Final Fantasy Exchange: Order Up!


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Final Fantasy Exchange: FAQ
moogle
ffexchange_mod wrote in ff_exchange








  • 1.0 Sign-Ups

    • 1.1 Signing Up for the Exchange

      • When can I sign up for FFEX?
        Sign-ups are only open for participation at specific times, before each round.

      • How do I sign up for FFEX?
        For each round, a submission post will be made by a mod inviting all fans to submit their information.To sign up, simply fill out the form included in the submission post.

      • I missed the submission period! Can I still play?
        We're sorry, but you're going to have to wait until the next round to participate in the actual exchange. However, you can still participate as a back-up gifter, or create gifts for the Chocobo Down or Moogle Fluff periods!

      • Can I sign up for FFEX more than once? This means I get multiple gifts, right?
        Yes, you can! You can participate as much as you have time for. Just remember that every time you sign up, you're obligated to make a gift, not just receive one. Our rules for defaulting on your gift will apply to each signup individually.

        Please make sure you submit separate comments, and clearly state you're signing up twice! This helps your mods out a lot.

      • Crap! I made a mistake on my sign-up form! What do I do?
        If you find an error on your sign-up form within the Sign-Up Period, please reply to your original comment with corrections. If this isn't working for some reason, contact the mods through email. We'll fix it.

        If you don't find the error on your sign-up form until after you've already received your assignment—well, this is why we ask you to double-check your sign-up before submitting it. There isn't much we can do after assignments come out. However, if there is a problem, contact us immediately and we will try our best to work things out.

      • Can I invite my friends to participate?
        Are you kidding? YES! The more participants we get, the better chance we have of finding everyone's perfect fandom soulmate! So yes, please feel free to invite friends to participate, or advertise for us in your FF-based community.

      • If I sign up to be a back-up gifter, what does that mean?
        It means you're willing to make an extra gift if another participant defaults—which might be on very short notice. You may have as little as one week's notice to create a gift, so please don't say yes unless you think you can actually do it. However, if you can, your generosity helps ensure everyone gets a gift by the end of the round.

      • If I sign up to be a beta gifter, what does that mean?
        It means you're willing to make an extra gift during the round, for one of the FFEX betas who have volunteered their time and skills. You may have as little as three week's notice to create a beta gift, but it ensures that all of our betas get a little something for helping us out.

      • Can I just be a back-up gifter and/or beta gifter without having to be involved in the exchange?
        Of course! Just let us know when you're filling out your sign-up form, and don't fill out the prompts section on the bottom. We do encourage everybody to participate in the exchange, but if you are unable to play, this is an excellent way to help the mods out.


    • 1.2 Signing up to Beta

      • What is a beta, anyway?
        A beta is someone separate from you (you, as the creator, are the alpha) examining your work in a critical sense. Usually your beta is the person you have check your work over for possible errors before you share it with the world. Because not everyone has a skilled, knowledgable friend willing to beta, FFEX provides betas for the exchange.

      • Why would I want to be a beta?
        FFEX sponsored betas get a gift in return for the skills they offer during the exchange. You will be able to submit three prompts, one of which will become your fandom thank-you for volunteering to beta!

      • When can I sign up to be a beta?
        Beta signups are only open during specific times. We'll make a post announcing how long you have to sign up to beta. Usually, beta signups occur at the same time as the regular sign-ups.

      • How do I sign up to be a beta?
        For each round, a mod will make a post inviting members of the community to become official FFEX betas. To sign up, simply fill out the form included in the beta sign-up post. Beta sign-ups are separate from the exchange sign-ups.

      • Can I participate in the exchange AND volunteer to be a beta?
        Of course you can, as long as your schedule permits it. You will need to submit two separate sign-up forms. You will receive two separate gifts.



    • 1.3 Your Do-Not-Want List

      • What if a certain pairing or type of fic squicks me?
        You will have an opportunity to make a list of things you do not want to see during FFEX, whether you sign up for the exchange, to beta, or both. The Do-Not-Want section of your sign-up form is where you can list things you don't want to see during FFEX.

      • How does the Do-Not-Want List work?
        In the GIVE portion of your sign-up, this section should contain things you are not willing to create.In the GET portion of your sign-up form, this section should contain things you do not want to receive in your gifts.In your beta form, this section should include things you are not willing to beta.

      • What kind of things can I put on my Do-Not-Want List?
        The Do-Not-Want list has four sections: "Ratings / Relationship Level", "Squicks, Kinks, and Warnings", "Pairings or Characters", and "Personal Preferences". More information about these categories can be found on this page.

      • If I'm talking about kinks or pairings, how do I know you know what I mean?
        You don't! Which is why it is so important to BE VERY SPECIFIC when creating your Do-Not-Want list! Do NOT use fandom slang if there is a chance it will be confusing. We've compiled a list of ways to avoid confusion.

