Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
State of the Foundry

The team is very excited about the response to the Foundry going into Open Beta. Already we have seen some great missions come in over the weekend and it shows a bright future ahead where the community has a direct impact on the stories being told throughout the galaxy. We are already passing around our favorite fan made missions internally, and I can say that we're impressed! We knew you could make awesome missions and considering the tools will improve over time, this is only going to get more awesome.

In the coming weeks we will be working diligently behind the scenes to address stability and scalability. The Foundry will be offline at times as we make large infrastructure updates to prepare Tribble and Holodeck for full scale production of the missions you'll be creating.

As we continue with this initial testing phase of the product, what follows is a basic Roadmap for where the Foundry is today, and what features and updates you can expect in the near future.

Foundry Launch – Beta Feature Goals
The following list of features are supported in the current Open Beta (v.03) release of The Foundry.

Play missions authored by the community
  • Search for missions in the new Remote Contact Tab by author or mission name
  • Browse mission ratings and descriptions
  • Rate the missions you've just played
  • Sign up to be a Reviewer and give early feedback on new missions
  • Share links to new missions via a short key code

Manage your Foundry Projects
  • All users can create new Foundry projects
  • Create test characters for testing missions in the isolated Foundry environment
  • Select whether the mission is for the Federation or KDF
  • Share the project with other players by publishing it
  • Monitor the publishing progress

New drag and drop flowchart-based mission editor
  • Customize the NPC that gives you the mission
  • Create and arrange mission objectives via drag and drop
  • Create objectives to interact with one or more objects on a map
  • Create objectives to defeat one or more enemy groups on a map
  • Create objectives to reach a location on a map
  • Create objectives to talk to one or more NPCs on a map
  • Create objectives that can take place on open-world social maps or custom maps
  • Combine objectives into a “Complete All” group of simultaneous mission objectives
  • Customize how transition between maps takes place, including prompts and text
  • Add custom pop-up prompts before or after objectives and map transitions

Creating your own Custom Maps in the Editor
  • Create your own maps based on existing pre-built space, ground, and interior maps
  • Create a completely custom space mission map
  • Edit these maps using an easy to work with two dimensional map view
  • Customize the location where players spawn into the map
  • Choose from a set of map backdrops (sky, sound, and lighting)
  • Place detail objects from a large library of different types of objects
  • Populate space maps with planets, rings, comets, and debris fields
  • Populate ground maps with buildings
  • Place contacts using pre-built costumes or custom costumes you make yourself
  • Place friendly or enemy encounters in your maps
  • Customize the positions and costumes for each actor in your encounters
  • Place “go to” markers that can be used to complete objectives
  • Place respawn points for players to help with mission flow and player defeat
  • Customize some behavior options for friendly and enemy groups

Mission previewing and personal testing
  • A method to preview your content while in the editor for testing while creating a project
  • Preview a mission from the beginning or from a specified objective
  • Preview an existing map to determine if it is one you might want to use
  • Kill enemies with one button press to speed up testing
  • Enter “God Mode” to make your test character temporarily invincible

Custom costume creator
  • Create ship or ground character costumes based on existing costume pieces
  • Edit and save costumes for use as contacts, enemy actors, or friendly actors

The Foundry for Star Trek Online is not complete. There are additional updates coming to fill out the feature set. Dates and feature sets for these updates are being determined, but the expectation is to provide regular updates in upcoming STO releases in 2011.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2 Upcoming Goals
12-06-2010, 06:41 PM
Upcoming Foundry Feature Goals
The following features are high on the priority list for upcoming updates (most likely Q1 2011)

Improved features for playing Foundry missions
  • The ability to flag missions as “favorites” so players can bookmark them for later play
  • Improved searching options to allow for more specific flags and filters

Project Management improvements
  • Setting prerequisite and follow-up missions that can be linked together into a story arc
  • Set the level, powers, and gear for test characters to improve testing

Map editor improvements
  • Better visualize placed objects in the editor using 2-D preview images
  • Fully customize backdrops, assembled from various sky effects layers, atmospheric effects, sound effects and music
  • Enable snap-to-grid to more easily place objects
  • Place waypoints for patrol routes for actors to follow
  • Place “job” nodes for actors to interact with, such as consoles

