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Topic: Sim Posting Guidelines? (Read 2050 times) previous topic - next topic

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Sim Posting Guidelines?
Hi there everyone!

It has come to my attention that over the years we have all come to abide to some unwritten customs when posting, like the way we tag locations and characters/writers in our posts like this:

[ Character | Location | Deck ## | USS Theurgy ]
Attn: Another Writer

Moreover, we have new features on this forum that not everyone are familiar with. Like, for example, the Drafts function that automatically saves what we write, be it posts or PMs. The trick to it is not to use the Quick Reply window at the bottom of a thread unless for "quick" replies, like in the Main OOC, greeting new members with a sentence or two. The second trick is to find your drafts when resuming to write your replies (very bottom of the threads).

Moreover, we have customs like heard radio-speech being [written inside these kinds of brackets] instead of the "regular quotation marks" used for regular dialogue. There is also the custom that we put the dialogue from other people's posts "in italics" to help the readers know that things are not being said twice, and also to help them understand what the new poster's character is reacting upon. Lastly, we have the custom to write in third person, past tense, which most people abide to already.

So, my question is if we need these customs chalked down and listed somewhere? The important thing here is that they are not exactly rules, since happening to write in present tense once or twice in your posts might be discouraged for when we make the PDFs (where I cannot easily fix the tense in posts), but it's not something I mean to be firm about. Another thing that varies is how some "colour their dialogue" in bright colours, and others don't. Its just personal preference, and both works.

Oh, did I miss any other customary things we do when posting?

Please post away with your feedback and comments on this idea about a posting guideline.


Auctor Lucan
  • Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 11:00:56 AM by Auctor Lucan

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #1
Woo Hoo. Reply #1. :)

Firstly, I think that as far as the post formatting goes, a guide to Theurgy's posting format is a great idea. Don't make it a rule per se, but providing an outline for new writers as to what is customary on here is a great idea so that (1) A visitor can better understand the posts, and (2) So a new writer can jump in easily and get posts flowing that the group understand off the bat.

Secondly, I think the spelling thing we shouldn't worry too much about honestly. Combadge vs Combadge feels a lot like the color vs colour debate that's raged between American  and British English speakers for god knows how long. Minor differences in words spelling, as long as it's understandable, is perfectly fine.
  • Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 02:27:53 PM by SummerDawn

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #2
Its a tough call for me on the lingo used - part of me wants to try and be as authentic as possible to the tv show/memory-alpha/existing books. The other part of me honestly thought it was combadges on memory-alpha hahaha.

I do think a guide is good. I personally however, am not a fan of highlighted speech text as a 'requirement'. Mostly because half of my posts are made on a phone, and it is a right bitch and a half to go in and select each line of dialogue on a phone and apply the coloring, or more so, to manually type the [ and ] needed if not using the forum to apply the color directly.

Thats just my two cents on the two topics mentioned that i care about LOL
Note: No Posting while at GenCon, 7/31-8/5/2019

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #3
Quick note: Neither of these things mentioned are meant to be rules nor requirements, just guidelines to help when in doubt. I rarely - if ever - colour my dialogue. :)

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #4
I'm willing to bet that automatic spellcheckers can account for a decent amount of the spelling irregularities with the Trek terms. I'm always having to fight iWork Pages over Starfleet and Starbase being one word, turbolifts and combadges are another battle. The funniest one for me is that it's always wanting to change Andorian to Andorran.

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #5
I think a lot of these break down to personal preference, I don't really think that anything here needs to be mandated because most people will usually do these things once they see other people doing them, or they wont.
I'm busy a lot, but I'm trying to find ways to fit posting into my schedule.

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #6
I color my dialogue if the other person does, I don't if they don't. To me that one is just personal taste and makes no real difference.

I don't see the spelling thing as too big a deal, my spell checker hates both equally (not to mention how it feels when I get a wild hare and feel like writing colour instead of color). I think as long as it is clear what the person is referring to, it should be ok. Though I think there should be a note of some sort telling people that if they aren't sure to check memory alpha or our own wiki for correct spelling.

Though I do think something about these "common practises" would not go amiss. More to show "the way things tend to be done" and less like "the way things have to be done" if that makes any sense.

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #7
Indeed, the idea I had was "the way things tend to be done" and no more. I have been asked for it a couple of times, so a very basic guideline felt worth suggesting here. The reason I have delayed in doing so is because I do not wish to enforce any rules about it, since it sends a bad grammar-nazi vibe about writing this story, which is supposed to be fun and not done in worry of messing up.

It is a balance thing, because we are all very literate and awesome writers, holding a high standard and really care about what we write. Making up rules would harm that. We might end up writing more like each other anyway, rubbing off on each other in telling the story, so forcibly reforming everyone to write exactly the same way will just take away from the experience. That is my thoughts on it; why making what I suggest rules will be a detriment rather than a strength.

So, with great moderation to the content of the guidelines, I feel they are worth making (especially in regard of using the features on the forum), but I need to make the intent perfectly clear, right?

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #8
Sounds about right, yes. Need to make the intent very clear :)
Note: No Posting while at GenCon, 7/31-8/5/2019

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #9
I will leave this thread open for more people to weigh in, and to suggest content. I have likely missed some stuff.

Are we talking about a Beginner's Guide or a Posting Guideline, though?


Auctor Lucan

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #10
I think the way we tag locations and characters/writers in our posts like this:

[ Character | Location | Deck ## | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Another Writer

is a must.  It's easy to get lost fast if its not there.

And as much as I hate to admit it, I appreciate it when other players "color their dialogue" even when I don't.  As for the "color" vs. "colour" debate, if I had my way it would be indication of the accent of the speaker.

Brit:  "Did I hear that your wife is going into labour?"
Yank:  "Why yes, she went into labor a half hour ago."

