Press Start - The 3rd Birthday

Welcome to Press Start, the annual gift exchange for any and all completed video games.

For official announcements, please follow the Admin journal.

(Open, Unmoderated, Anonymous, Gift Exchange Challenge)

About Press Start - The 3rd Birthday (pressstart_2017)

Active since:
2017-04-16
Maintainers:
Contact:
press.start.mod@gmail.com
Tag Set:
Assignments Due:
Sat 09 Sep 2017 11:59PM EDT
Authors Revealed:
Sun 24 Sep 2017 12:01AM EDT
Signed up:
48
  • neverminetohold,
  • Sumi,
  • kadma,
  • Rosencrantz,
  • Ysavvryl,
  • Filigranka,
  • The_Exile,
  • TereziMakara,
  • prosodiical,
  • runicmagitek,
  • silveradept,
  • higuchi,
  • Irusu,
  • chicago_ruth,
  • ideallyqualia,
  • thedevilchicken,
  • shadow_lover,
  • ShamanicShaymin,
  • CaramelShadows,
  • Tren
  • Rose Argent (roseargent),
  • colorcoded,
  • failsafe,
  • Laylah,
  • Aeiouna,
  • Piscaria,
  • NightsMistress,
  • Fortune_Maiden,
  • jungle_ride,
  • regentzilla,
  • gamerfic,
  • BonesOfBirdWings,
  • dreamkist,
  • starlatine,
  • kay_obsessive,
  • SadieFlood,
  • Bazylia_de_Grean,
  • Silex,
  • weakinteraction,
  • Hokuto,
  • Piinutbutter,
  • Stonestrewn,
  • Masu_Trout,
  • cricket_aria,
  • Eida,
  • xenoglossy,
  • spacehopper,
  • spoke

Navigation

FAQ:

What is Press Start?
Press Start is an annual fic exchange for video game fandoms. Participants must create either a story of at least 1,000 words, a vid of at least 1 minute, or an original illustration. In return, they will receive a story of at least 1,000 words, a vid of at least one minute, or an original illustration.

General schedule:
Nominations: Late June
Signups: Early July
Assignments go out: Mid July
Posting deadline: 11 September
Story reveal: 18 September
Author reveal: 25 September

How does Press Start work?
Press Start, like all good boss battles, has four stages: Nominations, Signups, Assignments, Reveals.

During Nominations, people use a form on the AO3 to submit the names of five fandoms they want to request or offer fanwork for, with up to six characters for each fandom.

During Signups, people use a form on the AO3 to sign up to request and offer to create fanwork in fandoms from the nominated list. While all participants are required to request at least three (with a maximum of ten) fandoms they wish to receive a gift for, they are only obligated to create one fanwork in a fandom they match on.

After signups, participants are matched up based on what they offered and requested, and Assignments are sent out. Participants have about six weeks to create a fanwork that fits the minimum criteria (but can, of course, exceed it!).

Stories must be posted to the Press Start challenge on the AO3 by the deadline of 11 September, where they will automatically appear as anonymous "Mystery Gifts" for the recipients.

On 18 September, the stories are Revealed, with author names still hidden. If authors wish to comment, they can but they will show up as Anonymous Creator until authors are revealed.

On 25 September, all authors will be revealed.

 

What can be nominated for Press Start?

 

Press Start is open to any video game, regardless of what platform it is on, so long as it is a complete video game that is not heavily dependent on another non-video game series. What this means is that:

  1. Visual novels are eligible. Anime based on the visual novel is not eligible.
  2. Original Interactive Fiction is eligible (but Interactive Fiction created as a fanwork for another original work is not eligible)
  3. Mobile device app games are eligible.
  4. In the case where a video game is part of a very big series, the game is eligible but everything else is not. However, if the game is not a separate storyline to the larger series but is instead a mere tie-in, it is not eligible. For example, Knights of the Old Republic is part of the Star Wars series but has a separate storyline and so is eligible. .
  5. Other media that has an interactive element but is not primarily a video game is not eligible. For example, Homestuck is not eligible because while there are small video games contained inside it, it is primarily a webcomic.
  6. Demos are not eligible unless the game's production has been abandoned. The onus is on the nominator to establish that the game's production has been abandoned.
  7. The game must be published. Screenshots, concept sketches or videos of gameplay do not make a game eligible.
  8. The game does not have to be in English.

