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dave247

Proposal: Have subpages for third-party tools

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This is follow on from my post on the Special K Steam Discussions, but expanded to include other third party tools such as Re:shade.

Link to Steam Discussion thread: https://steamcommunity.com/app/1157970/discussions/0/2650881941771332222/

Quote

To my knowledge there's never really been any sort of central but also well known place to discuss, keep track of and otherwise share configs for games that use Special K. Launching the tool on Steam finally allows for something like this with it's forums and guides, but for what the tool is and what it does I think it's still not really the most optimal.

Let's take Final Fantasy 15 for example, where it's still recommended to use the local injection method due to the global method not being able to load early enough and be able to capture all of the individual processor threads, thus losing some of the tools unique functionally. Unless you have gone digging through the Steam discussion threads though you're probably not going to know or even be aware of this, and not everyone is going to think to even go searching for it when they aren't even aware that there is a problem to begin with.

Guides on the other hand do provide a much easier and clearer way for people to not just find information about a specific game, but also encourages people to write and catalogue specific fixes or configs for a particular game, however there still remains a small problem where a guide will only have one author, and such anything written will not only be purely subjective but also over time can become out of date and relevant when things change like the game updating or something in Special K changing, and the author can't be relied on always keeping their guide updated.


This then leaves the only option option being on another site/platform, and while something completely new could be created and manage by Kaldaien and the rest of the Special K group, I imagine you guys would already have your hands full working on the tool as it is, plus why bother creating something when there already exists a viable alternative?

Considering the nature of what Special K does in that it's often seen as a "fix" for PC games, to me it seems like a natural pairing for the PC gaming wiki especially when you consider that past older versions of the tool will get mentions on the individual game pages on the wiki.
However what I'm proposing is that with the launch on Steam, for the tool to have a lot prevalence on the wiki such as having its own dedicated section on a game's own wiki page, oor potentially even as its own web page due to the amount of information it would likely contain. It would be an ideal place to list things such as the prefered injection method for the game, any issues that using the tool may cause, as well as providing a recommended set of configurations for that game which would be vetted by each of the wiki editors.

I know this would also need discussion and agreement from the staff/admins from PCGW as it would alter some of the editing guidelines on the wiki, but generally speaking and bearing no ill will between the two parties I see it is a solid improvement to not just what Special K offers but also to the entire PC gaming community as it would have a lot to offer them while also giving them the power and tools to improve things for everyone, and at the same time not put extra pressure on the Special K team as the most could be done is add a link to the related PCGW subpage in the Special K launcher.

Reply from: @Aemony

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While the suggestion is sound, the problem is generally where to put the information on PCGW.

As a PCGW staff member, we've historically tried to minimize the amount of third-party information displayed on the game pages themselves because of how this often can result in excessive amount of irrelevant information for the vast majority of users. Like, having a section or two on how to set up Special K for a game where Special K is deemed as an "essential improvement" is one thing, but adding a Special K oriented section on all game pages that Special K can be injected into, regardless of how "essential" the use of SK is with the game, means a lot of irrelevant information for the average user.

And if we were to do so, imagine what else users would add, and how the game-specific pages would end up looking like. As an example, I spotted a few weeks ago that someone added Logitech GamePanel sections to a bunch of games, which I've questioned the inclusion of multiple times since then.

It also becomes a question of what to cover on such a section. Like, would it only be critical config changes needed to get SK up and running, or also stuff like "most appropriate HDR config" (aka up to the user and whatnot) or similar.

A solution could probably be found, but I would need to discuss it with the rest of the PCGW staff. The current setup that I think might allow for the best base for other similar third-party tools that might be in the same position would be to basically have a new third-party table (have been discussed in the past) and then it would have link to, as you suggested, an appropriate subpages below each game-specific page.

For example, SK related stuff for Final Fantasy XV would reside on https://www.pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Final_Fantasy_XV/Special_K, while similar stuff like e.g. ReShade would reside on https://www.pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Final_Fantasy_XV/ReShade.