      • What if I'm just uncomfortable with something? Should I put it on my list?
        The answer is probably "yes". Think about it: if you would be upset seeing it in a prompt, or if you would be upset by your gift if it included this thing, then it needs to go on your Do-Not-Want List.

      • Does this mean I can list any characters or pairings I just don't want to write?
        Well, technically, yes, but we'd really prefer that you don't use it this way. Keep in mind: the longer your Do-Not-Want List becomes, the harder you are to match. Please think really hard about whether you seriously do not want to write or draw a character or pairing, or if you're just being difficult to please.


  • 2.0 Prompts

    • 2.1 Your Own Prompts

      • What's a prompt?
        Your prompts should describe potential gifts you'd like to receive in the exchange. You get three prompts each time you sign up, and you're guaranteed to get a special gift—made just for you—that fits one of your requests!

      • How do I make sure my gifter knows what I want?
        Stay away from fandom slang; it isn't applied equally across the board. We've created some guidelines to help you fill out your forms.

      • What if there's one prompt I want to see more than the others?
        We'd prefer you didn't. If you express to your gifter that you really want one particular prompt and not the others, they're going to feel bad if they can't fill that prompt, and we don't like people feeling bad during FFEX! We understand some prompts are more exciting than others, but please, try to make all of your prompts represent something you would honestly be happy to receive.

      • What if I want to change my prompt(s)?
        If the sign-up period is still going on, you can reply to your original comment, or email the mods to change your prompts. If the exchange has already started, we're sorry, but you can't change your prompts—they've already been given to your gifter!


    • 2.2 The Prompts You Are Assigned

      • How many choices will I get in my assignment?
        We can in all honest reality only promise you one prompt that will match the information you volunteered in your sign-up form. However, we try to match at least 2/3 of all requests to one particular giver. If you're lucky (and if we're good), you'll have three different prompts to choose from! In Round 1, most of the participants had a 3/3 match!

      • You assigned me a prompt I can't complete!
        As long as you can complete one of your three prompts, we've made a good match. If you can't complete any of your prompts, please contact your mods immediately.

      • I don't like my prompt(s)! Can I change?
        Only in a few—very rare—cases will the mods actually reassign prompts. We match gifters and giftees based on the information in the sign-up form. If something was not clearly, explicitly stated in your signup form, this is not our problem.

        An important part of the exchange is the fun and surprise involved in exchanging prompts with strangers. We would prefer you be open-minded about prompts which might take you in new directions.

      • Can I fill any of the three prompts I want?
        Yes! We ask that people don't order their prompts at all, which lets you pick the prompt you're most excited to fill!

      • What if I want to fulfill a prompt for something (fandom, character) I didn't include in my sign-up form? Will that mess things up?
        Not at all. You're responsible for one gift for your assigned person—it doesn't matter what prompt you fill, or whether or not you said you'd write it originally. Once you've been matched, all we ask is that you make one high-quality gift for your giftee.

      • My prompt says "art or fic", but I can't draw! What should I do?
        We make matches according to the information on the sign-up forms, including media.So if you only sign up to write, you'll be assigned fic prompts; if you sign up to draw, you'll be assigned art prompts. Many people list both, but we only expect you to do what you signed up for! Don't panic!


        • 2.2.1 Appealing Your Prompts

          • I want to submit an appeal!
            Appealing your assignment is a big step. First, step back and look at your prompts: do they actually conflict with what you wrote in your sign-up form? If so, then you have a valid case for appeal. If not—if your prompts match your sign-up form and you just don't like them—you do not have a valid case to appeal; we fulfilled our end of the bargain, which was matching prompts to your form.

          • How do I submit an appeal?
            Email the moderators. In your email, include your sign-up form (or a link to it) and the prompts we have assigned you. Explain to us why you believe you're unable to complete your assignment. Talk to us; let us know what's wrong. Be specific and thorough. Don't be rude, mean, or inconsiderate; your mods are people too!

          • How does the appeal work?
            The mods will discuss each appeal on a case-by-case basis. If it really was our mistake, we'll take full responsibility for screwing up your match, and we'll assign you a new set of prompts as soon as we can! We'll then contact a back-up gifter to reassign the first set of prompts.

            If the mods decide you don't have a valid reason to be reassigned, we will deny your appeal. Reasons like "I don't like this pairing" or "I never said I'd write slash" or "This is just stupid" are not acceptable (if not noted in your original signup form). Reasons like "I didn't know this existed, but it squicks me" or "I'd forgotten about this character entirely, I don't think I can write him/her" will be discussed by the mods. We'll get back to you as soon as we come to a decision.

            Keep in mind: it is very likely that appeals will fail. The mods try very hard to make matches based on your sign-up form; we expect you to abide by it.

