Command Staff Briefing (20/10/19): Press Release
Posted on Monday October 21st, 2019 @ 10:31am by Lieutenant Commander Kanaka Shakura
Edited on Monday October 21st, 2019 @ 10:39am
The Command Staff has had another successful Staff Briefing. Taking place yesterday afternoon on the 20th October 2019, starting at 4:12pm EST. Commander Franklin Johnson, Lieutenant Commander Phoebe Graydon and myself were all present for the meeting. The agenda for the meeting was as follows:
1) Our current thoughts on the State of the Sim;
2) Our thoughts on the current progression of the Story Arc and plans on how to develop plotlines and mission ideas moving forward;
3) Our current feelings about Command Staff Performance and how to gauge your own opinions;
4) Our ideas on how to best create fun challenges and ‘mini-games’ for the players of the sim
State of the Sim
The Command Staff are incredibly happy with the current state of the sim. We’re incredibly proud of you all for the amazing pace, creativity and sense of community you’ve been able to carry on despite summer drawing to a close and a lot of our time becoming increasingly more limited. We all agreed that what matters most is maintaining a fun, relaxed and open atmosphere and that there was no immediate concern in any slowing of activity. LCdr. Graydon noted that our post count is actually higher than last months!
Cmdr. Johnson expressed a desire to expand the recruitment drive for the sim in order to obtain new recruits. Both he and LCdr. Graydon will be coordinating this. If you have any recommendations for places to advertise, or would like to help in recruiting, please get in touch with them.
Story Arc Planning
Next the Command Staff discussed ideas on how to improve the current progression of the Story Arc and our own efforts in Story Arc planning. After a very lengthy and productive discussion, the Command Staff will be piloting the following:
[>] There will be three types of story arc: Main Plot Arc, Side Plot Arc and One-Shot Arcs;
--- Main Plot Arcs are the biggest form of Story Arc, often forming the backbone of the entire sim’s plotline for an extended period of time. This takes place over the course of many missions and will be broken down into various ‘Acts’ as Mission Groups on the sim’s Nova page. It always in some way, either directly or tangentially, relate to everything else going on and serves as the foundation for long-term character and story development.
--- Side Plot Arcs are the next form of Story Arc, and can be split into two further categories: Side Missions and Character Arcs. These may be related to the Main Plot, but this doesn’t always have to be the case (particularly for Character Arcs). They can happen at any time either as a result of what happens in the Main Plot or as a necessary change of pace should the crew desire it. These Side Plot Arcs will usually take place within a single Mission, and in the case of interconnected side plots will be organised into individual Mission Groups on the sim for ease of access.
--- One-Shot Arcs are the last form of Story Arc, and these will be sub-plots that take place during both Main Plot and Side Plot missions as a way of making sure that everyone is involved but is also kept on their toes. They will often be instigated by what occurs during the mission and will be challenges put forward by the Command Staff (or instigated by a player’s actions!) in order to keep the crew engaged and on your toes.
[>] The Command Staff will be responsible for curating and organising the Main Plot Arc, and in the event of a Side Plot Arc an individual Command Staff member will assume responsibility as the lead (in the case of a Character Arc, the player will act as the lead in partnership with LCdr. Shakura).
[>] While the Command Staff will assume primary responsibility for creating Side Plot and One-Shot Arcs, creative suggestions from the sim crew are extremely welcome. In the case of the Character Arcs, it is strongly encouraged: Please contact LCdr. Shakura to discuss this. Character Arcs separate from the Main Plot and Side Plot are by no means compulsory, but it’s hoped that it’ll provide you a tool by which you can more deeply explore and develop your character should you wish to, as well as give you a taste of how to organise a plot for simming.
Along with all of this, it was agreed by the Command Staff that we would be happy to see the crew work on posts that explore their characters pre-Poseidon days, particularly if it’s relevant to their character arc. Should this be something the crew would be interested in, we encourage exploring these either through Mission Posts or Personal Logs; in whichever you choose to use, be sure to use the tag [FLASHBACK] in the title.
