From time to time we all look up at the sky. It is the constant that all those who dwell above ground may share. From the celestial bodies to the ephemeral clouds to the vehicles that race across it, the sky is populated with images that stir the senses and the imagination. Wizards study the heavens at Hogwarts, as Muggles explore it with telescopes, rockets, and satellites. Whether with brooms or jets, the urge to fly through the sky is strong, for skies invoke wonder, awe, and inspiration.
And, it is year’s theme:
General Overview: Welcome to RS_Games 2015! It’s your old friend, but with a new look, theme, and year.
As always, the Games are about having fun and spreading the love of our favorite ship - not to mention going for Puppyshippers’ Gold. Sure it’s a competition between teams, but it’s really more about making friends, telling stories, getting in touch with your inner sky-child, and having a good time.
Here is how it works: as in previous years, two teams will compete by creating the best possible stories and artwork, which will then be viewed and voted upon. Think of it as working together to create a body of work, a book of stories both visual and narrative which represent your team’s point of view. You have about fourteen weeks to do this and during that time there are Team activities, Inter-Team activities, and all kinds of fun.
In October, posting begins. During the posting portion of the Games, works will be posted anonymously each day and readers will vote on each work. These works are not directly competing against each other, for the voters will evaluate each work independently, not as compared with one another.
At the end of the Games, the team who has accrued the most points will be officially declared the winner, but, as we see it, everyone is a winner. The public at large gets to read, view, and vote on the best fics and art works around, but the real fun is in the process of making friends and creating some wonderful R/S pieces to share!
About Our Theme: The sky sets the tone for many a tale; it can say more about a landscape than any tree or mountain. The grey, chaos of a stormy afternoon or a flat, black backdrop set with a thousand shimmering stars can invoke a million memories. Much science fiction depends on it, as do adventure tales of dirigible or balloon flights, and dashing pilots at war. Even our beloved ship is known for heavenly metaphors almost as much as for canines.
As always with the Games, the theme is merely an organizing principle, a theme to inspire and pull everything together. Though the prompts will be based on sky-related ideas, your stories and art need not revolve around it. Rather, the heavens are your inspiration. Whether you have our boys exploring the final frontier of space, snogging atop the Astronomy Tower, battling the Luftewaffe over London, or simply picnicking on a warm, sunny day, the sky is part of their world and yours. So take it, run with it, and make it your own. Second star to the right and straight on till morning!
About Our Teams: In keeping with our celestial theme, we are returning to Team Remus (this year, Team Moon) v. Team Sirius (this year, Team Star).
Confused? Don’t be! Fear it’ll be limiting? It won’t! The Games are all about Puppy Love, so the true test is how they work together, but the divisions are based upon simple things like emphasis, focus, and point of view. Do you think of yourself a “Sirius person” or a “Remus person?” Who do you most resemble? Whose narrative voice inspires you most? Who would you choose as a real life friend? Who is sexier? Whose canon story speaks to you? All these are fair questions when choosing a team, but, in the end, it really doesn’t matter. We’re here to have fun and to work together. Our boys are a generally a couple, so just like the moon and stars in the heavens, it’s really about interplay, connection, and being together.
Of course, just because you choose Team Remus, it does NOT mean that you absolutely must write a story entirely from Remus’ point of view or create a piece or art that is about just Remus. You are welcome to do so, but it simply means that it needs to be generally Remus-centric. As in the past, there is only one voting question involving teams, and it is the smallest one: worth up to two points. For stories, this question simply asks “Is the Team Character (Sirius for Team Sirius and Remus for Team Remus) most prominently featured?” In other words, you are merely creating stories that are mostly centered around your Team Character.
In the case of art, this may seem slightly more difficult, but it’s easily managed. Even if you choose to draw the boys together, the focus should be on your Team Character. Is he in the foreground? Can the viewer see more of his body? Is he in brighter colors, larger, or more centered? Perhaps it’s even a multi-frame comic where your Team Character is most clearly featured . Anyway you choose to do it, it’s perfectly fine. Just think about drawing the viewer’s eye to your Team Character. Again, it’s just one question worth merely two points, and, like all voting, it’s very much up to the reader/viewer. For art, this question reads, “Does this piece of art adequately illustrate the Team Character’s (Remus for Team Moon and Sirius for Team Star) point of view?”
You may write from absolutely any point of view, as long as you focus more on your Team Character. Please click HERE for a brief, boring, and rather incomplete primer on point of view (or narrative). We know, you probably learned it in high school, but let’s just make sure we’re all on the same page, okay?
Time Line: Sign-ups begin on Sunday, May 24th and last through 11:59PM EST (like NYC) on Monday, June 1st Watch the site for the sign-up post.
Teams will be announced on Wednesday, June 3rd.
Prompt table goes up Friday, June 5th and closes at 11:59PM EST (like Toronto) on Wednesday, June 10th. (NOTE: If for some reason you will be out of reach of a computer during that time, please let the Mods know in advance and we will be happy to accommodate you.) In general, the earlier you choose your prompt, the better. First off, you may begin creating your work as soon as you receive your prompt confirmation. Second, though we’re certainly NOT going to deny you your prompt just to be mean, for the sake of variety we do have to limit the number of persons per prompt. It’s first come, first serve - so get served first!