          • What if my appeal gets denied?
            You have a few options. Your best option is to try and fill your prompts anyway, to the best of your ability; we can connect you with a beta if you need help with any part of the process. If you truly are unable to fill any of your prompts, you will need to contact the mods and let us know you are defaulting on your assignment. The earlier you do this, the easier it is for us to fill the hole you are leaving.

  • 3.0 Creating Your Gift

    • 3.1 Creating Your Gift

      • Can I fill any of the three prompts I want?
        Yes! We ask that people don't order their prompts at all, which lets you pick the prompt you're most excited to fill!

      • What if I want to fill more than one of my giftee's requests?
        This is not only okay, but excellent! If you want to fill them all in one piece, or in multiple gifts, feel free. Just be sure to manage your time wisely; you will still be held responsible for one gift in the FFEX timeline.

      • How long does my fic have to be?
        We ask that fanfiction be at least 1000 words. We won't penalize you if you're just short of that; 1000 words represents the kind of effort we expect you to put into the work.

      • How good does my fic/art have to be?
        As good as you can make it! We ask that everyone try to submit something they're proud of.

      • I've got questions about this prompt. Can I email the person?
        That would ruin the surprise! Please contact your mods; we'll ask your questions, and make sure everyone's secrecy stays intact!


    • 3.2 Having Your Gift Betaed

      • What's a beta, anyway?
        A beta is someone separate from you (you, as the creator, are the alpha) examining your work in a critical sense. Usually your beta is the person you have check your work over for possible errors before you share it with the world. Because not everyone has a skilled, knowledgable friend willing to beta, FFEX provides betas for the exchange.

      • Do I have to have my gift betaed?
        No, but we strongly suggest that you do. The feedback poll from Round 1 made us very aware of how important gift quality is to the recipients. Wouldn't you rather make sure your gift is the best you can possibly give?

      • How do I find a beta?
        You can ask your fandom friends whether they would be willing to beta your gift, you can go to one of the Livejournal communities dedicated to providing beta services for Final Fantasy—or you can head on over to the FFEX Sponsored Beta list and choose one for yourself.

      • What will the beta do?
        That's up to the beta. We offer betas at a variety of levels to match the kind of critique you want to get. Feel free to read more about our beta system.


  • 4.0 Questions on Posting Your Gift

    • When can I post my gift?
      Community posting will open up to all members during posting week. At this point, you may post it right into ff_exchange.

    • Can I post my gift anywhere else?
      You can crosspost your gift as much as you want—after it has been posted in the FFEX community. Before then, please keep it a secret!

    • What format should I post it in?
      You'll need to use proper headers, so that we all know who your gift is for! We'll be posting FFEX headers that you can just copy and paste.

    • Can I use a fake-cut?
      We would rather you didn't. This is a gift for someone else, and we'd like them to know that the entire gift can always be found in this particular post.

    • What should I do with my artwork?
      We'd like you to post the actual artwork in your post, not just a link. If you have a host you know will be there for good, you can host your artwork there. If not, FFEX provides webspace for our artists.


  • 5.0 Questions on Defaulting / Not Creating A Gift

    • The deadline isn't here yet, but I don't think I'm going to be able to complete my gift. What should I do?
      The easiest answer: keep working on your gift, you can do it!

      However, if this just isn't possible for whatever reason, let the mods know as soon as possible. We'll work with a back-up gifter to make sure your recipient gets a gift for this round of FFEX. If you do have to default on your assignment, we will probably assign you some Chocobo Down; completing this will clear your record with us.

    • The deadline's here and I didn't make a gift. What do I do?
      If you do not finish your assignment on time...
      • ...and never contact the moderators, we will assume you don't like FFEX, and you won't be able to participate in future exchanges.
      • ...and do contact us saying you won't be able to finish your gift on time, you won't be able to participate in the next exchange without completing a Chocobo Down assignment.
      • ...and do contact us saying you will be able to finish but it will be late, you won't be able to participate in the next exchange until your gift is done. We may also give you a Chocobo Down assignment.
      • ...because of extenuating circumstances, contact the mods and we'll work with you to either give an extension or assign a back-up writer.
      Extenuating circumstances include death, sickness, personal tragedies, real-life issues, etc. They do NOT include things like finals, school/life/work schedule, and poor time management.

    • I totally forgot about the exchange and now it's too late. What can I do?
      Talk to the mods, thank your gifter, and prepare to write copious amounts of Chocobo Down.

    • What's with the Chocobo Down assignments?
      Chocobo Down is an excellent way to win your way back into the exchange (and into our hearts). The mods will tell you how many pieces we think is a fair penalty, and all you have to do is pick requests off of the Chocobo Down list and create gifts for them. Once your Chocobo Down assignment is complete, you'll be more than welcome to participate in the next round of FFEX.


