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Thread: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

  1. #1

    Default The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    A wiki for Total War is hardly an innovative idea. But I believe it needs to be tried again. The rationale is as simple as that.

    For it to work, though, I think it will require a concerted effort from TWC. I mean, the CoW starting off populating it heavily, and a pledge to make sure it is updated enough to get it started, and to spread the word however possible... more users, mean more editors. This is why I have not, and do not, suggest 'lone wolf' Wiki's as an answer. In the case of a Wiki, the more people involved the better, and the initial force is the most important, which is unachievable without an impossible burden to a few people. Ask people like SignifierOne to document his Eternal City on the Wiki, or for Darth or Sinuhet to write about their formations, or people can mine threads instead and post, verbatum, what has been said about it before, to collect information.

    I think the community is ripe for a Wiki. We have a large number of very committed modders, who have stood the test of time, at this, the end of the the RTW cycle. It will also be a haven for people looking to learn things, as is coming with the M2TW: Newbie Invasion expansion. As for the benefits of a Wiki, as opposed to a forum (or our Scriptorium), there are many, which I can paste from my recent discussion with ER, if it is so desired... but I find anyone that has used a Wiki is usually quickly enamoured by it, for good reason. They are painless to use, entirely democratic and populist, and organicly and thus effortlessly structured.

    Implementation will be an issue. There are a variety of ways to go the '3rd party' route, and have a community member set up a Wiki that bears the TWC endorsement/scheme/logo. Or, we can just have a third party set up a Wiki as they'd like, and put our energies behind it. Or, ideally, we can set up a Wiki on TWC servers, and have it 'officially' TWC. There are benefits and drawbacks to all of these, though obviously I would see the third as ideal. We can discuss implementation and software in detail if there is consensus on the need for it.

    One last thing to address. The ORG has set up a pseudo-Wiki, or forumwiki. I have spoken to Epistolary Richard about this, and a Wiki is something a group of us have discussed before. However, and I have said this to ER, I think the current software/format they are using is going to doom the Wiki. I was originally going to ask the TWC to formally endorse the ORG Wiki, but do not feel confident endorsing or contributing to it myself, and I have told ER this. He has, though, said if another alternative was set up, and proven much more successful than the Org wiki, the ORG would be behind that. I would like to make the same promise from us about our Wiki. I have been a supporter of a united community, but will not put my support behind something I do not feel confident in. So, is this a copycat project? Yes and no. Is it meant to run the ORG Wiki out of buisness? No, but it is, of course, meant to compete, and in the end, the surviving project will be much stronger (likely 'eating' the other Wiki), and the community will of course benefit.
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  2. #2
    Gaius Baltar's Avatar Roma in aeternum
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    Default Re: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    An interesting idea, and one that would benefit from the breadth of experience here at TWC. This type of project should fit right into the idea behind the Scriptorium. There should be a goldmine of material already available here on TWC. It would, of course, need to be pulled and organized into a coherent format and structure. First you would need an outline of the structure of the document. For example; (this is a really rough estimation).

    RTW
    Description of the game.
    Vanilla RTW
    Factions
    units
    Strategy
    Multiplayer
    Software enhancements
    Mods
    Commentary

    Or something like that.

    It could be kept in a HTTP format and the Scriptorions could moderate the additions and "editing" to the overall document.
    Or you could add a wiki format....I suppose software would be an issue.



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  3. #3

    Default Re: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    Some of the statements here seems to be clearly aimed at me. And why not, we have discussed this in private.

    The only thing I can say is that the system I have set up is very easy to use, elegant and efficient. If the TWC creates its own system, I'll hardly mind though, as long as it is a superior end product.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    As for the benefits of a Wiki, as opposed to a forum (or our Scriptorium), there are many, which I can paste from my recent discussion with ER, if it is so desired... but I find anyone that has used a Wiki is usually quickly enamoured by it, for good reason.
    I would like to see these reasons, when you have time (be wary of posting a private convo without consent, however). The only real benefit I can see of the Wiki system over the Scriptorium is a search function. A major downside is that anyone can alter any entry, and thus the validity of each entry must therefore be scrutinized. It is also much more unorganized. Perhaps I am biased as a Librarian though ...

    You must also realize this would in effect kill the Scriptorium, if it were successfully implemented. This is a very large venture, and before entering something like this we must carefully weigh the benefits of putting so many resources behind it versus what positives we will get out of it. Things such as 'centralized information' and the like aren't really positives either, as we already have that in the Scriptorium. You must really prove what this system will gain us that we dont already have.

