Welcome to Negative World. If you have any question, please read the following list and click to read an answer. If your question isn't in the list or if you have a suggestion, feel free to post a reply.
To be able to add more questions/answers to the list later, your participations to this thread will eventually be deleted to make room, after they've been answered.
Currently, the site doesn't bring in much money, and it costs about $85 a year to keep up. Not a whole lot, but the owner of this site isn't particularly rich, so every bit helps. Also, the web designer spent a lot of time and work to implement skins, navigation layout, make the site work quick and neat, and implement the options you asked him, all this instead of doing a paid professional site. The more you support the site, the better it'll run and the more potential its future will have.
Negative World is a Nintendo oriented site, built to discuss and exchange about video games in an overall positive, friendly, productive way. The motivation to create this site arose from the overly tense and "Nintendo hostile" atmosphere in many video game boards.
While (sometimes heated) debates and disappointments or even downright hate against some games or hardware characteristics are of course allowed, we want the main features of this site to be passion and respect. You must like video games in general and Nintendo in particular, and you must respect (publicly, at least) people you're discussing with. Flame bait, trolling and disrespect are not looked kindly upon, because we want to keep the nice, overall enthusiastic tone we have here.
What are XP and user levels? Why do some features seem inaccessible to me?
This site rewards users that use the board often with XP. Every time you read a thread, post an answer, create a new thread, you gain XP. XP can also be earned with online games in the site, such as the Neverending Experience Quest (NEQ) which gives a lot of XP or Manic Miner, which has to be unlocked.
XP allows you to unlock features. Avatars, background user colour, games, site skins are unlocked with XP. Right after you join the site, you're given a random 8bit avatar, and your background colour is a blueish white, but you can change those right after you have enough XP. You can check how much XP you need for various features in help popups in the Profile Edition page. You get a private message from Zero when you unlock something, this is an automated message, please don't answer to it.
XP can also be seen as friendly "competition" (you can see the top 5 active users of the week on the front page), and is supposed to motivate you to collaborate to the site. We're aware the way XP works can be abused, which is prohibited. XP is logged and we check for cheaters once in a while, and "blame" them by removing all their XP. Please don't make us do that to you.
Levels are different from XP, they're security levels. They give access to ability to write reviews and news, ability to upload files, boring administration tables, moderating tools, duties. If you want to collaborate to the site, you can either ask, or collaborate right away and we'll upgrade you when it makes sense. For example, if a user spontaneously writes reviews and news, he'll get downgraded (levels are negative) by the team, naturally, because it makes sense. Levelling is decided by moderators.
Here is what levels mean:
-1 : member -2 : contributor (can post Top 10 lists, game reviews - published on the front page - and add games to the base) -3 : editor (can publish articles on the front page through public threads like news, editorials...) -4 : moderator (can edit or delete any post and bears a sheriff, spiky user name and special avatar border) -5 : developer (works on the site, including site creator and owner, Zero)
Yes, the site is skinned and you can choose which skin to use through your profile settings, or to have a different skin every day. You do have to unlock those with XP, though (see question above, or use the help popups on the Profile Edition page).
If there are skins that you haven't unlocked yet, and you chose the daily skin option in your profile edition, then on weekends you'll get to see a skin you haven't unlocked yet. This feature also works for non members.
If you browse the site at work and need to use a discreet skin, you can also click on Forum => Work Skin ON, then you'll use the Camouflage Iwata Excel Skin. You can then go back to your video game looking skin of choice by clicking on Forum => Work Skin OFF. The Camouflage Iwata Excel Skin looks like a work environment, hides avatars in discussion threads, etc.
If a user chooses a specific skin in his profile (not the panic skin), then his user profile displays in that skin. If he chooses the daily skin, his profile will display in the skin you use. The Camouflage Iwata Excel Skin displays every profile in the camouflage skin, though.
If the default time zone of the board isn't the same as the time in your area, you can also set your time zone so you can easily see what thread has been updated or not since your last visit. You can't choose time format, though, which has been decided as Day/Month/Year through a poll for convenience.
You currently can't choose the number of post per page. This is because it'd make the Reference system less practical (see question about BBcode and posting format).
What are the negative numbers on the right of the forum index? On the private message page? Level 99?
They don't mean the same thing.
