View Single Post
Old November 20th, 2009 (5:05 PM). Edited November 20th, 2009 by Dark Azelf.
BeachBoy's Avatar
BeachBoy BeachBoy is offline
S P A R K of madness
  • Crystal Tier
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Texas
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Nature: Bold
Posts: 8,454

Tips on Creating an Entertaining Battle Log

-By BeachBoy

Back around the end of February, I suggested in Community Questions & Feedback that a sub-forum be created to give PokéCommunity members the opportunity to make threads detailing their battles from Shoddy. And lately, in all honesty, there have been a fair amount of battle logs posted that really don't level up to what a battle log should be. It's great this sub-forum is at least getting some activity, however it's time to put some effort into it. ;D

After talking with Anti-pop about how recently the events in this sub-forum have not been up to par, he brought up the idea of a thread to help members out. The light bulb went off and here it is... Tips on creating your battle log! Remember, I'm here to simply give you some advice on it, it's your decision to do whatever on your battle log as long as it's within the rules, but these are recommended. All these tips might seem to damper your spirits to create one, but the response from creating a battle log and giving other users something enjoyable to read is a wonderful thing.


Introductions, introductions, and more introductions.

In the beginning, before you get the battle under way, state what was happening before the match. Is it a new team you were trying to experiment with? Another battle after a rough day? Explain what has been going on prior to give your readers an idea into how everything started out. Also, make sure you post your team in there as well. Posting your line up (preferably in sprites) gives the reader a look into your decision making further on during the battle, and overall understand what's going on. And besides, sprites make the battle log look better as well. They definitely give an upgrade when your about to make that wall of text.

Show some life and talk!

Commentary, by far, is the biggest tip for a battle log. After each turn, tell us what your thinking, even if you made a bad move, you have to have some thought process when your battling. What are you thinking about doing? All in all, commentary make a battle log. That dull wall of text that you got from saving it doesn't cut it, and is very boring. So, once you add commentary, readers have some insight as to what's going on and follow you better. Getting into your head is basically what should come from your commentary on the match. Now, by this tip I mean, don't overwhelm us. We don't need to sit there for 7 hours reading every single detail with paragraphs after every turn. Also, "Darn it, bad move!!" or "Oh well, here he comes again." Little fragments are not battle log worthy commentary, folks. Same thing with the 1337 talk, we're human, but don't make it incomprehensible. =/

Selection for a battle log is key.

In general, it's great you got a sweep, but those are the battle logs that are utterly boring as the sock under your bed. Select a battle to post that's interesting. ZOMG, I SWEPT A KID WIT TEH GACHOMP! That would be a bad selection. We know how devastating many Pocket Monsters are. A battle log where you sweep or completely own the opponent are not interesting to read, and a waste of time, to be honest. A battle we look for is one in which both you and your opponent make good decisions, a close match at least, and overall a good battle. Also, length of the battle; Stall wars, fine. Moderately long, fine. Short eight turn battles, not fine. At least let there be something to read, what's the point of showing something that's seven turns? Refrain from quick battles.

Colours are pretty.

Imagine this, an entire battle log, completely black from head to toe. Does that look nice on the eyes, having to differentiate everything? I suggest you use different colors to separate what's what. Also, some colors, are strictly forbidden. By that I mean, YELLOW! 8D <- That is an absolute no. Not to mention you'll probably be getting a ton of lawsuits too. Avoid extremely bright colors that blind us, nobody wants that. To explain further on this tip, use a different shade for everything. Example: Commentary light blue, battle log regular black, things dealing with the opponent one color, you another, etc.

My Skarmory's nickname is I iz swept u nub!!1

When you open up word to see your battle log straight from the save, there are many useless items that can be removed. Nicknames, if either you or your opponent have nicknames, edit them to their original species name. It's very hard to follow the battle when your opponent's Skarmory named- "I iz swept u nub!!1 used Whirlwind!" So, make sure you cut the nicknames out and put the species names in.

Extra, extra, read all about it!

Thread titles, they are the very first piece of bait to reel your reader (the fish) in. Make them interesting! Seriously, you see two battle logs; one named "I won" and the other "Clash of the Titans, Ubers!" Most likely, you'll read the clash first. When putting your title up, make sure it doesn't completely give away the result either, because if you do, it really messes up the joy of reading it before they even click the thread.

Edit this, this, this, and oh that!

As I said earlier, there are various edits you can and/or should make to the original log. First off, (lvl 100 Species Name ?), not necessary when your already editing out the nicknames, so you can lose that. Some of the main things, edit out the lines of Stealth rock did so-so percent, Sand storm did so-so percent. And a suggestion, keep the total of the health/stat ups at the end of the turn. Whatever you can edit to lessen the log, is probably a good thing. So remember, leftover's recovery and sandstorm, hail, etc damage can be edited out and put into the total at the end. Also, edit out the commentary unless it somehow effects play. We don't really need conversations of "Hi, how are you?" in there. :x

Creativity is a good thing, but be careful.

Changing battle log around into more of a story is fine creativity, but remember if you go down that path, make it comprehensible and be detailed enough to follow. Also, quit the leet talk, that is just overboard. We stress to be creative, and it's recommended, but don't go overboard and make it a complete mess, we have to enjoy reading it, not strain our eyes or scroll through it numerous times to understand. ;D Be creative with the log, but don't change it so we can't understand is basically what I'm trying to get across with this tip.


In conclusion of the battle log tips... After the battle, give a review. Detail the pros and cons of the match and basically a general analysis of how things played out, what you learned from the battle, etc. So basically, what did you think of everything that happened in the battle?

Resources & Other suggestions

Here are some resources you may want to use when making your battle log.

List of colors - This Wikipedia page details all the colors, if you don't see a color you like from the basic selections, go here and grab the a color you like, meaning get the hex triplet code. To put it simply, [color=hex triplet here]text you want the color here[/color] So, a little interesting color scheme over the plain basic default.

Other battle logs - By all means, when there is an excellent battle log posted, use it as a guide to help your own, would be nice to credit them too.

Sprite Resource - Well, you have to get your line up for your introduction somewhere, right? The Sprite Resource is an excellent place to locate all the sprites you need for your log.

- - - - -

Common Complaint - "I don't have the time for this, it's too much to do at once!"

This is very common actually, I get it all the time. Are you tired and only did your introduction, can't really save it? Easy, simply private message yourself the entire thread and viola, saved in your PMs and you can add on bit by bit at your pace. ;D (Also, this explains why you always see me talking to myself via PM)


If you follow most or all of these tips, I guarantee it will be approved by the S&M staff. Not only that, but it should make for one heck of a good read. An example I could give you for most of these methods put together would be my first battle log here at PC. Check it out if you wish to see an example of what these tips look like all put together. [Click here for example] I know all of these seem like a lot to do, but it really helps, and makes it more enjoyable for everyone.

Any suggestions for more tips or other general ideas don't hesitate to private message me.

Like what you read?
Similar threads exist: Battle Log Sub-forum Rules
credit to easterly