OngoingWorlds blog

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

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25 Years, The Evolution of a Club

star fleet 25 years

A Star Trek fan group and a 90210 fan group went to battle on Prodigy.

Sounds more like a lead-up to a joke than a legacy, but then again, as they say, sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. Read More

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Forget the Brexit! What about the Squexit? Top 10 Splits in RP History

brexit

On Thursday, June 23rd, voters in Great Britain elected to withdraw from the European Union (EU) with 51.9% of the ballots cast.  This event received wide media coverage and led to the resignation of United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron.  The political, economic, and social repercussions of the “Brexit” (British Exit) continue to be debated by pundants.

OngoingWorlds logo - an alien holding a world

The Squiddie voted to remain our mascot, preventing a possible Squexit.

While the world tuned into the unfolding Brexit decision last week, the media missed another important vote: The Squexit!  Fortunately for us, our very own Squiddie elected to remain the Ongoing Worlds mascot for the foreseeable future.  With both the Brexit & Squexit still very much on our minds, here are the top 10 (+1) splits from simming and online role playing history.

Top RP Splits in Chronological Order

  • 1995: Tigra Tigress, the Chief Editor of Starfleet Online’s (SFOL) official newsletter, is forced to resign by club leadership.  A significant portion of SFOL’s membership then follow Tigress to form Continuum Online.  This is one in a line of multiple splits for SFOL, which struggled to transition from its place as a leader in AOL simming to an Internet-based club.  SFOL is eventually absorbed by Federation Sim Fleet (FSF) in 2005.  It is unclear when Continuum Online went defunct, but it is believed to have occurred circa 2000. Read More

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Interview with Mike Bremer

Mike Bremer

Mike Bremer

Last week I had the opportunity to ask simming legend Mike Bremer a few questions.  Mike needs no introduction as he’s arguably one of the most important leaders in simming and online role playing history.  Mike started his career in Allied Electronic Simulations (AES) way back in 1996.  After moving over to Tango Fleet later that year, he then co-founded Bravo Fleet with Pat Weber in 1997.  Mike served as Bravo Fleet Commanding Officer (BFCO) from 1998 to 2004 and grew it into one of the first true mega-clubs of the Internet era.  Mike has received numerous accolades over the course of his career, including the 2011 Simming Prize and, most recently, the 2015 Ongoing Worlds Medal for Superior Online Role Playing (aka the Squiddie).  Mike also hosts the Starbase 400 sim (SB400, previously known as the USS Pegasus), which is incidentally one of the sims he joined back in 1996!  Starbase 400 has won multiple awards for its high-quality and longevity.  With that, I present to you, Mike Bremer in his own words… Read More

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How will the Simming & Online Role Playing Universe End?

NASA's 9 Year Microwave Sky Image

NASA’s 9 Year Microwave Sky Image
“The Face of God”

Much like the origin of the universe, the beginnings of the simming and online role playing community remain shrouded in mystery.  Sure, we know that it developed out of fan fiction on primordial online services of the late 1980s and early 1990s, but we lack specifics, and many of the details we do have are quite vague.

Records exist for many of the major players and significant historical events, but we miss a lot of the nuance.  It is also highly likely that there are pockets of our cosmos that we don’t even know about it, and now may never know about.

In the approximately 25 years since our creation, clubs, much like stars, have come and gone.  And role-plays, much like planets have come and gone too.  The community is much different now than it was then.  Indeed, just as the physical universe is more mature and less volatile than it was during its early days, our demographic is older and our universe more stable as well.  But how will it all end?  Here are three possibilities:  The Big Freeze, The Big Crunch, and The Big Bounce.
Read More

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The 2015 Squiddie Award Winners

Ongoing Worlds Medal for Superior Online Role Playing

It’s time!  That’s right, it’s time to present our top award for the entire simming and online role playing community: the Ongoing Worlds Medal for Superior Online Roleplaying… better known as the Squiddie.  For anyone who isn’t familiar with the award, we present three respective citations annually for Excellence in Role Playing, Facilitating the Community Experience, and Originality & Innovation.

We received 30 outstanding nominations this year.  However, we are only able to present Squiddies to three: one club, one game, and one person.  And believe me when I say that picking the winners was extremely difficult as there were many absolutely fantastic nominees!  Without any further ado, here are the winners of the 2015 Ongoing Worlds Medal for Superior Online Roleplaying: Read More

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How it all began

early cyberspace retro

This post is a part of Senile Rapture, a periodic instalment by Chas Hammer. In it, he revisits, mostly, his era of online role-playing, the 1990s and 2000s.

When our geeky ancestors ventured into the late 20th century unknowns of bulletin board systems and CompuServe, it was inevitable some would act out their collective Star Trek fantasies. While the particulars of the first play-by-post online role-playing games have been lost to time, enough fragments remain to paint a general picture of the rise of our hobby.

Play-by-post online role-playing is essentially a fanzine or offline role-playing game – like Dungeons & Dragons – adapted to the online medium. The basic premise is the same – people come together, play a character, describe their actions, and work to complete a quest. Read More

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What is Open Role Playing?

Captain Dick Sprague<br>Commanding Officer of the <a href="http://ships.independencefleet.com/ChuckNorris.php/">USS Chuck Norris</a>

Captain Dick Sprague
Commanding Officer of the USS Chuck Norris

That’s a question I get a lot when people read or hear about my game, the USS Chuck Norris, as it’s quite different from most other sims out there.  But before I answer that question, I should first explain what the Chuck Norris is to set up the proper context.

The USS Chuck Norris is a play-by-email sim, but we use the NOVA system from Anodyne Productions that came out a few years ago.  Play-by-post seems to be the most popular term today for this type of game.  We launched on January 2nd, 2012, and are a member of Independence Fleet.  There are currently 16 active players on the Chuck Norris, and many have been with us for more than a year.  Although, we also have quite a few players that have been simming for less than six months.

With that out of the way, I’ll finally answer the question! Read More

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Interview with Anodyne Productions!

Nova is installable software by Anodyne Productions for play-by-post games

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with two leaders from Anodyne Productions, the company behind the most popular and most widely used software for Play-by-Post games on the net.  From their humble beginnings several years ago, they’ve ascended to producing the premier simming solutions package.  Instead of putting words in their mouths, here’s what they had to say… Read More