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Oh no, it's a Wiki

Good grief, here we go again.

In 2008 we launched the Improbable Island Enquirer, which was a blog (which was basically the MotD but with fewer people looking at it), forums (which are fun but bloody useless for helping with game design) and the Improbable Island Wiki of Lies, which was great.

In 2017 we moved servers for the, uh… fourth? Yeah I think1) fourth time, and the Enquirer entered a state of kind of working but also jank to the point where you had to CTRL-A to be able to see what you were doing, to which CMJ said “Oh aye, I'll fix that soon, I'll have plenty of time to do that what with my fresh one-year-old baby and everything.” Quick as a flash and only six short years later, following our fifth2) server move, the Enquirer has been cast into the scrapyard of history and its wiki encased in read-only epoxy over at Nobody but CMJ can change anything there, but all of our most industrious crows and raccoons can go and CTRL-sCavenge the tastiest bits from it and bring those morsels here, to our glorious New Wiki.

Exploring the Wiki

Two great links that taste great together: the list of most recently fucked-about-with pages and the sitemap, both of which can be found under “Site tools” on any page.

I'm new to the Island, help!

You may find the Unofficial Rookie Advisory helpful, then! Despite many of the links currently being broken while we yell at our contractors to fix them, a lot of the information remains quite generally applicable. There is also a general page of guides if you want more information on a specific aspect of the game (sorry about the broken links, they are coming soon, I we promise).

What goes in the Wiki?

You decide. It's for Improbable Island players, you're an Improbable Island player, you put Stuff in it and you decide what Stuff goes into it. CMJ only has two asks - first that your Stuff is compliant with the Island's general Code of Conduct3) at, and second that your Stuff goes somewhere that makes sense (see “keeping it organized” below).

This is all stored as plain text, plain text takes up next to no hard drive space, and hard drive space is cheap as chips anyway. Don't worry about whether your Stuff is good or not. Is it funny? Wiki it. Is it interesting? Wiki it. Is it neither funny nor interesting but there's an outside chance that it might be useful to someone, somewhere, somehow, some time in the next decade or so? Wiki it.

Getting started

If you want to edit pages or make new ones, you'll need to register for a Wiki account. Your regular Improbable Island account is no good here, at least until CMJ gets done with the single-login-multiple-characters project.

Important note from CMJ: DokuWiki by default asks for your real name, and I of course do not want you to type your real name anywhere, into any website I own, ever. As of 2023-11-22 I've changed things so that where it once asked for your real name it now asks for your Improbable Island character name, but just in case there are any places I've missed, for the love of god do not put your real name on this website even if it asks you to.

Keeping it organized

This wiki is for whatever random treasure or trash you want to stuff into it, but a place can be both neat and tidy AND full of random crap, and for proof of that you can ask anyone with a workshop. Remember, especially now in these fresh-wiki-smell times, that namespaces work just like folders on your hard drive, and the easiest time to figure out a folder structure is BEFORE you start filling it up with stuff and going “Hmm, does the What's New page belong in Guides or Meta?” and so forth. For example, CavemanJoe's character is under characters:player:cavemanjoe and Mister Stern's character is under characters:npc:misterstern and the Island's history as a website can be at meta:history, basically the colons work like / on your hard drive, you can go as many levels deep as seems appropriate. It'll be a lot easier to decide this structure now, in late 2023, than it will be to decide it later and move a bunch of pages.

See this? That's the sitemap to the old wiki. As you can see, there's maybe two or three folders of stuff like Places guides that's decently organized, and then a mishmash of random pages inside the root of the site. How are folk supposed to find your cool stuff? It's like having your family photos, your memes and your tax documents all stuffed into the same folder in a tangled mess. Yeah, we're not gonna do that this time round, we know better now. If you have an idea for a page and there doesn't seem to be an appropriate folder (“namespace” in wiki-words) for it, you can conjure one into existence just by typing it out when making a new page. (There is a draft outline of namespaces available here, in case you want examples rather than just looking at the sitemap to see what already exists.)

