(written by ECV)
We have a large library of articles on Planets Mag now, and it’s become very time-consuming to go through and edit each one of them. Since there are so many authors, we’ve come to a point where we need to agree on some uniformity. This not only will keep the quality of our content consistent, but it also will make the Mag easier to read.
A lot of articles currently on the Mag will need to be updated to match this style guide, including all of my own. From now on, it will really help if authors refer to the style guide while writing. Feel free to ask questions, and we will add to or modify the style guide as needed.
Planets Mag is different than other VGA Planets informational sites because (1) the Mag is specifically tailored for Nu players and (2) all content is peer-reviewed and goes through a rigorous editing process for accuracy and quality.
All content on Planets Mag is expected to be accurate and intended for Nu players. Because of the shortcomings of the documentation on Nu, please avoid linking to pages on Nu unless you are certain that they are completely accurate. Also please avoid links to Donovan’s, the VGA Planets Wiki, or other VGA Planets sites, as they typically do not hold to the same peer-reviewed editorial quality standards as Planets Mag.
Site and Game Names
- Use Planets Mag, Planets Magazine, or planetsmagazine.com to identify Planets Mag.
- Use Planets (or VGA Planets) when referring to all versions of the game.
- Use Planets.Nu or just Nu to refer to the new game.
- Do not use VGAP or other abbreviations.
Prefer American spelling (color, organize, dialog) as opposed to British (colour, organise, dialogue). Regional differences/preferences in spelling are acceptable.
- Use torpedoes not torpedos
- Use leaderboard not leader board, and do not capitalize.
- Use the word uncloak when referring to a ship coming out of cloak.
- Use the word decloak when talking about a ship being removed from cloak by a Loki or by other means.
- Do not use “fc” as an abbreviation for anything! Please spell out the words Firecloud, friendly code, Falcon.
Some names have been spelled incorrectly in some versions of the game. It is acceptable to use either these correct spellings or the spelling from the game.
- Guardian Class Destroyer
- Topaz Class Gunboat
- Madonzilla Class Carrier
Minefields and Mineral Mines
- Minefield is written as one word.
- Use web instead of “webminefield”.
- Never use the word “mine” by itself if there is any ambiguity as to its meaning.
- Prefer minefield or deep space mines when referring to the kind out in space.
- Prefer mineral mines when referring to the planetary structure.
- Minesweep can be written as one word.
Within titles and sub-headers, important words are capitalized. The beginning word of a sentence is always capitalized. Beyond these, only proper names are capitalized. Names of ships, playable races, and native races are proper names. Under normal circumstances, verbs are not capitalized.
Examples of words capitalized: Echo Cluster, Thin Lizzy, Loki Class Destroyer, Treaty of Nimbus 7, Amphibians, Cyborg, Imperial Assault, Stellar Cartography.
Examples of words not capitalized: planet, starbase, engine, minefield, ion storm, glory device, warp well, chunnel, molybdenum, pre-tribal, friendly code, beam weapon, gamma bombs, heavy phasers, campaign game.
Because the different grades of engines are stylized in the game as quasi-brand names, they should be considered proper nouns and capitalized as in the game. ex. Transwarp Drive, Hyper Drive 8, Quantam (sic) Drive 7, HeavyNova Drive 6, Nova Drive 5, SuperStarDrive 4, StarDrive 3, etc.
The word Emperor is always capitalized when referring to a present, past, or future Emperor of the Echo Cluster. ex. “Future Emperors will impart much wisdom to the Nu community.”
The DIE HARD league uses all capitals for its name.
- Use full stop, comma, interrogation point, exclamation point as commonly used in all varieties of English.
- Colon (:) indicates an introduction of a list or an illustration of the clause preceeding.
- Semicolon (;) is used between two independent clauses.
- Use a hyphen (-) in compound adjectives (in common use this is obligatory in Britain and optional in America). ex. “This is the first article in a three-part series.”
- Typing the hyphen twice while editing will make an emdash — if you use this punctuation mark in your writing, please use an emdash and not a hyphen, and put spaces on both sides of it.
- Use one space (not two) after a full stop. (WordPress messes up line breaks when there are two spaces. This will be a difficult habit for me to break.)
