Article Submission

How do I write a Hardware Review or Game Guide for OCModShop?

A Game Guide is a simple article that helps people either defeat a game, become more skilled at it, or provides information about it. A Game Guide is the same thing as a “File”, “Walkthrough”, “Guide”, “Strategy Guide”, etc. Regardless of what you call it, it just comes down to providing help for gamers with your guide.

As for how to write one, read this page and the rest of the sections for all the details

What kinds of Guides does OCModShop need?

Most of what we need are walkthroughs for Action, Adventure, RPG, or strategy games. A walkthrough should take the player step-by-step through a game from start to finish, and offer tips, tricks, and strategies on how to beat particularly hard parts of the game or puzzles. Some of these guides offer side-quest information in addition to the main solutions.
Hardware reviews can be on mice, keyboards, cell phones, cameras, motherboards, video cards, or just about anything another geek would be interested in.

Sports titles, Racing games, and other titles don’t really lend themselves to needing a “walkthrough”. In this case, a “strategy guide” can be a useful tool on beating the game, how to get every last powerup, hidden item, or other items. They may also include strategies on beating the game with a high ranking, or provide information on “easter eggs” or other hidden aspect of the game.

What kinds of Guides does OCModShop accept?

Aside from your basic general Game Guides (Walkthroughs, Strategy Guides, Hint Guides, Driving Guides, and so on), you can also submit the following:

  • In-Depth FAQs: Focus on one particular aspect of a title, such as a Boss Guide, lists of Enemies and Items, Combo Guides, Translations, etc. Even purely informational non-gameplay guides are accepted, such as Plot Summaries.
  • Character FAQs: For fighting games and some single-character RPGs, character guides fully explore all the aspects of playing the game with a single character.
  • Other Guide Types: Anything else about the game that others might find interesting. If you’re willing to provide some factual info about your favorite game, then it has a home on OCModShop.

What kinds of Guides will OCModShop not accept?

Not everything can make it onto OCModShop because of our responsibility to advertisers, sponsors, etc. These are:

  • Guides that cover multiple games: Your Guide should only cover one game or item at a time. If there are minor differences between two products, then they can be compared (differences between the Street Fighter II/CE/Turbo, the difference between the Nintendo DS pink and DS white.
  • Guides for games that haven’t been released yet: The only way you could write a guide for a game that hasn’t been released yet is 1) you’re just getting your information from magazines and web sites, 2) you’re a beta tester who has decided to break a non-disclosure agreement, or 3) you’re writing a guide based off of a pirated copy of a game. Neither of these three categories are acceptable, as we want to avoid any legal issues.
  • “Placeholder” guides: A promise of things to come. No “two-parter” Guides (unless the game itself is a two-parter, like the Sam& Max series, Half-Life 2: Chapter “when-the-hell-are-they-gonna-release-this-game”, and so on.
  • Works of fiction: No Fan Fiction, jokes based on game characters, etc. This stuff can be put in the OCModShop Forums.
  • Game Manuals: Copying game manuals is a no-no. They are protected by copyright, which will get our asses sued. Translation of a manual to another language (like a Japanese import) is acceptable.

Will you accept a Guide for (insert game here)?

If you follow the submission guidelines and your guide is complete and comprehensive, then the answer is almost always yes. If there are a billion guides on a particular topic, then we’re probably not keen on adding any more.
For In-Depth FAQs, rarely will a second FAQ on the same subject be posted. For Character FAQs in fighting games, three is the general limit; for wrestling or other titles, one is the standard maximum. Even if a game is old, there may be a fanbase out there, so we may publish older material. We are striving to be one of the most complete archives of gaming-related material.

What tools do I need to create a Guide?

  • Write good! While everyone tends to make spelling and grammar mistakes on occasion, guides that are hard to read aren’t nearly as helpful. Guides that are intentionally hard to read (i.e. ALL CAPS, no caps, constant misspelled words and grammar errors) won’t be posted.
  • Testing skills If you’re writing a hardware review, you must have thouroughly tested it, and provide benchmark scores. It is helpful if the product has been compared with similar or competing products.
    Not everything needs extensive testing, as some things cannot be accurately measured. A computer mouse will not need many benchmarks, but a video card should be tested with many different benchmarks to see how it compares with other competing products, or show how the product has improved over the previous generation. If you need help on what to look for, just look through our extensive review list to see what we look for in a particular product.
  • A computer with a text editor or word processor. Composing a guide solely through e-mail is not recommended at all (your application could crash and you could lose it all, or accidentally delete your archive). We understand that you can’t produce a perfect version the first time, so send us updates to your article.
  • The actual game or product. If you don’t own the game or have quick access to it (i.e. via a rental, a friend, or your local arcade), then you generally shouldn’t be writing about it. Exceptions to this are few and far between (translations of foreign-language game information).

If you outright copy someone else’s work, then you’ve just violated copyright law. If you use someone else’s work as a starting point for your own work, that’s plagiarism. Remember High School, where you had to reference every encyclopedia that you copied from?… Give credit where credit is due. They’ll respect you in the morning.

Can’t you just post a link to my Guide on your site?

Sites change their format, demographic, and ownership all the time. If we simply link to your article, then we may end up with a bunch of dead links, which make our readers very unhappy. If a site suddenly decides to put porn on their site and we link to it, that makes our advertisers very unhappy…
When we publish the Guide on OCModShop, it will always be available, regardless of what happens to the original site or article. We’ve been around for five years, going on 50…
Ok. Where do I submit my article?
You can fill out this handy form!

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