GROUP & SHIFT ASSIGNMENTS
As you are reading this, we have made some heavy lifting behind the scenes. You might have noticed, if you check the player list, that you have all been assigned surnames now! Cool-sounding ones too, most of them!
While you’re looking at the player list, you will also notice something else. Yup, that’s right: you’ve been assigned a group and a shift! Some of you will also have been assigned specific roles (such as shift leaders etc). NOTE! Not all of the roles that are going to be in the shifts are assigned yet (such as assistants versus scientists for the Science department). They will be assigned a bit later.
Too late for christmas but there it is. As always, if you feel you’ve been assigned somewhere you don’t want to be, let us know and we’ll see if we can fix it.
All departments have three shifts each, except for SURFOPS that have six (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot).
We are also very close to assigning you your characters and relationships. Remember, though: the characters for Lotka-Volterra are not tidy little background stories, they are simply a bunch of data points, properties and helpful boilerplate to get you started on fleshing your character out into something fantastic.
The tools to do that, however, aren’t really up to speed yet, but they will be soon. Then you’ll be able to create your own relationships and fill out the blanks in your character. We will also, over time (this is not our main priority right now) be pushing out stuff like plots, rumours, social circles and stuff your character knows about.
Anyhow, now that you’re all in shifts and groups, we think we might need to explain some of the roles assigned and what the different groups actually do, that we might not have talked about earlier…
First off, there are a couple of new subgroups and/or groups we’ve changed a bit. These are:
Life support – Part of Maintenance but separate subgroup, that primarily handle the operation of the Reactor, power distribution etc. More about them later, as we also expect to create more work for them.
Logistics – primarily our valiant kitchen workers, but random organizers and crew will also be lumped into this hand-wavy category. Those who aren’t working the kitchen are probably there for a good reason doing organizer work, they might or they might not play with you. Those that work the kitchen are players as everybody else (the only difference is that the work of making and serving your food is something that just need to work).
Staff Sergeants – this small group belongs to SURFOPS but is separate. They are the highest ranking NCOs of the surface teams, and their job is act as a buffer between SURFOPS and the rest of the Outpost command structure. If the SURFOPS have a problem, or anyone else have a problem with SURFOPS, they go to the Staff Sergeants. These veterans also sit in on tactical briefings and with MISCON during mission time, do briefings and information dissemination for the SURFOPS teams, and last but not least hold tactical drills (primarily for SURFOPS but also for other groups) and physical training sessions. Staff Sergeants don’t go topside.
Intelligence – Lovingly called “spooks” (not to their faces) the INT people are specialized in analyzing Enemy behaviour, transmissions and strategy, and work closely with both Science and MISCON. They are technically under the command of the Outpost Commander, but they also take orders directly from Haven and can in some situations override O-COM. A lesser part of their responsibilities is also keeping tabs on hotheads, conspiracy nuts and troublemakers within Haven (and Thermopylae) as well.
Internal Security (INTSEC) – Handles security for the Outpost, mainly perimeter security (handling breaches and incursions) but also maintaining order and preventive security work such as barricading. It also falls upon INTSEC to maintain fire security, escape routes etc. Where SURFOPS are mostly concerned with tactical operations on the surface, INTSEC handles tactical issues on the inside.
And then on to a few of the roles some of you have been assigned:
Department head – most (but not all) departments in Thermopylae have a head, ie the person that has overall responsibility for that organization as a whole. The department heads are also the main source of information and decision making for Command in general and for O-COM and XOs in particular, and the heads are expected to regularly brief O-COM on current status, projects, personnel situation etc. The department heads need not micromanage other shifts (department heads are often shift leaders too), just keep up to date with what’s going on. They are as follows: Head Tactical, Head Quartermaster, Head Science, Head MISCON, Head Medical, Head Security, Head Intelligence, Head Maintenance and Head Lifesupport.
Shift Leaders – affectionately called “bosses”, a shift leader is responsible for planning and delegating work for their specific shift, handling personnel issues and scheduling, and making sure their shift runs smooth. They are called different things in different departments; SURFOPS teams have Squad Leaders, Maintenance crews have Shift Leaders, Command has XOs and so on. If you suddenly find yourself with idle hands or you have any issues, you go find your shift leader.
Apart from this there are other specialist roles, and there will be probably be a few more down the line. Things like “Instrumentation specialist” and “Weapons Technician”, but we’ll get to them later.
How casting was done
The casting was done in a specific order: First we tried to accommodate participants that had chosen group as the most important aspect during onboarding. With a few exceptions everyone with a specific wish should have ended up where they asked for.
Secondly we moved people around according to wishes of whom to play with, also this have been done successfully in most cases (we do have people wanting to play with people who are not coming and similar that have made it interesting for us). In most cases these wishes should have been fulfilled.
Third, we checked for who people didn’t want to play with, and made sure to put people in different shifts or different groups when relevant.
Lastly we had our internal list, with people we for one or other reasons wanted in specific roles. This to make sure you all have the best possible game.
We have very little room to make changes at this moment, but feel free to email us if we have failed to take something important into account. We can´t however promise that we will be able to solve it.
GO TO CODE RED
Let’s talk a bit about Alert States in Thermopylae. An “alert state” is a set of conditions that all occupants of Thermopylae needs to know and comply with, as it concerns the security and safety of the Outpost. Alert states will most likely be communicated over the public terminals and (hopefully) over some form of intercom or warning lights system, but it is the duty of all Thermopylae occupants to relay alert states orally when one is issued.
Alert States are issued by Command, using the terminal system. Alert states remain in effect until clearly switched to another state by Command staff. In the case of “code blue” below, this will have to be done using runners.
This is the baseline, the “normal” state of Thermopylae, when nothing in particular is affecting the operations of the outpost. In this state people work according to their normal schedules.
A “code yellow” means a hightened state of alert, and is often issued when long range proximity alerts go off. In this state off-duty SURFOPS and Internal Security shifts (calmly and in orderly fashion) go to their predesignated staging posts and are ready to go active. Other Outpost operations continue as normal.
If there is ever a close proximity alert (meaning a machine is near enough to discover the entrance to Thermopylae) Command might choose to issue a “code blue”. A code blue is the stealthy option, in which the Outpost hopes to essentially “hide” from detection. All power will be cut, essentially powering down the entire outpost. All occupants shelter in place, and are responsible for turning off any autonomous lights or machinery quickly. Thermopylaes reactors will be spun down, and the outpost will be completely silent, dark and emitting no electromagnetic radiation. Everyone will be, essentially, waiting in the dark for the alert to either go to a Code Green again (at which point reactors will be spun up and lights turned back on), or a Code Red (see routines below).
A “code red” is issued for incursions into the outpost or extraordinary security breaches. In this state all capable SURFOPS and Internal Security shifts head to their staging posts and arm themselves. All non-essential personnel (meaning everyone not needed for reactor maintenance, command duties or mission control of ongoing SURFOPS missions) head to a designated shelter space, and all doors are closed. The Outpost is now in “siege mode”, meaning we expect an imminent attack on the outpost or similar.