Game reference (style guide)
When listing a game, please use this format:
where the authoring systems and languages are usually omitted. Sometimes, it's preferable to list the authoring system instead of the platform when it's more relevant in the context.
When citing a game (or other IF work) on IFWiki, please use italics for the game's title:
- The Dreamhold (Andrew Plotkin; 2004; Z-code).
If the game doesn't have a title, use the word "untitled" without italics in the place of the title:
- untitled (Mark Musante; 1998; TADS 2).
If a game is known by multiple titles, separate the titles with "a.k.a." without italics. Put the original title or most commonly used title first:
- Luminous Horizon a.k.a. Earth and Sky 3 (Paul O'Brian; 01-Oct-2004; Glulx).
This refers to the names of the authors who created the work. Usually there's only one author, and only one name to list, e.g.:
- Babel (Ian Finley; 1997; TADS 2).
If the context makes it clear—if, for example, we're on the author's page—then you can omit the name:
If there are two names, separate the names with "and", not "&":
- Glass Boxes (Yune Kyung Lee and Yoon Ha Lee; 15-Mar-2005; Glulx).
Again, if the context makes it clear, you may omit the obvious author by prefacing the second author with "with". For example:
- Glass Boxes (with Yune Kyung Lee; 15-Mar-2005; Glulx).
If there are three or more names, separate all the names with commas. In this case, do not omit names:
- Pick Up the Phone Booth and Aisle (Ola Sverre Bauge, Steve Bernard, Jon Blask, John Cater, Liza Daly, David Dyte, Stephen Granade, Iain Merrick, Rob Noyes, Dan Schmidt, Dan Shiovitz, Emily Short, J. Robinson Wheeler; 2001; Z-code).
If authors should not be credited equally, preface each authors' name with their role, separating the role from the name with a colon. The role should be in lowercase:
- Zork: The Undiscovered Underground (designers: Michael Berlyn and Marc Blank; implementor: Gerry Kevin Wilson; 1997; Z-code).
If the work has a publisher, list the publisher after all authors, and preface the publisher's name with "publisher:". Do this even if only the publisher is known. For example:
- Greystone (Howard A. Sherman; publisher: Malinche Entertainment; 1-Dec-2003; Z-code).
- The Rise of the Lost (publisher: XO Play; 2004).
Some authors are only known by their pseudonyms in the IF Community. In this case, treat their pseudonym as if it were their real name:
- Pass the Banana (Admiral Jota; 1999; Z-code).
Some authors don't want their real names listed on IF sites, even if their real names are known. In this case, pretend you don't know the real name, and just use the pseudonym as their real name:
- All Things Devours (half sick of shadows; 2004; Z-code).
If you know both the real name and pseudonym, enclose the pseudonym in quotes, and preface it with "as". In context, the real name may be omitted, but still use "as":
- Shade (Andrew Plotkin as "Ampe R. Sand"; 2000; Z-code).
- Shade (as "Ampe R. Sand"; 2000; Z-code).
For a collective pseudonym that represents two or more authors, use the three-or-more author style and separate all authors and pseudonyms with commas. Use quotes around the pseudonym as above, but preface with "both as" or "all as" as appropriate:
- Within a Wreath of Dewdrops, or, A Poisoned Zenith (Sam Kabo Ashwell, Jacqueline A. Lott, both as "Alphonse de l'Entaille"; 2005; Z-code).
- Ruined Robots (Gregory Dudek, Natasha Dudek, Nicholas Dudek, all as "nanag_d"; 01-Oct-2004; TADS 2).
If you don't know either the real name or the pseudonym, credit the author as Anonymous:
- Amnesia Kid (Anonymous; 2004; ADRIFT).
This normally refers to the original release date of the work, and should be in the format dd-Mmm-yyyy, where dd is a 2-digit representation of the day of the month, Mmm is a 3-letter abbreviation of the month, and yyyy is the 4-digit year:
- Choices (David Whyld; 14-Feb-2005; ADRIFT).
If you don't know the day and month, don't worry about them; just use the year. If the year is unknown, don't put in "unknown year"; just omit it. If you only have an approximate date, preface the date with "c." for circa, which means "about". Hopefully, someone will be able to fill in the missing info later:
- Duck World (Dennis Merritt; c. Jul-2004; Amzi! IF Toolkit).
- Puddles on the Path (Anssi Raisanen; 2003; Alan).
- Inhumane (Andrew Plotkin; Z-code).
If there are multiple release dates, separate the dates with a comma. Also for multiple release dates, or for a single non-original release date, preface each date with a short description explaining which release it is. Separated the short release description from its date with a colon. For example:
- The Hunting of the Snark (Lewis Carroll; v1: 1884, v2: 1886; Boojum).
Of course, if you have dates but not version info, you'll have to leave the version info out:
- Captain Fate (Roger Firth and Sonja Kesserich; 2002, 2004; Z-code).
An authoring system is the programming language or specialized authoring tool used to create the work. Normally, the authoring system is not listed in a game reference, and if it is listed, it's often listed instead of the platform.
Never list the authoring system and platform together in a game reference if they have the same name.
This refers to the platforms or virtual machines that the work was written for, which in most cases is the same as the authoring system. Games written in Inform should be listed as either Z-code or Glulx.
If the work exists on multiple platforms, separate the platform names with commas:
- The Thorn (Eric Mayer; 2003; ADRIFT, Z-code).
It is acceptable to leave out the platform info if the context of the listing makes it clear.
By "language" here, we mean which human language like English, French, or Spanish is used to print the text of the game. Do not confuse this with a programming language like Basic or C++ that may have been used to write the game. For example:
- De Baron (Victor Gijsbers; 31-Mar-2006; Z-code; Dutch).
If the language is English, in most cases you should omit it, with the understanding that English is the default language for most games on this wiki. Almost the only time you'd need to specify English explicitly is within a list of games that are predominately not in English.
If a list of games is mostly a list of non-English games, it is very acceptable to make a notation above the list, saying something like "Note: The following games are in Italian unless otherwise indicated", and then omit the language in the game references for simplicity's sake.
Until August 2006, the language was not part of the formal game reference standard and appeared separately after the right parenthesis. It is not currently a high priority to "fix" these references, but of course, in due time, we probably should fix them. But no rush.