Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 11
04-25-2012, 07:38 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by stargate525 View Post
I don't think anyone is arguing with you on that. But you're approaching the Foundry like a novel, rather than a video game. The point of a video game, its core uniqueness, is the player interaction. You're right in that a lot of games assign you a character. But you have control over them, and can dictate their actions. In STO and games like it, one of the ways a player exercises control is by creating their own character.

It is jarring when that control is taken away, or outright ignored. Stories can be made very strong without locking in a character to a specific name or class or gender. In a video game, especially one that allows character customization, such 'strength' dependent on a character being one specific thing strikes me as a shallowness of writing.

The caveat in this is that I haven't played the mission. I'm all for experimentation, and will be running it when I return from work. A more in-depth and backed review will be forthcoming, more than likely.
Yes, the point of doing this show was we wanted to make it more novel like with game elements. In this game, although some players like total control of their character in the mission they play, it is not a requirement nor is it a contract to the Foundry authors to produce a story in that format.

This story is designed to mimic how we as a role play group actually play STO in the game with emote dice rolling with 5 people in the cast.

If people can relate to what we do, that is good, and if they do not, that is good too.

The main character in the story is pregnant, that limits the gender. It also forces some limitations on the character. Call of Cthulhu is not like any other story on the Foundry. It is unique, and so is Terror in the Patch.

Thank you.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 12
04-25-2012, 07:47 PM
I have a question: why is this mission named Call of Cthulhu? Because the story you have outlined in the OP has nothing to do with the actual HP Lovecraft story, and one of the reviews I read said that the title was misleading as it was not based on the Lovecraft story. I'm guessing this mission *is* based on the Cthulhu mythos, but there is a difference in simply creating a new story set in the mythos, and actually giving it the exact name of an existing story. Could you please clarify?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The.Grand.Nagus View Post
I have a question: why is this mission named Call of Cthulhu? Because the story you have outlined in the OP has nothing to do with the actual HP Lovecraft story, and one of the reviews I read said that the title was misleading as it was not based on the Lovecraft story. I'm guessing this mission *is* based on the Cthulhu mythos, but there is a difference in simply creating a new story set in the mythos, and actually giving it the exact name of an existing story. Could you please clarify?
What you want me to do is tell you the entire plot of the whole show that spans two novels and 34 chapters... you are only at Act 1 and the beginning of act II in the show in Call of Cthulhu so far... which is all the introduction of the story and characters.

Also, we put subtle clues through out the stage and sets that characters have to click on to get clues in the story to figure out the plot as the story develops. For the player who takes the time to read the story and learn from the environment in the entire mosaic,, it is very easy to see how much of a factor Cthulhu is a factor.

For those who do not bother to actually read the story, they will never be able to figure it out. The plot and story is a complex story with many dimensions and layers. The overall purpose of Act 1 in Call of Cthulhu is to introduce characters and set the stage for Act 2 when the plot is introduced. It secondary purpose is to weed out fake role players who are only there for dilithium farming.

It is like Bram Stokers Dracula, the main plot did not even occur in that show until Chapter 12. There is no way you can play Act 1 and come away with "I know the entire plot."

The comment you refer to was by an individual who played the Act a while back when the show was still in production. He or she too was expecting to load up the game and poof Cthulhu attacks the ship, and you fire phasers to kill it (typical go here and shoot that Foundry story)

Any real writer and reader of novels knows the plot is not even revealed or introduced to the audience until Act 2.

However, for the person who wants a one button solution to winning a story we did write a story called 'Where the Brave dare not go."

Call of Cthulhu is not that kind of story. If you are already at the "where is Cthulhu point in Act 1. Then your not ready to handle a story like it. It is not a story designed for a running style player. It is designed for a relaxed player who wants to be immersed into a long story with real dialog, romance, and feelings.

Also, this story is designed for players with whimsey who like to read dialog and act it out in Vivox and Ventrilo. Players who are not afraid to go beyond their rigid "my way or the high way" attitudes. Players who can stop and laugh in the middle of a show. Players who are not running through the game like caffeine dope fiends.

There are players in the game that do not care to to play stories devoted to war and combat. There are players who want to play the game for adventure and romance. That is the player we seek to make Call of Cthulhu for.

