Training Tutorial 5

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Training Tutorials

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Tutorial 5: Writers vs. characters

Now that you're aware of how simming works, it's time to learn about how to sim well. As with anything, your ability to sim well is based on how much you practice. So try and write as much as possible -- even if you don't post all of it, at least you're getting practice.

Also, be sure to pay special attention to the sims of the higher ranking officers on the crew you are posted to. They're in those positions because they sim well, so pick up any good habits you see in them.


It is important to note a distinction between the WRITER of a sim, and the CHARACTER in a sim. You, the person sitting at the keyboard, are the writer of the sim. The person you are writing about is the character. This is especially good to realize when it comes to character interaction. For example, suppose a fellow cadet has a strong dislike for Klingons, because his father was killed by a Klingon. But there's a Klingon cadet in his training group! This cadet makes the remark that he thinks Klingon's are "smelly scum of the galaxy." In this instance, the WRITERS should understand that although your fellow cadet dislikes Klingons, the writer of his character does NOT necessarily dislike the writer of the Klingon.

Remember that if someone insults your character, it’s "part of the game" and not to become insulted or hurt by this. Respond In Character, with a creative and appropriate reaction.

On that note, always given others in the game the benefit of the doubt -- don’t jump to conclusions if your feelings are hurt by something someone else did. Before you react in anger, talk to them first and ask what their intention was.


"Omniscient" means "having total knowledge." As a writer, and not a character, you are omniscient because you know everything that's going-on in the sim. To ensure that everyone can equally take part in the story, it is normal for everyone to see all the sims that everyone has written on the ship. Even if you are in shuttle bay 2, and another character is on the bridge (and thus, could not possibly hear what you are saying), you'd still allow them to see the sim. Without this, we'd have a hard time writing parts of the plot which are surprising or entertaining for our characters. You can think of yourself as an actor in a play: the actor know what the entire storyline is going to be, but their characters do not. And as actors, they must make the audience believe that their character doesn't know what will happen. But it is important for us, as writers, to know this information, because we may be able to incorporate it into our sim.

Take, for example, a fire in engineering. Geordi La Forge might be in engineering, trying to fight the fire. The computer will no doubt have realized there is a fire in engineering, and notified the bridge officers. Although the officers on the bridge may not know immediately, their writers must know, so that they can have the computer send the message.

There is, however, an exception to this rule: If you have a private question to someone, you would contact them, and only them. It is not necessary to send an e-mail to the entire group if you just want to know how one character is feeling about something.


Starfleet Academy