Constitution-B Simming Guide
- 1 Formatting your sims
- 1.1 Subject Lines
- 1.2 Formatting
- 1.3 Contributions
- 1.3.1 How long do I have to wait after I post before I can again, if nobody in my plot answers?
- 1.3.2 So, I posted three times on Tuesday, I’m done for the week, right?
- 1.3.3 Adding to the story
- 1.3.4 So, just how do I tag anyway?
- 1.4 Shore Leave
- 1.5 Participating on the Forums
- 1.6 The Wiki
- 1.7 Tips
- 1.8 Questions
Formatting your sims
The Constitution-B corresponds to the format you will have learned in the academy, but here and there there are a few small differences that we’ll detail here:
Here on the Constitution-B we use the format of Rank Name (Including NPC Status), ‘Sim Title’ for example:
- Ensign Damian Wynter - Back on track & unexpected help
- PNPC Mark Two - Can I Help?
- MSNPC - VeeVee - The Lady in Blue
One difference from other ships you may have simmed on however, is that we don't include tags in our subjects, this is to help encourage everyone to read all of the sims that head your way - who knows, by skipping one you could be missing a masterpiece!
In this area, the obvious goal is legibility. People don’t want to struggle to read your sims anymore than you. To this end there are a few things you should keep in mind:
Receiving Gigantic Text like that can just be annoying for people to read (although it is very legible) as is very small text and it can be very hard to read! As a result, we’d recommend a happy medium of between 12 - 15px.
Excess bolding burns the eyes and besides, it is supposed to be used to emphasise things. Typically this should be limited to:
- Open tags that require a response (E.G.: Seff: Response)
- Location headers: (( Sickbay, USS Constitution-B ))
- Emphasis in your text ((i.e. Hobbs: But I really want this. ))
However, really bolding is usually unnecessary in nearly every circumstance. It will also break the flow of your sim, because the readers’ eyes will have to adjust every time again between regular and bolded text.
Colour and Fonts
This is probably the biggest thing that could harm your readability no one likes having to struggle to read light colours on light backgrounds. And having a lot of mixed fonts or even having everything one strange font can really make your posts hard to read! To this end, sticking to one font and black text on a white background is really helpful for everyone!
But wait, I copied and pasted replies from someones sim into mine and now all of the fonts are mixed up?
Don’t worry, you're not the first person to have this problem and there are lots of simple solutions! The most popular seems to be to copy and paste your sim into a program like notepad or any other plain text editor which doesn't understand formatting, then pasting it into your email before you send to make everything uniform. If you're using gMail there is also a ‘Clear Formatting’ button next to the send button, which will clear the formatting of whatever you selected for you.
Other email clients may have this option too, so if you use something other than gMail this too may be an option!
As a rule, we would like everyone on the Constitution-B to be hitting the Fleet’s Full Time requirements: at least three times a week, making 12 posts in a month. Ideally, as many of these posts should be with your primary character (PC), however posts written for either Personal Non-Player Characters (PNPCs), Non-Player Characters (NPCs), or Mission Specific Non-Player Characters (MSNPCs) will count towards it. At first this can seem like a pretty daunting number, however it is really surprising how quickly you pick up the steam!
If, however, you can’t make this for some reason please don’t hesitate to contact the Command Staff! There are many options that we can discuss with you to help you out which don’t necessarily mean forcing you to take a Leave of Absence (LoA).
How long do I have to wait after I post before I can again, if nobody in my plot answers?
The rule is 36 to 48 hours. Once you post, give everyone you tag 36 hours to respond before simming again. This gives them ample opportunity to be included in on the plot, as all of us have real lives, work, school, children, housework, etc, that can keep us from responding immediately. However that said, if those you tagged haven’t responded within 48 hours, you are strongly encouraged to post again, keeping the plot moving, as we also don’t want to hinder your fun.
What if everyone I tag responds within an hour?
Feel free to post again, the above said rule is to allow everyone a chance to post. However, remember there are 10-15 people on the ship at all times, so while we encourage big plot twists, if you do, give others an opportunity to jump on board with reacting/solving them, before closing it up. (Example: Sending a sim with an Alien Holographic AI showing up on the bridge, you are only tagging the captain and First Officer, but there are 3 other people on the bridge, don’t make the AI disappear before the 48 hours of that window expires on them too.)
What if the person I am simming with doesn’t respond in 3 or more days?
You’ve waited more than 72 hours? Well, I can understand the desire to give everyone an opportunity to respond to my tags too, but at this point my suggestion is to move on, if there’s no one else in the scene responding with you, write another set of tags, and move to tag someone else. Sometimes real life creeps up and bites us in the rear, and we don’t want to hinder your ability to have fun, so we definitely will understand if you move to another, more active, crew member to interact with.
