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Old 01-03-2013, 05:10 AM   #1
Yunder
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: FL
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YUNDERSTAND's Gamercard

Awards Showcase Green Thumb - Bronze   Micro Guide - Gold   Brick Builders & Busters Franchise Club - Tier 1   Staff Club - rekikire   Achievement Guide - Gold   Staff Club - Madhatters13   Staff Club - troy0891   Staff Club - Tyger7   Staff Club - DEG23   Staff Club - DeekBoy   Staff Club - Yunder   Submit - Emerald
Total Awards: 19 (more» ...)
Guides And Roadmaps: How to Write Your Own

Achievement Guides and Roadmaps

The Ins & Outs of Creating Guides and Roadmaps

Welcome to the new and improved step-by-step guide to writing your own achievement guide and roadmap. We'll walk you through the guidelines that should be followed before breaking down the how-to. Please note: this How To assumes you'd like to have your work published to the main site and not just hidden away in the forums.

Table of Contents

1. Rules
2. Submission Guidelines
3. The Guide Team
4. Stickies
5. Building and Formatting Your Guide
6. Building Your Guide
7. What are Roadmaps?
8. Writing Your Roadmap
9. The Greenbook
10. General FAQ
11. How to Submit Your Work

1.Rules and Regulations

NOTE:
Please know that these rules may change at ANY time.

1) When a game comes out and you are actively playing it is when the guide should be started. Please make sure your guide has actual helpful substance to it before posting it in the forums. "Skeleton" guides may be deleted. The ultimate goal is to have the best possible guide for the site, so if that means combining 10 guides in publishing, then we will and credit will be given to all authors used.

2) Any guides that are submitted within the first month of a game's first regional release will be delayed in processing. We want to make sure people check their guides properly and catch all mistakes, alterations and updates before submission. This also gives everyone a fair grace period to write a guide over the various release dates.

Please do not submit your guide(s) within the first month of release. No guide will be added until that time frame is up. We want to ensure that only the highest quality guides are published on the main site.

3) If you're going to stand as an authority on a game and write a guide or roadmap for the quickest and easiest path to completion you should have a leg to stand on. We will be checking the gamer tag linked to your site profile for the title and its completion status. While a 100% completion is always preferred there will be case by case exceptions made to this requirement (the Seriously 3.0 achievement in Gears of War 3 is a good example of something an exception would be made for).

If you expect your submission to be considered YOU MUST HAVE YOUR GAMERTAG PRIVACY SETTINGS SET TO EVERYONE. If we cannot confirm that you have even played the game, let alone completed it, we cannot publish your recommendations on the game.

4) Do not post rude remarks or use profanity within your guides. This site allows moderate swearing but it shouldn't be used within any guides. If you really feel the need to post any profanity within a guide, please do not submit it.

The only exception is if the achievement name has a profane word in it. If this is the case, the use of the word is allowed, but at a bare minimum.

5) Grammar and spelling are a huge issue. When you rush through making your guide, you will make mistakes. The person who submits their guide fastest DOES NOT mean that their guide will be added. Before you make any submissions, read through your guide and make sure you catch any mistakes.

6) Take into consideration other users when you write your guides. Using slang, text speech and internet lingo doesn't help anyone if they don't understand it. If you submit a guide that contains any of the above abbreviations or slang you may receive a message from the guide team to correct your wording. Your guide may also be declined.

7) Take your time when writing out an achievement guide or a road map. Don't expect anything fantastic when it is thrown together in a hurry. The higher the quality of your guide, the more it will help the community and the more it helps the community, the better chance it has of getting published.

8) Use formatting and media appropriately. If every other word in an achievement guide is bolded or italicized then the final product will look confusing and be hard to understand. Use bold when you need a particular idea to stand out. Same goes for media. If every achievement description has a video or an image within it, then it will be declined. While images and videos are great at explaining tough material in a guide, over-doing it will make your guide seem lazy. Please do not color the text and specify a font size (just use the defaults) unless you really really really need change them to get the point across. All of the extra formatting you add is just something we have to take out and it counts against your character limit.

9) Watch the ego. Don't be aggressive towards other users. If someone else wants to write a guide, they have every right to do so. If you posted first, that does not mean you own that forum with your guide. Moaning and complaining about other users and their attempts will not be tolerated. This goes for posting comments on other peoples guides also.

10) When you submit a guide to have it published to the main site, you lose creative control over that guide. We have the right to edit it and use all or only part of it. Please don't be offended if we don't use every word verbatim. We appreciate the hard work in effort that goes into making guides and roadmaps. Most of us are authors too. But, as stated above, our goal is to have the best possible information published to the main site. Sometimes that means pulling information from multiple submissions.

2.Submission GuidelinesOnce you complete your guide and feel it's ready to be processed by the Guide Team, make sure you submit it in the correct manner. If it is not submitted properly, your guide is at risk of being declined.

1. Your guide layout should be submitted with the same achievement order that is listed on the site. You may list the achievements in any order you see fit in the forum thread, but they must be in the site's order for submission. For your convenience there is a BBCode template you may use that gives you a complete outline in the proper order and all you have to do is fill in the guide itself.

2. Your roadmap must have an overview. For more information on overviews, see the Roadmap section of this thread. For your convenience there is a BBCode template you may use that gives you a complete outline in the proper format and all you have to do is fill in the roadmap itself.

3. DO NOT just submit a link to your guide or roadmap in the forum. If you do so, your guide will be declined regardless of how good it is.

4. When you submit your guide or roadmap, please leave out any image headers and banners. I'm sure you're very proud of your lovely banner but it should not be included in your submission as it will not be used in the published version.

5. We don't need an essay on why your submission should be used over any other submission. We can clearly see when the proper effort has been put into your work. If your submission meets our expectations and standards it will be considered.

6. Please break up your roadmap from your guide. While you may have written both, we treat them as separate items. If you interchange information between your guide and road map please make sure that this information isn't vital to an explanation. If your guide is approved but the road map isn't it won't help anyone.

