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Old 01-25-2016, 01:03 PM   #1
Anders
 
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Default Has anyone used a wiki to organize world-building?

I'm thinking of building a world and using TiddlyWiki to organize my thoughts. Has anyone else tried this or something similar and how did it work out?
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Old 01-25-2016, 01:12 PM   #2
MadWombat
 
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Default Re: Has anyone used a wiki to organize world-building?

I have been using MediaWiki for my efforts and it is helpful, although I think going in with an organization plan makes things much easier, instead of trying to organize things on the fly.
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Old 01-25-2016, 04:18 PM   #3
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: Has anyone used a wiki to organize world-building?

Is there anything like that that works for Kindle Fire?
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:35 PM   #4
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Has anyone used a wiki to organize world-building?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
I'm thinking of building a world and using TiddlyWiki to organize my thoughts. Has anyone else tried this or something similar and how did it work out?
Not yet, but I've thought about it a lot, for my Ärth setting.

My intent is to go for MediaWiki, both because I know it (I did a bit of editing on English Wikipedia from 2005 or 06 and a few years forward), and because I know it can have enabled all the features I'll be needing (even though some required - or at least required, some years ago - server side tweaks, which intimidate me).

The main thing you'll need, for a serious world, is the ability to have a hierarchial (tree-type) system of categories that you can place articles in.

There's a famous RPG setting wiki hosting site, whose name I've forgotten, but which lacks this. Instead of allowing a tree structure of article categories, they have a completely flat structure of tags, similar to what you have in a blog (pick any random RPG blog, Douglas Coles' very popular one, or my own OdinsDay, or almost any else), and which works fine for blogs but is a really bad idea for any large project, such as documenting an actual world (of course that site may have improved since I last checked it, several years ago).

If TiddlyWiki has that, a hierarchial category system, then that's the most important thing. If it doesn't, then MediaWiki markup is super easy to learn. You can even run it on your home computer, unavailable to the outside world, if you so prefer (which is what I imagine TiddlyWiki is intended for - Sagatafl's fan (yes, it has one) is making a "fork" called OMNIA, and he's using some kind of personal wiki to keep things organized, which might be TW).

Oh, and I've also started a couple of threads in here, one about that wiki whose name I've forgotten, and another (I don't think it was the same thread) asking about how to devise a formal structure for world entity articles. For instance, I'd want to have a pre-defined article structure for NPC entries, with major headers defining them in the most important ways, including Notable Attributes (basically anything that isn't a 2, 3 or 4, except in cases where a 2, 3 or 4 would be notable such as Eurielle's crappy Linguistic Intelligence). If you find my world wiki structure thread you're welcome to necro it (if you don't I might do that myself, when it becomes pertinent).
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Has anyone used a wiki to organize world-building?

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Originally Posted by MadWombat View Post
I have been using MediaWiki for my efforts and it is helpful, although I think going in with an organization plan makes things much easier, instead of trying to organize things on the fly.
Yes, being organized about things is useful. MediaWiki has some tools to help out, such as for finding articles that aren't in any categories at all, but coming up with a category hierarchy structure would be useful.

For instance, for a world wiki, one could start with just:
1. Wiki
then branch into:
2. World Content / Meta
and further divide World Content into stuff like Places, Characters, Organizations, Metaphysics. Characters would further be tagged according to religion (very important in my Ärth setting), culture and gross profession (do they fight, do they think, do they work magic, are they rogues or diplomats?), and gross point total (are they unimportant 35-50 GP normals or 170-190 GP movers-and-shakers, or something in between?).

Meta would contain all the wiki stuff not pertinent to the world.

I'd also personally want to write a Style Guide (in the Meta category), both for my own benefit but also as an aid for others who might wish to contribute with content (e.g. a player) or in other ways (proofreading). For instance, I've made specific choices, such as to always capitalize the titles King, Duke and Bishop (but not priest or deacon), to emphasize their importance, whereas "Druids" are a subset of "druids", and not all "abbot" are "Abbots" (and I actualy had to google exactly how to spell that, because I was momentarily unsure - once nailed down in my Style Guide, I won't have to waste time with that again).

Since Ärth has Moslems, I also need to nail down how to transscribe very important Arabic names and terms (e.g. Moslem instead of Muslim or Moslim) so that I can be consistent.

Starting with a short Style Guide is probably fine for most projects. Just having the article there, and write something like "only one space after a period". Then add to it later, if you start to feel pedantic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Is there anything like that that works for Kindle Fire?
"Works" in what sense?

MediaWiki is meant to be put up onto the WWW for access for all (although you can use it to run a personal offline wiki - I used XAMP or something but it was very long ago and I'm not that eidetic, and I think you can also run a restricted wiki where most or all pages are only visible to people who log in), and you can edit it in any browser (using a tablet the main problem I see is the touch screen keyboard, but I know one can get external keyboards - I bought a full-size bluetooth keyboard for my iPad, that I've yet to use).

As for TiddlyWiki, I don't know. If it's meant to be put up onto the web, then yes, you'll at the very least be able to read it on your Kindle tablet at the table during play (and so will your players), but editing it on your tablet might or might not work. Also I'm not sure if TiddlyWiki is meant to be put up on the web.
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Old 01-26-2016, 10:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: Has anyone used a wiki to organize world-building?

Jurgen Hubert - who certainly used to post here - has done something similar with his Urbis setting.

Is there a way of setting up a private wiki that doesn't involve storing stuff outside your own PC?
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Old 01-26-2016, 11:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: Has anyone used a wiki to organize world-building?

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JIs there a way of setting up a private wiki that doesn't involve storing stuff outside your own PC?
Sure. It'll be harder on Windows, as these things always are, but it ought to be possible: just install a web server and relevant wiki software.
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:10 PM   #8
Mark Skarr
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Default Re: Has anyone used a wiki to organize world-building?

Yes. For a couple of years now. I actually use a wiki for all aspects of gaming organization.

I use PmWiki, and WampServer to host it locally. I have it shared on my internal network. It's not accessible outside of my network.

I use it to store GURPS rules and information. Also, I put all of my player's characters on it, and hyperlink them to their various bits of information (I'm about 90% done entering Advantages, 75% done on Disadvantages and about 60% done on Skills).

However, something I've noticed is that most of my players don't bother to read what I've put on it. I keep plugging away at it and it gets more and more complete.

I have it login-restricted so you can only see characters and worlds that are available to your login. That way, player 1 can't see player 2's stuff.

Does it speed up play? For me, yes. For my players, not really. They like having their characters available on-line, and they just need their tablets or phones to access them. I also have a small selection of cheap tablets available (purchased specifically for this purpose).

However, as I said, they don't like to read the information on it. Even though all the information is just three taps away, they'd rather wait for me to remind them, or simply ignore it.
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:13 PM   #9
Mark Skarr
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Default Re: Has anyone used a wiki to organize world-building?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Is there anything like that that works for Kindle Fire?
When hosted, like I've done, PmWiki works just fine on my Kindle Fire. You access the wiki through a web browser.
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Has anyone used a wiki to organize world-building?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
I'm thinking of building a world and using TiddlyWiki to organize my thoughts. Has anyone else tried this or something similar and how did it work out?
Yes. My tabletop group has employed a wiki (MediaWiki engine) for world-building on various campaigns. We probably have not used it to the fullest extent possible. The format not only provides players a ready-reference but also allows them to participate in the world creation by adding journals, character biographies, etc.

Check it out.
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