    Also, MedievalTW has a Wiki system (although small) in place, if anyone wishes to cross reference possibilites with this site.



  5. #5
    Gaius Baltar's Avatar Roma in aeternum
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    Default Re: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    Quote Originally Posted by General_Sun
    Some of the statements here seems to be clearly aimed at me. And why not, we have discussed this in private.

    The only thing I can say is that the system I have set up is very easy to use, elegant and efficient. If the TWC creates its own system, I'll hardly mind though, as long as it is a superior end product.
    Well, I followed your Wiki link and it looks awesome. Ill have to explore it a bit further.

    Seems a waste to duplicate the effort, when you are talking about a comprehensive collection such as that. :hmmm:
    Last edited by Gaius Baltar; November 01, 2006 at 10:46 PM.



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  6. #6

    Default Re: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    Quote Originally Posted by Publius
    Also, MedievalTW has a Wiki system (although small) in place, if anyone wishes to cross reference possibilites with this site.
    MedievalTW is a despicable attempt to make quick cash off the community, ran by a criminal banned from the TWC modding sections. Please, I don't think it is even worth bear mentioning.

    The Wiki can once again be limited to a set amount of people. It is a very large effort, but the group of editors can be as large or as small as we want them to be.
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  7. #7
    Simetrical's Avatar Former Chief Technician
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    Default Re: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    I'm told this was intended to be posted in the CoW, so moving it there.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    Quote Originally Posted by Me in a discussion with ER
    the sacrafice of using the forum software/registration will be entirely offset by the benefits a Wiki allows: that is, an arbitrary design, formless structure, and complete seamlessness
    a wiki works because it is entirely node based, in some sense, a 'flat' structure, where all nodes exist equally (except the 'homepage' node)
    when you create a nested structure, you destroy the arbitrarality of the wiki, and apply a force against the organic nature that drives its success
    it is not possible within a forum
    the fundamental way a forum operates is different, a forum operates in a very rigid structural, nested sense
    logistically, a wiki provides history of every page, that can be reverted to or reused, it provides a 'hidden' discussion about a 'node' in the 'edit' area of that node that hides such discussion from the enduser unless they look, it provides a very powerful form of search, a seamless form of linking, and a very clean presentation
    the benefit, structurally, of a wiki, is its 'field of knowledge' is entirely arbitrary, its entire form is arbitrary, its growth is organic. what you may have envisioned structurally is irrelevant, its 'structure' grows out of its content... form follows function, which is, inarguably, a more efficient approach to anything
    a forum, because of its inherent structure and rigidness, is suited towards a defined and limited field of knowledge
    second, the logistics of linking
    linking in a wiki is [link], and that's your link. There are no HTTP addresses to think about, there is just the very real and tangible [link] that encourages interoperability and interaction and cross referencing. Most modders use [Photoshop], but [GIMP] is a [free alternative|Free Tools]. Such a thing, with forum syntax, is inhibitively difficult
    Sorry if the format is bad, this is quoted directly from what I said to ER earlier today.

    I hope most of that was clear, I really should type it up properly... but I am experiencing some TWC fatigue, lately, so I figure if you can deal with vikrant, you can read that (insert smilie).

    Now, to address what has been said:
    GB, I hope what I quoted above speaks loudly enough about a 'structural outline'. Let the form follow the function, not the other way around. Lay out only the most general outline possible, and let that adjust itself to the content that is added. Things will evolve, organically, that is the wiki's benefit. Trying to force a structure to things will only push against that evolution, cater the structure to what is evolving, and allow it to change if needed.

    Now, as for the comparison with the Scriptorium. Anyone who has used a Wiki excessively, or set one up, will tell you how great it is. First of all, the great part is that it requires little moderation or control. People add, if they post things incorrect, other people change it and correct them. If they vandalize, they can be punished/banned, and there is history to revert to (that is always viewable to all, but not editable).
    The benefit is not just centralized information. It is the way it can be updated, improved, and interact with other information. It provides that in a way which a forum simply cannot properly provide.

