Help:Interdimensional Rumor Mill Guide

From Blaseball Wiki

If you have followed a link here for instructions on how to deploy our Interdimensional Rumor Mill (IRM) system to a player page, or for instructions on how to add new Rumors to a player page that already has the system installed, or even what this wacky thing is, you've come to the right place! This article will describe how to set things up, as well as best practices for adding new Rumors, and style recommendations.

Interdimensional Rumor Mill, Explained

When this wiki was first created, there was no expectation that it would grow as rapidly as it did, with nearly 750 pages being created in the first three weeks of it being online. This came with growing pains, like how to manage multiple interpretations of a character. The Game Band, the developers behind Blaseball, have asserted that many things about Blaseball can be true at once[1]. With all that in mind, we created the Interdimensional Rumor Mill, a bridge between the real-life needs of our contributors and the unknowable, rapidly expanding fiction of Blaseball.

The Interdimensional Rumor Mill is a system of wiki extensions that allows for contributors to offer their unique interpretations of Blaseball players without invalidating any preexisting or future interpretations. Any Player page that has the Interdimensional Rumor Mill system installed on it will show the reader a randomly selected interpretation each time the page is reloaded. The first page to have this installed was Famous Owens, and there are about a dozen different alternate realities and mirror dimensions that you can see as you refresh their page.

The Interdimensional Rumor Mill is also an in-universe concept, tied to The Grand Unslam. With the shattering of Los Angeles into infinite possibilities at the end of Season 3, this inspired us to leverage this unique opportunity and build the technology necessary to support the fully randomized player pages while keeping the concept of multiple interpretations firmly within the established universe. Any idea you have for a player can be recorded on the wiki as a potential shard of the multiverse, a rumor heard among the rapidly shifting realities of Blaseball. You can read our full in-universe fiction in the Interdimensional Rumor Mill main page.

Basic Usage

There are three core elements to the IRM that must be present to make it functional.

  1. The main Player page must have the template {{IRM|Subject=Player Name}} (for one random rumor) or {{IRM Full|Subject=Player Name}} (for all the rumors in random order), placed somewhere below the Official League Record section
  2. A Rumor Registry subpage must be created with the template {{Rumor registry|Subject=Player Name}} (this is case sensitive!)
    • To make a subpage, visit Help:New_Page and type the name of the Player exactly, then a forwardslash (/), then "Rumor Registry."
  3. Depending on the format, new Rumors must be created to populate the Registry and Main Page.
    • New rumors can be created from the Registry page.

That's it! You've installed the IRM and prepared the player page for the addition of new entries to be shown on the main page at random.

Advanced Usage

If you would like more customization than the "Basic Installation" allows, we've set up variables in the templates to do so.

Variables in IRM Templates

The IRM templates support alternate namings and text, allowing the presentation of the page to more precisely reflect the intent of the randomized sections. This section of the guide will list out the usable variables in the IRM templates. You will need to use Source Editor to use these variables, and you can find a guide to general Wikitext and Source Editing in Help:Editing_101/Wikitext.

To use one of these variables, place a new pipe character after the player name, and type out the variable and the new text to pass to the variable. Of special note, these variables cannot accept commas or traditional line breaks. To use a comma, please use the special character code "," (view this page in Source Editor to see the character) and "<br/>" for line breaks.

Variables in {{IRM}}

  • Subject= | Self-explanatory. This variable name must be called or the template will not work. Placing the player name within the curly brackets, after the first pipe character will correctly name the section.
  • title= | By default, this variable is set to "Interdimensional Rumor Mill," and is the name of the section. To change the name of the section, use "title=New Title".
  • intro= | By default, the intro text reads "The IRM randomly chooses one backstory of many written by the Blaseball community when the page is loaded." To change the intro text, use "intro=New Intro". Commas are most commonly used in this variable, so be sure to use the special character code "," (view this page in Source Editor to see the character) to insert a comma and "<br/>" is used for line breaks, where needed. If the intro text on the Registry page is changed, change it here too.
  • term= | By default, this variable is set to "Rumor" and defines the link to the Registry page. In combination with the title and intro variables, this can be used to fully rename the IRM while retaining the function. To change the term, use "term=New Term", and make certain that the Registry subpage matches the new term.

