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Rose

Minor development roles in the infobox

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It is quite common for modern games to have been developed by multiple studios - in-house or outsourced. Usually only the main developers end up on the store pages and in the intro videos. The rest normally appear at the end of the end credits due to their minor or less significant roles - often unknown to the players.

From a Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War press release:

Quote

developed by award-winning studios Treyarch and Raven Software with additional development support from Beenox, Demonware, High Moon Studios, Activision Shanghai and Sledgehammer Games.

The wiki article lists all of them on equal terms.

From an Assassin's Creed Valhalla press release:

Quote

With development led by Ubisoft Montreal

Associate studios are Ubisoft Sofia, Ubisoft Singapore, Ubisoft Montpellier Ubisoft Barcelona, Ubisoft Kyiv, Ubisoft Bordeaux, Ubisoft Shanghai, Ubisoft Chengdu, Ubisoft Philippines, Ubisoft Quebec, Ubisoft Bucharest, Ubisoft Pune, with additional help from external partner Sperasoft.

The wiki article lists Ubisoft Monreal only. It is the most common approach I have seen on the wiki across many titles so far.

I don't think it's inherently problematic to list each party involved, but it should be done in a manner that respects the developers' own practices of not giving too much prominence to the less involved studios, and it should not be distracting to the readers.

I believe that Wikipedia handles it very well, by using the Explanatory footnotes template which is not as long and distracting as our existing {{note}} template when placed in the infobox - simply appearing as Text[a] and further down the alphabet for more notes. It can be seen in the Valhalla article:
image.png.4a071eee6d2364a8dd12b22465e09290.png

Another thing missing from the PCGamingWiki note template is that the games would not appear on the lists of games developed by the studios.

My proposal is to implement a similar one-symbol template and come up with a way to tackle the issue of lists at the same time.

Regardless of the outcome, I think it would be a good idea to at least modify the guidelines to have a stance on whether listing those "additional" developers is recommended, not recommended, and the extent of the coverage if recommended (up to 2 studios? 5? 10?).  There has to be something solid, not pure subjectivity when deciding to undo or keep this information.

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1 hour ago, Rose said:

Another thing missing from the PCGamingWiki note template is that the games would not appear on the lists of games developed by the studios.

I'm... a bit confused about this one -- do you mean that the games should be listed on those companies' pages?

If so, then the solution would probably be to add a new parameter to Template:Infobox game that's called e.g. "additional devs = ". I could probably (unless MediaWiki throws a blanket in my face again) code in logic in the templates that would see special handling of Template:Infobox game/row/developer if it were present within an "additional devs = " parameter. Or we could create an entirely new Template:Infobox game/row/associate template or similar.

  • If we were to go for an "additional devs = " parameter, I could then probably add logic that automatically saw its inclusion at the end of the first Template:Infobox game/row/developer present in the article.
  • In the "backend", the additional devs parameter and its contents would technically have to be expanded/parsed before we expanded/parsed the actual developer parameter (this is because I would have to store the results in a MediaWiki variable for later retrieval within the first "Template:Infobox game/row/developer"), which might affect property assignments (associated studios would be populated before the main studio).
  • To solve the property thing, we would have to set up a separate property (perhaps call it Property:Developed by (additional) ?) for these associated studios to get populated in instead.
  • To solve the lists on the company pages, we would either change the current "Games developed" Semantic MediaWiki query to include games which listed the studio in the Property:Developed by (additional) property, or list those games in a separate new list ("Games assisted with development" or however we would phrase the title of the list).

... Ugh...

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I'm... a bit confused about this one -- do you mean that the games should be listed on those companies' pages?

Technical obstacles aside, the PC gaming focus of the wiki makes a really strong case for listing all developers wherever we can. However, increasing the infobox height even further or even having a list of studios responsible for minor tasks in plain sight is very undesirable based on the arguments raised in my first post. It does not look like the addition of a new property would address the latter. Is it possible to pack it all into a one-symbol note template and have the developers appear in the tooltip only?

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4 hours ago, Rose said:

Is it possible to pack it all into a one-symbol note template and have the developers appear in the tooltip only?

The previous post of mine described the solution to achieve such a thing, and then how we would have to go about solving the follow-up consequences of such an approach (with the property being what was used to populate the 'additional devs' in separate lists on the company pages).

 

Implement-wise, Infobox game would basically include a new section above (or within) the current developer section that said something like:

{{#vardefine:additional devs|{{{additional devs|}}}}}

The above would execute/parse whatever we stuffed into the "additional devs" parameter and store its result in a variable.

Then within Infobox game/row/developer we would have an additional section:

{{#if: {{#var: additional devs|}} |
  <!--

  lots of code here that would create the one-symbol note template
  and populate it with the contents of {{#var: additional devs}} 



  -->
  <!-- finally at the end, we would clear the stored variable to prevent subsequent 
    Infobox game/row/developer rows from also triggering this whole new section of code
    (which would've added the one-symbol note template to all Developer rows)
  -->
  {{#vardefine:additional devs|}}
}}

 

It seems that a separate property for these types of "associate" or "additional" developers would be the best, along with a separate list entirely for this sort of contribution on the company pages.

  • It would allow us to eliminate huge rows in the "Games developed" lists such as is featured on e.g. https://www.pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Company:Ubisoft_Montpellier
  • However it would also mean that we would have a minor question on our hands as to what columns to display in the separate "Games additionally developed" list:
    • Should we display Developer, Publisher, and Engine as in the current "Games developed" list ? (so not list the new "Additional development by" property)
    • Should we display the new property, Publisher, and Engine -- making away with the "main" developers of the game?
    • Should we display Developer, Publisher, and the new property -- making away with the Engine property?
    • Or any other combination of columns...

We're limited to 820px in width for these tables if we want to ensure proper display across all possible page mutations as well as a unified column width across all lists featured on a company's page, so that limits us to just 5 columns that we need to pick and choose between accordingly to what we feel is the most relevant to our userbase.

 

And so, woe is me...

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