New Editor's Guide to OWB Wiki Editing

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Hello, and welcome to the official Old World Blues Wiki! As a new editor, this guide will demonstrate essential editorial practices that are important for all editors, old and new alike, to learn and remember in their everyday practice.

In order to edit the wiki to ensure maximum effectiveness and readability for editors and readers, we shall begin by familiarizing you with how we work.

Firstly, the experienced editors of the wiki, known as "Wiki Scribes" can be found and contacted here on the website, or alternatively discuss casual, wiki, and game matters on the Mod Discord in the #OWB-wiki channel - if you have questions, or even if you don't but are working on articles, please keep an eye out on Recent Changes or the Discord channel.

Stages of Writing a Country Article

Most of the work that is done on the wiki is writing and editing articles for countries, among other miscellaneous pages relating to other parts of the mod.

For convenience, the process of writing an article has been broken down into 6 different tasks. However, as wiki editing is a hobby, and not a full-time job or business, more specifically in the way that not everyone can or wants to do the same tasks, please remember that you can choose the tasks that suit you, rather than simply being expected to make the whole of an article by yourself, unless you specifically assign yourself that task.

Intro and Lore

  • Written under the form of "Historical background", Introductions and Lore are the process of writing summaries of a nation's history using available sources:
    • In-game information (don’t forget the Scenarios screen!)
    • Localization files.
    • The wiki timeline and character pages/descriptions.
    • The Fallout series (if it’s a canon or canon-adjacent nation).
    • Asking the developers.

Infobox and Tables

  • Filling out all the information into the tables under the General Information, Game Information, and Politics sections, including the list of advisors, population, number of factories, resources, so on and so forth.

Strategy and National Focus Discussion

  • For best results and effectiveness, Editors should strive learn about the nation's focus tree (can use console commands to activate them quickly if necessary) and try to learn what different things do. To ensure reliability and standardization, please include the following:
    • Writing about the focuses and their effects in a comprehensive Focus Tree page.
    • Explaining gameplay mechanics and decisions.
    • Writing about the country's neighbors, what threats or opportunities they present.
    • Summarizing simple pros and cons of the nation. Summarizing how a typical game as this nation will proceed. A good example of this is here: Caesar's Legion#Strategy.

Comparison Tables

  • Sometimes there are two or more mutually exclusive paths you can take on a focus tree. To assist players and readers in the differences, tables and summaries help compare the bonuses each route grants.

Code Nation Files Examined

  • Hopefully by this point of, editors, either having been tasked to write this section, or having tasked themselves to write it, have learned everything about the nation in the Intro and Lore and Strategy and National Focus sections.
    • However, nations can be complicated. To remedy this and streamline reading for absolutely critical information, the best way to learn all its secrets and mechanics is to look at the HOI4 game files to see how all the events and decisions work.
  • Once editors have checked these, the process to put any missing information in the Strategy and National Focus sections is finalized and reviewed.

Final Nation Review

  • Once an article is believed to be complete, the editor who has completed the Code Nation Files Examined step is to give it to another editor to check for issues, feedback, etc.
    • The reviewing editor may fix any potential mistakes themselves or give some tasks that need to be done by the original authors before they are satisfied.
    • After this review, an editor will "patrol" the article, effectively giving a stamp of completion and approval on the whole of the article.

Choosing a Task

  • Wiki editors grab themselves a task by reviewing the list of steps documented above, and confirming it either via Discord, talk page, or discussion.
  • On the wiki, upon further completion, there will be a color-coded list of country articles, indicating which ones are highest priority, and the status of each of the tasks. Green boxes are finished, Yellow are in Progress, and Red are unassigned.
    • When this list is created, editors can write their name in one of the red boxes and change it to yellow to grab that task. Once the editor has finished, they are to change the color to green.
    • For a new editor, we recommend taking on the first two stages – Infobox and Tables, and Intro and Lore.
    • Once the new editor has done that at least once, they are ready to tackle more challenging parts of an article.

Getting Information

As covered in Intro and Lore, there are many ways to get information for the Wiki. This section will more comprehensively cover the three most important ones:

  • 1. Playing the game.
  • 2. Reading the game files.
  • 3. Asking others.

Playing the Game

Playing the game is a good way to learn a nation, but doing it properly can take hours, if not days or weeks. Editors are encouraged to use console commands whenever and however they can to quicken their way through a nation. However, keep in mind, there is no substitute for at least one proper play through.

Some notable console commands

To activate the console type the ` button.

  • Tdebug
    • This will show you more information on mousing over an area, including the all-important TAG. A tag is a 3 letter code that identifies the nation in HOI4 code. For instance, the New California Republic’s tag is NCR.
  • Tag XXX
    • This will switch you to playing another nation. Please ensure to write the correct 3 letter code for their tag, to prevent errors.
  • Focus.autocomplete
    • This will allow you to complete focuses instantly.
    • However, it also applies to the AI too, so the best way to use this is to pause the game, activate it, complete whichever focuses you wish to complete, and turn the command off, and then unpause the game.
    • This will activate an event immediately.
    • Event names are found in the HOI4 files. Usually in OWB, there is a name.number format used for event names. For instance, event ncr_crisis.1 will activate event ncr_crisis.1 for the New California Republic (in this case the start of the NCR civil war).

