The Federation Sim Fleet started a long, long time ago.
As told by Jonathan Shuni.
Year One - March 1993 - February 1994
In one form or another, the Federation Sim Fleet has existed since March 7th, 1993. Though not initially called the FSF, our first sim was called the USS Melbourne. The USS Melbourne was Jonathan Shuni's creation on the bulletin board system gateway called FIDOnet. Initially competing with dozens of other established games on FIDOnet's RPG topic area, the Melbourne broke away from FIDOnet and turned to email for it's base of operations. After only two months, the ship had a dedicated crew and a complicated storyline. On July 5th, 1993, a mutual decision between Captain Jonathan Shuni and Commander James Cowan brought about a second email simulation called the USS Bastille. With the crew split into two, both ships had very little trouble filling up their rosters. Email role-playing quickly hit off and it soon became clear that two games simply wouldn't cut it. Word of mouth helped with advertising and by September, our third ship, the USS Caztioa, was created. The Caztioa has a unique sim premise, as it had three Klingons as senior officers, none of which were Starfleet Officers. That ship set the standards for years to come in more ways than not. Several players on this game went off to run their own gaming groups, based primarily of Klingon based gaming. In November, the Captain of the USS Saturn requested admission into our alliance. Accepted into our family, his ship and crew were integrated quite smoothly and they all became part of our developing family. After months of petitioning and proving our activity, we requested, and were granted, a message channel on FIDOnet. If anyone can remember the sluggishness of FIDOnet, you'd realize that this was quite an accomplishment. This success led to the creation of the USS Renegade on December 29th, 1993 which was based solely on this channel. By year's end, we established ourselves as a group with a tremendous amount of success in a short period of time.
Year Two - March 1994 - February 1995
As the group grew and continued to succeed, our reputation started to preceed ourselves. A name was established to represent the group as a whole, which evolved from our initial 'Melbourne Fleet.' The United Federation, composed of five simulations, was the most successful role playing organization of its type online. Our roots were firmly attached to the email and message community, and no other organization like us existed at the time. However, a few of the groups' members found their way onto America Online and came across role-playing through chat rooms and petitioned the group to start ships there. We started an Intrepid Class ship online, the USS Harold, in April 1994. The sim took off and had fierce competition from an established AOL-run role-playing group. Several of their game managers had broken away from their group and established separate gaming groups. In addition, dozens of other independent groups existed on America Online's service and competed to retain players, which at the time, had a devotion to a single group due to pricing policies of the service. Our group petitioned AOL, along with several others, to create a separate area on the AOL service to support games that were member-run, and as such, an area was created and our group was given an opportunity to role-play without interference from AOL. As the great reviews came back from AOL, our administration thought it was time for us to spend some resources on expanding our foothold. Our first recruiting drive, encouraging all of our members to recruit at least two people into the group, began in January of 1995. Membership increased slowly and went up as such for several months. We started the USS Trinible and USS Macurius late 1994 and started to equal out our distribution of email, message board and chat simulations.
Year Three - March 1995 - February 1996
Simming on the rise, a community being born, everything was nice. The Non-Affiliated Gaming Forum on AOL had been firmly established and several dozen Star Trek simming organizations had been established. An issue with AOL resulted in the deletion of the groups' message board, and as a result, our group abandoned AOL's resources, for a time. To reinvigorate spirits, we held our second recruiting drive and achived amazing success. We started the USS Libya in an AOL chat room on Friday evenings and filled it quickly with our new members. Jonathan Shuni started an account on AOL in August of 1995, which led to an expansion on the AOL service that soon outmatched the email and message board sections of the group. The Independent Simmers Guild, a group based on AOL, opened up inter-group relations and proposed a merger between our two groups. Each group had over a hundred members and together the group would be very successful in both email and chat games. However, the new group's email games started to fail, as attention was focused on expanding the chat games and not recruit email gamers. AOL members tended to join only chat games and our recruiting base for email sims dropped. Over the course of several months, each email game shrank and eventually was deleted from the group roster. However, the success of the chat simulations proved that the group had a firm establishment on AOL and would continue to experience success. Our numbers were up to 330 (due to the merger) and we had 18 simulations. While relations between the leaders of the two were fine, the games within the group did not begin to become a community for many months to come.
