Creating a Character

Every person in a science fiction story has a history. They have a personality, even if we don't see much of it on television or on the silver screen. Simming is very much the same, but with a twist: in a sim, we do see the personalities and history of every person involved! Those personalities aren't usually created by random chance — they take a bit of thought. Here are some pointers to help you create a character who will be fun for you to play and for others to interact with:

  1. Don't use a character who has already been established in the movies, on television, or in a book.
    Many SLA hosts prohibit this for a variety of reasons. Copyright concerns and the enjoyment of the sim for others are two chief reasons behind this. Part of the joy of simming is the ability to create an entirely new person and explore who he/she is as the sim takes you through different decisions, emergencies, and dilemmas.
  2. Leave room for your character to grow.
    A well-planned character can have a lot of depth, but you can constrain yourself by planning too much. Sometimes you'll find a completely new side of your character as the sim unfolds, and it is possible to "write yourself into a corner" by leaving no stone unturned when you create the character. Give yourself some room to play around and explore. If you are concerned about a character detail, there is a good rule of thumb to follow: when in doubt, leave it out!
  3. Remember your character's weaknesses as well as their strengths.
    No one is perfect in the real world, and that extends to science fiction as well. Although it's exciting to create a "perfect" character, the novelty wears off quickly. Many simmers find that the greatest joy they have in working with a character is overcoming flaws and fears. Create a character who is afraid of the dark; note that your character is helpless when it comes to engineering tasks; make your character a lousy shot. Don't overdo it, but make sure to build in a few weaknesses to overcome as your character grows. Trust us, you'll be glad you did!
  4. Don't give your character "super powers" (unless you are joining a superhero sim!).
    A common thing seen by the hosts of many sims is the "super character" — a telepathic alien (or human) with telekinetic powers, superhuman strength, the intellect of ten of Star Trek's Vulcans and the technological prowess of the Ancients of the Stargate universe. Aside from frequently being flawless (see the previous suggestion), these characters are not fun for other simmers to interact with. Many hosts will reject an application for a super character. Telepathy or telekinesis are usually okay, but don't go overboard. If in doubt, ask your host before establishing these sorts of details about your character.
  5. Be creative!
    The other guidelines up to this point have all emphasized things to avoid, but simming isn't about limiting yourself; we're here to explore everything that we can be. On a sim, the sky really is the limit, and the SLA is here to help you explore it. Do keep the guidelines above in mind, but don't be afraid to exercise your creativity in creating a character. Unusual combinations, unknown races, and unique personalities are the lifeblood of simming. As Wikipedia tells its contributors, be bold!