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Old 04-21-2008, 05:23 PM   #1
obit
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Using a wiki as the primary resource for a game?

Anyone else out there using a wiki as their game's homepage? I'd like to see some examples of others' pages and get a little feedback on the one I'm building.

https://we-dont.gotdns.org/tw/tiki-index.php?page=JTrek

I use a pretty high resolution on my monitor, so while with my settings, everything looks like a fine size to me, I'm worried about how large everything will appear (particularly the screenshots in "Newplayer) to the average vistor. Also, suggestions/critiques are welcome, concerning any other aspect of the page.

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Old 04-21-2008, 06:00 PM   #2
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Re: Using a wiki as the primary resource for a game?

Hey, Obit! I am a gigantic Wiki fan, and we've got an extensive Wiki for our new game. I'm not quite ready to share it yet, but I'm using it as a primary source for all help files and many, many other things. Our new game has its own website (which is still in an alpha stage, so I'm not sharing that either), but most of the information for the game is on the Wiki.

What I do like about your wiki:
  • Clean look
  • Easy to read

Suggestions:
  • Turn down your resolution and take a look at it. I can barely read your header, and I'm at 1280x1024. I seriously suggest redoing your header. It's extremely pixilated.
  • Put a LOT of time into organzing your Wiki. If you end up with a lot of information, a Wiki can be extremely painful to navigate. I make a lot of use of templates to aid with organization and look and feel.
  • Your home button took me somewhere I didn't want to be. It took me a bit to figure out how to get back to JTrek's page to look further. Maybe some buttons to aid in nagivation or else make the JTrek page your home page.
  • Reduce the size of all your graphics. I'd say no more than 800 pixels across if you REALLY have to have it big. Otherwise, I'd go with more like 600 pixels across.

Lastly, some quick questions:

How set are you on this wiki software? I'm not a big fan of the software itself. It seems clunky, but I haven't made an account to poke around. If you aren't set on this software, I'd recommend Media Wiki.

Anyway, good start. I'll check back with you to see how it's going later on.
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:04 PM   #3
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Re: Using a wiki as the primary resource for a game?

Here's an example of a gorgeous Wiki operated by some friends of mine:

Main Page - Wiki

They use it as the primary resource for their game, which has excellent character development.
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:51 PM   #4
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Re: Using a wiki as the primary resource for a game?

Mina, thanks for the feedback.

I took a look at the Kushiel MUX wiki you linked to, and it is indeed very nice looking. I truley appreciate a "clean" look and feel- I think there are too many cluttered web pages out there already.

Quote:
How set are you on this wiki software? I'm not a big fan of the software itself. It seems clunky, but I haven't made an account to poke around. If you aren't set on this software, I'd recommend Media Wiki.
For the "we-dont" server, I'm afraid tiki-wiki is all I have to work with right now. The page is owned by a friend, so I'm limited to standard admin permissions within the wiki itself. That said, there are currently plans in the works for a second game server on a seperate machine; mostly to accomodate late-night and weekend traffic issues and to serve as a backup for the former. Since I'll be hosting that one myself, I will certainly look into using another flavor of wiki.

Thanks!
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:33 AM   #5
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Re: Using a wiki as the primary resource for a game?

I think it's an awesome idea, especially if a lot of your content and documentation comes from players in the first place. A lot of original settings don't get enough credit for all the hard work they do, Wiki's could change that and make a lot of your stuff easily readable and accessible to people.

After all who hasn't been on a Wiki before, much less wikipedia itself?
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Old 04-22-2008, 05:01 AM   #6
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Re: Using a wiki as the primary resource for a game?

I'm a big fan of wikis, and my mud has an "unofficial" one (created and maintained by the players, although I've contributed a fair amount of detailed information as well).

I don't think I'd ever use a wiki as the primary resource though, and I certainly wouldn't use it instead of a homepage.
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:17 AM   #7
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Re: Using a wiki as the primary resource for a game?

I'm not a great webmaster myself by any means, but I think wiki looks very unprofessional for a main mud page.
It's definitely not eye candy, and eye candy brings in players. Maybe a wiki module you can add to your page so only a few things are editable by players without having the weird wiki look to it. I guess that would take custom php work to make your website do that.

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Old 04-22-2008, 08:27 AM   #8
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Re: Using a wiki as the primary resource for a game?

It's not actually that hard to create a website other people can post stuff on from scratch, but you're correct in assuming that it requires some PHP and MySQL knowledge. I think having a Wiki is great, but seeing one as the main page for a MUD when I go to "www.yourmudhere.com" would make me wonder why there wasn't a proper webpage showing off the features. Still, I guess that's just personal preference.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:15 PM   #9
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Re: Using a wiki as the primary resource for a game?

I'd have to agree with those saying it shouldn't replace your homepage or documentation on your forums and website.
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:46 PM   #10
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Re: Using a wiki as the primary resource for a game?

We have a semi-official Wiki connected with our semi-official forums, run on a site hosted by one of our players.

This is our second wiki, our first one was made completely useless by content spammers. Our new wiki is locked so that only those logged in to their forum accounts can post.
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Old 04-22-2008, 10:16 PM   #11
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Re: Using a wiki as the primary resource for a game?

I think it would be very possible to use a wiki as the primary, if not the exclusive, web site/resource for your game.

How often to people actually visit the web site for games they are actually playing? Unless the web site has constantly changing content, some kind of helpful tool, or anything of that nature, I will never go to a game's web site once I am playing it.

