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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 11
10-16-2011, 09:26 PM
Just finished your mission today...took me over 3 days....only because I've been busy....but the length was not a problem. It is good that you took your time to flesh out the mission with great depth. The mission was awesome...probably one of the best if not the best I've played so far and I have played majority of the top missions in the foundry.

I really loved all the details you put into the characters, the maps, effects, and the story. It created a depth which was totally immersive...it felt like I was in a real fleshed out universe....not a paper cut out. The characters and the environments seemed real. I loved your use of warp in and out effects for transitions.

Great job. Love the final battle in the end. It was epic...and I tried it without fleet support. It was awesome...a real challenge. Great work.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 12
10-17-2011, 06:49 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerritouru View Post
Ok, I have just finish your mission. It took me near 2 hrs, but I think they were worth it.

The story, as you said, is simple.. you don’t save the Federation here, but you manage to take a simple story and make it very interesting. Not only because you created 4 or 5 interesting characters (are they your toons?) but you also give us great mystery to resolve.
The technical use of the foundry was very good, you give us a lot of options to follow, and I appreciate that. Hoo, one question: Why you sometimes use a Constitution class for the contact NPC? You know you can use a Federation console as a promp, right?
The map were very good too, good job with the warp effect! The Atlas was great, but I have one suggestion, maybe rise a bit the roof of the Atlas, could be a bit uncomfortable with the game camera.

The mission is a 5/5, is a bit long, but I enjoy all the time. Well done and I cant wait for second part.
Thanks for your feedback. Sorry, this is a really long response. Maybe it can be seen as a sort of "behind the scenes" look at the mission's development.

Length
I'll be honest, I was really worried about the length at first. I've worked on this mission off and on for months, and the full mission length ended up being about twice as long. But I had the problem that I was running into all of the Foundry limits (costume limit, story limit, map limit), so I figured that was a big hint that the mission should be split (that's the part that's now in Atlas Affair). The costume limit in particular was giving me a lot of problems, and that was what really pushed me to split the mission. Fifty costumes seems like a lot, but you can burn through them really quickly. Even as it is, I still hit the costume limit, which is the main reason why there are a few "audio only" transmissions.

Just as an example of just how poor a grasp I had on the mission length: I actually made another entire map where you beamed over to a freighter that was having a warp core breach. You had to help try to fix the warp core, and then evacuate the freighter. It was a really cool level, and I hated to remove it, but it became obvious that it was just one thing too many. Having that level would have just killed the mission flow, so it had to go. Fortunately, it's not a total waste, because I'm going to include it in another future mission.

Anyway, when my initial play tester timed her play through and it clocked in at around three hours, my heart kind of sank because I figured every other review was going to be a 1 star. I didn't actually mean for the mission to end up being so long, it just sort of happened. Then I logged in the next day and was surprised to find a few 4 and 5 star reviews, so I started to get my hopes up. But then I got two 1s and I sort of figured it was going to be all down hill from there. At this point, it looks like quite a few people enjoy the mission though, so I have been pleasantly surprised, and relieved.

Generic Contact
As far as using the Connie instead of the console. The reason I did it is because right now the console is too large to fit inside the dialogue box. All you see is the base, and I wasn't sure if people could even tell what it was. I wish I could use the console, because I have to "waste" a costume on that Connie, just so I have something to use as a generic image, but I just couldn't be satisfied with how the console looks currently.

Characters
In a way, when I'm coming up with a story, the most fun part for me is coming up with characters. Instead of just having a story and throwing in a few characters, I like to come up with characters, and then have them help influence where the story goes, based on their attitudes, background, etc. To me characters sort of are the story, which is why I included the conversations and such on the Atlas, even though a lot of it is totally irrelevant to the actual mission plot line (you'll meet most of those characters again in Atlas Affair, so it's also sort of my way of building some attachment to them).

I'm not sure how "efficient" my way of doing things is, because a lot of the content can just be totally skipped over. I suppose, you could make an argument that I should have just not had those optional conversations and instead used that time to make another full mission. But I feel it gives a little more life to the setting to have those minor characters there, and I enjoyed coming up with them.

Ujarka is one of my actual in-game characters. I've really liked Ferengi ever since I watched DS9, so I've been thinking up some stories for her for a while, and kind of got some of her background worked out just on the side while leveling. Originally she wasn't even going to be a part of this mission, though. What happened was at some point I decided I really needed to have a character I had control of "along for the ride", who could make observations and help drive the story along (and also help give advice to bypass any of the puzzles if someone gets stuck or doesn't want to deal with it). You can only do so much with the player's BOs because you don't really know anything about them, and if you start giving them too much personality it can really annoy people (and understandably so, since it's their character).

