Frequently Asked Questions
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Keep in mind that if you forget to mention and edit it in after the fact, the person won't get the alert. If you forget when making a new thread, your best bet would be to shoot them a quick private message via the conversation feature.
ALT: What is 'thread tagging'? What is 'mentioning'?
GENERAL BASICS OF SA CODING:
YOU CANNOT USE BBCODE WITHIN PARSEHTML TAGS OR VICE VERSA. IT WILL BREAK YOUR ENTIRE CODE.
The first rule above all is that if you can do it just in BBCode, do it just in BBCode. It'll be way easier on you, and have way less compatibility issues. Plenty of things can be done without BBCode, and pure BBCode is more likely to be compatible with phones and other out of date browsers. Similar thing with drawers - really, try and avoid them if at all possible (spoilers can now be nested, so use those instead).
That said, if you want to do fancy things, here we go!
First of all, absolutely don't do any coding in the default WYSIWYG editor. Before you do ANY coding, you're going to need to head into the default BBCode editor. To swap over, click 'use BBCode editor' in the top right.
From there, you need to wrap your HTML in parsehtml tags.
So, rather than:
<span style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="color: crimson;">P</span><span style="color: tomato;">l</span><span style="color: goldenrod;">o</span><span style="color: lightgreen;">t</span><span style="color: cornflowerblue;">s</span></span>
[parsehtml]<span style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="color: crimson;">P</span><span style="color: tomato;">l</span><span style="color: goldenrod;">o</span><span style="color: lightgreen;">t</span><span style="color: cornflowerblue;">s</span></span>[/parsehtml]
CENTERING A WHOLE TEMPLATE:
This is a bit of a tricky thing. Essentially, wrapping a parsehtml inside another tag will cause issues. You can't, for example, wrap the whole thing in center or align=center tags, as it'll just break the parsehtml.
Instead, make the first thing inside the parsehtml a <center> tag, and wrap the whole template in it.
RANDOM TIPS AND TRICKS:
- Don't use hard numbers for width. If you set the width of a table to, say, 400px, than anyone on a mobile browser will have the contents extend off the screen, making it impossible to read. Stick to % instead for mobile-compatibility.
- If you have a header and a footer but don't have any code effecting the middle, you can use more than one parseHTML. Just end the one at the top and start a new parseHTML at the bottom, allowing you to type in the middle without line breaks.
- Don't feel the need to get fancy. People have made some really nice looking plotters and trackers, all without touching parseHTML at all.
SWAPPING FROM JCINK:
Jcink is pretty similar to how we do things here. Basically, just swap dohtml tags with parsehtml tags, and the overwhelming majority will work with only slight edits needed.
SWAPPING FROM PROBOARDS:
A bit trickier than jcink, because proboards uses an expanded form of BBCode rather than parsing HTML. The absolute easiest way is using the inspect element feature. I'm using google chrome, and I'll use that to explain how to do it. Pull up your proboards post template, and right click the template itself (the text is probably the best) and choose 'inspect element' on the dropdown.
From there, the inspect window will pop up, either along the bottom of your window or as a separate window. The part of the HTML that makes up your post text should be selected (grey highlight in the picture). Running your mouse over the different elements will highlight them on the template. Find the part of the code that includes all elements of the template but not the site itself, and right click that.
Please click this link for an example, because it's a pretty large screenshot.
From there, right click and choose edit as HTML. This will bring you up a selection of your entire template - just copy paste the whole thing. From there, you're basically done. Slap it into a parsehtml tag on SA, and the template should be mostly converted. Some small things might need tweaking, but this takes the majority of the work out of recoding a template for SA.
In my example template, I just need to change the indent on the tag section at the top, and revert it to a normal tag.
ALT: Do I use HTML or BBCode? Do I need to use DOHTML? How do I make post templates?
If your character has been accepted for less than a week AND has less than five IC posts, contact the mod who accepted you and explain the situation. If your mod is unavailable for some reason, please contact Bijou or Romi. Assuming your ability would have been accepted in the first place, you'll be allowed to add it to your application.
ALT: Forgot ability, change ability
An active ability is an ability that can be turned on and off, even if your character does not have exact control of it. Characters can have three active abilities without needing to include weaknesses.
A passive ability is an ability that is naturally active. If your character is naturally faster than an ordinary human, that would be a passive ability. Characters can have five passive abilities without needing to include weaknesses. Generally speaking, passive abilities are weaker than active abilities.
Limits vs Weaknesses vs Flaws:
A flaw is a part of your character's personality that hinders them in some way. Being arrogant, being trusting to the point of naivete, being rude, etc can all be flaws. We ask that all characters have at least some flaws to avoid any character being too perfect.
A limit are restrictions to an ability. These include things like range, usage limits, drawbacks, etc. All abilities should have limits, but what kind of limits appear on an ability depend on the nature of the ability itself.
A weakness is something about them that is worse than a human. They are not the same thing as limits. If your character cannot regenerate when injured by silver, that is a limitation on their regeneration ability, not a weakness, because a normal human can't regenerate in that situation anyway. Something like a vampire's weakness to sunlight would be a good weakness. Characters are strongly encouraged to include weaknesses, but weaknesses are only required when a character goes past the free ability limitations. Weaknesses should hinder the character as much as the additional abilities benefit them.
Magical items should be included as if they were a natural part of the characters abilities, with the ability description explaining that it's tied to a specific item. Being tied to an item (and requiring the item for use) is considered a limitation.
Some items are common on the island, and not counted against a characters ability limits. A list of common magical items can be found here, and should be included in the 'Common Magical Items' field. Please note that these items come in a wide number of varieties (such as a nullification bracelet which only affects certain abilities), but in those cases they are not considered a common magical item and are treated like normal magical items.