Works are due by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, September 23rd EST (like Miami). This gives you about fourteen weeks (depending upon when you choose your prompt) to create your work. You are welcome to turn in your work early, if you wish, but there can be penalties for late entries. In the meantime, there will be activities (both team and inter-team), fun, and lots of interaction during this creation period, so never fear things slowing down. No one is ever bored or alone in RS_Games!
Posting begins Thursday, October 1 and runs throughout the month. How many days will be determined by the number of participants, etc.
The winning team will be revealed in early November.
Sign-up process: Sign-ups begin on Sunday, May 24th and last through 11:59PM EST (like NYC) on Monday, June 1st and the sign-up post will use the following information: User name: Real name: (Optional. We don’t share it, but it does make matching emails to user names MUCH easier when the works come in.) Email contact/best contact: It is VERY important that we be able to contact you. If you have issues with sharing your email, please be sure that we can contact you by LJ PM. Country/City/State: This is just to get an idea of your time zone and where you are in the world. Don’t worry, we’re not stalkers – but it is really fun to know how many countries/states/areas participate. Knowing your time zone can also help us make decisions about lateness, etc. Team Choice: IMPORTANT NOTE: No matter how hard we try to accommodate everyone, there is no guarantee that you will get the your first choice of teams. Obviously we will make every attempt to give players the team they want most, but that is not always possible. If you are willing to play on either team, please note that and the Mods will be happy to assign you to the team who needs you most!
If, for strange reason, we should get too many applicants, we may hold a list of up to six alternates (or Pinch Hitters) for each team. Pinch Hitters are full members of the Team Community, have full posting access, and will create a work just like everyone else. The only difference is that their works will only be used in regular play if needed. Otherwise, they will be posted as exhibition, after voting has ended. Please note, in all previous years virtually all the Pinch Hitters ended-up having their works in regular posting, so do not think for a minute that you’re just because you’re a Pinch Hitter, you don’t have to create a work or be a Team member. Far from it, in fact. You’re important. In fact, you’ll probably be the one who comes in to save the day.
General Game Rules: 1. The stories will be a minimum of 1,500 words and, while there is no maximum, please know that if you choose to go over a certain size (probably around 50,000 words) your story may need to be divided into smaller sections to accommodate size restrictions. Should you choose to write a large story, we ask that you establish the line of division yourself. Also, keep in mind that this is a competition. Many readers adore long works, but others find the length off-putting and skip the longer works. We encourage you to write as your muse directs you, but please don’t forget your audience.
2. Art has no size requirements, but keep in mind the size of most people’s computer (and phone) screens, etc. If it’s too big it can become unwieldy, and some people may have trouble viewing it. If it’s too small, people may not be able to see it clearly.
3. A list of prompts will be posted and each participant must choose one prompt ONLY from the list. There are three types of prompts: Word-based (like quotations and phrases), picture-based (like photographs and drawings), and audio-visual (like music and videos), and there are always enough so that every participant should find something to inspire them. The prompt table will appear on Friday June 5th, you have until 11:59PM EST (like Toronto or Atlanta) on Wednesday, June 10th to make your choice. (If you are going to be out of computer range during that time, please see a Mod and we would be happy to work with you.) If multiple prompts inspire you, so much the better, but you need to pick only ONE that will be used for voting.
4. Whether you are Team Star or Team Moon works should be labeled as one (or more) of the following genres. Please note, these categories will be used ONLY for Mod organizational purposes and not used as a basis for voting. In fact, at least on the LJ side, your genre labels will be removed from the header. (We’ve found that this increases readership.) The genre choices are: a. Angst b. Fluff/Romance c. Hurt/Comfort d. Horror/Adventure f. Humor/Crack e. Smut f. AU or canon Please note, any and all of these categories are welcome. Stories may be canon or AU, crack or angst or pretty much anything you want. And, yes, sometimes these things are hard to categorize, but remember, it is ONLY for organizational purposes, so please just do your best. You may also notice that “Crossover” is not on the list. You are more than free to write crossover, but, once again, keep in mind that this is a competition and you want to reach as wide an audience as possible. Many good writers and artists can always create crossover works that can stand on their own or reach any audience, but it can still be tricky and readers not familiar with the crossover work can sometimes feel a bit alienated and vote accordingly.
5. All works must be submitted by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, September 23rd EST and will be screened and posted by Mods. If you think that you are going to miss the deadline, please see your Team Captain or a Mod to arrange a Pinch Hit. Missed deadlines can result in elimination and this will hurt your team’s overall score.
Or, if you wish, you may apply for an extension. But there is a catch: one-half point will be deducted for each day you are late. The key here is communication, the more you let us know about the situation, the easier it will be on all of us.
