Final Fantasy Exchange
FFEX 2010 Warm-up: We Need a New Home!
That's right, the 2010 round of Final Fantasy Exchange is gearing up! While we didn't plan to have a round until 2011, we've heard from a lot of folks who'd love a 2010 round — and here it comes! We'll still have a few issues to iron out, of course — if you have a Chocobo Down penalty from last round, don't worry, we'll handle those case-by-case and you won't be left out in the cold.
However, there is one issue that definitely affects all participants: Final Fantasy Exchange is getting too big for us to handle on LJ, and we need a new home! Considering that we hand-match participants across approximately 30 canons, we really need to try to automate what parts of the process we can, and for that, we need off-LJ solutions. (Remember our amazing spreadsheets of amazingness? We make and update those by hand. Ouch!)
We've looked around at the options, and we've decided that we really don't have the resources right now to make a completely independent website and archive. So we're striking a compromise:
- News, updates, and announcements will still be posted in this here LJ community as well as a mirror Dreamwidth community. Please follow us here or over there; we'll be announcing and linking the DW community and all our other new homes shortly!
- FFEX 2010 signups will be submitted using a form on our upcoming website.
- For FFEX 2010, we'd like to try out using the Archive of Our Own (AO3) to host the actual gifts. You'll need an AO3 account to participate, but they're free and easy to get!
We'd like to open up this post for discussion and questions — but first, here's a summary of how these changes are going down!
We're hard at work designing, coding, and testing a custom signup form just for the exchange. This form brings us mods huge advantages: a tremendous chunk of our spreadsheet work will be automated — though we will still hand-match participants =)
We also hope it is helpful for participants! We know our signup forms have been a bit confusing before in terms of how to list canons, how to get across your DNWs, and other pretty important things. The new form will hopefully make it much easier for you to indicate your preferences!
Hosting FFEX 2010 on AO3
Like the signup form, AO3 brings a number of advantages! The Collections feature is specifically designed to host a variety of projects, exchanges included. Here are just some of the features we are super excited to try out:
- Reveals! You can post your gift anytime before the deadline (no more waiting for posting week!) and it will stay mysterious and anonymous until the reveal date!
- All FFEX works will be associated together — still owned by their creators, but easy to find and browse in one place
- No more wrestling with our headers! Because of AO3's curated tagging system, you can tag your gift however you want and people will still be able to find it. All you have to do in terms of the exchange is put in your recipient and the exchange name. Speaking of which:
- Recipients are automatically notified! It's easy for a gift to get lost in the posting rush — no more combing for your gift or waiting for your recipient to find theirs.
- An active fan-run environment means that the AO3 folks are ready and willing to help us with any problems that arise
- Huge posting limit — no more breaking your gift up into multiple entries!
- AO3 preserves your HTML and formatting — including fancy stuff like links, blockquotes, and images!
- Orphaning feature lets you disassociate from an old work without deleting it
- OpenID commenting integration: anyone with an OpenID (meaning anyone with an LJ or DW, among others!) can comment on your works
- No ads! =D
- Last but not least: inclusion of off-LJ fans! If you know any fans who don't use LJ, this is a great time to draw them in. Give that awesome FF artist on DeviantArt a poke, grab your friend from DW, PM that amazing writer on ff.net!
We can't wait to give this a shot! There are, of course, a few things left to iron out. AO3 is still in beta, so there is plenty of work left to do.
Getting an Account
If you're thinking of participating in FFEX 2010, we strongly encourage you to get an AO3 account and poke around the place a bit (don't be afraid to submit feedback, positive or negative!). If you still don't have an account by signup time we can work with you on an individual basis, but the easiest way to get an account is to simply request an invite through the invite queue!
Hosting Art and Other Media
FFEX is multimedia and ridiculously proud of it! So any home we choose has to be able to accommodate that. Currently, while AO3 does not provide image hosting space, it's still super easy to embed an image — just like you do when posting art to LJ! We will be providing image and audio hosting space on the FFEX website, just as we'll be hosting the signup form there.
Questions? Concerns? Ask Us! =D
If you have any further questions or concerns about how FFEX 2010 will work on AO3, please do ask us here! If you need any help with the AO3 part, please don't hesitate to ask us!
Finally, let's wrap up with some more good news about FFEX 2010!
FFEX 2010 will include the Fabula Nova Crystallis title Final Fantasy XIII— as well as Dissidia and FFCC: Crystal Bearers. (And Vagrant Story, though we include that every year ;)
You will be able to make 4 requests for this round! We will guarantee a 2 out of 4 match and shoot for higher whenever possible. (Please note that if you sign up for a single fandom, we can only guarantee a 1 out of 4 match — it's rare but it's happened, and we always do our best to make that single match as awesome as possible!)
As a reminder, we will continue to post news, updates, and deadlines on this LJ community — and will have a DW community as well!
And, of course, our tentative schedule! We've tried to schedule the deadline to come after college finals but before high school finals =)
Signups: March 14 - March 28
Matches will go out at the latest by: April 11
Production: April 12 - May 16
THE BIG DUE DATE: May 16
Backup, mad scrambling, etc.: May 17 - May 23
REVEAL! May 24
As always, you are welcome to comment here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, concerns, or suggestions! We open this post up for general discussion of FFEX 2010 — have at! =D