Names of Races
Use only the official VGA Planets names for races. Do not use the name of a race’s counterpart in science fiction. Names of races are always capitalized, regardless of whether they are being used as a noun or adjective.
|Short Name||Full Name (Use Sparingly)||As adjective|
|Feds||The Solar Federation||Fed|
|Lizards||The Lizard Alliance||Lizard|
|Birdmen or Birds||The Empire of the Birds||Bird|
|Fascists||The Fascist Empire||Fascist|
|Privateers||The Privateer Bands||Privateer|
|Crystals||The Crystal Confederation||Crystalline|
|Empire||The Evil Empire||Imperial|
|Robots||The Robotic Imperium||Robotic|
|Rebels||The Rebel Confederation||Rebel|
|Colonies||The Missing Colonies of Man||Colonial|
Example: The Colonies attacked an Imperial freighter. While the Crystal Confederation watched the Colonial assault, they laid Crystalline webs in Robotic space.
Incorrect: The Colonials attacked an Empire freighter. While the Crystallines watched the Colony’s assault, they laid Crystal webminefields in Robot space.
Abbreviations for Units
- kt = kiloton. May be used with a number without a space. ex. 25kt of neutronium
- ly = light year. May be used with a number without a space. ex. 340-360ly
- MC = megacredits. This requires a space. ex. 10.000 MC
- Use a comma (,) as the decimal placeholder. ex. The ship’s waypoint is 81,2ly away.
- Use a dot (.) as the thousands separator when needed. ex. 10.000 MC.
- Four-digit numbers do not need a thousands separator.
- Numbers between zero and one require a zero to the left of the decimal placeholder. ex. 0,49 = 49/100.
Math and Formulas
- Use = + – * / ^ ( ) > < symbols as in computer science.
- Ordered pairs and map coordinates go in parentheses with a comma separator (x,y).
- Use sqrt(x) for square root.
- For trig functions use sin(x), etc.
- Use pi or π for 3,1416.
- Add spaces inside any math formula if it makes it easier to read.
- It is always acceptable to use “fuel” instead of “neutronium”.
- Never refer to engines simply by their speed or tech level. Use the stylized name from the game (refer to the list under “Capitalization” above).
- Use “Host 3.22.047” instead of “THost”.
- Lists should be made using the bulleted or numbering lists tool.
- Titles of sections within an article should be formatted in bold, but not italicized, underlined, or written in all capital letters. The font size should remain the same as the body of the text. No punctuation is necessary for titles of sections.
- An extra line break is not necessary between sections.
- Avoid using multiple emphasis devices when one is sufficient (for example, it is usually not necessary to combine bold and italic print).
Appendix: The Massive Editing Project
NOTE: This was at the old site. Here, we’ll be revisiting the style guide first, and then one by one we’ll probably be ignoring the old articles unless something jumps out and smacks us in the face. If you do see a glaring error, feel free to let us know, either by commenting on the post (preferred) or using the Contact form (if you must). -G
I’m in the process of going through and editing every post on the site one by one. My goal is one per day. If you are an author and want me not to touch your article, you can edit it yourself to conform with the style guide.
The following posts now conform to the style guide:
- Minefields: Behind the Host (veldan)
- Who’s On First? Combat Order and Battle Value (gnerphk)
- Cloak Intercept: A Feature Badly In Need of a New Name (ecv)
- Advanced Combat: Left vs. Right (gnerphk)
- Virgos: Worryingly Powerful or Powerfully Worrying? (ksb)
- The Nine Attributes of Space Mines (veldan)
- The Inside Scoop: Tenacity (gnerphk)
- The Firecloud Class Cruiser and the Art of the Chunnel (gnerphk)
- Honor In Warfare? A Dissent (ecv)
- Blitz Tournament 0029 (csy)
- DIE HARD 2 finishes (big beefer)
- Deep Space Mine Probabilities (thin)
- Planets Magazine Style Guide (ecv)
- Priority Build Points (ecv)
- The Amazing Small Deep Space Freighter (ecv)
- Chasing Carriers (thin)
- Friendly Codes (space)
- Capturing High-Value Ships (space)
These posts are next in line to be edited for style:
- Hearts of Space (ecv)
- The Importance of Staying Hidden (bacchus)
- Straight Talk About the Tractor Beam (ecv)
- Loki Logic (big beefer)
- Early Construction (ecv)