Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
It is clear that one of the potential strengths of Star Trek Online is the Genesis system, through which the Developers can create new content quickly, and slot it into the game where needed. But presumably Genesis cannot create an entire mission on its own - it can probably generate the landscape, the general structure of a system, and even write basic objectives, but it is highly unlikely that it can write the dialog which explains to the player what they are doing and why. There is therefore a bottle-neck in the system: regardless of how fast Genesis makes new mission maps, someone still has to write dialog for each mission before it can be added to the game.

I propose that we, the community, craft this dialog. In this thread, you are invited to write dialog for short missions (think Exploration missions) which you think would be fun to play. Why would this be useful? Because:
  1. It would enable the developers to release new content faster.
  2. It would occupy those of us who like writing fan-fiction.
  3. It will give the Devs new ideas for their own writing.
  4. It will enable us to shape the game towards the sorts of missions we want.

I am asking people to stick to the game mechanics as they exist at the moment - i.e. you can use the following interactions:

Space Interactions
  • Combat
  • Scanning Things
  • Escorting Ships
  • Destroying Structures
  • Hailing People

Ground Interactions
  • Combat
  • Scanning Things
  • Collecting Items
  • Using Special Items (Like the Fire Extinguisher)
  • Interacting with Consoles
  • Speaking with People (including beaming people up, healing them etc.)
  • Destroying Objects (Doors, Borg Consoles etc.)

Creating a Mission - Required Components
This is a list of the minimum requirements to have a complete mission:
  • Mission Name
  • Initial Hail Stating the Situation, Giving Instructions
  • Series of Objectives
  • Mission Complete Dialog

An here is a list of optional elements (these are what really add flavor!):
  • Dialog After Completion of Specific Objectives
  • Dialog Trees for NPCs whom you can pump for information
  • Incidental Dialog spoken by people in chat bubbles - does not require player interaction (think the people scanning the Borg Drone in the Tutorial, or the people on the Starbase)
  • Messages from your Bridge Officers regarding the situation (can be linked to a situation or objective)

Of course, for each line of dialog you must specify who is saying it - either and NPC, a Boff, a Console or whatever. It seems that the game makes BOffs of a certain class give you certain messages, sou you can say "Tactical Officer: Blah blah blah".

An Example
So, time for an example! Here is a very short, simple exploration mission to show how suggestions might be formatted:
  • Mission Name: Ticking Time-Bomb
  • Warp into System. Science Officer: "This is an M-Class planet, Captain, with what appears to be a warp-capable civilization. But we are getting a series of strange readings from the planet surface - the enegy levels are off the charts! We should beam down to investigate. The inhabitants may need our help."
  • Objective: Beam down to the Planet.
  • On beaming to the surface: Tactical Officer: "Extreme caution is advised, captain - we are reading an unstable warp-device in the vicinity. If it goes critical, the explosion would be enormous."
  • Objective: Locate the Warp Device.
  • Interactable Item: Large Structure that looks like an alien shuttle.
  • NPCs: Random Aliens scanning the Structure, One can be spoken to.
  • Chat Bubble Speech: "Recalibrate those sensors one last time - I don't want to hit an asteroid!", "This is so exhilarating - to see deep space, finally!"
  • On finding the structure: Engineering Officer: "This is a prototype warp-core - these aliens are attempting their first warp-flight! It is amazing we have arrived to witness this event, just as the Vulcans witnessed Cochrane's first flight! But... wait... Captain! We cannot let the aliens launch this ship! Their warp calculations are faulty - the entire ship will be destroyed in a catastrophic explosion!"
  • Science Officer: "That alien seems to be the supervisor of this effort - synching Universal Translator now"
  • Objective: Speak with the Alien Supervisor, convince him to stop the launch.
  • Alien Supervisor: A spacefaring civilization - remarkable! You call yourselves "The Federation?" Well, you hae arrived just in time to see the first flight of our Sunship. Behold!
  • PC: "I am sorry, but our scans show that this warp drive is incapable of flight. You must stop the launch sequence at once!
  • NPC: Surely not - we have strived for years to perfect this technology. My father, who began the work on this vessel, is dying, and it is my only wish that he be able to see the Sunship fly!
  • PC: Our scans are conclusive - thi ship cannot enter warp without a catastrophic failure. We would be happy, however, to work with you to fix it.
  • Engineer BOff: Sir, I believe that with a few locally available metals, and some recalculations, we will be able to get this ship flying.
  • Objective: Collect 3 samples of metal from the planet.
  • Objective: Reprogram the Warp Core Calculations
  • On finding the first metal piece: Engineer BOff: Excellent - this will work nicely. Let's find two more samples and get back to the Sunship.
  • On completing the metals objective: Engineer BOff: "That's all the metal we need."
  • On interacting with device to reprogram the calculations: Science BOff: "Their calculations were very nearly correct - I have made the required modifications, captain. This ship is now Warp-worthy!"
  • Objective: Speak with the Supervisor again
  • NPC: Thank you so much for your assistance - we will never forget you, or your "Federation"! Now my father will see our race finally take to the stars.
  • Structure Vanishes with Warping Sound
  • Mission Complete Dialog: Engineer BOff: Ah, that's why joined Starfleet in the first place! Makes me excited to get back to our ship and seek out more new worlds. Shall we, captain?

You can see how it is a very simple process, and with many people doing this a lot of interesting dialog could be created that would satisfy what WE want. So, I invite you to contribute and enjoy!
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