Community talk:Discussions/Eras and Universes
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I'll start this discussion off by saying I do not believe that we should get rid of Eras and group everything as Universes instead. This is because Universes are very large, broad groups, and whilst some things will overlap, most things will not. Eras are much more accurate, and games within an Era have much more in common.
For example, Wanted Level in GTA IV Era. That explains how the wanted system all works in the GTA IV, TLAD, TBOGT and CW. Those four games share pretty much the same system, so this grouping is perfect. But now, GTA V is likely to have a different system altogether.
If we got rid of Eras and had a "Wanted Level in HD Universe" page, that would have to be split to explain the two different systems. We'd end up with a mess where we have page titles like "Wanted Level in the HD universe except GTA V" or "Wanted Level in GTA IV, The Lost and Damned, The Ballad of Gay Tony and GTA Chinatown Wars". Pages would have to be renamed every time a new expansion pack or game came out.
Universes may be the official internal grouping for storylines and characters, but they are not the best way to list games or group things within them. I believe Eras are a much simpler, easier and more logical way to group everything. gboyers talk 16:22, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
- I prefer using both. :-)Angelobrylle24 18:49, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
- Wanted Level in GTA IV Era's naming already failed because it also makes no reference of GTA Chinatown War's wanted system even though GTACW's timeline is supposed fall under GTA4's "era". That, coupled with the fact its wanted system is significantly different from in GTA4, meant the topic ended up in its own article. - ZS (talk|edits) 21:33, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
I have rewritten the discussion. I am in favour of the lowest-common-denominator system, where we cover the smallest unit we want to. If a page is best being about 1 game, do that. If a page is best to cover an era, do that. If a page needs to cover a whole universe, do that. The names should then reflect the page (not the other way around). It would be silly to say "WE MUST USE UNIVERSES FOR EVERYTHING" then having to merge pages with completely-different content together. I also don't like the game-list system ("XYZ in GTA III - GTA Vice City Stories") because it's much longer to type and less clear to users. It's silly to me to suggest that we can't group those games any other way! gboyers talk 20:50, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
- I'm including this official statement as a reference to further the cause of using "universe" or "definition" instead of "era", since it's basically the "word of god" (even though it's very vague as to who in "Rockstar" this statement came from):
...the "universes" are the worlds interpreted at different definitions, 2d, 3d and high definition, so we felt brands and radio / back ground characters would exist in both, but 3 dimensional characters would not. This is the logic (as far as it could be considered logical) behind it...
- As implied, the categorization is based primarily on technical game design: "2d" refers to the early top-down games (GTA1, GTAL, GTA2), "3d" refers to those operating on the 3D Renderware engine (GTA3, GTAVC, GTASA, GTALCS, GTAVCS), and "high definition" refers to those running on HD hardware (GTA4 and DLCs, GTA5). While GTAA and GTACW however do not technically fall into their 3d and HD grouping respectively due to their graphical designs, they can still be associated by canon secondarily. - ZS (talk|edits) 21:33, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
- I'll quote Dan Houser directly from the GameInformer issue:
The five PS2 games are one universe, and this is the high definition universe, so they don't co-exist. You wouldn't ever see CJ or Tommy Vercetti. They would be like mythical characters in this world who never existed.
- I completely acknowledge that the universes are separate, and that universes are the final boundaries over which many things cannot cross (except vehicles/weapons/brands/features). However, I do NOT agree that Universes is the only way of grouping GTA games.
- Why do you suppose Grand Theft Auto V is given a number, rather than just being "GTA IV: Los Santos"? Simply for marketing purposes? No, I believe it is because it is a brand new game, with a completely new storyline, brand new features and many many things different to GTA IV, its episodes and CW. To me, it makes perfect sense to group IV+TLAD+BOGT+CW together and to reference them as a group where appropriate. That exact same logic can apply to GTA III+VC+SA+A+LCS+VCS, and also to 1+L69+L61. That is a completely logical way of grouping the games. Not only is it logical, it's also official - as pointed out by the new number Rockstar gives to these new games. The fact that they are sometimes in the same universe does not stop this system from working. Yes the name 'era' is artificial, but that's the only real problem with it.
- I completely disagree that GTA Chinatown Wars is not "technically" in the HD Universe - that is a ridiculous suggestion which shows that the term is ambiguous! We need to use clear, unambiguous terms, not things that users need to have an academic discussion about to be able to understand fully. I've never had anyone ask me what an era is, yet I can expect people complaining "but GTA advance isn't 3D" "but Chinatown Wars isnt HD"
- You are right to say that rockstar use universes to separate their cannon. That is the official terminology. However, that does not mean that we should adopt the universe terminology for everything on this wiki. Yes, for plot, story lines, or even characters, it may be the best way to group information, but for the vast majority of content, the era would be the most accurate and useful distinction to make.
