Who's Who - FSF Dragon 
27, July 2012, 12:08 AM
(note: This trasncript has been edited for readability)

Listen to the interview on The Super Awesome Margo Show - Episode 8

Todayís personality is FSF Dragon. He hosts the current Sim of the Month USS Firewall, as well as the former guild sim, now full sim USS Ghost Rider, and the new guild sim Star Trek: Dauntless. He also plays on Star Trek: Project Origin and USS Cadecus: MASH. Heís recently become the Assistant Boards Director and is temporarily stepping into the Interim Training Director position.

Thank you for Joining Us.

Itís a pleasure to be here.

First off how did you get started in simming?
Thatís a lot of history right there, back in I believe it was 2002 I was bored one day and sitting at home stumbling upon the computer looking for Star Trek games and fell into a different group, I canít remember the name anymore, I think it was the UFP, ended up getting absorbed by the FSF. Pretty much been doing it ever since. Just one of those things

Whatís your favorite character that youíve ever played?
Actually it was probably about 2004. I was on an independent game. I had a marine fighter pilot that was a bit disturbed in the head, he quite often heard voices and argued with himself. Got a lot of funny looks from other people kind of thing. It was a lot of fun to play that with all the mental problems going on, made for a very interesting character

Tell us about the Sims you host.
The Dauntless is the newest one itís a guild sim, trying to test the concept. I had a couple friends of mine come to me wanting to know if I knew of any Enterprise era sims and I looked at both groups I was a part of, and couldnít find a single one for them so I got talked into creating it. Itís a little slow taking off, weíve only got a few members right now but itís starting to move.

The Firewall just won Sim of the Month. I took that one over right after re-getting my host status back. She was a little slow at the time, but sheís coming around , weíre working our way through the current plot and right now itís dealing with pirates and a couple other things.

Ghost Rider, sheís my baby. This is actually the third time Iíve launched her. The first time it was a live sim, lasted for a couple years before it finally folded due to lack of members. We converted over to a email sim after that and restarted with actually there were two ships involved in that one basically a Federation ship and a Terran ship. They fought against each other a lot during the game. We had close to forty members at the peak. Had three hosts on it, one for each game and then one that worked in the middle to keep each balanced out Iím actually hoping to eventually get it back to that level. Not too long ago it relaunched again as a message board sim, independent, but we werenít able to really get the numbers needed for recruiting. We started looking for a group, decided to go ahead and go back to FSF with it, started as a guild sim. It took off pretty good here, eventually we managed to move it to a live sim and itís just really growing a lot lately. Like I said, itís my baby.

Do you have any future plans for any of those sims?
The biggest plans I have right now are currently for the Ghost Rider. Like I was saying Iím hoping to get the second ship opened up, get the Terran side of the game going again, have them get back into the competing. Itís a concept you donít see done a lot, and it really makes for interesting writing especially with some of the members that will play both sides have there Terran character and their Federation prime character.

The other two games, Dauntless weíre currently running about the last year of the Earth-Romulan War. Weíre planning on finishing that out and running at least through the founding of the Federation. So anyone who wants to be involved with that go check us out.

Firewall, havenít actually made a lot of far future plans for that one yet weíre still trying to get everything straightened out for it in the current era.

Ghost Rider just became a full sim, what made you want to start up another guild sim so soon after that getting moved?
I mostly got talked into it. I actually had no intention of starting another sim but I started realizing there was a bit of an interest in that era and decided if no one else was launching one that I might as well launch one myself.

Right now it looks like Ghost Rider is going to win SOTM, how does it feel potentially having two sims in a row up for SOTM, especially after displacing the defending SOTM for the current month?
You just put a huge smile on my face for that one. I have a lot of respect for Independence and its hosts, but it felt really good to take that spot from them there. I canít really take all the credit for that one, I did what I could but one of our members really stepped up and just pulled in all the votes, talked to a lot of different people. I canít even begin to guess how many hours she put into that. She did a lot of the same for Ghost Rider this month, you all know her, my co-host there FSF Lynx one of the other new hosts around here in the FSF, sheís been very helpful. Seeing Ghost Rider heading towards Sim of the Month for this month is just awesome. Itís our first month weíve been eligible for it and itís looking like our first month eligible is going to be our first win. She actually also just got the Community Award and helped Alpha Fleet get their first Fleet Activity Award. The gameís doing so great itís awesome. It just makes me so proud, I canít even begin to describe how happy itís made me lately.

What inspired you to step up as the Interim Training Director?
Much like the Dauntless, they put out a request on the forums for someone to do it. I waited a little bit and didnít see anyone respond and itís something Iíve done similar jobs before for a different group. I figured if I could step up and help, I might as well.

