Create-A-Pokémon: A Guide for Newcomers
Welcome to Create-A-Pokémon, also known as "The CAP Project"!
This guide is simply an introduction to the CAP project; it is not a comprehensive explanation of all the details of the project. If you look through other documents on the site and forum, you can find out much more information, but reading this guide should give you a good general idea of how the project works, as well as some advice on how to participate.
As the name of the project implies, this is a project for creating new Pokémon. We build new Pokémon as a community and then we use the Pokémon in real battles on our battle server. This is not a project for people to submit their own Pokémon, or make personal creations. The Pokémon created in the CAP Project are built to experiment with competitive OU play, hopefully learning more about the OU metagame in the process. This is not a fan project to make cool Ubers, cute baby pokemon, or any other Pokémon concept not directly applicable to the competitive OU metagame.
The CAP project is a big community effort. We make Pokémon piece-by-piece, through a series of well-defined steps. Each aspect of the new Pokémon is decided by community discussion and vote, which involves lots of people and takes a bit of time. Overall, the process of creating a Pokémon takes roughly 6-8 weeks, but there is no firm timetable.
Here is the general sequence of events in a CAP Project:
- Pick the leaders for the project
- Choose a general concept for the Pokémon
- Choose the typing
- Set the stats
- Choose the ability
- Make the art design
- Decide the movepool
- Choose the name
- Make the sprite
- Create the Pokémon on the battle server
- Test it out in real battles
If you go to the Create-A-Pokémon forum, you will see many threads of discussion. For each step of the creation process, we make discussion and/or voting threads to allow the community to collaborate on that step. You can join the project by posting and voting in those threads. But before you jump into the forum and start participating, here's a few tips to prevent you from making mistakes, and possibly receiving an infraction:
- Before posting in a CAP thread, read the forum rules and read the rules in the OP (the Original Post) of the thread. Almost every thread has specific rules, so don't assume they are all the same. If you don't follow the rules, you will be moderated. Being a new project participant is not an excuse.
- Figure out where we are in the creation process, and get up to speed. Unless you are joining in right at the beginning of a new Pokemon project, we are probably in the middle of making a new Pokemon. If so, then you need to catch up before posting your own opinions in the discussion threads.
Each CAP thread is clearly labeled in the format "CAP x - Part y - Description". That tells you which Pokémon we are making (CAP x), what step we are on (Part y), and describes the purpose of the step. If you read the OP of any given step, it will list out the aspects of the Pokemon that have been created so far. You can skim a few past threads to find out what has been considered previously.
At the very least, read the current threads for a few days before posting; this is called "lurking". You should get a feel for the general tone of the project, and what kind of participation is valued.
- Respect the judgment of project leaders. Each CAP project is assigned a Topic Leader, who is responsible for ensuring the project stays true to the chosen concept. For each step of the CAP process there is a Section Leader who is responsible for guiding discussion and determining poll slates. There are forum moderators and admins as well, responsible for overall CAP community governance. All CAP leaders are active and involved in every project, so you need to follow their lead. The CAP project has a democratic voting process for every step, but project leaders are given wide powers to keep the project moving along in an organized way. You don't have to like a leader's opinions, but you need to respect their decisions.
- Don't post like a Pokémon fanboy noob. Although we are all fans of Pokémon, everyone is expected to focus their discussion primarily on competitive concerns that can be discussed in an analytical manner. An easy way to go off-topic is to jump into a CAP discussion thread and make non-competitive comments. We call these comments "flavor" because they usually involve the general spirit, tradition, or lore of Pokemon. They don't have anything to do with the tactics or mechanics of competitive battling, which is the main focus of the project. Try to avoid discussing "flavor" and fan concerns until you are familiar with the project, and you know where and when these discussions are encouraged.
If you follow these general guidelines, you should be just fine. Feel free to join the #cap IRC channel, if you want to interact with other members of the project in real time. We welcome newcomers on the project, and look forward to your active participation. Come join the fun!