I don't want to sign up for the challenge, but still want to participate. How can I do that?
You can be a beta reader or editor, cheer people on, create treats (read: additional gifts) for any requests that catch your eye, or pick up a pinch hit.

 

Nominations

 

How does nominating work?
Nominations will open on the AO3 collection at some point in late June. Participants can nominate five fandoms, and six characters from each.

Can I change my mind about my nominations after I submit them?
Yes! But be careful, nominations for games that are not part of a larger continuity will be approved or denied as they come in, to allow for a quicker sign-up date. As long as your nomination has not yet been approved or rejected, you are free to edit it.

How will larger continuity nominations be handled?
Any nomination for a game that is part of a larger series (for example, Dragon Age: Inquisition) or for a larger series as a whole (for example, Dragon Age (Video Games)), will not be approved until after the nomination period has closed. This is so that the mod can see how the nominations have gone and ask participants how they want the games grouped. Only games that are explicitly part of the same continuity are subject to this rule. Spiritual successors and games that are unconnected but have the same title (see: Final Fantasy) are not.

 

Requests

 

You have to request stories in at least three fandoms. You can ask for up to ten fandoms if you want.

For each fandom, you can request 0 to 6 (nominated) characters. If you request 0 characters, your writer is allowed to write about any of the nominated characters they want, or about the fandom universe in general. You can also request "Any" if you are happy for story about any character nominated. Please only choose "Any" if you really would like a story about any character in the tagset.

For each fandom you can request fanart, fanfiction, fanvid or a combination.

What are the details on my sign-up?
The details on the sign-up are any details you'd like to see in your gift fic. These details are optional to include, and are optional for your assigned writer to follow. The only thing your writer is required to follow are your fandom, characters, fanwork preference and anything that you state is an absolute "do not want".

What can I put in my details?
Anything you like. Your optional details are a guide to your assigned gifter about what kind of fanwork you would like. You can talk about characters you requested and what you like or don't like, characters not nominated but that you wouldn't mind appearing, what your thoughts are about crossovers and what they can be, plot ideas, or kinks you would like or not like. It is also where you tell your author what you do not want. Remember that these details are not required. It's ultimately your assigned gifter who decides what goes in the work. Please also remember to structure your additional details to address the fanwork. If you want art, for example, think about what prompt will help your artist create the fanart most suited to your preferences.

Dear Writer letters
"Dear Writer" letters are letters posted to journals or other spaces that give your assigned gifter a bit more information about why you picked the sources you did, what your likes and dislikes are, more detailed prompts, and so forth.

Like the "optional details" field, letters are entirely optional. You don't have to write one, and you're free to ignore your recipient's letter for the most part while creating your fanwork. Anything listed as a "Do Not Want", however, must not be included.

People who choose to write a letter can put the link in their signups, so that it can be found easily.

Offers

You have to offer to create in at least four fandoms, with a maximum of ten.
In each fandom, you have to offer 2 to 8 nominated characters. You can also offer "Any" characters. Remember: Any means any combination of the characters nominated. Ask yourself whether you are sure you want to create any combination!

You also must offer to create a fanvid, fic, or artwork (or combinations of these) for each fandom.

Can I change my mind about my signup after I submit it?
So long as the signup period is still open, absolutely! You can find your signup form on your AO3 profile page: click on "Signups" in the left-hand navigation pane.

I'm only comfortable with one or two of the fandoms/characters on the list. Can I just offer/request those?
Unfortunately not. Given the broadness of this scope, especially with multiple fanworks, we need as broad a range of offers and requests as possible otherwise matching will be awful. Think of our livers.

I didn't get my assignment – what do I do?
It's possible that your spam filter ate the emailed assignment. Log in to your AO3 account and click the link for "Assignments" in the left-hand navigation pane in your Profile; your assignment should be there.

If it's not there, either, please contact the mod immediately.

Can I switch my assignment?
Assignments can't be changed under most circumstances. If the matching was in error on AO3's part (rare, but it could happen), let the mods know ASAP. Otherwise, you're free to contact the mod anyway, but the answer will probably be no.

Can I prepare a fanwork for any of my recipient's fandoms, even if I didn't sign up for them?
Sure! As long as you create a fanwork for one of the fandoms they requested, you're good.

