You need a character in order to begin simming, and that thought alone can be daunting. However, your first simming character doesn't need to be the most detailed or thought out person. You honestly only need a few basic things to get character creation right, and it's not difficult at all if you keep to the basics. Remember, you can always add details or alter your biography in the future. After all, hardly anything in the simming arena is set in stone. We'll lay out the general things you need to have to build a profile, and then the rest is totally up to you. You will need some sense of realism, but you can match this to the sense of realism in the simulation. We call this “realism within reason.”
Do not, under any circumstances, apply to a simulation using a character that comes directly from a show, movie, book, or videogame. Even if the source material is outside of the simulation's universe, the game managers will find out, and most of them frown on this sort of behavior. It's perfectly fine to use these sources for inspiration or to find a name, but don't copy the character directly. Create your own character instead; you'll have more control over character development, and it's far more fun to write with someone whose traits and quirks aren't already known.
Note: This does not apply to simulations which use canon characters from their chosen universe. If a simulation only uses the characters from its source material, you are free to apply with a canon character who is not already represented.
Most people start with a name, but before you can choose a name you need to know what species or race your character is. Often a species or race will have defined naming conventions that you should conform to, unless you have a really good in character reason for deviating from them. The availability of species or races will depend on what universe your chosen simulation exists in. Most simulations do not allow for cross-fandom species, and some don't allow fan-written species or those found in non-canon sources. Make sure you know the simulation's rules about this! If you fail to follow the guidelines that simulation has set forth, it's likely you'll be rejected. Even if a simulation allows for fan-written species, it is best to speak with a game manager before applying with your made-up species or race. You can do this through the simulation's contact page or their Internet Relay Chat channel, if they have one.
Your character's name should be created by you in some fashion. It's okay to take inspiration from existing sources, but it's best to come up with something on your own. However, if you're stuck, baby name websites and name generators are a good place to start. Just remember to stick with your chosen species' naming conventions unless you've come up with an applicable in-character reason why your character deviates from that social norm.
Please do not fall into the trap of using a descriptive name that matches your character's personality perfectly. No one knows how their baby will behave and think when they grow up, so most people do not have such descriptive names. Similarly, try not to make the name an exact opposite of their personality either. If you want to use descriptive names that are obviously descriptive, they're better off as nicknames.
Your character's age will play a role in the rank you receive, if your simulation uses ranks. For example, a Star Trek simulation assumes that an officer first entered the academy at the age of 18 and graduated at the age of 22. Generally, an officer will spend three years as an ensign and at least ten years as a lieutenant. This means that if you decide that your character is 23, you're likely not going to be a department head. On the other hand, if your character is 57 and still an ensign, you'd better have a really good explanation for it! For an enlisted character, the rules are a little different. Enlistment can happen at any age between 17 and 42, so advancement comes from time in service.
The simulation's year setting is also important to remember here. You'll need to know what year the game is currently in so you can write a good biography and service history (if applicable). For example, if the simulation is set in the year 2392 and your character is 27 years old, they cannot possibly have fought in the Dominion War, which took place from 2373 to 2375. Know your history!
Some people skip this part, but it's actually pretty important. What you write here or the image you choose determines how other writers imagine your character. You want them to “see” your character the same way you do, but don't get carried away. Focus on the basic details like eye color, hair color, height, build, and any identifying marks like scars or tattoos. Most simulations will also ask you to choose an image to use as an avatar or character image, and some have rules about what you can use. All of them, however, have this rule: do not use an image someone else on the simulation is already using. That's confusing and a bit rude.
Some simulations call this the personality section, but regardless of the wording it's the same thing. This is where you tell everyone what type of person your character is. Define some distinct character traits and a basic personality. There's no need to go into extreme detail; just give a general idea or overview. A lot of personality detail is determined as you write the character over the course of its lifetime, and those changes can always be added later.
This part of the biography or character profile is also where you'll find strengths and weaknesses, ambitions, and hobbies. If you have ideas for these right away, go ahead and fill them out. If not, you can always come back to them later. This section is more for you than for other writers, as it's highly personal information that your character might not share.
Where have you been and what did you do there? That's essentially all the character history is, a summary of your character's past. Some simulations require massive amounts of detail here, while others are okay with a few paragraphs. The best way to determine what type of biography the simulation requires is to read the existing biographies as well as any posted guidelines about how that biography should be written. Within the determined guidelines, you may provide as little or as much detail as you wish, but be prepared to be asked to flesh that information out as your character grows. The profile in its entirety should be occasionally updated to reflect new changes and developments.
The character history portion sometimes also includes a service history for military (or Starfleet) characters. The service history should not be filled out in paragraph form. Rather, it is formatted in a list. We've provided a sample for you, taken from Lieutenant Commander Eneas Clio's biography on the USS Hera.
Congratulations, you've created a character! From here, any additional detail is up to you. As long as you remember to keep things “realistic within reason” you're well on your way to beginning your simming journey.