User talk:JFletcher/Perfect Mission

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A couple of pointers from me regarding this perfect mission. Most of it really is great.

  1. Instead of "quick walkthrough", I'd call it "mission brief" or "mission outline", which explains the mission. Theres no such thing as a quick walkthrough, it either walks you through it completely or not.
  2. If the main walkthrough is long (more than an average screenful) then it should go into a subpage too.
  3. Move the transcript to a subpage, since it is so long. I always use: User:Biggest_gta_fan_ever/Perfect_Mission/Transcript
  4. Leave external links till the end - after "see also" but before mission sequence
  5. In the external links, i'd do it like this: mission video ( - because this actually links to the video (which is the important thing), and mentions which site it is at (brackets option). Your idea of using bold also works, but I would bold "video" or "guide" or whatever, instead of the mission name.
  6. We can actually embed trailers into articles, instead of having to link to them. Use the code: <youtube>Z2KNGRVwZaU</youtube>. If there is more than one video, make a subpage instead. Don't forget to also have a link to the youtube page as well, just in case the embedded video doesn't work.

Keep up the good work - Gboyers talk 17:36, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Firstly, thanks for the tips. I was always going to get you to have a look before I advertised it as the "perfect mission article". Secondly, what you're seeing is an initial draft.
  1. The main walkthrough isn't going to be too long, the idea is that the paragraph form will allow more info in a slightly larger space than the point form (average screen size like you said). Take the pictures out of an IGN guide, and that's all it is.
  2. I knew about the external links being left to the end, I just thought with the long script they might be better off higher up.
  3. Thanks for the tips with how to format the external links.
  4. I was trying to work out how to embed, for some stupid reason I thought a wiki wouldn't accept normal embed code.
  5. I moved the script, I was thinking about that myself.

As for the quick walkthrough. I made this perfect mission article by gathering techniques from all over the wiki, and many missions, particularly those of GTA San Andreas have a quick walkthrough which is point form and quick (this will happen, then this, then this etc). The detailed walkthrough explains how to complete the mission using more detail such as tactics.

I thought a brief was an expansion of the intro, but explaining things that need to be under the spoiler warning. The entire reason that I chose this mission is because it's far enough through the game to be a good example of a mission page, but doesn't contain spoilers. I thought about using an older game, but then decided that if we write brand new policy, we should assume that it's the newest articles that need the most help. The disadvantage of choosing this mission was not getting to include a brief, so here's a neutral example for it that I made up.

Intro: [[Mission]] is a mission given to [[protagonist]] by [[Boss]] in [[Game]]. In this mission, (Boss) wants (protagonist) kill (someone).
Brief: Following the events of [[Previous Mission]], where (Someone) invaded the meet, stole the drugs and ran off, (Boss) has tracked down (Someone) and knows that he's hiding out in the apartment building on (Street). He wants (Protagonist) to sneak in, without being seen, and kill (Someone) by surprise. If (protag) is seen, (enemy) has a helicopter that he can escape in.

So to the basics, the intro doesn't change from the XYZ in which you must kill, but the brief explains events leading to the mission and more detail about this mission (this can be written just from watching the cutscene). It's the quick walkthrough that explains in point form how the game wants you to do this (like can be seen on the perfect mission page). This mission can't have much of a brief because it's events known from the cutscene are told of in the intro. The quick walkthrough is "quick", because it is just a few points, so rather, the detailed walkthrough is a "long" walkthrough.

Now that I've explained that, do you like the idea? If so, is there a better name that you can suggest?

One other thing. Should the external links be above or below the embedded video. I put it above because from the link to the video we can say, "(also available below)". But what do you think?

Thanks again for the points!

And in case you're confused because I mentioned policy, once I get this article perfect, I plan to use it to draft some mission policy which will sit alongside this article as a guide for writing mission articles. Biggest GTA Fan EverTalk 06:28, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

My replies, in bullet form because I can't be bothered to write sentences today:

  • Firstly, it isn't normal embed code, it's a special extension to MediaWiki that allows you to embed youtube videos. Most normal HTML won't work in a wiki, but a few simple ones like <b><u><i> will.
  • My point was that the "quick walkthrough" is NOT a walkthrough because it doesn't walk you through step-by-step. It doesn't need to be a mini-walkthrough, because theres a real one immediately after it. It needs to be a "Plot summary" or somethign similar, which says more than just "do this" but also says why. Your example above is close. Start with plot background, then the mission, then the outcomes - so something like:
    • "after the destruction of the donut factory, Steve wants revenge on the old-woman gang. Niko must go to Anywhere City and set fire to the poodle shop using Molotov Cocktails. He is then chased by the old women in their zimmer frames, and must escape by swimming through the sewers to the safehouse under the freeway."
  • So my point is don't CALL it a walkthrough, call it a brief/plot-summary/overview or something. And include as much information as possible (not instructions). Remember the wide range of reasons someone might want to read a mission page. Yes you are right about the spoiler warning going just before this.
  • For the main walkthrough, I don't believe paragraphs would be the most useful method of doing that. A LOT of people hate reading big paragraphs, and can't be bothered when all they want is how to do this tiny bit of a mission they're stuck on.
    • I'd suggest long bullet points (kinda like these), split into sections with bold headers, like "intro" "get to the shop" "destroy the shop" "escape". That way they can easily find the bit they need. There are some good examples of that around the wiki. Images are incredibly useful for this, so don't skimp on space. The more information the better, and the easier to read the better - so don't be scared to use a subpage if you have to.

