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Posting Guidelines

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:09 am
by Molly D Hall
Here are a few guidelines to follow when writing your logs. Please read through them. They've been tested and proved time and again. :-)

NOTE: Because Olympus IV is undergoing a format change in the near future, these guidelines will be updated for that format soon. The current guidelines are for the current format of the sim.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:10 am
by Molly D Hall
#Subject Headings#

Putting a heading on everything we send out helps those out there that are in more than one sim. Here's a simple format that'll help everyone organize what they've got through the subject heading.

Sim Type-of-message: Subject-title
ie: IV LOG: The Journey Begins

There are three basic types of messages. Logs, not sim related, and out of character. (This came from the RES Firestorm.)

LOG: for any type of log, personal, official, or action.
NSR: Not Sim Related
OOC: Out Of Character

There's a two letter identification code (thanks to Outpost 77) that should be included in the subject heading. For this sim, "IV" seemed appropriate, since this is Olympus IV Colony. It seemed to make the most sense.

It helps keep everyone organized and, for those of you who are in multiple e-mail sims, you can understand.

Another little thing that's handy for us all is another head in the body of the log. Example:

::CO's Action Log, SD 49702.26::
<<Takes place during "Wowser!" and after "People Need
<<Written by Molly.>>
Location: Operations, Olympus Base 1, Olympus IV

This will give people an idea who wrote the log, when it takes place, where it takes place, and what type of log it is. This is also helpful for the CO, who has to keep track of all these things.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:12 am
by Molly D Hall

Before out of character (OOC) comments, please use two triangle brackets around the comment.

<<I'm sorry for not writing a log in the past week. My
computer broke down and was in the shop.>>

There are three types of logs that can be used in Olympus. The first [the most frequently used] is the Action Log. The action log is pretty self-explanatory. The second is the Duty Log. Duty Logs [since they will be "read" by your CO/XO] should be formal and consist of facts. The third log is the Personal Log. This is where your character expresses their feelings or where they can talk about whatever they wish...but make sure the log is appropriate for the sim. If you say, "I wished I had never transferred here", in the next log don't have your character enjoying life at the Colony.

While you won't be asked to give the exact date, time, minute and second of your logs, it would be helpful if you put a stardate on your log in this format:
Example: 49912.03

Try to use spelling and grammar checks on your logs and stories, to make them easier for everyone to read. Also, proofread your work. It's very easy to leave out key words when you're typing fast.

Example: I walked out of the and saw it there. "That explains
everything!" I said to myself.

Nothing here would be picked up by a spell check, but it still leaves the reader clueless.

Write your stories either in third person or in first person. You may switch from story to story, but don't change your point of view in the middle of the story.

A major part of e-mail simming is respect. Respect is not just doing what your senior officers say because they have a higher rank than you. It's being nice to people, making yourself likable even if your character isn't. Here are a few things not to do.
* Don't use obscenities or rude language.
* Don't embarrass other simmers by going back on something they said.
* Don't hit the "Reply to All" button and point out that what they have
described is impossible in the Star Trek universe.
Basically, treat others how you want to be treated.

When quoting from someone's log, try to use the "Copy-Paste" options in your edit menus. Or, at least write down what they said on paper before deleting their message. This prevents mix ups and misunderstandings later on.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:13 am
by Molly D Hall

You will probably want to use other people's characters in your stories. It's hard to work in a colony like Olympus and never see anyone else. If you just bump into someone in the turbolift and say hi, that's probably okay without talking to them. If you want to have a friendly conversation with another character in your story, you should write it and then send it to that person for them to check and approve before sending it out to the whole crew.

For example, if they were about to make their character a manic depressive, they wouldn't want someone writing them into a cheery conversation.

If you want another person to play a major role in your story, you should
consult with them first.

For example, if you are the Operations officer working on a joint project with the Tactical officer, you would have to send private e-mail to each other to work out the storyline together. Then you would act out what you planned through stories and logs.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:20 am
by Molly D Hall
#Rewards & Punishments#

Okay, so maybe punishment wasn't the right word to use, but, if I were taken off the string of a great groups of writers, I'd consider that a punishment. Anyway, here are some rules that will help keep the story moving along.

1. One log per week. If you cannot post, please contact the CO ahead of time.

2. If you do not post and do not contact the CO, you are on probation. You must post at least once a week (or contact the CO if you cannot) for the next four weeks in order to be off probation. If you miss a week during probation, probation restarts from that point (four weeks from the missed post). You will also have 10 points deducted from your promotion score (see below).

3. If you do not post and do not contact the CO for two weeks, you will be removed from the list and your position will be held for one week. You will also have 20 points deducted from your promotion score. If you do not contact the CO by the end of that week, you will be replaced and all promotion points will be lost.

Now, for those of us out there who post several times a week, here are some rewards.

1. Each type of log has a point value. As explained before, there are several different types of logs. A duty log, in which the character gives an update on a project or the status of the department to the Commanding Officer of that department, is worth 1 point. These are the lowest because, if Starfleet were real, they'd basically be required. An action log, in which the character interacts with other characters or goes on a mission or has an accident in the lounge, is worth 2 points. This isn't worth the most because action logs are basically day to day stuff and you always do day to day stuff. A personal log, in which the character sits down in his/her quarters and basically creates an audio diary to the computer, is worth 3 points. These are worth more because not everyone keeps a diary, hence, not everyone in Starfleet keeps personal logs. Their more like extra credit logs. Also, any logs posted over the once a week requirement is worth 1 point.

