Grand Theft Wiki:Style Guide

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The Style Guide provides guidelines for layout and style of articles. Using a style guide will create consistency across the wiki, making it easier for readers/editors to navigate, and therefore more attractive to new users.

These guidelines are not "set in stone." Discussion of more efficient or more effective ideas is welcomed on the talk page; however, consistency is important, so please discuss any ideas before beginning widespread use of a style not recommended here.

At all times, style is secondary to content. Do not delete content because it is not formatted properly; format it or add a {{Cleanup}} or similar tag.

Each "Main Article" page can have a corresponding talk page. Below, the style to use on the two very different types of pages is outlined.

Article

See Grand Theft Wiki:Consistency for detailed information on language and naming pages.


Game Names

The biggest concern surrounding consistency here is the use of game names in text, section headings and page titles.

Games should always be shown with "GTA" or "Grand Theft Auto" at the start. This is to avoid confusion with place names - GTA Vice City vs Vice City

It is acceptable to link to either the full or short form of game titles.

Note that GTA 1 and GTA 2 use english numbers (1 and 2), whilst GTA III and GTA IV use roman numberals (III and IV). We must follow the convention of the game's actual name. The exception is GTA 1 which is technically called "Grand Theft Auto" but we always refer to it as GTA 1.

Also note that the numbered games do not have colons in the title (Grand Theft Auto III vs Grand Theft Auto: Vice City). Colons should never be used in the short forms.

Abbreviated titles (GTASA) should only be used where the game names need to be repeated many times. This includes large tables, long lists, or very complicated paragraphs that keep swapping between game names. Where possible, there should be a key to show which abbreviation means what. Never use these abbreviations as shorter links to be.


For the game's own page

Use the full form in the title and the opening sentence, ie Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

For pages about part of the game

Use the short form, such as Vehicles in GTA Vice City

For other pages

Generally, use the short form in the any part of the text, any lists or tables (ie "The Cheetah is a car in GTA San Andreas")

For GTA 1

For the first GTA game, which was just called "Grand Theft Auto", we always refer to it as "Grand Theft Auto 1" or "GTA 1". This is to avoid any confusion, and to allow people to just link to GTA whenever they mean the series of games (which is more frequent than meaning the first game).


You can use the long form whenever you wish to be formal, such as in the opening sentence. However, do not do this if you are listing more than one game: ("The Bobcat is the trusty pick-up truck that is featured in Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.")

Note that other sites (such as Wikipedia) use the long "correct" titles in every instance, but pages like List of characters in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories really do look silly. Notice that Wikipedia also says "List of" at the start of the title on many pages - that is also something that we do not do here on Grand Theft Wiki.


Page Titles

The title of an article should be exactly the term used in-game. For characters who have "nick-names," use the most common/obvious one (eg Big Smoke). Neither British nor American spellings are preferred, but use those used in-game if possible, and try to remain consistent. If there are multiple possible names, or multiple possible spellings, create redirect pages for those and redirect them to the main article.

Use plurals when referring to types of things, eg Missions, Vehicles, Hidden Packages. Don't include punctuation or words such as "the", unless it is part of the actual name (eg In The Beginning...).

When referring to specifically one game, say [objects plural] in [long game name]. For example: Missions in GTA Vice City, not GTA Vice City Missions or Missions (GTA Vice City).

If referring to a game, use "GTA Vice City". If referring to a city, use "Vice City". See Project:Consistency for more examples.

Titles should be in title case, with capitalization of almost all words - except for internal articles, prepositions and conjunctions (eg in/the/a/is/if/to); however, when these words are capitalized in-game, they should also be capitalized as the title of the article.

Examples:

  • The Vitamins Are in My Fresh Brussels Sprouts
  • Missions in GTA Liberty City Stories
  • Welcome to the House of Fun

Language

As with titles, neither British nor American spellings are preferred. However, try to be consistent within an article, and always use the in-game spelling where possible.

For the first mention of (or link to) a game, use its full title (eg Grand Theft Auto: Vice City). For every subsequent mention, abbreviate Grand Theft Auto to GTA (eg GTA Vice City) - but don't use a colon (:). If a title is being used lots, you may use an acronym, eg: GTA 1, GTA 2, GTA III, GTA VC, GTA SA, GTA LCS, GTA VCS, GTA IV (without a colon, but with a space). Never use "VC" or "Vice City" to refer to a game, that should only be used to mention the city/place.

Sentences should be in sentence case, such as this sentence. Use capital letters for the first word in a sentence, proper nouns (eg names) and acronyms (eg SPANK). Don't use dots in acronyms, unless the game specifically uses them.

For numbers 1-10, use words (one, two, three), unless it is in a big list or for a mathematical calculation. For numbers above ten, use numerals (22, 54, 123) and use a comma to separate thousands (every three digits, from the right) eg 1,000,000. For small numbers, try to be accurate, using decimal places where appropriate.

Content

An article should be created for topics related to Grand Theft Auto games that have enough information for a complete page. Two or three sentences does not make a complete page. If the information is fully explained on a broader-topic page, leave it as-is. Do not create a page that will have a stub tag as the only content. It is better to see the red link; that makes it clear that there is no information on the topic.

