This page documents the "standard" template used for character entries in this Wiki. It is not a MediaWiki "template", but a set of standardized section headings and information that all character entries should adhere to. All new entries should begin with this template, and older entries created before this template was put into use should be modified to fit this template whenever they are touched.
All character entires must be included in the Characters category by including the [[Category:Characters]] Wikitext on the first line. There are a number subcategories within this main category, and those should be included when relevant (i.e. deceased characters should be included in Category:Characters:Deceased Characters). Categories should be placed at the top of the entry by convention and should be followed by a "__NOTOC__" flag to disable auto-generated tables of contents.
All characters should (eventually) have a profile picture, ideally in color. Main characters and other significant key characters will likely have a special image created specifically for the Wiki, while less important characters will probably have pictures cropped from published strips. Whenever possible, profile pictures taken from strips should be cropped from the high resolution "master" originals and resized for best quality. Pictures should not exceed [width] by [height] pixels in size, although Jeff may decide to adjust that "until it looks right". The profile image should be included at the top of the article and explicitly designated to show on the left side, with the text flowing around it on the right. Only one picture should be associated with each article, although important characters may end up having a few scattered about at Jeff's discretion.
All links should use the Interwiki Tags for internal links within the GPF site, such as to strips in the archive. Do not use the [URL Link text] Wikitext syntax for internal links. External links (i.e. links outside the GPF site) should be avoided or kept to a minimum otherwise. Only link to external sites if there is a particularly important reason to do so.
The main sections of the article must include:
- Vital Statistics: Required. Physical and meta data about the character, including such information as name, aliases, first appearance, species, gender, height, weight, hair color, marital status, etc.
- Character Description: Required. A brief summary of the character's personality and history within the strip. This is the "meat" of the article and should have plenty of links to the Comic Archive to cite references.
- Selected Milestones: Required. A bullet list of links back to the Archive featuring highlights that feature the subject of the article prominently. These links don't necessarily have to point to the first strip of a given story, but should at least link to the first strip in a sequence that puts the story in context. Not every story the character has ever appeared in should be listed; link to a reasonable number of stories that give readers of the article a nice sampling of the character's history and personality, or to major events in the character's life.
- Relationships: Required. A bullet list of significant individuals the subject of the article has a relationship with. This should include immediately family (parents, siblings, offspring, spouse), significant extended family (i.e. Professor Wisebottom should be listed for Nick, Trudy and Gwynn are cousins, etc.), and significant couplings (before they got married, Fooker and Sharon were dating and fairly stable, but Trudy and Trent should not be connected, even though they dated at one time). Listed individuals need not have an entry in the Wiki to be listed if the person has been mentioned and may have plot significance. Deceased relationship should be listed if significant, suffixed with ", deceased". If no known relationships have been mentioned anywhere in the comic, a single bullet citing "None known" will suffice. Any cited relation that has their own entry in the Wiki must be linked.
- Group Affiliations: Required. A bullet list of organizations the subject currently belongs to or has been associated with in the past. The association should be specific and direct, such as Fooker being an employee of GPF Software and a U.G.A. agent. Loose or indirect associations should only be listed if significant, such as Patty being "drafted" into the Brotherhood of the Twisted Pair. If the organization has a Wiki entry, it must be linked. In some cases, if an organization has no entry or formal name, a brief summary can be included. If the subject has no affiliations, "None" or "None known" will suffice.
- Miscellaneous Notes: Optional. Any extra miscellaneous information not otherwise documented in the other sections that the article's author feels may be relevant and noteworthy to include. Jeff has used this to include pronunciation notes for Ki and Fooker's names, why Dwayne and Chuck look so similar and are often confused, and Geek Codes for all the main cast. If there is nothing worth adding for this section, it should be omitted.
- See Also: Optional. Additional cross-references relevant to the subject. These must link to Wiki articles and must be significant to fully understanding the article's subject. For example, including references to Negaverse and To Thine Own Self... would be relevant for any character originating from the alternate universe in that story. Negaverse and "real" universe entries should be linked (i.e. Nick and Emperor Nicholas the Puissant should link to each other). If no cross-references seem necessary, this section may be omitted.
Main sections should be second-level headings (== See Also ==).
For the Vital Statistics section, the following entries are required:
- First Appearance: A reference to the first comic the character appears in. The link should point to the first strip of the story/chapter, and the link text should be the story/chapter title. Following this link in parentheses should be the date of the strip the character first appears in. (Thus, if the story begins in March but the character does not actually appear until May, the link should point to the strip in March that started the story but the date should be the one in May when the character first appeared.) In some instances, a character may have only been referenced and never appeared in the strip (yet). In this case, the heading text First Mention should be used instead of First Appearance with a similar link structure. Once the character appears in the strip, both headings may be retained.
- Full Name: The character's full legal name, or as much of it as we may know. If some element is unknown it should be noted (i.e. for Scott, whose last name we don't yet know, we would state "Scott (surname currently unknown)"). If the character's actual name is unknown, "Unknown" will suffice. If there is uncertainty about the name, a question mark in parentheses ("(?)") or "(uncertain)" can be included.
- Known Aliases: Any known alternate names or aliases the character may recognize or respond to. For example, Fooker has been called "James Baud" and "Agent #6". This can also denote when a character's name has changed, such as when Trudy was given the new surname "Niemand" by the U.G.A. Links to strips demonstrating the use of a given alias are encouraged. If no additional aliases are known, use "None".