The third-party tool table on the actual page would then merely link to those subpages (and maybe have a true, hackable, false state to indicate overall support).

But even so I'd probably still have to write up a proposal of how the subpages would be structured, as to prevent an unstructured mess (see e.g. https://www.pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/SimCity_(2013)/Bugs ).


So good proposal. I'll have to contemplate and discuss it with the rest of the PCGW staff and members.

 

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The discussion on the PCGW Discord was quite heated when the proposal was raised, I'll admit 🙂 Though it mostly concerned whether there was a need of tracking third-party tools in general through a separate table, as opposed to just continuing to keep track of them through a separate page. While the proposal haven't been closed yet, I've gone ahead and set up a separate page that can be used to keep track of Special K support, based on the ReShade compatibility table:

https://www.pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/List_of_games_compatible_with_Special_K

Feel free to add or edit entries as desired.

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16 minutes ago, Aemony said:

The discussion on the PCGW Discord was quite heated when the proposal was raised, I'll admit 🙂 Though it mostly concerned whether there was a need of tracking third-party tools in general through a separate table, as opposed to just continuing to keep track of them through a separate page. While the proposal haven't been closed yet, I've gone ahead and set up a separate page that can be used to keep track of Special K support, based on the ReShade compatibility table:

https://www.pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/List_of_games_compatible_with_Special_K

Feel free to add or edit entries as desired.

Thanks for the update! I've gone ahead and added the page to the list category as looking at other similar pages that seems to be how the wiki is structured.
ALso while doing so I did notice how most of the list pages are auto generated however, so regardless of whatever the choice ends up being I'm hoping that it can be done in a similar way where the data entered on the game's page would get automatically populate the list page as it won't be sustainable in its current form. 

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I'd only consider subpages for games that released in a horrible state and almost need a fixes wiki in their own right. If the Grand Theft Auto San Andreas article is an indication.

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This looks really good @Aemony

It would be nice to use a similar method to quickly prototype lists of other settings e.g. DLSS, Raytracing which it would be nice to track but not necessarily integrate into our templates until we know it's an established setting. I know @Garrett is developing an Advanced video settings section but even when this is done, it would be nice to link up the 'DLSS article' with the 'List of DLSS supported games' easily too through navigation.

I am not opposed to dedicated subpages, as long as it is presented correctly in a clean prominent navigation template. For example, we could have a 'Glossarybox'/'Subpagesbox' or 'Relatedpagesbox' underneath the Infobox which would could link to Final_Fantasy_XV/ReShade or Final_Fantasy_XV/Special K and back to their respective articles. This same navigation could apply to other non-game pages and not just third-party tools e.g. Linking Vulkan and List of Vulkan games. This could include other subpages too if an article gets too long - for example Mods for GTA:SA

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We'd probably preferably want a solution that combines dedicated subpages (in those cases they're necessary) with an actual "Third-party support" table, below the "Other information" section.

Imagine that we made use of a new table on the game pages where we tracked support among all kinds of third-party tools, such as ReShade, Special K, dgVoodoo 2, DXVK, Logitech's G Hub-whatsitcalled, etc, etc, etc that we can semi-easily extend by adding new parameters if a part of the community wants to track something new.

If the relevant information for e.g. ReShade or Special K was only "basic", then it would be situated in that table on the game page itself, and nowhere else. However if a subpage existed and was required for further instructions or details, a link would be added to that subpage, along with whatever else was entered in the relevant parameters.

