The D'niPedia Archive is written largely from an "in-cavern" perspective, meaning it is written as though the author were an inhabitant of the Myst universe, with no knowledge of events or technology outside of that universe. In essence, it treats D'ni as a real place, the events of Cyan's games as real history, and its characters as real people. Concepts like lag, graphical glitches, and driver errors do not exist in in-cavern discussions of the Myst universe.
Sometimes, however, it is necessary to step back and look at the universe as a work of fiction. This could be to discuss how to use an object in the game (such as loading music into your Cannen in Uru: Complete Chronicles), or to explicitly rectify a retcon on the part of the developers (see any of the myriad differences in gameplay between Uru: Complete Chronicles and Myst Online: Uru Live).
Example of In-Cavern Writing
Myst was Written by Ti'ana as a safe haven for her grandson, Atrus, and his wife-to-be, Catherine, during their efforts to trap Gehn on the Age of Riven.
Example of Out-Of-Cavern Writing
Myst has been featured in numerous titles within the titular series, including "Myst", "realMYST", "Myst V: End of Ages", "Uru: Complete Chronicles", and "Myst Online: Uru Live". It acts as the hub world for the original title, granting players access to four other Ages, as well as D'ni, through the use of clever puzzles.
All of this becomes more complicated and convoluted because of Cyan's efforts to tie the series into our own universe, and our own present-day lives. Part of the universe's mythology, then, is that Cyan created the Myst series following the discovery of the D'ni Cavern (this is not true out-of-cavern). As such, Cyan can be safely referred to in discussing the Myst series of games, as they also exist within the Myst universe on a sort of meta level. However, the universe still holds that Cyan was not involved in creating the Uru titles, so discussing Cyan as they pertain to Uru's development is still strictly out-of-cavern.
If you're confused right now, don't worry, you are not alone. The Guild of Archivists is here to help, however, so if you have questions about whether you're using the proper perspective in an article, feel free to ask.
Demarcating Out-Of-Cavern Content
To maintain the clearest possible line between In-Cavern (IC) and Out-Of-Cavern (OOC) content, it is advised that you split all of your OOC comments into their own section of an article, and preface it with the OOC template. It is also suggested that this material be placed under a separate header within the article.
Spelling and Punctuation
- American English spellings are the preferred norm for the Archive. While British spellings (such as colour and endeavour) are permitted, they may be edited to American English by other contributors.
- Do not use personal pronouns (I, we, you, us). This is acceptable only in Guide articles.
- Contractions should be used sparingly.
- Use a consistent verb tense throughout the article.
- Numbers not depicting specific dates (like 2009 AD) should use a period at the decimal point and a comma to mark every three digits (1,375.3).
- Numbers less than 13 should be written out fully ("Search the island and you'll find three Books", "There are 625 years in a D'ni century").
- Use apostrophe-S ('s) for all words ("Atrus's Library"), unless the noun is plural ("Markers' presence").
- Use italics to indicate emphasis, rather than all-caps ("not" vs. "NOT").
Article and Section Titles
- Use title casing (capitalization of all words, except for internal articles, prepositions, conjunctions and forms of "to be") in both article and section titles.
- Always spell out words like "and", rather than using special characters like "&".
- Use nouns rather than verbs in titles.
- Article titles beginning with "a", "an", or "the" should place these words at the end of the title after a comma ("Cleft, The") to aid in alphabetization.
- Articles referring to a specific instance of an Age ("Phil Henderson's Relto") should place the owner's name at the end of the title after a comma ("Relto, Phil Henderson's").
Proper Names and Special Terms
- Proper names and nouns should always be capitalized.
- Common nouns should be capitalized when used in conjunction with a proper name ("King Kerath"), but not capitalized when used generally ("Kerath was the last king of D'ni").
- The words "age", "art", "book", and "writer" should be capitalized at all times when referring to the D'ni's linking technology. Similarly, adjectives and nouns associated with these words should also be capitalized ("Linking Book", "Prison Age").
- The words "quest", "slate", and "tablet" should be capitalized when referring to the objects and goals in Myst V: End of Ages.
- Always use the full title of a person, place, or thing the first time it appears in an article, and link to its article in the Archive.
- Subsequent mentions should use the "common" name - the one most frequently used in general discussion - for the subject (e.g. "Kadish" for "Kadish Tolesa" and "Laxman" for "Victor Laxman"). Subsequent links to the subject's article are unnecessary, but not prohibited.
- Do not use abbreviations and acronyms in source citations.
- Abbreviations and acronyms may be used in an article provided they adhere to these guidelines:
- Always write out the subject's full name, as well as its abbreviation or acronym.
- When using an abbreviation or acronym, you are encouraged to link to the article detailing the subject the first time it appears in the article so that unfamiliar visitors will have immediate access to its definition.