Anno 1836 aims to replicate Wikipedia in style and structure, as if this was an actual wiki-site from an alternate timeline. When creating and editing articles here it's a good idea to compare to similar articles on Wikipedia to see the style in which they're written and how they're structured. That doesn't mean that the articles on this wiki have to be exactly like those on Wikipedia, obviously they need to be adapted to the differences between this timeline and the real world timeline and the fact that the primary sources of this wiki are two strategy games. But the overall feel of this wiki should be similar to that of Wikipedia.
About the Victoria 2 conversion
Because of how Victoria 2 does calculations there are several values that aren't properly represented right when the game is loaded. Economy, production, trade, national ranking, among other things, require the game to run for a while so that it can calculate accurate values. For this reason, even though the official "present day"-date of the project is 1 January 1836, when deriving information from the Vic2 conversion you should let the game run for a month until 1 February and only then record values. This is only done to get values that make any kind of sense, the values are still to be considered accurate for 1 January and should be referred to as such when adding information to the wiki.
Note that the important part is to let the game run for a month before recording values, and that it does NOT work to make a save of the game at 1 February and then load that save up again. You should load into the game at 1 January 1836 everytime you start it up and let it run to 1 February before recording values. Merely loading a 1 February save file will not produce accurate values.
Obviously, if everyone let's their game run a month individually then everyone will probably have slightly different values due to RNG. For now this is unfortunately inevitable and something we have to live with unless someone comes up with a good workaround. This means that there's no need to record the values with very exact precision, approximate values will do and should ensure that everyone gets about the same information out of the game. Don't worry too much if the values one contributor has added to the wiki doesn't exactly match those you get from your game; as long as it doesn't deviate massively it's probably just due to this standard deviation.
Sources and references
The primary sources for information to this wiki should always be the EU4 save file and the Vic2 conversion. However, these don't always go into great detail, in which case it's fine to complement with real world facts or your own original content.
Real world facts and original content
This wiki is meant to present the alt-history scenario as simulated by the games first and foremost. Real world facts or original content are primarily meant to be used as means of filling in the details that the games lack, to bring it to life a little more and provide information that would be interesting but not present in the games.
An example of when real world facts can be a great complement is for instance when determining the land area of a country. You could draw up the country's in-game borders on a real map and calculate what area those territories have on the actual planet Earth, since neither EU4 nor Victoria provides any information about land area beyond number of provinces (that are of varying sizes). Another example could be to describe more detailed terrain features like small lakes or the exact height of a mountain. But keep in mind that while you could add any real world fact you like to the wiki, it's more interesting if it relates to the alt-history elements somehow. You could make a page about the chemical structure of sugar, but since that wouldn't affect this alternate world any differently from the real one it's not very interesting to include here. I might as well just go to Wikipedia and read about it there if I happen to be interested. Things like geographical features on the other hand could be more interesting, since while they're the same in both the real world and the alternate world, different countries controlling them could alter some things about how those countries operate or how they are perceived. Hearing about how Denmark has a bunch of mountains is interesting since it stands in contrast to the relatively flat country it is in real life.
Original content doesn't necessarily have to be based on pre-existing information from the games either - you could for instance make up completely original characters or events - however since this project is meant to be an alt-history scenario based on a game simulation you are encouraged to tie your content to things already established in the games. You could add backstories to characters whom the game does little more than provide a name for, describe the exact tactics employed in a battle that the game's history file only gives a broad overview for, describe the exact layout of a city based on the population size and buildings in it, etc. Most importantly though, original content must never contradict information from the game. If the game says the King of Poland is Jan II Olbracht, you can't decide that the monarch is in fact Queen Victoria. The same goes for real world facts.
When adding original content
Whenever you create original content, you should create a discussion page where you describe any made up facts and how they tie into information from the games or the real world. You can explain your reasoning for why your content makes sense in this context and why you think it's interesting to add. Make your discussion post in the "Original Content" category.
The discussion page may then be used by the community to provide feedback on the content and perhaps suggest changes. Remember that this is a community-driven site, so just because you have created some original content doesn't mean that the community at large will approve of it. If a majority thinks the content ought to be changed or removed outright then that's what will happen. We will overall strive to work in a democratic manner where the will of the majority dictates how the wiki should work and which content should be considered official.
