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Naegleria: 2013-07-12 08:48:03 pm
I've made/edited a few pages, and I think we could simplify this further.  I think we could make a editing interface where you could select a block of text and click a button to give an effect.  Where you currently use =headers= and *Bullet point, we could reduce these actions to the click of a button and completely remove the need to memorize the manual formatting.  You could display the raw text on the left, the buttons in the middle, and the formatted preview on the right.  This would take quite a bit of work, but it would let pretty much anyone create a nice page.  We could also extend this concept further and have a button which automatically formats the raw text, and then fix any errors using the same interface.  That would also take more work, but it would be really nice.
There are buttons at the top of the editing window?
Ah, they are indeed.  So a  preview which changes real-time as you edit and a auto-formatter would not be to far out of reach perhaps?
Edit history:
TheMG2: 2013-07-12 11:12:52 pm
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/VisualEditor isn't finished yet, but yeah. I'm not sure if we would want to use it yet, because bleeding edge.
Edit history:
mike89: 2013-08-15 07:36:58 am
SEGA Junkie
I'm increasingly starting to feel like tutorial videos should be more prominent than hidden away in the "additional resources" page. My thoughts would be to change the landing page to something like:

-Category #1
--Tutorial video for category #1
-Category #2
--Tutorial video for category #2
etc

and the rest as before. This doesn't even change much, just puts this information front and centre where it probably should be.

EDIT: Such videos could also show what level of experience you'd want to have before using it. Some tutorials are directed at beginners, while others are meant for learning top level strats.
Has it already been suggested to have either

a) a template for every new game page that contains elements on the principle "one of each" to allow for quick expansion into whatever form the user desires.

b) a page automatically generated for each game in the database (with the idea that it encourages people to contribute even small tricks or observations). in fact the template might as well contain the "tricks" section to make it as convenient as possible to share your knowledge lest it be lost instead.
SEGA Junkie
Alright, HDL and I have been working on Sonic pages and have tweaked the vision slightly to suit our own ends. If we agree this is a good look for the Knowledge Base, then I'm happy to make pages like this for every game I run going forward. Going back and covering old ground is kind of unlikely, unless I go back to take that run seriously again, just because of the level of detail I like to have with this sort of thing.

Firstly, Sonic 2. Landing page brings tutorial video (one per category if available) and leaderboards to the forefront, two resources that would be very important to most new players. The Sonic page itself (the Knuckles one is incomplete, don't look at it) also features a lot of my visual cues, as well as linking back to the glossary for any unfamiliar terminology.

The Sonic 3 landing page doesn't feature these adjustments yet, but HDL's gone one better on the Tails page: creating exemplars of every level to play along with at home. I think TimpZ has done something similar with Sonic 2 but hasn't added them to the page yet.

One other thing: I wonder if it would be possible to make the base game page redirect to an external wiki if that is considered to be a comprehensive resource on a game already? If so, I would recommend (and would happily do myself) simply doing this for a number of popular games with established wikis elsewhere. That way the KB still acts as a one-stop shop, without duplicating work.
Yes
Linking to the leaderboards on the main landing page I think is appropriate and will be until we attempt to integrate with a more comprehensive leaderboard platform some time down the road.  My first thought was to just put the tutorial video for the category in the category page.  Having a video explanation under the category isn't bad and even with all the new links I think the landing page isn't too busy. 

Regarding the external wiki links, this is something allowed and encouraged if the external wiki is comprehensive enough.  This is currently done with the SMW wiki: https://kb.speeddemosarchive.com/Super_Mario_World
What about information that's only useful to a TAS (e.g. TAS-only routes, tricks that require specific input on consecutive frames for games that don't have pause buffering, etc.?) Is that appropriate for the SDA knowledge base, and if so, where should it go? (Also, things like memory addresses, which are very important for TASes and maybe slightly useful for unassisted runners who are practising on emulator.)
Yes
Game mechanics pages can include information that includes memory addresses for certain things and their values and it would be great to put that information in if it is available.  As you mentioned, this is because even when researching a game it's good to know these values (how much damage am I doing with this strat, what is my character's speed if I do this, etc.)  work when deciding on a route.  You can see an example of it here:
https://kb.speeddemosarchive.com/Contra/Game_Mechanics_and_Glitches

Now if a trick is TAS only, with our current layout, it will need to go in the additional resources section of a game page.  I want to make sure that TAS tricks are not confused with tricks that should be attempted in real time.  An example of that would be pressing a direction on alternating frames in order to clip through a wall in Operation C (pressing the D pad at 30 hz).  If someone finds a way to pull of a TAS trick in real time, it should be moved into the glitches and tricks page. 