Hope that makes sense - Gboyers talk 16:08, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Is the brief that I made okay? Keep in mind that this mission has no background information to include. I haven't gotten around to fixing the walkthrough yet (but I might have by the time you get this message), but I will soon. And what about the external links, are they okay above the video? Oh, and as for the indent, I didn't literally think it couldn't be done, I just thought that with a long post like that it would be best to not take up too much extra room by indenting. Biggest GTA Fan EverTalk 00:36, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I think with a long post its even more important to indent, because otherwise it's very easy to miss where my post ends and yours starts. Alternatively, you could make a div with a different background colour for each person's posts (like this reply), which should be just as visible as an indent.

I really think See Also and External Links should be at the very end. That entire bottom part of the page is for taking people elsewhere, thats where sequence tables, link menus and categories are. Sticking them higher up could put them right in the middle of an article (if you had more than 1 video), so I'd leave them right at the end, like they are on every other page on this site. Also, after seeing how you did the links, I think removing the brackets from the website is probably better - just add a dash instead - like this - just before.

With the subpages, the way you've done it is perfect - give them a header so that they're easily found. However, if you have loads (like GTA IV), put them all in one section. As for the brief, it's mostly right, but I'm not sure whether it reads too much like instructions. Try making it sound more like a story, as if it was a paragraph in a book. Don't change it to past tense though. Not sure how I would do it, but I'm being deliberately picky because this is meant to be perfect. Gboyers talk 01:09, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
That's fine. You're right, we can't settle for less than perfect if we're calling something perfect. I just realized why external links should be left to the end and have moved them, and changed them to the format you just mentioned.
As for the brief, I see what you mean about while being 100% third person, the lines are like half instructive. I reworded it, changing things like, "There are many officers that they must kill on the way," to, "There are many officers that they kill on the way in order to survive". (taking out must because in a book it wouldn't say they must kill because it's all pre-determined unlike a game). No huge change, but it makes it more neutral (like a book). Take a look at it, but I don't think it's actually ready yet.
The sub pages. Thanks for mentioning that, because that's one thing that I was going to ask at the end when it needs to be tweaked to become exactly perfect. Biggest GTA Fan EverTalk 05:05, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

EDIT: I have now also formatted the walkthrough. I did it simply by separating what I already had into sections and dot points. It is the initial draft of the new format walkthrough, and isn't yet near perfect, so take a look and tell me what you think about where I put the headings and points and what you would like to see done to it. Biggest GTA Fan EverTalk 09:07, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Excellent - thats exactly the part of the brief that was annoying me. As for the walkthrough, I wouldn't centre the headings, keep them on the left where people look. In fact, I'd just use bold rather than <big> or a heading, since the headings are for fairly small amounts of text there. Also, either use sentence case or title case as per Grand_Theft_Wiki:Style_Guide#Page_Titles (you haven't hit either of those standards). Another useful part to the walkthrough would be explaining what you should bring before you start the mission, such as "make sure you have full health, armour is optional", and whether to bring many weapons, or load up on a specific type of ammunition (eg RPG, grenade, SMG). Either put it in the first sentence, a separate list, or perhaps we could even make a template for "mission requirements" or something? Just a thought - Gboyers talk 10:28, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Done! (with the headings). You're right, that is better. I think we're getting closer. Three things. Could the "Mission Requirements" become a new line in the infobox? Or is that for just official things (without a doubt will happen) and not for recommendations? (I actually realized that last bit while I was typing). As for images, the professionals use them, so they must be good to use, and in a perfect mission article we should aim to make it as good as possible. The problem is that the only way that I can think of that I can get screenshots that I actually want (an Internet image search can't give you the exact scene) would be to pause the video and screenshot the computer, then crop the rest of the window out, but I think that it would be horrible quality like that. The last thing is that, now that you mention the format of the walkthrough, did you like the format of the script? See, I tried using just bold there, and it was easy to get confused with the character names (eg Niko: Hi!). Biggest GTA Fan EverTalk 22:05, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

{{infobox mission}} has one parameter "unlockedby" for the prerequisite mission for that mission. I can't think of any missions where you NEED a particular weapon, but perhaps some require you to bring a specific vehicle? Forget using the infobox, and dont make a new template - just a new section recommending what you should bring, even if its just something like: "any SMG, pistol or shotgun, with enough ammo to wipe out 50 people". If you screenshot a youtube video (or similar), that is awful quality UNLESS its a high-definition youtube video, or from another site with higher-quality video. I'd suggest taking the screenshots yourself, or finding someone else who can. Of course an image is useful, but don't put them for the sake of it - stuff like "this is the street CJ has to walk down" is useless UNLESS its a hard-to-find street and the picture explains where to go. Imagine what people would ASK for a picture of. The transcript is fine, but left-align the headings - we dont use central headings for anything. I imagine the format is good enough for anyone who wants to read it. Dont forget that in GTA IV, most missions have at least 2 sets of dialogue for car journeys. It's good that you've left out useless comments eg fight scenes. Gboyers talk 22:24, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