I think it interesting you found the one comment to support your own bias , but ovelooked the other 5 people that did not support your claim who have actually played the most recent version of the story. Those folks seem to come away with great reviews and all had tons of fun with it.

As a side-note, I went with those the people when they reviewed it to see what they responded to the most. The people who left negative comments didn't want a followup interview.

Also, in Call of Cthulhu, the reader did not even get to see Cthulhu until the very end on the boat which was 20 pages into the story. Since that story is only 23 pages long, I think we are right on track. I do not recall in H.A. Wilcox's story told by Professor Angell's nephew H.P. Lovecraft even revealing CThulhu. The part only talked about the clay bas relief. I have Call of Cthulhu here on my desk here which I use as a guide for our show.

Even in Legrasse's recall of the event with the Cult of Chulhu, the reader did not even get a glimpse of Cthulhu.

Call of Cthulhu is only 6 Acts in our show, and Terror in the patch is 28 chapters. Call of Cthulhu in our Mosaic is the back Story for our other novel Terror in the Patch. We decided to stage Act 2 Scene 3 to Act 3 in its own separate story to give the player a break because the first part is a average 2 hour playing time. We felt it was a good idea to put a break in the story so the player can pick it back up at that point, and also, we needed the 10 maps to do the next part of the story because the wilderness trek is a two day over land trip for the heroes to do.

That part is going to require all ten map allotments to produce. We only had four maps left on the current part which we felt was not going to be enough to do the story justice. It would have just rushed the shows pacing.

Thank you
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14
04-25-2012, 10:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klytemnestra
What you want me to do is tell you the entire plot of the whole show that spans two novels and 34 chapters...
Not at all. What I am asking is if this mission is actually based on the storyline of "The Call of Cthulhu", which you borrowed the name from, or if it is a different story based on the Cthulhu mythos. Its a fairly simple question.

Quote:
I think it interesting you found the one comment to support your own bias , but ovelooked the other 5 people that did not support your claim who have actually played the most recent version of the story. Those folks seem to come away with great reviews and all had tons of fun with it.
The only "bias" I have discussed in this thread is preferring not to have my character completely disregarded when playing a mission. That has absolutely nothing to do with someone saying the mission title is misleading. You seem pretty confused.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 15
04-25-2012, 11:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by The.Grand.Nagus View Post
Not at all. What I am asking is if this mission is actually based on the storyline of "The Call of Cthulhu", which you borrowed the name from, or if it is a different story based on the Cthulhu mythos. Its a fairly simple question.



The only "bias" I have discussed in this thread is preferring not to have my character completely disregarded when playing a mission. That has absolutely nothing to do with someone saying the mission title is misleading. You seem pretty confused.
No, the foundry player agreement will not permit people to write a facsimile of Call of Cthulhu as it is staged in the book. We wrote to Cryptic about the very topic. That would violate the Foundry player agreement. Cryptic was kind enough to send us a response to the idea we had to actually stage a Foundry story around the actual book.

This story uses Call of Cthulhu as a starting point for the fictional story. But we take the position in the story that the legend is true. That is why we staged the first Act on Vulcan with the discovery of the clay bas-relief at the Ancient Vulcan Monastery.

We advance the timeline into the contemporary Star Trek Story line. Our story spans 4.5 million years of history. In Terror in the Patch, that novel deals with the time travel element of the novel. That story spans all 5 eras of Star Trek TV shows.

This show is mainly to bring Cthulhu into the Star Trek Online universe. We have kept Cthulhu pretty much as he is in the original book, but modernized him for a more Sci-fi feel.

The two novels is our idea of why all the factions in the galaxy are at war. In this show, the players are going to have to do scientific task and engineering task, as well as form relations with people on multiple worlds. There is combat in the show, but it is not the main purpose of the story.

This show starts off with Kaliena as the main character because of the way the show is designed. Terror in the Patch is not character specific. But, we decided to produce Call of Cthulhu because with Terror in the Patch people were not connecting the Cthulhu part of the story. So, we felt that this story was necessary for players to see the events that led up to how the NPC's in Terror in the Patch get to where they are in that show.

