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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Hey Folks,

I wanted to go through and cover all the new Foundry feature that hit Tribble last night. I'm sure there are a few authors who don't have access to or don't want to deal with Tribble. I'll also hit some of my own thoughts on what they mean for authors.

Changes to the Story Editor

Map transitions

Map transitions have changed quite a bit. You'll notice now that every unplaced map you create is listed in the library. To create a transition now, you need to drag the map into the story flow chart. This will create a Project Map Box, similar to the Complete All box. There are text fields at the top where you can customize the display name of the map and what the mission text will say. You will also notice that inside the Project Map box is a place to drop ally the objectives that will occur on that map. A box will appear between each map with the usual transition settings. Since only unplaced maps show up in the library, a map can now only be placed once. (Not that this worked before.) You also can't double up maps in a Complete All like you can with objectives.

Dialog with Object

This I think is one of the most useful changes to the Foundry to come with this update. Objects can now be treated like NPC contacts. You can have the player use an object and have a dialog popup which can have a success or failure. Puzzle makers rejoice! No more reskinning NPC contacts as consoles or that annoying "Talk to Console."

One other note is that the Interact with Object time can be set to Instant now.

Changes to the Map Editor

Overall Changes

There have been a number of changes to the map editor. First off, the middle muse button is now the universal drag view button. For those of you who don't know, the scroll wheel on your mouse can be clicked like a button. Unfortunately, most track pads don't have a middle mouse button.

Another addition is that all objects that have objectives attach to them have a linked symbol next to them in the list.

Object rotation has gotten a visual upgrade. When you rotate an object, instead of the large circle, there are now 4 small arrows in a circular pattern. Moving the mouse toward one will change it's icon to a circular arrow indicating you can click to rotate. Overall this is nice as it doesn't block the view like the big circle used to.

3D Preview

Remember those horrid preview images we used to have when selecting an object in the Library? The previews are now 3D! Even more, you can rotate the object around in the preview window. This will eliminate so much uncertainty when choosing assets. Unfortunately, effects are still not previewed and you only get a black window. Also no surprise, but invisible objects are also invisible in preview.

View Mission Waypoints

Next to the Translation and Rotation Snap Toggle Buttons is a new button which shows you all the waypoints as they'll appear on the minimap. This is handy for getting an idea of how the mission waypoints will look with out launching a preview mission.

Multi-Select

If you left click and drag a selection box now appears allowing you to select a group of objects. This has been a long requested feature of the community. If you've ever build a zigurat and wanted to move it across the map, now you can. Even more you can rotate the entire group. The downside here is that click+drag on the map is the only way to select multiple objects. They can't be selected from the list and you can't shift+click on individual objects.

Objects

As mentioned before, objects get all the rights of NPC contacts. Objects now have an option for a default dialog. Want that pad on the table to be reviewable? Now you can.

NPC Contact/Group

There have been a lot of changes to NPCs. The biggest change is to the way behavior is handled. The Behavior tab has now become the Advanced Behavior tab. The first thing you'll notice is that there is that there is more than one behavior type. Before you were limited to "Ambient with Non-Combat," you now now have a choice between Contact and Legacy Contacy. Legacy Contact is a carbon copy of the old Ambient with Non-Combat, but Contact offers a much simpler set of options. Right now the only two properties are Animation which the NPC will continually do, and Chat text which the NPC will continue to repeat every second. Great if you have a Insane NPC, not so great for everything else. My guess is that this isn't the way it's suppose to work.

NPC Groups have their own new behaviors. By default an NPC group starts out with the True Combat behavior. The properties for this are identical to Ambient with Combat (which itself has been renamed Legacy Combat) I haven't found any difference between the two, but the fact that they do have both suggests that changes may be on the way.

But the fun doesn't stop there. There are 3 other behaviors for NPC groups to choose from. The first is Animate which only has two options, Combat Entry Text and Animation. The second is Chat which adds Chat Text. This currently behaves the same way as the NPC contact chat text. The last one is the most interesting, the only property is Animation, but what makes this different is what happens when they get into combat. They won't attack, they'll run away. Finally you can have Klingon missions where you slaughter civilians. This also works between two NPC groups.

What is more important though is what this means for the Foundry. NPCs now support multiple behaviors. I wouldn't be surprised if in the future we start seeing other types of NPC behavior. Perhaps an NPC follow or NPCs that get to a certain health and go friendly. The possibilities are endless.

Dialog Editor

The dialog editor for the most part hasn't changed, however one new feature is the addition of the Title field. Each dialog prompt has a title which will appear above the character portrait.

Costume Editor

The Character Editor has been cleaned up and polished. The options are also grouped into tabs for better maintainability.

The Starship Editor isn't quite as polished as it still has a lot of unformated field names. One interesting feature (or is it a bug) is that the colors and hull material can be set for each piece, meaning the nacelles can have hull material 4 while the saucer has 1. The available ships seem to be fully up to date including the Atrox Carrier and the Ferengi D'Kora.

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So I think that about wraps that up. Feel free to post your own discoveries or any questions you may have.