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[sticky entry] Sticky: Press Start schedule!

 Welcome to Press Start, a gift exchange for video games, for fic, art, and vids. For this year, the AO3 community can be found here.

The schedule for this year is:
Nominations: 18 June - 1 July
Tagset Cleanup: 1 July - 3 July
Signups: 4 - 18 July
Assignments go out: About 20 July
No Penalty Default: 1 September
Posting deadline: 9 September
Story reveal: 17 September
Author reveal: 24 September
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Return to Base For Reward!

Now, assuming all things worked out as they should THE ARCHIVE IS REVEALED. Please go forth, comment and be merry, because we have a mighty stash of loot here in this collection!

Talking about might, we've done really well in terms of hitting the achievements! Let me know which ones I've missed, and I'll be happy to edit them.

Considering how well we've all gone in getting these achievements, I've decided that I will keep counting works towards them right up to author reveals. Author reveals are in one week, here's your prompts spreadsheet, let's plat this game!
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(no subject)

The last extension has expired, and we have one last pinch hit! Please look over it carefully and if you are interested in picking it up, please leave a comment with your AO3 name.

Delightfully, all participants who have turned in a story have at least one gift! We have a lot of treats in the collection already, but there are multiple achievements for treats. If you're minded to try and achieve some more achievements as a group, please look at the requests spreadsheet :)

Pinch Hit #10: Undertale, OFF, Harvest Moon: Animal Parade, Five Nights at Freddie's, Pokemon - CLAIMED )

Battle Complete!

With that, the due date has passed! If you were defaulted by me at deadline, you need to complete a gift for your recipient between now and signups next year to be eligible to participate in future rounds.

As we have a week left before reveals here is a spreadsheet of all participants who turned in their assignment. Our goal is to move as many people as possible down to the "Two Gifts" section, if not "Three Gifts". After all, we have achievements! Please let me know if we have achieved any.

Some people have extensions and those should be going through in the next few days. If you turned in your assignment, do not have a gift, and would like to know if your creator received an extension, let me know!

Finally, we have one pinch hit! Please look over it carefully and see if you can get it done. If you are interested in claiming it, please comment with your AO3 name. It will be due at 11:59pm on Friday. Thank you!

Pinch Hit #9: Bloodborne, Final Fantasy VI, Crossovers, Fallout: New Vegas, Life is Strange, Transistor, Breath of Fire IV - CLAIMED )
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Due time is fast approaching!

I will be away from my computer for a bit and so the archive may close a little late. Please get your works in on time, but please don't panic if it's still open for a bit after the due time.

On that note, if you have not already contacted me regarding an extension, I will not see your request and it will not be granted. Sorry about that!

Now, rock out to that super intense boss battle music, because the boss is on its fourth and final form!

No-Penalty Default Deadline Passed!

Team PressStart 2017? Can you hear me? We're past the last checkpoint and we're on to the final boss! No one has fallen since our last resupply, and we'll do our best to resupply you as needed. We've had a few opening salvos from people already to weaken the boss, so now we just need to keep up the assault.

Here at Tactical Support, we have some special abilities, which include analyzing bosses. While I can't go out and fight the boss with you, I can scan the enemy so that you can target your assault. Please remember that all of us are cheering you on!

MONSTER SCAN...
Name: PressStart Deadline
HP: 31,698/48000
Overtreat Limit: 6000/????
Strong: Procrastination
Weakness: Creating fanworks

Good luck!

The more mundane explanation )
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Pinch Hit #8

The no-penalty default deadline is coming up at 11:59pm EST on September 1. Please keep that in mind!

In related news, we have a new pinch hit! If you are able to pick this one up, please comment with your AO3 name. All comments are screened!

Pinch Hit #8: 16 Ways to Kill a Vampire at McDonalds, Fate/stay night, Life is Strange, Love Live! School Idol Festival, Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga, Long Live the Queen - CLAIMED )
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Pinch Hit #7

The no-penalty default deadline is fast approaching! If you default after September 1, you may need to complete your assignment before signups next year, so if you are considering defaulting please keep that in mind.

On that note, we have a pinch hit! Comments are screened, so if you are interested in picking this one up please comment to this post with your AO3 name.

Pinch Hit #7: Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy X and X-2, Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy XIII series, HuniePop, Kingdom Hearts, Crossover Fandoms (Final Fantasies) - CLAIMED )
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All Prompts + Beta Post

All the requests in text-searchable form! If you want the .csv file of all requests to create a spreadsheet for the exchange of all requests, let me know!

