Wiki:Style Guide

This page documents rules, styles, and conventions for Puzzles Wiki. Please try your best to adhere to them when creating new pages, writing new content, or editing existing content. While this page is about stylistic choices, Wiki:Conventions is the counterpart about content creation and our internal interactions.

Wikipedia Manual of Style[edit | edit source]

This wiki adheres to the Wikipedia Manual of Style. This is the definitive style guide for wiki content and should be followed unless otherwise noted.

Overview[edit | edit source]

General guidelines[edit | edit source]

  • Pages should be written in English. If a page requires use of another language, an English translation should be provided.
  • Proofread your edits! If you see a typo on a page, don't hesitate to correct it!
  • Write with the newbie's perspective in mind - aim to craft pages that are accessible to someone who knows nothing about a given puzzle.
  • Take advantage of Mediawiki's formatting when appropriate. Images and videos can be embedded in the page to maximize readability.
  • When embedding images, it's preferable to upload them to our wiki, then embed (instead of embedding from an external source).
  • A full formatting guide can be found here.

Language[edit | edit source]

Tips:

  • Avoid ambiguity, jargon*, and vague or unnecessarily complex wording.
  • Use words your audience will understand, and use just enough words to convey your message.
  • Define terms that may not be obvious to individuals who are new to what you are writing about. As many puzzle-related terms will have their own page, don’t be afraid to link to a relevant article.
  • Keep paragraphs and sentences short and concise.
  • Use contractions or don't. Just be consistent.

*Unless jargon is required to explain a particular puzzle or element.

Tense[edit | edit source]

When writing about puzzles, always use the present tense.

This rule is particularly important when writing about puzzle solutions. Due to the persistent nature of puzzles and puzzle hunts, a puzzle can (usually) always be solved, and should be treated as if one is solving it along with your writing.

This should be the case regardless of how old a puzzle or hunt is. Certain exceptions may be made, in particular if a puzzle is of historical significance but can no longer be solved in any form, or if a puzzle only exists as a solution. In these cases, the past tense may be used, but if unsure, an editor may be contacted for confirmation.

Example:

If that's done properly, the unused letters in each wall could be taken and placed in the columns in dropquote fashion, revealing a final phrase that clued the puzzle's final answer, which was ANSWER.

Should be written as:

If that's done properly, the unused letters in each wall can be taken and placed in the columns in dropquote fashion, revealing a final phrase that clues the puzzle's final answer, which is ANSWER.

When writing about a hunt's plot, or a hunt in the context of being an event*, use the past tense.

As plot is usually something that cannot be experienced in full when a hunt is no longer live, they should be treated as past events.

*This is only the case if the hunt has ceased to be live. If a hunt is live, write about it in the present tense.

Readability[edit | edit source]

As mentioned above, write with the newbie's perspective in mind. This means embedding the most pertinent media directly onto the page, and linking to relevant sources where necessary. When in doubt, more links and embedded media are better (but not to the point where you can't read any of the words on the page, of course).

Additionally, be wary of writing run-on sentences when describing what occurred in an puzzle. Puzzles can get really complex, really quickly, so it's easy for a newcomer to feel overwhelmed. When in doubt, step back and think about how to break down your explanation.

Point of view[edit | edit source]

The wiki should have a consistent, neutral voice, and should not read as though it was written by one or two solvers. Avoid using the words "we" and “I” at all costs! Instead, consider replacing it with something like "solvers" or the hypothetical “one”, depending on the context.

Example:

  • I can solve the puzzle by extracting the second letters of each answer

Should be written as one of the following:

  • One can solve the puzzle by extracting the second letters of each answer
  • Solvers may solve the puzzle by extracting the second letters of each answer
  • The puzzle can be solved by extracting the second letters of each answer

Spoilers[edit | edit source]

As this is a public community resource, we don't want to go around spoiling every puzzle in existence to everyone, regardless of if they want to be spoiled. As such, we have two systems for hiding spoilers.

