Ongoing Worlds recently took the opportunity to interview StarBase 118’s Fleet Admiral Tristan Wolf about UFoP: StarBase 118 and what makes it, as they’ve said themselves, “serious Star Trek simming.” Admiral Wolf was kind enough to answer questions regarding the functionality, community, and history of the group, including,
How do you get involved personally with this community?
I founded it!
In May of 1994, I had been a member of AOL (in the 1.0 days!) for a few months, and was heavily involved in the “Red Dragon Inn” chat room RPG there. I met some folks who introduced me to live Star Trek sims, and became entranced with it.
At the time, a group called “Star Trek Sims” was growing in prominence on AOL, and a user named “TREKGURU” had introduced a method of simming using AOL mail, instead of chat rooms. I’m not sure if this is the first time it was done this way (I’m sure there were some precursors in the BBS days to this type of email simming), but they seemed to be doing a pretty good job at it. This new way of simming obviously brought some benefits over live simming in chat rooms, mainly in that you didn’t have to sign on at a specific time each day, giving everyone involved a greater degree of flexibility to participate.
As many people in history have done, I decided “I can do this better!” and created my own group. We started with both live sims, and AOL mail sims (which eventually transformed into email as we know it today). In those days, it was a common practice to do “drive-by recruiting” in chat rooms, where you’d enter a chat room, invite people to join a sim, and then leave immediately before getting kicked. I spent a lot of time doing that, and met a few really great people who helped me found what, at that time, was just called “UFOP”.
The entire interview is fascinating and worth a read for anyone interested in learning a bit more about StarBase 118. Again, you can find the interview from Ongoing Worlds here.