Collab: Cleaning the Beta Elements pages

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Glowsquid

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The Beta Elements pages are a total mess. They're the biggest victims of the "Updating a page by randomly placing facts at the end" syndrome, with most pages consisting entirely of incoherent paragraphs full of random facts with no attempt at making a link between anything. The formatting is all over the place, the "facts" are frequently unsourced (and when they are, it's often not properly) and a lot of it is just really badly written.

The goals for this project are:

1: Organize the informations of the Beta Elements page in a more standardized and coherent way.

2: Find sources and tag any unsourced statement.

3: Rewrite the more badly-written page.

For that first goal, I've made a draft page now a writing guidelines page showing how I think you could separate the information by headers. I'm going to lazily ctrl+c, ctrl+v it here.

Concepts/Early ideas

Some ideas may be seriously considered during parts of development and even have concept art drawn for them, but are subsequently abandoned before even being programmed into the game.

Example: The development team of Super Mario Galaxy 2 seriously considered including cameos from the Pikmin and Donkey Kong series, but Shigeru Miyamoto shot down the idea. The cameos were not programmed into the game before being abandoned, but the fact that they were considered at all is still a significant aspect of the game's history and development.

Early Iteration

Some games get completely overhauled during development, resulting in the finished products sharing almost nothing with their earlier incarnations. Other games jump from one console to another, and even if the look or gameplay appears to change very little from one platform to the other, it is still a major shift in the game's development.

Example 1: Paper Mario was originally titled "Super Mario RPG 2" and featured noticeably different visuals. Even though the Paper Mario and Super Mario RPG 2 builds are almost nothing alike, they're part of the same development cycle, so they're considered the "same" game.

Example 2: Super Paper Mario was originally planned for the GameCube but was converted into a Wii game, resulting in different controls, yet affecting the overall gameplay and style of the game very little. Nevertheless, the fact that the final game was a Wii title is a marked difference from the original plan.

Early builds

A build closer to the final game may have content not present in the data of the final version. Cut content can often be found in press kit material (screenshots, videos, etc.) or in appearances at conventions such as E3, the Consumer Electronics Show or the Tokyo Game Show. Outdated screenshots in the instruction manual and public demos also fit in this grouping.

Since builds are rarely named, they should ideally be named by the time and place they were exposed. For an example, a build shown at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo should be named "E3 2011 Build".

Unused Data

Often, unused assets (sprites, sound files, etc.) remain on the disc.

Examples: Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and Super Mario Galaxy have several unused models and sound files present on the disc.


Miscellaneous

Any other information that doesn't fit neatly in the above groupings can be placed here. This info frequently takes the form of magazine or website writeups, which report that something is different from the final product.

Example: The UK Philips CD-i magazine featured an article presenting a different plot for Hotel Mario. As no other known publications reported the information and the magazine shows no proof of its affirmation, it could be reasonably considered to be an error on the magazine's end. However, it cannot be proven wrong either, and so it should be included just to be "safe", although the uncertainty of the situation must also be noted.

Note: The list below is outdated. Refer to http://www.marioboards.com/index.php?topic=17930.msg1108904#msg1108904 for more up-to-date details.

Medium-to-large pages that still need to be separated by categories

Donkey Kong Barrel Blast/Beta elements

Donkey Kong Country/Beta elements

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest/Beta elements

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble/Beta elements

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat/Beta elements

Luigi's Mansion/Beta elements

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story/Beta elements

Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time/Beta elements

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga/Beta elements

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games/Beta elements

Mario Kart 64/Beta elements

Mario Kart 7/Beta elements

Mario Kart DS/Beta elements

Mario Kart Wii/Beta elements

Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis/Beta elements (also badly need sources)

New Super Mario Bros. Wii/Beta elements

New Super Mario Bros./Beta elements

Paper Mario/Beta elements

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door/Beta elements

Super Mario 3D Land/Beta elements

Super Mario 64 DS/Beta elements

Super Mario 64/Beta elements

Super Mario Bros. 3/Beta elements

Super Mario Galaxy/Beta elements

Super Mario Galaxy 2/Beta elements (Well, not totally. Still need to move some of the gallery images to a specific build.)

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars/Beta elements

Super Mario Sunshine/Beta elements

Super Mario World/Beta elements

Super Paper Mario/Beta elements

Super Princess Peach/Beta elements

Super Smash Bros. Brawl/Beta elements

Super Smash Bros. Melee/Beta elements

Super Smash Bros./Beta elements

Wario Land 4/Beta elements

Yoshi's Island DS/Beta elements

Yoshi's Story/Beta elements
 

yoshidude99

Yoshidude is here
I've been uploading beta images and putting them into the galleries recently. There is no mention of the beta stuff on the rest of the articles though. Am I doing it wrong?
 

Glowsquid

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It'd be, uh, better if you wrote about them in addition to posting the images, yeah.
 

