There is a plot device that may help those of you who don’t have another person simming with you at your post. (i.e.- if you work in security, and there is another security officer on the crew, then you have another person simming with you at your post. But some posts, like Helm/Com/Ops, may only have one person stationed at them — you.) This plot device that you’ll find helpful is called the “Non Playing Character” (NPC).
Everyone is free to play as many NPCs in the sim as they wish (within reason, of course.) Many people in UFOP create two or three (some people, like Hamlet, have about 20 NPCs) “extra” characters. These characters aren’t your main characters, but every now and then you use them as someone else to interact with in the sim.
For example: Let’s say there is only one science officer on your crew. You could create another character who’s an ensign, and is also posted to science. During your sims, you could have your primary character interact with the new ensign by giving him orders, helping him fix things, or whatever. You don’t HAVE to create a character who’s in the same department as you though. You could just create a civilian character which which your primary characters falls in love with, for example.
You may create NPCs who are of equal or lesser rank than you. (i.e.- A Lieutenant can create an NPC who’s a lieutenant or an ensign. An ensign can only create NPCs who are ensigns, cadets, yeomen, etc.)
NPCs are just there to add a little depth to your sims. If your characters are always working alone, you’ll start to get bored. By showing how your main character interacts with other characters, you’re developing your character for us more, which is always good.
(Written by: Captain Malcolm Lysander)