6. All fics and art must be rated. Ratings in the community will go from "G” (or “all ages") to "NC-17” (or “18+”). Obviously, this community will contain fictional works involving same-sex relationships between fictional characters. If you are bothered by that concept please do not enter. While there are no official rules against (properly labeled) adult themes and material, please be aware that this is a game open to everyone and the more general the access, the more votes you will get. Due to certain LJ and DW posting requirements, choosing to write NC-17 could theoretically decrease readership. The same is true for non-consensual sex and other controversial themes. Again, this is an issue between you and your muse, but there are things to keep in mind. Please see the Ratings Guide" for more information.
7. All fics should be beta’d and, to be fair, it is best that all fics appear similar in format. We prefer that you use a plain, 10-point font. However, if font appearance or size is somehow integral to the story, please just let us know that - but remember that stories that are physically hard to read garner less votes. Eyestrain is nobody’s friend. Obviously, letters, notes, and other text-within-text situations are exceptions, but please put in the coding yourself. Proper coding is essential; if you have questions about how to code we will happily provide a guideline or you can ask a Mod or community member.
8. Posts will be accomplished by the Mods and all you have to do is prepare your work and email it to: email@example.com. You may submit any time before the deadline, and you should receive a confirmation email within twenty-four hours of submission. If you do not receive a confirmation, please contact a Mod.
When you send your email please include your user name, team, and the title of your work in the subject line. This makes it easier for the mods to organize. Along those lines, if you have multiple user names or change your user name, please let us know as this can become confusing. Also, please include the text of the story and/or a copy (or link) to the artwork . You may send it either as an attachment or in the body of the email. Please use the following form as a header both in the work and in the body of the email. Remember, as in the story itself, you must include the coding in the header. Coding is important and coding errors can make or break a story. Also, fixing coding errors can easily drive the Mods into an early grave – and nobody wants that!
Your user name (will be deleted before posting): Team: Title: Rating: Warnings: Genres (will also be deleted before posting on LJ): Word Count: Summary: Notes: Prompt: PLACE PROMPT NUMBER HERE
Your name, team, and genres will be removed before posting and a general disclaimer will appear on the site.
The “warnings” space is mostly optional, especially for “G” rated fics (please see Ratings Guide), but it is best if you warn your audience about anything that might be potentially adult-related. Warnings might include everything from swearing to frottage to character death to non-consensual sex. However, for the sake of expediency, let’s just assume that things like “boy kissing” and “same-sex romance” are givens. This is Remus and Sirius, after all! Also, keep in mind that warning can also be advertising for other people’s kinks. Bondage? Drug use? Sarcastic llamas? Sometimes people will read something just because you’re creative here.
For art, just put "Art" under word count.
Under “Notes” you can give bits of background, explanation, etc. You may also thank a beta or someone else who helped you, but please use initials only, etc. For example, if your beta is cackling_madly you could call her “C” or use the first initial of her real name. This is only because some people always use the same beta and it can become rather obvious who is who.
9. Entries will be judged in the following manner:
1. For Fic: Is the Team Character (Sirius for Team Star and Remus for Team Moon) most prominently featured? Yes/No vote ("yes" is worth 2 points, "no" is worth 0) For Art: Does this piece of art adequately illustrate the Team Character’s (Remus for Team Moon and Sirius for Team Star) point of view? ("yes" is worth 2 points, "no" is worth 0) 2. How well did the author/artist use their Prompt?</b> 1 to 9 (1 being the least) 3. How much did you like this story/art overall? </b>1 to 9 (1 being the least)
Your final score will be an average of all the votes and poll results will remain hidden. You will not get to see your scores, but you will be allowed to see all comments.
Flaming is not allowed and any and all offensive/hurtful comments will be removed. If, as a participant, you find a comment that you consider hurtful or rude, please let a Mod know immediately. Again, flaming and rudeness will not be tolerated. We really mean it! Trolls are only Magical Creatures and the only flaming allowed is Sirius swishing around in glam make-up and tight leather pants. SIRIUSLY!
Voting is open to the public, but Team members and Mods cannot vote. We do, however, encourage all participants to comment on works and pimp the Games as much as possible. Remember, all works are posted anonymously, so we ask you to honor that and not pimp your work on your own journal by revealing what you created. Pimp the Games, pimp works you love, encourage people to read your team’s works, but please do not cheat and reveal yourself before Reveals. If we catch you doing this it is very possible that you and your work will be eliminated from the Games and that will undoubtedly hurt your Team a lot. All votes are averaged so it does not matter as much how many people vote for any particular story or artwork, but it is nice to get as many votes as possible.
Overall team scores will be posted by the Mods at the end of the Games, but individual scores will not. The latter is simply to avoid hurt feelings. This isn’t about competition amongst your teammates, it’s about competition between Teams.
10. Each Team will have a home community in which to gather, socialize, have fun, and make decisions. (The first of these decisions is to choose and vote on Team Captains.) This community is also your place to plan battle strategies and support each other as teammates. Such support can come in the form of brainstorming, discussions, posting work samples, cheerleading, beta help, and the collective support needed to win the PuppyShippers Gold. The Teams can also use these private communities to enlist the support of and ask questions to our most excellent Mod team.