2. You also get points for recruitment. Each new member you recruit into the sim gives you 1 point. At three members, you get 2 points. At five members, you get 3 points. After that, you get 1 point for each additional member, 3 points every additional five members.

3. We've also developed a reward system for our best writers. Each week, a log will be selected as the "Log of the Week". The writer of this log (or each writer, for those joint efforts between members) will receive 2 points as a prize. We will also have "Quips & Quotes" every month. If you get a notable quote, you get 1 point.

4. Now, why do you earn points? To get promoted. It isn't necessary to keep track of your own points and worrying about when your next promotion is always makes the sim less fun. It's better to be surprised by a promotion than anything else. However, for those of you out there who find the need to worry, here you go:

a. When you first sign on to a sim, you usually start at the rank of Ensign. This is because most newbies at a post start there. Occasionally, you'll have a cadet join you in field study during their last year at the Academy, but that's rare. Another occurance that happens is that someone will start with the rank of Lt. This newbie usually applied directly for a chief position that happened to be open.

b. 1st Promotion: This promotion usually is a surprise to the recipient. You have to have accumulated 50 points, 70 for Department Heads, (about 25 action logs, 35 for Department Heads) to reach this position. At one log a week, this takes about six months. Usually, the first promotion is Ens -> Ltjg. Sometimes this changes to Ens -> Lt because a Department Head leaves the sim and the only assistant to take the position is an Ens. Again, sometimes it will be Lt -> LtCdr because the person was immediately assigned to a Chief position.

c. 2nd Promotion: Now, it goes up 10 points. Second Promotion = 60 pts for non-Department Heads, 80 pts for Department Heads.

d. 3rd Promotion: Again, another 10 points. 70 pts for non-Department Heads, 90 pts for Department Heads.

e. Each promotion comes at 10 points more than the last one.

All things diserve public recognition. "Log of the Week" and "Quips & Quotes" will get awards that will be placed on their bios on the website. For recruitment, 1 person receives a Commendation, 3 people receives a Silver Commendation, and 5 receives a Gold Commendation. All will be placed on your bio on the website as you receive them. These awards and commendations can be kept with your bio if you ever take your character to another sim.

Of course, not posting is not the only way to lose points. Sometimes someone will write a log that has nothing to do with the current storyline, or someone will overstep their bounds in a log and write more of the storyline than that person should. Here's some more things to watch out for.

1. Abuse of Character: Sometimes you get carried away in a story and write in other characters. Send the draft to the other characters first and get their opinions on how you handled their characters. If you did something blaringly wrong, they'll tell you. Of course, if you send the story to the group as a whole without checking first, they won't appreciate it. This will cost you 3-5 points, depending on how bad the character abuse is.

2. Overwriting: Another problem in e-mail sims is major overwriting. Sometimes, someone will change what was said in a previous log. Another problem is taking the storyline too far. Also, never make a decision for another character. Let that writer take care of their own character. If you ask your CO for permission to do something, don't assume that the CO will let you. Sometimes, something you do might mess up the planned plot and, if you have the CO giving permission for an action in your log when your CO wouldn't have given it, that can seriously cause problems. That will cost you 5-7 points, depending on how much of an overwrite you do and if it can be fixed or not.

3. Spamming: Everyone hates spam mail. E-mail sims are not set up for people to send out sexual advertisements (or advertisements of any kind), forwards, and chain letters to one another. They are set up for people who enjoy writing fiction and want to interact with other people in their writing. For spam mailing, you could lose anywhere from 5 to 10 points, depending on the nature of the mailing.

4. Occasionally, someone will do something totally drastic and anger a lot of other people on the sim. This usually is a log that has nothing to do with the story, drastically changes the story, or overly abuses several characters (perhaps killing them or getting them mortally wounded). This offense is usually the greatest and will cost you 10 points and earn you a spot on probation. If it's really bad, you could possibly be demoted in rank or dismissed from the sim.

Be careful of these things. You will be notified if these offenses occur. Some of these can be serious offenses. If you rack up too many, or you rack up a few really serious ones, you risk demotion in rank. Please be wary when you post. The person you've hurt will have the option of pressing the issue or dropping it, with the CO acting as a final judge. However, if you feel you must, you can always go to the FKA JAG officer,, to appeal the action. This is used in only the most drastic of situations (such as dismissal from the sim or a demotion).

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:21 am
by Molly D Hall

The main way e-mail simming differs from live simming is that in a live sim, the crew acts out a storyline the Captain has thought out beforehand, while in an e-mail sim, the crew writes the story together. A commonly asked question is "Exactly how much of the plot can I write?" Well, that's a very good question with no real concrete answer. There are, however, a few guidelines to follow.

1. Don't do anything that affects the colony as a whole UNLESS directed by the CO or the XO [Example- The doctors release a deadly virus into the outpost's ventilation]

2. Please do not kill off other characters, but NPC's are an exception. But this guideline goes back to Rule #1, don't have a serial killer loose in the colony.

3. If you have no clue about what to write, find someone and do a joint log with them.

4. Above all, HAVE FUN and enjoy yourself! You didn't join the sim to have a terrible time! :-)