- This is a transcript of the Monthly Fleetwide "Year of the Commodores" chat, which took place on 239811.21. All responses are reproduced as-is, with no corrections of spelling, grammar, etc. Non-relevant messages (e.g., GIFs) have not been transcribed. Special formatting (e.g., italic and bold text) has not been carried over.
|T+0:00||Serala||Alright, everyone! It's here at last! Our Monthly Fleetwide Chat. This month, we're speaking with our 6 Commodores and asking the questions each of you want to know the answers to.|
|T+0:00||Serala||We have a thread started. If you want to ask some questions, please drop them in there and we will get as many as we can get to.|
|T+0:02||Serala||Now, let's introduce our Commodores
Commodores, please introduce yourselves and tell us which ship/installation you command.
|T+0:03||Nicholotti||Kalianna Nicholotti, aka Marissa, formally in command of the USS Excalibur - A as of a few days ago. 🙂|
|T+0:03||Taybrim||Hello! My name is Jamie and I play Commodore Sal Taybrim, Commanding officer of that big old Trojan Class II Starbase whose name you might be familiar with: StarBase 118 Ops!|
|T+0:04||Reynolds||I'm Emma, player of Vice Admiral Quinn Reynolds, and I command the USS Gorkon. :sovereign_class:|
|T+0:04||Vataix||Roshanara Rahman, aka Rich, and now playing as Ambassador Rivi Vataix for @amity Outpost!|
|T+0:05||Rajel||I'm Jess playing Jalana Rajel the CO of the USS Constitution (or as we call her: Conny)|
|T+0:06||Kells||Hey! I'm Tony, currently playing Aron Kells, CO of Thor (though both of those are likely to change soonish) (stay tuned!)|
Question: Finding inspiration
|T+0:06||Serala||Thank you, Commodores, and thank you for taking time out to be here today.
Now, let's get to the questions. First up, we have a question from @FltAdml. Wolf
How do you stay inspired with writing after all these years as a CO!
|T+0:07||Wolf||So amazing that we have this many people with this much experience! +1 to thanks for being here during the chat today to share your wisdom with everyone.|
|T+0:08||Shayne||prepares to take copious notes|
|T+0:08||Raga||prepares to copy from Shayne's notes|
|T+0:09||Sevo||prepares to steal Shayne's notes|
|T+0:09||Ohnari||hopes all ships remain as is while the Commodores are away|
|T+0:09||Nicholotti||Honestly, a lot of it is the community, my ship, my players...for everything I try to put together for them, they provide just as much for me in the way of creative light along this path of collaboration.|
|T+0:10||Taybrim||For me staying inspired comes from two things. One is - I've been a DM/ST/CO/game master for many years. since 1996. This includes over 15 years of online chat STing and over twenty years of simming. So part of it is I love storytelling. It's one of my passions.
The second is collaboration. Telling all those stories yourself is hard but bouncing ideas off of others, giving them the agency to write their own ideas and building as a group keeps momentum going long term.
|T+0:11||Kells||Yeah, +1 to what Marissa & Jamie wrote about collabing. BUT I'm also going to add in that when you're around for a long time (a long, long, long time), it's also important to be flexible, because the folks around you change a lot. even if you have, say, a really reliable simmer who sticks around for a couple of years -- which is itself a LONG time -- it's important that you're able to craft stories with and around everyone, before, during, and after that person's here and gone|
|T+0:12||Rajel||I've been a roleplayer since I was 8.. there are always stories in my mind and coming online when I was 18 to start RP with people across the country at first and then across the world just fueled that to the brim and lets it run over 😄
My inspiration comes from the community, the crew, the stories they write, their biographies, the chat even that comes up with the funnest ideas based on one little word at times and I also may be inspired by books and TV and all that but he biggest part is the excitement to write the stories with people who are just awesome and the surprise of seeing where they will go because the collaborative nature always brings surprises 🙂 It just doesn't get boring.
|T+0:12||Vataix||For me, it’s three things:
1) my crew is constantly changing: new members, returning members, members with new ideas for missions and story arcs for their characters. So there’s always something new—a new challenge, a new story possibility, character relationship—to explore.
2) I think the key to longevity in the game is to make sure you still have your own stories to tell. I’ve played seven or eight PCs I think at this point, Rahman for the longest, but once I was happy with her central story being told, I was ready to try a new character and new story to tell. I think if you start to lose inspiration or can’t think of more for your character, maybe that’s okay to just let them take a break from the spotlight (or give them a real conclusion)
3) keep reading, watching, and otherwise consuming other great stories around you for inspiration
|T+0:12||Taybrim||After you do it long enough you get used to changes 😂|
|T+0:14||Rajel||I agree about the having your own stories to tell too.. so important! You may be the CO and want to bring other people's stories to the light but your own shouldn't be in the shadows 🙂|
|T+0:14||Reynolds||I think it's a lot of things? Like Jamie says, your crew and the community are a huge font of inspiration--I think the Gorkonites can attest to the number of times an idle comment in ship chat has become a plot twist or even an entire mission, because it sparks ideas.