:I've just got a few thoughts.
  • First of all, if there is to be a brief section then I see no point in giving the brief in the introduction, as is done here.
  • I would also suggest removing the spoiler tag, as it is obvious there will be spoilers when detailing the story of the game.
  • I would also suggest introducing a reward section, just outlining the rewards.
  • In the infobox, may I suggest putting in a link to the street, area of Bohan and a link to LC in GTA IV.
  • The walkthrough seems to describe in slightly longer detail what is stated in the brief section, so merging them may be an option.
  • I'm not a big fan of adding the video to the article, although I know that it will be quiet useful to users. However, may I suggest the video be changed when GTAmissions adds his videos in 2009, as they are linked to on all but the GTA Advance mission pages.
  • Also, the mission table at the bottom of the page should be removed. I've removed that from every mission based article as I think, to be honest, it does not look good. If you are going to use a mission footer, then may I suggest using the one GK made a while ago. Looks much better than this one.
  • Not sure why the link to the YouTube page for the video is linked to, when the video is located directly above.
  • As for the script page, I would suggest writing the names out in full, i.e. Niko Bellic instead of just Niko.
Okay, so that's more than a few, but I'm currently writing a reflective piece of a presentation from last Tuesday, meaning I'm nitpicking. Well, just my suggestions. Also, if this is adopted, should the other mission articles be changed to this format? A-Dust 23:51, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the suggestions, the more people who help here, and so, the more people whose opinions we get we can get closer to making a perfect mission article to suit everyone. I'm just quickly responding to your points, as I got the email about your message hours ago and have just been too busy to react to it.

  • I think that the single line that states the soul objective of the mission in the intro is a good idea, as people who maybe don't quite know if it's the page they're after can read the intro and know straight away, without reading the brief and possibly spoilers (if it's not the right page).
  • I agree that the line "Blow Your Cover is a mission in Grand Theft Auto IV" informs people that this is a mission article and it will contain spoilers. I really never have added a spoiler warning to a mission page. The reason I did for the perfect mission is because I honestly forgot to when I created GTA IV Endings, and Gboyers came along and added one.
  • I thought about a reward section, and in fact, before I started on making the article I opened notepad and typed up just the headings for the sections I was going to have, and I had reward. I removed it from the plan when I realized that the infobox has a reward line, but it can easily be put in.
  • I actually wanted to say exactly where in Bohan it begins, but I haven’t played any game for a few days to be able to find out the street and area. I will do it soon.
  • If you read the discussion above you will see that Gboyers said to link to the video in case the embedded one doesn't work. As for embedding the video, what I was against was having two separate videos (Part 1 and Part 2) taking up more space. So I actually downloaded Part 1 and Part 2, converted them to AVI, used a video editing program to join them together and then I uploaded it myself. I know that it's linked to anyway, but I know for a fact that many people get to the external links section and stop reading because there's no more information. There will be nothing wrong with using a better video when it's uploaded (like you mentioned).
  • The script page is something I will do next time I'm on here long enough. You're right about that.
  • What mission footer did GK make? Can you give me a link?
  • As for merging the brief and the walkthrough, I think the brief is meant to be a "brief", as in quick, section to explain the events of the mission, whereas the walkthrough tells you how to do it (this one is just an instructive version of the brief right now I know)

Now I think I will give Gboyers a chance to give his thoughts about your suggestions before I actually start editing. Biggest GTA Fan EverTalk 06:33, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

EDIT: I just realized that I didn't answer your last question. I don't know exactly what other mission articles you’re referring to (other games/all/etc) as you said "if this is adopted", meaning you know that we're thinking about adopting it and that we're not just trying to get this mission perfect, but anyway... We could make a perfect character article, a perfect game article etc. It will never get to the point where every mission article is identical. The idea of this article is just a guide. If this is a perfect mission article, then other mission articles should aim to be like this as a long term goal. That's really not my decision, but I would think that we should try to keep the whole wiki consistent, instead of changing article format game to game. Think of it as policy, policy is different to rules. We should AIM to follow policy, but it's not necessarily do this like this. Once again though, I will let Gboyers reply to this hopefully with a better (yes/no) answer. One more thing. Gboyers, is what I did what you meant by making a new section for stocking up on weapons, or did you want a section before the walkthrough? Biggest GTA Fan EverTalk 08:46, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Now that I've taken a break from this page, I can see your point on most of those. I did everything you said except merge the brief and walkthrough. Biggest GTA Fan EverTalk 02:24, 31 December 2008 (UTC)