The Species & Sub-species Application and Grading System update 1.1 Table of Contents: Introduction Terms of Service Requirements Application Process Walk-through Application Guide Grading Criteria Introduction Allowing our userbase to create custom species of their own volition is a great privilege Galaxy Citizen has offered its community since its beginnings, and through the experience and wisdom of the years the process of introducing this species to GC has become more streamline for user and community. However, creating a custom species is no easy undertaking, as by creating one, one will be adding a large chunk of lore to Galaxy Citizen that wasn't there before: a planet with a biosphere, a people with an interesting culture(s) stories, hubs, sprites, experiences, so on and so forth. One must be able to put forth this effort and devotion to secure their place in Galaxy Citizen canon and uphold our standard of quality. Parameters (Terms of Service): BY APPLYING A SPECIES FOR APPROVAL YOU ALLOW GALAXY CITIZEN MODERATE CONTROL OVER YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. Galaxy Citizen lore is its own Intellectual property moderated by its staff, thereby submitting an original species for approval, you are creating an addendum to GC lore, and so the two intellectual properties merge. At which point, control over the species within the GC community is divided between GC staff, and the creator of the species over its usage, modification, or lack thereof. GC staff however will ALWAYS consult the creator if possible before making any major decisions involving their species EACH MEMBER MAY ONLY SUBMIT TWO ORIGINAL SPECIES. This rule only applies to species creators, not their supporters. Whether a submitted species is Pending or Approved does not matter. Members may, if they choose, make a formal appeal to the server staff to be allowed one more original species, but the appeal must be quite compelling and justifiable, since the goal of this guideline is to avoid the over-saturation of species in our universe. USERS MAY NOT POST ON APPLICATIONS UNLESS THEY ARE CO-SIGNING. If you don't follow this rule, you will earn yourself a warning point. If you continue to do it, staff will consider more strict measures. POSTING INCOMPLETE OR WORK-IN-PROGRESS APPLICATIONS IS GROUNDS FOR RECEIVING AN IMMEDIATE FAIL. Unless you have your first stage application ready, you may not post it. We don't allow applicants to work on their applications as time passes by editing their post. You either post it all in one sitting, or you don't. ORIGINAL SPECIES SUSPECTED TO HAVE BEEN CREATED WITH THE INTENTION FOR USE IN EROTIC ROLE-PLAY WILL BE IMMEDIATELY REJECTED. Very briefly discussing the mating habits of an original species is not necessarily unfair. However, if the graders suspect that adult content is the focus of a given species, that species will be rejected unless the creator can make a powerful case to the contrary, usually involving large edits. PLAGIARISM IS GROUNDS FOR IMMEDIATE REJECTION. Now, this is something that has been discussed multiple times in the past. There is a very thin line between spin-offs, homages or inspired-by, and rip-offs, blatant copies or plagiarism. If you want Vulcans, Wookiees and so on, you will have to create your own version of them that can stand on their own. ORIGINAL SPECIES BASED ON, INSPIRED BY, OR REFERENCING ALREADY EXISTING SPECIES FOUND IN OTHER MEDIA ARE PERMITTED - WITHIN REASON. See, the thin line that defines the difference between plagiarism and originality is the amount of creativity a person can put into their work. A good design can take inspiration from an unlimited amount of ideas, while still being novel in its own right. If someone can walk up to your creation and say "That's just like [blank]" you haven't gone far enough. SPECIES APPLICATIONS THAT ARE IGNORED BY STAFF FOR A PERIOD LONGER THAN THREE WEEKS HAVE A RIGHT TO DEMAND TO BE GIVEN PRIORITY. Being staff on GC is entirely voluntary, and often times we may have more pressing matters to attend to, be it within the community, or otherwise, and are not obligated to immediately cater to the community should such exceptional circumstances rise. That being said though, we also do not want to let applications linger for longer than they need to, and so you have the right to notify us of the situation and ask for a grader to review the submission, however this right should be used sparingly as to not aggravate people and potentially worsen the situation. APPLICATIONS THAT ARE ABANDONED BY THE APPLICANT FOR A PERIOD LONGER THAN FOUR WEEKS RISK IMMEDIATE REJECTION. Unless exceptional circumstances are stated beforehand by the creator, an application that is left unattended by its creator for too long shows that the creator has some level of apathy towards their creation and so lacks the dedication required for making a huge chunk of lore. APPLICATIONS THAT ARE REQUESTED TO BE GRADED IN PRIVATE WILL NOT BE ALLOWED UNLESS A STRONG ENOUGH ARGUMENT VALIDATES THE NEED FOR THIS TO HAPPEN. Private applications (meaning applications that are graded through PMs, backstage) are open grounds for elitism, favoritism, and bias. This will not be permitted as per the staff code of conduct. The staff can be trusted to not do any of those things, but that does not mean the temptation cannot be removed. Subsequently, if you really believe your species has to be kept out from public light, the species itself and your arguments behind it will be what determines whether or not it can be taken into consideration or not. You must be able to provide a good reason as to why you consider the species should be graded privately. This applies to species whose charm lies in their mystery (ancient aliens, forgotten civilizations, survivors of cataclysms, and so on). We don’t mean you absolutely can’t apply privately, but we as staff require a justification in case the claim is made that the grader is being biased by grading an application privately. If anything, private applications will be judged under a much more strict eye than the public applications, simply as per protocol in case the applicant is trying to loophole around something. SPECIES MUST PRESENT GUIDELINES FOR THOSE WISHING TO PLAY AS A MEMBER OF SAID SPECIES. You must give the people who wish to play as your species a means to do so, be it applications or as simply as asking. You must also write a set of guidelines so that