Youíre also the Assistant Boards Director, any plans for either of those positions right now?
Not right now. The Assistant Boards Director position Iím still working with FSF Hawg trying to figure out exactly what my duties will be there. As for Training Director, I really donít have any future plans for it. A lot of it will just depend on what happens when Bourne returns.

Anything Else Youíd Like to Add?
I just want to say a thank you to all my members of all my various games out there, theyíre what keeps them going and its always a great pleasure to sim with them. This is a great group, it has great members. The FSF is just awesome.

Thank You for joining us.
Itís a pleasure, thanks for having me.

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Who's Who - FSF Margo 
19, July 2012, 01:53 PM
(note: This trasncript has been edited for readability)

Listen to the interview on The Super Awesome Margo Show - Episode 7

Todayís personality is FSF Margo. Sheís the host of such wonderful games as Star Trek: Andromeda and Star Trek: Project Origin. She also plays on the USS Stargazer, SFOL edition and Stargate: SG-10. Sheís also recently come into the position of Community Director and hosts two radio shows, The Super Awesome Margo Show and FSF Radio.
Thank you for joining us.

Well thank you for having me.

How did you get started in simming?
How did I get started in simming? Wow that is a loaded question. Well thereís many different directions I can go with this. I did lose a bet once. But weíll actually go with the real story.and that was I was into Star Trek TNG my best friend and I played it, well we watched it all the time. We had the little action figures so I guess we played it too. Back whenever the internet was first born, you know when Al Gore was still nursing it. I stumbled across, I was searching Star Trek and stumbled across it in AOL and their communities and showed up [to] an acadmy and got hooked on it.

About how long would you say youíve been simming?
Iíve probably been simming now for coming up on 14 years, I think itíll be 14 years in October

Very Nice, Whatís your favorite character that youíve ever played?
Oh Wow, do I just have to say one or can I say multiple?
If you have a few that are equal in your mind, feel free to say them all.
I gotta say there are two that are equal, I of course love my original character the one Iíve been playing for 13 years. I started playing her about a year after I started simming and thatís my Dr. Margo Rock on Stargazer SFOL thatís really like a small part of me, that character. Iíve played her for so long, I can always do so much stuff with her. Itís tied up there with my chief of security on Star Trek: Andromeda and I donít know why I like this character so much, itís probably the awesome name I came up [with] ĎCarmen Sandiegoí. She is just a fun character to play because she is so screwed up, Iím playing her where sheís trying to work through all of her issues that she has and still be this kick ass security officer.

You recently became the Community Director.
I did.
What inspired you to go for that position?
I think it is just my love of the community, thatís what I love so much about simming and about FSF is basically the community atmosphere that simming provides. I mean weíre a bunch of strangers that are scattered all across the world and yet we have one common interest and we get together either through message boards or email or chat, we get together and create these fantastic stories and I just really wanted to be able to contribute some to an organization that has been such an influental part of my life, I mean it, it allowed me to meet my wonderful husband itís just given me so much I felt that becoming community director allowed me to basically help get our community active and bring new ideas and a fresh perspective into it.

What kinda plans do you have for the Community with your new position?
Iím really trying to kinda gauge where our community activity level is right now, you might have seen an email come out from me with a quick seven question questionairre and thatís for me to kinda gauge what people are wanting from the community. So you can look for more open sims is one thing that Iím thinking of, I want to get open sims back up and running where itís just a fun hour of basically random simming fun, itís nothing that you have to create a character for that is gonna last for forever. Iíd also like to get some new trivia going, revamp the trivia that is going now maybe put a fresh new spin on it so that people want to come check it out. Obviously my podcast and the FSF Radio show are two new things that I want to be really promoting and adding out there, and maybe even looking at adjusting times and dates of stuff to fit in with our European counterparts that maybe donít want to get up at two in the morning to attend something maybe Iíll start adding a few things in for them that are earlier in the afternoon here in the states but at a manageable time for them.

Do you have any tips on how players or even hosts can help the community?
Definitely, showing up and attending things like open sims, trivia, award shows. It really helps add a sense of family when we have a wider array of people showing up to support community events like that. Iíd say that would probably be the biggest one, showing up for events and posting to the forums.

Can you tell us a little bit about the sims that you host?
Sure! Star Trek: Andromeda is on Tuesday nights at 9:30 and we are set in the early 25th century around 2403 I think is where weíre at now. Weíre inbetween the Milk Way galaxy and the Andromeda galaxy and we keep going over to the Andromeda galaxy and stirring up a bunch of trouble and getting into all sorts of hijinks over there as we try to explore basically a whole new galaxy and encounter a whole wide array of new races, aliens that weíve never come across before.

