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Forums: Index > Wiki discussion > Rethinking Fan Made Content - Resources and High Profile Mods


Greetings,

Not so long ago some of us had a discussion about the Mappalachia page. This page as it stands doesn't work on the wiki in line with policies as its not official content, but its utility to editors is evident. It was proposed as part of that conversation that we develop a "resources" section of the wiki with information useful to editors. I'm on board with this idea, but I think it raises some other questions about what we can also look at covering.

Fan Made Resources

Its been suggested that this could be its own namespae, and would incldue resources such as:

  • Mappalachia, Xedit, x Translate and other datamining resources; as well as guides on how to use them.
  • Editing Guides, such as those that are part of TVA/NUN
  • Tool use guides (which Kate was working on)
  • Other guides on extracting content from games and from the GECK
  • Per Jorner's nearly ultimate guide.

This would be somewhat related, but not overlap the "Vault @ Nukapedia" for source documents that I also do intend on working on very soon, I believe some of the structural work around it makes sense to do it for both at the same time.

I'd like to know your comments, particularly on whether or not you think we should have this, whether or not it needs adding to policy (as it potentially would be a content policy change), and what other types of information should be in this (or if you think one of those items should be excluded)

Other Fan Made stuff

Okay, this is the controversial bit, but since we're here, lets open this discussion too. There's a lot of Fallout content these days that is both fan made, and higher profile than it used to be; we're also expecting our potential competition to start covering this stuff in some form.

Already we make an exception for JES's mod as "Developer Commentary". I think we need to discuss whether or not this should be extended, in particular:

  • The Press interest in Fallout London is extremely high, almost as if it was a new Fallout game. It would look odd for this to go unacknowledged. There are also members of the project whom now work at Bethesda.
  • There are Fallout voice artists involved in the CHAD (no relation) Podcast.
  • The Restoration patch for Fallout 2 is extremely well known and recommended for exploring Fallout 2 cut content.

I'm proposing we consider acknowledging these in a limited way, under strict conditions:

  • If a mod has a high level of press interest and exposure (such as Fallout London) it can have its own page to acknowledge its existence similar to how a Fallout game has its own page. It should not have further pages dedicated to its content. We should encourage Fandom to try to work with Modders with games on this scale to set up wikis on the Fandom network we can affiliate and deep link into, sharing resources like we traditionally have with Interwikis. If they have wikis off the fandom network, we can explore affiliation and resource sharing also.
  • If a podcast has regular involvement with a notable person involved in the development of a game (ie - a host, not a interview guest), it can be acknowledged with its own page.
  • If a mod is used to show off concepts and ideas that developers intended but could not realise in time for release, it can be acknowledged on its own page, and referenced in cut content as ways to explore it (images from the mod should not however be used to display this content unless they are solely showing the original art).

Comments

Only having the one comment sections as otherwise it gets confusing. Any comments? Agent c (talk) 21:50, 26 June 2022 (UTC)

I'm in favor of the idea to activate the Resources namespace as Tag suggested. It's an option, it solves all of the problems, why not? I don't personally see any reason why we'd need to modify policies to implement any of that.
With regard to mods, I'm open to including them. I'd even be open to giving them more than a single page per mod. In addition to press coverage, I'd also suggest opening it up for mods that have a certain (high) number of downloads on Nexus or something. My one stipulation at this point is that we'd need some way to make it very obvious that a mod page is a mod page. Our current disclaimers for non-canon works do not function for mobile users, so it can't be that. Looking forward to more feedback!
intrepid359FO76NW Overseer.png6/26/22 5:09pm CT

I'm going to approach this with the principle as the recreated assets policy. Unless the relevant templates make it neon sign clear that what's on the page is modded or a recreation, I can see this causing similar problems to how we historically covered Fallout 2 mods. The wiki's treatment of the Primitive Tribe and Fallout 2 Restoration Project as being part of the base game and not mods was a serious problem, that we should do our best to avoid repeats of. Also, how would we decide what's worth covering? Is it anything that gets media attention, the total Nexus/Bethesda.Net downloads, or what? I would say this is outside our scope as a wiki, but most of the general Fallout mod (i.e. the ones not about a specific high profile mod) wikis are dead, so I can see some of the reasoning for having it here. Aiden4017 (talk) 00:31, 27 June 2022 (UTC)