7. All achievements must have explanations. If a game has only story-related achievements you must list that under each achievement or use the guide to point the reader to another achievement. If there are any tips or other helpful information that can be included for how to complete the level/mission, you should probably include that instead of only stating "story related, unmissable". If you have blank descriptions your guide will be declined.

8. If you use an image or video, please make sure it's not the only thing explaining the achievement. A text description with a postscript saying "Refer to this video if you're having problems:" is preferred.

Last edited by Corrupt.; 10-31-2014 at 01:55 PM. Reason: Updates and corrections
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:15 AM   #2
Yunder
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: FL
Posts: 3,472
Send a message via MSN to Yunder

YUNDERSTAND's Gamercard

Awards Showcase Green Thumb - Bronze   Micro Guide - Gold   Brick Builders & Busters Franchise Club - Tier 1   Staff Club - rekikire   Achievement Guide - Gold   Staff Club - Madhatters13   Staff Club - troy0891   Staff Club - Tyger7   Staff Club - DEG23   Staff Club - DeekBoy   Staff Club - Yunder   Submit - Emerald
Total Awards: 19 (more» ...)
3. The Guide Team
The Guide Team is here to help process the guides that you submit for the main site. If you follow the basic rules above before submitting your guides it makes our lives easier. You are welcome to ask us questions to learn more about guides or have basic questions answered. Do not contact us regarding your submission and if it will be used on the main site. You will be notified if your guide has been added.

On rare occasions, a Guide Team member may ask a guide author to correct certain parts of their guide. This does not mean your guide will be used. If you carry out the alterations it speeds up the processing times.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. We're not always online and we may not get to your question immediately, but be patient, and you'll receive an answer. Most of us log in almost every day.

Current Guide Team Members:
4. Stickies
Please do not ask, report, or PM Moderators/Super Mods for your guides to be stuck. We have this thread specifically for sticky requests. In general, sticking a guide in the forum is part of the publishing tasks. If you did not request (and receive) a sticky prior to submitting your guide, if we use it, it will be stuck before we're done publishing your guide to the site.

Now that all of the general rules and basic information is out the way lets proceed onto writing and creating your guide.

5. Building & Formatting Your Guide
Before you start writing your guide, you need to decide which game your going to write one for. You may also want to check the forums and main site game pages to see if there is already a decent guide posted. Once you find a game you want to write a guide for buy, rent or borrow the game and start to work away at the achievements and learn how to play the game.

Not all of the site's guides are perfect and some have become outdated due to title updates and various other patches. Re-writing someone else's guide is allowed, but you have to make sure you put the extra work in to make your version worth while.

Note: Starting a guide early for a game which hasn't been released will not be tolerated. Most game guides either become locked or removed if they are posted before the street date. If you're lucky enough to play the game and have a good understanding of how your going to do the guide, keep it off site. Begin to write the guide in a Word Processor to begin your work. After the street date, feel free to copy/paste all your info into a new thread.

Learning the basics

Before you can build your guide you will need to learn the basic posting tools. You may already know what some of these do but not know what others do. If you already know this skip to part 3.


This is the basic editing panel. You are going to become very familiar with these options, the more you know about them the easier it will be to navigate the styles for your guide.

1. Remove Text Formatting
2. Fonts
3. Font Sizes
4. Text Color
5. Emoticons (Smiles, Button Icons)
6. Attachments
7. Undo
8. Redo
9. Increase/Decrease Text Box
10, 11, 12. Text styling
13, 14, 15. Text Adjustment.
16, 17. Bullet Points
18. Decrease Indented Text
19. Increase Indented Text
20. Hyperlinks
21. Remove Hyperlink
22. Insert E-Mail Link
23. Insert Image
24. Quote Wrapper
25. Code Wrapper
26. HTML Wrapper
27. PHP Wrapper

All this information may seem pointless but if you didn't know what some of these buttons did you do now for future reference.
Guide layouts

BBCode Template

Vyrastas from our sister site PST has created a BBCode template that makes copying and pasting achievement names, tiles, and descriptions a breeze. Refer to this thread if you would like more information on how to utilize this tool for your guide.

This is a rather important step, your guide layout will be the first thing users will notice. If you use a sloppy layout most people won't be interested in reading. This may also cause issues with people understanding how to read your guide which will degrade the quality of your work.

If you choose not to use Vyrastas' template or it is nonfunctional for some reason, instructions for creating the template manually are included in this spoiler tag:

Spoiler! (click here to reveal)


Once you have made your first post you will want to reserve more posts by posting a quick reply and inserting "post reserved". Most games that contain 50 or so achievements will require about 6 - 7 posts depending on the detail of the achievements. After you've completed your guide, please delete your unneeded posts. If you've been composing your guide off site you should already have a pretty good idea of how long it is.

Note: There is a 10,000 character limit on your posts so you're going to need more than one post for a retail game. If you are writing a guide for an arcade game 2 - 3 posts is plenty but it's down to the detail you put into your guide. Please try to avoid hitting the character limit. The guide team needs some space in order to do their work publishing your guide. 9k is usually a safe target.

Long links, embedded images/videos, formatting, hard returns and spaces all count towards your character limit, so try not to go over the top with extra spaces and loads of formatting.

Just make sure you reserve enough posts and if someone posts in between ask them nicely to delete their post so you can keep the guide as a whole.

Here is a basic layout of how a guide should look for each achievement:

Secret Achievement - 15
Continue playing to unlock this secret achievement.

Achievement explanation here.

Secret Achievement - 15
Continue playing to unlock this secret achievement.

Achievement explanation here.

_________________________________________

Last edited by Corrupt.; 10-31-2014 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:16 AM   #3
Yunder
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: FL
Posts: 3,472
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YUNDERSTAND's Gamercard

Awards Showcase Green Thumb - Bronze   Micro Guide - Gold   Brick Builders & Busters Franchise Club - Tier 1   Staff Club - rekikire   Achievement Guide - Gold   Staff Club - Madhatters13   Staff Club - troy0891   Staff Club - Tyger7   Staff Club - DEG23   Staff Club - DeekBoy   Staff Club - Yunder   Submit - Emerald
Total Awards: 19 (more» ...)
You can order the achievements however you want in the forums but make sure they follow some sort of order.

