Every game has a few rules – we’re no different. Let’s make this as simple and painless as we can, shall we?

1: How to play
It’s pretty easy. You need to write once a week for your character: that means a log, or post, about what they’ve been up to. That can be a joint log with another character where they’re interacting – or it could be an ensemble log, typically at a major story point, where you contribute to a larger piece.

Our primary storylines are missions and they last between 3-6 weeks. You’ll receive some tips on what your character might be doing but a lot of it is up to you to write and decide. You might be given a specific task to fulfil, or you might be told what the outcome needs to be, leaving it up to you to work out the details. It sounds like fun – and it is!

Quite often we start, progress or finish these plots with an ensemble post. This is like a joint log but several characters are in the same place at the same time, responding and pushing forward a key moment in the story.

In between missions we have shore leave, or downtime, where you’re free to write your character having a break, interacting with other characters or perhaps pursuing a solo mission of their own. Often, this is when you’re given some time to develop your character, make fantastic/evil plans for them, and interact with your fellow officers.

For some examples of all of the above, check out our archive!

2: Technicalities
It sounds like the posting frequency is a major issue and, yeah, we need you to make a certain commitment in order to keep the flow of the game going. But if you need to skip a week or if life is giving you a rough ride or you are suffering from writer’s block, all you need to do is let us know. (See ‘4: Communication’, below.)

Every week the command team posts the Sim Report: a handy summary of the plot so far, what’s happened in the last week, what’s coming up and the current status of other writers. It helps everyone stay on the page and, of course, to catch up if they’ve fallen behind.

3: Don’t be a dick (aka: what not to do)
Rule three: Don’t. Be. A. Dick. Here’s what we mean by that:

a: Star Trek is about diversity – or, as the Vulcans put it, infinite diversity in infinite combinations. The Lone Star prides itself on being inclusive and non-disciminatory and we have a no-tolerance policy when it comes to abuse, whether that’s about gender, ability, sexuality, race or culture. That means both IC (in character) and OOC (out of character). This is your only warning.

b: Like any hobby, simming is an investment of time. We are here because we want to be. That means we expect you to make a reasonable effort to play. Contribute, provide feedback, spell-check your work: that’s the basics. But there’s also this…

c: Simming is a hobby. It’s something we do in our spare time to have fun. We request and expect you to respect that and do your best to facilitate it. Don’t take on too many games; don’t be pushy or disrespectful to other writers; don’t make it hard for people to write with you. In the end, it pretty much comes down to communication (see point 4).

d: Don’t let your character be a dick. If someone’s talking to you, saying “yeah” and ignoring them isn’t going to make for a great log. Not reading what they’re doing or saying to your character is not going to be fun for them. Give them room to react and interact – then they’ll be able to do the same for you.

4: Communication
As with most things in life, the smooth operation of our sim relies on communication. Luckily, this is the 21st/25th century and there are many ways to make that happen!

The main thing is to keep in touch with the command team. If you tell us what’s going on we can make the game work for and with you. We can’t help you if we’re out of the loop. Most simmers have a busy real life (RL) and it has a habit of coming to bite us when we least expect it – but if we don’t know, we can’t help.

It’s simply done. Either you email us individually or send a message to the command list. Alternatively, you find us on Discord to have a chat. Everything you tell us is taken in strictest confidence.

Remember that you’re writing with other humans, too. If you’re mid-plot or mid-JP with another writer, do try to let them know so they can make adjustments if necessary.

5: That’s it: have fun!
Pretty simple, isn’t it? We’re all here to have fun so, rather than make a prohibitive checklist, we’d rather you just sound out another writer or a member of the command team if you’re not sure.

Appendix A: Glossary
We’re going to add to this section later with some IC and OOC definitions. If you don’t already, we’re afraid you’re going to have to wait until then to find out what IC and OOC mean!