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koendians 11-11-2012 06:04 PM

Beginner wants help on complicated project (don't they always)?

I've just managed to amass 10,000 dilithium and have spent it on foundry slots. Yay! Trouble is, I'm having a hard time with my first mission.

Here's the setup: the player talks to the diplomat in Admiral Quinn's office and is told to go to Vulcan and pick up an NPC, which is where the mission begins. This is simple enough. Once you get to Vulcan, you start the first map, which is where the problems are arising.

This map is a space map which contains a derelict Cardassian cruiser which I've got labeled as a contact. When the player reaches the contact, my intention is for the player's tactical officer to in form the player that the ship is, in fact, a derelict, and recommends beaming aboard (which initiates the next map). The trouble is that I can't figure out how to attach the costume of the player's bridge officers to the Cardassian ship - I'm instead getting error messages that the bridge officer's objective is an invalid object type. Can anybody help me?


zorbane 11-11-2012 06:11 PM

Are you trying to set the costume in the dialogue editor?

EDIT: Try going into the Advanced Dialogue Editor and change the costume from in there.

ajstoner 11-11-2012 06:31 PM

Yeah, that won't work. My advice here is:

1) Direct the player's ship to the area near the Cardassian ship with a Reach Marker from the "Special" list.

2) Once you reach it, have a pop-up dialogue with your bridge officer.

You can just have them say, "Hey Captain Dude, this ship is broke." then and there or you might want to try to hail them first or scan the ship to see if anyone is aboard.

In fact, my advice on Contacts in general is avoid using them as the actual objectives unless its just a straight "Talk to Joe Schmo" arrangement.

Go to StarbaseUGC (you can link to it with the banner in Z's signature line above) and check the tutorial videos that people have posted, that's the best way to learn quickly. The foundry is a great tool (and could be the saving grace of the game I think if it was shown some real love) but can be frustrating and convoluted at times. Watching these short videos will get you past a lot of the big hurtles in learning the tool.

koendians 11-11-2012 09:31 PM

OK, thank you. Now I've got to figure out how to make the contact itself not say anything (because there aren't any "object" Cardassian ships in the library that I could find..."

connectamabob 11-12-2012 08:37 PM

Contacts have no dialog by default. You have to put something in the chat text box or attach a pop-up dialog in order for them to say something.

I'm working on my first foundry mission too, and it has a very similar moment (approaching and beaming to a derelict ship that's a costumed contact instead of an object). The way I handled it was to place a reach marker over the contact, then attach an interact button to the contact which triggers a story pop-up dialog, then put the map transition immediately after the pop-up.

Playing the map preview, this creates a situation where the player upon approaching the derelict is prompted to scan it, and when the scan is complete the player's sciences boff reports the results of the scan and their engineer boff initiates transport. The contact itself never does anything except loop its idle animation.

koendians 11-12-2012 09:51 PM

All right, reading the wiki, and a concern came to me that I need to know because it will affect my story later on.

I see that there are alignments in the section for spawning mobs into maps of Ally, Enemy, and Neutral. What do these do? I would assume that Ally makes something allied to the player, Enemy makes something enemy to the player, but what does Neutral do?

Also (and this is what is confusing me), according to the wiki, mobs of one faction will fight mobs of another faction. Now, here's the problem: suppose I want to have a mixed Federation-Romulan fleet fighting against the Collective, and not with each-other. How would I do this? Presumably I would have one squadron of Federation ships and another of Romulan ships, but how do I make them not fight each-other?

connectamabob 11-12-2012 10:41 PM

For the first question: "neutral" means they'll attack any other char or group regardless of faction. Neutral groups hate everybody equally.

For the second question: I think you'd pretty much have to create a friendly faction group for your allied fleet, then re-costume it with ship costumes from your allied faction of choice. So place Feddie groups, then change the costumes of each of the individual NPCs in those groups to Romulan ship costumes.

The trick there is that weapons fire will be visibly the wrong type for their alleged faction. A Fed ship reskinned as a Romulan ship will still fire red phasers and torps instead of the green disruptor/plasma weapons typical of Romulans. Also, ships with special abilities like saucer separation and the like will revert to their original costume if they use said ability. Unfortunately we can't manually assign group compositions, so the only way to avoid this is to use groups from a faction that doesn't have costume breaking special ships. Cardassians might work (officially Fed aligned, but the True Way stuff might make their foundry groups enemies), but I'm not sure, hafta check.

koendians 12-18-2012 09:04 AM


Got another question, and I couldn't find a tutorial on this in Starbase UGC. I have a friendly NPC whom I want to follow the player around on a map. Is this doable? Thanks!

kirksplat 12-18-2012 09:51 AM


Originally Posted by koendians (Post 7138891)

Got another question, and I couldn't find a tutorial on this in Starbase UGC. I have a friendly NPC whom I want to follow the player around on a map. Is this doable? Thanks!

Not really. There is a new patrol feature but it won't follow you. The player can follow the npc, but the patrol eventually loops back to the starting point, but maybe you could make the npc disappear when the desired point is reached and replace it with a new npc. The new one will beam in. So it's kind of funky and weird.

I also don't remember off the top of my head if patrols work for both single and group npcs It might only work with groups. Somebody can correct me.

What you may have to use is the single targ group reskinned as the npc.

Another option is to kind of trick the player by making the npc site to site transport to each location you want the player to visit. This would be like a npc you see in one room who then appears in the next room.

connectamabob 12-18-2012 11:33 AM

Yeah, unfortunately that's one of the hard limitations you'll pretty much just need to rewrite the scenario around. Invent an excuse to have them physically based elsewhere and only "following along" via comm, or write them a reason to separate and re-rendezvous with the player at the destination instead of accompanying them. That's all you can do, really.

Don't let that frustrate or disappoint you though: a lot of great movies became what they were because the creators had to write their way around some limitation or another. Don't resent having to change things, rather see it as an opportunity to explore angles that wouldn't have otherwise occurred to you.

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