Magic systems are heavily varied, and there is no one 'correct' magic system. If a player is giving their character magic, it's up to that player to detail the way the magic system works. What can your character do? What are their limits? How do they do it? All these details should be noted in, so that staff can get a good idea of what they're looking at just like with any other ability.
We do not allow fandom OCs. For example, your character cannot be a ninja from naruto, or a sailor scout, regardless of whether or not your character is a canon or your own original OC. The issue with this is that Starlight Academy takes place in our own world, so whatever series or fandom your character would be from actually exists as fiction in-universe. Having someone who has read Naruto meeting someone who is from Naruto would be extremely weird, and only complicates things if their abilities did not one hundred percent follow naruto canon.
If your character is a dimension hopper, the dimension they hop from should be original. They can be inspired in broad strokes - a universe where ninjas are super important for example - but should not be similar enough that someone reading the app would go 'this is clearly a Naruto OC'.
This also applies to other roleplays. While you are free to reuse a character you've used elsewhere, please don't reference any elements unique to other sites!
This is a bit of tricky business, so some quick terms. The Requester is the person who makes the original want ad. The Filler is the person who fills the want ad by making the character.
There are three levels of want ad:
Type A: Want ads with a lot of details which are heavily interconnected to another characters plot. These characters have a pre-existing relationship with the Requester's character, and have a myriad of details about them.
Type A characters must be approved by the Requester before they're posted for approval. These characters are under shared control (both requester and filler). If the requester (or filler) doesn't think things are working out, or feels the character has heavily deviated from the want ad, they can request the character be anonymized (see below). This can be done ideally by speaking to the other party, or via staff intervention. Type A characters cannot be unarchived or reapped without permission of the requester.
Type B: Want ads which involve a pre-existing connection to the Requester's character. Things like family members, clan members, people with the same origin, etc.
Type B characters must be approved by the Requester before they're posted for approval. These characters are under shared control (both requester and filler) for the first three months. If the requester (or filler) doesn't think things are working out, or feels the character has heavily deviated from the want ad, they can request the character be anonymized (see below). This can be done ideally by speaking to the other party, or via staff intervention. After three months of being consistently played, Type B players revert to Filler control. In that case, any shared details (family history, etc) needs to be shared, but the player is considered to have full control of their character. Type B characters can be unarchived without permission if they have been played for three months, but otherwise need Requester permission for reapping or restoring.
Type C: Want ads which involve in some way fulfilling a role. These commonly include relationship plotting, but can include other things that will happen in the future.
Type C characters do not need approval from the Requester before they can be posted. These characters are considered to be under the Filler's control from their creation. Type C characters can be unarchived or reapped freely, and there's not considered to be any obligation for the Filler to fulfill the want ad (although it is considered rude to not do so, especially without speaking to the Requester).
In the event that the Requester's related character is archived, any control the Requester had is considered lost.
Anonymization: Anonymization is the process of removing connections between two characters. The process is as follows:
1.) The Filler changes relevant information in the character (changes surnames, elements of backstory, etc.) to remove references to specific characters and plot elements associated with the Requester's character and plot.
2.) All interactions between the characters to that point are soft retconned as having happened between the Requester's character and a now off-screen version of the character they had put the Wanted Ad up for.
ALT: Who do I talk to about my character?
To keep the free spirit of SA, we do not enforce mandatory face claims or put up face claim listings. You can use whatever image you like to represent your character. Actors, models, anime/cartoon characters, dollmakers, fanart, your own art, and virtually anything public domain are all allowed as long as the character you made remains original.
However, there are a few restrictions. When using a real person for your character make sure the picture used is a stock photo (released for public use), a model (with a modeling page) or a media star (with either a Wikipedia page or already starred in their own TV show/movie).
When using art, Starlight Academy does not allow original character art without the permission of the character's creator. This can lead to some grey areas, detailed below:
- Open and Closed Species (from Deviantart, FurAffinity, etc) are handled on a case by case basis. Most species will give a clear answer in their terms of service as to whether or not the lore can be used/edited/etc on other sites.
- Art listed as 'adoptables' are OCs which cannot be used unless you personally were the one to buy the adoptable.
- A character being part of a fandom does not make it free to use. You cannot use someone's Naruto or Attack on Titan OC.
- Similarly, when using art of a character from a fictional species (such as pokemon), please keep an eye out and try and judge for yourself if they're an OC. Does the character have unique or defining features? Have they been named by their artist, or drawn multiple times? Even if the character is from an existing canon, that doesn't mean they might not be someone's OC.
- On the other hand, AU versions of existing canon characters (modern AU Naruto, for example) would be fair game.
- Webcomics are a grey area. Generally the rule of thumb is that if a webcomic is large enough to have a fandom and be selling comics for a profit, such as Mob Psycho 100 or Homestuck, they are free to use. Smaller webcomics, such as those posted by Tapas or other free webcomic hosts are not free to use.
- Vocaloids (which are a commercial product) can be used, as can their AU variants. Utaites, on the other hand, will vary depending on if the Utaite in question is being used casually, or if they're selling merch/soundtracks/etc with them.
- Drawn images of real life people follow the same rules as photos of those people.
- Projects like "Pixiv Fantasia" are not free to use. These are generalized settings, but the characters depicted are people's OCs.
- The artist's permission supersedes all the above. If the owner of the OC says something like 'feel free to use this character, just be sure to credit', then as long as you credit them (linking back to them and the piece), you're fine to use it.
ALT: Do you have face claims? What is a Playby? Can I use my own art as a face claim? Can I use an actor/actress as a face claim?
You can find the full schedule here.
ALT: Do we get summer break?
ALT: How do I go away? What if I'm quitting?
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