If you're still uncertain about the layout of your guide please view the following guides to see further examples of how to create a layout:

Gears of War 2
Dragon Age: Origins
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

HINT: If you feel the need to use colors within your guide please make sure there are no bright colors. Colors that are suitable for Guide work:
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Red
Images & Media
While making your guide you may want to make further additions such as videos, images, maps and other helpful information. We do not discourage use of any material but if it is linked to another website it would be best to post a link to their image rather than embed it. If you can gain permission from the site hosting the images, we can then have the images hosted here on XBA.

Here are a couple of good hosting sites:

Adding images and videos to your guide can help explain things which may be difficult to describe. Such as locations or how to pull of complicated techniques. When using images in your guides make sure they are no wider than 640 pixels. If they need to exceed this size make sure they are links and not embedded.

To insert an image you can either press the button and insert your url to the image or you can use the plain text editor and type in the following tags around your image URL: [img]url here[/url].

XBA has no problem with the inclusion of videos in an achievement's description. However, if you plan on including a video, please be sure to include a video that is made by YOU or another XBA user. If and when you decide to use a video, please have the video include ALL information for that specific achievement. Please be sure that the video doesn't include any outsourced material. (I.E. No videos that have been produced by a separate website or organization.)

If you want to add a youtube video to an achievement's description, you can do so with ease. Make your way to youtube and copy the video URL. Just insert the URL anywhere on your guide and it will be converted into a youtube player and styled.

Here is the Youtube link itself:
HTML Code:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_dZZLqH_6w
And here it is typed out:
[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_dZZLqH_6w"]AC: Brotherhood Over Achiever Achievement - YouTube[/url]

6. Writing your Guide

By this point you probably just want to get on with the guide writing and get to the fun part of putting your guide together. You should have played through most of the game by now to get a general idea on what to write for your achievement explanations.

Achievement Descriptions
At this point you should be thinking of how to explain each achievement with ease. Some are easier than others but there are some fairly obvious mistakes or poor explanation choices, which either look careless or can be misleading.

Just remember, the less information you put, the more confusing a guide can be if you do not label everything correctly. It is a good idea to explain every last detail about the achievement, so the reader can understand what is going on. Try to imagine that the reader is someone who has NEVER played the game before. Explaining in great detail will make your descriptions look more polished, sound better, and will look much more professional.

Do not explain too much, however. It is a good idea to explain as much as possible, but using and explaining useless information just makes your description look unprofessional and hard to understand.

Here are a few examples of good and bad choices:

Defuse the bomb, level 2 - 10
Find the bomb on level 2 and defuse it within the given time.

Poor
Defuse the bomb on Level 2.

Defuse the bomb, level 2 - 10
Find the bomb on level 2 and defuse it within the given time.

Okay
The bomb is at the end of level 2, defuse it and complete the level.

Defuse the bomb, level 2 - 10
Find the bomb on level 2 and defuse it within the given time.

Excellent
You will find the bomb at the end of level 2. Walk up to the bomb and hold down to defuse it. You have 2 minutes to do this, as long as you keep moving and make your way past the few enemies you shouldn't have any issues beating the time. The achievement will unlock once you complete the level.

Defuse the bomb, level 2 - 10
Find the bomb on level 2 and defuse it within the given time.

Over-Doing It
You can find the bomb at the end of Level 2; "Coming to an End." Bombs are explosive devices that will explode and cause severe damage once exploded. To prevent the explosion of this bomb and to earn the achievement, walk up to it a hold down . Doing this will defuse the bomb. You are timed for this achievement, so you must defuse the bomb in under 2 minutes. Failing to do so will destroy the bomb and end the mission. After you've defused the bomb, the achievement will unlock.
_____________________________________________


This is just a basic example of how some explanations turn out depending on who is writing the guide, and how much time and effort they have put into it. If you put the extra effort into your guide it will pay off in the long run. Putting in too much effort can turn a detailed description into an over-explained mess.

Every achievement must have an explanation. If you earn an achievement for completing each level, refer to the last achievement for completing levels and explain in full what you need to do.

Example:

Clear Level 1 - 10

See "Complete 12th level"


Clear Level 12 - 50

You will earn all of the above achievements by completing each level. Include tips and other general information here as well. Some levels/difficulties may require a tips list to let the user know how to tackle the challenge. Make good use of Bullet Points when listing tips, or strategies.

There is no need to explain everything you have to do in each level as you can sum up all of the information in one achievement rather than make the user read through 10 different ones.

Graphic Buttons

These buttons are here for to you use within your guides so whoever is reading can see what buttons to press clearly. is much easier to see and read than placing an X in the middle of your explanation. Make sure you use these buttons as often as possible.

:abut: :bbut: :xbut: :ybut: :lbbut: :ltbut: :rbbut: :rtbut: :back: :start:
:dup: :dright: :dleft: :ddown: :ls: :rs: :gsicon:

You can find the full urls and BB codes either via the remote or by clicking here.

If you are writing a guide for the Xbox One, Metabolic XBA has created buttons you can use that can be found here.

Please only use the One buttons for One games, and do not mix and match.

Finalizing & Submitting

By this point you should have completed your guide and gone though every achievement to make sure everything is correct. Before you submit your guide you may want to check through this list to make alterations and corrections. Make sure your guide fits the following criteria:
[ ] Spelling & Grammar
[ ] Correct Formatting
[ ] Used button images
[ ] Ordered your achievements
[ ] Proof read your guide
If you have taken the time to do the above list you should be well on your way to a successful guide. Proof reading your guide is the most important step, so that you pick up on any mistakes, typos and errors in your guide.

Before you submit your guide, we advise you to wait for a short period of time for community feedback. This is a good time to see if any members have encountered bugs/glitches/useful hints throughout playing the the game. Members may even come up with something that makes an achievement easier. Make sure you take all user criticism well.

If you are happy with your guide and feel it is up to a superior standard, then you can move onto the final stage and submit it to through the Submit forum. Your guide will then be passed onto the Guide Team for processing.
__________________
We are the Sultans of Swing.