So, that change right there had a pretty big impact on the mission, including in some of the other characters you meet (don't want to say too much since it would be a spoiler for those who haven't played). Initially the mission was just going to be where you dropped in on Interstellar Space and started scanning freighters, which looking back would not have been nearly as interesting (it would have been shorter though). Then I had to come up with a way to introduce you to Ujarka, which spawned the whole task force, with you just being one of several ships involved. And since I already had Deck 13, I decided "what the heck" why not have everyone beam over for a briefing, and also introduce some other characters on the side?

A few of the other characters I came up with by designing them in the costume editor, and then something about them caught my fancy, so I developed a bit of personality for them. Maybe an amusing aside but Admiral Gonzales was originally one of the "models" in Ulysses Liddel's computer, but I decided that she turned out too well, and it would be a shame to waste her like that. Also, Captain ***ami (ok the censoring on the forum is a bit out of control, that's actually a legitimate Japanese last name, not something I made up) was originally a doctor, but I thought she had was too interesting to leave in such a minor role.

U.S.S. Atlas Ceiling
As far as raising the ceiling goes. I guess I can see how it might bother some people. I'm not really a fan of the super high ceilings in much of the game though, so I was trying to get away from that. When building the level I tried the ceiling at different heights, but didn't really like how it looked. I think the current height is a fair compromise, which should work OK unless the person has the camera zoomed out a whole lot. I don't know...if I get a lot of complaints I'll think about changing it, but for now I think I'll leave it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 13
10-17-2011, 07:45 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AceJim View Post
Just finished your mission today...took me over 3 days....only because I've been busy....but the length was not a problem. It is good that you took your time to flesh out the mission with great depth. The mission was awesome...probably one of the best if not the best I've played so far and I have played majority of the top missions in the foundry.

I really loved all the details you put into the characters, the maps, effects, and the story. It created a depth which was totally immersive...it felt like I was in a real fleshed out universe....not a paper cut out. The characters and the environments seemed real. I loved your use of warp in and out effects for transitions.

Great job. Love the final battle in the end. It was epic...and I tried it without fleet support. It was awesome...a real challenge. Great work.
Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed the mission. As I mentioned in the last post, I was really worried at first about the length, almost to the point where when it finally came time to publish it, I wondered if I should even bother. Don't get me wrong, I like the mission and how it turned out, but I just wasn't sure anyone else would. At this point the response has exceeded my expectations, so I am very pleased and encouraged to hurry up and finish the sequel.

I'm also glad people like the warp effect. Initially that started out as sort of an experiment with the Foundry tech to see if it would work, but in the end I don't think the mission would have been possible without it. There wouldn't be any other way to make it seem like you're actually covering significant ground in the search, and having something like 5 more map transitions would have been horrible.

I'm curious, did you manage to succeed in the finale without support? Do you think my estimation of the difficulty was off? I've only really tested the finale on Elite, where I've found if I don't take even one or two of the ships I end up having a lot of trouble (in an Escort, it's a bit easier in a Cruiser). I wanted to indicate that the finale would be hard without support, but let me know if you think I should tone down the difficulty ratings at all.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14
10-17-2011, 09:47 PM
Actually the final battle was by far the most challenging combat I've encountered in solo missions which includes feature content and foundry content. Normally I'll waltz right through without breaking a sweat in my assault cruiser (It is well specced for soloing against large groups) but I was in great peril in the final combat. It was refreshing and a thrill to be really pushed to the limit like that. Also please note that I did it on Normal difficulty. If I did it on Elite...I would not have survived. So basically what I'm saying is that the difficulty level was fine. Do not change it! It was a great thrill.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Federation Mission - Dereliction Duty
Author: Nagorak
Allegiance: Federation
ST-HAKXYCH4Y

----------Report Start-----------

Summary: This was one of the best missions I’ve played from the Foundry. Your use of space, objects and effects was phenomenal. The overall feel of each map along with the story dialog simply reached out and grabbed me. I hardly noticed how long I’d been playing. The characters you developed for this story where memorable as well as entertaining. I look forward to playing the follow up mission to see what will happen next. Simply put I loved your work!

Below are a few observations/recommendations for each phase of the mission including the maps.