YoshiGo99

Shine Sprite
Where would the galleries still go with the beta images, at the end or would we have galleries in almost each section that talks about image? I know that sentence is a little confusing :-\
 

Glowsquid

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I'd rather have separate galleries for the different sections rather than one big gallery at the end. However, I have no problem going with that 2nd option if the majority disagree.
 

Glowsquid

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I've separated the Double Dash page by categories as an example of what I propose doing. Sooooooo, any comments?
 

Mario4Ever

A price for everything.
Retired Wiki Staff
I like that sort of organization. Much better than having paragraphs of random, unrelated facts.
 

Paper Mario the First

He is the one and only....
The problem is, what if you see a beta element, but you're not sure what part of the development stage it is found in?
 

Ray Trace

You Can Tick Off Birds If You Follow My Advice
La Marionette said:
The problem is, what if you see a beta element, but you're not sure what part of the development stage it is found in?
Example?
 

Paper Mario the First

He is the one and only....
Well, you might find an official screenshot that is somewhat different than the actual game.
 

Glowsquid

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La Marionette said:
Well, you might find an official screenshot that is somewhat different than the actual game.
Usually, it should be pretty easy to identify when something is from a mockup or a very early build of the game. If you really have no idea though, just put it in the "Early/mid-dev builds" section.
 

Paper Mario the First

He is the one and only....
Okay, thanks. When should we improve on the glitches page? As soon as possible? I want to reorganize the Mario Smash Football page.
 

Glowsquid

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When should we improve on the glitches page?
I assume you didn't mean to say "glitches", correct? : p

As soon as possible
Yup.

I'll add a list of pages that have been fully reorganized in the OP when I have the time.
 

Paper Mario the First

He is the one and only....
Oops, I meant beta elements. The one that Bloof created was lingering in my mind when I was typing. :|
 

Glowsquid

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Re: Collab: Cleaning the Beta Elements pages (list updated 04-17)

aaaand because I'm really bored, i've added a list of medium-to-large pages that need categories in the OP.

You don't need to post here to contribute to the project, but it would be a good idea to post which page(s) you are/plan on doing and post when you're done, as to make editing the list easier. DoN't be afraid to comment or ask questions either.
 

Paper Mario the First

He is the one and only....
Re: Collab: Cleaning the Beta Elements pages (list updated 04-17)

Again, I'm planning to improve the Mario Smash Football later.
 

Glowsquid

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Re: Collab: Cleaning the Beta Elements pages (list updated 04-17)

It was separated by builds (which is great) but it didn't have the categories. I took care of it.
 

Paper Mario the First

He is the one and only....
Re: Collab: Cleaning the Beta Elements pages (list updated 04-18)

Shouldn't we notify those who rarely go in the forums about this change? Also, would this warrant a proposal. I suppose not for the latter question, but I think we should add a standard format for the beta elements page so when people create new beta element pages, they know what sections to add.
 

Paper Mario the First

He is the one and only....
Re: Collab: Cleaning the Beta Elements pages (list updated 04-18)

I dislike to double post, but I want to notify you that the Mario Smash Football page is done.

http://www.mariowiki.com/Mario_Smash_Football/Beta_elements
 

Glowsquid

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Re: Collab: Cleaning the Beta Elements pages (list updated 04-18)

Shouldn't we notify those who rarely go in the forums about this change?
It only affects an obscure set of pages and it doesn't really change wiki editing in any way, so I don't see the need for that. The most helpful you can do is write "[doing stuff], based on [link to this thread]" in every edit summaries or something. Something could get added to the talk of the main beta element page, I guess, but I doubt anyone will check there.

but I think we should add a standard format for the beta elements page so when people create new beta element pages, they know what sections to add.
I figured that most peoples would check the already-existing beta elements page to see how everything is organized before creating a new page, but since this project is far from done, I guess this couldn't hurt.
 

Paper Mario the First

He is the one and only....
Re: Collab: Cleaning the Beta Elements pages (list updated 04-18)

Yeah, I can't really memorize the format without having to look at another page, and that other page may not have all the sections I need.

What you described in the edit summary was basically what I had done to revamp the Mario Smash Football page.
 

Glowsquid

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Re: Collab: Cleaning the Beta Elements pages (list updated 04-18)

but I think we should add a standard format for the beta elements page so when people create new beta element pages, they know what sections to add.
Aaaaand (with some very helpful proofreading by Walkazo), I've created a writing guideline page explaining the categories and providing more detailed examples. Timely ain't I :x.
 

Ray Trace

You Can Tick Off Birds If You Follow My Advice
Re: Collab: Cleaning the Beta Elements pages (list updated 04-18)

We should do one for glitches next. But good idea on that. It definitely needs guidelines in order for people working in these pages.

Regarding being timely, I'm even worse than you :/
 
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