Reading the Game Files

  • All information about nations is stored in the game files, and it can speed up editor work quickly by reading them. You can find the game files in one of two places:
    • Steam: /STEAM/STEAMAPPS/WORKSHOP/CONTENT/394360/2265420196/
  • If you are using Steam, unzip the folder into your desktop or somewhere easier to work with.
  • There are a few folders that are most relevant for the wiki editor.
    • For regular looking at the game files, we recommend a text editor such as Notepad++ or Sublime and an image viewer like XnViewMP or GIMP.
  • Localisation (English Text): This folder holds all the text for all the countries in the game – for learning about the lore, this is where to go. The files are in .yml format but should be openable by Notepad or Word – make sure to turn on Word Wrap.
  • GFX (graphics): The GFX folder contains all the pictures in OWB. The ones of most relevance to you are the Flags, Leaders, Events, Goals (focuses) and Ideas (National spirit) folders. OWB images are stored as DDS or TGA files, which are annoying to work with and can’t be uploaded to a wiki. However, they can be converted using the following process:
    • Step 1: In-game, go into console commands, and type GUI.
    • Step 2: Go to the OWB mod folder, documented above.
    • Step 3: From there, go to GFX, then Interface, then whatever folder you need to go to in order to find the art.
    • Step 4: Open the DDS file in a software like GIMP or Paint.Net.
    • Step 5: Go to the "File" section at the top right of the application. Select "Export As", Rename the file from DDS to PNG.
    • Step 6: Upload to wiki.
  • Folders for More Advanced Wiki Editors: If you are examining game code, you should be looking at these 3 folders.
    • Events (all country popups)
    • Common/Decisions (all decisions)
    • Common/National_Focus (all national Focus Trees)

Asking Developers

  • The wiki is lucky to have access to the developers of OWB. Generally, developers are to be asked questions in the Discord #Ask-A-Dev channel. However, should the situation require it, a specific question about something they have worked on can be asked by pinging the developer, though editors should avoid pinging developers unless the editor knows that other developers don’t know the answer.
    • The best way to ask a question is to ask people in Discord who developed a certain nation. If no one knows, find a Vault-Tec Engineer who is online and ask them who developed it.
    • Ping the developer of that nation with your question. Do not ping a role. For instance, it is ok to ping a Vault-Tec Engineer by their name. It is not appropriate to ping all the Vault-Tec Engineers by typing @Vault-Tec Engineer.

Using the Wiki Editor

  • As the Old World Blues wiki is on the network of wikis, if an editor is going to regularly edit, it is best to obtain a wiki account. New editors can sign up in the bottom right of the OWB Wiki page.
  • To edit a page, hit the edit button in the top left of the wiki. For us, the source editor is generally preferred. The visual editor may be nice in some cases, but often it can’t render complex articles.
    • The edit window will show up. It is mostly self-explanatory, but please note the Source Editor button in the drop-down options. This allows the editor to see the raw wiki code. If an editor wanted to copy something complicated from somewhere else, they should copy the code directly from one article’s code to another article’s code using the source editor.

A word of warning about the Wiki Editor: The wiki page editor is powerful, but at times buggy. It is easy to push the wrong button and make the browser load a new page, or for it to crash, losing all your in-progress work. Avoid grief with the following tips:

    • For extensive writing, write your work in Word or Notepad and then copy it to the wiki.
    • Be careful around tables. If the editor starts behaving unusually, for example, refusing to delete something, or not responding to keypresses, or otherwise behaving oddly, immediately stop, save your changes, and try opening up the editor again to avoid it crashing. If the problem persists ask your fellow editors to check the raw wiki code for table code glitches.

Using Templates

  • Templates are powerful, automatic ways to add styling and objects to the wiki. OWB has many templates we have written.
    • Let's look at a simple one. The flag template. This adds a tiny country flag and a link to that country in the text. To call a flag, type {{ whilst editing a Wiki page in the source editor. The insert template box appears, suggesting a list of templates. If the flag template does not appear, simply type "Flag", followed by the country in question. In this example, the New California Republic.

Flag of New California Republic New California Republic

  • With this knowledge in mind, please also note that we also have templates for leader portraits and many other useful features. You can change the settings on a template by double-clicking it.

The 5 Commandments of OWB Wiki Writing

  • Make it useful: Repeating information, especially uninteresting information, that you can already find in game is not that useful. For example: A description of the effects of every focus in a tree on a country page is not useful. Highlighting powerful focuses or focuses that have use for strategy is useful. Telling players about the secret event that has a chance of firing after they take a certain focus is useful. Ask yourself what would you want to know from this wiki as a fan of the mod.
  • Make it efficient, structured and easy to navigate: Many people are reading to find specific information, not to be entertained by the story of a deathclaw in a cave. Be short and to the point. Organize longer information by using headings, bold, bullet points. Anything to make the article less overwhelming and more structured for the player is useful. Don't be afraid to use a different structure in one article to another. If certain pieces of information naturally go together in one article, but not another, act accordingly.
  • Be objective in style, but subjective in choosing and presenting info: Keep an informational style, and be objective, but you must make subjective calls about what information is interesting, useful, or helpful. Sometimes subjective opinions are helpful. Don't be afraid to make general comments about what is valuable or important, especially about a broad strategic overview.
  • When in doubt, take inspiration from someone else: Not sure about how this section should be written, or what information you should include, or how long? Go check out other country pages that have already been reviewed. Not every country page is the same, but editors should find a style that works for the nation they are writing.
  • Detail Gameplay, Not Story : The lore section of the wiki should be filled with lavish and elaborate historical detail, but the story that occurs once the game starts is not the focus of the article. Going into detail about the plot may spoil the in-game experience of learning the detail there. For this reason, editors should focus on the gameplay elements, mechanics, decisions and only briefly mention the plot that leads to and results from these decisions.