Guidelines for new posts - XCOM:EU 2012
For basic guidance on how to create a new page on this Wiki, see this Nexus Wiki article on creating new pages (which is the same link as the 'How to post' link in the 'Navigation' box at the top of the frame to the left).
Think carefully about the name of your subject. We prefer you add ' - XCOM:EU 2012' (or whatever 'lowest common denominator' version of XCOM your article relates to) on the end of your new page name in order to distinguish among similar articles related to the different releases of XCOM. For instance the original XCOM game released by MicroProse in 1994 was also called 'XCOM:Enemy Unknown' and abbreviated 'XCOM:EU', yet they are very different games. So references to the 'current' release need the year appended to reduce confusion.
Basically: use the Wiki 'Search box' in the lower part of the navigation bar (left frame) to enter the exact name you want for your new page, and click on either the 'Go' or 'Search' button. If the page does not already exist, you will given the opportunity to create the new article page by clicking on the RED link with the same name in the text below the 'zero results' message, which will take you to a new, empty page. Create your new page by simply entering some text and saving the result.
Categories as used here are organized in a heirarchy fashion by breadth of subject manner, with the broadest at the top being the XCOM category and the others narrowing the scope. Articles are presented on Subject Pages and indexed by links to appropriate Categories. Categories can also viewed as Indexes and 'Filters.
The Category:XCOM acts as the entry point to XCOM portion of the Nexus Wiki, and functions as the major index of articles and major categories. It appears on almost all 'Subject Pages'. This means the subject matter 'Pages' will appear in the lower 'Pages' portion of the Category page, rather than in the upper 'Subcategories' portion. All other Categories will be sub-categories under Category:XCOM.
The Category:_Start_here contains articles to help those new to the XCOM Wiki to find their way to the desired information.
The primary category of interest to those desiring to create mods is Category:XCOM_Modding. Within that category are all the 'subject articles' related to information about the internal structure of the game code, and Mods implementing those discoveries.
Most topics are broad enough in scope they are linked in multiple Categories. Some are narrow enough in scope that only their descriptive 'Subject Page' ( <page name> ) with the same name as a 'Category' ( Category:<subject page name> ) may be used as the only link to that Category page. This is to reduce the clutter on higher level Category pages by confining those narrowly related pages to that Subject Page Category. This is done most commonly with Mods, by putting only the Category:XCOM_Mods entry and the Category:<mod page name> entry on that 'Subject Page' ( <mod page name> ). The Category:XCOM entry is left off because without the context of the Mod, the related files are too confusing standing on their own to be in the main index. The Mod related pages only have the one Category:<mod page name> entry. This is the exception to the general practice of always including the Category:XCOM_Mods link. The Category:<mod page name> for that specific mod acts as an index of those mod related pages. The <mod name> page text may also include links to some or all of those same mod related pages.
Some Mod related pages may also be linked to Category:Code Breakdowns, and Category:Game Files & Modding - XCOM:EU 2012, because of their more generally informative, even though specific or focused, nature.
Categories automatically organize pages alphabetically by the first letters of the Page name (excluding the word 'Category:'). As there is no method of renaming a page name once created, an new page must be created and the old page contents MOVED over (button on the top of each page) to effect a change in name. Therefor care needs to be taken when creating a new page or subject. Beginning every page with 'XCOM' would cause all the categories and pages to be organized under the letter 'X'. The adopted convention is to end the name with '- XCOM:EU 2012' (or other release version name), so there remains a means of identifying how it relates to which release of the game. It is conceivable material related to other releases may find it's way to this site, so we prefer to avoid potential confusion.
Sometimes the distinction between categories for a particular article can be difficult. Here are some guidelines:
It is preferable to have a relatively small number of broad topic categories with many articles rather than many narrow topic categories with few articles. Feel free to stretch the topic meaning before creating a new category, but if you feel only a new topic category will do, please give it a name suitable to the broadest scope of the topic.
Tutorials show 'How To' explanations for someone who has never before attempted the process. Included code should be functional, but considered an example rather than documenting the working nor be considered a complete 'mod'.
Subject articles present information about specific aspects of the game engine. Some relate to how the vanilla game play operates, some about options available to the player (FAQs, Strategy, Tactics, etc.), and some about how the vanilla game can be altered (modded).
Articles about Modding the vanilla game were the initial motivation to the creation of this Wiki namespace. They are grouped under the 'XCOM Modding Subjects' category, and that section currently has the most content. Other Game Play articles will be added as time permits. The 'Other Web Resources - XCOM:EU 2012' page contains links to other web sites that are more oriented to Game Play articles.
Factual discovery information should be presented in a straightforward 'here is how it works' fashion as a 'Modding Subject', and the examples on what and how to proceed to change it should presented on a separate 'mod' page linked to the 'subject' article where possible. Usually a description is only needed a few times, while the examples and code may need to be referred to or copied frequently. Separate pages (listed in the 'References' section of the description page) make this easier to access. Please include all known processes that depend upon or utilize the discovered information, especially where tables and functions are concerned, even if there are currently no existing subject pages. If some vanilla code is refactored (rewritten or re-purposed), it is the primary responsibility of the refactoring author to update the 'Modding Subject' page on the Wiki with a reference to their own subject page describing their alterations.