For an example of a page that uses all of these variables, see Fitzgerald Wanderlust. The IRM code used on that page is as follows:

{{IRM|Subject=Fitzgerald Wanderlust|title=Historical Rumors|term=Historical Rumor|intro=The name Fitzgerald Wanderlust and variations on it appears a curious number of times in the historical record, and some scholars surmise these, or most of these, refer to the same person moving through time in a non-linear fashion. However, none have been conclusively proved to be the same Fitzgerald Wanderlust who wrote during the Harlem Renaissance. Many speculate that during the length of time unaccounted for between her disappearance in 1929 and the beginning of her blaseball career, Wanderlust traveled to various points throughout time and space. When asked to confirm or deny this theory, Wanderlust merely laughed and said "I have to keep some secrets, don't you think?"<br/><br/>}}

Variables in {{Rumor registry}}

  • Subject= | Self-explanatory. This variable name must be called or the template will not work. Placing the player name within the curly brackets, after the first pipe character will correctly name the section and set the link to the main page.
  • term= | By default, this variable is set to "Rumor". In combination with the intro variable, this can be used to fully rename the IRM while retaining the function. To change the term, use "term=New Term", and make certain that the Main page template matches the new term.
  • intro= | By default, the intro text on the Rumor Registry is blank. To change the intro text, use "intro=New Intro". Commas are most commonly used in this variable, so be sure to use the special character code "," (view this page in Source Editor to see the character) to insert a comma and "<br/>" is used for line breaks, where needed. If the intro text on the main page is changed, change it here too.

For an example of a page that uses all of these variables, see Fitzgerald_Wanderlust/Historical_Rumor_Registry. The IRM code used on that page is as follows:

{{Rumor registry|term=Historical Rumor|Subject=Fitzgerald Wanderlust|intro=''The name Fitzgerald Wanderlust and variations on it appears a curious number of times in the historical record, and some scholars surmise these, or most of these, refer to the same person moving through time in a non-linear fashion. However, none have been conclusively proved to be the same Fitzgerald Wanderlust who wrote during the Harlem Renaissance. Many speculate that during the length of time unaccounted for between her disappearance in 1929 and the beginning of her blaseball career, Wanderlust traveled to various points throughout time and space. When asked to confirm or deny this theory, Wanderlust merely laughed and said "I have to keep some secrets, don't you think?"''}}

Variables in {{IRM Full}}

  • Subject= | Self-explanatory. This variable name must be called or the template will not work. Placing the player name within the curly brackets, after the first pipe character will correctly name the section.
  • title= | By default, this variable is set to "Interdimensional Rumor Mill," and is the name of the section. To change the name of the section, use "title=New Title".
  • intro= | By default, the intro text reads "The IRM randomly chooses one backstory of many written by the Blaseball community when the page is loaded." To change the intro text, use "intro=New Intro". Commas are most commonly used in this variable, so be sure to use the special character code "," (view this page in Source Editor to see the character) to insert a comma and "<br/>" is used for line breaks, where needed.
  • term= | By default, this variable is set to "Rumor" and defines the link to the Registry page. In combination with the title and intro variables, this can be used to fully rename the IRM while retaining the function. To change the term, use "term=New Term".

Timeline Pages

In some cases, you might want to create a series of IRM entries in the same universe. This can be achieved by using the same IF-number for all of the entries you would like to connect and then creating a page for that timeline. These IRM entries will continue to be randomized in the original player pages, but also listed in a shared page for browsing convenience. (For examples of this, browse Category:IF_Timelines. One of the original examples of this is the "Birdiverse", IF-13.1.12-D.

  1. The main Player page must have the template {{IRM|Subject=Player Name}} (for one random rumor) or {{IRM Full|Subject=Player Name}} (for all the rumors in random order), placed somewhere below the Official League Record section

Basic Installation

To create a timeline page, go to Help:New_Page and type the name of the IF-number (including the "IF-" prefix!) You will then add the following to the body of the page with the IF-number: {{IF_Template|id=IF.XXX.XXX.XXX}}

Variables in {{IF Timeline}}

  • id= | This is the IF-number, including the "IF-" prefix.
  • term= | By default, this variable is set to "Rumors". In combination with the intro variable, this can be used to fully rename the IRM while retaining the function. To change the term, use "term=New Terms", and make certain that the Main page template matches the new term. Unlike the previous templates, this 'term' is meant to be in plural form.
  • intro= | We provide a default blurb for the timeline page, but you can change the intro text by using this variable, e.g. "intro=New Intro". Commas are most commonly used in this variable, so be sure to use the special character code "," (view this page in Source Editor to see the character) to insert a comma and "<br/>" is used for line breaks, where needed. If the intro text on the main page is changed, change it here too.