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #11
I think a Theurgy Style Guide could be written up but add a disclaimer at the top that this is only meant to be a helpful guide if needed, and not absolutely required.

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #12
We may also want to consider adding in the vector as well for when we're in MVAM mode. Or even just when a location could be on multiple vectors. K'Ren's quarters for example could be on Vector 1 (Junior Officers Quarters) or Vector 2 (Officers Quarters).

Something like:

[ Character | Location | Deck ## | Vector # | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Another Writer

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #13
Oh, I thought quarters would be reserved for certain persons. Would be odd to have multiple quarters if they're spread over multiple vectors?
Thomas Ravon: [Show/Hide]
Kythalie Benmual: [Show/Hide]
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Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #14
I think stating which vector could be very useful. Like how main sickbay and the battle sickbay are on two separate vectors :) and the latter is in a vector different from the junior officer quarters (end/ltjg)
Note: No Posting while at GenCon, 7/31-8/5/2019

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #15
@Nolan : Quarters are reserved. I was pointing out that K'Ren could in theory have her assigned quarters either on Vector 1 or Vector 2. I went with Vector 2 as it makes sense a Tac-Conn officer would be bunked on the same vector as their flight deck, despite JO Quarters on Vector 1 being the place one would expect her. So for me to keep track on things, I included the Vector # in recent posts with Deacon.

But if you also go through the list of locations, there are many duplicated locations across multiple vectors. Cargo Bays, Science Labs, Engineering systems, battle bridges, sickbays, etc.

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #16
@SummerDawn: Oh, like that! Okay that makes sense. Could be a good idea indeed in that case!
Thomas Ravon: [Show/Hide]
Kythalie Benmual: [Show/Hide]
Amelya Rez: [Show/Hide]
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Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #17
Yepp, Vectors would be good at this point in time since the ship is split up. So, when in MVAM, Vectors is definitly a part of the header. :)


Auctor Lucan

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #18
As the poll suggested, I should ask for help more. :)

So, can someone please volunteer to compile the posting guidelines as they have been discussed in this thread and post the first draft here for review? Please include a description about how these are not rules but... etc.



Auctor Lucan
  • Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 10:09:16 AM by Auctor Lucan

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #19
*bumping up, needing help with this*

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #20
I can try taking a swing at it in my spare time. This week is a little nuts so I may not get to it for a bit however.

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #21
Just poking my head up to say I haven't forgotten, just been stupid busy at work in the last few weeks. Still busy but things are a bit more flexible and relaxed time wise.

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #22
Without any sort of formal fanfare, I've attached a draft copy of the Theurgy posting guideline here for folks to pore over and nitpick.

Posting Guide for new writers.

This guide isn't intended so much to teach new writers how to write good prose, but mainly to assist in understanding some of the quirks to how we indicate the various aspects of character interactions and posts in the written world of the Theurgy.

The guide will be based off the following sample post which contains many of the aspects covered below.



Post Header:
The general format of the header line of the post is as follows:
   [ Character | Location | Deck ## | Vector ## | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Another Writer

•   The Character indicates which crewperson is responding. Many Theurgy writers have multiple characters on the ship and also write disposable NPC characters at times as well.
•   Location, Deck, and Vector help place the exact location where the post is. While locations such as the main bridge may be obvious which deck and vector they are, there are many locations aboard, crew quarters for example, that are spread across all decks and vectors.
•   While most posts take place on the Theurgy, at times your character may be sent off ship so Theurgy may be replaced with another vessel, for example the Tactical Conn folks during fighter Ops will use their fighter callsign (Wolf-03, Wolf-06, etc)
•   And the last part is the Attn: block. Basically, it's to show other writers who is to respond to your post next. Typically the writer (not the character) is referenced here, and usually as @Writer. That specific format is used by the forum software itself to indicate a writer has been tagged in a post.

Post Body:
As you read through the sample post several things should pop out:
•   Posts are written third person past tense. The action is written as if you were the camera watching the scene and reported what had just happened. If I said, "Ryuan Sel tossed Wenn Cinn the phaser", that is past tense whereas if I said "Ryuan Sel tosses Wenn Cinn the phaser," that is current/present tense. Note the verb used tossed vs tosses.
•   Quotation Marks - Used to indicate character speech that is audible to those immediately around the writer. Can be anything from muttering under their breath to outright yelling, the exact volume is often noted in the descriptive text around the speech.
•   Brackets - Used to indicate speech heard or sent over the comm system, either via combadge, computer console, or helmet worn by the pilots (amongst others). Brackets can also be used between paragraphs to indicate a shift in location, or in time such as [5min later - Bridge]
•   Italics - Used to denote the posts of other writers. In larger threads this helps the reader understand the overall continuity of the post, ie, where is fits into the overall plot and who it is in response to
•   Textual coloring - Some writers employ textual coloring to indicate speech in addition to the use of quotation marks. While not required, some writers do and some don't, the highlighting of speech text can make reading easier as speech stands out from the rest of the body of the post.

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #23
This is a really awesome draft, being about 90 % done from what I can see. I would love to use this, finalise it and pin it to the top of the Main OOC board, along with making a Wiki page for it. On that wiki page, I mean to add the awesome OOC resources that TrexelCat gave us in the latest newsletter too (hence why they have not been posted yet).

Thank you SummerDawn for this write-up! If anyone has anything to add, please chime in. :)


Auctor Lucan

Re: Sim Posting Guidelines?
Reply #24
Glad you like the draft Auctor. Sorry it took as long as it did.

I hadn't found a sample post I liked that was one of my own to use for the example, hence left a placeholder. I know it's all Theurgy writing but I prefer not to use other's work without their okay, even in this context. :)