Can I create more than one fanwork?
Sure! As long as by the due date you have prepared a complete fanwork for one of your recipient's fandoms, using the characters and media requested, then you can do as many fanworks as you like. The sky is the limit!

Am I guaranteed to be the only person creating something for my recipient?
Nope. Sometimes participants are double assigned for matching, and sometimes people just really like your recipient's prompts and want to give them more stories. Your recipient will still value your gift.

Will I get more than one gift?
It's unlikely.

 

Posting

 

How do I post my story?
Go to your Assignment page on AO3, which you can find under the "Assignments" link on your Profile page, or on the Press Start subcollection page as "Your Assignment". You should see two buttons at the bottom of your assignment: "Post to fulfil", and "Default".

Click "Post to fulfil", and you'll be taken to a posting form. This will automatically post your story into the current year's challenge. It also has your recipient's name already filled in. All you need to do is fill in the rest of the form, preview it to make sure it looks okay, and post.

If you're posting a Treat, you won't have an assignment or "post to fulfil" button. Instead, go to the current challenge page on the AO3, and click on "Post To Collection" under the challenge title. This will take you to a form with the challenge collection name already filled in. Fill in the recipient's name manually, then fill in the rest of the form, preview it to make sure it looks okay, and post.

Can I post my story before the deadline?
Sure! The posting form opens shortly after assignments go out. You're free to post whenever you want.

Can I edit my story after it's posted?
Yes, the AO3 allows editing at any time.

Can I add author's notes?
You can, but they will be visible as soon as the works are revealed. Be careful not to put anything here that would give away your identity.

 

Defaulting

 

What if I can't finish my story?
If you can't finish in time, you can default. This lets the mods know they need to find a pinch hitter to write a story for your recipient.

To default, go to your Assignment page on AO3, which you can find under the "Assignments" link on your Profile page, or on the Press Start subcollection page as "Your Assignment". You should see two buttons at the bottom of your assignment: "Post to fulfil", and "Default".

Click the Default button, then click the confirmation on the popup that appears. The mods will be notified and will find a pinch hitter to fulfil your assignment.

What happens if I default?
Whether you get a penalty for defaulting depends on how and when you default.

  • Before 1 September: If you default using the AO3 button before 11:59 pm Eastern US time on 1 September, you'll be flagged as a defaulter, but with no penalty.
  • After 1 September, but before the deadline: If you default by using the Default button after 1 September but before the deadline, future participation may be dependent upon completion of an eligible fanwork for any person in the exchange (excluding yourself) before the next exchange. Email the mods to let them know when you have posted this fanwork.
  • No-show default: If you default by simply failing to post your story, without using the Default button or writing to the mods in advance, you will be banned from future exchanges until you complete one fanwork for your originally assigned recipient. Email the mods to let them know when you have posted this fanwork.

If you are defaulted on as well, you will not get a gift unless you pick up a pinch hit by 12am EST 3 September. If, however, you pick up a pinch hit and default, the penalties apply and you will have to complete a gift for your PH recipient.

 

Pinch Hits

 

What are pinch hits?
Pinch hits are assignments that the original author has had to default on, or rarely, assignments that couldn't be matched to any authors. As people default, pinch hits will be posted on the community so that anyone can choose to write for them.

Do I need to be signed up to be a pinch hitter?
Nope! Anyone with an AO3 account can sign up to be a pinch hitter. If you want to be notified of pinch hits, follow the comm. All pinch hits will be tagged with "pinch hit".

How do I claim a pinch hit?
Drop a comment onto the post with the pinch hit! Your comment will be screened and then the moderators will tell you whether you are assigned the fanwork or not. If you are not, please feel free to treat! It sucks to be defaulted on, especially if it is last minute, and your treat will only make a fellow participant happier.

Deadlines for pinch hits will depend on how late they go out. Last-minute pinch hits tend to get a little extra time.

How do I post my pinch hit?
Go to your Assignment page on AO3, which you can find under the "Assignments" link on your Profile page, or on the Press Start subcollection page as "Your Assignment". You should see two buttons at the bottom of your assignment: "Post to fulfil", and "Default".

Click "Post to fulfil", and you'll be taken to a posting form. This will automatically post your story into the current year's challenge. It also has your recipient's name already filled in. All you need to do is fill in the rest of the form, preview it to make sure it looks okay, and post.