Last edited by Corrupt.; 10-31-2014 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:16 AM   #4
Yunder
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: FL
Posts: 3,472
Send a message via MSN to Yunder

YUNDERSTAND's Gamercard

Awards Showcase Green Thumb - Bronze   Micro Guide - Gold   Brick Builders & Busters Franchise Club - Tier 1   Staff Club - rekikire   Achievement Guide - Gold   Staff Club - Madhatters13   Staff Club - troy0891   Staff Club - Tyger7   Staff Club - DEG23   Staff Club - DeekBoy   Staff Club - Yunder   Submit - Emerald
Total Awards: 19 (more» ...)
First and foremost, the Roadmap idea was a suggestion brought up by senior member (and formuer Super Moderator) Method back in 2008. His idea was so well received when he submitted it, that it has become a staple here on XBA and even on PST! Without his hard work, planning and dedication to his creation, these roadmaps would not exist. So, on behalf of everyone on XBA and PST, thank you, Method.

http://www.xbox360achievements.org/f...d.php?t=109782

Basics
With any subject, beginning with the basics is the best way to start. So, to start off, a Roadmap is essentially a small walkthrough of how to attain a game's gamerscore in the most ideal way possible. This means listing everything the gamer (reader) needs to know before jumping into the game. When writing a road map, you must keep the reader in mind. Be sure that you use correct grammar and spelling. Having a roadmap that is unreadable because of spelling will help no one and will make your job and explaining things difficult. When writing your road map, remember that the information that you are inputting is the information what the reader is there for. That is what they want to see, so keeping that information easier to read will make your road map look more professional.
An average road map will usually consist of 5-8 steps. However, this is dependent on more than one scenario:
  • What kind of game you are writing it for?
  • How easy it is to earn all the achievements?
  • Does your game have glitchy/unobtainable achievements?
Under those categories, your road map may include only the Overview section, a small walkthrough and a conclusion. Having a road map this small is acceptable as long as the reader understands everything there is to know. If you need to add in another paragraph to help bring your point across, don't hesitate to do so.


The Roadmap
This is where every roadmap begins. Every roadmap must include an overview. If you are unsure on what an overview is, don't fret. It is very simple. An overview is a short layout of categories the game falls under. Here is the official overview and its steps accepted by the Guide Team:
Quote:
Overview:
- Estimated achievement difficulty: 7/10
- Offline: 50 [1000]
- Online: 0 [0]
- Approximate amount of time to 1000: 20 Hours
- Minimum number of playthroughs needed: 1 playthrough
- Missable achievements: No [Level Select]
- Does difficulty affect achievements: Yes
- Unobtainable/glitched achievements: No
- Extra equipment needed?: No
Estimated achievement difficulty
This section is to give the reader a rather basic understanding on how hard/easy it will be to complete the game to its completion. When filling it out, remember that it should be entirely based on Skill. Depending on how long it takes should not come into play. Therefore, a game that takes 50 hours to easily grind, and a game that takes 20 hours based on your skill, the former will get a lower score than the latter. The scale is based from one to ten. One being the easiest and ten being the hardest. Games with a 1/10 difficulty can be completed without the help of a guide. Games with 10/10 difficulty will need dedicated skills to complete the game.

Offline
This section will include how many of the achievements can be earned Offline. This means an Xbox LIVE connection is not needed. If a game has local multiplayer achievements, they will need to be included here.

Online
This section will include how many of the achievements must be earned
online. This means you will need an Xbox LIVE connection to unlock the achievements. This includes (online) multiplayer achievements and DLC achievements.

Approximate Time
Here you will list an estimate on how long it will take to complete the game to 100%. This section is rather sensitive, as it may take some people longer than others just on how they play and skill level. It should be as accurate as possible. If the game requires a certain skill set to complete the game, be sure to leave a note next to the amount of time for the reader to see. Be sure they know that it will take a certain amount of time to build up their skills before completing.

Minimum number of playthroughs needed
Here you will list how many playthroughs of the game the player will need to complete at the minimum. For games that have difficulties unlocked after playing through the story once, this will be the place to make a note of it.

Missable achievements
A missable achievement is described as an achievement that can be easily missed while playing through the game, and cannot be unlocked again unless a previous save is selected. If not, the only option is to begin the entire game again. It is important to make sure that this category is made as accurate as possible, as players will want to know if they need to keep an eye out for achievements in-game. Now, if a game has the ability to replay levels, via a Level Select, etc, then the game would have NO missable achievements. Making note of this is always a good idea.

Does difficulty affect achievements
If the game in question has any difficulty-based achievements, this is the place to acknowledge them. A game may also have difficulties unlocked after the game is beaten on a certain setting. If this is the case, make a note of that here, too.

Glitched/Unobtainable achievements
Glitched achievements are not technically the same thing, but can be categorized the same way. If a game is glitchy, or contains glitched achievements, they can be either positive or negative. More often than not, they will appear in a negative fashion. If this is the case, then its best to make a note of it, here. Now, unobtainable achievements are a different story. These achievements are NOT obtainable by any means when playing through the game. This can be because of a bug/glitch in the game, a bad patch or any other type of circumstance. Either way, its best to make a note of it, and name the achievement(s). If, you happen to be playing a game with both Glitchy AND Unobtainable achievements, label the achievements with a (G) or a (U) in this section. It will be easier for the reader to understand.

Extra Equipment needed?
For this section, you will need to state whether or not any extra equipment is needed to complete the game. Any peripherals are to be included. The main peripheral is Microsoft's Kinect. List it here if a game requires it to play. If a game requires a guitar, more than one controller, a vision camera or any other kind of peripheral, you will need to place that here.

