“Simming” is another term used for online role playing, used by role players who prefer to call their games “simulations.” These games exist in several different genres and take different forms depending on who runs the game and what types of software they prefer to use. Most of the simulations in the Split World Alliance use Nova; however, some are forum-based. Regardless of what format a simulation uses, the general rules and guidelines are similar. The primary difference between a Nova-based simulation and a forum-based simulation is how mission posts are conducted; the same story told on both formats may be much longer on the forum simply because the posts are not condensed the same way they are when using Nova.
The information contained in this page and the rest of the Simulation Guide can be applied to both Nova-based and forum-based simulations.
This is an especially important part of simming. While it is impossible to know absolutely everything there is to know about any given fandom or simming universe, it is vital that you at least know the basics. Take the time to read the posts already present on the simulation you intend to join, and do some research of your own. You can use the simulation's wiki, if they have one, or other existing wikis that serve that particular universe or world. This helps you create a believable character and write convincing posts that make sense in the context of the simulation. You should also take the time to find out what sort of “fanon” the simulation uses. Fanon is non-canon information, and it may come from books written in the same universe the simulation occupies or be entirely made up by the game managers and members of the simulation. Some simulations will encourage you to create your own fanon while others will not. If in doubt, it is always better to ask!
Once you've applied to a simulation and been accepted, it's very important to get involved as soon as possible. Write your introductory post in whatever manner you like, either solo or with another writer. Some simulations allow for you to be newly assigned to whatever posting you've picked while others require that your character has been there all along, so make sure to follow whichever rule the simulation uses. Then comes the hard part, staying involved. It can be hard to just jump into things when you're new, but don't get discouraged. Every member of the simulation was new at some point, and they remember how it felt. If you don't approach people and invite them to write with you, they never will. Also, you can make a public invitation in the out-of-character area of the simulation that you are willing and ready to post. However, you should make this announcement one time and then be patient in waiting for people to take you up on it. Repeating the announcement can look like begging, and no one likes a beggar. In fact, if you appear to be begging it is extremely likely that the other writers will simply ignore you.
Once you've been established as a writer within a simulation, you may be encouraged to submit mission ideas or even to create entire stories or new technology. Don't be shy! Share whatever's in your head, no matter how crazy or silly you might think it is. Role players are a crazy bunch, and that silly thing you're thinking of just might solve a problem another writing is facing. Some simulations will even invite you to write in their wiki or database, and you should take that opportunity to be creative and inventive. If you're worried that something doesn't fit the simulation, talk to one of the game managers first. Typically, they can find a way to make things work, even if at first it seems to be too farfetched.
Here in the Alliance, we do not expect you to read every single post that was ever made on a simulation. Some of these simulations are quite large, with many posts already finished before you turned up. While it's nice to read and get acquainted with the story and other writers, it's not always possible to read everything. Some simulations may have different rules about this, and it is best to adhere to your simulation's rules as best you can. However, you should not feel bad or guilty if you can't read everything and keep up with all the details. No one can actually do that, and if they say they can they are lying to you. That being said, read as much as you personally can, paying special attention to those posts which will affect your character(s).
Some of the things you read will not pertain to you in character. It is perfectly fine to read these things and discuss them out-of-character, but if it's something your character(s) wouldn't know about, please do not write about it. This is called meta-gaming or god-modding, and it is frowned upon in nearly all simulations.
This is the number one rule of simming. The entire purpose of simming/role playing is to have fun! Get creative and wild if that's what pleases you. Or keep it chill and low key, if that's what keeps you happy. Try not to make things too serious or take them personally, and if things get out of hand tell a game manager. One of their jobs as game manager is to keep the peace, and they should work with all writers involved to find a peaceful solution. If there is no peaceful solution to be had, the best thing to do is drop the issue and find something else to talk about. Remember, this should be a stress-relieving activity, not a stress-inducing one.