The first should be used for large sections of text. This includes solve paths and element lists on puzzle/round pages, and not a whole lot else. To hide these, we use a drop-down marker, which can be achieved as shown:

{{spoiler|label=INSERT SPOILER LABEL HERE|text=INSERT SPOILING TEXT HERE}}

INSERT SPOILER LABEL HEREINSERT SPOILING TEXT HERE

The other method of hiding text is best used for small fragments of text, or individual words/phrases. This includes bits of plot information that spoil meta answers, as well as answers themselves. These markers show up as black bars, optionally with a text label, as shown:

{{spoiler|text=INSERT SPOILING TEXT HERE}}

{{spoiler|text=INSERT SPOILING TEXT HERE|label=INSERT LABEL HERE}}

Click to revealINSERT SPOILING TEXT HERE

INSERT LABEL HEREINSERT SPOILING TEXT HERE

For the most part, plots of hunt do not need to be hidden, due to the more-time sensitive nature of them. The exception to this is if a hunt is still active, in which case any plot details not available at the start of the hunt should be hidden, until a point where the hunt’s plot can no longer be experienced as intended.

As a general rule, hunts themselves tend to hide content considered spoiler-y, such as answers and solutions, after the hunt has concluded. If a hunt makes effort to hide information, consider hiding it here too.

Mentioning community members and teams[edit | edit source]

Community members and teams may be mentioned by name within a puzzle or hunt page if:

  • They wrote a particular puzzle/produced a particular hunt
  • They won a particular hunt (or were close enough to be notable)
  • They produced a noteworthy addition to a puzzle or hunt’s trivia, such as a particular meme associated with that puzzle or hunt (e.g. BE NOISY)

Community members and teams should not be mentioned by name within a puzzle or hunt page if:

  • They only solved a single puzzle first
  • They only completed a hunt in any place other than first
  • They were only part of a winning/writing team

Generally speaking, mentioning players by name in the body of the wiki has a negative impact on readability and detracts from an otherwise informational format. Separate credits or team pages, especially as demanded by the community, are encouraged, and the above rules need not apply to them.

Dates and times[edit | edit source]

All dates written using solely numbers on the wiki should abide by the ISO 8601 standard:

  • YYYY-MM-DD

When writing dates inline, the following formats can be used:

  • Mon DD, YYYY (e.g.: Apr 7, 2021)
  • Month DD, YYYY (e.g.: April 7, 2021)
  • Month DD (e.g.: April 7)

Note: Please try to keep inline date styles consistent on any given page.

Times should be in written in 24-hour time, and should use the UTC timezone except in the case of hunts with an on-site component, in which case AM/PM may be used, and time should be written in the timezone of the hunt’s location (e.g.: MITMH should be written in Eastern Time).

Page structure[edit | edit source]

The following page help define the primary types of pages one will see on the wiki:

Puzzle hunt page hierarchy[edit | edit source]

Refer to Talk page for current discussions of whether or not to utilize subpages for rounds, puzzles and metas associated with a particular hunt.

Disambiguation[edit | edit source]

Page names with the same title should be disambiguated be use of an appropriate "(keyword)" suffixes and a "(disambiguation)" page. Alternatively, if one article is clearly more notable, it can retain the main page name with a disambiguation redirect comment added at the top of the page [TO DO: Implement a Redirect template for this].

Nomenclature[edit | edit source]

This section outlines some naming conventions to promote consistency across the wiki. This section is not intended to comment on a phrase’s “correctness” in the real world - rather, these guidelines outline an approved style for this wiki.

  • puzzle hunt vs. puzzlehunt vs. Puzzle Hunt vs. Puzzlehunt
    • Use two words whenever you aren’t using the phrase to refer to the title of a particular hunt. Otherwise, abide by the official title of the hunt as it appears on the hunt’s website or other documentation (e.g. “The Galactic Puzzle Hunt is a puzzle hunt run by ✈✈✈ Galactic Trendsetters ✈✈✈”).
  • Metapuzzle vs. Meta puzzle
    • The former (one word) should be used to refer to the type of puzzle in which several answers from other puzzles come together to create another answer. The latter should not be used, unless referring to a puzzle that is in some other way “meta”, i.e. self-referential or self-aware (e.g.”The metapuzzle for this round, which referenced other metapuzzles within the hunt, ended up being a very meta puzzle”). Neither term should be used in place of the word “round”.

With thanks to the Game Detectives Wiki for inspiration.