But I think it's also partly knowing that a lot of time inspiration is something you make. There's a quote I love: "Serious writers write, inspired or not. Over time they discover that routine is a better friend than inspiration."
|T+0:14||Kells||Absolutely this! one of the things that I've noticed is that my sense of time has changed, so what seemed like a long time doesn't necessarily any longer. that could just be that I'm older now, though... I was late teens when I first played around with 118 and now I'm mid-30s|
|T+0:14||Raga||Ohhhh, so that's why you let your ship lose a nacelle and yourself get captured. 😛|
|T+0:15||Taybrim||I have an inspirational card on my mirror that simply states: "everything starts with an idea"
The concept is that when you have an idea you can push it aside or act. a lot of inspiration is saying yes and acting on ideas. acting on your crew's ideas and your own ideas
|T+0:15||Ohnari||I figured she lost a bet.|
|T+0:15||Nicholotti||Or sometimes you sacrifice so that there's a good story for everyone, including you. 😉|
Question: Favorite memory from early years of simming
|T+0:16||Serala||Awesome insight, thanks. Our next question also comes from @FltAdml. Wolf
Do you have a favorite memory from your early years as a simmer that really got you hooked on simming long-term?
|T+0:16||Taybrim||uhm... early years as a simmer or early years simming with StarBase 118?|
|T+0:16||Raga||"Lol, that had to be one hell of a bet for Momma Bear to put herself and her ship through that. I figure she lost a bet with Wolf. xD|
|T+0:16||Ohnari||"Never specified who the bet was with|
|T+0:18||Taybrim||What got me hooked on simming was when I joined a PbEM that is long since dead sim named "Liberty Fleet" where the admins had broken away from a different fleet that had a bunch of of restrictive rules and generally the CO's rules their ships with a tyrannical iron fist and created a small fleet based on the players having freedom to direct the story. That was the first time I really felt like I clicked with a game and wanted to actively continue playing|
|T+0:19||Nicholotti||All of my favorite memories involve the more intricate stories I got to weave with others, both here and in the group I played Kali in prior. Just being able to toss in an idea and see where other people took it was amazing to me.|
|T+0:19||Taybrim||Long story short it was a wonderful sim for about five years until the admins (a married couple) announced they were having twins and couldn't admin anymore. Everyone stayed friends, I still chat with them on Facebook|
|T+0:20||Rajel||UFF that is a hard one because there are so many memories that now I come up with none LOL Well I think that it was coming from a hiatus of Roleplay, after having a bad experience in an RP i was with for almost 20 years and after 4 years of a break coming into SB118 and not really expecting that it would be as great as I remember RP (sorry lol). And I was met with so much welcoming warm energy and support and boy they even gave me a mentor and it was the CO himself .. that I just knew this is a whole other level from the Rps I had been part of before. And I saw that even the ideas that in my old RPs would have been marked as "too wacky" had a place and were integrated with joy and received so well... I had a feeling then that I would stay for a longer time. And it didn't take too long that I couldn't imagine not being part of it any more 🙂|
|T+0:21||Reynolds||I surely do.
Fresh ensign Quinn Reynolds, simming on her first posting, and all the officers I was assigned with took a LOA at about the same time, while the rest of the crew were on a planet-based away team and couldn't get back to the ship.
So Captain Rhys brought his PNPC over and we spent an entire mission simming together in a desperate scramble to save the Triumphant from being destroyed in a subspace anomaly. Dodging hull breaches, explosions, and rigging a shuttle to take over the helm controls so we could fly the ship out of there.
I learnt so much on that one mission about how to sim, how to sim well, how to collaborate, how to share the spotlight. The CO made me feel welcomed, valued and fun to sim with, plus I got one of the best simmers in the fleet all to myself. 😂
|T+0:21||Vataix||There are so many… and I can remember doing an “early ensign trope” where I put my character in life and death danger and ended it with an OOC note about how my character’s (Tenzin Zhou) fate is up to everyone else haha. Looking back I’m sure my first CO and her command staff must have rolled their eyes but they guided me through how to really get the most of this collaborative story telling.
And so that brings up one of my favorite early memories was a fleet blockbuster Operation Bright Star I believe (although I may be misremembering) where the bridge scene players were simming combat and one of them mentioned that artificial gravity was knocked out on some decks. Well, being a medical officer at the time in sickbay I used that in our sickbay scene where we lost gravity and everyone else there played along. Seeing how one end of the story can affect the other helped kindle my love of this game
|T+0:21||Rajel||and a non SB one was that I met my best friend (like 22 years ago) and RL boyfriend (21 years ago) in a Star Trek Pbem... and we are still happy and dorks LOL|
|T+0:21||Kells||ooooh what a good question! this isn't super specific, but I did have a really supportive CO early on (Robin Phoenix if anyone wants to jump into the wiki archives) who supported the side plots that I wanted to introduce. it ended up pivoting one whole mission in a kind of James-Bond-esque time travel direction, which was a complete 180 from what it had been, and we all just kinda ran with it. I'd been around for a few missions by that point but had never done any kind of RPG before, and it was the first time I really felt like I could have a major impact on where the mission went. also, Fred (who played Robin Phoenix) was super supportive and vocal about that, and very much influenced my CO style|
|T+0:22||Kells||speaking of, David (aka the Captain Rhys Emma mentioned here) was my other big this is how you do COing influence. he was amazing!|