Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 nummerous outcomes
04-24-2011, 09:49 AM
Ok... I've been wreking my brain around this all day and I can't seem to figure this one out...

Is there a way to have a multiple choice outcome for a single event. Kind of like the Breen Missions where you are given an opertunity to choose an outcome to either Kill the Enemy, Give them Latnum or Disable thier sensors... Where each choice you made automaticly Failed the other two so as you can't/ don't need to do the other ones.

At the momment, when I try to create a multiple scene, you HAVE to do all three events before it's completed... Any takes on this?

Thanks
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
04-24-2011, 01:29 PM
I think, well, I hope it is planned. The UI seems to hint at it. I would like to allow the player to take several routes depending on their decisions in conversations and so forth, including the possibility to fail the mission.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
05-12-2011, 09:55 AM
This is my 1st forum post, i will plead il;iteracy to all accusations of poor grammar.

Started sto a month ago and have enjoyed it so far. I would say however:.. the foundry holds absolutely no interest to me until I have the ability to give the player a choice in how to advance their objectives as suggested by the OP.

I mean would it be so hard to implement within the existing framework? You already have the option to drag and drop 2 objectives to be completed simultaneously. Why not just have a dropdown to set the objectives from "complete all" to: "complete one of the following" with a new story board branching from each outcome.

I know that: the more choice you give the player.. there is exponentially more writing and content creation you have to do. I'd be willing to put in the time for this.. but writing linear missions? Not interested.

For instance: Imagine how much more interesting a standard "defend the convoy" or "defend the colony" mission becomes when the player receives a different distress call at the same time and has to choose who to save: a convoy of alien strangers; or the away team from your own crew you dropped off at an earlier objective..
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
05-12-2011, 12:18 PM
If you made a listing of all the missions made by Cryptic for STO, and put them into two categories, in one category you'd place linear missions and in the other non-linear missions, you'd probably see that there are very few missions that offer non-linearity.

I mention this because in essence, when players face with several options to complete a mission, most would choose to take the path of least resistance, and to put that in an MMO context, the path that yields the biggest rewards in the least amount of time.

Star Trek Online, being or at least trying to be an MMO will suffer from this concept and so will our missions. Many players would try to rush through them only to get them done as fast as possible so they could obtain their rewards. For us this may not be an issue because we as authors perhaps will not care what some unknown players do when they play our missions. Cryptic/ATARI however may care because I'm betting the length of our missions are of interest to them, just like every other in-game activity is.

All this with out even talking about how would Cryptic's engine handle it when people are presented with choices and person A chooses option 1 and person B chooses option 2 at the same time. On top of these issues, another concern is what should happen when a team goes through a Foundry mission with multiple responses in NPC-dialogs that change the plot? Which player gets to decide what to do? Is it the team-leader? Should there be a voting system for dialog-options that change the story? These problems cannot be handled in the Foundry as they have to be implemented in the core engine for STO!

In summation, it's an awesome feature that I'm sure Cryptic would love to bestow upon us, but I think it'll take a long time coming. That's kind of the bad news. The good news is that eventually, a company will come out with an MMORPG that will offer much more choices and a much more RPG feel to it that will contribute to story-telling in MMO's. If BioWare won't succeed in doing it with SWTOR, I think some other company will because I believe it's just a matter of time and players are tired of the old linear ways of MMO's of old!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
05-12-2011, 02:08 PM
Well, one way they could implement it a little more easily would be to allow authors to specify whether a Foundry mission is Solo-Only or not. Solo missions could allow branching, while team missions would have to remain linear for technical reasons (at least until the multiplayer dialog issues are ironed out somehow). Alternatively, only allow the team leader to interact with dialog trees and clickies -- but that would also interfere with designing some kinds of missions, so I don't like that option.

