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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.
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 happy 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.