Technical Considerations

Because the IRM is more complex than your typical wiki page, there are some technical considerations contributors should know about.

When using the templates, don't use the "Template:" prefix within the curly brackets, which can sometimes break the template and cause it to not load properly. Also make sure that the player names are spelled exactly correct, with proper case.

The IRM templates refresh on a ten minute timer, meaning that when a contributor makes a new rumor, they may not see it appear in the Registry or the main page for upwards of ten minutes. If the rumor doesn't appear at that time, contact an admin for assistance.

Collaboration Guidelines

This Wiki has some rules about how to implement the Interdimensional Rumor Mill and how to add extra entries to pages that use it. Very little is different regarding the IRM when it comes to the collaboration guidelines. New entries must be posted to a character’s Discussion page and given 24 hours, minimum, for public feedback before being implemented. Additionally, users should not flood any given IRM-enabled page with entries to manipulate the randomization of the resulting page. More information about an acceptable entry for the IRM can be found in Part III: Style.

The decision to install the IRM to a page is the domain of the fans of the team the character currently belongs to. While anyone can suggest additions to a page, the presentation of the page lies with the team fanbase. The installation of the IRM itself must be brought up on the Discussion page as well, including two or more total entries intended to be used on the page, depending on the format requirements.

Style Requirements and Considerations

Writing for the IRM is very much the same as writing any other entry on this wiki, and we recommend referencing the Style Guide for more details. There are some specific requirements and considerations for writing for the IRM, outlined below.

Requirements

The style of IRM entries should be the same as other entries, with some extra consideration given for the unique nature of the IRM. The core tenet of the IRM is that all interpretations of a character are to be given equal weight on this wiki, though contributors can use the randomization technology of the IRM to present things besides character interpretations.

Stylistically, there are two types of entries that live in the IRM: full, standalone entries, and non-standalone entries.

A full, standalone entry means an entry that presents a holistic view of a character in a single page. This may include a character history, a personality profile, or a story about the character, or any combination of other characteristics, as long as it presents the reader with a clear and complete vision of a character without having to visit another page. Every page that uses the IRM must have a full, standalone entry living directly on the page. A reader should not have to visit another page to get the full picture of a character.

The second types are non-standalone entries. These can take many forms, and are more flexible because of this. Non-standalone entries can be stories about the eras a time traveler has visited, poems about the player, fights the player has gotten into, news articles written about a player, data logs found on a player’s lost home planet, and so much more. Creating non-standalone entries is a great way to expand a character’s history without having to commit to creating whole new character concepts.

The Formatting Guidelines section below describes the various formats the IRM can take that accommodate these different styles.

When writing new entries, please adhere to typical Style Guide rules. Specifically for the IRM and new entries, the first thing on each entry needs to be a Sub-heading 1 title. This could be anything you might normally use, like 'History' or 'Personality' or 'Favorite Blaseball Pitching Techniques.' The reason this needs to be Sub-heading 1 is that on the main page, the 'Interdimensional Rumor Mill' heading is a main heading, and having two main headings immediately next to each other implies they are fully different sections. Any consecutive headings you use must be Sub-heading 1 or lower to maintain a proper hierarchy.

Considerations

Since the IRM can allow for technically infinite number of entries, we want offer some advice for creating new entries.

  • Please consult the Style Guide for big picture writing advice and guidelines.
  • Entries can be as long or as short as you like, as long as a reader can find a full, standalone entry that describes the player without going to another page.
  • To make shorter joke entries, please select a format that makes clear the shorter entries are jokes and do not replace any full-length, standalone entry.
  • Rumors can use different pronouns than typically used or assumed by the rest of the community. Because blaseball.com does not officially unveil a player's pronouns, all use of pronouns are technically under the Interdimensional Rumor Mill. Please use good judgement when using alternate pronouns. As always, our statement on Inclusiveness remains in effect. If you create a Rumor that uses pronouns not used previously, please feel free to add them to the Player infobox hosted on the main page.
  • Fan art is encouraged! Due to the separation of the Rumors from the main page, any fan art that you create for a Rumor will just show up inline when that Rumor is randomly selected. There isn't a method at this time to make the image at the top of the page match the loaded Rumor.
  • Use of Infoboxes is not recommended at this time. Adding a secondary infobox to a rumor will, once the IRM brings that Rumor into the main page, make page formatting on mobile and desktop hard to look at.
  • Authors can use the same IF number between multiple entries to create a shared universe, if they wish. As always, use the wiki collaboratively, and don't add things to other IF numbers without having a conversation about it first. If you create a shared universe with two or more listings, add all the relevant pages to a Category, where the Category name is exactly the full IF number. You should then have at least one link per page linking to another page from the same universal designation.

