How to Contribute to The Player

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How to Contribute to The Player

Welcome to The Player subforum, home to Pokemon Showdown's very own webzine that is run by the community! If you're interested in getting involved with the project - we'd love to have you! - by writing an article, creating art, or writing code, you're in the right place. Read everything fully before posting your idea, and if you have any questions, we've got a lovely Simple Questions, Simple Answers thread for you to ask any Player-related inquiries. As a reminder, the Article Submissions subforum is the place to submit your outline (you can't view other threads there, so it appears empty).

on: Grammar Checking
Only authorized C&C GP checkers are allowed access to check items in The Kiln. If you're looking for access, PM antemortem and he'll arrange it. We're always after GP checkers, so be sure to ask. GP checking is an essential part of the article creation process, especially if some authors are not quite as adept at writing at some others and require some additional quality checks before their articles are published.

on: Artistic Contributions
Artwork can transform an article from good to great. Not all articles need artwork, but the majority would look fantastic with some. All approved artists for The Smog are permitted to create art for articles. Just PM antemortem and you can be added. As this is Showdown's webzine, we won't just be using Smogon artists. If you want to become an artist for The Player (or Smogon, for that matter), all you need to do is "Start a conversation" with f(x) and brightobject, including at least 2 samples of artwork. They might give you pointers to improve or just approve you. We look forward to hearing from you!

on: Technical Contributions
Plain text needs to be spruced up before it's put onsite, and that's where the skill of HTMLers comes in. If you know the basics of this web markup language, contact Quarkz and Spydreigon and you can be fixed up with an eval and subsequently access to HTML articles. Anyone who has experience HTMLing for The Smog or The Competitor may find themselves without having to do an eval. If you're getting into HTML, you're welcome to shoot Quarkz and Spydreigon a PM for help or check out this guide.

We hope you find a way to contribute. For questions on this, you can post in The Player's general questions thread or PM one of us. We also have a PS! room with the name The Kiln. Staff and contributors are ready to answer questions and provide feedback on ideas.
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on: Writing Articles
Writing an article or grammar checking? Then this is the post to read! If you're interested in writing an article, you can post your idea in the Article Submissions subforum. If the idea is approved, you can go ahead and post it in The Player's article creation subforum The Kiln. If you don't have any ideas but have been involved with other projects like The Smog, then PM antemortem, Spydreigon, f(x), or Quarkz and we can get you access to The Kiln. Producing many high quality articles can lead to a Smogon Media Contributor badge, but don't worry if you're not the best writer in the world our GP checkers ensure the prose is perfect before articles are uploaded. That way, you can write your heart away and not worry all that much about whether or not you've chosen the right word or if your sentence is grammatically correct. Just sit down with your keyboard and start typing?

A few things that are important to make note of when coming up with ideas and writing:
  • Is it PS-focused? The Player's focal point is Pokemon Showdown, and as such, all articles should be written in the context of PS! and focus on one of the many facets of the simulator. A good article would be on the Language Rooms of PS! A not so good article would be on the History of Smogon's official tournaments.
  • Do you know the material? — We want you to write only on what you're an expert on, not something you don't have much of an idea about. This also fits int the tone of your piece; if you have a mastery of humor, by all means, take advantage! Not everything has to be written in a serious tone, and we actually encourage satire in articles. A good article would be a topic you have experience with and are comfortable with. A not so good article would be something you tried earlier today.
  • Topical and fresh — Try to think of original article ideas and put a new spin or perspective on things. If someone's just written the same thing last issue, it's unlikely your article is going to be accepted, so becreative! Current affairs are a great way to keep articles interesting, too. However, if you're a long-time player don't be afraid to submit an article about a historical event or time on PS, either. A good article would be about the new Media room on the sim. A not so good article would be something that was covered within the last few issues.
As far as writers are concerned, it's important you know about the material and care about it. If you're passionate about what you're writing, everything will fall into place. Quality is of utmost importance, and we look for it as a key characteristic in potential articles and authors. If you're writing about competitive battling, we might ask for some credentials such as ladder ranks, forum posts, or tournament performances if we're unfamiliar with you. This is just to assure the aforementioned.

It's also important that you know enough English to be able to write clearly, concisely, and in an interesting manner. However, if English isn't your first language, your spelling is off, or your phrasing is clunky, don't worry — we have a whole team (Grammar-Prose) of people that work on checking grammar and cleaning prose. Furthermore, don't hesitate to sign on a co-author if you're not comfortable with your writing.

Responsibility and attitude are prominent aspects of writers and we require that, if you take on an article, you finish it in a reasonable amount of time. If you are unable to complete it for some reason, we understand, but the Player staff need to know as soon as possible so we're prepared to reassign or push articles. Along the same vein, you need to be able to take constructive criticism under your belt and learn from mistakes. If you receive a suggestion or recommendation, you should absolutely take it on board. Be that someone that's enjoyable and easygoing to work with and you'll be a successful author to The Player - Smogon in general - in no time!

"What should I do when I'm ready to submit my article?" you might be asking. When you have your idea formulated and you're ready to present, make a thread in the Article Submissions forum. Only Player and PS! staff can see your thread, as well as yourself. We will then take everything into account and either approve or reject your idea based on a series of criterion.
  • Do you have a solid outline? — We want outlines with brief, but well-explained summaries of ideas, what it relates to, and the content you plan on writing. This is important for us to make sure the article is going to be of considerable quality, and so that you don't partake in any unnecessary writing for a rejected article.
  • Are you active? — Please only post if you believe you can be active and finish the article in a reasonable amount of time, including the non-writing elements such as grammar checking. Artists and HTMLers will also need their fair bit of time, so if you're late, it causes a domino effect.
  • Is it a room article? — Please get Room Owners' approval and opinion on room articles before proceeding with them. You might even ask them to co-author or quality check the final product so that everything presented is an accurate representation of the room at hand. This goes for any PS! project being written about.
  • Please be patient! — Suggestions/approval will come, just give the staff some time to review your idea.
  • What if I'm rejected? — If you're rejected, it's because your idea likely wasn't suitable for The Player. Don't lose hope, though. Once you've got a thoroughly developed idea, submit it and we'll be more than happy to look over it. Try, try again!
Happy submitting!

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