Star Trek: Project Origin is a message board sim, weíre part of Space Fleet. You can find us under the Space Fleet banner on the boards. That is more situated with right around the TNG time frame era, just after the TNG episode ďThe ChaseĒ where the Progenators come in and basically offer clues to the whole meaning of life, and how life formed throughout the whole galaxy. So weíre kind of playing off of that, and itís kinda more of a puzzle game of basically finding the clues and going on to the next clue, trying to find the origin of life and how this other alien race plays into how life was created on Earth and in the Milky Way.

Do you have anything coming up with either of those sims?
Goodness, that kinda puts me on the spot, I donít know! Andromedaís taking a two-week break right now, weíll be back next Tuesday. We always take a Summer break and a Winter break so weíll be coming back. If you want to stop by itís on the IRC channel #TrekAndromeda. You can always stop by Project Origin and check us out, weíre moving along in our plot there. Weíre on the Romulan ship right now, going through Romulan space. Itís kind of a cloak and dagger, secret mission, pretty cool. Come by and check them out.

Is there anything else youíd like to add?
No, this is a great idea on the Whoís Who interview and I am just honored that I would be your first interview, so thank you.

No problem. Thank You for all the radio shows, stepping in as community director and everything. Iím sure everybody appreciates all the hard work youíve been doing here so far.
Oh yeah, not a problem, my pleasure. Donít forget to tune into the Super Awesome Margo Show, my recorded podcast. Oh! I should mention this. FSF Radio, Iím going to start broadcasting now Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Probably usually starting around Eight sometimes Iíll start around Seven, it depends on my mood, Eastern Standard Time, obviously. Iíll broadcast for about three hours to provide just listening music for people who are simming, if they are like me and I usually always have background music going while Iím simming. They could tune in instead of turning on their radio they could come listen to me. If youíre not simming, you can still swing by the IRC chat room #FSF and chill out with me as Iím DJíing. I take requests, dedications, all of that.

Very nice, thank you for joining us today Margo.
Thank you for having me.

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Who's Who Transcripts 
19, July 2012, 01:48 PM
So another change for the blog here, I'm going to post up transcripts from my interviews that air on the Super Awesome Margo Show. Check them out and enjoy!

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Character Development to Create A Rich and Rewarding Character 
02, May 2012, 09:29 AM
Last time (over a month ago, I've been a bit lax) I wrote about how you can play a character that works well within a SIM and still have fun, I touched upon Character Development. With that post and some recent posts I've made regarding times where you aren't busy during a plotline, I've been asked about getting into further detail about the aspect of Character Development. So as to create the best centralized position for this discussion (and actually utilize my blog here to the new intended purpose) I've opted to write an article regarding the issue here.

Character Development is one of the most important and ignored aspects of a character. A lot of people go into a game and just play through the plot and leave it at that, they're missing a large realm of what their character can be and are effectively creating someone with the depth of a TOS Red Shirt. The first question someone new to Character Development might ask is "When can I do it?". The answer is simple, Anytime! You can do something in the middle of a plot, even when your department is busy, you can do it when your department isn't involved in the plot at present, you can even do it when the sim isn't even currently playing by making log posts.

Now that we've got they when, we can get to the big aspect of how. As with the when there's no boundaries over the how except your own imagination, and the rules of the universe your character belongs to. With all the vast number of hobbies, relationships, jobs, and skills out there you only need to figure out what works best for your character and run with it, if you're currently drawing a blank right now don't worry! I'm going to provide you with some examples of a variety of stuff I've done, or have seen others do, to give you some great ideas.

Here's one example, but I think it's great. This goes back to the background of the character that developed over time, and I was working to bring it out in the simulation itself. The character was an elite sniper and part of the sim's marine contingent (he would go on to eventually leave the Marine's stay on the ship, become the XO for some time.) He had quite a few developments, a major one was in his past on a mission he had been hunting a target and things had gotten foggy and unclear he had taken a shot at the silhouette of what he believed to be his target, upon closer investigation it turned out instead to be his sister (whom he was unaware was at the location). He had left the service for sometime, but was convinced to return and joined the Marine's on SFOL's 'Gazer where he had become fiercely protective of his teams family members, while also trying to maintain a distance from everyone so as to prevent his getting hurt. Despite that he ended up getting married and having a child with one of the other crew.

