Training Tutorial 1

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Cadet Orientation

Tutorial 1: Where do I go from here?

You've just seen the introductory sim from the trainer, and now you may be a little confused as to what you're supposed to do. This tutorial will teach you about what all the "signage" in a sim is, and how to respond.

First, think of simming like a mystery book. Each of us writes a chapter and then passes it on. By the time we take another turn (the next time we sign on) the book may be right where we hoped or it may be completely different from what we envisioned.

There are two ways you can take part in this collective story. The first is when someone has asked you to do something. For example, your commanding officer could ask you: "How many bad guys are down there, Ensign?" Upon receiving a question like this, you would make up any answer that seems appropriate at the time.

The other way to participate is to create your own action. This is when the fun begins. For example, you could be on an away team surveying a planet. You could invent a problem, perhaps some kind of disaster, an approaching enemy, a fascinating discovery, or anything else that seems like it will work well. Now, you just add it to the plot! Our plots develop by the invention of our simmers.

So what are all those symbols the trainer used? That's called the "script format" for simming. It has its roots in theater, and is an action-oriented way of writing. Everyone in the group sims this way. Here’s how it works:

A sim always begins with the characters location in parenthesis. This allows the readers to instantly know the frame of reference for the scene, and set the background.

e.g. ((Sickbay, USS Centris))

Actions are always contained between double colons.

e.g. ::The captain shook his head in disbelief, and turned to leave his quarters.::

Internal dialogue (your characters thoughts) is contained between oO and Oo. These are simply upper, and lower case letter O.

e.g. oO I wish he would stop that. Oo

To express telepathic communication, put the dialogue between tildas ~ which are usually found to the left of the number 1 on your keyboard.

e.g. ~ Captain, where are you? ~

To show your character’s speech, begin the line with your character’s last name. Some ships use UPPERCASE letters, others use standard case.

e.g. PICARD: All hands, brace for impact!
or Picard: All hands, brace for impact!

Communication via personal communication badges is represented by =/\= ( = / \ = ) and is again preceded by the speakers name.

e.g. PICARD: =/\= Picard to the bridge. =/\=


1. Always include a unique subject line: Captain Jean Luc Picard - All Good Things…
2. Include location tags every time your character moves: ((Bridge, USS Centris))
3. Make sure every sim includes your signature, like so:

 Captain Jean Luc Picard
 Commanding Officer
 USS Enterprise-E

4. Be responsive: A good sim will answer any questions asked of your character.
5. Move the plot along: All the action in any good story is moving us towards the climax of the plot. Be sure you're contributing something useful, even if it's just insights into what your character is thinking.
6. Incorporate others: Other players want to be interacted with, and it feels good when others do the same for you! Whenever possible, have your character interact with others. This is where the tagging system comes into play, which you’ll learn more about later. (Watch the training officer for examples.)
7. Show us your character: Give the readers an indication of who your character is, what motivates him or her, what interests him or her, or what bores him or her. Show us what life is like for your character!


Starfleet Academy