Here is our achievement list. Let's see how many we can knock off!

Now, betas!

One of the more invaluable services in any exchange is a beta! While it is not necessary to have one in order to participate, betas can help by casting an eye over your work and giving opinions, making suggestions, or cheering you on in the dark hours of "oh God this is due in two hours and I have scrapped everything I did before".

If you are able to beta, please comment below with:

Your AO3 name:
Fandoms you can beta:
Media you can beta (Fanart/Fanfic/Fanvid):
Things you love to beta:
Any restrictions/things you cannot beta:
Your email address:

Achievements Unlocked: Party Complete!, and Everyone Wants To Join Your Party!

Signups are now closed and matching has been finalized. Congratulations everyone, because we almost doubled the number of participants this year from last year and no one needed to be contacted to add offers! A spreadsheet is in the process of being created, and it will be posted along with a beta post in the next few days.

If there are any issues with your assignment, please contact me at press.start.mod@gmail so that I can get onto them right away. If you would like to ask further details of your recipient, please also email me so that I can get the ball rolling on that. Please do not contact your recipient directly! This is my job and I am delighted to do it.

We also have some initial pinch hits. These are people who, after matching was complete, were unable to be matched either because no one offered what they were requesting or because by the time matching got around to them every possibility had already been assigned. Please look at the pinch hits carefully and see if you can create a work for one of these participants.

If you are interested in claiming a pinch hit, please comment below with your AO3 name and which pinch hit you are after. All comments are screened!

EDIT: We have a new pinch hit, number 6. Please look over it and see if you can claim it!

Pinch Hit #1: Postknight, Pokemon, The Sims, Mystic Messenger, Harvest Moon: Animal Parade, HuniePop - CLAIMED )

Pinch Hit #2: Akiba's Beat, Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star, Atelier of Dusk Trilogy, Crossover Fandoms, Final Fantasy XIII series, Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, Star Stealing Prince, Tokyo Xanadu, Ys - CLAIMED )

Pinch Hit #3: Magna Carta: Tears of Blood, Skies of Arcadia, Tales of Vesperia, Tales of Xillia - CLAIMED )

Pinch Hit #4: Dishonored, Fallout 4, Metal Gear, SOMA - CLAIMED )

Pinch Hit #5: Tales of Xillia, Star Ocean 2, Legend of Heroes: Sora no Kiseki, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Undertale, Ace Attorney, Okami, Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword, NieR: Automata, Ys - CLAIMED )

Pinch Hit #6: Fallout 4, Final Fantasy XV, Far Cry 4 - CLAIMED )
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Sign-up deadline approaches!

 The signup deadline approaches! A couple of things before signups close.

Requesting/Offering "Any Character"
If you are offering or requesting "Any Character", please check the tag set to make sure that you want a gift about any character/relationship in that tag set, or that you want to create a work for any character/relationship in that tag set. If there is any exception to you genuinely being fine with requesting or offering every tag in that fandom, now is a really good time to modify your signup to reflect that.  Also, please ensure that the characters/relationships you have prompted for are in the tag set.

Here is the tag set to make checking easier!

Optional Details in Offers

As already covered over here, the Optional Details field in Offers was left on by accident and I won't be using it for matching. Feel free to write stuff in there, but it will have no impact on what you are assigned to create (except under extraordinary circumstances).

Initially Unmatchables and Additional Offers

When signups close, I will be running matching. If no one is able to create for you you will be an initial pinch hit. If you are not able to create for anyone, you will be contacted and asked to provide additional fandoms or tags for matching purposes. You will have 24 hours to respond. Requests are visible, so as the signup deadline draws near just check to make sure you have some possibilities.

Contact with Participants

Please do not contact your fellow participants directly about their requests while the exchange is running. I will be the conduit for all contact of that nature.

Penalty Works
If you were defaulted by me at deadline either in 2015 or 2016 you are not eligible to participate this year until you complete your assignment from that year, and contact me with it. If you are not sure if you are one of these people, email me at press.start.mod@gmail and I'll let you know.

I think that covers everything! If there's anything else, drop it in the comments.
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Character Creation! (aka Signups Are Open!)

We are into my second favorite period of the exchange: signups!

Important links:
Sign up form
Tag set!
Achievement List - help us fill this out!

You are required to request at least three fandoms (and up to 10) and offer four fandoms (up to ten). You must offer two tags for each fandom (or "Any" if there is only one tag nominated in the fandom). Requests are visible from the beginning, so you can offer confident in what will be requested this year!