Making new pages: two ways

“A thing becomes real when you speak its name” is the general vibe to how this works. There are two ways to make a new page:

  1. Edit any existing page, type a link to a page that doesn't exist, save, click on the link you just made to the page that doesn't exist, and hit “Create this page.”
  2. Type the name of your not-yet-existing page into the search box and hit Enter - you'll see “If you didn't find what you were looking for, you can create or edit the page (name you typed, which will be a convenient link), named after your query” and you just click on the link in the middle of that sentence.

This is where you make folders (“namespaces”) happen too, for example if you want to make a page for your character you can type “characters:player:mycharactername” into the search box (where “mycharactername” is, obviously, your character name), and then that new page will be filed neatly under characters/player/yourcharactername.

All new pages have to be lower-case, and can't contain spaces, numbers, or really anything other than a to z (if you ever wondered why the Places Programming Tutorials have Roman numerals in their page names, that's why).

Now go forth and fuck the absolute bollocks off this page!


A Suggestion of Where to Put Stuff, as One Player Has Practiced It

This tree is largely accurate, but has been superseded by the discussion here.

  • Characters: individuals of the island, subdivided into
    • npc - non-player-controlled characters like Mister Stern, Maiko, Seth, Emily, Dan, etc.
    • player - player-controlled characters
  • Gameplay: mostly deals with stuff that has to do with the game side of things.
    • concepts: for things like stamina, armor, marriage, buffs, weapons
    • guides: walking a player through how to engage with titans/stones/puzzle combat/places and programming
    • classes: container for beings of the Improbable Island (classes like Jokermorphs, Titans, etc. — individuals go above under characters)
    • lore: stuff about currently(ish) applicable island canon. If there is a lot of it on a single topic (as with Alexander Quandle's Squat-related stuff), it's getting a sub-header.
    • story: (maybe people want to post stories of theirs as they did on the old enquirer? idk)
  • Places: overarching category
    • player - player-created places
    • outpost - for the outposts themselves
      • building - contains non-player-created buildings
  • Items: contains concrete equippable/buff-granting items, I assume things like req and cigs and SFFC items too4)5)
  • Meta: as CMJ suggested, I've been putting things that relate to Island history here
    • History: this is where stuff that no longer exists on the Island has been placed - things like Dwellings, and eventually Trains.
    • concepts: this has been kind of my bucket for things that aren't directly relevant to gameplay, but which feel like fun things to port over in the spirit of the old wiki (and with every expectation that they'll continue to grow!) So this is where I put in lie or reality tv for instance.

I'm no librarian and this is not at all comprehensive, nor have I decided where to put things like “req”6) or clans, and most importantly sort of “meta”/humor pages that used to exist like lie,7)8)9)10) spoiler, etc. so please let me know if there's a big gap in the tree you've spotted!

this is why we need a wiki and also an attendant historian
the bit about using year-month-day for dates is especially important here
One subpage for each category of item, maybe? Reference tables for weapons, armor, req items, cig items, supporter points items? Probably easier to maintain than if we had a subpage for literally every item. Not sure if food is better off here or under guides.
So I'm with you on the idea that there should definitely be “container” pages — those should be the “containers” for things like weapons etc. The reason I think subpages for many items tend to creep in is that they do creep in in the old wiki – not every weapon has a page, for instance, but there are a bunch that do, and also this would be a good place for joke weapons like the Admin Gun that shoots the admin with a banhammer at all your enemies?
There should be a food guide, which goes under gameplay-guides, but there are pages on the old wiki devoted to thinks like the Unrep, for instance, which is clearly a more itemish sort of page.
should all humor/lie pages be kept in meta:concepts:lie? (e.g. meta:concepts:lie:item, meta:concepts:lie:outposts). Or is there a lie-container-per-container? (eg items:lie, places:outposts:lie). I know there's a lot of these pages so best to decide that early.
oh, I actually hadn't thought of lie as a container – in some cases I think that sort of ruins the fun to have the lie-ness flagged too early? I can see the argument for it, but I really had just been sort of pouring things into meta-concepts just generally. Lie as mentioned here is just itself a page. You'll note that there's a silent lordbuckethead category for you and someone in the site map already; I think my gut is to say meta-concepts and meta-items (and maybe meta-people) should kind of cover it. Like a new, awful animal-vegetable-mineral game!
Roger that! (Also, in the interest of not adding any more brackets to this paragraph, I made us a notes page over in the playground. wikitalk
start.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/29 23:52 by kuhsodas