An article's main page should be informative and helpful to the reader. It should contain complete and accurate details and should be easy to read. Any information relevant only to editors should be added to the article's talk page. Any discussion of the article's content or style should take place on the article's talk page.

All content should abide to our Copyright restrictions.

Attributions

Articles should not include details of when content was added, or who by. All content written on a page is open to everyone, and it doesn't matter who wrote it. Nobody 'owns' any pages or sections, except what is inside their user pages. The history of a page shows exactly who edited what, and that cannot be modified. The only time you should sign your name is when you leave a comment on a talk page or in the forum.

Game Information

All information included relating to gameplay should be accurate and verifiable.

Each game topic within Grand Theft Wiki should have one central page (e.g. Girlfriends), with links (if necessary) to the pages detailing the topic in particular games (e.g. Girlfriends in GTA San Andreas).

Game pages should be written in third-person and not first- or second-person whenever possible (i.e. "Tommy Vercetti has..." or "The player may customize...", not "I chose to kill..." or "You can steal...".

Many types of layouts are preferred for certain game pages, most using the appropriate infobox.

References

When citing details that are not verifiable in-game, use the {{references}} tag to link to the source of the information.

Links

Avoid cluttered links. Only use a link for the first occurrence of a topic in each section; there is no reason to link to the same article multiple times in a section. Only link to an article if the information is likely to help the reader; too many irrelevant links cause "pauses" when reading and can distract from the intention of the page. However if you are recommending to visit a particular page for further reading, then a link is required.

Disambiguation

When an article shares a name with another article, such as two different games having missions with the same name, or a character's name also being the name of a mission, they must be disambiguated.

The title of each page should be clarified, often by adding an extra word to explain which subject the page is about. If a name is used for a mission and a character, use Big Smoke without an extra word for characters and Big Smoke (mission) for mission names.

If there is a different character/mission/vehicle with the same name in two different games/cities, specify the game/city name with its acronym, eg Downtown (Vice City). However, if one of the versions is a lot more prominent than the other, you can leave one page at its name, and only specify the less-important page. For example Big Smoke is the character, and links to Big Smoke (mission), which is less prominent. Likewise that Vice City refers to the city in the GTA III era, more than the less-prominent GTA 1 rendition; and GTA refers to the series rather than GTA 1.

If there are more than two pages with the same name (or similar), you should create a disambiguation page at that page name (eg City Hall), use the {{disambig}} tag, and link to each possible page. Each of those pages should be named as above. You can include other links to pages with similar names, eg at City Hall.

On each disambiguated page, or if there are possible variations or misspellings of a name, add a did you mean clause at the top of the page, eg:

:''This page refers to ____. Did you mean [[link]]?''

Spoilers

"Spoilers" are pieces of information revealing important plot developments, which many users don't want to know until they play that part of the game themselves. Spoilers should not be included on general pages (eg GTA IV) or list-type pages (such as Missions in GTA San Andreas).

Spoilers may be included on the article to which they directly relate to, such as the page for that mission or character. However, they should be discreet and not in the first sentence. For bigger spoilers, use the {{spoiler}} tag to make it very obvious not to read that section if the reader doesn't want to know the secrets. If you are unsure, place a spoiler tag and discuss it on the talk page.

We need to include as much relevant information as possible, but that doesn't mean spoiling the experience for our visitors.

Talk Pages

Content

A talk page (i.e. Talk:Main Page) is used to discuss the article's style and content, not the subject matter. For discussion of a topic, such as a game or mission, the Forum is more appropriate.

Try to keep each conversation on one page - do not reply to a talk page comment on another page. This is the same for user talk pages - reply on the same page as what you are replying to, wherever possible. Keeping a conversation in one place makes it easy for other editors (who may benefit from the conversation) to follow the flow of conversation. However some users may forget to check a talk page for replies after they have commented, so you may place a link on their talk page reminding them to look there.

Attributions

On an article's talk page, attributions are made by typing four tildes (~~~~) at the end of your comment. This adds the time of the post and your signature (usually a link to your user and/or talk page(s).)

Sections

Always preface a new topic with a two-tier header (i.e. ==My Topic==). A reply should be indented with a colon (:), and each additional reply should include one additional colon. When a conversation has many replies, the fifth comment should have no colons. For example:

==My Topic==
This is my topic.
:Reply 1
::Reply 2
:::Reply 3
::::Reply 4
Reply 5
:Reply 6

In a conversation between 2 or 3 people, you can indent your next reply using the same number of colons, to make it obvious who is speaking - but that doesn't work if you only reply once, or if there are lots of people replying.

See Also

  • Policy - This page outlines what policy is, and the processes behind it
  • Rules - The rules of Grand Theft Wiki must not be broken on any accounts
  • Consistency - Making sure articles are consistent across the wiki
  • Editing: - How to use Grand Theft Wiki, find your way, and edit pages
  • How To: - How to format text, images, tables, and pages
  • Help: - Help with many different aspects of Grand Theft Wiki