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-   -   Why did they limit the Number of Contacts to 24? (http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/showthread.php?t=274069)

Archived Post 06-15-2012 04:47 PM

Why did they limit the Number of Contacts to 24?
 
I was in the middle of working on my next Foundry production, when I have learned that maps are limited to 24 contacts.

Who determined this number. I think this is a low number. SInce I can place 250 combat assets on a map, I should be able to place 250 contacts on a map.

On my current project, the map is designed to have the player use the environment to move forward in the story.

The events or encounters are designed so that when the player walks to a certain point on the map, it triggers an encounter.

Then as the character communicates with people in the environment it can lead to a non-conflict or a conflict. I designed a series of tables or flow charts so that when the player meets people they will select an emotional state. That emotional state will then trigger one to 4 possible outcomes.

On these newer stories, there are no real objectives in the main plot line because I think they "hand-holds" players in the game and makes players lazy.

I have designed a failure outcome in some stories successfully, because the player needs to trigger a certain event to gain the information to advance the story.

This has been thwarted by limiting the number of contacts on a map. It is hard to write a story that does not center around combat if the developers make it so the writer or producers have to pick a plot line that must use combat assets, or must state objectives in a way that "spoon-feeds" the player.

This number needs to be increased.

Thank you.

Archived Post 06-15-2012 04:54 PM

I think the limit is actually 25. But I agree the limit makes little sense. I would think the contact limit should be something more like 50.

However, can you not do the same thing with using interacts and pop-up dialogues? You can reskin neutral targs for additional people, and then add an invisible object as the interact and select "talk - neutral" as the animation.

Archived Post 06-15-2012 05:07 PM

Okay, that reads like a good idea
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nagorak (Post 4263319)
I think the limit is actually 25. But I agree the limit makes little sense. I would think the contact limit should be something more like 50.

However, can you not do the same thing with using interacts and pop-up dialogues? You can reskin neutral targs for additional people, and then add an invisible object as the interact and select "talk - neutral" as the animation.

All though I think your misspelled it, You are suggesting I skin out a combat asset as a contact, but use a neutral NPC to act as the anchor, but use a object dialog to set up the dialog box.

I will give that a try.

Yes, my reason to have 250 contacts is because on this map I am setting up the main story line and then I want to go in and set the side stories which requires the player to actually meet people in the environment.

It is the layering of these contacts that makes for a more complete story because there is to many people for the player to encounter to remember. So, as the story is played more times, the player will always encounter something new in the story.

One of the problems I have with Cryptic Star Trek stories is that they are designed to be played by 8 year olds. The plots are to simple. My experience with Star Trek Stories is that they are complex. They have many layers to them, and each character has a plot line.

I am hoping as story writers on the Foundry we can encourage Cryptic to recognize this as a benefit to the Foundry story telling.

Archived Post 06-16-2012 02:52 AM

There are always extenuating circumstances I know, especially with a grand project like you are doing. But the way I always rationalized it to myself:

If you want more than 25 contacts, ones you can't use re-skinned non-combat groups to represent, then you are trying to put more than 26 individual conversations or people you expect the players to talk to on one map.

I love dialog heavy missions myself, but, there is some stamina involved there... If I can't break it up, I would be questioning what I was trying to do myself. But! Diversity among authors is awesome! Gives us better choices!

Archived Post 06-16-2012 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Klytemnestra
All though I think your misspelled it, You are suggesting I skin out a combat asset as a contact, but use a neutral NPC to act as the anchor, but use a object dialog to set up the dialog box.

I will give that a try.

Yes, my reason to have 250 contacts is because on this map I am setting up the main story line and then I want to go in and set the side stories which requires the player to actually meet people in the environment.

It is the layering of these contacts that makes for a more complete story because there is to many people for the player to encounter to remember. So, as the story is played more times, the player will always encounter something new in the story.

One of the problems I have with Cryptic Star Trek stories is that they are designed to be played by 8 year olds. The plots are to simple. My experience with Star Trek Stories is that they are complex. They have many layers to them, and each character has a plot line.

I am hoping as story writers on the Foundry we can encourage Cryptic to recognize this as a benefit to the Foundry story telling.

Take a look at "Three Degrees of separation", you will find that I have reskinned starfleet mobs, to create about 150 independent characters, resulting in a very rich setting. It takes a lot of work, but I think this is what you are shooting for. the result is a very immersive environment where some people will even say things like "excuse me" if you bump into them. If you wish to go over some details on how I did things, feel free to email me.

Archived Post 06-16-2012 02:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XR-377 (Post 4263943)
There are always extenuating circumstances I know, especially with a grand project like you are doing. But the way I always rationalized it to myself:

If you want more than 25 contacts, ones you can't use re-skinned non-combat groups to represent, then you are trying to put more than 26 individual conversations or people you expect the players to talk to on one map.

I love dialog heavy missions myself, but, there is some stamina involved there... If I can't break it up, I would be questioning what I was trying to do myself. But! Diversity among authors is awesome! Gives us better choices!

Agreed. My missions are dialogue heavy, but I also tried to break it up so that it wasn't all on one map. I wanted players to feel like their choices were actually getting them somewhere.

However, I really like that idea of using a neutral NPC and linking an object interaction to it. It never ceases to amaze me what kind of creative workarounds people come up with to get what they want out of their project.


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