they may role-play said species correctly. This is to avoid the situation where the creator exercises a form of role-play tyranny for multiple reasons (favoritism, lack of detail on how to RP, etc). UPON FINAL APPROVAL, THE CREATOR AND/OR COSIGNERS OF THE SPECIES MUST PROVIDE GENERIC ASSETS FOR OTHER USERS TO MAKE USE OF APPLICABLE. At the final two passes by your graders in stage two, your species is accepted into the canon. This means that other players can now begin playing characters of this species. It is your responsibility to provide the generic assets required for character creation in the game world should these assets be necessary for visual identification of the species. This can take the form of custom sprite templates, hat templates, drawables, outfits, etc. You are not required to make specific character sprites for people. THE APPLICATION MUST BE WRITTEN WITH PROPER GRAMMAR AND STRUCTURE. The application can’t be graded right if it’s not written right to begin with. Clarity is crucial, and the whole thing can be really chaotic and mind-boggling for graders if it’s not properly written. ANY NEW OR SPECIAL TECHNOLOGY THAT ACCOMPANIES A SPECIES IS NOT GOING TO BE CONSIDERED IN THE GRADE. SAID TECHNOLOGY MUST BE HANDLED IN ITS OWN TECHNOLOGY APPLICATION FOLLOWING ITS SPECIAL FORMAT. Since the application is focused on the species, it's only to be expected that the species’ technology is handled with the technology graders so no details are overlooked and discrepancies are properly assessed. A bit of an inconvenience, but it’s needed to maintain consistency and to make sure things get graded properly, like they should. Requirements: 1) First Steps: The application must follow the format provided according to their grading stage and the type of application. (Explained further in Application Guide) The application must be posted in the correct forum. The applicant must have read and acknowledged the Terms of Service provided by staff. The applicant must have the application complete and ready to be posted. Work-In-Progress applications will receive an immediate fail. 2) First Stage: The application must be co-signed by 3 other members of the community. Said members are to be filled in on everything regarding the species so that they may assist the applicant with the changes, improvements and tweaks done to their application. Optionally, the applicant may create a topic in the discussion sub-forum where the community can review the species and give constructive feedback, which the staff will fall back to when nearing the first grade. This is meant so that the grading process is sped up significantly, so we highly encourage you to do so, since quite a bit of time is spent trying to determine, in an unbiased manner, whether or not the species is a good addition. The edits and changes done to the application must not replace the original content. This is so that staff may compare how much the application has changed as it nears the first grade. It is imperative that this requirement is met, or else the application may be rejected. The applicant may request assistance from the graders should they absolutely lack any idea of where to go with their application. The graders will assist, but they will not tell you how to write your application. Said assistance may manifest in the form of links to sci-fi databases, lore clarifications, further elaboration on a pending grade, and so on. Any and all doubts must be addressed in the first stage, as graders will not be permitted to assist during the second stage. 3) Second Stage: The application must be bumped by the three co-signers to show that they are still interested. The applicant must reply to the original application with the second stage application format so that it may reviewed and the original application is not altered. The graders will be unable to assist the applicant in this stage. Clarifications, elaborate explanations and suggestions may be done as deemed fit by the graders. The applicant may request additional time to write the second stage application in case it is required for any reason. Application Process: Species: Applicant creates a species. Applicant reads and fills in First Stage format. Three players co-sign the application Two graders begin to review the application and provide one of the following grades: Pass: Approved to post the Second Stage application. Fail: Fundamental flaws are believed to exist in this species as it exists. Significant revision, possibly from the ground up, will be required for re-consideration. The applications have a total of three attempts. Edits Required or Pending: While generally promising as an original Starbound species, issues present themselves and require attention before a pass or fail can be issued with certainty. The three original co-signers bump the application. If the application is given the initial pass, the applicant replies to their original application with the Second Stage format filled in. If it’s given a fail, then it must be rewritten in its entirety and posted at a later date if still interested. The graders proceed to review the application and provide one of the following grades: Pass: Approved for inclusion into the GC canon. Fail: Provided if the applicant goes inactive or requests the grading process to be terminated. The applications have a total of three attempts. Edits Required or Pending. If the application is given a pass then it proceeds to be implemented and the applicant may use the species. Sub-Species: Applicant creates sub-species. Applicant reads and fills in First Stage format. Two players co-sign the application One grader begins to review the application and provide one of the following grades: Pass: Approved for inclusion into the GC canon Fail: Fundamental flaws are believed to exist in this species as it exists. Significant revision, possibly from the ground up, will be required for re-consideration. The applications have a total of three attempts. Edits Required or Pending: While generally promising as an original Starbound species, issues present themselves and require attention before a pass or fail can be issued with certainty. If the application is given a pass then it proceeds to be implemented and the applicant may use the species. If it’s given a fail, then it must be rewritten in its entirety and posted at a later date if still interested. Application Guide First Stage: This is the initial application, where