Step 2: Deciding What To Put In Your Shrine
Q. What kinds of things should go in my shrine?
A. Generally just information about how to get through the game. Game lists like item, equipment, and monster lists, as well as a walkthrough, are usually the norm. Just listing stuff won't do the trick, though. For items and equipment, you should mention its effect, its price, who can equip it, and where you can get it. For monsters, list their stats and attacks. A world map would be nice as well if you can get/make one. Some games with heavy emphasis on puzzles/exploration would have maps/diagrams as a must (or a very strong should). All lists should be listed in alphabetical order unless you have a specific reason to list them in another order.
Q. How do I know if I have everything I need?
A. Find a shrine on a game at RPGC that's similar to yours. Take that as a basis for what you need on your shrine. If there are no games that are similar to yours, just ask yourself "what aspects of the game are relevant to game players?" Make a list of those aspects and then include EVERYTHING about them.
Q. Should I put pictures on it?
A. Pictures make a shrine much nicer, yes. 8-) If you can get pictures for your shrine, by all means do so. However, don't go overboard: use them when it'll enhance the shrine (e.g. item/monster pictures, walkthrough pictures).
Q. Er... okay, how do I get pictures?
A. Generally we use emulation to do that. Most emulators allow you to take screenshots. If you can't, just hit the Alt+Printscreen keys to copy the image from your emulator into the clipboard, so you can paste it into MS Paint or another drawing program. For older games like NES/SNES/Genesis, emulators are plentiful and useful, and screenshots are easy to take. PlayStation has some emulators, too, but they're harder to get and use. For new consoles like PS2 and Dreamcast, the only way to take pictures is if you have a TV capture card.
Q. OK, I've got these great pictures! They're in BMP format!
A. Sorry. All pictures must be in GIF or JPG or even better PNG format. There's very little loss of color using JPG, even less with PNG, and you can make transparencies with GIFs and PNGs if you like. You can easily change BMP files into JPGs or GIFs or PNGs by choosing "Save As..." in your drawing program.
Q. GIF transparencies? Really? All I have is Microsoft Paint!
A. You can still do it. It's a bit complicated, but not difficult. ^^; Skip this if you're not interested, it'll make your head spin. Here's how to do it:
Q. Can I have a fanart section in my shrine?
A. Nope. Nor a fanfic section, mailing list, forms, game review, or any other paraphernalia. You can mention neat stuff about the game, or your favorite moments, or whatnot in a separate page, but the main thrust of the shrine is information. You can make the information as colorful as you like, but that's what should be there.
Q. What about downloads?
A. Because our ROM affiliate has gone down, you can't really give a good link to the ROM (for games that have ROMs) so if that's the only thing on your download page, you don't need one. You can have things like MIDI or SPC zip files, or savestates. Generally anything larger than that (such as video files) shouldn't be put there. MP3s are NOT ALLOWED on our servers.
Q. Can I use someone else's stuff?
A. We'd prefer you to write everything yourself, especially walkthroughs. Sometimes, though, someone's made a map or a list so complete, so sophistocated, that it already covers everything you'd need and you think it'd just be wasted effort to make it yourself. If you do decide to use that, then, you MUST get permission from the author. I cannot emphasize that enough! Also, we prefer you to HTML-ize any text files you do use; anchors and links are very useful as far as readability goes.
Q. What else is useful for making a shrine?
A. ROM hacking can be useful for older games; it's a lot harder than HTML, though! O_o If you think you have what it takes, go check out the numerous hacking docs available at Romhacking.net.