Sorry if this has been discussed before. For some time ive been out on a computer thanks to a faulty HDD.
We have all been treated to cut-scene treatment in the remastered azura and recent Romulan Cloaked Intentions series.
So, what I was thinking is how complicated are these cutscenes? How much work goes into doing up one? Is there now a specific in-engine tool for doing this?
And if its not too hard, can we get it, or is it already on the drawing board for the foundry? The very long term board, probably, if its there.
Theres no dying need for this yet, as we've got plenty of other basic things that should come first for the foundry. But since, IMO, the foundry is about creating stories, plots and events, this would be a nice addition, if possible.
Whether the cut-scenes were a welcome addition or not is a separate matter. In any case, most of the complaints, if any, are in the implementation and not many people are against cutscenes in general. Plenty of people around here have already proven they'll do right by them.
Also in the latest Podcast UGC, ZeroniusRex mentions that their creation involves some dev hacks, so they don't sound easy to make. I also got that impression from Gozer's interview on STOked - setting up the camera paths and actions sounds complicated.
I wouldn't get my hopes up to see it anytime Soon™.
P.S. also check out those podcasts I mentioned! They are good for news like that :)
I know gozer said they were a pain to use. dont expect them anytime soon and if we do get them dont expect it to be super easy to use either.
As I also understand from the gozer interview, you have to basically be able to control the actors and the camera at the same time in order to make a cutscene work, and thats in the dev toolkit which is more robust then what the foundry presently offers. plus at present there isnt a way to 'link' in a cutscene moment besides :)
As THEY get more sophisticated with it, they should build a library of prefab behaviors/conversations we can use.
Y'Know, like an argument that gets pre-scripted or a camera back and forth pan with emotes between two actors.
A method to create a "script" where you give assign ACTIONS to ACTOR and CAMERAS, and SCENES
ACTORS would need move-to and emote verbs,
CAMERAS would need pan-to, zoom-to and activate (for 2nd cam) verbs,
SCENES would need sfx to activate an effect and text-overlay verbs,
a WAIT command for dramatic pauses or to give the player time to read something,
With that you could easily build a quality cut-scene the same way you would write a screenplay dialog.
move-to, pan-to, zoom-to, and sfx would need a location parameter or "mark" to be pre-defined
so you could do something like ACTOR "Hakeev" move-to:<mark1>, for example.
Probably the most complicated thing in this proposal would be to build a tool to place marks.
Concretely how would this work;
I imagine that you would be inside the mission, in test mode, but have an additional tool/power called 'cut-scene'
This cut-scene power would start by pressing "pause world"
which brings up a new UI overlay with the text-based script,
and pre-populated list of ACTORS (NPCs and BOs) that are on the current game screen
and a Camera element at it's current position
So you start with all the elements in their current on-screen starting preset places.
Next press Play (like the director shouting "action" on scene)
and the events would step through a list of tasks in a text script,one by one.
Very linear, no multi-threading. or simultaneous actions required
After all you want the players attention focused on one thing at a time.[/color]
The back-end system would need to track each element's locations at each step so that the UI text screen could include the typical Play/Pause, Previous-step (rewind), Next-step, as the scene was debugged.
When you have the scene scripted the way you want, you press 'Record', the scene starts from the beginning, and is rendered into an object/file that is saved into your foundry mission.
That is probably where the real challenge is.
Remember all the debates about foundry mission not really being pre-built (compiled) beforehand the way Cryptic's in-house missions are? So with this scenario you get a hybrid, pre-build little piece, and have to push it back out to your foundry mission editor.
But clearly not insurmountable.
There are a number of things that could be added incrementally.
Adding new Actors, more cameras, more emotes, more Special Effects, etc.
Extending the max-length of a scene (I would expect it to be limited in both time and number of actions to start)
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