used for things pertaining to one specific version of Doom (e.g. Ultimate Doom, Final Doom, Shareware Doom, v1.2).
  • Articles about maps which are part of a larger IWAD or PWAD should have names of the form Lump Name: Level Name (WAD Name), as with E1M3: The Gatehouse (Heretic) and MAP31: The Descent (Hell Revealed). A redirect without the WAD name should be made, and the map template used at the top of the article for disambiguation, thus: {{map|slot=MAP##}} (this will automatically put the page into the category corresponding to the map number). For levels which were also released singly, the map number need not be part of the title, but the template should still be used.
  • Many articles are definitions of things related to the game. If this is the case, start the page with a short one-sentence definition, and give the name in bold. A good example can be found at the start of Shotgun: "The pump-action shotgun is one of the most versatile and useful weapons in the Doom player's arsenal."
  • Add plenty of links to other articles but do not go overboard. For example, if you are writing about something relating to Heretic, do not turn every reference to Heretic into a link. Make the first mention a link, but further mentions of Heretic normal text. The previous two sentences are an example.
  • Reference documents (walkthroughs or long technical articles, for instance) may be exceptions, as these are not necessarily read end to end; use one link per section, not per page.
  • Do not sign your name at the bottom of articles you edit: remember that this is a wiki, and anyone can edit your articles to improve or correct them. Attaching your name is redundant in any case, as the "history" page keeps track of who edited an article and when.
  • Always categorize! It is a good idea to look around Special:Categories before choosing a category, to see which category suits your article best. You can categorize a page by including [[Category:Your category]] somewhere on the page, where "Your category" is the name of the intended category. If you think you need to, you may use more than one category tag to classify an article in multiple categories, however keep in mind that most categories are categorized themselves, so adding more than one category can be redundant. For example, if you create an article on the ammo clip, you would classify it under ammo only, not ammo and items, because ammo is a subcategory of items.
  • If you have an article and a category with the same name, use the {{Catmore}} template to automatically reference the article from the category.

Style Edit

The Doom Wiki is an encyclopedia; as with a paper encyclopedia, its articles should be written in a consistent style.

Article titles and other proper nounsEdit

  • First priority should be given to names appearing in-game; such are the most readily recognized terms, as players see them continually while they play. Failing that, use names that appear in the manuals or documentation.
  • For more technical subjects, look first at the source code, and then for terms associated to programs by the community (if these are commonplace).
  • Some concepts or gameplay phenomena have no specific "officially licensed" name. In such cases, use the most widespread community appellation. Thing is a good example of this, as a term used by fans to describe sprite related game entities in the Doom games.
  • After deciding on the most suitable title for an article, include secondary names in the introductory section, such as colloquial names the community has adopted or names drawn from other products in the franchise. Always specify the source of such a name, or who generally uses it; avoid broad assertions like "many people call it" or "some people say", as these do not help the reader understand the origin of the name and may perpetuate misconceptions.

CapitalizationEdit

  • Only the first word and proper nouns in a page title, heading, or subheading should be capitalized. For instance, use "External links", "See also", or "Homages in Doom-engine games".
  • Titles of published media follow Wikipedia's capitalization convention: in general, the first letter is capitalized and the remainder is in lower case. (See Wikipedia:Talk:Doom for the rationale.) For example:
  • "Doom", not "DooM" or "DOOM".
  • "Compet-n", not "COMPET-N".
  • "Doom 3", not "DOOM3".
For source ports and WADs, the capitalization should be the one used by the creator. For example:
  • "ReMooD", not "Remood" or "ReMood"
  • "Skulltag", not "SkullTag" or "Skull Tag"
  • "ZDoom", not "Zdoom" or "ZDooM".

DatesEdit

  • Always remember that this is the World Wide Web. Do not use American (mm/dd/yy), European (dd/mm/yy) or short Japanese (yy/mm/dd) dates, as these formats are far too easily confused with one another; if you must use purely numeric dates. International (yyyy-mm-dd) is the only format suitable. However, it is probably better to avoid ambiguity by spelling out the month, as the date given by typing four or five tildes does.
  • Never use relative date/time terms ("recently", "last year" etc.) without qualifying them (for instance, "recently (as of May 10, 2014)"), as without stating an absolute time point to which they are relative, they are meaningless without ploughing back through the article history to find out when the edit was made.

SpellingEdit

  • The language of this site is English. With regard to localization, we follow Wikipedia's convention: there is no single required dialect, but please be consistent within each article. Note however that id Software is an American company, and U.S. localization is therefore strongly preferred when using terms that originate from the games themselves (e.g. "armor", not "armour").
  • The Doom Wiki maintains a list of common misspellings.

SyntaxEdit

  • Do not use contractions. For example, instead of "once a chaingunner starts, they'll keep firing continuously", write "once a chaingunner starts, they will keep firing continuously".
    • Use of contractions is especially bad in the case of "i.e." ("that is to say") versus "e.g." ("for example"), as the former is frequently misused as if it were the latter.
  • Write out numbers as their English words. For example, instead of "E1M8 contains 2 barons", write "E1M8 contains two barons". However, beyond one word it makes more sense to write the number numerically: "52" rather than "fifty-two".
  • The above also applies to ordinal numbers: do not write "the 1st level is easy", but rather "the first level is easy".