the application may be graded as Rejected, Edits Required, Pending or Pass. The format is provided further below, with its respective explanation. The estimated grading time for this stage is one week max. Second Stage: This is the stage entered once the initial application has been granted a pass. From here, the primary grades will be Pending or Pass. The Rejected grade will be handed if the application or the applicant are deemed inactive, or as per the applicant’s request. The assistance provided by the graders is limited, since by now all questions should have been asked and the species is considered to be in its prime state of explanation, ready to be given the definitive grade. Adjustments and changes will have to be done by the applicant and the original 3 co-signers, but without assistance from the graders. The format is provided further below, with its respective explanation. The estimated grading time for this stage is one to two weeks additional to the first stage grading time. Sub-species applications take a one to two week grading time period as well. Closed Species or Sub-species: An application and a guide must be written as part of the First Stage application for those interested in role-playing as part of the species or sub-species. Proper justification as to why the species is restricted is encouraged to be provided in order to avoid suspicion of elitism. Also, remember you must have a minimum of 4 active players to role-play said species or sub-species. Grading Criteria The applicant is encouraged to strive for acing the following criteria: Relevance: How well an original species fits into the setting of Galaxy Citizen as per defined by the IC universe, people’s role-play and base lore given by the community. The Galaxy Citizen community aims to provide an expanded Starbound universe for its members to enjoy - this is, however, not a freeform role-play community. The server staff values original content, but it must enforce a certain level of relevance to the established themes. The game and the Fringe both have a particular style to which original species will be compared during evaluation. Novelty: The uniqueness of an original species as compared to existing species. If a species’ relevance is how well it fits into the setting, its novelty is how well it stands out as part of that setting. This results in a species that is interesting, and enhances the universe in-character. All original species must contribute something new and interesting to the story. The staff will reject species that are too similar to those already established in the universe. However, the argument may be done that said species can indeed exist, and thus it will be discussed with the creator of the already-existing species and the creator of the new species whether or not this is possible. Teamwork is encouraged in these cases, between both creators. We all role-play in this universe of Galaxy Citizen. It’s in our most essential needs to try and help one another achieve what we strive for. Balance: How reasonable the species' advantages and disadvantages are, using the information provided by the application as reference and context. More often than not, the grader will point out how a certain aspect of the species' biology should prove a disadvantage. It’s not so much of trying to counter the strengths with weaknesses as it is to understand and be aware of all the disadvantages and advantages your species will have according to what you’ve written and what the server provides in substance and parameters. We can’t have a species of gods without something capable of keeping them in check. If you are able to understand that, yes, your species can be powerful, but no, it can’t be flawless, you are golden. In most cases, the advantages of something hint towards its disadvantages, so make sure it’s clear enough. In either case, less is more here; a species composed of two laundry lists of bizarre powers and crippling allergies is too unlikely in terms of overall evolution or ongoing individual survival to pass the fundamental balance of disbelief. Note that weaponry created by said species will not be taken into account, since it’s the equivalent of adding bonus points to your dice rolls. It should not be relevant, and any new technology that comes in with the species should be kept out of the species application to be put in a tech application that will be graded in parallel to the species application. Feasibility: The degree to which an original species makes sense. This is obviously a bit of a subjective area, but also an important one. Allowing for the things which make a species Relevant, Novel and Balanced, a certain level of internal consistency is encouraged and required; things that reinforce the rationality and sensibility of your species' foundations. If you’ve got a species of Glitches that strayed and then found an Avian airship, and then you go on to describe that the future generations of said Glitches began to function with steam power, the grader can only assume they adopted this technology from the airships due to the lack of part manufacturers for their future generations. In this case, we require you to point out those details, since they are crucial for the feasibility of your species. Anything you can find or think of that can tie to aspects of your species, such as their advantages being directly linked to their disadvantages and their history or biology helps. This criteria also helps us determine how well you know your own creation, how much thought you’ve given it, and how careful you’ve been to make it all about quality over quantity. The more relevant detail you give us, the more easy it will be for the process to take place significantly faster than usual. Detail: The level of description provided for an original species. This is one of the most important factors in grading; we know absolutely nothing about your original species at this point, and this is your chance to really explain what makes them worth approving. Not to say that we’re seeking a word count, or want you to be long-winded in fluffing your species; we don’t need the names of your species’ most famous composers, or a detailed description of their legal proceedings. However, attention should be paid to their biology, history and culture, technological prowess, and anything else a prospective player should know to successfully and accurately play a member of the species.