Matching is OR. If you request a fandom and request two tags in the fandom (such as group: A/B, and A), your artist/vidder/writer only has to include one "set" (in this case, either A/B or A on their own). Please keep this in mind when signing up!

Finally, a reminder if you had to be defaulted by me at the deadline last year or the year before: you have until signups close to finalize your assignment and get a link mailed to me. You are not eligible to participate until you do so. Thank you!

Now have at and merry signupmas! Signups close 18 July.

EDIT: A friendly reminder, as I forgot to include it earlier. If you request or offer "Any" it means "any character or relationship tag in our approved tagset", so please keep that in mind when requesting or offering.

Tag set: Checking!

First up, congratulations! We not only beat our total from last year, but almost doubled it: 211 fandoms and 1311 characters/combos. Well done everyone!

ADMIRE THE TAGSET. The capslock compels you.

Now! For the next couple of days, until signups open at probably 6am on July 4, we review the tagset to make sure that everything is where it should be. If something is not where it should be (aka a character has migrated from one game to another, or we have something in the tag set that is either not released or is not a game) please let me know.

If your nominated game is sitting in "Uncategorized Fandoms" this is because there is no canonical AO3 tag for your game. (Yet.) I am not a wrangler and so can't put the games into the right section. If you are a wrangler and you would like to wrangle these tags for the exchange, let me know what information you need beforehand and I'll get it to you.

Finally, we have the spreadsheet for the achievements! For those who have not participated before, last year we had a little challenge where we tried to "achieve" certain achievements on a list, much like in many video games. Some of the achievements are pretty hardcore! Some of them are going to be achieved in the course of the game/exchange. There is also a secret one! If we ever achieve it, I will reveal it. As you can see though, I need your help to come up with more achievement names for the ones for the games. While looking at the tag set, if you come up with something clever, witty, silly, or all of the above, for an achievement name, let us know! 
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Tagset approvals, some changes, some reminders...

 Nominations continue over here and will until 11:59pm EST (or realistically later) on July 1. Please get your nominations in! We are very close to beating our personal best for nominations, so let's see if we can do that!

There have been some updates to the rules and they are as follows:
  • Minimum duration of a vid has been reduced from two minutes to one minute;
  • Maximum requests and offers has been increased to 10, as every year we up it to ten anyway and might as well formalize it;
  • The requirement to complete a work if you default after the deadline has been changed from "must" to "may" - this is to allow discretion as it may be that something unexpected came up for you and you had to default.
Also, this is an idea I've been considering for a while, but what are your thoughts on an "NPC account" that you can gift works as well, in circumstances where the prompts for a fandom aren't for what you want to create, or you are the only person requesting this fandom, or you want to do one type of media and all the requests are for another type. Creation would be restricted to fandoms and tags in the tag set. Thoughts?

Finally, if you had to be defaulted by me at deadline either last year or the year before (that is, I had to hit the default button for you at deadline), to participate this year you are required to complete your assignment by the time signups close. Please, if you are in this category, finalize your previous assignment and email me a link when it is done. Thank you!

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Nominations Open!

 Nominations are open! You can find the tag set here.

Before we start nominating, some preliminary information!

Character Nominations
You are able to nominate characters and character combinations! This means the following:
  • Character A (video game title) - A fanwork where Character A must be the focus;
  • group: Character A & Character B - A fanwork where the gen relationship of Character A and Character B is the focus;
  • group: Character A/Character B - a fanwork where the shippy relationship of Character A and Character B is the focus. You are also free to nominate group: Character A/Original Male Character or group: Character A/Original Female Character.
Matching is "OR", meaning that you match on a tag. If you want Character A and Character B in your gift, nominate them as a group. If you nominate each of them separately your creator only has to include one of them. Please keep that in mind when nominating!