Whenever a DLC is released, an edit can be made to include what the DLC is called, how long it will take, and if there are any missable, glitchy or unobtainable achievements. To make this look as neat as possible, you will need to incorporate the "List" BBcode.
To use this, you'll need to list all DLC sections with the Unordered list (Bullet Points). After making sure the sections are listed out, highlight all and select the Indent Right button. () Everything will appear to the right, and a second (lighter) bullet point will appear before each section. Next, select the DLC name and click the Indent Left button. () This will make the DLC name appear bulleted, while making all sub-sections listed. If you do this correctly, your final product will look something like this:
  • DLC Collection #1
    • Difficulty: 3/10
    • Time to 160: 2+ Hours
    • Glitchy/Missable/Unobtainable: None
  • DLC Collection #2
    • Difficulty: 3/10
    • Time to 150: 2+ Hours
    • Glitchy/Missable/Unobtainable: Stay Frosty (G)
  • DLC Collection #3
    • Difficulty: 3/10
    • Time to 300: 3+ Hours
    • Glitchy/Missable/Unobtainable: Stay Dry (M)

Last edited by Corrupt.; 10-02-2014 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:16 AM   #5
Yunder
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: FL
Posts: 3,472
Send a message via MSN to Yunder

YUNDERSTAND's Gamercard

Awards Showcase Green Thumb - Bronze   Micro Guide - Gold   Brick Builders & Busters Franchise Club - Tier 1   Staff Club - rekikire   Achievement Guide - Gold   Staff Club - Madhatters13   Staff Club - troy0891   Staff Club - Tyger7   Staff Club - DEG23   Staff Club - DeekBoy   Staff Club - Yunder   Submit - Emerald
Total Awards: 19 (more» ...)
Now we move onto the meat of the road map. These following sections will give the reader a more in-depth look at the game in question, as well as some back story on what kind of game it is, how its played, etc.

Introduction
The Introduction section isn't as meaty as some of the other sections of the road map, but its important, nonetheless. Here, you will introduce the reader to the game. You can give them a small synopsis on what happens in the game, as long as spoilers are avoided. In this section, you'll also need to be sure you address anything that the reader will need to know in the upcoming playthrough of the game. If there are collectibles, be sure to link to a Collectibles guide. If there are any missable achievements, be sure to name them and how to attain them easily. If there are any online achievements, be sure to link to the Achievement Trading Thread for boosting partners. This will also be the place to note of any Glitchy/Unobtainable achievements. If there is a glitch in the game that can be avoided, make a note of it here. Use bold or italics to make sure your point comes across. If there are any unobtainable achievements, name them here, as well as to why they are unobtainable. It may be a bad patch, bug or glitch in the game, or just bad programming. Now, with a good solid intro, let's move onto the walkthrough.

The Abbreviated Walkthrough
The abbreviated walkthrough is the main bulk of your road map. This section will be the main playthrough of the game, as well as any other playthroughs the player may go through. This section can be split into however many steps you feel is appropriate. When discussing the achievements in this section, be sure you bold them to make sure the reader knows that you are talking about an achievement and not something randomly. This will help the reader understand more about the achievement and how to unlock it. Combining all story-related achievements that are unmissable and are unlocked by playing through the campaign is good, easy way for the reader to know much gamerscore they'll unlock by just playing the game.

If other playthroughs are required for the game to be completed OR more playthroughs are needed to make the game easier, you can create a new step for each playthrough. More than likely, these playthroughs will be harder than previous runs, so be sure to include tips on how to complete the game on a higher setting.


Miscellaneous
This will be the section where you will explain any and all achievements that are not story-related. Again, if you name any achievements by name, be sure to bold them to emphasis to the reader that you are talking about an achievement specifically. This section is for the achievements that are unlocked by doing specific things within the game. Collectible achievements go in here, as well. If a collectible guide is available, be sure to link it here, as well. If there are any achievements that are level-specific, include the achievements in this section and what level they can be unlocked on.

Online
This section is only for online-enabled games that include achievements. More often than not, you will encounter a game that has a dead online community, so be sure to include a hyperlink to the Achievement Trading Thread so the reader can search for boosting partners.

Mop Up
This mop-up section will be for any achievements that the reader may have missed while playing through the game in however many playthroughs. For missable achievements, missing collectables, or anything that the reader may have missed at all.

Conclusion
Your conclusion is essentially the closer of your road map. It shouldn't be more than 4-5 sentences long. The main goal here is to conclude your road map to the reader by highlighting any main points the user should have read prior. Glitched achievements, missable achievements, multiplayer servers shut down are all small points to bring up. Feel free to include a small congratulatory message here, too. Especially if the game is a tough completion.
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Last edited by troy0891; 01-28-2014 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:16 AM   #6
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Location: FL
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YUNDERSTAND's Gamercard

Awards Showcase Green Thumb - Bronze   Micro Guide - Gold   Brick Builders & Busters Franchise Club - Tier 1   Staff Club - rekikire   Achievement Guide - Gold   Staff Club - Madhatters13   Staff Club - troy0891   Staff Club - Tyger7   Staff Club - DEG23   Staff Club - DeekBoy   Staff Club - Yunder   Submit - Emerald
Total Awards: 19 (more» ...)
General FAQ
Q: Can I submit my guide without a roadmap?
A: You can, yes. It is better for a member to write both a guide and roadmap together as it can make sense to read. If you choose not to write a roadmap, someone else has the ability to.

Q: So, I finished writing a roadmap in a game's main forum, how does it get posted on the main site?
A: Well, there is a Submission forum entirely based on user-created guides and road maps. It is located here. Feel free to post it in there and the Guide Team will take care of it.

Q: So, my roadmap was posted onto the main site! Am I credited for writing it?
A: Absolutely. Here at XBA, credit is a big deal. If you have written something, and we publish it, we want to make sure writers are given credit for writing it. If you happen to see a piece written by you on the front page, but it doesn't have your name on the bottom of the page, please post here so the Guide Team can fix the problem. Those notes are manually added, so sometimes it falls through the cracks.

Q:
I noticed there was game on the main site that is missing a roadmap. Can I write one?
A:Of course! The roadmaps idea was brought up a little after the achievement guide. Therefore, all games prior to the roadmap idea might be missing one. If you see one, be sure to Submit it and send it our way.

Q: I see another roadmap posted on the main site, but its really lacking in quality. Can I write another one?
A: You can, sure. If this is the case, you have two choices; You can write a new roadmap with brand new information and post it in the Submit forum. Alternatively, you can post up more information in red in this thread. Either one will work.

