Lieutenant
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 75
# 1 How to plan a Foundry mission?
02-14-2014, 09:29 AM
In my two years of playing STO, I have only ever created and published one foundry mission. I think the main reason for this is that I have so many ideas on what to do and I am more likely to finish things like this if I have a start-to-finish plan, so I was wondering, does anyone have any tips for creating a simple plan for a foundry mission?
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 7,670
# 2
02-14-2014, 09:32 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by borg9870 View Post
In my two years of playing STO, I have only ever created and published one foundry mission. I think the main reason for this is that I have so many ideas on what to do and I am more likely to finish things like this if I have a start-to-finish plan, so I was wondering, does anyone have any tips for creating a simple plan for a foundry mission?
Well, it's really all going to depend on your writing process honestly. Some people make it as they go, some plan months ahead.

If you want to plan, try writing a basic script or outline of how you want the mission to run. Brainstorm how many maps you want and what they will encompass. You can also try writing a basic script of the main dialogue then go from there.
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Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,476
# 3
02-14-2014, 09:51 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by borg9870 View Post
In my two years of playing STO, I have only ever created and published one foundry mission. I think the main reason for this is that I have so many ideas on what to do and I am more likely to finish things like this if I have a start-to-finish plan, so I was wondering, does anyone have any tips for creating a simple plan for a foundry mission?
I love working on a story, but what helped me to keep my creativity is not to be bound to my story.

I create an outline of the story, but creates everything that happens inbetween as I go.
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Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,639
# 4
02-14-2014, 10:03 AM
I can only tell you how I do it, and that is quite different from how some others do it. I'll use as an example a mission idea I had been working on geared toward Romulan captains. So far it hasn't gone past the outline phase.

First I jot down a description of the mission. This is usually just a couple paragraphs, sometimes it has background of things leading up to the mission, sometimes it just described the mission itself in very simple terms. In the case of this as-yet untitled mission, it was mostly background.

Quote:
It is one of the greatest mysteries of the 23rd Century. In 2245, Task Force 21, consisting of five brand new Constitution Class vessels under the command of Admiral June Marcus, were sent into an unclaimed sector following reports of a mysterious Romulan first strike weapon, the Khina Vnai. The task force was never heard from again.
All attempts to find the missing ships proved futile. No debris and no energy emissions were ever found. The crews were declared lost, something that had profound effects on their family members, such as the young Carol Marcus, who because of this tragedy shunned a career in Starfleet, instead following in the footsteps of her father, the renowned physicist Dr. Alexander Marcus.
What the Khina Vnai actually was, Starfleet never discovered. The truth has been lost to time. But time has a way of giving up her secrets when you least expect...
The Foundry is very much geared toward self-contained maps and progression from one map to another, so I find outlining very helpful. Each Roman numeral is a map, and each letter is something that happens within that map.

Quote:
I. Deep Space
A. Investigate strange readings.
B. Encounter spatial anomaly.
C. Federation Task Force 21 ship comes through. They attack you, believing your ship to be hostile.
D. More ships come through, you withdraw to nearby Nebula with Federation ships in pursuit.

II. Nebula
A. You stumble across hollow asteroid.
B. Investigating you find a TOS era Romulan installation with dozens of advanced (for the time period) T'Liss Warbirds moored there.
C. Unbeknownst to you, Task Force 21 has followed you.

III. Installation
A. Beam down to the Romulan facility.
B. You find that the Khina Vnai was a secret military force built by the Tal Shiar that was aimed not at the Federation, but at its own government. It was abandoned as political climates shifted.
C. You find out that the ships are in perfect working condition, and while still a bit out-dated, could be a benefit to the fledgeling Romulan Republic.
D. Confrontation with Federation away teams.
E. Your team is captured. Your ship is surrounded.

IV. U.S.S. Ardent
A. Your away team is taken to the brig.
B. Meet Admiral Marcus. Attempt to convince her that she has traveled through time.
C. Your conversation is interrupted when Marcus is informed that a message has been intercepted coming from one of the Federation ships alerting the modern-day Tal Shiar to the location of the Khina Vnai.
D. You find out that one of the ship captains was a Tal Shiar spy.
E. Agree to team up with Marcus to defeat the Tal Shiar task force that is certain to come.

V. Nebula
A. Destroy Tal Shiar attack force
B. Part ways with Marcus as she returns to the Federation
From there I can start designing, cause I know what I need on each map, and I can start writing the dialogue for each map at the same time. I like to write most of it in a word processor before hand and then copy it into the Foundry, but you certainly don't have to.
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Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,810
# 5
02-14-2014, 10:25 AM
I usually just start to build a set with very little idea of what the story will be except, maybe it's a Borg mission, or maybe it's some kind of follow-up to an episode.