Crossover Fandoms
Crossover character combinations are eligible. There are some basic rules though so that I don't cry a lot.
  • When nominating a crossover, the fandom is Crossover Fandoms. I have already nominated Crossover Fandoms into the tag set so please use that spelling. Not nominating a crossover into this fandom will mean that nomination will be rejected;
  • Nominations can be for gen fic or ship fic;
  • Nominations are to be written like this: Group: Character A (Video Game 1) & Character B (Video Game 2) (or group: Character A (Video Game)/Character B (Video Game 2);
  • There is no limit of the number of characters that are in a tag set, short of AO3's character limit;
  • All characters in the crossover combination must be video game characters.
Series of Games
This year the test for whether a game is part of a series and should be nominated as one is as follows:
  • Is the game marketed as being part of a series (i.e. a trilogy, games set in the same world etc etc);
  • Are the games that make up the series part of the same continuity or different continuities?
  • Is there a significant crossover of characters between the games?
Feel free to comment to discuss! At the moment:
  • Dragon Age (Video Games) is the correct tag for any nominations for Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II, and Dragon Age Inquisition;
  • Final Fantasy games are separate to each other, except for the ones that are explicitly in continuity with each other
  • Kingdom Hearts is a separate continuity from Final Fantasy;
  • The Star Ocean games can be nominated separately;
  • I am open to discussion for the Kiseki series (Trails in the Sky, Trails of Cold Steel etc);
  • Fallout can be nominated separately;
  • I haven't made up my mind about Avengers Academy (Video Game) as I don't know anything about it, so if you want to nominate it please tell me about it in the comments!
If you are considering nominating a game that could be a series, or could be a tie-in, please drop a comment below so that I can hash it out with you first!

Now have at! Nominations close at 11:59pm EST on 1 July 2017, though the post for tag set cleanup could be a bit later on the 2nd because I have a concert for video game music at around that time.
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Blow off those cartridges!

In honor of the Kingdom Hearts trailer dropping, and E3 is coming (much like Winter only more predictably), prepare to begin that platinum run because nominations for this year's round of Press Start begin in a week! You are allowed to nominate five games (or series of games), with six characters/relationships for each game. 

In the meantime, if you have any ideas for trophies for the community to aspire to achieve this year, drop them in the comments. The sillier the better!

Creator reveals!

And that's a wrap for 2016! I am pleased to say that we have unlocked one last achievement: I've Seen A Million Gifts and I Commented On Them All. The achievement spreadsheet shall be updated once gdocs behaves itself for me. If you have not yet commented on your gift, please do so!

I'm also interested in hearing what you thought of this year's exchange! Anything you liked about it and would like to see in future years? Anything you'd like tweaked, changed, removed entirely? I'm all ears! I'm particularly interested in the following:
  • Achievements;
  • Crossover pairings;
  • Relationship matching.

Return to Base For Reward!

 Otherwise known as THE ARCHIVE IS REVEALED.

Please go forth, comment, and share the love! There is an achievement attached to every story getting a comment, which is completely doable. 

Treats can be posted indefinitely, and I will do up a post for any story that is posted after the date (but before creator reveals) to get more eyes on late treats.

Please feel free to comment with any achievements we've made that are not on our achievement spreadsheet!

Update on Archive Reveal Time

All pinch hits are in! Subject to any unexpected delays, such as deleted or incomplete gifts, we should be going live at 11:59pm on September 18 2016

You can get a countdown once I can make the countdown timer work on my browser. I will also freely link to a countdown that someone else is able to make! My favorite mystery anon has provided us with a countdown! (Don't worry, you are all my favorites.)

If you have a spare 24 hours and are looking to treat, here is our treating achievement list! Let's get some people moved off it, shall we?
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Achievements and Treating List

So far on our achievement spreadsheet we have unlocked the following new achievements:
  • Battle Complete!
  • Treating Triad!
  • I Spent Fifteen Hours In Character Creation
  • New Recruit
  • First Time
  • Game of Mutual Gifting
  • Gifting Returns: Final Fantasy
  • Going Bovine
  • New DLC
  • I Recognize That Reference
  • Sidéquest: The Capturing
  • Triple Fatality
  • Lady Lovin'
There are some achievements that are very close to falling as well, so let's see what we can achieve in a week! If I have missed any, let me know!

On that note, as promised, I've prepared a list of everyone who turned in their assignment and has less than three gifts, so that we can try and achieve some of the treating achievements. I'll keep this list updated as we progress through the week. Let's get some names moved through (and ultimately off) this list!

Treating List )
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Post-Deadline Pinch Hits

The deadline has passed and we have had some people who have fallen in the battle against the final boss! That said, we're doing this dungeon together as a team, so if you're able to step in and pick up these pinch hits, the party thanks you! Pinch hits will be due at 11:59pm on Saturday, and you can claim them by commenting to this post with your AO3 name. All comments are screened!

PH 3: Hatoful Boyfriend, Ace Attorney, Ghost Trick )

PH 4: Star Wars Legends: Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars Legends: Knights of the Old Republic II, Tekken, Dungeon Village - CLAIMED )