Rules

SIM POLICIES & GUIDANCE


Age & Content Ratings 






















 





Language (3)



Sex (1) 



Violence (2)



Swearing and mature language is permitted.



Mild sexual innuendo and references permitted.



Violence is permitted, with some limitations.



Platform 


The USS Alliance sim will take place exclusively on the Nova platform, and will be accessible to all members http://www.ussalliance.net/


All members of the USS Alliance sim, will be required to have a user account for this platform - and will need to be able to receive (and monitor) communications from it, without [reminders/direction] from the Alliance’s command team. 


Benchmarks 


The USS Alliance, is a ‘benchmarked’ sim. This means that the simulation follows a stricter posting guideline, which will be enforced. Casual simming will not be accommodated - if you wish to sim casually The Fifth Fleet has other options available. By joining the sim, you are committing to add to the collaborative storytelling, in line with the guidelines below. 


This sim operates in a novel-style format. The USS Alliance is not a place for writers who do not enjoy taking time to compose quality work. Members of this SIM should have the ability to write high-quality and descriptive posts. 


Writers should have a good understanding of the English language and written word. That being said – we acknowledge that everyone tends to have oversights in their writing (e.g. slight grammatical error, misspelling) – this is completely acceptable.


Writers should endeavour to post 1 quality post per week (~500 word minimum), but no less than 2x per month. More importantly however, if writing a joint post with fellow crewmates, it is both respectful and necessary to acknowledge TAGS within 2 days, and respond within a maximum period of 5 days. 


If you hold multiple characters – it is not a requirement to post for EACH character weekly. However – you should endeavour to keep the journey for that character moving. If you have a character that is not active, due to having too many, there really is no point in having said character… Right?


Etiquette 


It is more enjoyable for all players when posts show great subjective/objective detail and facilitate a journey into the inner workings of a character. Basically… messy/lazy writing will not be tolerable. There are plenty of other games out there if that is what you traditionally produce. 


When joint posting, all writers must progress the plot and contribute to the posts content. Single line, dialogue responses are generally not acceptable and are strongly discouraged. As a collaborative effort, one writer should not being doing the ‘heavy lifting’. 


Proofread your posts, before submitting on NOVA. 


Characters  


All primary characters are required to have a fully completed biography on the USS Alliance’s Nova. It is important that writers adhere to this biography, as it will be used by your crewmates to base their own interactions with you on. You should keep it up-to-date. Secondary characters should have a basic biography, that you can build on overtime.


Playable NPCs, unless related to a primary character, are not required to have a full biography. You are however strongly encouraged to develop biographies for NPCs as well. 


Developing Additional Characters


We encourage you to develop more than one character! Simply put – you will have more to write and greater opportunities to interact with other players. This also enriches the overall story and universe – gives us various perspectives from all possible avenues.


Writers encouraged you to develop multiple characters. However – all new members will start with one main character and the opportunity to bring an additional in right away. The maximum character slots for players is 4. 


A player may not hold more than one senior/department head position. 


Example:


A new player joins and takes the reigns as Chief Science Officer (with a rank of Lieutenant). The new player also wants to play a secondary character. They elect to propose a Nursing Officer character (with rank of Ensign). This is approved. The new player has two fully developed biographies for the game and can start writing both characters right away. 


Example:


A seasoned player currently writes the Chief Engineering Officer, a Medical Officer and wants to develop a Stellar Cartography specialist. This player does a great job at posting with both existing characters and is respectful in their replies to other players (re: 5 days). This new character is approved, biography is made, and the player can now write for all 3 characters. 


Example:


A player that currently writes for Chief Helm Officer and Armory Officer wants to develop a third character. The player currently struggles to provide a thread weekly and is late in their replies to crewmate’s TAGS. Due to the player’s struggle to maintain two characters – a third character is denied at that time. If the player can prove their interest / writing practices in the future, it may be revisited. 


Basically… A new and additional character to the game is on a case by case basis with several contextual factors. There will also be several NPC characters developed which you may use, as required – these do not count as player characters. 


Mission Day, Timeline and Locations


It is incredibly important that players check the timeline of previous posts and plan their writing accordingly. The mission day field tells readers what, believe it or not, mission day the post takes place in. If you are unsure of what mission day your post should be set to, check with the command staff. NEVER leave this at 0 or it will go to the wrong place in the story and will be out of sync with story continuity.


The time field is as equally important as the Mission Day field. Both ensure the posts are displayed on the system in the correct order. Players should not set their first posts of a mission before the first IC post of the command staff as this, again, has the potential to mess up continuity. Note, the first IC post does NOT include the Chapter Synopsis that is posted at the start of each chapter.