- Status: The character's current status as of the latest strip. Usually this will be "Alive", although some characters may have "Deceased" if they are now dead. If there is uncertainty about the character's state, "Uncertain" or "Unknown" may be used depending on the level of certainty. ("Uncertain" implies a general consensus of state with a hint of uncertainty, and an additional note can be added for explanation, i.e. "Uncertain; assumed to be devoured by rabid lions but may have had rabid lion repellent".)
- Species: Usually this will be "Human", but in GPF you can never be quite sure. There are just enough non-human characters out there to require this item. If the subject's species has a Wiki entry (such as the Grey Aliens) a link to the article is required.
- Gender: The subject's gender, which may include "Neuter". As with Status, "Uncertain" and "Unknown" may be valid as well. Clarification text can also be included; for example, Mischief's entry states "Neuter, although she assumes a female personae".
- Height: The character's height. Must be specified in both imperial (feet and inches) and metric (centimeters) measurements. If an exact value is unknown, an approximation may be provided but must be denoted as such. Amorphous characters pose a problem with this statistic. Extradimensional Entities can change shape, so their entries should state "Variable" but include their typical approximate height. For sentient slime molds, who can stretch and squash their shape at will, replace this metric with Volume specified in both cubic feet and liters.
- Weight: The character's mass, or weight on Earth. Must be specified in both imperial (pounds) and metric (kilograms) measurements. Approximations may be used if denoted as such. As with height, exceptional characters may require "Variable" qualifiers. "Uncertain" and "Unknown" are permitted values, although "Uncertain" implies an approximation should be given.
- Hair: The character's hair color, or lack of hair if necessary. This should be the color as depicted in the color comics, not gray scale comics. If the hair color is unknown (i.e. the character has never been scene in a color comic), it should be denoted as "Uncertain" and a best guess made. (Jeff will correct it as necessary.) If the character is naturally bald, "Bald" by itself will suffice; if the character shaves his or her head and the hair color is known, you may use "[Color], shaved bald". For slime molds, replace this with Cytoplasm and denote the typical color. (Slime molds may change color with emotions but typically assume a single color.) For characters covered with fur (i.e. Wallace T. Bruin), replace with Fur and denote the color.
- Distinguishing Characteristics: A brief list of physical or personality traits that may be significant. This is a catch-all entry for anything important but not covered elsewhere. For example, both Todd and Agent #18 are never seen without their sunglasses. Fooker's goatee and knack for wearing shorts all the time are listed here. Ki's bangs, Nick's freckles and cowlick, and Sharon's temper fit here as well. Since most GPF characters do not have pupils, there is no separate entry for eye color; however, characters with more realistic features (such as the Gamester and Mischief) should have their eye color (if known) listed here.
- Marital Status: Singe, Married, Divorced, Widow/Widower, etc. In the case of married couples, it should be listed as "Married to" followed by a link to the character's spouse. In some cases, if two characters are dating and the relationship is significant to the plot (i.e. Fooker and Sharon), they can be listed as "Single, dating" with a link to the significant other. "Unknown" and "Uncertain" are valid values.
The Character Description should be comprehensive but not exhaustive. It should summarize the character thoroughly but concisely in a few short paragraphs, giving a detailed account of their personality and history within the strip. The length of the description should reflect the character's importance; i.e. main characters should have a very lengthy description filled with many cross-reference links, while one-shot characters that appear in only one or a handful of stories should be much more brief.
Cross-reference citations to the Comic Archive should be provided for any events or notable traits listed. Links should point to relevant best examples of the trait, or to specific strips where an event occurs (not to the beginning of a story, as with First Appearance). If an event occurs over several strips, the link should point to the first relevant link of the arc. Once a cross-reference has been made, it does not need to be made again; for example, if you mention several things that happen in a given strip, only link to the strip on the first reference and let the others slide. (Readers can follow the links themselves and make the association on their own.)
Spoilers should be kept at a minimum, but the Wiki implies a "current" state with the events of the comic. Therefore, spoilers a pretty much unavoidable. For example, now that Nick and Ki are married, it does not make sense to tiptoe around their dating relationship early in the comic. That said, you shouldn't go out of the way to point out a plot point that would be considered a spoiler if it does not have relevance to events mentioned later in the article.
Speculation should be avoided in the Character Description. Only facts that occur within the strip are permitted. Jeff is the only one allowed to break this rule.
Jeff's edits are to be considered final. If he changes something you wrote, you are not permitted to change it back. If you find what you think is a mistake in something he wrote and are uncertain about whether or not it should be changed, contact him directly and as soon as possible to discuss it; don't go changing anything more significant than a typo unless you bring it up with him first.
When in doubt, take a look at any of the existing character entries for ideas. The main characters are great starting points, as they will have virtually everything filled out in great detail. You can always start with one of their entries and modify it, cutting out anything that isn't relevant. And if you ever have any questions about some detail about a character, ask Jeff and he'll answer it as best as possible.
Cut and paste the template below to get started with your new character entry:
[[Category:Characters]]__NOTOC__ == Vital Statistics == '''First Appearance:''' [[gpfarchive:19981102|The Beginning]] (November 2, 1998) '''Full Name:''' '''Known Aliases:''' '''Status:''' Alive '''Species:''' Human '''Gender:''' '''Height:''' '''Weight:''' '''Hair:''' '''Distinguishing Characteristics:''' '''Marital Status:''' == Character Description == ''[TODO: Add description]'' == Selected Milestones == * ''[TODO: Add milestones]'' == Relationships == * None == Group Affiliations == * None == Miscellaneous Notes == ''[TODO: Add notes or remove]'' == See Also == * ''[TODO: Add references or remove]''