When we make missions in the foundry, we aren't defining the game mechanics and we're not defining the game world. We're simply giving the server instructions on how to use the resources it already has to construct a zone. I believe the most data heavy parts would be storing the actual dialog and even then ... I've written a 24 page report and it's only 55KB. I could post all of the code from one of my games and its still not 3 MB. If this is true, then the Cryptic Engine has some serious data management issues.
I think that you and I have fundamental disagreements about how the Foundry should be used. I see the foundry as a way to add content to the game for everyone to play. In contrast, you see the foundry as a privilege for creative people to make something. First of all, I'd like to say that I think those creative people are awesome and I love the work they do, but I don't think they should be charged for making their work ... not when other people are paying money to play it and Cryptic is making money off of it. The foundry is all about crowd sources and so it should be always open to members with STO game accounts.
Anyway, I see what you're saying about people buying more game copies to try and cheat the system but ... isn't that a little far fetched? Do you really think people pay money to 'not' play the game, but instead only work on the foundry? It just sounds crazy that there are people that fanatical about working on making missions, I mean ... is this a bad thing? It's like "Oh no, they're making content for paying customers to play! How dare they try to flesh out more stories and entertain Cryptic s consumers! Those rascals must be stopped!"
Seriously, these theoretical people are spending their time off from their actual jobs to make content for what I can only assume is a company they love. Not only that, they're giving that company money. What else can they do to please the Cryptic gods? Sacrifice a goat?
First of all, I want to say that I'm sorry. (I'm a civil person AND I'm on the internet, gasp!)
Yepper, I read my own post and I think I sounded pretty darn snobby which is 'not' me at all. I didn't mean to offend you, cool? I'm super-duper laid back, but it's hard to convey emotion via text which is why I often abuse the smiley.
Anyway, I didn't realize that just any joker could make an account here which means that I have to revise. I think that people who own the game should be allowed to make missions on a client side stand alone. I still think that in order to transfer a finished games, a player has to have an active account which will keep people coming back.
Also, I'm not sure how the whole mission limit debate came about? I don't really mind a mission cap, Cryptic probably put it in place to keep a few dozen people from spamming missions. I doubt it has anything to do with the mission size though, more likely the network bandwidth and player tomfoolery. This 'could' be rectified if Cryptic placed a weekly cap on the number of missions a player publishes. It'd make a heck of a lot more sense, that's for sure.
Of course I'm not. I base this on the bin files and the export files the foundry creates on you computer while in preview mode. An export file with around 250 objects and 50 dialogs total (smallish mission) took 700 kb and generated a 1.5 mb bin folder. I don't know how well it is compressed server side.
I don't know how relevant is to cite examples from MineCraft. That is a completely different game, different engine, different level of details...
I think that you and I have fundamental disagreements about how the Foundry should be used.
Umm, I didn't say anything about the foundry usage. I merely stated the corporate point of view and the reason we will never get the foundry free. We think more alike than you think. I went great lengths during tribble beta to have the very same things you say now. I used the very same argument.
Then I realised that foundry is considered a game element, not a production tool. This was made crystal clear by the devs during a conversation about mission import.
You still think it of it as a production tool to create content for Cryptic.
If it was that, then
- it should be free (more people => more dev time => more content).
- It should come with 10x more slots (more slots => more content)
- it should have better control features (lasso select, keyboard shortcuts...) (faster production => more content)
- it should come with advanced import/export/sharing (faster production => more content)
- you pay for it as it was a game content
- you have very limited number of slots, like your game toon slots (extendable by c-store of course)
- The UI is in the dark age of click a lot state. Absolutely minimal number of keyboard shortcuts. Completely messed up positioning, barely usable component lists, constant CTDs... Everything to make the content generation slower. Just like the game progress goes in a monthly sub game. Devs like to throw in everything to make your progress slower, thus stay longer thus pay longer.
- We've got every excuse in the book why we can't have fast import. None of them were convincing at all.
+1 When was the last time, automating production was outlawed?
Think of it as an ellaborate minigame that you play using your holo engineer toon.
The biggest annoyance is the fact that it queries the server every time you add/subtract/edit a object in the mission your creating. In complex missions there comes a point where the lag between server and client makes you want to scream.
We actually look at the file size of Foundry missions pretty regularly. The average project between 4 and 8MB. The projects get this big because we store a lot of the data twice -- once in a format that is ideal for editing in The Foundry and once in a binary format that is fast for playing. Also, we calculate extra data when you publish to let things like pathing work correctly. (That's why publish takes so long.)
I didn't realize that they were storing data in such a way, it's really interesting to know that! Thank you for taking the time to actually respond; I know all my questions can get annoying but I'm one of those curious sorts. I wonder if the developers plan to update this to consolidate file space or if this is exactly the kind of structure they always intended to make?
I've only read a little regarding the programming of MineCraft and now that I think of it, the article that I read said that the game was programmed in "Java" and I made the mistake of jumping to conclusions. I don't program in Java and never claimed to know much about it so ... my mistake.