Doom Wiki:Policies and guidelines

From DoomWiki.org

Information icon.svgAlthough this article aims to represent consensus on the Doom Wiki, it is still a work in progress. This site is less complete and less frequently edited than an established site like Wikipedia; furthermore, our editors and administrators traditionally proceed by common sense rather than interpreting policies to the letter. Therefore, this page does not evolve in lockstep with our article content, and no written policy or guideline is expected to cover every situation.

This page, like all project pages, can be edited by anyone. However, please ensure that your revision is compatible with any existing consensus (established by discussion and/or repeated precedent). You are also encouraged to discuss, critique, or challenge any policy or guideline outlined here on the talk page.

For new contributors[edit]

Welcome! The Doom Wiki is working to document 24 years (and counting) of gaming, mapping, programming, and needlepoint, so there are always many places where you can help.

This article is long, but each section is here for a reason, usually because we had a problem and don't want it to happen again. New editors sometimes see their contributions "adjusted" to match the guidelines below; this is normal, and should not be taken personally. Figure out what the other editor did, and learn to do it yourself.

Our site is not nearly as large or as active as Wikipedia, so it takes a while to get consensus on anything. On the one hand, you can take the opportunity to be bold; on the other hand, you may feel at times as though you are the only person interested in a particular topic (which is never true).

History teaches us that assuming good faith on gaming sites is often not constructive; some of our veteran editors have more patience than others. If you are reading this page, however, that's a good sign. Make worthwhile edits and you'll get the benefit of the doubt.

Terms of service[edit]

Note that this article represents community-determined policies and guidelines reached through a consensus between end users. For the official legal terms which additionally govern your use of the site, please refer to our Terms of Use. These community guidelines are established in accordance with Section 9 of those terms, which authorize and empower them.

Format of the wiki[edit]

If you read only one sentence today, let this be the one:

This is an encyclopedia, not a social network or a forums site.

When you open a dictionary or an economics textbook, you expect a formal tone and a logically organized outline; the same applies here. The main space should contain coherent expository prose, not conversation or excessive decoration. The talk spaces are somewhat less organized, but questions and comments should be directed toward improving the articles, not about random subjects. As a rule of thumb:

  • To discuss a specific edit, post to that user's talk page. (Try not to yell.)
  • To ask broad questions about the wiki, to discuss a policy which might affect many articles, or to report a bug in MediaWiki, post to Central Processing; that way, almost everyone sees it.
  • Otherwise, use the talk page for the article that seems most relevant.

Always sign your posts on talk pages by typing ~~~~ at the end.

To test your understanding of this policy, read Talk:Entryway. About half of the threads either are off topic or belong on other pages. If you know which half is which, you're on your way to becoming a good editor.

Your User: page can say anything you wish, subject to server performance and applicable law.

Original research[edit]

This policy (see "Neutrality" below) is often misunderstood by new editors. Because the source code and editing utilities for many Doom games are freely available, anyone can look up how many bullets are on the fourth level of Doom II, or how an Imp decides whether to turn left or right when it hits a wall. Therefore, unlike Wikipedia, we do not require a secondary source for such data (which might not exist anyway). This does not mean, however, that every possible interpretation of the data should be included also.

Although certain opinions have wide acceptance in the Doom community, think carefully before posting something non-technical which you have never seen on any major Doom site (aside from forums). Ask yourself, "Could other people look at my monitor and draw a different conclusion than I did, with no reproducible way to choose between them?" If you decide to make the edit anyway, be prepared for an argument.

Examples of good original research:

Examples of things you should not add:

  • An article about how a particular bug affects a particular map, when the bug and the map already have articles.
  • The nicknames that you and your brothers gave the monsters when you first played Doom.
  • What a Dune total conversion might look like.
  • Why Quake is better than Hexen.
  • Doom weapons that look like faces.

Things that may have articles[edit]

Before creating a new article, see "Article format", "Article titles", and "Capitalization" below. Almost every new article is far from complete; use the {{stub}} template at the top.

Before starting an article you saw on the list of wanted articles, please check the list of links first. If every link originates in the talk spaces or on Central Processing, that means the article has only been discussed in a hypothetical sense, and probably shouldn't be written.

If a game, WAD, editor, or utility exists only in source/demo/beta form, but is available to the general public and meets all the criteria below, then it can be included.