    Quote Originally Posted by Publius
    The only real benefit I can see of the Wiki system over the Scriptorium is a search function. A major downside is that anyone can alter any entry, and thus the validity of each entry must therefore be scrutinized. It is also much more unorganized. Perhaps I am biased as a Librarian though ...
    Indeed, you are biased. All those things you cited are exactly why Wikis are so popular, and places such as Wikipedia are so great. It is a great thing that anyone can alter an entry, and the failsafes I have already mentioned. Pages can be locked, vandals can be punished, access can be limited, etc. But the main bonus is that anyone can add, or edit, what they see fit. The validity of each entry is scrutinized by the best source possible: other members. There is no real central control except in extreme cases, which aids in its expansiveness and growth. It is entirely accessable (within reason, of course, meaning things like history and ftp and admin access). Finally, its 'unorganized' structure is, again, what makes a Wiki 'work.' A wiki 'grows,' it is not merely a collection. Because it is so natively and intrinsically tied to network and network theory, which resembles nature in alot of ways, it is one of the few institutions or softwares or technologies that I feel emulate the fantastic, tremendous, and overwhelming job nature does with such effortlessness. That is, selection and evolution. The combined ability and work of a hundred contributors for an endeavour such as this is far more than the ability of a single one or two people.

    EDIT: I just want to encourage anyone from moving too quickly with this... we should first figure out if we want a Wiki at all, then we will need to decide on implementation. Then, finally, the setup and population. Sun's link will provide, perhaps, an introduction to Wikis for those of you who don't know (feel free to populate it to try it out, that's what its there for), but we should consider all implementation options and models.
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  9. #9
    Simetrical's Avatar Former Chief Technician
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    Default Re: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    As for the topic at hand: I've made a few thousand edits to Wikipedia, am a developer of MediaWiki (which powers Wikipedia), and needless to say, am definitely a believer in wikis. There is absolutely no point in using wiki if you don't allow anyone to edit, preferably without even having to log in. Restricting access defeats the purpose. In theory any idiot can add lies and stupidity, but if the wiki is reasonably active those additions will quickly be removed. And if it's so inactive that no one will notice, it has few enough edits that one or two people could easily check all the recent changes every day. That's the strength of the wiki principle, which Wikipedia has so clearly demonstrated. Even if info isn't always reliable, it's better than no info or very scattered info, which is what we mostly have now.

    There are a couple of issues with setting up a wiki, of course. Number one is we have to get network approval so the ads can be worked out and so forth. Number two is we have to pick a package. MediaWiki is the obvious choice, and there's the bonus that I'm quite familiar with its codebase, but it's kind of a resource hog compared to many others. I would probably go with it anyway, just because I haven't looked at anything else, but if anyone wants to do some research there are probably some better suited to our needs. Do realize that it would likely be much easier to move from MediaWiki to another package than vice versa, since MW is so popular.
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  10. #10
    vikrant's Avatar The Messiah of innocence
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    Default Re: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    creating wiki here will be treacherous work {from all aspects}
    instead why dont we create articles in existing wikis { http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page} {kind of outsourcing}
    with interconnecting links and all ,we can easily make it very organised.
    it will also attract more people here on twc if they find out their is alot more at twc to offer than just a gaming fansite.
    ::
    Last edited by vikrant; November 02, 2006 at 01:39 AM.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    Quote Originally Posted by vikrant1986
    creating wiki here will be treacherous work {from all aspects}
    Actually, as others who have done it will tell you, setting up a wiki is painless, a matter of minutes.

    Quote Originally Posted by vikrant
    instead why dont we create articles in existing wikis { http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page} {kind of outsourcing}
    with interconnecting links and all ,we can easily make it very organised.
    We would lose the control and administrative customization our own Wiki would provide... wikis are easy to set up, we have the space (either from ON or from a 3rd party), there is no reason to piggyback onto another wiki... I cannot see the benefits of such a thing. Furthermore, about making it 'very organized,' I have already given my thoughts on that. A wiki could exist in full on something like Wikipedia, but why? There is a will and ability to set one up, why sacrafice the control and administrative powers it gives us, as well as securities and ownership?

    Quote Originally Posted by vikrant
    it will also attract more people here on twc if they find out their is alot more at twc to offer than just a gaming fansite.
    ::
    This is not as much about promoting TWC as it is helping the community, I want to stress that. I would be here asking you to support ORG's wiki with all your strength if I thought it was feasible or set up well, but instead, I am here asking for consideration in setting up a new one. Attracting people to TWC would be a possible sideeffect, but by no means the main goal. Let us focus on making a strong wiki, and thus making a strong community, and a strong community is better for everyone.
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  12. #12
    Simetrical's Avatar Former Chief Technician
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    Default Re: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    Quote Originally Posted by vikrant1986
    creating wiki here will be treacherous work {from all aspects}
    instead why dont we create articles in existing wikis { http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page} {kind of outsourcing}
    with interconnecting links and all ,we can easily make it very organised.
    Wikipedia would not tolerate any extensive number of pages on such minor, subjective, and unencyclopedic issues as RTW strategy. They'd eventually be deleted.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    Given the lack of opposition at this point, I propose we move on to discuss implementation.