Numbers on the right of the private message page are user levels.
Number on the right of the forum main page are thread levels. Thread levels mean only users with a level equal or inferior (they're negative) to the thread level can create/see them. For example, a -1 user can't make/see a -3 thread, whereas a -3 user can see and make -1, -2 and -3 threads, but can't see a -4 thread, etc. You can filter threads displayed on the forum index by using the Search feature at the top right.
Everybody, including people who haven't joined the site, can see a level 99 thread. Level 99 means the thread is public and is accessible from the public forum or the front page, and can get referenced by Google and social networks (you can link a 99 thread to a social network directly, thanks to the Share link under the OP). Top 10 threads, news threads etc. are automatically level 99.
Can I embed videos, resize an image? What's "Reference"? My links don't work, etc.?
First, remember that you can always access a help popup when you post by clicking the question mark at the top left of the posting area.
Basics of BBcode:
- This forum uses BBcode, like most forums. For security reasons, it doesn't allow HTML. - You can resize images by formatting the image tags: (img=widthxheight)image_URL(/img) PLEASE DON'T STRETCH THE FORUM - Using the Reference link under a post is a convenient way to reference a specific post you're replying to, and not make tons of tedious quotes in the forum. When you click on the Reference link you're straight taken to the posting area, where a code is automatically added. This code will add a blue anchor link in your post, which will link straight to the post you're referencing. - Links must have text between the tags.
For video embedding:
Since HTML is automatically edited out, you have to use the BBcode "video" tag to post videos. The rule is:
For example, to post a Youtube video:
(video)youtube=Sx7tgleb0ZE(/video) ... where the red code is the identifier of the video, that can be deduced from the video URL on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sx7tgleb0ZE
Other sites are supported, like GameTrailers, GameSpot, IGN, etc. and you have to spot and copy their identifier for the embed to work. Here are a few examples:
(video)ign=http://uk.ign.com/videos/2011/01/26/littlebigplanet-2-custom-classic-zelda-level-is-freaking-amazing(/video) On IGN, the identifier is the whole video URL (warning: this doesn't work for some specific videos).
(video)gamespot=6286627(/video) You find the identifier from the video URL: http://www.gamespot.com/wii/action/deblobtheunderground/video/6286592 Or from GameSpot's own BBcode tag shown in the embed video code: (video=6286627)
If your embed doesn't work, either:
- You made a mistake - The video site isn't recognized yet (a developer will try to add it to our engine if you contact him through this thread) - It's a special video that can't be embedded like the others (ask a moderator to post it, they can do straight embed)
You can select text before you push a BBcode button. For example, if you want to put a sentence in bold, select it with shift + arrows or with your mouse, then press the B form button: this will add bold tags at the beginning and end of your selected text. Very convenient. This also works with references: if you select some text in the posting area and click on the Reference link at the bottom right of a post, a link to the post will be made out of the text you selected. Same with Quote tags, etc.
As stated above, we happen to enjoy the fact that we have a Nintendo forum with an overall positive vibe, and we plan to keep it that way. Posting about other companies, posting off topic, disagreeing with Nintendo, etc. are perfectly fine (though you should probably get a feel for how the forum works first)...
Flaming, trolling, etc. on the other hand, are not. Disagree, but disagree with respect for the others. As for content, we are pretty open... discussions on modding, linking to other site images, sexy (legal and non pornographic) pictures, the occasional f-bomb, all of that is acceptable. Just make sure to not go overboard, and to include a No Safe For Work label on anything that is NSFW so those who donít want to see it will know not to click.
- Your avatar (if you have access to it, you can set it through User => Profile Edition then "manage" next to your avatar) - Your user colours - The skin you chose - A link to your web site - The time at the place you live in (thanks to time zone settings) - An animal crossing image of the time of the day in your area is displayed on the right - The country/state where you live - Your instant messenger codes (AIM, MSN...) - Your system codes (Wii, 360, PSN, Steam) - If your 360 code is provided, your 360 avatar will automatically display in your profile - People can send private messages through profiles - 9 random games in your collection are displayed - Your top 9 games are displayed - The last 7 posts of your post history are displayed
- The games you're currently playing are displayed (from your backlog) - If they have relevant results, already made Game Database cross searches are provided ("Let's interact") -There is a private summary of your backlog (only you can see it) with links to the Game Database
- You have a whole BBcode area where you can post whatever you want, including your friend codes
The idea behind the game database is to be similar to Wikipedia: if a game isn't in the base, you can add it yourself. For this, go to the database (click on the Games tab) and use the top or bottom right "Submit a game" field by typing keywords of the game you want to add (say, "Metroid Corruption" for "Metroid Prime 3: Corruption"). The site will then display games containing those keywords: if the game you want to add isn't on the list, you can then use the bottom form to add it. Don't worry, you can always edit that information later through the game page (only you and moderators can edit it), reveal the edition form by clicking on the bottom right of the game page, next to "Show edition form".