Games, gameplay, and walkthroughs[edit]

Of course. However, some subjects are considered more notable than others.

Commercially released titles in the Doom series, or based on the Doom engine, or both, are emphasized most here. They should have one article per game/episode, one article per map, one article per weapon, one article per item/powerup, and one article per enemy. For commercial ports of these games to non-PC platforms (including Doom RPG and the Xbox releases), create the subsidiary articles only for topics where the new version differs substantially from the original.

Fan-made games, as well as non-commercial games using the Doom engine, are interesting but less significant. They should have one article per game, and perhaps a walkthrough as well.

If any gameplay-related article becomes bloated due to excessive technical detail, the latter may be moved to its own page (see below).

WADs[edit]

If released. One article per map, plus one summary page for each multi-level file (as with the episodes of the classic series). This also applies to total conversions which are released as IWADs but do not actually alter the engine, such as Freedoom. Mod-specific weapons, items, and monsters should not have their own articles.

Mods for non-Doom-engine games should be included only if they have something to do with Doom (e.g. Your Path of Destruction).

Editors, source ports[edit]

There aren't that many, so, sure. Port-specific weapons, items, and monsters should not have their own articles.

People[edit]

See the criteria for people articles. If in doubt, don't create the article.

Websites[edit]

See the criteria for website articles.

LMPs[edit]

A demo may have its own article only when considered pioneering or unusually well-known (e.g. 30uv1617).

Technical information, terminology, statistics, and trivia[edit]

Among other things, this site intends to be an archival resource for programmers, mappers, and historians of gaming. (As Fredrik has remarked, "[t]hings like List of vanilla maps by size are the very purpose of this wiki...") Such topics are extremely variegated, and we therefore have no rigid criteria for notability. Do not create articles, however, which:

  • duplicate information already presented in other articles;
  • describe an obvious consequence of the information in other articles (e.g., "The Mancubus fireball clipping bug might occur on MAP07: Dead Simple");
  • duplicate information from another site without adding any new content; or
  • will never be more than one paragraph long.

Article format[edit]

  • For something related to Doom or Doom II in general, it is unnecessary to add "In Doom, ..." at the beginning of the article or name the page "Doom ...". Such modifiers should however always be added for things related to other games (e.g. Strife), including Doom 3. "In XXX..." or something equivalent should also be used for things pertaining to one specific version of Doom (e.g. Ultimate Doom, Final Doom, Shareware Doom, v1.2).
  • Articles about maps which are part of a larger IWAD or PWAD should have names of the form Lump Name: Level Name (WAD Name), as with E1M3: The Gatehouse (Heretic) and MAP31: The Descent (Hell Revealed). A redirect without the WAD name should be made, and the map template used at the top of the article for disambiguation, thus: {{map|slot=MAP##}} (this will automatically put the page into the category corresponding to the map number). For levels which were also released singly, the map number need not be part of the title, but the template should still be used.
  • Many articles are definitions of things related to the game. If this is the case, start the page with a short one-sentence definition, and give the name in bold. A good example can be found at the start of Shotgun: "The pump-action shotgun is one of the most versatile and useful weapons in the Doom player's arsenal."
  • Add plenty of links to other articles but do not go overboard. For example, if you are writing about something relating to Heretic, do not turn every reference to Heretic into a link. Make the first mention a link, but further mentions of Heretic normal text. The previous two sentences are an example.
  • Reference documents (walkthroughs or long technical articles, for instance) may be exceptions, as these are not necessarily read end to end; use one link per section, not per page.
  • Do not sign your name at the bottom of articles you edit: remember that this is a wiki, and anyone can edit your articles to improve or correct them. Attaching your name is redundant in any case, as the "history" page keeps track of who edited an article and when.
  • Always categorize! It is a good idea to look around Special:Categories before choosing a category, to see which category suits your article best. You can categorize a page by including [[Category:Your category]] somewhere on the page, where "Your category" is the name of the intended category. If you think you need to, you may use more than one category tag to classify an article in multiple categories, however keep in mind that most categories are categorized themselves, so adding more than one category can be redundant. For example, if you create an article on the ammo clip, you would classify it under ammo only, not ammo and items, because ammo is a subcategory of items.
  • If you have an article and a category with the same name, use the {{Catmore}} template to automatically reference the article from the category.
  • Links to external sites should be used in moderation. To be candidate for linking, an external site should contain information that serves as a reference for the article, is the subject of the article itself, is official in some capacity (for example, run by id Software), or contains additional reading that is not appropriate in the encyclopedic setting of this wiki. We are not a search engine. Extensive lists of links create clutter and are exceedingly difficult to maintain. They may also degrade the search engine ranking of this site.

