Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Foundry as a stand alone
04-28-2011, 02:01 PM
Is there plans to make the Foundry a stand alone entity in that someone who does not wish to play the game, but would like to make missions could do so.

i know i have down time once in a while that i could work on it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
04-28-2011, 11:17 PM
I was actually thinking the same thing. It'd be beneficial to everyone if the foundry were stand alone and always open to everyone with an account. (currently subscribed or not)

The developers can make it so that you have to subscribe to actually upload your content, but you can make all the content you want for free. This way, people who don't have life time subscriptions can make missions on their downtime without feeling like they're getting cheated out of their time/money. Then they just upload all their created missions whenever they subscribe again and blamo, more missions for the community and more reasons for players to keep coming back to the game!

It's a win-win situation.

I'm probably going to take some downtime in a month and I'd sure love it if the foundry stayed open for me so that I can keep working on a mission I've been tinkering with.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
05-04-2011, 01:52 PM
Foundry = STO , STO is not free, just that simple really.. Foundry like anything else in STO is a part of STO, and part of the reason people pay $$ for it.

I'm even thinking of getting another lifer account just to be able to use the foundry and play at the same time.. So giving foundry away for free would actually make it so I wouldn't have to do that, but I think the goal is to make $$ to grow the game, so I'm for it costing $$ instead of free..

- X -
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
05-04-2011, 03:36 PM
No, the foundry is actually a tool designed so that some very selfless players can take time out of their lives to make missions for other players to play. Cryptic is 'crowd sourcing' they even said it themselves. Now, when a company crowd sources it means that they're relying on the customer base to actually work (FOR FREE) on digital media that the company then SELLS to other customers.

So here's the broken down version:

PLAYERS = FREE LABOR


There are undoubtedly going to be people that say that the player content is 'free' for other players and I would like to strike them with a big economics book. The player content isn't free because the people playing them are paying subscriptions to do so. Think of it like this, every time that you make a mission that someone else plays ... you just made Cryptic money. In order to comprehend this concept, you have to remember that most players buy a monthly subscription which is essentially purchased 'game time'. This time is then 'spent' playing missions like yours. This all adds up when you think of the size of the community and the amount of content donated to STO.

So essentially, the players are making Cryptic MONEY by giving them 'FREE' content to 'SELL' to other players ... plus they're paying subscriptions to do so.

What the OP and I are saying is that this is messed up, because it's like an employee paying their boss for the privilege of working for their boss. Do you see where I'm coming from? Would you like to pay me twenty dollars for the privilege of mowing my lawn?


I think that Cryptic should make the foundry open to accounts regardless of active subscriptions or not. The way I see it, every minute that a player spends in the foundry working on a mission is one minute of free labor donated to Cryptic free of charge. Players are offering their labor to make STO more fleshed out and I think it's ridiculous that Cryptic is charging them for it.

Now, I personally suggest that players should have an active subscription to upload their missions. This would work well for several reasons, but the most prominent is that it'll keep people coming back to the game. It'll also ensure that more 'quality' missions will be made by players as they'll be able to tweak and perfect their missions on their off time and then upload them whenever they resubscribe.


Sorry, I'm an Economics major and I can't help but find these kinds of situations absurd. Even taking into account the cost of servers, it doesn't offset the human labor. All of you mission authors need to think and realize that your time is very valuable and you're giving away your skills for free (plus you're paying for it). I'm just amazed by this experience ...


...Anyone want to work for me? I won't charge you much.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
05-04-2011, 03:23 PM
The very reason we have a limit to the number of missions we can create is because each mission is a huge amount of data, and Cryptic cant afford to let people create an unlimited amount of missions. If people could create missions for free without even playing the game, that would completely circumvent the reason for having a limit in the first place.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
05-04-2011, 03:27 PM
It still requires Cryptic servers to host the mission instances, so I don't see this ever happening.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
05-04-2011, 04:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by The.Grand.Nagus View Post
The very reason we have a limit to the number of missions we can create is because each mission is a huge amount of data, and Cryptic cant afford to let people create an unlimited amount of missions. If people could create missions for free without even playing the game, that would completely circumvent the reason for having a limit in the first place.
How much do you know about programming? It seems to me that you actually think that every mission has its own set of art graphics that are stored just for that mission. You know that this isn't the case right? When you work in the foundry, you're just building a set of code which is stored on the server. All of the art and complex functions are already built into the server, you're just sending instructions to call them and place them in given locations.

I could probably package your entire mission in an email. It's all just code.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
05-04-2011, 04:30 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarianni
I could probably package your entire mission in an email. It's all just code.
I think you're more of less correct about this; although it's likely even less than that. At most all you're actually creating are a few dozen or hundred records in their back-end database with all the object IDs and attributes you selected. Still, with 100s of thousands of players, even something that seems like a modest amount of data adds up really quickly. There are also caching and load concerns, since RAM is cheap, but it isn't unlimited. And disk seeks can add up to a lot of delay. There is some cost to this stuff, just like there is some cost to inventory and bank slots. It might seem like another 10 or 20 slots can't take up that much room, since it's just rows of integers in some table somewhere. But it all adds up, and when you factor in the growth in storage based on huge numbers of players, plus the load for increased search and retrieve times, it gets expensive real quick.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
05-04-2011, 04:44 PM
I'd quesstimate that a mission is about 3-4 megs, top. Object and map limits make that sure.
If every player filled their quote to the limit then,
50.000 players * 8 mission * 4megs=1,600,000 megs => 1.6 TB.
1.6 TB server HDD with RAID and all costs somewhere around $3.000-5.000.

Sarianni, your thinking is correct, however, you leave out a few things.

- Foundry is a time sink built into the game to make players stay and pay.

- While you build maps, you don't get mad on the lacking/bugged content.

- The whole thing is designed to be easy, but time consuming to use. It should take ages to get anything decent done.

- You can't import or "move" missions. Here is why: A 30 days sub is $15 a retail box+a DD box COMBINED is about $10-13 (I got mine for $7.5). This gives you 60 days. Since the whole game is mainly built around leveling an other toon, it is cheaper to keep getting 2 boxes - 60 days. Now if you had this offline->load online thing then you could load your missions to your current 60 days account, work on them and publish from there. Well, it is not possible, so you either keep paying a $15 sub or say goodbye to the edit right of you missions.

The benefit from the actual end result (ie UGC missions) come after all this. If noone ever made a playable mission, but players would keep trying and subbing for months then the foundry would be considered a great success by the shareholders.


Oh, and your last comment reminded me to an old joke:

2 CEOs are talking shortly after the depression hit.
- I can't pay my employees any more. Can you?
- No.
- Do your employees still show up to work?
- Yes.
- Hm. I have an idea! How about we make them pay an admission fee?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
05-04-2011, 05:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarianni
How much do you know about programming? It seems to me that you actually think that every mission has its own set of art graphics that are stored just for that mission. You know that this isn't the case right? When you work in the foundry, you're just building a set of code which is stored on the server. All of the art and complex functions are already built into the server, you're just sending instructions to call them and place them in given locations.

I could probably package your entire mission in an email. It's all just code.
First of all, I'm just telling you what Cryptic has told us. If you think they are wrong, thats between you and them. But either way you seemed to miss the main point: they have set a cap on the number of missions we can make. Since you can create an unlimited number of free accounts on the website, then by allowing people to create missions for free that = circumventing the cap they have in place. So if you really want this to happen, you'll have to figure out a solution to that issue.
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