Off-Topic Culture Rules
Oh hey, so we have a new forum! Off-Topic Culture (OTC) will be the home to all non-LEGO creative endeavors, serving to isolate them from the crazy highway that is COT. This will, I hope, get these works more attention and encourage people to post more off-topic artwork and literature on BZPower.
Anyway, with a new forum come new rules, so please do read before you go filling the forum up!
-- This topic's tag will always reflect the date of the latest update. Information on what was updated will always be found in the "Recent Updates" section at the bottom of this post. --
What Belongs Here:
This will be the home of off-topic (non-LEGO) creative works. These include:
- Literature (epics, short stories, poems, comedies)
- Visual art (paintings, drawings, photographs, digital and pixel art, comics, movies, etc.)
- Music (see the "Music" section for clarification)
- Member-created video games
- Avatar/banner/other shops
- Other things I missed!
I will discuss the different rules for each category of topics below.
What Does Not Belong Here:
- Text games (Describe the Sig, Song Association, etc.)
- All other off-topic discussion
Quick Reference for Changed Rules:
Some rules and exceptions are unique to OTC and are currently not found in their Creative Outlet forum counterpart. Here is a list for quick review:
- Authors may double post in epic review topics.
- There is no minimum word restriction for comedies in this forum (no 300-word rule).
- Owners of shops are not required to hire workers.
- Owners of shops and workers may double post to separate fulfilled requests.
- Project-planning and WIP topics are allowed.
General Rules Applicable to All Topics:
All feedback should try to be constructive. This is just a suggestion and not necessarily a rule; constructive feedback helps the artist and author more than a generic comment does. I will be moderating on a post-by-post basis when it comes to reviews. Things I will look out for are excessively short posts (e.g. "Wow!") or the same short message posted in several topics.
Plagiarism is not tolerated. Post your own work only!
All content must follow BZP's Rules and Guidelines. This prohibits sexual content, excessive violence, and instances of inappropriate language (if unsure, contact me).
Do not bypass the filter!
Posted images on BZPower may not exceed 750 kB (kilobytes) in file size. Otherwise, please link to the image. Similarly, when quoting an image with large dimensions, consider turning it into a link as well.
Revival is 60 days except in the cases mentioned in the sections below. Please read the section appropriate to the topic in question before posting. Official and pinned topics are exempt from the revival rule.
No double posting except in the cases mentioned in the sections below. In no circumstances are reviewers allowed to double post; only the creators of the topic are, and then only under certain conditions.
Be fair with collection topics. Start one only if you have a significant amount of work to show.
Please note that posts do not add to your active post count in this forum.
Rules for Literature Topics:
Revival is allowed in all story topics and all library (collection) topics. Library topics (collections) are allowed, provided that they contain exclusively off-topic works. Collections containing LEGO-related literature belong in Short Stories. Members with an existing collection in SS may transfer the off-topic works to a new collection here in OTC. Again, however, be fair - create one only if you have a significant number of stories. Library topics should be either tagged or titled appropriately so that they can be recognized as collections.
Collections/library topics do not exclude you from posting separate topics for new works. Authors may also double post in their library topics when announcing new updates.
Individual preview and project-planning topics are allowed. We also have a sort of a communal brainstorming topic. You can find it here!
You are encouraged to log your work in the Library!
Rules for Epics:
Epics are required to have a review topic. This will ensure that a story's flow will not be interrupted by review posts.
You must link to your review topic in the story topic and to the story topic in your review topic. This will help members to find each and help to prevent extraneous posts in the story topic. It is recommended that you include a link to the review topic at the end of each chapter. Review topics should have "Review" in the title.
Multi-author works are allowed. As long as a story does not allow simply anyone to add on, this should not cause any problems.
Authors are allowed to double post in review topics when announcing a new update. This is something new!
And improved! Reviewers, however, are not allowed to double post in review topics.
Rules for Short Stories/Poems:
Short stories are one-post works only. If you think that your story will expand beyond a single post, consider making an epic instead. Note that you cannot squeeze multiple chapters into a post and call it a short story, nor can you post multiple chapters in separate topics.
All reviews go in the story topic. Since SSs are one post only, reviews will not interrupt the flow of the work and they can therefore be contained in the story topic.
Rules for Comedies:
Comedies and their reviews are contained in a single topic. I'm not quite sure how this standard got established, but hey.
Double posting is allowed only when posting a new update. Otherwise, neither authors nor reviewers can double post.