- I've been holding off from this discussion because ever since GTA V was announced I've suspected that it may be in the same Universe as GTA IV, but I'm just one of numerous users who have had their concerns about this basically ignored, and received the same copy-pasted response, rather than contributing to serious discussion. For that reason, I didn't really see the point of trying again here - Particularly since the original discussion page was largely biased itself.
- Anyway, since the discussion page has been rewritten, it's starting to make a lot more sense. I'm actually liking the lowest common denominator concept, assuming that it is used properly. What I don't want to see is titles that use a level lower than what the subject matter is really a part of (eg. Using 'In GTA IV Era', when the subject matter also exists in GTA V). And for the record, partly because of the concern about games such as GTA A and GTA CW, I have never really liked the 2D/3D/HD names, just the concept. Although I can't suggest any better names (and I don't suggest contradicting Rockstar).
- As always, what's most important is consistency. We don't want opening sentences like 'in the GTA 1 Era and HD Universe'. I would rather have 'in the GTA 1 Era, GTA IV Era and GTA V Era. But where possible, it should be condensed, such as 'in the 3D Universe and HD Universe'. Section headers, similarly to page titles, should use the lowest common denominator, but also taking consistency into account, just as above. It also depends if the whole HD Universe can fit into the a single section, or if each Era should be separate for that subject matter. Infoboxes and templates are probably better off using eras, cos with Semantic MediaWiki, this is where consistency is extremely important. Categories, similar to page titles, may vary.
- While options 1 and 4 would both work (option 4 maybe even better for consistency), option 1 allows us to use sub-pages, as we have in the past. For example, one main page covering an entire universe, as well as individual pages for each era and game if necessary. So for that reason, I believe that option 1 is best. JFletcherTalk (formerly User:Biggest gta fan ever) 02:27, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
- I agree 100% with James, and I apologise if you think you've been ignored! The reason I didn't want us to assume that GTA V was part of the GTA IV Era was because there was no evidence at all until that Rockstar quote, and there have been no prior examples of a universe spanning more than one era, until now. We can't really base our naming system on speculation. Your points about consistency are very important too - you have identified the one tricky part of the lowest common denominator (LCD) system. As well as keeping things consistent in-article, we also would want to keep things consistent across different articles/eras. For an overused example, we might have Wanted Level in 3D Universe but then Wanted Level in GTA IV Era and V Eras separately - that is an inconsistency that makes it a little bit harder for users to guess which page they are supposed to link to. To me, the simplest way of working around that is to simply allow everyone to use redirects! The 'Wanted Level in GTA III Era' page could just redirect, and then someone can fix that later if they want to. gboyers talk 08:28, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
- Well it wasn't that I wanted any decisions to be made before an official announcement, I just thought that the possibility needed to be considered so that we could be prepared for it :)
- And I agree completely that redirects are one of the most useful features of a wiki (even though most of the staff don't seem to agree). In my opinion, there is no harm in linking to a redirect, and in some cases it actually benefits our users by reducing piped links and making editing easier. Of course redirects should be used everywhere that a user might try to find something. JFletcherTalk (formerly User:Biggest gta fan ever) 08:40, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
- I think option 1 is the best. It would allow us to do just about whatever we would need and keeping it consistent wouldn't be that hard. We have used it in the past, it has worked well and I don't see any reason why we would have to replace it with a new system or what we would gain from it.
- Tying ourselves to one specific term would be crazy. I especially don't like the term "universe". No matter how official it may be, I think it is absolute rubbish for what we are trying to do here which is make a Wiki where people can look up the information they want.
- Implementing the term "universe" now would make for some absolutely massive articles as we merge everything from GTA IV to V into one big lump. And, as new expansions or games were released, they would just keep on growing as every new piece of info would be going under the HD universe articles. How long will it take before a new universe comes along? Nobody knows. Some articles will become walls of text unless we split them anyway (and get the "Wanted Level in the HD universe except GTA V"-syndrome that gboyers talked about) and finding the info you were looking for would take ages.
- I think that the LCD system works well. One game is the smallest unit, followed by era and universe. I'm not convinced that there would be many times we'd have to use the term universe in a page title but if we had to, we have the option. Time will tell. Andreaz1 (talk|edits) 15:25, 21 November 2012 (UTC)