Year Four - March 1996 - February 1997
After five months of continued success and improved morale, we began to seek out group alliances and potential mergers. Though this decision was unpopular amongst many other groups, it is indeed part of our history. A group by the name of Starfleet United, with three email simulations, petitioned to join the group. Accepted, and quickly absorbed, they brought a website and an established academy system with them. We began to get twenty applications a week for membership, we had a nice academy and had a positive reputation among most established groups online. However, a sharp decline bewildered the command staff and several newer simulations had to be cancelled. In addition, members from all across the group began to resign. Our membership declined dozens per week over a three month period. An internal dispute between the command staff of the former Starfleet United and the command staff of the former Independent Simmers Guild resulted in a heated debate about the future of the group. A brief absence by Jonathan Shuni led to the groups decision to split the group back into two independent groups, with a third group composed of several IRC games, which didn't want to be involved in either of the other groups. When Jonathan Shuni returned, the group led by the Indepdent Simmers Guild command staff was what remained of the United Federation. However, with some quick negotiations, several outside games decided to partake in a revamped version of the group. The Federation Sim Fleet was reborn, in January of 1997, with a dozen simulations.
Year Five - March 1997 - February 1998
As the new group re-emerged, hundreds of groups had already started to pop up all over the Internet. Regardless of the reason, these groups would not maintain themselves for more than a month. However, our group maintained its membership and even increased slowly through the year. There were five or six large groups and hundreds of small ones. Although recruiting was difficult, the America Online service was the way to go. The Federation Sim Fleet was completely AOL based. After some negotiations with several email and message board simulations (run by game managers on the America Online service) these games joined the FSF. The USS Endevour joined the FSF during this period. The FSF started to organize into an Admiralty based Government toward the end of year five. That January of 1998, Jonathan Shuni started his own simulation, one where he could concentrate on his own simming, the USS Junart. The Junart became the group's community center, but never officially a flagship. Many of simming's best gamers joined and participated in what was referred to as an exciting and advanced gaming simulation. People such as Kawalas and JCAce, among a couple, rose up the ranks and eventually led their own games in the group. Starbase 254 was started during this period of time led by Captain JC Ace and Commander Kawalas. During thie period of time, two players, Yuri and Surek, were killed and mourned by our community.
Year Six - March 1998 - February 1999
Several more months went by, as groups rise and fall, our community kept a steady round figure of a couple hundred members. Several groups began to interupt and disrupt our games. Although our game managers attempted their best to resolve the issues, an all our member evaluation began to screen for disruptors. After three months of evaluations, over twenty people were dismissed and the raids stopped. The USS Defiant (now USS Galtuch) was started in September of 1997 with several newer hosts to the group. The group started working on a webpage and set up several protocols to protect from disruptions and potential account terminations by member of the group administration. Several games were started this year and the USS Junart had undeniably been the most successful simulation of 1998. The FSF officially joined the Simming League late this year, a group of groups that help each other, discuss current happenings, and support each other through times of crisis. At the end of Year Six, our group split into sub-fleets, to better control and work with our games. Fleets would be broken into common interests (AOL Fleet, AIM Fleet, IRC Fleet, Email Fleet, etc). This split has often been regarded as the best decision in our history.