I trust you all to post chapters of a substantial length. I will not set a minimum word count like the 300 rule in Comedies, but please be reasonable - no two-word chapters. If it becomes a problem, I will set a minimum, but I trust that this won't happen!
Guest star requests should either be posted or PMed as determined by the author.
Multi-author works are allowed.
Rules for Visual Art Topics:
Revival is 60 days, except for collection topics and comic topics. See the "Collection Topic Rules" section for more information.
Preview and project-planning topics are allowed.
Rules for Collection Topics:
You are allowed to have one topic that compiles all of your artwork. This will not exclude you from being able to post separate topics for specific pieces.
All collection topics are exempt from revival.
Furthermore, artists may double post in their collection topics when announcing new updates. Please use the word "Collection" or some other synonym in the topic's tags or title.
Rules for Comics:
Authors may double post when announcing/posting a new comic or a significant preview.
Guest star requests should either be PMed or posted as determined by the author.
Topic revival is allowed for comic topics. This is in line with the standard in the Comics forum.
Rules for Music Topics:
Revival is 60 days, except for collection topics. Like visual artists, musicians are allowed to have collection topics.
Collection topics are exempt from revival and the musician is allowed to double post when announcing new updates. Please use the word "Collection" or some other synonym in the topic's tag or title.
Preview and project-planning topics are allowed.
Use your best judgment regarding pieces with lyrics. Swearing is pretty much a "no"! Other explicit content is definitely a "no."
Regarding "off-topic music": Fan music for Bionicle or another LEGO theme is, in theory, indistinguishable from music that belongs in this forum. So, before posting, ask yourself if you were inspired or influenced by a LEGO theme in the creation process. If the answer is "yes," then the work goes in Fan Created Media. If your source of inspiration was something not LEGO-related, then it goes here. I will admit that there is no way to enforce this, so please be fair and honest.
Rules for Video Game Topics:
(Games, in this case, are downloadable or web-based and not text-based games, which belong in COT.)
Previews and project planning are allowed. You need not post a full, completed game in order to have a topic in this forum. You do need, however, to provide proof that the game's development is in progress. This can be in the form of a playable demo or a screenshot.
A corollary is that project planning is allowed. That is, you may request that members PM you if they are interested in helping out provided that you have a legal topic complete with proof of game development.
Topic revival is allowed for game projects.
Similarly, the game designer may double post to announce new updates. Otherwise, revival is 60 days. I know this isn't entirely a black-and-white affair. We'll see how it goes!
Rules for Avatar/Banner/Other Shops:
All shop topics require the approval of a Forum Leader of this forum. Please PM either me or Makaru with the following for approval:
- A description of the kind of work you will be doing in the shop
- Examples of your work in the style appropriate to your shop
- Names of workers who will be helping you, if applicable
Once you get approval, go ahead and post your topic. Be sure to include "Approved by [Forum Leader name here]" in your opening post.
Please include the word "shop" in your topic's tags or title. I do require that you keep up with requests in order for your shop to stay open.
Shops that have not had a request completed within sixty days will be closed. If you feel that you will be unable to fulfill requests for a time, however, you may request for the topic to be closed temporarily. Otherwise, consider the activity of your staff and make changes as you see fit.
Note that I am not requiring you to hire workers - but keep in mind the thirty-day rule above. Content produced in avatar/banner shops must follow the Signature & Avatar Guidelines. If you need clarification on any of these rules, send me a PM.
Active shops can be revived. That is, if a shop has kept up with requests and there hasn't been a new one in sixty days or more, the topic can be revived by a customer. Shop owners and workers cannot revive their own topics.
Double posting by workers and shop owners is allowed in order to separate completed requests. I think this won't be too common of an occurrence, but let's try it out and see how it works. Customers are not allowed to double post.
Rules for TBRPGs: Please direct your attention to the following topics:
- Official OTC RPG Rules & Guidelines
- Official OTC TBRPG Planning and Organization Topic
- Official OTC RPG Request Topic
If you have any questions about these rules, please ask it in this topic or PM one of the forum's staff members. I will also leave this open so that you may voice any concerns about or offer suggestions for this forum. Anyway, please do enjoy the Off-Topic Culture forum. It is because of you guys that it got added! So go, fill it up with your art and literature!
The OTC staff:
07/24/2014: Updated allowed embedded image file size (750 kB).
07/21/2014: Project-planning/WIP topics given the okay.
10/30/2013: Updated to reflect revival changes.
Edited by -Windrider-, Jan 25 2015 - 09:58 PM.