The location field is how you tell your readers where the post takes place, whether on the ship or somewhere else. It should always be written as the immediate location (e.g. room, building, or other descriptor) followed by the general location (e.g. ship, installation, planet) at the start of the post. 


Example:


‘Main Engineering, USS Alliance’ or with more detail;


‘The Premier’s Dining Room, Regents Palace, Voth III’


Changing Location Mid-Post


 


It is sometimes necessary to change location in the middle of a post, to do so, you should use the <hr> tag between the last line of the previous location and the location tag for the new location, which should be set out as follows. New location tags should be encased in <center> and <b> tags to ensure they stand out for all readers.


Example: The shuttlebay faded into darkness as the craft finally disappeared into the darkness of space.
<hr>
<center><b>[Wescott Room, Palais De La Concorde. 20 Minutes Later.]</b></center 


Point of View and Tense


As such, all posts must be in third person (i.e. replace “I” with “Jane”) and written in the past tense (i.e. replace “I am doing” or “Jane does this” with “Jane did this”).


Personal logs, dialogue, and monologue (aka speech) are the exceptions to this rule. They should be written in first person and present tense format. Personal logs, in particular, should read like the written transcript of the character’s personal log recording.


Communications Systems


It is a well-known fact that all areas of Starfleet, alien space forces (e.g. Klingon Defense Force), and even most civilian groups use some form of communications system (aka comm system). 


These systems utilize a variety of communications equipment. In the case of Starfleet and others, this includes a small combadge worn on the breast of an individual’s uniform. Communications can also be established through computers in all Federation facilities. 


It is encouraged that you distinguish between dialogue in a room, and dialogue occurring over communication systems. The only time specific formatting is required for the communications system is when the computer is speaking or a person who is not at your present location is speaking over the system to you. 


Messages coming over the communications system should be formatted with ‘=/\=’ before them, to demonstrate the clear use of a communications system.


Example: 


“=/\=Nixon to All Hands. Prepare for slipstream velocity” the Captain announced as he rose from his chair and moved towards the young officer manning the helm. 


For any responses to your communications (the character you are talking to, the computer etc), their response should be put into italics (using the <i>and</i> tags) AND use the =/\= symbol.


Example: 


<i>“=/\=Captain, this is Main Engineering. The slipstream core is unstable, I advise against using the drive at this moment.”</i> the message from Chief Engineer came over the comm system with a crackle. 


Thoughts & Telepathy 


It will also sometimes be necessary to illustrate what your character is thinking at a particular moment. In order to differentiate thoughts from regular speech or descriptive narrative (i.e. regular text), all thoughts should be put in italic text, such as in the following example:


*<i>Strange sense of timing,</i>* Eniara thought.


Some races (e.g. Betazoids, Vulcans, Remans, etc.) have some minor telepathic abilities. They can sometimes sense the thoughts of others or project their thoughts into the minds of another individual. Telepathic messages and thoughts should be enclosed by tildes (~) and be in italics, such as in the following example:


*<i>~ I know what you are thinking! ~</i>*


Closing Posts


Players are discouraged from attaching character signatures to the bottom of any post before submitting it for posting. Posts are sent out via email and registered on the site itself and both contain a list of participating characters. It is therefore not necessary to include any form of signature. 


Any posts that contain signatures will be edited without warning.


Disciplinary Actions


Failure to consistently meet requirements laid out here will result in a conversation with the Command Team. Attempts will be made by the Command Team and relevant departments heads to work with the player to improve their post formatting. If this proves insufficient, the player may be required to have all of their posts moderated before they are posted to the website until improvements are evident.


Although extremely rare, players who still do not meet post formatting expectations after all other measures have been exhausted may be removed from the sim.


It is possible for individuals who have been removed for quality issues to be reinstated. 


However, they must discuss the matter with the Commanding Officer and commit to a plan of action that will work toward meeting the formatting requirements.


Comments and Feedback


Please feel free to reach out to your commanding officer or the sim command staff if you have any questions, comments or feedback regarding this policy.


Discord  


While not required, you are encouraged to join the USS Alliance’s Discord. This is a live chat platform similar to IRC. We use this to discuss the plot, provide briefings and generally engage with each other as a community.


Credits & Acknowledgements


Vesta Specifications based on Vesta Class Specs by Starbase 400 


Deck Listing based on Vesta Class Specs by Pegasus Fleet 


Excerpts for Sim Policies and Guidance by Star Trek: Intrepid & Star Trek: Homefront RPGS.