You can rate games, indicate if you have them in your collection or not, mark their status in your backlog, and write reviews, simply by browsing the base.
To write a review you have to be level -2 or lower. If that's the case, go to a game page: if you haven't reviewed the game already, a link will appear at the top and bottom right. Reviews you've written are published in the forum publicly and on the front page, and appear in your profile, which is also public. You can therefore link to the list of your reviews from outside Negative World, so everybody can read what you have to say.
Each question can earn you lots of XP. You can see at the top left the XP you could earn if you answered correctly. That amount depends on the difficulty level, displayed with stars, and number of tries you make. You have three tries, when you use them all, you don't lose, you're just stuck with the lowest amount of points for that specific question. You can't lose in the NEQ, you have as much tries as you need.
When you give a wrong answer, a hint will be displayed. Good luck!
How can I browse user profiles/post history? I'm looking for a specific profile?
Use the User Listing. The list is sorted out by XP by default, but you can sort the list by user name, user level, even NEQ level, and mostly you can enter part of their name (for example, filter by user with "link" in their name).
You can then click on the user name (this works everywhere, including the forum) to access the user profile, which in turn gives access to his/her post history.
Apart from the T.O.S. is there particular netiquette to observe with post formatting?
1) Before you make a new thread, please look at the main forum page (if you want to post some news) or do a search (at the top right in the forum) to see if there's already a thread about what you want to discuss. If there is a thread about it, but you already created your thread, then please delete it. It's perfectly OK to make multiple threads about a topic as long as it's not the exact same, though (for example "What is your favourite boss in No More Heroes 2?" vs. "No More Heroes 2 at 20$ at amazon!").
2) Don't stretch the forum. If a picture is too big, you can resize it by editing the img tag like this: (img=widthxheight)URL(/img)
3) Learn to make links, please don't post text URL. Just use the "Link" button, and put some text between the tags. Likewise, it's neat to embed videos (but it's not mandatory or anything, do as you like).
4) Please don't make enigmatic topic titles such as "CHECK THIS OUT". Make sure the title makes clear what the thread is about.
5) In general, please learn BBcode. There is a help popup accessible by clicking the question mark at the top left of the posting area.
6) Please don't write whole posts with huge chunks of text in bold, or in some colour.
7) Don't quote a long post just to add "QFT" or anything similar. Use the Reference function instead.
8) In general, please don't abuse quotes. Edit long quotes to some specific part you want to reply to, or use the Reference function.
What do the lights on the left of the forum index mean?
Those are activity lights.
Every thread older than a week is red. For the others:
When you log in (you don't have to enter your login and password, the cookies can do it automatically), all the threads that had activity since your last visit show in green, the others in yellow. When you click on a green thread, it will go yellow, until there is new activity since your click, in which case it will go green again.
In short, very old threads are red, threads you probably read or that didn't interest you in the past are yellow, and threads with new activity are green. This updates at every click.
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How can I check the system codes of other Negative World users (Wii, XBL, PSN, Steam...)?
There are different ways to do it:
1) If you want to know the codes of a specific user, just read his/her profile: if the user entered his/her codes, they're in there.
2) If you want to see a list, you can go to the User Listing page, under the Users tab (or clicking on the tab itself). The page displays the codes of the latest Nintendo home console by default, simply use the "Code" field to change the system displayed. You can also use the "Crop" field to display only users with a code.
What are the round icons at the corners of the site?
The top and bottom left icon is the home button, it takes you back to Negative World's front page where you can access all the articles (including reviews), the "most active users" list, the link to the chat room, friend links, etc.