Helpful Tips
  • While writing your roadmap, remember to keep proper spacing. This will make your road map easier to read and understand. Between the Overview and Introduction should be one space, and everything else only needs one space. This keeps the map looking as neat as possible.
  • Make sure your spelling and grammar are as pristine as they can be. Capitalize achievement names, place periods at the end of every sentence, use commas correctly, and spell your words correctly. No one wants to "try" and read. They want to read a roadmap and walk away with helpful knowledge.
  • The achievements themselves within your roadmap are an important part. If you happen to mention one while writing, be sure to bold it so the reader knows it isn't just a few words with improper capitalization.
  • Know the difference between "collectible" and "collectable." Collectibles are the in-game items that may earn you an achievement. These collectibles are collectable.
  • Please refrain from listing achievements within your roadmap. Listing out achievements doesn't help the reader more than just knowing the names of them.



Last edited by Corrupt.; 10-02-2014 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:16 AM   #7
Yunder
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: FL
Posts: 3,472
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YUNDERSTAND's Gamercard

Awards Showcase Green Thumb - Bronze   Micro Guide - Gold   Brick Builders & Busters Franchise Club - Tier 1   Staff Club - rekikire   Achievement Guide - Gold   Staff Club - Madhatters13   Staff Club - troy0891   Staff Club - Tyger7   Staff Club - DEG23   Staff Club - DeekBoy   Staff Club - Yunder   Submit - Emerald
Total Awards: 19 (more» ...)
The Skeleton

This is how the overall Road map should look without any information added to it.

Overview:
- Estimated achievement difficulty: 7/10
- Offline: 50 [1000]
- Online: 0 [0]
- Approximate amount of time to 1000: 20 Hours
- Minimum number of playthroughs needed: 1 playthrough
- Missable achievements: No [Level Select]
- Does difficulty affect achievements: Yes
- Unobtainable/glitched achievements: No
- Extra equipment needed?: No
  • DLC Pack #1
    • Difficulty: 3/10
    • Time to 160: 2+ Hours
    • Unobtainable: None
  • DLC Pack #2
    • Difficulty: 4/10
    • Time to 250 4+ Hours
    • Unobtainable: None
Introduction:

Abbreviated Walkthrough:

Multiplayer:

Mop-Up:


DLC Pack #1
Abbreviated Walkthrough:


DLC Pack #2

Abbreviated Walkthrough:


Conclusion:

Last edited by Corrupt.; 10-02-2014 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:16 AM   #8
Yunder
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: FL
Posts: 3,472
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YUNDERSTAND's Gamercard

Awards Showcase Green Thumb - Bronze   Micro Guide - Gold   Brick Builders & Busters Franchise Club - Tier 1   Staff Club - rekikire   Achievement Guide - Gold   Staff Club - Madhatters13   Staff Club - troy0891   Staff Club - Tyger7   Staff Club - DEG23   Staff Club - DeekBoy   Staff Club - Yunder   Submit - Emerald
Total Awards: 19 (more» ...)
9. The Greenbook

The greenbook is a relatively new feature to XBA, and is basically a place where guides and/or roadmaps from the forums that have been abandoned, forgotten about or slipped through the net. It is a place where guide writers can pick up a guide in various stages of completion, and pick up where the OP left off, to get the guide to a place where it is ready for submittion, and ultimately publication.

How does a guide end up in the Greenbook?

The Greenbook team has a list of every guide that is solely in the forums (i.e. not yet published), and it's current status. If a guide has not been worked in for over two months (60 days), then it will be moved to either the Submit forum if it is deemed to be ready; or the Greenbook if it is deemed to have been abandoned. In cases where the author is still active in the forums in the time between "abandonment" and the time where it is ready to be moved, the author will be contacted, if not, it will be moved. This list is not always 100% up to date, so if you find an abandoned guide, then head to the relevant thread here to report a game and get it moved over.

What is in the Greenbook, and how does it work?

If you want to help a poor abandoned guide, then head over to the Greenbook right away. Click here to go take a look. You will find a contents list with all the games currently in the Greenbook and a thread to sign up for any guides/roadmaps. If you find a game that you feel you can help with, then go into the post, and there should be a short paragraph describing what is needed to be done. If you feel you are up to the task, then sign up for it in the relevant thread. Up to three people can be signed up to any guide at any time, and all users that contribute to the final published work, will get credits towards the lovely greenbook award.

My guide/map is in the Greenbook, but I still want to finish it myself. What do I do?

If your guide is in the Greenbook, that does not affect your guide in the forums. Feel free to pick up where you left off if you wish, and follow the normal submittion process. If your guide is published, it will be removed from the Greenbook.

Somebody finished my guide/map off, what happens to the work I already did?

If your guide was already pretty complete by the time it got to the Greenbook, and what was published was mostly your work, you will still see your name at the top of the published guide, and will still get creditted on the award tracker. If what was moved was pretty much a skeleton, or a very basic guide, then you may still get your name at the top, but will not be eligible to be tracked towards an award.
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Last edited by Corrupt.; 10-31-2014 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:17 AM   #9
Yunder
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: FL
Posts: 3,472
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YUNDERSTAND's Gamercard

Awards Showcase Green Thumb - Bronze   Micro Guide - Gold   Brick Builders & Busters Franchise Club - Tier 1   Staff Club - rekikire   Achievement Guide - Gold   Staff Club - Madhatters13   Staff Club - troy0891   Staff Club - Tyger7   Staff Club - DEG23   Staff Club - DeekBoy   Staff Club - Yunder   Submit - Emerald
Total Awards: 19 (more» ...)
10. General FAQ

While reading through this, I'm sure some of you have questions you want answers to. Here are some of the most general questions we get asked on a regular basis. Hopefully you will find the answer you're looking for.

My guide was posted first, surely I'm the only one allowed to make the guide for xx game?
This website is based around a community. We do not stop users from making a guide. Arguing with someone and calling dibs on a guide isn't allowed. Any behavior surrounding this sort of behavior will not be tolerated.