Mission Description: Good description of both the details regarding length of the mission and the mission itself. This is a personal preference but I would put the actual description of the mission to be played up front with the length and other details at the end. Again that is my personal preference and has no bearing on how I feel about the mission as a whole.

Grant Mission Dialog: The dialog for both the grant mission and the subsequent dialog were very well done. It is the first thing that draws the player into the mission and this definitely did that for me.

Mission Task: Your inclusion of the location with the Map Text is quite good.

Mission Entry Prompt: Great dialog, perhaps change the button response to something more in line with the dialog. Some suggestions I have, "On my way", or "Entering the Draylon System now".

MAPS:
Draylonic Nebula: Great map design and very well written dialog. No spelling or grammatical errors found. Below are a few observations/recommendations for the dialog and/or map.
- Initial post entry dialog is good but I would suggest changing the button response to "Acknowledged" or something along those lines.
- The “Scan Strange Asteroid” to port upon entry is labeled as "object". Perhaps label it as "asteroid" or something along those lines.
- The “Scan Strange Asteroid” dialog is good however as above I would suggest changing the button to "Acknowledged" or something along those lines that a Captain might say to a Bridge Officer.
- The “In Depth Scan” dialog is excellent. Even though this is optional dialog it is quite well written. As before the only thing I would suggest is making some of the button responses more like the Captain to a Bridge Officer.
- From this point forward I will not note the button responses unless I see a real problem with one.
- I really liked the entire optional dialog regarding the “Strange Asteroid”.
- Ship summary report contains a lot of detailed information that serves to draw me into the story. Of course I like a good detailed story. I know others will appreciate the skip dialog button as I’ve used those too and they seem popular from time to time.

U.S.S. Atlas Deck 13: Excellent map design and fantastic dialog. No spelling or grammatical errors found. Below are a few observations/recommendations for the dialog and/or map.
- One minor glitch I came across. Three out of four Bridge Officers get stuck in the ceiling of the passageway outside the transporter room. I think the issue was I paused as I went through the door and the bridge officers began to jump as they do to position themselves and got stuck. I don’t think there is anything you can do about this as it is a limitation when constructing custom maps. After trying several different maneuvers to get them free I exited the mission and reentered. Then I proceeded directly through the door of the transporter room into the hall without incident.
- I love the questioning from ***ami, it was very well done and the choices are well thought out. Once the briefing begins the Skip dialog button made me laugh out load. I didn’t click it but I loved it.

Interstellar Space: The entire warp through space effect looks great and I am glad you added the tip in the initial dialog. Although I knew I wasn’t moving to continue the mission not everyone would get that. The go to and drop from warp sequences along with the appearance of the objects was very well choreographed. No spelling or grammatical errors found. Below are a few observations/recommendations for the dialog and/or map.
- The freighters are labeled as “Objects”. Perhaps give them the ships name or label them “derelict freighter” or something along those lines.

Reid System: Again the warp sequence along with the drop from warp and appearance of the objects is very well done. The entire map design and dialog was outstanding. I really liked the “Easy Rider” dialog and the “Borg Queen” dialog made me laugh out loud. No spelling or grammatical errors found. Below are a few observations/recommendations for the dialog and/or map.
- The Binar code was great. Good work.
- As previously recommended the freighters are labeled as “Objects”. Perhaps give them the ships name or label them “derelict freighter” or something along those lines.
- From this point forward I will not note the objects labeling unless I see a real problem with one.
- I noted the ship that appears in a couple of the dialog windows is usually a Federation starship of one type or another. I would assume this is a limitation of the Foundry images available to use for this purpose.

Reid System, Planet X: The map design and dialog are excellent. You have mastered the skill of space utilization with your map design. No spelling or grammatical errors found. Below are a few observations/recommendations for the dialog and/or map.
- The dialog of the final dialog of the Ferrengi ships triggered after I went to warp. Was that intentional?

Pel Hosi Minor System: Simply a great map and use of space to drive the story. This was a good wrap up to the story. No spelling or grammatical errors found. Below are a few observations/recommendations for the dialog and/or map.
- The last dialog window in the questions for Gul Modran appears to be from Captain Ujarka but Gul Modran appears in the window.
- The choice of the Distress signal remains up even after the engagement of the Orion’s. Was this a ruse that leads to the attack?