Some of that one had been planned, but it doesn't always have to be that way. Let's take my other Spec Ops character on the other 'Gazer. He's become a favorite of many players in the group, and he was only conceptualized as a Spec-Ops Janitor named Snarf. He wasn't even intended to be a part of the Spec-Ops team, it was just intended to be a joke that in order to deal with the messes of the bathrooms on the 'Gazer they'd need a Janitor above and beyond the normal sort, but he got assigned in the Spec-Ops team, where he turned into a calm, smart mouthed, skilled, and highly experience spec ops operative. With an off comment from someone else about some issue that occurred on Vulcan and some Romulan focused plotlines early in the playtime with him he began to become more developed. With his seeming ability to be anywhere in an instant and his skill it was decided (though not yet revealed in the game) that he was part of a test program of the Starfleet Spec-Ops that he had a chip surgically inserted into his brain where he would no longer sleep, and having been the only one to remain at least somewhat functional after it starting, perhaps due to his obsession with cleanliness. All of the details about the character were developed due to interaction with others and thanks to plot items. One time they required the group to have fake identities, and a former identity utilized to run and undercover op in Romulan space over an extended period was created, one where he had a high ranking Romulan lover that helped him eventually develop the sonic mop he utilizes to clean the ship.

There's always family members and past loves that one can have contact a character that they can communicate with, perhaps your character is one who constantly flirts with the ladies in the bars only to consistently get smacked across the face (one of my players on Paragon has fallen into this role). Finding pet projects and studies that your character could perform that either fall into a similarity of his normal job (Wesley Crusher and his Nanites, or O'Brien building model engines during his Academy days) or just being a hobby (Sulu with his botany). If you still come up with a blank just refer to your favorite character from your chosen genre, most of them will have things that have helped develop them into deeper characters that don't usually have to do directly with the main plot lines, or just come off as gags or jokes (like O'Neill teaching Teal'c how to juggle, thus showing that he himself knows how to juggle.) Or maybe some weird quirk about your character that even mirrors yourself, I had a character that was on a ship of coffee obsessed people and he stood apart having a love for Dr Pepper. The ways you can develop your character are endless, and will sometimes require nothing more than a single off-hand statement or action that can create a suggestion and motivation for a big part of their background or future. As always if you still feel lost, or unsure of where to start feel free to come to me, The Man Your Man Can Sim Like, or just watch your favorite episode of your genre's series and watch what your favorite (or even the other) characters say and do.

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How to have fun with a character without pissing everyone (including the Hosts) off. 
21, March 2012, 10:30 AM
Far too often many players try to make their characters the center of attention by being the hero in every situation, this is a habit that usually annoys most players and the hosts as well (who try to create varied plots to get everyone involved). Everybody hates this type of character, fans of Trek should know this from the popular hatred of Wesley Crusher, he had become this type of character. Your character has a specialization (s)he should never stray too far outside of this on a regular basis. It's okay to always save the day if the problem is always with the Engines and you happen to be the ships sole Engineer. But if one week the problem is with the engines, and the next week it's a vicious plague running rampant among the crew, you should not be the lead hero. Even if your character is the primary focus for a fix, you should always work with others and field ideas and suggestions. This way everybody is involved. Remember this is a collaborative game, you aren't the only player.

There is another side to this coin however, sometimes players constantly seek attention by being inept or heavily accident prone. This can be just as annoying because there may be people that need to rely on your character (based upon their position) or may need to attention and resources of other characters that you've distracted with your problems. For a vast majority of the simulations out there you're not playing some normal civilian. You're playing someone of decent skill and ability, and you should be playing someone of such a caliber. Maybe you think you're character should have a difficult time flying, that's fine, but not if they're the main helmsman on a capital ship. Build your character so that they have the skills necessary to perform their job satisfactorily.

Now this seems to leave you with a relatively droll position at first glance. Playing someone that's good at their position but not so much at other positions. This part is true, keep in mind there's a reason your character is in a certain position and why others are in the other positions, those characters should be better than you at their positions, not you better at their jobs then they are. The same goes in reverse they should not be better at your job, otherwise why are you there? But your job and main job skills aren't all there is to your character.

Your character has hobbies, skills, and faults outside of their job, build on those. Sometimes these skills can help with issues that are outside of your main area of expertise, but maybe not. You should establish a realistic set of hobbies for your character at the start. You should also look into realistic faults that your character might have, some kind of failing that might at one point but not constantly, cause an issue. Perhaps they're relatively quick to anger, or a little bit careless, perhaps they have some fear of some technology or ability. Something that can add depth to the character while not drastically hurting their ability to the job that needs to be done.

The more fleshed out your character is for their primary skills, secondary skills, hobbies, and faults the more enjoyable the character will become for you to play, and that will translate to a quality and enjoyable experience for all. Having a lot of this out there and revealed will also allow the Hosts to create unique plot challenges that might allow your character to help in an "unexpected" way or perhaps challenge them to deal with the faults face to face, which is always exciting.

To summarize:
Create a character with skills that suit his(her) job, give the character a couple of decent hobbies, as well as a set of realistic faults. Don't go overboard with any of these, not all of the hobbies should be things that would help in times of need.
Let other people do their jobs and solve their issues, and make sure you do yours to satisfactory levels.

Now go out there and have fun, enjoy your characters without pissing off everyone else!

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