Signs, Symbols and Layout
At Outpost Eden, we use a few different symbols to help to identify what a character is doing. We also lay out our email subject lines a certain way so that it's as easy as possible for players to see what's going on at a glance!
Email Subject Line
It may sound obvious, but this helps to identify which characters have moved. It's not always easy to remember which writer owns which character! Here's how it works:-
[Your Character's Rank + Name], "[Custom Title]"
e.g. Admiral Herrera, "30 Seconds to Launch"
Formatting Your Post
The symbols used for text are as follows:-
The first thing that appears in the body of your post should be a location tag, so it's easy to see where it takes place. If you change locations during the course of your post, drop in a new location tag. Location tags should be in brackets so they're not confused for anything else:-
e.g. (USS Odyssey, Main Engineering)
There's no need for quotation marks in speech - we use a script format, which makes it easier to leave tags for others. Just introduce the speech with your character's surname/family name, followed by a colon.
[Character Name]: Insert speech here
e.g. Herrera: Anything on sensors?
There are a couple of variations on speech that do need you to use symbols to show that there's something a little different about how your character is communicating. These are thoughts, speaking over the comm, and speaking telepathically (if your character is a telepath).
Thoughts are laid out in the same way as normal speech, except that the text should begin and end with a lower case 'o', like this:-
Herrera: o When's lunch? o
Using the Comm
Speech that's being broadcast over the comm should begin and end with '^' to make it stand out from normal speech, like this:-
Herrera: ^ Ready to beam up! ^
If your character is able to communicate telepathically, you'll need to indicate when that's happening so that other characters know they can't hear you! Use '~':-
Y-rocck: ~ Open your mind to me! ~
Narrative: Actions, Descriptions and Rationale Anything that's not speech should begin and end with a colon. This helps distinguish what's being said out loud and what isn't! (It may not always be obvious!)
- [Insert narrative text here]:
e.g. :It was colder than anticipated outside the shuttle. Diego pulled his coat around him more tightly to shield himself against the icy wind.:
This also applies to 'stage directions' - single words to indicate how something is being said, or short actions that a character is taking. This can be dropped into speech.
Example 1: Herrera: :Unconvinced: You're going to have to do better than that, Ensign.
Example 2: Herrera: We need to move on. :Pointing towards the tallest mountain on the skyline: We need to reach that peak before sundown. To let us know your post is done, finish up with a signature. You've already told us who you are in your subject line, but a reminder never hurts, and it's a useful way for new members to learn which character is in which role. Your signature uses this format:
Character Name and Rank Position Ship/Outpost
Lieutenant Kellan Engineering Officer Outpost Eden
Now that you've followed our guide on how to compile, write and format a post, you're ready to send it to your group! Remember - make sure it's part of a new email instead of replying to an old one so it's nice and easy for everyone to find!
This tutorial was written by Diego Herrera. If you have any questions, feel free to Contact us