By the time I finish one or two sets, the ideas crystallize, until I know why I'm building what I'm building.

The story is the hardest part for me. Building is just kind of therapeutic busy work for somebody with OCD-like issues.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 884
# 6
02-14-2014, 11:07 PM
Having once written a (rejected) spec script for Voyager back in the day, I read up on the screenwriting process as described in the TNG and DS9 Companion books, and have since been using that as the basis of my Foundry writing process.

First I typically write a rough mission "treatment" w/ pencil and paper, then convert that into an outline broken down by maps, objectives and storyboard dialogue placeholders (including any specific lines that come to mind). I then convert the outline into a storyboard script. I've even made a template ODT (OpenOffice Writer) script document so I can write out the entire storyboard offline, then copy/paste it all into the actual mission later.

I usually build maps during the outline phase of this process, so they will be ready to go when I finish the storyboard script.

Last edited by paxfederatica; 02-14-2014 at 11:09 PM.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 11,880
# 7
02-15-2014, 09:32 AM
Yeah, I always write a vague outline, but I've found it best to not make the outline too detailed before I start building. Every now and then you start work and realize that the mechanical limitations are being evil today....
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Commander
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 363
# 8
02-16-2014, 03:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by borg9870 View Post
In my two years of playing STO, I have only ever created and published one foundry mission. I think the main reason for this is that I have so many ideas on what to do and I am more likely to finish things like this if I have a start-to-finish plan, so I was wondering, does anyone have any tips for creating a simple plan for a foundry mission?

Not sure what others do, but this is my process?

Before even logging into the foundry I start in MS Word and outline a synopsis of the mission. i.e. 'On a routine survey mission in the [Sector name] you receive an emergency hail from another Federation starship being attacked by Klingons. Once you arrive at the coordinates you find only debris and no sign of any Klingon threat. You scan the debris and notice some irregularities - just before a Reman ship uncloaks and attacks'

With the basics down you can then start to map out your objectives for each map using a simple bullet point style.

MISSION START:
* Receive emergency hail
* Warp to coordinates

SYSTEM SPACE:
* Locate debris
* Scan debris
* Defend from Reman attack

And on and on until you've mapped out the entire mission.

Once that?s done, then you can go into the foundry, create your mission and create the maps. IMPORTANT: I have always found that creating all maps BEFORE actually starting to fill in the 'story' side of things is helpful? then create your story, any special characters, etc. Once you?ve completed a map, play it. Look for any issues, typos, etc. on that map before moving on to the next. Trust me, this will save you time later on. (also, I am not the greatest typist so I create all of my dialogue, etc. in Word then paste it into the dialogue box in the foundry - saves a lot on searching for typos later on).

Once the maps and story are complete, play the entire mission from the beginning... Make sure it all makes sense, that players can pick up the mission easily enough and all objectives are straightforward enough as not to allow the player to get lost or confused. If you notice any issues, write down exactly where/what and fix them later - if it pays through the way you want and it all seems fine, save and publish it.

Last but not least, Zorbane has a thread on these forums where players can submit their creation for reviews/feedback in exchange for playing and reviewing other posted foundry misisons. You can find this at http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/sh...d.php?t=816401. I suggest when you've published yours to visit this thread.

Good luck!
Captain
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 523
# 9
02-16-2014, 05:26 PM
My method involves pawing at an idea until I'm satisfied it lives up to my own relentless scrutiny. Just one idea as a basis and crux of the entire mission. As long as I"m satisfied I move forward with making maps to cultivate the needed environment. As long as that holds solid, I move forward with the story and alternatingly remove/add as needed the context of said story and/or assets.

That's how I work, at least.
May good management be with you.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,542
# 10
02-16-2014, 10:48 PM
I usually start with an idea about what I want the story to be about. Also, the cool things I want to do in the mission, like I want to have this map, or build this, have this kind of things to do...
Then I start building the mission, leaving the dialogues as placeholder until the map is done. I also write the ideas of what I will talk about, even some sentences I find cool.

When I build the mission, sometimes I have something that was not planned, and I use it in the story, make it grow in that direction.

For example, I used the "Alpha" map (it's the only map that look like a jungle, and I needed a jungle). And there is a crashed BoP on it. My mission involve Klingons, but I never planned to have them crash or even be there on this map. So I changed my story accordingly, added a BoP crashing, and why, and make it a part of the plot.


As to have a lot of ideas and all that, that's also true for me, and I imagine, for a lot of Foundry authors. But I always work on 1 project at a time, never more, until it's published. It's a way to "force me" to go through the last part of a project, IE checking for typos, grammar and playing the mission several time to see if everything works. And I hate that part. If I have ideas for another project while I'm working, I write the ideas, but never go to work on the other project.
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