Editing Rules: Formats

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Format pages should be made for every audio format used in a video game or used to house video game music or sound effects. For an example of a format page that meets the VGMPF standards, see ROL.

Sections

All of the following applicable sections should be included in a format's page.

Template

Each format page should begin with an format template which will include some basic information about the format as well as set the page into the necessary categories.

General

The format's general description should cover the name of the format, who created it and when, what type of audio data it can store, and basic details about its use and capabilities.

Players

This should be a bullet-list of the software that can play the format and the platform on which the software can run, as well as a link to the format's player category.

Editors

This should be a bullet-list of the software that can create or edit the format and the platform on which the software can run, as well as a link to the format's editor category.

Converters

This should be a bullet-list of the software that can convert the format to another format and the platform on which the software can run, and which formats the software can convert it into. This section should be broken into software that converts the format into another, and those that convert others into the format. There should also be a link to the format's converter category.

Games

This section should list the games that used this format along with a sample of how the format sounds in the game. The list should be sorted by release date in order to showcase the change in quality of the format over time. If more than 20 games used the format, limit the list to 20, and direct viewers to the category page which lists all games. To decide which games should be included in the list, take into account these criteria:

  • The first game to use the format should always be included.
  • If the format is obsolete, include the last game to use it.
  • Include games that were particularly influential (those with high ratings on MobyGames).
  • Include games with particularly impressive soundtracks (this is subjective; make sure the community agrees).
  • Include games with songs that take advantage of certain idiosyncrasies of the format. For example, if the format doesn't support pitch bends, but a composer was able to make it play a pitch bend.

If the format is a logged format or source code format like SPC, SID, NSF, VGM, etc., take into account these criteria:

  • Include one of the first and last games to be released on the platform.
  • Include games that were particularly influential (those with high ratings on MobyGames).
  • Include games with particularly impressive soundtracks (this is subjective; make sure the community agrees).
  • Include games that expand the normal platform's hardware (like Gimmick! (FC) or Lagrange Point (FC)).
  • Include games that push the platform's audio hardware to the limit or use it in unusual ways.

How to Obtain

Describe the general method someone can use to obtain files in this format. For logging music, list emulators or programs that can be used; for binary rips, explain which chips need to be understood; for resource file extraction, list programs that can be used to extract the files. Also list any links to online collections of the format.

Technical

This section should include basic technical information about the format's header, footer, and data structure. Link to technical sites for further details, but if there are no other sites, post the technical information here.

Links

Any links to pages with details about the format should be included here, especially to authorities on the format like the ModdingWiki and Wikipedia.

Icons

Use this template for making new format icons.
  • Format icons must use the existing template (the dog-eared sheet with a graphic and extension letters at the bottom).
  • You can download icon templates for Adobe Photoshop (PSD), Corel Photo-Paint (CPT), Paint.NET (PDN), and standard PNG.
  • Icons must be uploaded in PNG format with a transparent background.
  • The font used is Verdana, 12pt, bold. Each graphic program renders fonts differently, so try to match the template as accurately as possible. If the extension is too long to fit, you may narrow it.
  • The extension text must be 3 pixels from the bottom and centered horizontally.
  • The icon graphic should be related to the format in some way. Use the following as a guide:
    • If the format is used to store a console's audio format, use a console-related graphic. For example, the NSF uses a picture of an NES and the USF uses the Nintendo 64 logo.
    • If the format has an existing logo, use it, like FLAC and OPUS.
    • If the format was used solely by a particular company across multiple games, use their logo, like Origin's M or Sierra On-Line's SCI.
    • If the format is used to log audio from a specific audio chip, use a logo related to the chip like AY or YM
    • If the format was only used in a single game, use a graphic from the game, like God of Thunder's GOT.
    • If a format is directly related to another for some reason, like it's an older version of the format, or it stores the same audio, but for a different output, use the same icon, but alter its color. For example, NSFE is just an NSF file with a more complex header.
    • For generic formats, just try to use a graphic that is fitting to the format, like the RAW.
    • If the format has used different extensions in the past, or different extensions are popular on different platforms, create an image for each extension and use the same icon. For example, MID, MIDI, and MFF.
    • If the format has a compressed version of the same format, create an image for each extension and use the same icon. For example, VGM, VGZ, and VGM7Z.
    • If the format uses multiple files with different extensions, but they must be directly tied together to work, create an icon for each extension, but use the same icon for each. For example, USF, USFLIB, and USFMINI.

See Also