Manual of Style

From Outscape Wiki

Revision as of 19:42, 3 October 2019 by SternguardJake (talk | contribs) (Interim commit)

Welcome to the Manual of Style for the Outscape Wiki. This page is intended to give an overview of using the MediaWiki editor to format text and pages, as well as pointers on putting together some specific types of pages frequently used by this wiki. New editors should make sure to read the overview page on contributing to the wiki first.

Using the editor

This wiki uses MediaWiki - the same open source software as Wikipedia - so editing this wiki works in the same way. Anything related to editing a page not covered here, should be covered on the MediaWiki Help pages.

To open the editor on a page, click Actions in the top-right of the screen and select Edit from the drop-down menu that appears. The page's Discussion page and Edit History can also be accessed through this panel. Individual sections of a page may also be edited by clicking the "edit" prompt next to the section title.

Formatting text

To achieve anything other than plain text, special formatting must be used. Typically, this will be limited to headers, lists, links, and some basic font styling e.g. italic or bold. Some basic formatting options are:

''Italic text''
'''Bold text'''
* Bullet points
# Numbered list items

For further information:

  • Visit the MediaWiki page on formatting for a comprehensive list of text formatting options.
  • Click the "Edit" tab on other pages, to see how previous editors have used formatting.


Headers are used to organise a page and provide structure. The wiki also uses them to automatically generate the page contents shown at the top of pages, if the table of contents has been enabled.

Headers should be placed on their own line, and can be used between Levels 2 and 6. Level 1 should never be used - this is reserved for the page title. They use the following notation:

== Level 2 ==

=== Level 3 ===

==== Level 4 ====

===== Level 5 =====

====== Level 6 ======

Links and Templates

Links can be used to link to both pages and categories. The text that the reader clicks on to follow the link is called the anchor text, and can be generated automatically or overridden. In addition to the below examples, you can find out more about link formatting here.

[[Mankind]] (link to the Mankind page)
[[Mankind#Emergence]] (anchor link to the Emergence section of the Mankind page)
[[Mankind|View the Mankind page]] (link to the Mankind page with custom anchor text)
[[:Category:Mankind]] (link to the Mankind category)
[[:Category:Mankind|View all Mankind related content]] (link to the Mankind category with custom anchor text)
[ MediaWiki] (link to an external website with custom anchor text)

Templates are called using Template:Template Name, to bring in (or transclude) code from other pages. This is useful for complex features with pre-defined structures, such as Infoboxes.

{{TechInfoboxInfrastructure}} (call the Infrastructure Technology Infobox)


To use an image on the page, it must be uploaded to the wiki if it hasn't already been. Once uploaded, it can be embedded to a page using the following syntax, with a size specified in pixels:


When displaying two un-captioned images side-by-side, the optimal image widths are 620px. This ensures a good size on PC while also scaling appropriately for mobile/tablet devices.

See this page for more info on using images. If another page displays content in a way that you would like to copy, you can always click the "Edit" button to take a look at the code to see how it was done.


For displaying multiple images together with captions, a gallery may be created:

File:My_First_Image.jpg|Caption 1
File:My_Second_Image.jpg|Caption 2

Data tables

As a rule of thumb, the use of tables should be avoided where possible, unless a significant quantity of data needs to be displayed. The reasons for this are that their syntax is generally clunky if built in-house, disrupting the flow of code that makes up the article, and they also have display issues on mobile devices (in-house Wikitables cannot be sorted at all on mobile).

Nonetheless, tables are still useful for displaying tabulated data. Interested editors should see the Help page for Tables. Tables may be written in MediaWiki syntax or in HTML, although the former is preferred due to its denser layout.

Imported Google Sheets

Some pages contain data tables which automatically render data that IDA have exported to a CSV file. This data should be updated automatically as the game config is adjusted, but cannot be changed by editors. Pages where these data table tags can be found are fine to edit, but the data table code itself should remain untouched to avoid disabling the table.

This example is taken from the Banshee page, generating a hull Infobox:

<datatable type="hull"></datatable>

This example is from the Mankind Hulls page:


Please let us know if there is a particular data table you would like, or have a suggestion concerning any of the existing tables. Categories exist for pages which use these tables, or which have tables with out-of-date info on them.

Using categories

Categories are used to organize pages:

  • All pages should belong to at least one category.
  • All categories should belong to at least one other category, except for the top-most Wiki category.

Pages and subcategories can be added to a category by adding the following syntax to their content:

[[Category:Mankind Hulls]]

Such tags should always be at the very end of a page. To add content to multiple categories, simply use additional tags:

[[Category:Mankind Hulls]]

See the links section above to find out how to link to a category.

General Page Style Pointers

Hatnotes and Contents Tables

If needed, hatnotes should always be at the very top of a page, even before infoboxes. Hatnotes are brief notes that appear at the top of an article as a navigational aid. They generally take the form, "This page describes X; for information on Y, see Z." Hatnotes should not have bullet points – if there are many possible alternative destinations, a disambiguation page should be considered. The Assault Troop Carriers article has a good example of a hatnote.

If the page uses an infobox, this should be the next thing to include before the intro text. Page title names should be '''bolded''' in the intro text of all articles.

If the page has three or more section headings, a Table of Contents will be automatically generated. This can be forced for smaller pages using the __TOC__ command.


In general, linking to another page should be done once per article. Exceptions are when each section is self contained, such as in the Alpha Player Guide, or the Hull pages, such as the Columbus page, where links already in the infobox are repeated in the main write up. The main idea is to provide accessible links without overdoing it.

Internal links have a couple of useful character recognition abilities:

  • The first character of a link is not case-sensitive, e.g. both [[Destroyers]] and [[destroyers]] will be recognised as links to the Destroyers page. However, all subsequent characters are case-sensitive and must be spelled correctly.
  • Spaces in titles, such as for Natural Resources, may be represented with underscore (_) characters.

When linking to a page, it is acceptable to use either the short or long name depending on your needs. For example, you can link to either [[Population]] or [[Populations]], since Population is a redirect to Populations. There is no need to use [[Populations|Population]], which adds unnecessary bulk to the page. However, be cautious when using ambiguous links like [[Battles]] which may not link to the intended page. Disambiguation pages which offer a variety of destinations are the best way to handle such cases.

Some particularly handy short links and redirects are:

  • The natural resources [[Beron]], [[Farsu]], [[Limbalt]], [[Ziryl]] and [[Olzine]], along with [[Credits]].
  • Singular versions of all structures, such as [[Farm]] and [[Military Base]].
  • Singular versions of all hull classes, such as [[Scout]] and [{Cruiser]].
  • Links to the Major and Minor Factions categories at [[Major Factions]] and [[Minor Factions]].


In general, when using lists of items in a table or sub-category, the list should be alphabetized from A to Z. If the list entries are mixed format with numbers, the numbered entries should come first.


Numbers between zero and nine should always be written as text within the body of an article, e.g. the Nuisance has five Weapon hard points. Infoboxes should always use numbers, regardless of their size.

Large numbers should always have a comma ',' at the thousands and millions mark and so on, for example:

  • 250
  • 3,750
  • 11,250
  • 101,250

Units of Measurement

  • Power for structures and ships is always measured in MWt (megawatt thermal).
  • Ship hull length is measured in m (metres).
  • Distance between star systems is measured in LY (light years).

Hull Pages

Structure Pages

Technology Pages

Faction Pages