Year Seven - March 1999 - February 2000
As the FSF approached the size of 350, we needed to expand the Admiralty. Too many tasks were spread to thick among too few people. Eight Admirals were established and three Fleet Captains were promoted to fill in the gaps. SciWorld Online Convention, a multigroup simming conference, occured with limited success, the FSF was a small participant. Another online simming group, the Online Simulations Association, began to cause disruptions in our community. After repeated requests, both groups dropped communications with each other and disruptions ceased. A group called the Interstellar Simming Confederation broke away from the Online Simulations Association and becomes a new group soon to be allied with the FSF. Several other groups formed from the failing OSA. A joint-academy and peace-keeping type alliance was formed between several online groups, but eventually the treaty members request admission into the FSF. One ship and her crew from the United Federation of Nations (commanded by Brad Rousell) is brought into our Delta Fleet. Several new games are created for newly promoted hosts and newly recruited members and the treaty with the ISC is finally approved. The FSF begins more talks with other groups, creating stronger alliances and sharing of resources. Epsilon Fleet, our email fleet, is established through a remodel of its internal structure. An outside group, called Theta Fleet, requested admission into our Omega Fleet. A group called Trek Z decides to request admission into the FSF, creating our Zeta Fleet, all message board sims. A treaty of non-aggression with the OSA ends the conflict and puts both groups on peaceful terms, a new relationship starts. The ISC breaks into two parts, half of the group requests admission into the FSF (the USS Exodus and USS Falcon). New heights in simming reached, major prosperity felt by all. A day nobody expected arrives, the Online Simulations Association requests admission into our Delta Fleet and the FSF expands to the high 390 member mark. A month later, the USC, the other group that broke from the OSA, requests admission into the FSF as her official IRC sim division. Our Admiralty approves this merger and USC joins our Psicron Fleet. The year ends with a bang and the our community celebrated the new year in our group lounge with several dozen members.
Year Eight - March 2000 - February 2001
With the crossing of the year, we planned many great things. The new front page of Star Base: 254 goes online and the site gets three hundred visitors a day. A great influx of applications start and remodeling of application handling is placed. Dozens of merge requests are sought, but denied. Once the former FSF flagship, the USS Junart, is taken out of service, the FSF decides not to institute a flagship. It was felt that the FSF shouldn't value one sim over another. Since membership is on the rise, the FSF increases membership requirements, including, but not limited to, a thirty day evaluation period and screening to find the best of the best. The FSF JAG proposes a restructuring of the FSF government, voting takes place, it was approved. The new government, a more organized system to help the fifteen Admirals, goes into effect February 1st, 2000. Admiral Shuni placed as FSF CO, Admiral Puckett as XO, Vice Admiral Williams as Chief of Operations, and Rear Admiral LaPolla as Chief of Staff. The new government places the majority of command over the group in Fleet Command's hands. Fleet Command is made up of two people from each fleet. In addition to the membership requirements, a revised attendance policy is placed. FSF is attempting to not just expand, but to expand with quality. The FSF has talks with SFOL, an online sim group, and decides to not recruit under FSF names in their rooms. SFOL, under similar terms, will not tolerate FSF bashing in their rooms. FSF is a valued charter member of the Simming League, but once it started having problems, we felt it wise to support the expulsion of members that caused problems and promoted disruption. We were not seen as the good guy in this. The FSF is a large supporter of League affairs. Admiral Shuni was elected President of the Simming League (in its third year in 2000), and serves out his term for six months. RobinTOL was elected to follow Shuni this year, with Shuni as her VP. When Suzie LaPolla steps down as FSF Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Williams assumes the position and Rear Admiral Michael Wrath is hired as Chief of Operations. FSF starts four new newsletters, all of which provide a better sense of community to its readers. More guilds are started. Our AOL message boards are revamped with thousands of new posts every week, and our relationship with other groups is sparkling. Three large groups, Allied Federations Fleets, Gamma Quadrant Simulations, and Alpha Simulations approach the FSF asking for a merge (not all at once, mind you) over the latter six months of 2000, and all are approved. FSF goes through a transition period to integrate these sims and games into the FSF. After talks with six sims out of fifteen from Alpha Sims fail, those six sims decide not to merge and leave the FSF on good terms. With the merges, several new fleets are created to help better hold the new games and to better represent the FSF population. The Alpha, Trelos, Aveni, and Omicron Fleets are created, and their respective leaders join Fleet Command. Plans for an FSF wise storyline start, but are not complete by the end of the year. FSF decides to remove the Chief of Staff position from the Administration after Admiral JP retires from simming. Admiral Wrath assumes the duties of both positions. FSF ends the year with parties, celebrations, and an increase of members (both simulations and actual members) by almost half. FSF ends year seven with six hundred members with forty-two member sims, all of which are running with wonderful crew compliments. Year seven was, by far, the best year for the FSF yet.
Year Nine - March 2001 - February 2002
History not yet compiled.