Honestly, some storylines are simply not going to lend themselves well to teams anyway and some probably ought to require teams.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
05-13-2011, 05:55 AM
A lot of us made some (albeit simple) branching missions. It's not as sophisticated as what Cryptic can do (if they want to) but you are sometimes given the choice what you want to do. It's not different mission objectives but different paths within an objective that you are able to choose.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
05-14-2011, 05:45 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordOfPit View Post
[COLOR="Wheat"
In summation, it's an awesome feature that I'm sure Cryptic would love to bestow upon us, but I think it'll take a long time coming. That's kind of the bad news. The good news is that eventually, a company will come out with an MMORPG that will offer much more choices and a much more RPG feel to it that will contribute to story-telling in MMO's. If BioWare won't succeed in doing it with SWTOR, I think some other company will because I believe it's just a matter of time and players are tired of the old linear ways of MMO's of old![/color]
This is very true.. but i sincerely hope cryptic take the oppurtunity presented here. I mean I don't think there's an IP better suited to the idea of player choice. I know it will present technical difficulties, but I don't think it would be entirely impossible to implement. Even just that option in the foundry or alternate mission debriefs based on player choice would be a vast improvement for me.

Also, I reckon the trek fanbase (in particular) would greatly appreciate being given any kind of choices within the storied elements of the game. I mean there is a noticeable improvement in the writing and scope of more recently produced missions, but regardless of this there's still very little sense of agency. The player just nods along to whatever his boff's tell him. As much fun as the gameplay can be, this element is (as you said) surely unsustainable long term.

I think if cryptic wants to hang onto subscribers long term (the trekkers, the ones who are invested in the story, not just in it to grind and win in pvp or whatever) this introduction of a few player choices would keep alot of them coming back.. and it wouldn't take huge amount of resources to do it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
05-14-2011, 08:53 AM
To my knowledge, players have been calling out for more and more missions that involve multiple choices which provide multiple outcomes to the same mission. At present, it occurs to me that Cryptic have only managed to create missions with the very basic choices to a mission, and from these most of the choices you are given either allow you to continue with the linear mission or fail, forcing you to redraft the mission.

I'm sure cryptic are working on this, to provide missions with multiple outcomes, and there may be some out there already, and I just haven't seen them yet.

Meanwhile, it is perfectly possible to add multiple choices into a mission, and I have been working on this in my missions. This is done using the text conversation boxes, for any NPCs in a mission, for which you can branch a conversation into numerous strands with numerous choices presented with each speech box. It can be time consuming and involve duplicating the same text in several boxes for the different strands of conversation as and where required. When writing these you are able to choose whether whether each choice option continues the mission or fails it. Obviously a fail will force the player to restate the mission from the beginning as with Cryptic made missions.

By personal preference I have used these choices in my missions to provide the players with different information. Taking one option may give useful info in responce, while another option will give poor information or end the conversation abruptly. Of course the mission continues unchanged in it's linear format, but the amount and quality of information gathered by the player will hopefully effect the length of time the player takes to complete the mission.

I think as it is possible to do this with text conversation boxes, it would be possible for cryptic to create choices at other levels. Perhaps choosing between two or more maps athe the map transition level (EG. Go to Bridge, Go to Sick Bay or Go to Engineering?) thus allowing the player to chose which direction to take the missions at this stage. Of course this would mean the author would have to create maps for each choice.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
05-21-2011, 06:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordOfPit View Post
I mention this because in essence, when players face with several options to complete a mission, most would choose to take the path of least resistance, and to put that in an MMO context, the path that yields the biggest rewards in the least amount of time.

Star Trek Online, being or at least trying to be an MMO will suffer from this concept and so will our missions. Many players would try to rush through them only to get them done as fast as possible so they could obtain their rewards.
Couldnt foundry be built such that each time you branch an opion it requires that all branches be of equal length and/or equal difficulty (using some cryptic calculated metric, like # of combats or cost of goods) ?

Seems to me like some straight forward error checking in the engine could allow for the branching and still make each branch equally challenging or at the very least costly.

You are right however, if there was a time-to-play parameter that is important it wouldnt work in this type, or else it'd have to be set to the shortest to be useful.
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