Just to elaborate on this:
  • Anyone can write a guide.
  • Your guide may be declined over another users, even if it is made sticky.
  • Any rude behavior towards other guide writers isn't tolerated.
  • Anyone can re-write a guide at any point.
What rewards do I get for writing a guide?
You will earn yourself a forum award if you have a certain amount of achievement guides published to the site. The award that you earn can be Bronze (3 published guides), Silver (6 published guides), Gold (10 published guides), Platinum (15 published guides), Emerald (20 published guides) or Diamond (30 published guides). This will be displayed under your gamercard and avatar on the left hand side of your posts. If your guide is at such a high level you may also earn the A+ award for your efforts. If your writing and guide talents are superior, you may even be asked to join the Guide Team.

Are there awards for writing Roadmaps?
You will earn yourself a forum award if you have a certain amount of roadmaps published to the site. The award that you earn can be Bronze (3 published roadmaps), Silver (6 published roadmaps), Gold (10 published roadmaps), Platinum (15 published roadmaps), Emerald (20 published roadmaps) or Diamond (30 published roadmaps). This will be displayed under your gamercard and avatar on the left hand side of your posts.

You can find a whole walkthrough on how to write roadmaps Here.

What do these awards look like, and what are their criteria?
You will earn the following awards for your efforts on the site. Some are easier to work towards than others. Remember, this isn't a race to earn the awards. Take your time and put as much effort into your guides/roadmaps as possible.

Road Map Awards:

Road Maps - Bronze
This user has submitted 3 road maps to the site.

Road Maps - Silver
This user has submitted 6 road maps to the site.

Road Maps - Gold
This user has submitted 10 road maps to the site.

Road Maps - Platinum
This user has submitted 15 road maps to the site.

Road Maps - Emerald
This user has submitted 20 road maps to the site.

Road Maps - Diamond
This user has submitted 30 road maps to the site.

Roadmaps are the useful breakdowns at the top of each guide. Not all guides have them but your efforts will be rewarded for making these additions.

Guide Writing Awards:

Bronze Achievement Guide Submitter
This user has submitted 3 achievement guides to the site.

Silver Achievement Guide Submitter
This user has submitted 6 achievement guides to the site.

Gold Achievement Guide Submitter
This user has submitted 10 achievement guides to the site.

Platinum Achievement Guide submitter
This user has submitted 15 Achievement Guides to the Site.

Emerald Achievement Guide Submitter
This user has submitted 20 Achievement Guides to the Site.

Diamond Achievement Guide Submitter
This user has submitted 30 achievement guides to the Site.

You will need to work hard to earn all these awards. It may seem like an easy task but you will only make it this far if you put in the effort.

Additional Awards:

A+ Thread Award
This user has created a thread which shows incredible effort and dedication on their behalf.

This award is only issued when a user has exceeded the superior level of guide writing or thread making. This award is not linked directly to guide writing, so do not expect to earn it unless you do something out of the ordinary.


Staff - Guide Team
This user is part of the guide team on X360A

If you are on another level of guide writing, you may be asked to join the Guide Team. Not everyone will be invited, so welcome to the team as you have been selected out of the 300,000+ users on the site.

Staff - Collectables Guide Team
This user is part of the collectables guide team on X360A

This team is exclusively for writing and collaborating on Collectibles. Not all games have collectibles, but for all those special games that do, these guys will be the team behind writing them.

------------------

Micro Guide Writing Awards
Micro Guides are awarded for writing the achievement guide and roadmap for a DLC or for games that have a gamerscore of less than 200.

Bronze Micro Guide/Roadmap Submitter
This user has submitted 3 micro guides/roadmaps to the site.

Silver Micro Guide/Roadmap Submitter
This user has submitted 9 micro guides/roadmaps to the site.

Gold Micro Guide/Roadmap Submitter
This user has submitted 10 micro guides/roadmaps to the site.

Platinum Micro Guide/Roadmap Submitter
This user has submitted 15 micro guides/roadmaps to the site.

Emerald Micro Guide/Roadmap Submitter
This user has submitted 20 micro guides/roadmaps to the site.

Diamond Micro Guide/Roadmap Submitter
This user has submitted 30 micro guides/roadmaps to the site.

Last edited by Corrupt.; 10-31-2014 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:17 AM   #10
Yunder
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Posts: 3,472
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YUNDERSTAND's Gamercard

Awards Showcase Green Thumb - Bronze   Micro Guide - Gold   Brick Builders & Busters Franchise Club - Tier 1   Staff Club - rekikire   Achievement Guide - Gold   Staff Club - Madhatters13   Staff Club - troy0891   Staff Club - Tyger7   Staff Club - DEG23   Staff Club - DeekBoy   Staff Club - Yunder   Submit - Emerald
Total Awards: 19 (more» ...)
General FAQ Continued

Can my guide be made sticky even though it's not finished?
No, guides will only be made sticky when the guide is complete and has been approved by a MOD or Guide Team member. Make sure you put in the extra effort, some guides are made sticky but have later been removed due to another guide being at a higher standard. If you would like your thread to be approved and sticked, please post in the Sticky Request thread.

My Guide is the only one in the forum. Can I have it stickied, please?
No. Your guide may be the only one in the forum, but a guide will not be stickied until it has been processed by the Guide Team and added to the Main site. After that has been done, your guide will be stickied.

I found an error within an achievement explanation/guide, what do I do?
You can either submit the corrections via posting in the Updates or Corrections: Guides and Roadmaps thread.

I wrote a guide for a game with multiple entry's on the site. Why are there multiple game entry's and do I get credit for each game?
Some games have multiple releases in different country's/regions. If you write a guide for one of these games you will be credited with one guide. Your guide may show up over these multiple game listings, but they are effectively the same game.

Sometimes there are different lists, but this is very rare.

Why was my guide removed from a sticky, and why do I share joint credit for my guide?
Someone else has probably re-written the guide for that game. This isn't uncommon. They have updated and produced a full, more informative, guide over the one you wrote. They also have submitted the guide to the site and had it approved.

You still hold credit for the original guide, whoever made additions has been credited and rewarded for their efforts.

Why is this xx guide on the site? It's so poor and isn't useful.
The guide is probably an old guide which needs updating. Although the guide is on the main site, the Guide Team will always accept rewrites of older guides.