Style[edit]

The Doom Wiki is an encyclopedia; as with a paper encyclopedia, its articles should be written in a consistent style.

Article titles and other proper nouns[edit]

  • First priority should be given to names appearing in-game; such are the most readily recognized terms, as players see them continually while they play. Failing that, use names that appear in the manuals or documentation.
  • For more technical subjects, look first at the source code, and then for terms associated to programs by the community (if these are commonplace).
  • Some concepts or gameplay phenomena have no specific "officially licensed" name. In such cases, use the most widespread community appellation. Thing is a good example of this, as a term used by fans to describe sprite related game entities in the Doom games.
  • After deciding on the most suitable title for an article, include secondary names in the introductory section, such as colloquial names the community has adopted or names drawn from other products in the franchise. Always specify the source of such a name, or who generally uses it; avoid broad assertions like "many people call it" or "some people say", as these do not help the reader understand the origin of the name and may perpetuate misconceptions.

Capitalization[edit]

  • Only the first word and proper nouns in a page title, heading, or subheading should be capitalized. For instance, use "External links", "See also", or "Homages in Doom-engine games".
  • Titles of published media follow Wikipedia's capitalization convention: in general, the first letter is capitalized and the remainder is in lower case. (See Wikipedia:Talk:Doom for the rationale.) For example:
  • "Doom", not "DooM" or "DOOM".
  • "Compet-n", not "COMPET-N".
  • "Doom 3", not "DOOM3".
For source ports, programs and mods, the capitalization should be the one used by the creator. For example:
  • "ReMooD", not "Remood" or "ReMood"
  • "Skulltag", not "SkullTag" or "Skull Tag"
  • "ZDoom", not "Zdoom" or "ZDooM".
  • Objects from the games, such as monsters, weapons, artifacts, and so on, should not be capitalized unless they have a proper name. For example, "Hell knight" capitalizes "Hell" but not "knight"; "Korax" and "D'Sparil" are capitalized but "maulotaur" and "heresiarch" are not. "BFG9000" is capitalized as it is an initialism, but "chainsaw" or "shotgun" are not.
  • Links to articles about normal subjects such as polyobjects are never capitalized.
  • Registered trademarks and names of companies should follow the preferred capitalization where not otherwise specified above. This includes especially the use of id Software with proper case for "id," as opposed to alternatives Id, iD, or ID. Note that such names are not affected by usual English language rules for capitalization when they occur at the beginning of a sentence. Use the trademark's preferred case even in such situations.

Introductions[edit]

  • It is best if the introductory paragraph of an article remains a concise, two-to-three sentence overview of the article's chief topic. This not only allows a reader to obtain an instant understanding of the article's topic without extended reading, but simultaneously helps raise the search engine optimization of pages on this site through generation of an ideal meta description.
  • Furthermore, no more than two or three paragraphs at the most should appear before the table of contents break in an article with multiple sections. Move extended exposition on sub-topics to their own sections, to allow for both good article formatting and ease of browsing.

Quotes and italics[edit]

  • Italics should be used for the titles of complete works, such as books (e.g.: Masters of Doom), movies, albums (e.g. Delta-Q-Delta), and games (e.g.: Wolfenstein 3D).
    • Exception: The games covered by this wiki (Doom, Heretic, Hexen, etc.) need not to be italicized, unless you want to emphasize that you are talking about the game in particular where this might not otherwise be obvious. For example, "Doom" might refer globally to all Doom games (and usually to Doom II which is the most-played of the classic Doom titles), the Doom engine, and other related things; whereas "Doom" refers specifically to the first three-episode Doom game.
  • Quotes should be used for the titles of short or fractional works, such as book chapters, music tracks, poems, etc.
  • Program names (e.g. Doom Builder), mod names (e.g. Suspended in Dusk), episode names (e.g. Knee-Deep in the Dead), and map names (e.g. E1M8: Phobos Anomaly) are neither italicized nor quote-marked.
  • Underlines are not used. They are equivalent to italics for handwriting, and no part of this wiki is handwritten.