---------End Report----------

Thanks again for authoring. You did a great job and I truly look forward to playing the sequel.
Brian
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 16
10-17-2011, 10:54 PM
Hey Nagorak,
I am going to try this mission out either today or tomorrow, I personally prefer long missions because it keeps you entertained for longer periods. Now I also love short missions for those days where you either do not have time to complete a long one or do not have the patience to be on that long. But I look forward to checking this out cause you are very gifted this I know

Gearbox
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 17
10-18-2011, 07:38 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil70th
Federation Mission - Dereliction Duty

Summary: This was one of the best missions I’ve played from the Foundry. Your use of space, objects and effects was phenomenal. The overall feel of each map along with the story dialog simply reached out and grabbed me. I hardly noticed how long I’d been playing. The characters you developed for this story where memorable as well as entertaining. I look forward to playing the follow up mission to see what will happen next. Simply put I loved your work!
Thanks for taking the time to review my mission, and thanks especially for catching that mistake with the Cardassian shown instead of Ujarka. I went ahead and republished to fix that mistake.

I actually tend to agree with you about listing what the mission is about before the details. In most cases, it makes more sense to "sell" the mission first, while you have someone's attention. However, in this case my goal was more to scare off anyone who didn't want a long mission right off the bat. And, really, if someone doesn't have the patience to read a paragraph about my mission, it's going to be a disaster for them if they play it.

Just touching on a couple of your other points. I don't think there's any way for me to change the name of the "Objects". With contacts I know you can change the name, but the objects are all interacts and unless I'm totally missing something, I don't know of any way to change them. Due to the dynamics of the mission, it's not possible to use contacts for any of the freighters because if I do, I can't hide them afterwards.

About the Tat-Kwerg dialogue. That happens because the Objective Complete trigger is broken with dialogues. I wanted her ship to appear and then for them to have that discussion, but I couldn't do that if the dialogue was in the storyline. So, as a work around, I have it so that the dialogue triggers off a reach marker after you start to set an intercept course. I suppose even overhearing the conversation at all might also be a bit contrived, but I'm going to claim artistic license on that.

And during the finale you said the distress signal remained? The reason that is, is because I wanted to make it so that if someone tried to go it alone (or with too few support vessels) and then found out they'd made a mistake, they could still summon help after the fact. Ideally I'd have a separate interact to summon help, but I hit the enemy group limit on the map, so my hands are basically tied.

Regarding the Captain responses, I'll take that to heart and consider how I might integrate it into the mission, and/or future missions. My only reservation is I'd like to avoid putting too many words in someone's mouth (that's why I like providing the multiple responses, it allows the player to choose what he feels fits his captain the best). However, if they are generic enough responses they'll probably be fine.

Considering the insane amount of dialogue in the mission, I probably won't be going back to make any major changes until the sequel is completed, at the minimum. Also, I sort of dread having to republish because whenever I do, I have to go and reset all of the map dialogues because of the damn Foundry bug that breaks them every time I load the mission. It takes me at least an hour or just rechecking in order to republish because I can't afford to have the dialogues broken or it renders the mission unplayable at some points.

Anyway, thanks again. I'm glad you enjoyed the mission, and I am going to take your feedback into account.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 18
10-18-2011, 07:42 PM
On a side note, I've gotten my first somewhat humorous one star review. Someone said that after they beamed down to the Borg sphere they fell through the map and died. Only thing is, there aren't any Borg spheres in my mission, so I'm not sure what they were playing. At least this time the person actually left a review so I know it was a mistake.

Also someone else said I should cut 25% of the text out. They may be right, and I appreciate their honest feedback, but I think since my mission seems to be doing OK as it is, I'm not going to mess with it. For what it's worth, I think Atlas Affair will be a little bit more action oriented, simply based on the nature of the mission.

I'm not sure if Dereliction Duty will remain at the very top of the list forever. I sort of expect Worst of Both Worlds to retake the top spot eventually, as more reviews on mine trickle in, but either way I'm very please with the response. Thanks to everyone who has played it and provided feedback.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 19
10-18-2011, 07:49 PM
Oh, I also republished the mission to fix the bug with the Cardassian captain being shown instead of Ujarka, along with a few other typos.

I also removed the consoles from outside of the Transporter Room to see if it helps with BOff pathing.

And I increased the radii of some of the reach markers to make them more forgiving about being on the wrong altitude. Reach markers seem to be spheres in game, even though they show as a circle on the map, so if you're too high or too low they won't trigger.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 20
10-18-2011, 10:47 PM
I just have to say the way you did the effect to travel at Warp was genius, and the clever way you made it so that using invisible walls enemy contacts couldn't attack or be attacked was great. Not sure if you thought of those both yourself or found them somewhere else but I'm probably going to steal them.
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