GrammarEdit

  • Write in the third person, not the second person. For example, instead of "Imps will often launch fireballs at you", write "Imps will often launch fireballs at the player".
  • There are a few exceptions to this. For example, when writing a walkthrough for a level it makes more sense to "talk to the reader" as you are attempting to direct them through the level.

NeutralityEdit

Write with a neutral point of view (NPOV) unless there is an extremely good reason to do otherwise. If you are writing about a subject for which strong contradictory opinions exist, do not use the article as an opportunity to promote your favorite; instead, give information about the differing points of view and promote none of them.

The NPOV policy has two major benefits. Most importantly, it is the best way to handle conflicting viewpoints. If A thinks X and B thinks Y (where X and Y are opinions), we should not write that either of X or Y is fact, but that both X and Y exist. The second advantage is that clearly distinguishing opinions from facts simply results in more professional-looking articles. However, since this wiki is a resource primarily created for Doomers, by Doomers, NPOV should be thought of as a guideline rather than an inflexible rule. There are some opinions and interpretations within the community which are nearly universally accepted. What's important is creating great articles!

An important difference from Wikipedia is that original analysis is welcome here. So if you want to write a comparison between Doom and Aliens or list the literary allusions in Memento Mori II, feel free to do so. Just be prepared for others to challenge your assumptions, provide opposing viewpoints and counter-arguments, or rewrite your text.

Images Edit

  • You may only upload files you have created yourself.
  • Original images (e.g. LMPs and WADs) should be released under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). Any link to such a file, even on a talk page, must be accompanied by a link to the licensing information, thus: Rcktmiss.lmp (file info).
  • Screen shots and map views may be used on the Doom Wiki, under "fair use".
  • For general purposes screen shots are best taken with a physical aspect ratio suitable for Internet browsers. For example, Doom in 320x200 (or a similar 640x400) needs to stretch pixels by 20% to fill the screen, and thus any screen shots taken in that mode will appear flattened within standard desktop windows or screens. To address this, these shots from Doom can be resized with a graphics editing application (to 640x480 or 800x600, for example) or a port with resolutions treating ratios in the same way as desktop modes (such as 640x480, where the pixels are square in a 4:3 aspect ratio) can be used to take suitable shots.
  • Although screen shots are permitted, raw graphics from the IWADs are not.
  • Screen shots should be taken in software rendered mode, with settings resembling vanilla Doom as closely as possible (unless the screen shot is for showing off a port specifically or belongs to an add-on that requires the use of such a source port).
  • You must add source and copyright information to the image description page for each image you upload. You can easily do the latter by choosing a licensing option from the drop-down menu on the upload page. If none of the existing tags is appropriate, create a new tag (Template:Name of the tag here), and add it manually by typing {{Name of the tag here}} somewhere in the description box.

See also Copyrights.

Deletion Edit

An article or image can be marked by any registered user as a candidate for deletion, by placing the {{delete}} template at the top of the article. This tag will be removed if it has been applied by an anonymous user. The article's life is then debated on its talk page for one week, or longer if the outcome is initially inconclusive. When a consensus is reached (quality of reasoning being more important than vote count, as it is on Wikipedia), the discussion is halted by an administrator.

The deletion tag should be applied immediately under the following conditions:

  • Text or an image is taken from a copyrighted source.
  • The article is obviously irrelevant to the wiki (e.g. it is about Mohandas K. Gandhi).
  • The article is about a person and fails to meet the criteria for people articles, and cannot be revised to comply with these criteria.

Deletion templates are only to be removed by administrators, and only in the following cases:

  • The article is marked by a non-registered user.
  • The article marked is kept.
  • The article marked is on a subject that is clearly important to the wiki, such as the article on the Doom engine itself.

If a deletion tag is removed by a user during a deletion debate, it is considered vandalism and will be treated as such. Removing links to the article from other articles is also vandalism.

Patent nonsense and spam may be deleted without a vote, at the discretion of the administrators.

Edits to deleted articles disappear from summary pages such as Recent changes. The deletion log lists deleted pages, and particularly substantive discussions are archived in Category:Talk pages without articles (when they result in deletions).

Administrators can view deleted pages or edits, organized either by article or by user, and undelete articles if necessary (excepting images, which are totally deleted immediately — this is a MediaWiki limitation, even VSTF and Wikia Staff can't undelete deleted files).

Banning Edit

Users who vandalize articles, distribute spam, or repeatedly troll or harass other users will sooner or later be blocked from using the site. If you are blocked, you cannot edit any pages other than your own User talk: page. Additionally, if you have not created an account, no one else can edit from your IP address. The block log lists banned users and the durations of the bans.

Our administrators are especially intolerant of spam and vandalism. Large, obnoxious edits can result in permanent bans even for a first offense.

If you think you have been banned for someone else's behavior (using a public computer, for example, or in an office which assigns dynamic IP addresses), please contact an administrator.

Page move vandalism should be reported at Wikia:Cross wiki user blocks.

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