So, I posted three times on Tuesday, I’m done for the week, right?
Would you like if you had to wait a whole week for someone to respond to your tags, because they posted all their sims in one day? Personally, I wouldn’t, because it hinders the ability to write full time, or have an interactive conversation if you are making full time by pushing the scene. The recommendation here is, write three separate times a week, and if you wish to and can write more, we would certainly enjoy the sims and activity.
Adding to the story
Creativity in your sims is not just encouraged, but is really the reason why we sim. The plan for missions is very loose and can change all the time, depending on what people write. Staff has a base idea of it, but every character, from Ensign to Captain, helps decide the direction of our missions.
That said, before you go ahead and sim 10,000 Romulan Warbirds appearing off our port bow, stop and think:
- Does this make sense in the context of the mission? Have we dealt with the Romulans in this mission? Are we even near to Romulan space?
- Is it logical? Would the Romulans have any interest in this mission?
- Is it possible? Do the Romulans have have 10,000 Warbirds?
- Does it evolve the story?
As long as you can comfortably answer all of these questions with a resounding ‘Yes!’ should you go ahead and add it. The only additional thing to think about with this, is when new additions take control of another writer's character out of that writer's hands. For example, you should never injure another character without talking to the character's writer first.
Also, feel free to be creative! We want everyone to feel free to change this because the more people exercising their creativity, the better the story is for everyone. Just remember, though, that a plausible solution would be grounded in what would make sense. A solution to the aforementioned 10,000 Warbirds (for a rather extreme example) would not be Hammer Time. This doesn’t mean that the situation would be in the box - it might be something as outre as closing the quantum rift that was causing them to appear.
Thinking outside the box and sometimes inside the box are both valid solutions to problems that will come up in sim.
Remember, if in doubt you can always contact your Mentor or a member of Command Staff to run it by!
Of course, the only way to move the plot forward is to tag people…
So, just how do I tag anyway?
This is a topic I’m sure you’ll have heard all about in the Academy but it does deserve reiterating some basic points. The average sim should contain between 3 to 5 tags per post, although obviously this is at the writers discretion. On the Constitution-B, we also mainly use two forms of tagging:
- Writer: Response
- Writer: ?
Also, there will be times when you will be assigned to work with someone. Make sure to tag them and work with them, and not just the CO, First Officer or Chief. Like in the show, people are often assigned so the Commanding Officer can pay attention to something else, handle other work, or issue other orders. It also will help you grow friendships and connections within the ship as well!
Broadly, we split writing time on the Constitution-B into two parts Mission Time and Shore Leave. During Missions, there tends to be a central plot - a bad guy to fight, a planet to save, or a new phenomenon to investigate - while Shore Leave is a time for you to explore your character and to mingle with the crew. There is not usually a central plot, so its a perfect time to go hit up the bar with a few of your crewmates, send a message home, or go climbing with that strange tactical officer.
While this is a time for your character to relax, that in no way means the writer can drop the ball on posting! Full Time rates still apply over leave!
Participating on the Forums
While it may only seem like a small thing, posting on the forums is part of being part of the wider fleet! We’re a pretty awesome bunch (even if we do say so ourselves) and would love to get to know you! The forums cover a wide variety of activities from discussions about Star Trek, to memorable quotes from ships, to even just funny image threads! If you find yourself with a little free time, there is certainly worse places to hang around.
As you’ve obviously found out, the wiki is a treasure trove of information both from an In-Character Perspective and a Out-Of-Character Perspective. For instance, every player on the Constitution-B should have a wiki page for their characters (This includes you!) which will tell you something about who they are. So, perhaps your character enjoys playing Vulcan Chess and you notice that a Vulcan Engineer does too, there is no harm in emailing the writer to see if having the two meet is something they would enjoy - you never know, both you and your character may get a new friend out of it!
The Wiki also contains substantial information about the Constitution-B herself, for instance a full deck layout and detailed statistics on her. Feel free to use this info to enrich your own sims - not to mention to find fun places to hang out during shore leave!
If you find you really enjoy helping out on the wiki, the Constitution-B is always looking on people to help out with our own pages! Not only is it fun, but its a great way to show your ready to move up the promotion ladder. Contact the Command Staff Today!
If you wonder on how you can improve your writing, you can either look at the many tutorials and the Improvement Forum, or check the Constitution-B Writing Workshop which will be filled bit by bit as we go with the workshop, which we have recently implemented.
Something not covered here, or spotted a glaring mistake? Please feel free to contact either your Mentor or any other member of Command Staff for assistance!