Adding on to my original comment, since I haven't received a response or seen anything really addressing it in subsequent comments. What is our criteria for what is worth covering with this policy? Is it only major overhaul mods like Fallout London, the Unofficial Patch (which btw in case we decide to snowball from this to cover patches is for the record not universal, as at least on Xbox 1 it's behind a de facto paywall as it needs all the DLC to function), or popular mods like the Service Rifle? Are we going to be covering random users custom mods for minor issues they didn't like, the various Dogmeat rename mods, or upcoming mods like Fallout Miami? I feel like we have tunnel vision about getting on the Fallout London bandwagon and haven't fully thought this through. Aiden4017 (talk) 05:06, 1 July 2022 (UTC)
I have to second this, as much as I like going wide with policy myself, it also needs to be precise as to what is and isn't ok. High profile is extremely open to interpretation; is it high profile by media coverage, high profile by community energy for it, both or neither? What if a mod has high profile during production but turns out to be a dud and no-one cares for it? Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin 06:22, 1 July 2022 (UTC)
I made a suggestion above the line break on a possible requirement for coverage. Would love to hear your thoughts as well as Aiden's.
intrepid359FO76NW Overseer.png7/1/22 2:35am CT
I feel that's too vague, and liable to feel exclusionary. If the bar is based solely on media coverage, its going to feel discriminatory to mod authors who don't get that sort of coverage. Also what are we defining as media coverage? Does it need to make it into a major outlet like Gamespot or IGN, or is someone's personal blog sufficient? On the other side, the Nexus might be the main source of PC mods, but only using their downloads would ignore console players. It also ignores the differing mod situation for Xbox and Playstation, due to Sony's stance on mods using external assets and the download limit on both platforms. High downloads will mean different things on different platforms, and I don't think that is specific enough to work. Aiden4017 (talk) 08:04, 1 July 2022 (UTC)
It would definitely need to be better defined. As for how mods are measured for inclusion, it wouldn't have to be just Nexus or just limited to raw numbers.
intrepid359FO76NW Overseer.png7/1/22 10:58am CT

Just my two cents, while I agree with the creation of the resources section and the addition of fan-made resources, I am against including high-profile content mods like Fallout: London or any other large content/game overhaul, when a Fandom wiki already serves that same purpose and more. Why not become an affiliate and partner with that wiki instead (and it seems like it doesn't have any active bureaucrats or administrators so I'd even go far as to say to adopt it) and put all high-profile content mod-related information on it instead? — Arcaneous Arc nuclearhazard.png"You either a smart fella or a fart smella." 02:35, 28 June 2022 (UTC)

Adopting a dead wiki or making it an affiliate doesn't do anything to help improve Nukapedia's traffic or editor count. It would make it much harder to maintain as well. Two wikis, two sets of policies, etc.
intrepid359FO76NW Overseer.png6/30/22 10:40am CT
Adopting a dead wiki could actually be beneficial. Navigation has limited space, and this could lead to a snowball effect of covering more and more different subjects related to Fallout. Traffic is important, but having mod content on a sister wiki doesn't mean traffic is lost; having two well implemented wikis with cross links could generate more traffic for both by allowing more content and more interest in their respective spaces than shoehorning in content on a wiki that is likely to treat mods as the "bastard child" by restricting their coverage to keep maintenance under control. As someone who works across multiple wikis with differences in rules it isn't too difficult to switch between, if anything it easier as it simplifies the rule sets and compartmentalisies the rules mentally resulting is easier recollection; to do this on a single wiki could mean compromising on the rules to make the shoe fit. As for more editors, back when these wikis were active they had cross over, but those who want to create mod content may not want to create prime content and vice versa which means you either have a case of two tribes of editors fighting in the same space for their policies to be the precedent or only looking after their part and not really crossing over (not bad perse) or part of the wiki failing and either content gets scrapped for ease of maintenance or people maintain content they don't care about so it doesn't have the same quality. Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin 06:22, 1 July 2022 (UTC)
I have to wonder why it's dead, though. We have people and a user base here. It won't be easy to get people over to another wiki from Nukapedia if we don't cover mods, and a dead wiki won't be driving people here. It seems likely that reviving the dead wiki would result in the mod wiki dying all over again.
intrepid359FO76NW Overseer.png7/1/22 2:35am CT

Very much in favor of adding resources to the wiki. Either under the main or a new namespace. I feel that we need to be as much of a one-stop-shop for Fallout as possible. That will expand our reach and our editor-base. Like Aiden said, though, it needs to be in your face that something is an unofficial tool or a fan-created mod. Personally, I'd prefer if the extent of our mod coverage is a single article per mod. No creating pages for every character, item, quest, etc. Imagine how confusing it would be to see pages start with 'So-and-so is a character in Fallout: London'. Then the reader has to do additional looking to find out that's a mod and not an official DLC or game. Obviously, we can get into the nuts and bolts of implementation later if there's enough support for this. To people that think this is a bad idea only on the merits of 'there's so much legit stuff that we can't keep up with,' I say this could help pull in more interested editors to the wiki as a whole. There's no mandate that any one has to work on any certain content nor keep anything up to date. You can continue to work on official content and leave the mod stuff to people who are interested in that aspect. I guarantee you will have those editors editing official content articles as well. Gilpo1 (talk) 15:37, 30 June 2022 (UTC)


