Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 11
05-21-2011, 04:11 AM
All the outlines I've created for the Foundry missions I'd like to make are all from stories I've already written from years prior.

First thing I do is take the story and see if I can drop it directly into STO as it is now with it's current state of affairs. This is important (at least for me) to know that the story you're telling can either stand on it's own, or play off of events that have taken place in the game.

What takes place next is a transformation of this new story into a relevant game experience for the player. It's not interesting for the player to read about how some other character did something somewhere, so I ensure that the player can accomplish the events so that they are at the center of the story. If the player feels they're not making the story progress, they typically will drop it.

Then the elements I need, such as NPC's and maps, are written down for reference for when I venture into the Foundry.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 12
05-24-2011, 06:17 AM
I use a whiteboard to do all my planning and plotting and scheming.

While I'm essentially mind-mapping, a software tool never works quite as well for me. I like to add and erase bubbles. It feels a lot more natural when I plot out things by hand rather than by mouse/keyboard.

Once I have the basic plot I write out the story in prose form (although not quite as detailed as if it would be a real short-story).

Then I clean the whiteboard and start a new mind-map where I plan how the mission should be played, add maps and what I want the player to do on these maps. Also, I indicate NPCs and what they should be able to say.

Finally, I start creating the mission by finding appropriate pre-made maps that I can "dress" to suit my story. Then I add NPCs and start working on all triggers that are not related to mission objectives.

Finally, I begin working on mission objectives and NPC dialog. But I write dialog within the Foundry without the help of an outside tool (except a dictionary).


I usually write prose and scripts for stage plays. Writing for the Foundry is, however (and somewhat sadly), quite different and - to me - much more difficult.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 13
05-24-2011, 09:30 AM
According to Pergine...... not well.... not well at all (I must be part of the 'whiskey' writters :p)

All is good though.... I'm having fun!!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14
05-24-2011, 04:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patarival View Post
I usually write prose and scripts for stage plays. Writing for the Foundry is, however (and somewhat sadly), quite different and - to me - much more difficult.
Maybe "writing" for the Foundry is a bit of a misnomer to begin with. It's really more game design than writing. A lot of people use writing to describe coming up with a story (and I may be guilty of this as well), but in actual fact it's more like conceptualizing or imagining. You're not actually writing the story, but rather coming up with certain scenarios for the player to experience. The only actual writing in the Foundry is fairly easy because it's all dialogue, which is about ten times easier than descriptive writing.

There are actually a lot of different elements you have to bring together in the Foundry. Coming up with the levels is visual design or maybe even interior decorating. Coming up with the encounters and text based puzzles is game design. Coming up with the story I guess is what many refer to as writing, but it's really not. You're envisioning the story, which is what you'd do before writing one, but beyond that what's done in the Foundry diverges.

Overall the whole experience of creating a Foundry mission is closer to making a mission for a pencil and paper role playing game than it is to writing a story. You have to accept that there are serious limitations to the medium, namely that you have only limited control over the protagonist. You can put him in a situation, but you can't really control how he acts. In the Foundry, unlike a PnP RPG, you can put words in the player character's mouth, but usually people don't like this. As well, I'd say the visual design of the maps, and the staging of encounters is just as important to a successful Foundry mission as the story behind it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 15
05-24-2011, 04:47 PM
Hmm some very interesting reading and a lot of good ideas.

I've found tht I do things very difrently. I find that with the foundtry (as with other game tools i've used in the pst) tht I go int it and start looking at the available assets and letting what is there fire my imagination. I've found that I can look at an object or two or a scene and spawn a whole story around it. My most recent doodelings hve been with a mission invovlving civil wr on a federtion colony. The idea began with me staring at one of the flat asteroid bases.

I've tried to build from things i've already writen but end up frustrted either by ssets tht don't exist or limittions of the foundry..
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 16
05-24-2011, 06:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RKRider
According to Pergine...... not well.... not well at all (I must be part of the 'whiskey' writters :p)

All is good though.... I'm having fun!!
Just published my first Foundry mission. Sounds like he's the guy I need to review it. Been looking for someone who'd be tough but specific. I'm ok with sucking s long as I know why. LOL
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 17
05-25-2011, 12:51 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RKRider
According to Pergine...... not well.... not well at all (I must be part of the 'whiskey' writters :p)

All is good though.... I'm having fun!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alien_de_jour
Just published my first Foundry mission. Sounds like he's the guy I need to review it. Been looking for someone who'd be tough but specific. I'm ok with sucking s long as I know why. LOL

Although Peregrine Falcon writes excellent reviews, he is still one man with his specific taste. Don't put too much weight into his reviews. While I often agree with him, I played a few missions he gave 4 or 5 stars that I rated with 2 or 3 stars - and the other way around. Sometimes I wonder if I'm actually playing the same mission.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 18
05-25-2011, 01:54 AM
I draw my plan in comic book style then get someone to read it and if they enjoy it then I will start making it as a foundry episode, after making it I will get a friend to play it and if they enjoy it I publish it but I improve it by their feedback (sometimes I get more friends to test it)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 19
05-25-2011, 08:12 AM
For the 1 mission I have published so far I used something similar to NemesisChicken's Construction Methodology (youtube link). That video was extremely helpful when I first started toying with the idea of creating a mission.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 20
05-26-2011, 07:04 PM
I have an article on StarbaseUGC that may be of help:

http://starbaseugc.com/index.php/sto...r-new-authors/
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