Where more than one Page is directly related to an article or mod and likely to be incomprehensible or confusing if read out of context, there should also be a [[Category:<subject name>]] link with the same name as the article or mod, which is then added to each related page. Discussion threads and subject pages used to assist in developing the mod should be credited in a References section.
Sometimes information comes to light which either revises or negates existing content. Rather than deleting existing information, which may still be of benefit even if only to show the evolution of understanding, consideration should be given to using "strike" tags: <strike>surrounding strikeout text</strike> producing
It should be borne in mind at all times that the audience of an article will include all levels of experience with modding, from first-timers to very experienced and include non-native English speakers. Try to avoid making assumptions about your audience. Avoid slang and only use acronyms after explaining them first. Please check your articles for spelling and grammar. Try running the results through an online language translator to see which choices of words cause problems.
Render file names and article section labels in BOLD (or as a link instead if possible), variables and keywords in Italics, paths and folder names on the local computer as well as references to Wiki Categories in Bold Italics. References to other articles should be presented as links where used, and also included in the References section at the bottom of the article. Sometimes, particularly with tools, it is preferable to direct the reader to a single article in order to minimize the number of locations affected when updates are required.
As new information becomes available, it may prove necessary to revise an article. Care should be taken to distinguish between incorrect and outdated/obsolete information.
Incorrect information should be simply replaced, though citing a source or reason why the information was incorrect will help prevent 'correction wars' where people keep reverting the information through misunderstandings.
Outdated/obsolete information is not incorrect. Rather it may be no longer as useful as previously. For a case in point, initially it was necessary to correct the SHA hash code on the XComGame.exe file after it was modded before it would launch properly. This was prominently noted in the Basic Guide to installing mods article. However, later it was determined possible to disable the SHA hash checks completely. The previous information on how to fix the hash is still accurate, but no longer needed if the checks are disabled.
To preserve the outdated information, it was placed in a Note Box (see the mini-template in the "Editing help" link at the bottom of the page when editing) and placed within <strike>strikeout tags</strike>. A "note to maintainers" was added to the same box indicating the material is still accurate to avoid having it misguidedly removed. The updated information was placed in a Recent Discoveries header section just above the References section, and a Note Box placed just below the struck out information box points the reader to the UPDATE. This preserved the original, still accurate, information while directing the reader to the more recent and preferable solution. By gathering such data into it's own section, we make it easier for people to locate the latest updated material.
Identification of the meaning of existing vanilla hex codes to be located or altered is referred to as 'code breakout'. 'Code breakout' may be included in a page intended to be used as an installed mod, provided it is presented in a fashion that will be recognized by the intended installation tool as information (i.e. comments). Otherwise it should be presented in it's own non-mod related subject page or in 'spoiler' tags in the subject article. Compiled code statements or pseudo-code should likewise be presented either in the descriptive on the 'subject page' or in their own pages. It should not be expected that a mod user will need to make any changes to a mod other than replacing identified values. It is permissible to link to other pages on the XCOM Wiki which provide the needed values, with instructions as to which values are appropriate to the mod.
Mods provide all the necessary information to locate and modify the existing contents of the vanilla game executable to change how it behaves. This should include both file and section names, as well as offsets (by game revision/patch number) and search pattern, and the length/number of bytes required to accomplish the modification. The mods posted on the XCOM Wiki should be instructional and illustrative in nature. While functional, their primary intent is to convey how to effect a particular change or set of changes so the knowledge can benefit other mod creators and not be lost to time. The '<mod name> page' should contain a description of the purpose of the mod, what files or sections of the game are modified, the specific tools required or that the mod is intended for installation with, and all the information necessary to precisely locate the correct location of the changes and the exact hex byte patterns or settings that must be altered as required by that installation method.
Extensive mods that change multiple aspects of the game, such as 'overhauls' or 'expansions', are not appropriate for this Wiki. They should be posted to the Nexus Site for XCOM Mods. If they are referenced as examples in an article, then a link to the Nexus Mods page should be included. References to the related subject article(s) on this site can be placed in the mod description on the download page.
Basic wiki page templates may be found within the text of this Nexus Wiki article on creating new pages. But to make things easier for game engine investigators and mod makers to post their discoveries, here are links (in References) to some templates related to modding XCOM in particular. Simply edit the template page, copy the contents, cancel the edit, create a new page for your article as normal, and paste in the copied template. Change anything in <angle brackets> (which are placeholders) to match these guidelines and your subject matter. There are templates for 'Modding Subjects' and 'Mods', as well as Mini Style Templates within Help:Editing.
The use of notification boxes in a page should be reserved for only important information, or to alert the reader to particular information, such as revisions to previous knowledge or the transitory (i.e. WIP) status of the page. Avoid using them for routine presentation of material.
Remember to add the appropriate category entries to the bottom of the 'References' section. Existing categories can be found either on the Category:XCOM page or in the appropriate Category:<subject> pages under Category:XCOM Modding for changing notices within templates and articles.
Referred to by this article:
- Basic Guide to installing mods
- How to post a new wiki page
- Nexus Site for XCOM Mods
That refer to this article: