Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
You have read that correctly.

After a year of being in production, we at the SF41 have decided to release the first part of the novel to the public.

The Basic Plot

The story starts out with the player taking on the role of a female character named Kaliena. The character is sent to Vulcan by her Commanding Officer to give her a reduced assignment because she is pregnant, and Starfleet Command does not want to have a pregnant Captain in a war zone. She is to report to a Vulcan Scientist to work on an assignment of upmost importance. The player returns home to Vulcan to tell her parents that she is pregnant and plans to marry her Bajoran lover Utta Dyrus.

Upon returning home Kaliena soon discovers that her father is the Vulcan Scientist she has been assign to work with on Vulcan.

The story so far, is divided into six Acts. This part takes the player through Act 1 to Act 2 Scene 2. The next part of release will start at Act 2 Scene 2.

A Long Story

This story is intended to be a long story. The first act is mainly exposition to establish who the characters are and why they are there. Act 2 is there to establish the plot of the story and lead the character to Act 3.

In Act 2, the character will have to start to learn from the environment and develop strategies to solve certain problems that prevent them from completing their assignment. The story is not designed for the casual player or a person who desires to jump in and out of a story for the purpose of dilithium ore mining.

The running time to play The first part is about 2 hours. Emote Dice rolling is required and built-in to the story.

Thank you and have fun.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
04-24-2012, 03:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klytemnestra
You have read that correctly.

After a year of being in production, we at the SF41 have decided to release the first part of the novel to the public.

The Basic Plot

The story starts out with the player taking on the role of a female character named Kaliena.
Wow, you really lost me there. I was looking forward to this, but I was looking forward to playing the mission with *my* character...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
04-24-2012, 03:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by The.Grand.Nagus View Post
Wow, you really lost me there. I was looking forward to this, but I was looking forward to playing the mission with *my* character...
Agreed with the Nagus. I was interested, very much so. Right up until I read that. So, I'm probably not even going to play it , as restricting me from my own character would have me rating you very low. better I think to just not play, so you are spared at least one low rating.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
I am sorry to hear you will not be able to play Call of Cthulhu because the story takes the view of a female character. Call of Cthulhu is our desire to move away from stories that are combat driven and to much of a cookie-cutter story.

We at the SF41 feel that there are plenty of those kinds of stories on the Foundry already, and we have already produced enough short stories that do not take on a point of view.

However, I think it is sad that people cannot find it in themselves to step outside of their norm. The art of true role play is to play the story and take on a character that challenges you. Sometimes we will have to take on roles as female toons. I am a female and I have had to play many stories on the Foundry that are written from a male perspective, even when the writer attempts to be neutral to gender, I do not find it to be a good story.

Most good stories and good movies must take a point of view to get down to a personal story. A story requires a hero, and the hero must take on the challenges and villains unique to that hero.

I think of it as an actor playing a role for a Star Trek Episode. Roleplaying is not any different.

However, if you do find the time to review the story, I would like to think you would enjoy it.

Thank you.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
04-24-2012, 04:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klytemnestra
I am sorry to hear you will not be able to play Call of Cthulhu because the story takes the view of a female character. Call of Cthulhu is our desire to move away from stories that are combat driven and to much of a cookie-cutter story.
It has nothing to do with the character being female. There are other Foundry missions that are heavily story based and not combat driven(like you just said your goal was) that dont try to tell me who my character is for me.

Quote:
Most good stories and good movies must take a point of view to get down to a personal story.
And in video games where players create their own characters rather than having the character created for them, this is done through the personal story of the characters they encounter in the missions.

I've been hoping someone would create some Lovecraft themed missions for some time now, but unfortunately this is not what I had in mind. Sorry.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
I am of the opinion that not every story needs to be designed they way you prefer it to be.

Thank you.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7 Call of Cthulhu is available!
04-29-2012, 11:24 AM
Looking for a new adventure?

Look no further.

Call of Cthulhu is an adventure story that is centered around a mysterious clay bas relief at a newly discovered archeological site on the planet Vulcan. The story is told in a six part novel that begins on the planet Vulcan. As a role-player, you will take on the role of Admiral Kaliena a young 42 years old Vulcan/Human female who has recently returned home to the planet Vulcan.

After surviving a battle at DS9 that was held under siege by the Borg, she learns that she is now pregnant. The fleet command of the SF41 The Black Sheep under the leadership of Klytemnestra Hippocrata has reassigned her to work on Vulcan while she is pregnant.

This story is our first attempt to bring a real novel to the Foundry on Star Trek Online.

What defines a "real" novel?

For our role play group, we believe that there are plenty of stories on the User Generated Content (UGC) tool that are what we term "cookie-cutter-style" stories.

Quote:
What defines a cookie-cutter-style story?

A story that is generic in form that is designed for anyone to fit into the role of the hero or villain of the story.
While this format facilitates a quick pace game, it undermines and sacrifices good story telling and role play in the screenplay.

We feel at the SF41 that there is a better way to use the Foundry to make Star Trek come alive for the fan who wants to be immersed into the universe.

What does immersion mean for a role player? A role player is essentially an amateur actor. People like to take on roles in a fantasy setting to take them away from the day to day dull activities that normal life brings to them. A player can be immersed in several ways into a fantasy universe. We narrow the types down to two fundamentally different categories of players; singular player perspective view and multiple player perspective view.

Singular Player Perspective View – type of immersion told from a player’s point of view. The player only plays one character in the play. So, the whole story is cut around the perspective of that one character.

Multiple Player Perspective View – type of immersion told from a player’s point of view. The player plays more than one character in the play. So, the whole story is cut around more than one character in the play.

With this medium that we are using in Star Trek Online to tell our stories, it is essentially a book that uses game elements and special effects to tell a play. The player is the character, reader, and audience at the same time. This creates a dilemma. A book is a linear story telling device. A reader starts at point A and then proceeds to point B and performs one action at a time turning one page until the end of the book. A movie or television screen play must take the point of view of a particular person because the story is being told in a visual and audio way. A screenplay is designed to be 120 pages long in 12 point Courier type font. Each page is 1 minute length of time which tells the actor, director, and producer what must occur in a linear story. So in the end, the story is at 120 minutes running time.

However, many movies and television shows today are cut around many of the characters in the play. This is because the camera can be move to a different character or audience perspective. The audience is known as the 4th wall.

Why is this important to know for the Foundry?

Because, we as Foundry writers must understand how to adapt our screenplays to fit around the UGC tool to tell our stories in a low cost and minimal amount of production time to bring the story to the players in the game. There will be times in the game when we can create a scene in dialog or as a full map (stage) to tell our story.

For our group of role players and story tellers, we decided to create Call of Cthulhu and Terror in the Patch to fit that style of storytelling that we want to use. That style is the multiple player perspective view. Many of our role players play Star Trek online with multiple characters. I have 24 characters currently in Star Trek Online. Some may say that is too many characters, but I would argue that it is not. See, it is the need of playing multiple characters in a multiple player perspective view that creates a need to have many characters. Because we as role players may be called upon to fit a new role at any moment’s notice depending on the script we are using in the play.

The Foundry has limitations to its ability to create multiple layered stories with dice rolling. However, we at the SF41 feel that we have overcome this problem using the technology currently in the game. The game already has a emote tool that allows for dice rolling. And the Foundry already allows for multiple trees of dialog. So as a creative writer, we need to just cut our stories to fit the tool. And, if other groups start to use the tool in that way, then that will create a need for the developers to design a dice rolling system in the tool. I argue that already exist.

Our group has demonstrated this ability in several plays we have already written for the Foundry. However, in Call of Cthulhu we are attempting to combine all these lessons into one enjoyable play.

At the heart of a play, we feel that the story itself must be compelling. Conflict in the story must be developed over time, so the character or role player understands why they are in the situation that they are and why they should care about it. By presenting the story as we do in Call of Cthulhu, we build the tension in the story as the character progresses through the dialog so that we control the characters psychologically, so that in the end, the player will experience the catharsis of the play.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
04-29-2012, 11:40 AM
I just wanted to post that I think it's terrible that your story forces people to play your character. A truly creative author would find a way to have written the story, but permit the player to still play the character of their choosing.

In the Star Trek series that we've seen most of the holonovels have allowed the person playing some leeway into the character. They can be male or female as they choose, though often rank/assignment is set by the story.

I'm glad you're trying to write a good story, that's important and it's something STO is sorely lacking, but to force people to play a character of your choice, be it male or female, as oppose to allowing their choice just feels wrong to me.

Bottom line... I tried your mission, but I was unable to stomach the forced story progression. I didn't leave a rating, and perhaps I should have. It would have been a 1 for the lack of foresight. I won't be playing it again. I will, however, keep an eye out for any other missions you might write in the future.

You seem to have talent as a writer, I look foreword to a story that is more open-minded. Good journeys!

PS. The.Grand.Nagus is a very well respected member of the STO community. He is extremely active on the forums, very helping in-game and in the forums, and he has several highly rated foundry missions. You shouldn't dismiss his suggestions just because you disagree with him. It's narrow-minded and extremely short-sighted.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9 Thank you
04-29-2012, 12:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikodas View Post
I just wanted to post that I think it's terrible that your story forces people to play your character. A truly creative author would find a way to have written the story, but permit the player to still play the character of their choosing.

In the Star Trek series that we've seen most of the holonovels have allowed the person playing some leeway into the character. They can be male or female as they choose, though often rank/assignment is set by the story.

I'm glad you're trying to write a good story, that's important and it's something STO is sorely lacking, but to force people to play a character of your choice, be it male or female, as oppose to allowing their choice just feels wrong to me.

Bottom line... I tried your mission, but I was unable to stomach the forced story progression. I didn't leave a rating, and perhaps I should have. It would have been a 1 for the lack of foresight. I won't be playing it again. I will, however, keep an eye out for any other missions you might write in the future.

You seem to have talent as a writer, I look foreword to a story that is more open-minded. Good journeys!

PS. The.Grand.Nagus is a very well respected member of the STO community. He is extremely active on the forums, very helping in-game and in the forums, and he has several highly rated foundry missions. You shouldn't dismiss his suggestions just because you disagree with him. It's narrow-minded and extremely short-sighted.
I am sorry that you cannot make the leap that this story requires you to be a young Vulcan women who is pregnant. But that is what the role for the lead character in the play calls for. A male character will not be able to fit that role. But that is the dilemma you create in a story.

If you take the position that the story must be made to fit every type of character in the game, then you severally limit the type of story you can tell because it makes the story come down to the lowest common denominator.

It is like plaining a lunch for 1000 people, if you stick to your plan of action that it must be variable to all, then it is just going to come down to beans and franks because all 1000 of those people will have very different 1000 different ideas of what to eat. Planning a lunch to feed 1000 different people would be a nightmare. And the meal would be very dull. Which is what is happening to the Foundry as a whole.

Yes, there are many stories on the foundry, and yes there are many stories that fit the model you prescribe must be the format of choice for a player in STO. However, those stories are all action driven and the story is not even necessary to know. They are only there to determine how many people you can kill before you get to the end of the play.

As a role player, I hate those kind of Foundry stories.

We suggest that there is a place for other formats that move away from that cookie-cutter-style (CCS). That style of story telling does nothing to facilitate drama. There is no emotion in the story and there is no feeling in the story. Also, nothing in the story can relate to the average player playing the game in a meaningful way.

Call of Cthulhu is designed for the player who can make the leap into another role. It is designed for the extrovert type of personality who understands that it is just a story, and they are here to play a role. They understand that a player, a character, and a role are three distinct and separate things that must merge for a story to be successful.

Call of Cthulhu is not designed for the neurotic type of personality that has to be in total control. A neurotic type of personality is a person who is someone filled with anxiety and fear. These folks have to have total control. The idea that someone else is going to take over their role and take them on an adventure scares the baa-gee-bees out of them.

As for Grand Nagus or whomever, when I read these Forum post, I read them independent of the names of the posters. I do not care if some one is popular or well liked by others.

I am glad that individual feels they are a legend in their own mind, but none of that matters to me. I am not going to write a story because someone else feels their way is the only way. One of the joys of being your own producer on a story is, you do not have to listen or accept advice that opposes your own vision of the story you want to create.

It is like George Lucas and Star Wars. I love all the Star Wars movies. If other people do not like them or wish for them to be different they can go out and make their own movie.

The reason why people know who George Lucas is and only a handful of people know who Gary Kurtz is that George Lucas put up his own money to finance the film. He took a risk to do something no one else was doing.

That is what we do at SF41 and the KDF41. You are either going to like the story or not. And that is okay. You will not be invited to the Christmas party at the end of the year or the barbeque on the 4th of July. But we still love you.

Remember, Star Trek is about being bold and visiting the strange. That is what we do best.

Thank you.

PS or also... If a person prescribes to the idea that the foundry story must be made so that any character can fit the role for the story you want to make, then why did they name their character Grand Nagus? Isn't Grand Nagus an established character in another play?

One would think if they really championed freewill in a role or story, they would have made a completely different name. If you say a story has to be made to fit all because it is a symbol of creativity, then naming your character after an established character is a sign of cognitive dissonance.

However, a story is a form of dictatorship it is not a republic. Also, we at the SF41 have never claimed to be good writers or tellers of stories. We strive to be good writers and we strive to be good storytellers, but we only claim to be cheap and bazaar.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
04-29-2012, 01:01 PM
I played the first section of the mission but I didn't rate it.
- The flickering floor is very annoying and should be fixed. Increase the Y by 0.01 on overlapping blocks. If 2 blocks overlap then 0.01 and 0.02.
- The house is good but the windows are mission. There are 2 or 3 glass panel objects, you should use those for this purpose.
- The levitating candles should go. I understand that they levitate on purpose but others won't. They will just say bad map design.
- We are in the home of a decent Vulcan family. Why do they have an orion hooker as their holo housekeeper? Doesn't make sense (especially after she started to dance).
- The dinner was interesting but for some odd reason it seemed I was sitting at the table and run around at the same time.
- Why is the toilet so prominent in every room. More importantly, why is the toilet in the bedroom at all? It should be in the restroom.
- What was the story value of this: Please select action: Urinate, Take a dump, Throw up.
- While there, why do I take a shower in the bedroom?
- I'm supposed to be the vulcan girl. Fine, but look, there are two of me. One activating the shower in the middle of the room, and the other standing inside. Then the other me stays in the shower while I sleep. I understand that it is a foundry thing, but still, there should be a better way to handle this.
All in all, to be honest, the whole bedroom scene didn't add immersion it kinda broke it. I think in this case, the less is more.
I dropped it soon after arriving to DS9.

Well, you spoke the text out loud and worked great. That is good for you! But I (and I think 99% of the STO players) won't do that. This thing stuck half way between a mission and machinimia. It's not machinimia yet, but it's not an interactive mission anymore.

Getting personal and calling someone neurotic, just because he/she doesn't like the mission, is not a way to build good reputation. The sooner you realize that this is not the audience you are looking for the better.
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