Difference between revisions of "Community:Discussions/Eras and Universes"

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==Introduction==
 
 
There have been many discussions over the years about whether [[Eras]] are the best way to group GTA games. With the announcement that Rockstar use [[Universes]] to separate their canon, this has fuelled the debate. This discussion will attempt to come to a logical conclusion and consensus about how to group and refer to GTA games.
 
There have been many discussions over the years about whether [[Eras]] are the best way to group GTA games. With the announcement that Rockstar use [[Universes]] to separate their canon, this has fuelled the debate. This discussion will attempt to come to a logical conclusion and consensus about how to group and refer to GTA games.
  
{{universes}}
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{{toc}}{{universes}}
  
===Universes===
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==Introduction==
The GTA series is broken down into three separate [[Universes]] - 2D, 3D and HD. These can be perceived as three separate sets of mythology, almost three separate game series with little in common.  
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An "Era" refers to the series of games that follow a numbered game. So GTA III automatically starts the GTA III Era, and then all subsequent games are part of that era until GTA IV comes out. Likewise GTA V will start the GTA V Era for all subsequent games until we see GTA 6.
  
To a character living in the HD universe, the stories, characters and locations in the 3D universe never existed, they are just stories. That's why [[Liberty City in GTA IV Era|Liberty City in the HD Universe]] can be completely rebuilt from scratch, nothing like [[Liberty City in GTA III Era|in the 3D Universe]].  
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Helpfully, most things within an era are related (but not identical). This means that we see a lot of overlap in things like characters, vehicles, weapons, features and overall storyline. Even the map is often shared between multiple games within an era. Also, many things are referenced/mentioned through the era.
  
Some things do persist across universes - such as brands, weapons and vehicles - but these could be easily explained as just being a copy, rather than a single company actually running operations in the 3 separate eras.
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Eras can be grouped together into Universes. 1+2 eras are the 2D universe, III era is the 3D universe, and IV+V eras are the HD universe. These must be thought of as completely separate universes, completely separate pieces of work, where nothing in previous universes is true.
  
Universes are how [[Rockstar Games]] view the game universes. They use it to explain how things can be re-created different across universes. However, Universes are not visible on the packaging or mentioned in-game or even on the Rockstar website - they are more of a technical detail and internal explanation, not a grouping of products.
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Universes are not very helpful for grouping games or for naming articles, because not many things are identical across an entire universe. GTA V will have different sets of locations, missions, characters, vehicles, weapons and features to the GTA IV Era, although some things will appear in both, and the previous era is still maintained to be 'true' in the new era.
  
===Eras===
 
  
As well as universes, the games in the GTA series can be further grouped up. [[Eras]] are a logical system we use to group games
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==Requirements==
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There are a few things we need out of this discussion:
  
For example, the 5 games released after [[GTA III]] share much in common with it. They have a similar visual style and gameplay, whilst many storylines and characters appear in multiple games.  
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===Page System===
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We need to decide which things have their own page, and which things are grouped. It seems that everyone is in agreement with this already (although the names are up for debate).
  
Eras are ''entirely'' based on the game number. [[GTA III]] automatically starts the [[GTA III Era]], then all subsequent games are part of that era until the release of [[GTA IV]] created a new one.
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For example, there's not much benefit in having separate pages for "Liberty City in GTA III" and "Liberty City in GTA Liberty City Stories", because the cities are practically identical and all the information would be duplicated. It makes much more sense to have a single shared page, which we currently place at [[Liberty City in GTA III Era]].
  
Eras are useful because they group very very closely-related games. Many things appear in multiple games within an era - particularly in te [[GTA IV Era]] where all four games are set in the same city and have a single interlinking story (rather than just a character performing a cameo). Using eras, we can refer to XYZ in GTA IV Era to refer to all 4 games.
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Equally, there's no point having separate pages for "Liberty City in GTA IV", "Liberty City in The Lost and Damned" and "Liberty City in The Ballad of Gay Tony" and "Liberty City in GTA Chinatown Wars", all with duplicated information. A single [[Liberty City in GTA IV Era]] works best.
  