  • 6.0 Questions on Moogle Fluff and Chocobo Down

    • What, exactly, is Moogle Fluff?
      "Moogle Fluff" is any kind of gift given to a giftless person after Submissions Week, to tide them over while our back-up gifters work. We'll post the requests of giftless participants, and the community can fill these prompts in any way desired while the gifts are being completed in the background.

    • What counts as Moogle Fluff?
      Anything. There are no length or quality guidelines for Moogle Fluff, so you can post drabbles and sketches here. Even icons and graphics are welcome.

    • Who can post Moogle Fluff?
      Anyone! Even if you didn't participate in the exchange, you are more than welcome to post Moogle Fluff.

    • How long can I post Moogle Fluff?
      The Moogle Fluff period will only last for a week. After that week, everyone will have received their gift, and we'll move on to Chocobo Down.

    • What, exactly, is Chocobo Down?
      "Chocobo Down" is any gift made between rounds of the exchange to fill unclaimed requests. Since everyone writes three requests but only gets one gift, at the end of the round, we take all the unfilled requests and compile them into an anonymous master post. Community members are more than welcome to write any prompts from this post, to keep things going until the next round starts.

    • What counts as Chocobo Down?
      Chocobo Down gifts should meet the usual FFEX quality standards, even though they're not given to a specific recipient (requests are anonymous).

    • Who can post Chocobo Down?
      Again, anyone! The Chocobo Down list is open to everyone, even if you didn't participate in the exchange.

    • How long can I post Chocobo Down?
      Chocobo Down posting lasts until the next round of the exchange opens. (Don't worry; you'll have plenty of time.)

    • I was assigned [x] pieces of Chocobo Down by the mods. What does this mean?
      All it means is that if you'd like to participate in the next exchange, we would like you to create [x] gift(s) from the list of Chocobo Down prompts. You may choose any prompts you like, and you may complete them in any media you would like, although you do need to meet the FFEX quality guidelines.


  • 7.0 Questions on Being an FFEX Official Beta

    • What is a beta, anyway?
      A beta is someone separate from you (you, as the creator, are the alpha) examining your work in a critical sense. Usually your beta is the person you have check your work over for possible errors before you share it with the world. Because not everyone has a skilled, knowledgable friend willing to beta, FFEX provides betas for the exchange.

    • Why would I want to be a beta?
      FFEX sponsored betas get a gift in return for the skills they offer during the exchange. You will be able to submit three prompts, one of which will become your fandom thank-you for volunteering to beta!

    • What's with this beta screening?
      There is a brief screening process before you can become an official FFEX beta. You'll be asked to critique a sample piece of fanwork. A mod will contact you over email with further details. The screening process is mostly to determine what level of beta you are.

    • What do the beta levels mean?
      • A "Mild" beta concentrates on proofreading: checking spelling, grammar, and mechanics, rather than addressing possible changes to the work itself.
      • A "Medium" beta is a good balance; they will try to work with your piece, but will be more likely to suggest more significant changes or make constructive critique.
      • A "Spicy" beta has a very strong editing style, and will nitpick not only grammar and mechanics but questions of overall style, characterization, and execution.

    • What does an FFEX sponsored beta have to do?
      FFEX sponsored betas are available during the exchange for anyone who needs their services. You'll be expected to give helpful critique on each story or artwork (as suits your beta level). You'll also be expected to have a fast turn-around time for each piece you beta, as participants only have a month to complete their gifts!

    • What if no one contacts me?
      Sometimes participants have their own personal betas, which they prefer. There is a chance you won't be contacted to beta. You'll still get a gift, though, for offering your services. If this makes you feel bad, there are plenty of things you can do for FFEX in return (back-up gifting, Moogle Fluff, Chocobo Down).


  • 8.0 General Questions about Final Fantasy Exchange

    • What's all this talk about macrofandoms and microfandoms?
      We call Final Fantasy, as a whole, a macrofandom, because it's made up of individual fandoms for each game (but often lumped together as a whole anyway). Each individual game can be referred to as a fandom, a canon, or a microfandom, depending on who you ask and what circle of fandom you're involved in.

    • What happens if I break a rule or do something wrong?
      If it's related to your gift, please see section 5.0, Questions on Defaulting.

      The other rules of FFEX are simply to ensure fair play and friendly interaction. Members breaking the rules will be contacted by the mods according to a three-strike policy. The first strike will be a warning, delivered over email. The second strike initiates a temporary ban from all exchanges. The third strike will be final, and it will ban the user from all future exchanges here.


[Last edit 6/6/09, 6am]

(Screened comment)
There were some posting guidelines for Moogle Fluff in particular in the Moogle Fluff entry, and those also linked to the general posting guidelines, which contain instructions for posting art. Hopefully that should get you started. If you still have questions, don't hesitate to ask! =D