( So I've intentionally not proposed a specific criteria because I think in this case its something a consensus policy needs to hammer out. My personal thoughts is that it should be based on coverage in the mainstream gaming press; Fallout London is getting media interest on par with new official content, so thats where I think we meed to aim for. As for mod related or mod specific wikis, I see this as an additional thing rather than an alternative, we would have a page with a summary, and then link into that resource (think Memory Alpha and Beta) Agent c (talk) 11:36, 1 July 2022 (UTC)

Next Step

Ok, so it seems we're talked out. The resources section seems pretty uncontroverisal. I'll propose a change to our editorial guidelines to allow it to fit.

The mod section appears to be more contrverisal, its unclear on what to put in a proposal, so I'd like to make a weird suggestion that we haven't tried before and throw this to our readers. If there's no objection I'll stick it as a vote on twitter with 4 options - Don't include it, Include High Profile, Include High Downloads, Include both, and lets see where that sits.

Any thoughts on this?

Unless there's something I'm missing, that doesn't solve my issue of how we define those terms. I don't see how putting this policy to a twitter poll solves any of the issues we have raised about it. Aiden4017 (talk) 03:44, 11 July 2022 (UTC)
High ptofile eoukd be media coverage, and I think downloads is self explanatory. I dont think we need to define soecific metrics until we can decide which way we're going. Agent c (talk) 09:24, 11 July 2022 (UTC)
I'm hurt. I used to use polls all the time to gauge public sentiment. My ouchies. Seriously though, I could have sworn I posted this but the very obvious solution to what mods we should cover, if any, is easy: Notability. Now before you say "Gunny, WTF? That's no better than what's been proposed already!", I literally mean notability in the sense that wikipedia uses it. We only include mods that have a reliable, notable source article published on them. If a mod is big enough to get press coverage in an actual gaming publication, then it's notable enough to meet probably both "high profile" and "high downloads". Using a primary source as justification for inclusion also readily gives us a reference to refer to to verify said inclusion. Simple. If your mod didn't get press, it don't get covered. If it did, I'm ok with a single page using that article as a reference for inclusion. Someone want to stress test this and see how this would really work? Are the "big" mods we know we want to cover referenced in primary sources? Can we find a bunch of shitty little mods that we don't want to cover referenced in primary sources? That's my big idea.TheGunny2.0 (talk) 11:35, 11 July 2022 (UTC)
Better than nothing, but I don't like the 'support this now, we'll figure out what exactly it means later' approach that is being taken. Aiden4017 (talk) 12:42, 11 July 2022 (UTC)

Mods part 2

Market research

Twitter

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Discussions

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Progression

I think what we've learned here is:

  1. Although there's a reasonable level of support, there's also a significant level of skepticism that needs to be managed if we go forward
  2. If Mods are covered it must be clear that this is unoffiical content
  3. Basing coverage on press coverage alone is unpopular, downloads, or downloads and press coverage is the way to go.

Some have suggested that a mods sister wiki is the way to go. I would caution against this, as its a strategy that has failed over and over again. We've had sister wikis for Mods, PnP RPGs, and other things in the past, and it soon becomes a case of out of sight - out of mind. At least if its on Nukapedia somewhere the pages get maintenence and costmetic improvements as templates are improved, and the search function helps ensure people do see it and its linked into where appropriate.

So my suggestion would be that we cover mods in a section that has different formatting to the mainspace (this different formatting concept can also be used to make other areas distinct, like the new resources space, my eventual "Vault @ Nukapedia" project, where the content doesn't neccessarily go along with the standard policies and guidelines), additionally A page for a mod should have a banner at the top making it clear that the mod is fan content and not official. I think this gets the "Sister wiki" advantages of it being clearly distinct, without the risk of abandonment following.

The question would then become which mods to cover. I would suggest here's two methods, one is quick and easy to implement, the other is going to take some talking.

By Consensus

The process here would be simple. We include mods that there is a consensus to cover, and we limit the criteria to "has editor consensus". This doesn't limit what we can or cannot cover, doesn't come with arbitrary numbers, and is easy to understand. The problem is that its as subjective as all heck as it comes down to editor agreement.

I would suggest to limit the need to vote and play politics on everything, is that we make it so that a mod is presumptively accepted if a week after its proposed on the forum nobody objects to it. If there's an objection, it then goes to a vote.