==The Options==
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However, for things such as missions, each game has its own set, so those should not be grouped ([[Missions in GTA III]]). However, there is benefit in having an ''additional'' page to explain where things overlap, such as [[Missions in GTA IV Era]].
Boiling this down to the very core of the issue, there are four options we have:
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{|class=wikitable
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!Option
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!Explanation
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!Pros
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!Cons
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|-
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!Do not group games
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|Always list every game separately.
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|Technically, the most accurate option
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|This will result in massive, confusing and unreadable lists all over the site. Page titles would have to be ''"XYZ in GTA III, GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas, GTA Liberty City Stories and GTA Vice City Stories"''.
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|-
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!Group games by order
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|Say which range of games something appears in, such as ''"XYZ in GTA III - GTA Vice City Stories"''
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|Accurate, and shorter than not grouping at all
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|Referring to sets requires the reader to fully remember the order of release for all GTA games. For example, "GTA IV - The Ballad of Gay Tony", does that include [[GTA Chinatown Wars]]? Will we expect everyone to know that?
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|-
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!Just use Universes
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|Refer to things as being ''"in the HD Universe"''
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|Uses Rockstar's internal grouping system
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|This is not very specific, and could be confusing where things occur in only part of the universe (i.e. one game or one era).
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|-
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!Just use Eras
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|As we currently do, just say ''"in GTA III Era"''
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|The system currently in use. Fairly simple to refer to the official universe groupings as ''"in the GTA 1 and 2 Eras"''
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|Does not reflect the official canon universes
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|-
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!Use both Eras & Universes
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|List+name things as being in the GTA IV Era, whilst also using universes to explain things
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|Gives us the most flexibility, whilst allowing us to be 100% accurate and easily understood
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|Requires a little bit of understanding from users, but very easy once understood
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|}
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==Discussion==
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====Options====
What are your thoughts on using Eras to list and group articles (as we currently do), whilst using Universes to explain canon storylines?
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There are the following 4 options:
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#Update our current system using the lowest-common-denominator system (create the page about 1 game if possible, otherwise use the era if possible, otherwise use the universe).
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#Abandon the use of eras altogether, and instead just use game lists or ranges (eg "Wanted Level in GTA III - GTA Vice City Stories")?
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#Switch entirely over to universes (e.g. use "in HD Universe" for all IV/V era pages). We would then need additional systems in place to work around the times when an entire-universe is too broad (eg [[Wanted Level in GTA IV Era]].
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#Use eras for physical things (locations, vehicles, weapons), whilst using universes for canon-relevant things (characters, businesses, missions, plots, storylines)
  
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For reference, the GTA Wikia are slowly switching over to option 3, whilst Wikipedia use option 2.
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===Page Naming System===
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Once we've decided which system to use, the naming system should be straightforward to agree on.
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Our standard convention (which has not yet been codified) is the "lowest common denominator" (1st option above)
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*If the page covers one game, just name the game - [[Characters in GTA III]]
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*if one page covers multiple games, use the era instead - [[Wanted Level in GTA III Era]]
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*If one page covers multiple eras, use the universe instead - none exist yet, but I expect we might see titles like "Plot in HD Universe" or "[[Vehicle Brands|Vehicle Manufacturers]] in HD Universe"
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*If one page covers something that appears in a location that itself appears in multiple games/eras, then we extend it such as: [[:Category:Hospitals in Liberty City in GTA III Era|Hospitals in Liberty City in GTA III Era]]
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===In-Article Referencing===
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We also need to ensure we have a consistent approach to how to refer to multiple games in articles.
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There are several situations these will occur in:
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*Opening sentences
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*Page sections ("In the GTA III Era, it's a sports car, but in the GTA IV and V eras, it's an SUV")
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*Infoboxes & templates (Appears in: GTA III Era, GTA IV Era, GTA V Era)
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*Categories
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For example, the [[Comet]]. The opening sentence shows it was introduced in [[GTA Vice City]], then there are individual sections for the GTA III Era (3D Universe) and the IV+V eras (HD Universe). Those sections are currently named "GTA Vice City — GTA Vice City Stories" and "GTA IV — GTA V", using the option 2 system.
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==Discussion==
 
Discuss this on the [[{{TALKPAGENAME}}|Talk Page]]!
 