Mission Triggers (new)
  • Triggers are a way to make the game play react to the player’s actions
  • Show pop-up dialogs in response to a trigger
  • Spawn encounters in response to a trigger
  • Play music or sound effects in response to a trigger
  • Set a trigger on entering a volume
  • Set a trigger on killing an encounter
  • Set a trigger on interacting with an object
  • Set a trigger on talking with a contact

Branching dialogue (new)
  • Add multiple buttons to a prompt and chain prompts based on button chosen
  • Show/hide buttons based on mission state
  • Alter button behavior based on mission state

Costume creator improvements
  • Add in body scaling features found in the in game costume editor

Timeline editor (new)
  • Change encounter behavior based on objectives in progress and triggers
  • Change contact dialog text in based on objectives in progress and triggers

Plus general improvements to usability and more choices throughout the environment
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3 Long Term Goals
12-06-2010, 06:42 PM
Longer Term Foundry Goals
The following features are also being tracked for future updates, but will take some time before they will be completed.
  • Improved ways for authors to collaborate on projects
  • Author rating based on overall ratings of missions they’ve created
  • Web access to searching Foundry-generated missions

Map Editor – Future Goals
  • Create fully customized interior layouts from room and hallway pieces
  • Place lights directly on a map
  • Use a random name generator for contacts and actors
  • Placing “anomaly” crafting nodes into maps
  • Custom behaviors for encounters (custom AI)
  • Placement of auto-generated civilian populations
  • The ability to create custom planetary surface (exterior) maps
  • 3-D visualization while editing to improve placement of details
  • “Make a random map” option to speed up map creation

Mission Editor – Future Goals
  • Give the player quest items used by the mission
  • The ability to create content that takes place on the player’s own “bridge” interior
  • Custom cut scenes as part of the mission

Other Uses of Foundry Content
  • Using Foundry to create custom starship bridge and ship interiors
  • Using Foundry to create custom starbase interiors
  • Using Foundry to create PvP maps
  • Using Foundry to create Fleet Action maps

As you can see - there are a lot of great features coming for the Foundry. We are already seeing great missions with the features we have now and the power of the tools will grow over time while (hopefully) still retaining the simple learning curve.

We look forward to seeing what you can create in the Star Trek Online universe!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
12-06-2010, 06:43 PM
3-D for the win here! no more "oh sh@ts" as I beam you out of the map.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
12-06-2010, 06:50 PM
Awesome news, sir! I'm really looking forward to all the items that are 'high on the list', as well as the longer term goals. I think you guys are off to a great start, and I'm really excited to see what more you can add to it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
12-06-2010, 06:52 PM
The foundry is going to be super sweet with all these additions
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7 Awesome post...
12-06-2010, 06:54 PM
Awesome post...I cannot wait for the improvements when they are made available. Thank you for the hard work.

This weekend has been fun and exciting for me. This is my fourth day on the foundry. Lately, I have really been getting into the set production. I have also been developing creative strategies for working around limitations of the current tools. I cannot wait to test out the triggers. That sounds really cool.

Thank you.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
12-06-2010, 06:59 PM

My GF, sitting beside me here as I read this aloud, was a well-respected and well paid interior designer in SWG... she just about fell out of her chair when I mentioned the custom ship interiors.

Please please please PLEASE make this something we can "hire" a talented layout designer to do for us, either through the collaboration tools, or, more specifically, through the ability to sell/trade some kind of interior plan for these bridges and interior rooms...

If you do, I guarantee she'll grab an LTS.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
12-06-2010, 06:59 PM
Foundry is working quite well for being such an early version. I have already made a couple missions, and I look forward to making more. Most of the things you listed as coming in the somewhat near future are things that I thought I would love to see added, so Im happy today

BTW, I think you copy/pasted the text in the second post twice.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
12-06-2010, 07:00 PM
PLEASE add, delete un-needed FRIENDLY NPC mob actors
SInce they are friendly mobs it will eliminate exploitation with that feature. Lack of friendly
actors will make no fight easier...maybe harder though :p


3D foundry item placement for the win.

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