By Notability

So here we'd need to look at a mod being allowed if it meets at least one of the following types of criteria:

  • Downloads over a certain level on recognised major mod sites (Nexus, etc) (Obviously we'd need to set this level and we'd need to figure that based on what download figures we can actually get)
  • Significant press coverage by mainstream gaming press (perhaps 3 original articles over 2 months; an article pointing to another outlet's article doesn't count).
  • At least one Developer, voice artist, or people otherwise involved with development of the mod included notable persons in Fallout Development. (JES's mod).
  • The mod is a collection of bug fixes only for a game that has not seen an official developer patch in over 12 months, or there is some other reason to believe any further official patches will not be forthcoming (eg - Obsidian definately isn't making NV bug Fixes).

Comments

Anyone else have any thoughts on other directions we can go, or what triggers we should use? Agent c (talk) 16:46, 23 July 2022 (UTC)

Crawling out of my hole to ask a question that I don't see having been adequately asked/answered (maybe it was in the discord, IDK I'm not planning to rejoin and check): What exactly does this proposal mean by "covering" mods?
Example -- Fallout: Miami has lore surrounding a US invasion and (I think?) annexation/occupation of Cuba. Would we be adding a "US Invasion of Cuba (Fallout Miami)" page? If so, it seems inevitable to me that some people are going to try to somehow integrate that information into other articles for "official" content, like the United States Military page, which IMO will eventually start causing a mess of official content and what is essentially fanfiction potentially blending together in the eyes of uninformed readers.
I worry that something like that could cascade into precisely what some of those "anti-" responses described: worsening the already-existing problem within the Fallout fandom of personal interpretations, rumors/myths/memes, and outright fanfiction being mistakenly treated as official content. I'll still never forget my shock at finding out this wiki falsely reported that a fan-created Talking Head for Cassidy was real, in-the-game-files cut content for so long that a third-party merch developer added a rendition of it to the official board game -- all because nobody bothered to fact-check what parts of the FO2 Restoration mod are fan-made. There are likely still people that think that's real, official content, and their reasoning probably has a lot to do with the fact that we covered it for so long.
At the risk of going all "snowball effect" fallacy I think this issue will crop up even if we explicitly limit article creation to gameplay-based information like fan-created weapons and items, since people will inevitably want to include the "lore" for those weapons and items, and then inevitably start wondering, and debating, why this fan lore is worthy of coverage but not this other fan lore that they think is significant and interesting.
On the other hand if our definition of "coverage" is just creating a single, solitary "Fallout: Miami (Mod)" page briefly summarizing its contents and linking to its own community's wiki (if they have one) for those looking for more detailed information, then I think that's fine: it sets a clear and hard limit to the extent that we cover mod content and won't encourage people to start making gameplay/lore articles for things that are entirely the invention of fans. I still think people will start adding fanfiction/fanon to articles in this case but it'll at least be manageable and we won't have set expectations to the contrary.
So, yeah, I suppose I'm asking for clarification on which, if either, of these systems of "coverage" is being proposed here, because like I said I'm still not entirely clear from what's been discussed here on the wiki itself as to what the plan is.DirtyBlue929 (talk) 22:47, 23 July 2022 (UTC)
Example -- Fallout: Miami has lore surrounding a US invasion and (I think?) annexation/occupation of Cuba. Would we be adding a "US Invasion of Cuba (Fallout Miami)" page?

Absolutely not. There would be one page "Fallout Miami (Unofficial Mod)" only telling you what it is, its history, an where to get it, the content of the mod would not get any pages. Agent c (talk) 00:10, 24 July 2022 (UTC)

Okay, good, that clears up my confusion then. In that case I'm cautiously open to this as long as we have strong ground rules and remain vigilant against fanmade content getting treated like an actual part of the game. --DirtyBlue929 (talk) 00:29, 24 July 2022 (UTC)




Policy vote forum overview
PolicyContent policy
Amendment 1General/specific rule & BTS speculation · Vote · 30 December 2014 · 11-1-0; 9-3-1
Amendment 2Countries articles standard · Discussion · Vote · 2 August 2015 · 16-3-2
Amendment 3Attribution · Vote · 27 August 2015 · 13-0-0
Amendment 4Creation Club content · Vote · 25 September 2017 · 23-3-0
Amendment 5Creation Club article placement · Vote · 25 October 2017 · 15-5
Amendment 6Creation Club on mainspace · Discussion · Vote · 20 March 2018 · 15-5-2
Amendment 7Deleting Torn and Lionheart · Vote · 7 June 2020 · 12-0-0
Amendment 8Non Developer Resources (Resources Namespace) · Discussion · Vote · 21 July 2022 · 12-0-0
Related topicsContent organization guideline · Article layout guideline
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