Contributing: FAQs
I have some material I have written for another setting. Can that be incorporated into the Orion's Arm Universe Project?

Yes, with the stipulation that you have the legal right to do so. The success of this scenario so far has been the ease with which other worldbuilding and roleplaying scenarios and settings can be incorporated into it. When bringing in pre-existing material there may be a need for modifications to allow them to fit within the Orion's Arm universe. Humanoid aliens may become Terragen uplifts, splices, etc. Please follow the link on this page to the Orion's Arm Canon for a complete list of criteria.

In worldbuilding, can I adapt material from roleplaying manuals, books or other franchises?

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and much of the Orion's Arm universe pays homage to the inspirations acquired from other sources in one form or fashion. While one can be inspired by and build upon the ideas of others, it is our goal to make something original from that inspiration, not slavishly imitate.

We must always avoid plagiarism. This is very much the case when trying to borrow ideas from roleplaying games, or established franchises. Also, despite how they may appear within the context of these other settings, they must conform to the laws of science and the canon of the Orion's Arm universe to be incorporated.

Understand, we are not saying you cannot use these other materials for inspiration, but it is important to give the original reference, and that the emphasis is on adapting and modifying the original entry to the unique hard science transhumanist Orion's Arm project.

I feel a bit intimidated because some of the people who have contributed material know much more about science than I do; how can I contribute material to a hard science setting?

If you feel that the science and tech side of the forum is a bit much, please check out our creative writing subforum. This discussion list has been set up especially to provide a friendly, encouraging, non-technogeekish creative environment. This is where our writers, artists and other right-brained members can contribute. It is also important to remember that you don't have to be a practising particle physicist to participate. There are many sides of the setting, cultural, philosophical and artistic that need material as well. Many of our members lack a formal scientific background and might be listed as "enthusiastic amateurs". With a little research you might be surprised what you can contribute.

I have developed a detailed hard science setting concerning an alien empire. Can this be included in the project?

Maybe it can, but be warned, the standard for allowing this will be very, very high. Most of the setting is focused on humanity and human derived beings and civilizations. The setting does have some aliens ("xenos"), and at least one, the Muuh, have what could be called an empire. These were created original to the setting and, like most of the aliens, tend to currently be more like scenery then active participants. It is not that we're against the xenos being active participants, it just seems the membership has focused its efforts elsewhere. So in principle others could be added, although in order to justify such an addition, the race and empire in question would probably need to be both very unique, and very detailed. Other criteria would be how well does it fit within the Orion's Arm universe? Would it unbalance the focus on Terragen civilization? Would it create a major power shift? How does it fit within our existing Orion's Arm parameters, canon and feel? The diversity of Terragen society life which originated from Earth is the focus of the setting, so we encourage potential contributors to first try adjusting any aliens to be terragen in origin , somehow. An isolated neogenic clade created by a transapient or isolationist colonists thousands of years before, for example.

With all that said, if you have something that you think might fit into all of the above, send us a message and we'll consider it. The worst we can do is say no, and it won't be meant in a personal way if we do.

If I do choose to submit material to the OAUP, does the OAUP own the copyright?

No. You own the copyright, but by submitting material you agree to give the OAUP permission to use (and even modify/add to/ etc) your work for as long as the OAUP wishes, on the OAUP site or elsewhere. This is outlined in some detail within the
Terms and Conditions.

Is there any agreement in place for profit-share in case of the OAUP producing works (e.g. short stories) that turn a profit?

This may be handled on a case-by-case basis, depending on the project. The legalities of profit sharing are covered in some detail within the Terms and Conditions.

Can I submit work I have done for Orion's Arm elsewhere, whether on my own or another website, or for publication in print?

Of course you can!

Say I change my mind and want to take my material off Orion's Arm, can I?

In the past we have had members demand that we remove their material from the OAUP. To stop this happening in the future we now ask that anyone submitting any materials agree to the Terms and Conditions. As outlined in Section II Part 1 — Grant of Rights.

We do this to protect the collaborative efforts of the OAUP. It is the nature of a shared project like the OAUP to constantly build on earlier material. This can be compared to a number of people cooperating to build a house, and then one person demanding that the bricks he or she laid must be taken out of the walls — despite the fact those bricks are now supporting the bricks laid by other people. If this is something you cannot agree to, we ask that you not submit material for the project.

If OA is intended as a sort of "open source" worldbuilding project, why all the legal conditions?

This is to protect both the OAUP and the membership. Without these protections in place another person would be able to steal the ideas they found here, present them as their own, and potentially profit from doing so. We must also protect the OAUP from someone doing likewise to another group, and attempting to present the materials here as their own. Should this happen, the contributor and not the project, is liable.

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