Information derived from the EU4 or Vic2 files always take precedence over other sources. Any real world facts or original content that contradict information from the games is considered invalid and should not be included.
Whenever the EU4 save file and the Vic2 conversion cover the same subjects, you should primarily use the one that goes into the most detail. For instance, when considering demographics, Vic2 simulates information such as nationality, religion and politcal views for each individual citizen (grouped together into POPs), while EU4 only simulates the majority cultures and religions for each province. Hence, Vic2 should primarily be used for this information. On the other hand, EU4 simulates a wider array of government forms while Vic2 simplifies them into only a few categories, so EU4 should primarily be used for that. However sometimes it's a good idea to cross-reference the two games. For instance, while Vic2 simulates nationalities of citizens in greater detail than EU4, it also occasionally lumps many cultures together into one broader category, such as many of the northern Germanic cultures of EU4 that are all lumped together as "North German" in Vic2. In this case Vic2 can be used to to determine the amount of people that are North German vs other nationalities, while EU4 can be used to determine the relative distribution of northern Germanic cultures vs each other.
In case the EU4 save file and Vic2 conversion directly contradict each other, you should usually refer to EU4 as the most valid source. This is because the alt-history scenario was, after all, simulated through EU4 and its mechanics. The Vic2 conversion is mostly meant as a complement to EU4 for providing additonal detail to certain areas where EU4 is lacking. The most obvious example of contradictory information between the games is national borders. The Vic2 conversion attempts to approximate the EU4 borders to the Vic2 province layout but it often can't match it exactly. Hence, when determining things like land area, which countries border which, country outlines etc, refer to EU4 rather than Vic2. Same goes for things like diplomatic relations and wars, that are also often different between the games.
An exception to the above rule may be more "cosmetic" things, like names of countries and states, or flag design. In these cases Vic2 may take precedence over EU4 due to it providing a more "modern" look whereas EU4 is often stuck with a renaissance-era look.
Regarding original content: If two separate pieces of original content contradict each other, whichever content has the highest rate of approval by the community will be considered valid. The other piece of content will have to be changed to accomodate this.
How to reference
All information presented on the wiki should have references to the EU4 save file, Vic2 conversion or real world sources. Original content should have references to a discussion page made by the content creator where they explain how their content ties into information from the games.
EU4 and Vic2
References to the games should start with the acronym of the game the information is from within square brackets, followed by where in that game the information can be found. Examples:
"The Kingdom of Norway, including its colonies, have a population of over 20.9 million people"
Reference: "[Vic2] National Comparison ledger page."
"Poland is bordered by Lauenburg, Brandenburg, Saxony, Bohemia, Bavaria, Salzburg and Austria to the west"
Reference: "[EU4] Political mapmode."
Generally, it's sufficient to refer to a particular mapmode, tab, ledger page, province view, or similar. If you feel more detail than that could be desirable to avoid confusion then feel free to add it.
Real world references
Any facts derived from the real world should have links to sources. We're not terribly strict about source reliability as this is just a fun project after all, but it's nonetheless encouraged that you try to find as credible sources as you can. Examples:
<Will add an example when an example exists>
Sometimes you may want to cross-reference real world sources to EU4 or Vic2. If so, add within the reference both the link to the real world source and the source from the game in the style described above. Example:
"The total area of Poland is 871,537,046 m²"
Reference: "Area calculated using this Area Calculator, based on the [EU4] Political map of Poland."
A reference for original content should include the word "Discussion:", followed by a link to the relevant discussion page. Example:
"In 1806 [Bronislaw Szafraniec] moved to study philosphy at the University of Fellin"
Reference: "Discussion: Bronislaw Szafraniec studied philosphy at the Fellin University 1806"
These guidelines are the ones currently decided by me, the founder of the wiki, based on what I think makes sense. But this is ultimately meant to be a community-driven project and so all of the above is up for debate. If there is anything you think should be added, removed or changed, then feel free to present your suggestions and let the community decide how things should be organized.