OngoingWorlds blog

News & articles about play-by-post games, for roleplayers & writers

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20 Years in Star Army

While 2021 turned out to be the year of the anniversary, we haven’t run out of anniversaries quite yet. Indeed, our friends at Star Army celebrated a big one earlier in 2022. Depending on how you count it, they were founded in either June or November 2002. Regardless, it’s still an incredible 20 years!

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2021 WarGames Competition Winners

Image by Malkfan

It’s time to announce the winners of the latest Tournament of Simulations (ToS). But before we get to that, you might remember that we’re using the WarGames banner this year to honor the 2001 tournament from 20 years ago. My how times flies!

Anyway, we asked for nominations in February, and you responded by sending us an absolutely incredible list of 70 fantastic games from across the community. That easily breaks our modern (since 2011) record of 64 set last year, and is maybe even tops all-time (since 1999). Regardless, it just goes to show that simming and online role playing is still thriving and probably stronger than ever.

As I say every year, evaluating sims is a subjective art, and this is certainly true with ToS.  We’re not here to identify the best games as this is impossible.  Instead, we’re here to identify what we think are outstanding sims that exude excellence.  A different set of judges may very well chose a completely different set of winners.  And that’s okay! In case you’re interested, this is how we select the winners. With that on the record once again, here are your 2021 WarGames winners:

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2021 WarGames Competition

Image by Malkfan

2021, which was equally as dreadful as 2020, has finally come to a close. That means it’s time for the annual WarGames Competition! Wait, don’t I mean the annual Tournament of Simulations aka ToS? Yes, they are one at the same!

According to our records (which are suspect, of course), the second tournament was held in 2001 under the WarGames banner. In honor of that event 20 years ago, we decided to use its name again today. And the movie from 1983 was pretty cool, too!

The mechanics of the game remain the same: Here are a few tips on how to win. For those who may be unfamiliar, this is where you can enter your role play to potentially win a prize at no cost or risk to you! Judges from across the community go through all of the entries and grade them on story, characters, and readability. As has been our tradition for several years now, play-by-post games will be graded on 10 consecutive posts while chat games will be graded on a single chat session. All sims will be considered regardless of club or fleet affiliation. We then present awards to the top-scoring games. The sims that don’t place are not announced. That’s right: you’ve got nothing to lose, so why not enter?

Okay, enough on that. How about we get on with the nominations…

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Another 2021 Anniversary: Obsidian Fleet’s 20th

2021 has been the year for anniversaries. However, there’s another that happened this past summer: Obsidian Fleet marked their 20th on July 25th. One of the first fleets to initiate recurring Discord celebrations, they held their 5th annual Obsidian Day on July 24th, which included simming and a lot of prizes!

Obsidian Fleet was founded back in 2001 after a split from another group. Two things about that event are striking to me. One, they didn’t just create a carbon copy of their mother group. They went on to develop a unique culture that evolved over time while still staying true to their founding principles of creative and character freedom. Second, while many splits in simming often lead to resentment, and sometimes all out conflict, Obsidian Fleet almost immediately made peace and even began working on common goals with the club from which they emerged–this was unheard of in the early 2000s. Perhaps this is why the club has endured, more than 20 years later.

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Zodiac Fleet’s 20th Anniversary

This article was published at the request of Zodiac Fleet:

You are cordially invited to join Zodiac Fleet today, September 25, 2021 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time for our 20th Anniversary Celebration! 

Zodiac Fleet was created in 2001 to be a place for all roleplayers where people could come together to just have fun and leave the politics at the door. We are a fleet where the players are in charge and they run their own games with very little red tape and bureaucracy getting into their way. It is a lot like the tabletop games of yesterday where a group of friends come together to tell stories. 

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30 Years of STF: 1991-2021

Main banner/logo from April 22, 1998 (archive.org)

A few weeks ago I got to celebrate the 20th anniversary of my home club. But how about a 30th anniversary?

As far as I can tell, today is the 30th anniversary of the founding of STF, which likely makes it the oldest club still in existence, if not ever. According to a 1994 history by Jim Midyette, what would eventually come to be known as the Star-Fleet Sim Club (and later STF) began on July 21, 1991 on Prodigy when a group of Star Trek fans decided to return fire against some 90210 fans:

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Independence Fleet: 20 Years

Last year I got to mark my own 20th simming anniversary. This year I get to celebrate something even better: my club’s 20th anniversary. That’s right, founded all the way back on July 4, 2001, Independence Fleet turns 20 today. Given our humble and downright volatile beginnings, it’s hard to believe we’re still operating today. Nonetheless, here we are!

In addition to holding a Trivia Day earlier this year and a special Webcast yesterday (both with real prizes!), we also did our normal anniversary tradition of inducting the newest members of our Hall of Fame.

But a 20th anniversary calls for even more. With that in mind, this morning we published two items that we hope our members and the entire online role playing world can enjoy:

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2019 ToS Winners

It’s time to announce the winners of the latest Tournament of Simulations (ToS). Finally! We asked for nominations back in February, and you responded by nominating 29 absolutely incredible games from across the community. After a few delays, here we are with this year’s champions. In case you were wondering, this is how we select the winners. This is an extra special ToS as it marks twenty years since that first tournament back in 1999.

As I say every year, evaluating sims is a subjective art, and this is certainly true with ToS.  We’re not here to identify the best games as this is impossible.  Instead, we’re here to identify what we think are outstanding role plays that exude excellence.  A different set of judges may very well chose a completely different set of winners.  And that’s okay!  With that on the record, here are your 2019 anniversary year tournament winners:

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It’s… ToS Time!

I recently posted about my own 20-year simming anniversary. Or is that birthday? Here’s another: It’s been 20 years of ToS (aka Tournament of Simulations). That’s right, the original ToS was held for the year 1999. ISO Troi ran it, and the Simming League sponsored it. While it’s been 20 years since that first ToS, this is actualy the 15th competition as not all years had a tournament. Another interesting bit of trivia: According to the surviving records, 167 total awards have been bestowed.

Okay, enough reminiscing. How about get on with the nominations?

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20 Years of Sunfire Script

Utopia Fleet

For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard people say, “I’ve been simming for 20 years.” Well, I can finally say it myself.

I’ve been simming for 20 years. 

Wow, that felt good!

On February 16, 2000, the USS Sunfire NCC-3935, a Bedford class starship, launched in old Utopia Fleet’s Deep Space Exploration Division.  I was the ship’s CMO.  That’s Chief Medical Officer for all you non-Trek role players.  Fast forward to today and it’s hard to image my life without play-by-post role playing.

I’ve been a writer, a politician, a diplomat, a founder, an editor, a counselor, an investigator, a philosopher, a Captain, an Admiral, and even a game show host–all of which are never going to happen IRL (that’s In Real Life for you non-simmers).  Role playing’s taught me a lot about people, life, and myself.  All in all, it’s been a fun ride.

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