Formatting Guidelines for the IRM

Each style of presentation is designed so that whenever a reader loads the page, they can read a full, standalone entry about that character without having to visit another page. The style of presentation is decided on by the team fanbase that player currently resides on. A full, standalone entry means an entry that presents a holistic view of a character in a single page. This may include a character history, a personality profile, or a story about the character, or any combination of other characteristics, as long as it presents the reader with a clear and complete vision of a character without having to visit another page.

Any use of the IRM must follow one of these formats. Please contact an admin for discussion on alternate presentations and formats not covered in this guide.

IRM Only on Main Page

This is the most common use of the IRM. This presentation means that the page has the intro paragraph, the Official League Record section, the IRM and its entries, and any fan art and references. In this mode, every single new entry added to the IRM must be a full, standalone entry.

Keeping the Primary Version on the Main Page

Team fanbases may elect to write up a standalone entry of a Player, and have that be the core of the Player page, but still wish to leave room for alternate interpretations. They can still use the IRM in this case, by placing it after the primary sections, and writing alternate versions to exist alongside a primary version. Any alternate versions added to a page that uses this model must be full entries that can stand alone.

Using the IRM for Non-Standalone Entries

This format follows the second option, but instead of the IRM being populated with full, standalone entries, it is populated with shorter entries that don’t make up an entire character page. To facilitate this, contributors need to make a few additional changes to the IRM installation to align with the Style Guide and Collaboration Policies. To use the IRM to post smaller entries that do not stand alone, the IRM section and Rumor Registry must be renamed to something descriptive and given a new intro text (see Variables section above). Additionally, a full standalone entry for the player must exist on the main page, placed above the IRM template.

IRM Full

The fourth and final style is a special template called {{IRM Full|Player Name}}, which presents every single entry in the IRM for that character on the page all at once, with the order randomized each time the page is loaded. This can be used in the same manner as the above three styles, as long as one of the entries on the page is a full, standalone entry.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an IF number?
IF stands for Interdimensional Frequency, and an IF number can be considered a sort of radio station tuning to a specific dimension where your Rumor lives. The concept for Interdimensional Frequency was inspired by The Unmasoning, where The Commissioner restored the Wyatt Masons to some of their original names. All IF numbers are stylized after the localization performed during the Unmasoning.

How do I select an IF number?
When creating new entries, the Create Page dialogue on the Registry will populate a random number for you. You can change the number as you wish (such as situations where you may be creating a shared universe), though using meme numbers is discouraged, for example '69' or variations, '420' or variations, '80085' or variations, '1' or '10000' or other perfect exact numbers. This list is not inclusive, and if the moderators spot a use of a meme number, we will work on reassigning the number to a randomized digit.

How many Rumors can be created per player?
Technically speaking, we can add as many as we want. However, we would like to keep the count at 20 Rumors or less per Player. The IRM system uses an indexing extension on the wiki, which comes with the warning that it can cause negative website performance if used excessively. The fewer Rumors per page, the better the IRM will perform, and the faster the website will be for everyone.

Can the IRM be used for non-Player pages?
At this time, there is a small handful of non-player pages that use a customized version of the IRM, such as Randall Marijuana's Cat. This is a custom built system for the unique lore set for Randall Marijuana. Technically, we can deploy similar things to other pages. If this is something your team needs, please contact an admin for assistance.

We will not be deploying the IRM on any pages directly related to game mechanics. This wiki serves dual purpose, as a repository of fan contributed lore, and information about the game of Blaseball. Suggesting alternate realities for game mechanics is not within the scope of this wiki.

Can I set up two (or more) randomization pools in the IRM per page?
At this time, the IRM can only support one randomization pool per page. That being said, you can easily homebrew a smaller randomized pool through the extension RandomSelection. It's very easy to use, and you can read more about it on the official documentation page. Using this extension, you set up a small table of options directly on the page, and edit the options there. It will reload a new option upon refresh, similar to the IRM. If you select this option, please be sure to appropriately contextualize the section where the randomization is occurring, as well as offer a way for readers to view every single random entry without having to open the page’s source editor.

I have a question not covered here.
Please reach out on the Blaseball Discord or on Twitter at @BlaseballWiki.