A wiki can very easily, and perhaps more efficiently, make tools and content available to players.

PHP Nuke made setting up an "active" web site pretty easy. You could do pretty much everything those sites did via a wiki - and perhaps do it more easily.
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:08 AM   #12
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Re: Using a wiki as the primary resource for a game?

I was drawn towards the wiki because it fit naturally with the history of player-generated support for this particular game. Documentation, FAQ, strategy guides, maps- were all created (and subsequentially revised/updated) by the players, since the game started life in the mid- 80s. The wiki format allows our community to add to what has become a compendium of knowledge in a user-friendly manner, and saves new players from trudging through thousands of threads in our 15yr old usenet forum- just to figure out how to play a complex game that bears no resemblence to any classic style of MUD. In the past, we've kinda shrugged our shoulders at newbies and figured that if they aren't willing to take the time to learn and do a bit of research on their own, they probably wouldn't be an asset to the game, aside from a few easy points from killing them repeatedly until they move on. I'm trying to get away from that.

Perhaps a wiki doesn't have the aesthetic appeal of many of the gaming sites out there, but maybe it's a reflection of my own pragmatic (maybe even selfish?) views of how I want information displayed to me. I don't want to mislead new players by showing them an incredible looking graphic picture of a world that they won't visually see once they begin playing this (wtf?) all-text game. I'm going for a spartan, almost sterile 'feel' in the way info is displayed, while also trying to avoid making it seem like some cryptic README file that ships with a distro of an obscure UNIX program.

I agree with Mina that i need to work on the navigation aspects of the page, and I think I might add a module at the top left, rather than using the "see also" at the top of each article, which in turn, could be replaced by a clickable article-specific TOC ala wikipedia.

just some rambling thoughts
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:00 AM   #13
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Re: Using a wiki as the primary resource for a game?

Quote:
Originally Posted by obit View Post
I
Perhaps a wiki doesn't have the aesthetic appeal of many of the gaming sites out there, but maybe it's a reflection of my own pragmatic (maybe even selfish?) views of how I want information displayed to me. I don't want to mislead new players by showing them an incredible looking graphic picture of a world that they won't visually see once they begin playing this (wtf?) all-text game. I'm going for a spartan, almost sterile 'feel' in the way info is displayed, while also trying to avoid making it seem like some cryptic README file that ships with a distro of an obscure UNIX program.

I agree with Mina that i need to work on the navigation aspects of the page, and I think I might add a module at the top left, rather than using the "see also" at the top of each article, which in turn, could be replaced by a clickable article-specific TOC ala wikipedia.
Take a quick look at Kushiel Mux's site again. They pretty much have one pretty page, and then everything else is in the Wiki. The point of a "pretty page" to begin with is that it's usually a standard to "grab" a gamer's eye. You can re-direct them to the Wiki right away if you chose to do so. It might still be something to think about.

Honestly, though, if you're the head admin of your game, I suggest creating a Wiki where you have full control over the functionality, layout, and set up of the Wiki. If you're serious about setting up the Wiki as your primary resource, I don't think you should leave control of the box to someone else. I'll send you a URL for a free wiki site that works a bit more like Media Wiki. That way if you move, you can just export your files and upload them straight to Media Wiki.
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:44 PM   #14
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Re: Using a wiki as the primary resource for a game?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delerak View Post
I'd have to agree with those saying it shouldn't replace your homepage or documentation on your forums and website.
Ick. I can't imagine having game documentation up on a forum and forcing players to trudge through threads to find game resources/information. I've noticed that a lot of games have picked up this trend lately, and it makes me batty. I'd much rather have a wiki or a good website.
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:46 PM   #15
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Re: Using a wiki as the primary resource for a game?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mina View Post
Ick. I can't imagine having game documentation up on a forum and forcing players to trudge through threads to find game resources/information. I've noticed that a lot of games have picked up this trend lately, and it makes me batty. I'd much rather have a wiki or a good website.
Obviously I think documentation should be linked to multiple areas of the mud. For instance help files/forums/wiki/website. That's how I would do it anyway. Right now I have all of those except a wiki.
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Old 04-24-2008, 04:59 PM   #16
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Re: Using a wiki as the primary resource for a game?

[quote=Mina;36645Honestly, though, if you're the head admin of your game, I suggest creating a Wiki where you have full control over the functionality, layout, and set up of the Wiki. If you're serious about setting up the Wiki as your primary resource, I don't think you should leave control of the box to someone else. I'll send you a URL for a free wiki site that works a bit more like Media Wiki. That way if you move, you can just export your files and upload them straight to Media Wiki.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, we're using a wiki on our game but first we're limiting the accessibility features in some areas while leaving them open for player input in others wherever appropriate. This is to both limit the potential for sensitive IC-only information being posted as well as avoiding the addition of incorrect information.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 04-26-2008, 04:27 AM   #17
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Re: Using a wiki as the primary resource for a game?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mina View Post
Ick. I can't imagine having game documentation up on a forum and forcing players to trudge through threads to find game resources/information. I've noticed that a lot of games have picked up this trend lately, and it makes me batty. I'd much rather have a wiki or a good website.
I couldn't agree more. The last thing I want to do is leave the game window to hit a forum or website for info that should be fingertip-friendly.
Conversely, I've seen some ingame help files that were so untidy or underinformative, I don't even know why they were included. A wiki is a happy medium, so long as the wiki window remains open. the endearing ting about wikis, and I can imagine also the aggravating thing about them, is player contributions.
Player perspective on topics is often the perfect balance to admin input.
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