The top and bottom right icon (the "X") is the logout button. It disconnects you from Negative World.
Apart from the one you're reading right now, there are a few key/popular threads.
Most of those are marked as community threads. Some threads have various labels to make them easier to reach and spot, such as "poll", "top 10", "review", "community", "roundtable", etc. You can filter the board to display specifically labelled threads only, thanks to the Search option at the top right of the main forum page.
Apart from that, there are a few important threads:
By default, the private message page ("PMs" under the Users tab) displays the messages you've received, with the identity of the sender on the right. If you want to check the messages you sent, and if the persons who received them didn't delete them, you can access them by clicking on "Sent messages" at the top and bottom right. The identity of the person you sent the message to will then be displayed on the right. The numbers on the right are user levels.
You can check if someone read the messages you sent, and messages you haven't read or replied to are marked.
You can delete the messages you received by clicking on the "delete" cross. Deleted messages are permanently lost one month after deletion, before that, you can ask Zero to get them back if they're really important.
Also, active messages are automatically deleted one year after they've been sent. You then have a month before they're permanently lost. Please backup old messages you want to keep.
Do you have a backlog feature? Can I see who is playing what?
You can label a game "Wanted", "To do", "Playing", "Gave up", "Done" and "100%'d".
You can set that value up directly on a game page, but it's more convenient to do so through the Game Database list page. By default, the feature is hidden, but you just have to set the "Log" field to "All" to display all the values, and be able to update them in the list (the feature is turned on in the link in this paragraph).
You can filter the list through other fields such as "Owned" to update it more easily.
You can have, in part, access to the backlog of other users: you can see on their profile page what game they are playing, and you can filter the main list so that only games they want or are currently playing are displayed. Also, backlog statistics are displayed on every game page (if they exist) and people playing a game are marked with a star next to their user name in the "Some owners" list. This is especially useful for online play, since you can also have access to system codes, and therefore see who's playing a game, note their code, and join them in the game.
Also, you have personal statistics on your backlog displayed on your profile page (click on your user capsule in the forum to access it, or on your user name at the top of the site in the user box) to know what percentage of games you've finished, gave up, etc. Again, this feature is private.
You can also see what are the most played games on Negative World and see who's playing them by using the "Order" field in the Game Database form, and setting it to "Most played". If the backlog feature is set on "Hidden", the number of people playing the games will then be displayed, and ordered from most played to less (only played games will be displayed).
1) You can link the site front page to social networks by hovering over the "Add This" tool there, then choosing your network of choice. And you can get to the Facebook Negative World page by clicking on the blue Facebook link. You can then "join" the page by "liking" it, and you'll be informed about the site on Facebook, make the site be more known, and link to other members (or not, your decision).
2) You can easily link any public (99) thread, including the reviews you may write, to social networks. In classic forum display, at the bottom right of any original post of a public thread, next to the Quote link, is a Share link that'll allow you to link to those services. In public display (for certain thread types, with the author avatar at the top and banners on the right), there is a Share tool at the top, just to the right of the author's avatar. The title, image, presentation fields of the link are all filled automatically, but feel free to edit what you can/want.
3) Remember that user profiles are public. Since reviews also are, you can therefore use your Negative World profile like a review blog, and link to it on social networks, or use it as signature on other forums, or send it to friends, simply using its web address (http://www.negativeworld.org/viewmember.php?userid=yourusernumber).
Hopefully these features will bring users closer together, be useful to you, and make the site well known by other Nintendo fans.
What are the little grey icons on the right of the main forum page? What are "news", "roundtables", etc.?
These little icons right before thread levels and the thread poster names represent the type of threads. You'll find the icons are pretty telling, what they mean is displayed between brackets before the thread title.
Those threads, except for the poll and community threads, are all public (level 99), and therefore reachable by non members, and all linkable to social networks. When a thread is news, an editorial, a review or a podcast, it's an article displayed on the front page publicly. When it's a roundtable, it's also public but reachable through the forum. The poll and community threads may be public (the latest public poll is displayed on the front page) but also may not, and community threads are popular threads that people like coming back to.
You can filter the type of threads on the board thanks to the Search form: click on the red question mark at the top right, and just fill whatever field you need before clicking the PUSH button. Remember to kill the search to go back to normal after you're done with your search.