Of Headings and Timestamps

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Of Headings and Timestamps

Postby Jaxcen Elhaym » Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:53 pm

Since the beginning of Excalibur when I was but a lowly XO, I've tried to follow the posting example set by our original CO insofar as headings for posts (or scenes as it were), which was typically something in large, bold font. For example:

Main Bridge, USS Excalibur, Deep Space 6

or some variation with hyphens or whatnot. I followed this example for consistency purposes, though it's not really my first choice. There are plenty of ways to head a post, I think a few of our players have tried it their own way, and I know other sims use other ways. And while I like to think we are accepting of all ways of doing things, we are a community and so we should probably have some kind of consistent internal method for posting these headings. Maybe that's kind of anal, but if ever in the future we have a lot of activity going on in different locations (and/or at different times), I think it would behoove us to be able to logically identify these disparities.

Which also brings up my next question. Excalibur has always kind of played it loose with the timeline, hardly ever mentioning specific times and dates. This can however lead to inconsistencies because the passage of time isn't explicit or understood by all players. However it also made it pretty easy to shoe-horn events into whatever timescale we required. Pretty much all we can say for certain is that "Hidden Traitors" Acts I - IV occurred in 2387. But having some kind of established timeline would help organize our adventures more consistently (and tentatively, the mission began around April/May and ended in July-ish of that year).

So here's my question: How do you feel about establishing a uniform header for posts or scenes including time/dates? And if you have a preference, what is it (give an example)?
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Re: Of Headings and Timestamps

Postby EveKelter » Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:53 pm

Probably a good idea on header uniformity, keeps everything nice and tiddy :P Im open to anything. Personally i've been using the same header for my entire simming 'career' :

| USS Excalibur
| Bridge, Deck 1
| 0900 hours


First 2 lines usually interchangeable and describe location; third line had always been time. Sometimes we even had a 4th line if we wanted to put more location info.

As for actual time/date indexes, one of my later sims used a variation of "Mission Elapsed Time" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_Elapsed_Time) in where your time/date stamp was always relative to the begining of the mission. That way the missions would always start on Day 1, and you'd never really have to keep track of when exactly in the year it was.
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Re: Of Headings and Timestamps

Postby Wheeler » Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:05 pm

Though I haven't had a chance to do it in my last several posts, I have always prefered the method of bold, italic, and large print.

As for the Timeline, I believe we should start each mission out with the Captain stating the Stardate, as done in the shows. A couple of hints through-out the mission can determine how long the mission lasts, such as a crewman stating something like "We've been out here for twelve days now..." or "Senior Staff Meeting at 0900", etc. I believe this allows us to take as long as we need, and yet keep within the BF Timeline.
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Re: Of Headings and Timestamps

Postby Lani Rodgers » Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:30 am

I've never been a fan of time stamps. Your typical novel doesn't start every chapter blatantly telling you the setting, exact time and day. It's told through narration and dialogue to tell where it fits in with the rest of the book. While I understand that writing in a fan fiction group for a hobby is far from the same thing as writing professionally, I feel these things should be told through the actual writing. Even if you just start every post with a sentence stating when and where your character is, I'd rather read that than a block of awkward text block at the top of your post.

Now... I actually use them in a thread elsewhere where I write my character's history, and planting a solid month and year when it takes place is helpful to show exactly what Star Trek events are happening during that character's adolescence. No one else posts in that thread, though.
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Re: Of Headings and Timestamps

Postby Gawenn » Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:46 am

Probably is a good idea to be uniform in the headings. I'm not much of one for exact timestamps though. I prefer general times (i.e.: Morning, evening, late at night, ect) because if several scenes are being played at the same time, but occurring at different in-game times, it leaves space for things to happen in between.

If the times are exact, and a character is in a scene at 8:00 and 9:00 hours, and suddenly at the end of the 8:00 scene, a character should be doing something that will take a couple hours, it throws off the 9:00 scene. While if they're both simply marked "morning", or mentioned to occur in the morning, then both scenes remain valid without conflict.
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