Command Staff Briefing (06/10/19): Press Release
Posted on Monday October 7th, 2019 @ 8:00pm by Lieutenant Commander Kanaka Shakura
Fellow Crew Mates,
As a result of the vote we held a while back following requests for more transparency between the Command Staff and the rest of the crew, the Staff will be having bi-weekly meetings to discuss the progress of the sim and other administrative matters, from which the outcomes of those meetings will be shared with you all via these “press releases”. Your comments and feedback are very much welcome and strongly encouraged, be it in private or in the public channels of our sim Discord.
The first of these bi-weekly meetings was held yesterday evening on the 6th October 2019, starting at 6:36pm EST. Commander Franklin Johnson, Lieutenant Commander Phoebe Graydon and myself were all present for the meeting. In it we discussed the following:
# The roles and expectations of the Command Staff;
# The state of communication between Command Staff, both internally and with the crew;
# The game plan for the sim moving forward, both short and long-term.
Command Staff Roles
Following recommendations put forward by Commander Johnson after a review of the Command Staff’s performance thus far, it was agreed collectively that going forward each member of the Command Staff will fulfil a clearly defined out-of-character role within the sim, in the interests of making it clearer for the crew who exactly is responsible for what and who is best to approach for a particular issue.
Commander Johnson and Lieutenant Commander Graydon are our Game Master and Deputy Game Master, respectively. They are chiefly the ones responsible for deciding the overarching plot of the sim and orchestrators of the challenges we will all face along the way, judging our success or failure depending on how we choose to respond (more on this later). It’s their responsibility to communicate these things clearly to the crew, and making sure the story keeps going. This means they will also take the lead of joint posts which concern or affect the overall advancement of the plot, so if you’re wanting to do a large joint post going forward, make sure to consult them first.
As for myself, I will now be taking on the role of Character Counsellor. Just as I’m our in-character counsellor, out-of-character I will be responsible for following the growth and development of everyone’s characters and their story arcs, being freely available to anyone to discuss how they feel about their character’s progress and to give advice and feedback. I will also be responsible for ensuring that our Game Master’s are mindful of the aspirations for our characters so that we can avoid any conflicts with the plot(s), and vice versa. It will be my responsibility to ensure all of our characters are considered during developments in the plot. If you want to start progressing your character’s arc and would like to do something to involve the rest of the crew, or something in your character arc relates to the wider plot, make sure to let me know.
None of this changes the already preexisting norms for Command Staff responsibilities. If you are in need of anything either in-character or out-of-character, you should approach either myself or Lieutenant Commander Graydon as your first points of contact, but the Commander will be available when needs be to address pressing issues.
During the meeting, the Command Staff agreed that more should be done to improve the quality of communication amongst not just ourselves but also the crew. Aside from these new “releases” after bi-weekly meetings, one of the most immediate things we’ll be doing going forward is introducing both the [GO] and [HOLD] tags for work-in-progress joint posts.
[GO] means that crew members are free to keep writing and adding to the joint post. [HOLD] means that the Command Staff are reviewing the post and that players should hold off on adding anything further without first gaining the permission of a member of the Command Staff; this is to ensure that nothing is lost during the editing process and that anything you add doesn’t contradict any changes. Any joint post that will be put on [HOLD] will be announced beforehand with the reasons why.
The Command Staff will also endeavour to give more suggestions for direction in joint posts, so as to help include more of the crew and ensure that the focus of the joint post isn’t lost in the shuffle.
If any of you feel there is anything else on the side of communication you feel could be improved, do let us know in the #suggestions-complaints channel of our sim Discord, or private message either myself or Lieutenant Commander Graydon.
The Plan Moving Forward
As of the time of this release, one of the two joint posts the Command Staff had taken down for editing - “Getting Acquainted” - is now posted and available to be read. Well done to all those who were involved and contributed!
The second, “Departure - Part One”, will soon be split into two posts: “Departure: The Bridge” and “Departure: Below Decks”. The former, being led by Commander Johnson and Lieutenant Commander Graydon, will likely be posted soon. The latter, led by myself, will be opened back up to the crew for further contributions, with the aim of finishing within a week of being put up at the latest. The idea is that these posts occur within the same space of time - the initial departure of the Poseidon - but are witnessed from two different perspectives. We’ve added the critical comm-link chatter from both posts to each other, so that when you read them, you can see what was happening at critical moments from the other perspective. The hope is that this will give more chance for crew members - in particular Below Deck - to contribute something and give a greater sense of the ship as a lived in space.
Alongside “Departure: Below Decks”, there is work being done on another joint post following on from critical events in the Departure joint posts, currently titled “Recovery”. This is going to comprise of an investigation, and Command has decided it will be the perfect opportunity to trial run the crew’s ability to use their in-character positions productively and, perhaps more importantly, effectively work together as a cohesive unit. Therefore, if you’ve been tagged for “Recovery”, make sure to read the out-of-character notes provided and start making plans with your fellow crew-mates who are also involved; the Command Staff will be on hand to assist, but it’s our hope that you as a crew will be able to lead this yourselves, as this will be valuable for the sim going forward.
If you’re not involved in “Recovery”, don’t worry! Once it’s concluded, the Command Staff has decided it will then be time to move on to our first full-fledged mission of the sim, and the start of our first major plot. This will begin with the journey to Starbase Forty-Seven. This will be reiterated closer to the time, but it’s important to note now that once this begins the actions and decisions of your characters will have consequences and begin to directly influence the course of the plot, and by extension, the success or failure of a mission. This means that there will be more instances like “Recovery” where how well you work together as a team will determine the outcome, but even your individual character exploits - where relevant - will also have an effect; it’s our role as Command Staff to challenge you, but in the hopes of making things fun and exciting.
The Command Staff Briefing concluded at 7:50pm EST. The next Command Staff Briefing will take place on the 20th October 2019 (Time TBD).
Thank you all for your continued dedication to the sim,
LCdr. Kanaka “Kana” Shakura
Chief Counsellor & Second Officer
Cmdr. Franklin Johnson
LCdr. Phoebe Graydon
Category: Sim Announcement
Tags: Command Staff, Briefing, Press Release, October 2019