PCGamingWiki:Editing guide/Fixboxes and providing instructions

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

The main focus of this wiki is providing a centralized hub for PC game fixes. However, if the fixes provided are not explained in a clean and easy to follow process, then they are useless. Ultimately, this defeats the purpose of this wiki.

This section handles two critical aspects of providing fixes: the Fixbox, and how to give instructions "properly".

The Fixbox

Syntax

{{Fixbox|1=
{{Fixbox/fix|Name|ref=<ref>Reference</ref>}}
--instructions go here--
}}

Example

Taken from Full Spectrum Warrior
Modifying the FSW.dll file[1]
Before editing, make a backup of the FSW.dll file in case the modifications go wrong.
  1. Go to <path-to-game>.
  2. Open the FSW.dll file with Notepad or other text editor.
  3. Using the Find function (Ctrl+F), search for "%s.available.gamespy.com". There will be exactly one entry.
  4. Replace the text with "www.example.com/fixes/%s" (or any other working link that is the same length as the original and contains "%s" somewhere. This particular link is guaranteed to work.)
  5. Save the file.
  6. Launch the game.

The Fixbox is a specialized container used exclusively for fixes, workarounds, and step-by-step instructions. It provides a formal base for them, as well as keeping the wiki clean.

General rules

  • The title need to summarize what the fix/workaround is trying to accomplish.
    • See above example.
  • For sequenced instructions, use # to label each step.
    • # allows numbered lists to be dynamic.
    • Ex. If new entries are placed in the middle of a list, the old entries are automatically re-numbered.

Providing instructions

Due to the countless variability with games and potential workarounds, it is impossible to come up with rules for every single scenario. For the most part, the contributor will need to use their discretion to write clearly communicated instructions.

That being said, there are some base guidelines that can be applied to almost all fixes:

  • It can be safely assumed that the target audience for the fix can operate a computer at a basic level.
    • i.e. Can use an internet browser, can navigate the OS's file system, knows basic keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V, etc.
  • Do NOT ever assume that the reader can "figure out the rest". Provide a full set of instructions for the fix, up until the game is fixed completely and can be played.
  • Use relative path locations. Not every user will have C:\ as the drive letter.
  • If a fix requires a particular class of program (ex. hex editors), choose a program, provide a download link for it, and write up the instructions in the context of that particular program.
    • If possible, use programs that are available for free. Fixes are useless if locked behind a paywall.
  • If a fix requires major configuration file modifications (>10 changed lines), create a config file with the changes included and provide a download link.
    • Config file text dumps will be removed.
  • Instructions should gently ease the reader into each step. Everything should be a natural progression of events.

Good example

The Fixbox example from the previous section is also a good case study of clear instructions
  1. Download <File X.zip>.
  2. Go to <file location>.
  3. Rename <File Y> to <File Z>.
  4. Extract the contents of the downloaded file into this folder.
  5. Once extracted, open <File Y-2> with <program name> or other <program type>.
  6. Change the values of <Line 1> and <Line 2> to true.
  7. Save the changes and launch the game.

Common fix templates

While each game has their own fixes and instructions, many of them share universal techniques that can be reused.

Applying compatibility settings (Windows only)

The order of options should remain the same, regardless of what gets removed
Enable the following compatibility settings for the <File name here> file: Compatibility mode (<OS name here>), Run in 256 colors (XP/Vista/7), Reduced color mode (<specify mode here>) (8/8.1), Run in 640x480 screen resolution, Disable visual themes (XP/Vista/7), Disable desktop composition (XP/Vista/7), Disable display scaling on high DPI settings, and Run this program as an administrator

Using a command line argument

Use the (Insert command here) command line argument

Using a in-game console command

Use (Insert command here) in the in-game console (<Insert console key here, usually ~>)

Installing a program

Download and install [<program site URL here> <program name here>])

Adding a file(s)

<Use one: Add in/Replace/Update> the (full file or folder name here) file/folder[2]
Before continuing, make a backup of the <full file or folder name here>
  1. Download the [<file/folder download URL here> <Use one: file/updated file(s)/patched file(s)>].
  2. Extract the contents of the download to (path location here). <For compressed downloads>
  3. Move the file/folder to (path location here). <For uncompressed downloads>

Modifying a file

Modify (full file name here)[3]
  1. Go to (file path location here).
  2. Open the (full file name here) file with <program name> or other <program type>.
  3. <Instructions on what lines to change go here>
  4. Save the file and launch the game.

References

  1. http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1202822
  2. Reference
  3. Reference