Can I use copyright images in my guide?
No, all copyright material unless sourced through taking screenshots or making your own images are not allowed. Anything that has been scanned from a magazine or official guide will be removed. We cannot use any material that is sold and distributed on a commercial level.

I want to create my own guide layout, can I do this and submit it that way?
The guide layout/template we suggest is preferred, so we suggest you must submit your guide in the correct way. If you really feel the need to go outside the current layout and it doesn't go over the top it isn't an issue.

Just remember you must submit the guide with the correct formatting and list the achievements in the same order on the website. If you want to create the extra work for yourself you can.

Are profile glitching/trading and other such methods allowed in guides
No, we have a strict policy on breaching Microsoft's Terms of Service, so if it goes against their agreement and may cause users to be banned, it isn't allowed. You may also be banned/infracted for using and explaining how to do such techniques.

What if I see a roadmap that needs a significant revision or I want to add something to an existing roadmap?
If you want to try to make a better roadmap, you are by all means allowed to. However, there’s no guarantee that it’ll be accepted. If you’ve got an update for a map that's already in place, simply post in the Update or Corrections: Guides and Roadmaps thread.

What do I get for submitting a roadmap?
First, you will receive gratitude from the staff and XBA community for increasing the site's quality, increasing our achievement hunting productivity and reducing our frustration. You will also receive awards for writing a certain amount of roadmaps.

How do I know if my roadmap has been accepted?
You will receive a visitor message and a post in your guide on the forums from a Guide Team awards specialist. If you have visitor messaging disabled, you will receive a PM instead of a visitor message. Your Awards Tracking will also be updated to include the published material and will be mentioned in the Achievement Unlocked for the month that it was published.

I'm writing an achievement guide for a game, should I write a roadmap too?
The simple answer here is yes. Although it is not required that you include a roadmap with your achievement guide submission, it will definitely show your dedication to a quality product. However, our long term goal is that all achievement guides have a roadmap included with them in an achievement guide submission.

I wrote an achievement guide and now I want to put the roadmap in there too, what should I do?
It should go into your achievement guide's thread as the first post. Ask a moderator to add a post for you if there is no room to make it the first post currently.

What if there is no achievement guide for a game on the main site? Can I still submit a roadmap for it?
Yes, you can still submit the roadmap although it is preferred to have both an achievement guide and a roadmap.

I found an error/typo in an already published roadmap, who do I tell?
If you find any errors/typos in any of the site's published achievement guides and roadmaps please let us know all the relevant information by posting in the Update or Corrections: Guides and Roadmaps thread.

10.How to Submit Your Work
To submit your work for inspection, processing, and publishing by the Guide Team, first make sure your submission conforms to our submission guidelines for achievement guides and/or roadmaps.

When you are ready to submit your achievement guide and/or roadmap, please post in the Submit: Guides and Roadmaps forum.

Last edited by Corrupt.; 10-22-2014 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:34 PM   #11
Yunder
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: FL
Posts: 3,472
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YUNDERSTAND's Gamercard

Awards Showcase Green Thumb - Bronze   Micro Guide - Gold   Brick Builders & Busters Franchise Club - Tier 1   Staff Club - rekikire   Achievement Guide - Gold   Staff Club - Madhatters13   Staff Club - troy0891   Staff Club - Tyger7   Staff Club - DEG23   Staff Club - DeekBoy   Staff Club - Yunder   Submit - Emerald
Total Awards: 19 (more» ...)
11. Button Images

There is a host of images that we, The Guide Team input into each guide if it is needed. We have an image for every 360 controller button, and we encourage all guide writers to use them, as well. Not only are they easier to read, but they make a guide look professional and clean. Feel free to use them to your hearts content.




Code:
HTML Code:
:abut:    
http://www.xbox360achievements.org/images/misc/a.png 
http://www.x360a.org/images/misc/a.png

Code:
HTML Code:
:bbut:   
http://www.xbox360achievements.org/images/misc/b.png 
http://www.x360a.org/images/misc/b.png

Code:
HTML Code:
:xbut:   
http://www.xbox360achievements.org/images/misc/x.png 
http://www.x360a.org/images/misc/x.png

Code:
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:ybut:   
http://www.xbox360achievements.org/images/misc/y.png 
http://www.x360a.org/images/misc/y.png

Code:
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http://www.xbox360achievements.org/images/misc/lb.png 
http://www.x360a.org/images/misc/lb.png

Code:
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http://www.xbox360achievements.org/images/misc/lt.png 
http://www.x360a.org/images/misc/lt.png

Code:
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:rbbut:   
http://www.xbox360achievements.org/images/misc/rb.png 
http://www.x360a.org/images/misc/rb.png

Code:
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:rtbut:   
http://www.xbox360achievements.org/images/misc/rt.png 
http://www.x360a.org/images/misc/rt.png

Code:
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:back:   
http://www.xbox360achievements.org/images/misc/back.png 
http://www.x360a.org/images/misc/back.png

Code:
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:start:   
http://www.xbox360achievements.org/images/misc/start.png 
http://www.x360a.org/images/misc/start.png

Code:
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:gsicon:   
http://www.xbox360achievements.org/images/misc/g-icon.gif 
http://www.x360a.org/images/misc/g-icon.gif
Code:
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:dup:   
http://www.xbox360achievements.org/images/misc/updpad.png 
http://www.x360a.org/images/misc/updpad.png

Code:
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 :dright:   
http://www.xbox360achievements.org/images/misc/rightdpad.png 
http://www.x360a.org/images/misc/rightdpad.png
Code:
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    :dleft:   
http://www.xbox360achievements.org/images/misc/leftdpad.png 
http://www.x360a.org/images/misc/leftdpad.png

Code:
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    :ddown:   
http://www.xbox360achievements.org/images/misc/downdpad.png
http://www.x360a.org/images/misc/downdpad.png

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    :ls:   
http://www.xbox360achievements.org/images/misc/ls.png 
http://www.x360a.org/images/misc/ls.png

Code:
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    :rs:   
http://www.xbox360achievements.org/images/misc/rs.png 
http://www.x360a.org/images/misc/rs.png

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