Game FAQ Writing 101

Game FAQ Writing 101 for Neoseekers

Before starting.. I would like to point out that we appreciate all the hard work & dedication the Faq Authors put into their work which they submit to Neoseeker. These people spend countless hours researching, game-testing, updating their findings, and replying to all of those who email them regarding their faqs. Without these Faq Authors, there would be tons of Neoseekers who would be totally lost! Neoseekers benefit from these Faqs by getting more than they imagined from a game.. secrets, special items/weapons, hidden rooms, and more! Faq authors work on these files, not for their own gain, but for the benefit of their fellow Neoseekers who play the game. They deserve to be recognized. Please take a brief moment to give an author feedback on their work if you feel they did a good job - whether it be on NeoPM or Email, it only takes a few minutes. I really think they deserve pat on the back!

Where do I Start?

So you've got a craving to start a faq for a game.. now what? It doesn't matter if you're only one level into the game or whether you've already finished it 50 times. Once you've got your ideas in mind.. Pull up a text editor such as UltraEdit (ASCII Format) or Microsoft Word/Wordpad & get cracking!

These are the two of the formats that we will want to see you submit when completing a new version of a faq.

Format Type 1:   ASCII Text Format - Maximum of 79 Characters per line

Format Type 2:   Microsoft Word/Wordpad - Standard Letter format (the one you use for letter & essay writing. 8.5 x 11 Page with 1 Inch Margins. You must use a fixed width font. I recommend 10 Point Courier New. When complete, save the document as a Textfile under the name of the game.

NOTE: It is a good idea to use a word processor before using an ASCII Text Editor if you can.. simply because you can avoid spelling & grammar errors so you do not have to update your faq everyday from spelling mistakes that crop up.

Format Type 3:   Rich Text Format (RTF) - Maximum of 79 Characters per line, using a fixed width font.

NOTE:
  1. Please DO NOT submit HTML files or any other format other than the ones listed. They will not be posted.
  2. It is NOT a good idea to use the TAB key in your faqs. The definition for the number of spaces in each Tab varies from Word Processor to Text Editor.. Those who plan on making art, please take note..

As we continue, let's take a quick look at Azrael Blade's Resident Evil Faq to check out the way he has setup his faq: Resident Evil CODE: Veronica Basic Walkthrough

This faq generally follows the format most faq authors use when writing up faqs. From the top, let's go through which elements of the faq he covers, and in which order.

  • Very Top: ASCII Art - Some people can do crazy things with ASCII Art.. Check out for example: Nemesis' Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask - Take a look at the number of faqs he has under his belt.. Over 80 of them...
  • Copyright, Author's Name, Author's Email, Sometimes a Legal Disclaimer (either at start or at the very end)
  • Table of Contents - Even if you cannot finish or even start certain sections, list them anyways since people will know what you will be working on (Make sure you know you will cover the sections you list). You can tell people about your updates in a version history section found usually after the tables of contents.
    eg.
       Version 1.0 - 22 Aug 2001 - 1st version
       Version 1.1 - 11 Sept 2001 - Spelling, updated special items list, added level 5 walkthrough
       Version 1.2 - 17 Oct 2001 - Added Character Bios, monster list
  • After the TOC, there should be a Version History Section, then you can follow the Structure of the TOC and write out all the Sections Titles covered there.
  • There may be a credits section that follows the main body of the faq which is used for Credits. In this section, the author will list the names of the people who helped with the faq.
  • As stated above, the Disclaimer, Legal Section (or Notice) may follow at the very end. In this section, the author states that he and the other author's who wrote the faq have ownership of the document. usually it goes to say who can use it and with what exceptions and so forth. A brief disclaimer might say: Title of the faq copyright 2001 Author's Full Name. Permission must be granted in order to use this faq for anything other than personal use. Contact Info (NeoPM, Email, ICQ, Messenger Alias). "The only sites allowed to use my guide or any part of it are: List of Websites If you are devoted solely to Neoseeker, we encourage you to write that Neoseeker is the exclusive host for the faq. Also, instead of email, you can use your profile & NeoPM so you do not receive any great yummy SPAM from people who can sign you up for various things with your email stated in the faq. Another great resource people include, is a link to the specific game forum on Neoseeker. People reading your faq will be able to use the link to the forum and discuss any items that may not be covered in the faq.

FAQ Content Musts

  • Format must be as specified above
  • Copyright must be present with the Author's name, version number and date of publication
  • The written work must be readable, free of spelling errors with good grammar
  • Content must be entirely the original works of the author. Any included work from other authors must first be given permission by the rightful owner and credit must be noted in the faq
  • Content must be free of foul/suggestive language/images
  • Any Spoilers included in a faq must have a statement of advance warning or a separate edition of the faq should be written (i.e. Spoiler Free FAQ/Walkthrough for __) to give the reader notice

Please Submit:

  • Detailed Faqs of subject matter relating to a specific game or series that has not been been covered before
  • Character Guides (Include: Move Lists, Combos, Bios, Strengths, Weaknesses, Comparisons, Secrets, Tips, etc.)
  • Translation Guides (Walkthroughs, Item List, Song Lyrics, Level/Character Names,)
  • Walkthroughs
  • Hints
  • Tips
  • Strategies
  • Preview FAQ - Sometimes certain individuals have the inside word on new games coming out. This is a great way to inform people of the various characters, features, levels, items that the game will offer
  • Maps (GIF or JPG format only) - Make sure your name & copyright is on the image

Please Do Not Submit:

  • Someone else's work in any form. Permission MUST be requested & had before including ANY material that isn't your own into a faq
  • Solely Cheat/Gameshark Codes - Please submit these to our cheats submission form here
  • Fan Fiction
  • Oversized Faqs (Please keep each of your faqs down to a file size under 500k - if needed, break up the faq into multiple volumes)
  • Tiny Faqs (Sub 3K)
  • Trainers - Executable files are well known for their potential to be a carriers for viruses


Points of Interest

  • If you know how to write in another language, we do accept game faqs written in languages other than English. Although we would like to host faqs in any written language, we can only accept ones written in the major European languages: i.e. Dutch, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.
  • Detailed & more comprehensive work = More readers, more feedback, and more recognition. You will be known for your thoroughness..
  • Act your age and you will be respected for it.
  • You shouldn't talk about potentially hazardous/controversial subject matter such as Religion, Politics, Ethnicity, and Sex in your work. Although there may not be the intent of offending anyone, there is a great deal of chance that you will regardless.
Last edited by Redemption on 21 July 2011 at 04:17
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