The Command Staff are still working out the finer details of this structure, so this is by no means the final version or completely set in stone. Any alterations, additions etc. will be clarified in the #announcements channel of our sim Discord.
Finally, I (LCdr. Shakura) plan in the coming days to reach out to crew members to get your thoughts on your characters and see what you’re thinking in terms of a general character arc and how both I and the Command Staff as a whole can support you in your goals for your character. You can contact me at any time if you have any thoughts or questions in this regard.
Any suggestions for Side Plots or One Shots should be sent to either LCdr. Garydon or LCdr. Shakura; Character Arc Plots should be sent directly to the latter.
Gauging Command Staff Performance
The Command Staff are pleased to note that our communication has vastly improved, in part thanks to these bi-weekly briefings. We’re also glad that as it stands right now both we as a team and you as a crew seem to be happy with our performance. However, in order to be sure that remains the case and in the belief that there’s always room for improvement, we intend to periodically ask you all - at points yet to be determined - three very important questions:
1) What do you think we, as the Command Staff, do well?
2) What do you think we, as the Command Staff, do not do well?
3) What would you like to see from the Command Staff going forward?
You can of course give us this sort of feedback at any point, regardless of whether these questions have been asked. Yet when we do ask them, the intention is to give you the chance to give us more extensive feedback should you desire to do so; this will likely occur as we progress forward through the sim and at critical junctures during the Main Plot Arc. You may address us either as a collective or you may address any of us individually; all we ask is that your thoughts remain constructive and polite at all times.
As always, should you have any immediate suggestions or thoughts concerning our performance, you can let us know either in private or by telling us in the #suggestions-complaints channel on our sim Discord.
Cmdr. Johnson did note his wish to see more Awards being distributed to the crew, especially as some were forgotten in the last month’s Award ‘Ceremony’. The Command Staff apologises for this and intends to rectify this going forward; LCdr. Graydon and LCdr. Shakura will be reviewing the Crew Awards and setting out clearer criteria in the hopes of giving clear goals for the crew and so that the Command Staff are more confident in what awards to give in certain instances.
Challenges and Games for the Sim
Lastly, the Command Staff considered one of the recent suggestions of fellow crewmate Lieutenant Canaan Serine, who suggested that we should create more challenges and games for the crew to play (e.g. puzzles, crosswords, writing challenges etc.). After some creative thought, the Command Staff are willing to give this a shot, and have decided the following:
[>] There will be In-Character Challenges and Puzzles, likely forming part of either Side Plot or One-Shot Arcs. These will be designed and coordinated by LCdr. Graydon and LCdr. Shakura; we will be continuing to look at ways of doing this going forward, so it may be some time before they begin to appear in the sim, but we hope to be able to demonstrate something to you soon!
[>] Out-of-Character Challenges and Puzzles can be put forward at any time by members of the crew who wish to take the time to design them. If you have a Challenge or Puzzle you’d like to put to the crew, please share it with both LCdr. Graydon and LCdr. Shakura for review first. Once it is approved, you may share it with the crew. There is no strict criteria, other than it should be a fun and engaging exercise.
As always, the Command Staff is eager to hear and strongly encourages your feedback and thoughts to all these points. This is a learning experience for all of us - both seasoned simmers and greenhorns alike - and one of the things that has set the U.S.S. Poseidon apart from other sims is her willingness to not only try different things, but also to take a crew-centric approach to all our decision-making. We hope this has been part of what has made this so enjoyable for you thus far, and that it continues to be so going forward.
If there are any further developments to the plans and ideas presented here, they will be clarified in the #announcements channel on our sim Discord.
The Command Staff Briefing concluded at approximately 5:20pm EST. The next Command Staff Briefing will take place on the 3rd November 2019 at a tentative time of 2:00pm EST.
Thank you all once again 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