 

For example, based on our ReShade page right now, for that particular third-party tool we would have to have three different parameters in that table:
 

  • reshade status
  • reshade render api
  • reshade notes

 

For Special K, we would be looking at some more, such as:

 

  • special k status
  • special k render api
  • special k version
  • special k injection
  • special k notes

 

For more 'basic' tools like dgVoodoo 2 or DXVK or OEM's lighting software suites, we would be looking at a typical 2 parameter combo:

 

  • dxvk
  • dxvk notes
  • dgvoodoo
  • dgvoodoo notes

 

So just based on those, the table would look something like this:

 

{{Third-party tools
|dgvoodoo                 = 
|dgvoodoo notes           =
|dxvk                     =
|dxvk notes               =
|logitech hub             = 
|logitech hub notes       = 
|reshade                  = 
|reshade api              = 
|reshade notes            = 
|special k                =
|special k api            = 
|special k version        =
|special k injection      = 
|special k notes          =
|steelseries engine       = 
|steelseries engine notes =
}}

 

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Yes I like the look of this table and it would expand our reach substantially, happy for it to be implemented. I think it would be appropriate under 'Other information'.

Subpages - these can be linked from the Notes section of this new table, eg Special K links to Final Fantasy V/Special K, but in addition I think they could have a more prominent established navigation on each game page.

 

Navigationally, It would be interesting to to see something like this:

- Article: collapsed box under Seriesbox that lists all Subpages
- Subpage: expanded box which also contains link back to the Article

I'd like to use a similar template to help tie up different Guide sections which is what I'd like to work on next, and separate fixes out of the maiin Article, e.g. Windows 10 and Windows 10/Fixes

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On the subject, the RGB lighting middleware page has a lot of examples of third-party stuff that we could add to the table.

I'm going to contemplate the subject a few days more or something, and will probably then throw up a draft we can test.

 

22 hours ago, Andytizer said:

Navigationally, It would be interesting to to see something like this:

- Article: collapsed box under Seriesbox that lists all Subpages

That should actually be relatively easy to achieve using {{Special:PrefixIndex/{{FULLPAGENAME}}/|hideredirects=yes|stripprefix=yes}}

That call creates an alphabetically ordered list of all subpages below the specified prefix (the page name in this case) and lists it in an ordered list.

See https://www.pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/User:Aemony#Pages for an example.

It would be rather easy to create an automatic inclusion of a seriesbox/categorybox containing such a list where appropriate and add it to the bottom of the infobox game template. Although I'd recommend not keeping it collapsed by default until we've seen how many subpages got used.

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Of course MediaWiki loves to throw a god damn curveball at you when you least expect it... Why do I even still expect it to function within expected parameters?! (╯‵□′)╯︵┻━┻

So the Special:PrefixIndex call itself isn't an issue -- determining whether to show the sidebar or not is. In a logical, perfect, world, a simple IF statement to check whether the Special:PrefixIndex call outputs anything would suffice, but in a MediaWiki world that isn't possible. Because even on pages where there's no actual subpages to list, that command still evaluates as 'true' on such statements and so the sidebar still appears even though it's intended to be hidden.

I've tried various ways of working around the issue but no dice, so far.

Dunno if I will be able to figure this one out, as I have basically nothing to go on.

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Does this help at all? https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Topic:Qe11vb4856fnlpmh - seems an expensive way to check whether a subpage exists.

I'd be happy for RGB middleware and everything to be grouped under this one section Third-party tools. If we have lots of RGB stuff then becuase it's one template, we could output to its own subsection of the table in the future, e.g. Tools, RGB, etc.

Subpages and navigation, we'd need some subpages to exist first and to have some kind of prototype e.g. what is will a /Special K subpage going to look like?

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46 minutes ago, Andytizer said:

Does this help at all? https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Topic:Qe11vb4856fnlpmh - seems an expensive way to check whether a subpage exists.

Mhm, I'd prefer it if I found another solution than that one. The thing I like with Special:PrefixIndex is that it allows for non-standard subpages, such as https://www.pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/SimCity_(2013)/Bugs, which would allow the community to create custom pages if they so desired.

 

46 minutes ago, Andytizer said:

I'd be happy for RGB middleware and everything to be grouped under this one section Third-party tools. If we have lots of RGB stuff then becuase it's one template, we could output to its own subsection of the table in the future, e.g. Tools, RGB, etc.

Yes, that's the direction that my own thoughts are going in right now -- to basically have a table akin to the input table that automatically hides or shows different subsections of the table according to the filled out rows.

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