At the moment, TAS Videos has a game resources page: http://tasvideos.org/GameResources.html
We could in principle handle full on TAS information in our KB like routes and such, but at the moment I haven't decided how to organize it.  This would require additional organization.  For example, sub pixels are appropriate information to include in a TAS game resources page for a game like Mario 3, but I think it would be inappropriate for SDA for running the game in real time.  Do you get the impression that multiple people from TAS videos will want to use the SDA KB as opposed to the game resources page on TAS Videos?
My input about the TASVideos resource pages: not nearly all of them are comprehensive. If someone creates a profound guide in the KB there's no reason a TASer couldn't find it useful. Maybe there could be a field in which you can enter the link to the TASVideos resource page if available?

I'd like to think the creator of the KB page is probably the best at judging what's relevant to real time running and what isn't. They could then look at the TASVideos resource page (if there happens to be one) and extract what they like adapting it to the real-time world, i.e. instructions on how to actually exploit it.
Edit history:
ais523: 2013-12-11 10:11:33 pm
Quote from Mr. K:
At the moment, TAS Videos has a game resources page: http://tasvideos.org/GameResources.html
We could in principle handle full on TAS information in our KB like routes and such, but at the moment I haven't decided how to organize it.  This would require additional organization.  For example, sub pixels are appropriate information to include in a TAS game resources page for a game like Mario 3, but I think it would be inappropriate for SDA for running the game in real time.  Do you get the impression that multiple people from TAS videos will want to use the SDA KB as opposed to the game resources page on TAS Videos?

I'm thinking more along the lines of "does it make sense to combine these? or does it make more sense to have them separate?"

In some cases, there's going to be very little in common between a TAS of a game, and an unassisted speedrun. In other cases, there's going to be a lot you can share between the games. (For instance, the route is often quite similar between a TAS and an unassisted speedrun, although there are often cases where it differs.) I know that the TASvideos knowledge base would gain a lot from the strategies that SDA and the individual game running communities have developed (at the moment, when making a TAS, you typically have to look through SDA threads and videos in order to gain information about the unassisted route, and even search YouTube and NicoVideo in the worst case).

As for the content of the TASvideos pages, I know that when I wrote one for the game I'm TASing, I included mostly only information that was relevant to TASes. (The game is very RNG-dependent; the main content of an unassisted speedrun is minimizing the effects of the RNG, something that a TAS doesn't have to bother with.) In general, I think that TAS resources pages tend to be incomplete due to missing out things that "everyone in the community" already knows, and as such aren't too helpful to people who are new to the series.

Creating resources that allow new players to start speedrunning or TASing a game is a good idea, and it's currently something that would require a lot of duplicated effort between SDA and TASvideos to accomplish. Probably the best solutions would be either to centralise everything on one site, or to come up with some sort of sensible split (e.g. placing all the information on SDA except for things like memory address maps and game formulas, which are more suited to TASvideos even if they are useful to unassisted runners too, at least partly because TASvideos has support for things like memory watch in the website software itself).

[Incidentally, I can also think of games where subpixels are relevant even for realtime runners (they keep trolling Mario 1 runners, for instance, and a good route for subpixel consistency is something that would help them a lot, although may not be possible outside TAS conditions).]
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LotBlind: 2013-12-12 08:22:44 am
I think that the question of "combine or keep separate" is made somewhat less important by the fact that it's easy enough to link the two resources. Both sites could have automatically created links to the corresponding page on the other site if it exists. Like you said, the needs of TASers and real-time runners are sometimes very different. I think it would get more in the way to have all the information on the same page because there's always something that's not relevant to (though could be interesting for) whichever you are: a TASer or speed runner. I think the TAS pages will always have more by the way of technical data, memory values etc. which is probably why they're called "resource pages" and SDA has "strategy guides". Still it's a good idea for whoever creates a guide to adapt the other site's information to the correct paradigm if possible like with setting up the subpixels.
Could revise the guide to include adding links to the publication page and the most recent/general discussion thread for the game on the landing page.
Yes
We should have links to the publication page already, although not everyone has been doing it.  Adding a link the the SDA discussion thread is definitely a good idea.
Edit history:
Freezard: 2015-04-16 10:40:06 am
Going to convert my guides to this format.... should expansion packs have their own KB page or should you include all info and routes for them in the base game page?
Common sense says (for me at least) if the mechanics are the same they should go in the same place so you don't need so much duplicate information. I, for instance, created one page for 4 games of the same series with mostly the same engine and everything... And on the tricks page I left room for game-specific tricks if any crop up.

And you're talking about expansions for the same game, so it's probably warranted to combine them.
Edit history:
Silentsigil: 2015-07-06 10:45:55 pm
Silentsigil: 2015-07-06 09:18:20 pm
It seems to be a game that's fallen by the wayside recently, but I started a page for Legend of Mana. I'm new to both SDA and wiki editing, so any criticism from people that have been around a bit would be helpful. Hopefully this is the correct place to put this.

https://kb.speeddemosarchive.com/Legend_of_Mana

*edit*: Just a note, the Systems category seems to want to be oddly specific on PlayStation vs. Playstation capitalization. Since the Systems registry had the first capitalization, I changed the handful of games that had the lowercase S in ps1/2/3, as they were all linked to pages that didn't exist.