    The first issue, is who will host. Someone, most likely Asterix as the Council Admin, should speak to ON or the powers that be about hosting a Wiki. If there is an affirmative answer, Sim and Mim should go ahead and set up the Wiki as per the software decision we will make.

    If (and ONLY IF!) the answer is negative, we will need willing members of the community to step forward for hosting. At that point, they will obviously have the final say on Wiki software, but I would hope they will abide by the Council's decision. Furthermore, The Council Administrator Asterix will need to work out the possibility of using a TWC-like appearance and look, as well as taking the steps to integrate the Wiki with the site, if it is the decision of Hex to endorse this endeavour.

    If, in the end, ON refuses to host a Wiki, and Hex refuses to officially endorse and put TWC's name behind a Wiki, I think we should re-evaluate the endeavour.

    Anyway, the second issue, is software. There are dozens of engines available: http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WikiEngines
    I have used GikiWiki and MediaWiki before, and vastly prefer MW, but I think we will need to limit outselves to the programming knowledge of the Wiki admin (Sim if ON hosts, or if it is a 3rd party, their preference in language). Sim has endorsed MediaWiki, and that is what I would suggest, as well, but feasibly any PHP Wiki software can be used. (I'm not sure of your programming expertise, Sim, but I will take PHP as a given seeing as your number of accomplishments)

    If there is indeed a consensus reached by the CoW about the Wiki, then I suggest you ask Asterix to speak to the Network Admins about it.
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  14. #14
    Gaius Baltar's Avatar Roma in aeternum
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    Default Re: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    Quote Originally Posted by Professor420
    Given the lack of opposition at this point, I propose we move on to discuss implementation.

    The first issue, is who will host. Someone, most likely Asterix as the Council Admin, should speak to ON or the powers that be about hosting a Wiki. If there is an affirmative answer, Sim and Mim should go ahead and set up the Wiki as per the software decision we will make.

    If (and ONLY IF!) the answer is negative, we will need willing members of the community to step forward for hosting. At that point, they will obviously have the final say on Wiki software, but I would hope they will abide by the Council's decision. Furthermore, The Council Administrator Asterix will need to work out the possibility of using a TWC-like appearance and look, as well as taking the steps to integrate the Wiki with the site, if it is the decision of Hex to endorse this endeavour.

    If, in the end, ON refuses to host a Wiki, and Hex refuses to officially endorse and put TWC's name behind a Wiki, I think we should re-evaluate the endeavour.

    Anyway, the second issue, is software. There are dozens of engines available: http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WikiEngines
    I have used GikiWiki and MediaWiki before, and vastly prefer MW, but I think we will need to limit outselves to the programming knowledge of the Wiki admin (Sim if ON hosts, or if it is a 3rd party, their preference in language). Sim has endorsed MediaWiki, and that is what I would suggest, as well, but feasibly any PHP Wiki software can be used. (I'm not sure of your programming expertise, Sim, but I will take PHP as a given seeing as your number of accomplishments)

    If there is indeed a consensus reached by the CoW about the Wiki, then I suggest you ask Asterix to speak to the Network Admins about it.
    I personally dont see why not, as you described, everyone could contribute. Im not a software expert, but could the Wiki as you outline be embedded into TWC? Or would it be seperate?



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  15. #15
    Halie Satanus's Avatar Emperor of ice cream
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    Default Re: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    I have no idea what this is or is about, but i have read all the posts in the discussion and i have faith and trust in my fellow patrician prof420, if you say it's a good thing for the community then you have my support. Shouldn't this go though Justinian though?? i think he's some sort of Twc Pr now or something like that.

  16. #16

    Default Re: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    Sounds like a good policy/plan Professor, though the sound of ads makes me shudder.
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  17. #17
    Simetrical's Avatar Former Chief Technician
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    Default Re: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    Uh, there are ads on every page of this forum.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    I wonder if there's been any discussion amongst Hex, or has anyone investigated the technical requirements and possibilities? The first step is seeing if TWC can host this project, if not, then we can discuss alternatives.
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  19. #19
    Simetrical's Avatar Former Chief Technician
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    Default Re: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    No, no, yes.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: The TWW (Total War Wiki)

    Can you be a bit more clear? I'm not sure what you consider a distinct question in my above post.
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