Discuss this on the [[{{TALKPAGENAME}}|Talk Page]]!
  
 
[[Category:Eras]]
 
[[Category:Eras]]
 
[[Category:Discussions]]
 
[[Category:Discussions]]

Latest revision as of 20:46, 17 November 2012

There have been many discussions over the years about whether Eras are the best way to group GTA games. With the announcement that Rockstar use Universes to separate their canon, this has fuelled the debate. This discussion will attempt to come to a logical conclusion and consensus about how to group and refer to GTA games.

2D Universe 3D Universe HD Universe
GTA 1 Era GTA 2 Era GTA III Era GTA IV Era GTA V Era

Introduction

An "Era" refers to the series of games that follow a numbered game. So GTA III automatically starts the GTA III Era, and then all subsequent games are part of that era until GTA IV comes out. Likewise GTA V will start the GTA V Era for all subsequent games until we see GTA 6.

Helpfully, most things within an era are related (but not identical). This means that we see a lot of overlap in things like characters, vehicles, weapons, features and overall storyline. Even the map is often shared between multiple games within an era. Also, many things are referenced/mentioned through the era.

Eras can be grouped together into Universes. 1+2 eras are the 2D universe, III era is the 3D universe, and IV+V eras are the HD universe. These must be thought of as completely separate universes, completely separate pieces of work, where nothing in previous universes is true.

Universes are not very helpful for grouping games or for naming articles, because not many things are identical across an entire universe. GTA V will have different sets of locations, missions, characters, vehicles, weapons and features to the GTA IV Era, although some things will appear in both, and the previous era is still maintained to be 'true' in the new era.


Requirements

There are a few things we need out of this discussion:

Page System

We need to decide which things have their own page, and which things are grouped. It seems that everyone is in agreement with this already (although the names are up for debate).

For example, there's not much benefit in having separate pages for "Liberty City in GTA III" and "Liberty City in GTA Liberty City Stories", because the cities are practically identical and all the information would be duplicated. It makes much more sense to have a single shared page, which we currently place at Liberty City in GTA III Era.

Equally, there's no point having separate pages for "Liberty City in GTA IV", "Liberty City in The Lost and Damned" and "Liberty City in The Ballad of Gay Tony" and "Liberty City in GTA Chinatown Wars", all with duplicated information. A single Liberty City in GTA IV Era works best.

However, for things such as missions, each game has its own set, so those should not be grouped (Missions in GTA III). However, there is benefit in having an additional page to explain where things overlap, such as Missions in GTA IV Era.

Options

There are the following 4 options:

  1. Update our current system using the lowest-common-denominator system (create the page about 1 game if possible, otherwise use the era if possible, otherwise use the universe).
  2. Abandon the use of eras altogether, and instead just use game lists or ranges (eg "Wanted Level in GTA III - GTA Vice City Stories")?
  3. Switch entirely over to universes (e.g. use "in HD Universe" for all IV/V era pages). We would then need additional systems in place to work around the times when an entire-universe is too broad (eg Wanted Level in GTA IV Era.
  4. Use eras for physical things (locations, vehicles, weapons), whilst using universes for canon-relevant things (characters, businesses, missions, plots, storylines)

For reference, the GTA Wikia are slowly switching over to option 3, whilst Wikipedia use option 2.


Page Naming System

Once we've decided which system to use, the naming system should be straightforward to agree on.

Our standard convention (which has not yet been codified) is the "lowest common denominator" (1st option above)


In-Article Referencing

We also need to ensure we have a consistent approach to how to refer to multiple games in articles.

There are several situations these will occur in:

  • Opening sentences
  • Page sections ("In the GTA III Era, it's a sports car, but in the GTA IV and V eras, it's an SUV")
  • Infoboxes & templates (Appears in: GTA III Era, GTA IV Era, GTA V Era)
  • Categories

For example, the Comet. The opening sentence shows it was introduced in GTA Vice City, then there are individual sections for the GTA III Era (3D Universe) and the IV+V eras (HD Universe). Those sections are currently named "GTA Vice City — GTA Vice City Stories" and "GTA IV — GTA V", using the option 2 system.


Discussion

Discuss this on the Talk Page!