Quoting people and works[edit]

  • When adding inline quotations, they should not generally be italicized: John Romero said, "suck it down!" is an example. Exceptions are allowed for emphasis or contrast where needed.
  • Use our {{quote}} or {{extquote}} templates for larger block quotations.

Referring to people[edit]

  • Do not link to a user's User: namespace article in the main article space. Instead, link to that person's "person" article in the main article space. For example, when referring to the author of the Eternity Engine, link to James Haley (Quasar), not to User:Quasar. User pages are part of the "metadata" of the wiki and not part of the encyclopedic content; following this guideline helps maintain a strict semantic separation between the two areas of information. Additionally, information on a user page is not held to any standard of encyclopedic content, and is mostly reserved for editing by that user alone (it is considered rude to edit it without that user's permission). A person article, on the other hand, is held to the full standards applied to all main namespace articles.
  • Do not redirect User: namespace articles to the main space, nor main space articles into the User: namespace, for the same reason.

Spelling[edit]

  • The language of this site is English. With regard to localization, we follow Wikipedia's convention: there is no single required dialect, but please be consistent within each article. Note however that id Software is an American company, and U.S. localization is therefore strongly preferred when using terms that originate from the games themselves (e.g. "armor", not "armour"). Note that terms which use the British spelling in the original games (e.g. "spectre", not "specter") should likewise use the British spelling here too.
  • The Doom Wiki maintains a list of common misspellings.
  • With regard to the Mancubus and its Doom 3 equivalent, the preferred pluralization is mancubi, not mancubuses.

Syntax[edit]

  • Do not use contractions. For example, instead of "once a chaingunner starts, they'll keep firing continuously", write "once a chaingunner starts, they will keep firing continuously".
  • As a general rule, write out single-digit numbers using their English words. For example, instead of "E1M9 contains 2 barons", write "E1M9 contains two barons". However, beyond one digit it usually makes more sense to write the number numerically: "52" rather than "fifty-two". Ten, eleven, and twelve may be considered to lie within a "gray zone" of sorts; use whichever form is most appropriate in context if otherwise in doubt. Tables and lists of numbers should all be in the same format.
  • The above also applies to ordinal numbers: do not write "the 1st level is easy", but rather "the first level is easy". Likewise, do not write "one hundred second", but "102nd".
  • To place inline code in an article, use the {{c}} template, not code or tt tags. This will produce output which looks like this. For larger portions of code, please use a <code> HTML tag like usual.

Grammar[edit]

  • Write in the third person, not the second person. For example, instead of "Imps will often launch fireballs at you", write "Imps will often launch fireballs at the player".
  • There are a few exceptions to this. For example, when writing a walkthrough for a level it makes more sense to "talk to the reader" as you are attempting to direct them through the level.

Neutrality[edit]

Write with a neutral point of view (NPOV) unless there is an extremely good reason to do otherwise. If you are writing about a subject for which strong contradictory opinions exist, do not use the article as an opportunity to promote your favorite; instead, give information about the differing points of view and promote none of them.

The NPOV policy has two major benefits. Most importantly, it is the best way to handle conflicting viewpoints. If A thinks X and B thinks Y (where X and Y are opinions), we should not write that either of X or Y is fact, but that both X and Y exist. The second advantage is that clearly distinguishing opinions from facts simply results in more professional-looking articles. However, since this wiki is a resource primarily created for Doomers, by Doomers, NPOV should be thought of as a guideline rather than an inflexible rule. There are some opinions and interpretations within the community which are nearly universally accepted. What's important is creating great articles!

An important difference from Wikipedia is that original analysis is welcome here. So if you want to write a comparison between Doom and Aliens or list the literary allusions in Memento Mori II, feel free to do so. Just be prepared for others to challenge your assumptions, provide opposing viewpoints and counter-arguments, or rewrite your text.

Creating links[edit]

  • When creating links to articles or files on this wiki, use wikilinks. See this page at the MediaWiki.org wiki for extensive tips on how to effectively and properly use wikilinks.
  • When linking to an article on Wikipedia, use the {{wp}} template, not the wikipedia: interwiki. This saves significant typing for you, and later editing for other users. When using the wp template, it is not necessary to repeat the name of the article to which you are linking unless you want to use different text for the link than what the article is called. 90% of the time this is not the case. There is a button to help use this template on our editor toolbar.

