View Single Post
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 792
As many of you are aware I started my in depth mission reviews back around September 3rd 2011. Since then I have reviewed over 250 missions of just about every type. I started doing my reviews when I read a number of "feedback" reviews on author's missions that were obviously intended to be nothing more than insulting. Those folks are usually just trying to make themselves feel better by bringing down others. Have I reviewed some terrible missions? You bet, but you will not find any review I have done that seeks to insult the author or make them feel bad about it. Why is that? For one thing I am not a child. For another I know the Foundry is not always an easy tool to use. There is no way the folks at Cryptic could generate enough missions to keep the community satisfied completely. The creation of missions by authors enriches our community giving us more content to continue the adventure. That is the real genius behind the Foundry.

Okay, so I should get back to the focus outlined in the title of this article. I have posted my "Best Practices" piece a while back and in there I mention using scripts. In many of my reviews over the past year when I point out discrepancies in the plot of mission or other things that detract from the story I have recommended the author use a script. I have been using scripts for years in animation work that I do on the side, so it was a natural thing for me to use in the creation of my Foundry missions. It occurs to me in all my recommendations and the Best Practices piece I never provided an example of the script I use, so I will provide an example of one with explanations for each one.

The first section is an important for creating a mission.

Mission Title: Your mission name
Project ID: Assigned when you create the mission.
Allegiance: Federation or Klingon
Level: This depends on the mission elements too.

Description: This is a summary of the story to help you figure out what the purpose of the mission is. This will also help you write a summary that will draw the player in and make them want to click the 'Hail' button.

Cast:
This is optional but is recommend to help you keep track of your characters and make sure you create the ones you need.

Grant Mission Dialog:
This is used to write the dialogue that will make the player want to click the 'Accept' button. You can of course add follow on dialogue that occurs after the player has accepted the mission.

Map Name: The name of the map you are going to create
Map Type: This is for your notes on the map type. Is it Space, Ground, or Interior?
Map Description This is for your notes on the map. For example; Space with "Weather Starstreaks WestEast 01" effects, class "Y" planet, and class "D" moon. Triggered interaction animation "Coming from warp" with "Weather Starstreaks WestEast 01" effects disappear, while planet and moon appear.
Map Transfer: This is for your notes. For example; Earth Space Dock > Your Map Name
Map Text: This becomes your initial mission task. For example; Enter Bridge from panel across from Transporter Room ESD.
NPC: This is the dialogue from the NPC who is speaking to the player. The NPC part is usually whoever the NPC is., For example; Tactical Officer (Bridge).
Button: This is the entry button to your map. For example; Energize.

Mission Task: This is the task from the mission story section. For example; Explore the ruins.

NPC: As above this is where I write the dialogue from an NPC that the player will read. The NPC is where I put the name or title of whomever the layer is speaking with.
Response: This is where I put the player response to the dialogue.

If the dialogue has multiple responses I number each one and indicate that on the NPC dialogue that matches that button. It helps for more complex dialogue. Speaking of more complex dialogue, I recommend you use reducing response buttons to dialogue rather than having the player return to the same dialogue with the same responses to choose another. It is a little more work but I think it makes the story flow better. The only time I use a repeating dialogue with the same response buttons over and over is for database entries in a computer or something along those lines.

For Reach Markers:

Reach Marker: What is it?
NPC: Is there NPC dialogue?
Response: What is the player response button?

For Interaction:

Mission Task: What is the interaction in the story? For example; Initial scan
Interact: What is the interaction button? For example; Scan

If the is enemy combat:

Engage Enemy 1 of 3
Engage Enemy 2 of 3
Engage Enemy 3 of 3

Below is the entire script template I use for you to copy and paste into Word for your own use.

-------Script Example--------

Mission Title:
Project ID:
Allegiance:
Level: 16+
Description: [Rank] [LastName], (STORY SUMMARY)

[OOC] Authors Notes:
Heavy dialog with some combat.
Estimate length;
minutes with full dialog.
with "Skip Dialog".[/OOC]

Cast:


Summary:

Authors Note:

Grant Mission Dialog:

Map Name:
Map Transfer:
Map Text:
NPC:
Button:

Mission Task:

NPC:
Response:

NPC:
Response:

Mission Task:

NPC:
Response:

NPC:
Response:
Optional Response: I would like to move on please. (Skip Dialog)
NPC Optional Response:
Response: Got it. Thanks...

Reach Marker:
NPC:
Response:

Mission Task:

NPC:
Response:

Map Name:
Map Transfer:
Map Text:
NPC:
Button:

Mission Task:
Interact:

NPC:
Response:

Mission Task:
Engage Enemy 1/3
Engage Enemy 2/3
Engage Enemy 3/3

NPC:
Response:

NPC:
Response:

End Mission

------End Example------

I hope this helps and if you have any questions please let me know.
Thanks for authoring,
Brian
If you would like a detailed review of your mission please visit my forum posting "In depth mission reports upon request" for details. Also see Evil 70th's list of missions at "Evil 70th's Missions".