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-   -   Tragedies (http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/showthread.php?t=514951)

patrickngo 01-15-2013 03:47 AM

Tragedies
 
Is it possible to build a foundry mission that includes the possibility of failure? i.e. setting up multiple decision chains, some of which end the mission, grant the rewards, but have an unhappy ending?

hippiejon 01-15-2013 04:05 AM

Yes. It is possible.
I have played at least two missions where failure was possible.
Off the top of my head , I just thought of 3 ways to make it happen.
If you do it though, Expect to get downrated by a lot of people.

Folks don't like their heroes losing.

drogyn1701 01-15-2013 06:28 AM

There was an author named Woghd who included a failure option in his mission, I believe it was called Stilleto. Essentially he made it so that the player could end up trapped in an area where the only option was to exit the mission.

I liked it personally, and he warned everyone up front that this was an intentional mechanic.

hanover2 01-15-2013 06:33 AM

When the feeling's gone and you can't go on....

robeasom 01-15-2013 06:38 AM

I would play this if you publish it as th possibility of failure can help me make my character think before he leaps

hippiejon 01-15-2013 07:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drogyn1701 (Post 7487831)
There was an author named Woghd who included a failure option in his mission, I believe it was called Stilleto. Essentially he made it so that the player could end up trapped in an area where the only option was to exit the mission.

I liked it personally, and he warned everyone up front that this was an intentional mechanic.

Yup.
This was one of the ones I am thinking of.
I also enjoyed it.
I think part of the key is letting people know up front that there is a fail mechanic in the mission.

ajstoner 01-15-2013 07:45 AM

Personally, I would handle this as a "forced fail" situation, meaning I would have the successful completion of the mission by the player end with the failure of the mission by the character.

You could do this by simply having the mission progress this way from the start. for example: the TNG episode where the Enterprise is tricked into returning the Romulan spy home whom they think is a Vulcan diplomat--they figure it out but too late and are forced to run away to avoid capture themselves. Failure of the crew's mission is simply how the story ends. This can work very well as a set-up for another mission where the character deals with the results of this failure.

A variation on this is the "Glorious Failure" mission. In literary terms this would generally result in the heroic death of our protagonist in the climax of the story. Now, you can't kill a player's character (and I wouldn't recommend trying even if you could) but this can still be achieved short of that. You put the characters in an impossible situation and then have them deal with the aftermath of their inevitable failure to prevent "Tragedy X" from happening after doing a litany of heroic tasks attempting to avoid it anyway.

This is tricky but doable. I have a mission where the player is sent to investigate why a ship is late in reporting in. They are then forced to deal with an a situation that rapidly accelerates of control and ends in a militarily pointless battle claiming thousands of lives based on a lie told to cover-up the machinations of powerful individuals back in fleet command. The player is able to rescue a few people and come out on top in terms of the final battle, but they have been used and manipulated into taking part in something highly unethical. The player now rightly angry about this, I have a built-in set-up for the next mission where the player attempts to expose the corruption that lead to this tragedy.

Yet another way to do this is by having an optional failure achieved by dialogues that appear based on a decision the player has made on the last map. This can be achieved with invisible object and triggers keyed to dialogues placed on the map as opposed to the story board.

There is a great deal you can do with a little planning and creative use of the story-board set-up despite its limitations.

grylak 01-15-2013 08:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ajstoner (Post 7488691)
This is tricky but doable. I have a mission where the player is sent to investigate why a ship is late in reporting in. They are then forced to deal with an a situation that rapidly accelerates of control and ends in a militarily pointless battle claiming thousands of lives based on a lie told to cover-up the machinations of powerful individuals back in fleet command. The player is able to rescue a few people and come out on top in terms of the final battle, but they have been used and manipulated into taking part in something highly unethical. The player now rightly angry about this, I have a built-in set-up for the next mission where the player attempts to expose the corruption that lead to this tragedy.

Yet another way to do this is by having an optional failure achieved by dialogues that appear based on a decision the player has made on the last map. This can be achieved with invisible object and triggers keyed to dialogues placed on the map as opposed to the story board.

There is a great deal you can do with a little planning and creative use of the story-board set-up despite its limitations.




They sound fun. what are the names of your missions?

ajstoner 01-15-2013 10:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by grylak (Post 7489591)
They sound fun. what are the names of your missions?

My signiutre shows the mission in question; I prefer to avoid mentioning specific missions (my own at least) in discussion-side threads. I tried to PM you but apparently we can't do that on the STO forums which is bizzare to me.

pendra3780 01-15-2013 01:42 PM

All my missions relied heavily on multiple endings. One of them had 4 very different paths to proceed and featured about 30 different endings ranging from total disaster to perfect mission. I even gave away stuff worth around 600-1.000k EC for perfect completion. There was only 1 taker...

In that particular mission you could:
Flee,
kill the hijackers and free the hostages
stun the hijackers and free the hostages
Or the same without freeing the hostages
Enter the bridge by doing makeshift repairs on the transporter
Enter the bridge by getting hints from the hostages
Retake the bridge without dealing with the hijackers
Retake the bridge by killing the bridge crew
Retake the bridge by stunning the bridge crew
Retake the bridge by talking the bridge crew to surrender
Free the hostages and then retake the bridge using one of the options above
Fix up the ship before or meanwhile doing any of the stuff above
And in the meantime you had plenty of bad choices that led to dead hostages or got you to blow up the whole ship while you were on it. It was a pretty nifty mission with high replay value.


Based on my experience: Don't bother. People will not understand. They usually find the bad ending first, and leave wondering what a stupid mission that was. Only a tiny fraction has the brain capacity to figure that, unlike other missions, choices DO matter in this one.

On one map, you can do pretty much anything with branching stuff. With some advanced mapping techniques, you can have plenty of different maps without actual map change. In one of my missions, you had a choice to go to walk on an small barren moon, or run around on the planet surface then explore an underground laboratory then go to a waterside Starfleet base for debriefing which evaluated your real mission performance. All on the same one map.

The you can carry over choices from previous maps using codewords or code numbers. On the space map, if you go down one path, you will get a frequency of 556. If you go on an other path, you will get frequency 789. On the next map, you boff asks for the frequency. You set it and there, your choices on the previous map got carried over to the next map.


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