Referencing other sites or sources[edit]

  • Naked hyperlinks are not considered sufficient references. Use <ref> tags to create references, or the {{cite web}} template where appropriate. Every reference should include as much information as is available about the source, in a standard MLA or APA citation format. Author, title, date, URL if a webpage, date of publishing if available, and date of access where applicable are desired. A short quotation may be provided from a work when necessary, especially if that work may disappear without warning (common with social media, such as tweets). We have added buttons to our wiki editor toolbar to help make this process easier.

Images[edit]

  • You may only upload files you have created yourself.
  • Original images (e.g. LMPs and WADs) should be released under a free license. Any link to such a file, even on a talk page, must be accompanied by a link to the licensing information, thus: Rcktmiss.lmp (file info).
  • Screen shots and map views may be used on the Doom Wiki, under "fair use".
  • When creating a version of a map view that is labeled for purposes of a walkthrough, please upload it as a separate file; do not overwrite an existing pristine version of the map.
  • For general purposes screen shots are best taken with a physical aspect ratio suitable for Internet browsers. For example, Doom in 320x200 (or a similar 640x400) needs to stretch pixels by 20% to fill the screen, and thus any screen shots taken in that mode will appear flattened within standard desktop windows or screens. To address this, these shots from Doom can be resized with a graphics editing application (to 640x480 or 800x600, for example) or a port with resolutions treating ratios in the same way as desktop modes (such as 640x480, where the pixels are square in a 4:3 aspect ratio) can be used to take suitable shots.
  • Although screen shots are permitted, raw graphics from the IWADs are not.
  • Screen shots should be taken in software rendered mode, with settings resembling vanilla Doom as closely as possible (unless the screen shot is for showing off a port specifically or belongs to an add-on that requires the use of such a source port).
  • You must add source and copyright information to the image description page for each image you upload. You can easily do the latter by choosing a licensing option from the drop-down menu on the upload page. If none of the existing tags is appropriate, create a new tag (Template:Name of the tag here), and add it manually by typing {{Name of the tag here}} somewhere in the description box.

See also Copyrights.

Deletion[edit]

An article or image can be marked by any registered user as a candidate for deletion, by placing the {{delete}} template at the top of the article. This tag will be removed if it has been applied by an anonymous user. The article's life is then debated on its talk page for one week, or longer if the outcome is initially inconclusive. When a consensus is reached (quality of reasoning being more important than vote count, as it is on Wikipedia), the discussion is halted by an administrator.

The deletion tag should be applied immediately under the following conditions:

  • Text or an image is taken from a copyrighted source.
  • The article is obviously irrelevant to the wiki (e.g. it is about Mohandas K. Gandhi).
  • The article is about a person and fails to meet the criteria for people articles, and cannot be revised to comply with these criteria.

Deletion templates are only to be removed by administrators, and only in the following cases:

  • The article is marked by a non-registered user.
  • The article marked is kept.
  • The article marked is on a subject that is clearly important to the wiki, such as the article on the Doom engine itself.

If a deletion tag is removed by a user during a deletion debate, it is considered vandalism and will be treated as such. Removing links to the article from other articles is also vandalism.

Patent nonsense and spam may be deleted without a vote, at the discretion of the administrators.

Edits to deleted articles disappear from summary pages such as Recent changes. The deletion log lists deleted pages, and particularly substantive discussions are archived in Category:Talk pages without articles (when they result in deletions).

Administrators can view deleted pages or edits, organized either by article or by user, and undelete articles if necessary (excepting very old images, which are eventually removed from the database, and content predating the fork).

Banning[edit]

Users who vandalize articles, distribute spam, or repeatedly troll or harass other users will sooner or later be blocked from using the site. If you are blocked, you cannot edit any pages other than your own User talk: page. Additionally, if you have not created an account, no one else can edit from your IP address. The block log lists banned users and the durations of the bans.

Our administrators are especially intolerant of spam and vandalism. Large, obnoxious edits can result in permanent bans even for a first offense.

If you think you have been banned for someone else's behavior (using a public computer, for example, or in an office which assigns dynamic IP addresses), please contact an administrator.


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