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  1. #1
    Hyperion Cross
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    Preferred navigation for reading guides? Tabbed? Pages (or different posts)? One giant guide?

    So I'm writing some guides up for random (game/life) things. One thing that I have the option to is to present it in different styles.

    You have your usual pages or a guide that spans multiple pages. I also appear to be able to tab it up.

    Granted, I understand it depends on the content, but in general, I was wondering what people, when looking up for a guide (lets say, a game guide/walkthrough) prefer?

    GameFAQs does text only and is highly popular, although information can be hard to read sometimes (it is afterall, literally a giant wall of text)
    Forum based guides like Elitist Jerks for World of Warcraft has a 1 giant page with some tables, images and whatnot
    Blog based guides are usually 1 big page or spanning across multiple pages

    A few rare ones I've seen are done in like a spoiler tag/accordion slider content for each section. I've so far never seen a tabbed guide (which are usually for tidbits of info, not a full blown guide)

    Does anyone have any preference or can list the pros/cons to any? Or does it not really matter at the end of the day as long as it can be read and accessed easily on any device?

  2. #2
    Resident Moogle
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    I prefer the GameFAQs style since it's close to being like a PDF, but if you go that route, have a table of contents at the start and put search codes for every entry [#Chp01] so you can easily skip down to a particular area without needing to scroll wheel across 50+ pages.

  3. #3
    Hyperion Cross
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    Yah I planned to, depending on the content/guide (shit's situational eh?) to have shortcut/back to top links if I go GameFAQs style. If I paginate the guide I will also have clickable content links/etc for easy navigation.

    I see what you mean about PDFs, I forgot about it. In my office there seems to be a massive hardon to PDF everything so users can take it with them lol

  4. #4
    Old Merits
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    GameFAQs updated their guide format a while ago, it's not just text-only anymore. I read a New Super Mario Bros Wii guide that had plenty of pictures in it, showing what the author was describing.

  5. #5
    Hyperion Cross
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    Yeah I just looked it up. Oh wow! Exactly what I was expecting.

    I'm not trying to compete but I think I can top that for the guides I planned to make. Besides those images look a bit odd, I mean, why only use 3 of the 4 "squares" in that image box? I suppose 3 is sufficient but it just seems unintuitive.

    Still, it helps give me inspiration on what to and not to do!

  6. #6
    listen!
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    Gamefaqs style is not bad, but they still try to maintain compatibility with computers that haven't been used in 30 years, which leads to a very inefficient design, and lacks very useful information (pictures, videos, etc).

  7. #7
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    I do like the blog-style of having a separate page for each section, and links to jump to each section at the one or both of the bottom/top.

  8. #8
    DAKPluto
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    I really prefer a wiki format, or other type of tabled/tabbed system of content.

  9. #9
    Spiders are Awesome
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    Either wiki, or one giant page of text like Gamefaqs. One page for each item, or one page total. Grouping several topics on one page, blog-style, always ends up arbitrary and annoying to navigate.

    More important than format is not repeating useless/duh info. My biggest pet peeve with game guides is when they repeat stuff that the game already tells you. Don't assume your readers are lazy fucks, even though they probably are.

  10. #10
    Hyperion Cross
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    Thanks for the tips.

    I don't plan to have 100s of pages, but a few (giant) pages/tabs, so no worries there.

    I don't understand fully what you all mean by wiki --but I assume basically like any page for X item found in a wiki?

    i.e. http://www.wowwiki.com/Warrior - an overview of Warrior and playstyle/history, etc

    And yeah I hate guides which repeat information from game (and elsewhere on guide). However, I've always enjoyed guides with mini-rants/musings inserted into them, or mixes it up so it comes off as useful yet funny. I planned to adopt the same approach as I believe this will make (it does for me) people enjoy the reading more (as long as it isn't too dumb). I believe that by making it entertaining yet informative, people are most likely to revisit or try to get a portable version of it.

  11. #11
    listen!
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    Sylph

    I don't understand fully what you all mean by wiki --but I assume basically like any page for X item found in a wiki?

    i.e. http://www.wowwiki.com/Warrior - an overview of Warrior and playstyle/history, etc
    Yes. Every item, quest, npc, etc all gets it's own page. The advantage here being that it is very easy to find whatever specific information is needed.

  12. #12
    DAKPluto
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    What makes or breaks the wiki style though is the content navigation. Needs to not be TOO detailed (table of contents shouldn't have 500 items for example) but be detailed enough to know exactly what section the information you want will be in.

  13. #13
    Hyperion Cross
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    Wiki style would be out of reach for me. Probably not in terms of setting one up, but I have nothing I need to cover in such depth, and even if there is there are probably better wikis around (although BG's FFXI wiki proved to be far superior over time). Maybe when a new MMO comes around that I am massively obessessed with would I make one.

    Saying that, I hate it when someone thinks it is smart to cook up a wiki for a game/movie/anime that doesn't even require one (especially for short/one off games), and yet makes it extremely difficult to browse, or has information available from the official site anyways, and then further poorly maintain it.

  14. #14
    listen!
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    You don't need to cover anything in depth to make wiki style good. The point is to be able to type the name of the quest or whatever you need info on, and have it come right up. No ctrl Fing through a million references to some place, no scrolling, no looking up search codes. You just search and there it is, with links to any other information you'll need.

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