Also, I am not confused at all. I made one talking point and then changed and stated another talking point. I used separate paragraphs to indicate a change of topic. I was under the impression that people start a new paragraph in writing to indicate to a reader a change of topic or a break to help with content flow. That is my understanding of writing protocol. [The last three sentences are meant as whimsy and not intended to be absolute gospel.]
Lt. Commander
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# 16
04-26-2012, 01:16 AM
Well, I did promise a play and a review...

Below, I've recorded my thoughts as I played. Take them in the spirit in which they were given (genuine attempt to be helpful with a dash of snark for entertainment), and do with them as you will.

_____SPOILERS BELOW_______

At the beginning of the story, you tell me that 'these are the voyages of the starship [shipname].' Uh, no, no they're not. Not at all. With that kind of introduction, I feel that this could be much better framed as an in-game holonovel.

The beginning of Act 1, Scene two, the air is 'filled' with tension, not 'field.'

you have many many floor overlap errors, which are freaking me out. This is most easily solved by dropping or raising one of the elements by a fraction.

I'm -fairly- certain the room with the dabo table is missing a wall.

The third mission objective, the word you're looking for is 'converse,' not 'conversate'

your dining room candles are floating.

One of the first lessons you learn when writing is that, wherever possible, you show instead of tell. Emotions are especially true in this regard. Granted, while the palette of options for this is rather limited, I don't need you telling me she's angry when her portrait is angry for me to clearly see.

Dr. Siror has the annoying habit of declaring what he is doing as he does it. It's redundant and breaks flow.

AGAIN, you use my ship name. NO. I could accept that you have your own character playing out here, but why the incongruous usage of my ship, but literally NOTHING else about my character? This shatters any sort of building immersion at pretending to be this woman.

You've got persistent tense and suffix errors in the dialogue. I suggest running the whole thing through a grammar-enabled spell-checker.

I'm... confused, I guess, is the name of the town. The town where T'pol came from was not named 'Capitol City,' it was THE capitol. Of all of Vulcan. Having shifted it's name like that would be like changing the name of New York City to The Grover Cleveland University Town, and then again to the Mary-Jane, Grover Cleveland University Town. The name simply makes no sense whatsoever.

You also really don't need to give us a header with who is speaking. We can see them.

How can one be rambling while directly reading from a book?

it's Chateau Picard, not Chatea.

...Why the need to interject that comment, when you're READING to us the text in question?

This has SO MUCH potential for a holonovel. It really, really does. But there is no interaction. You're trying to tell a traditional strong narrative via the Foundry, which I get, but this method is striking me as round peg in square hole. It's technically possible, but there's no... passion... in it.

Why! Does! The toilet! Require me! To Speak in all! Exclamations?!

...I think I figured out another reason why I'm not getting brought into this. I'm going through the motions of the main character, but in the conversations (which this mission is about 90% of) I'm not in them as the character. I'm the silent third party. In essence, you're shifting me from second to third person all the time, without a real reason or change in perspective. It's 'go get the clothes' 'go take a shower' go do all these things, which are decidedly making me an actor in the play, not an audience member. Then, I'm shoved out of the spotlight with the conversation. I feel like a stagehand guiding a bunch of paraplegic actors about through their stage motions.

Scene 4... 'I check Kalina's sleeping body' ... I check Kalina's.... I? ME? I GET TO DO SOMETHING? I thought I WAS Kaliena. Now I'm me? When she's on maternity, do I get my ship back too?

As for the setting... It doesn't feel very dreamlike. Some mist, some effects... SOMETHING. (I also have a problem with every Starfleet officer seemingly dreaming exclusively the Bajoran Shrine on DS9, but that's a separate issue).

What is Dryus doing here? Why do I need to talk to him? Why is he on the other side of the station? I've been led around by the hand for so long I have no idea where to go during this seemingly gratuitous combat section.

...Q. Really? The dream is a non-sequitor, and the visitation strikes me only as a hackneyed, overused attempt to inject conflict and stakes when the author is too lazy, badly-versed, or otherwise incapable of doing it normally. (and if we actually knew the Cthuhlu mythos, this warning is wholly uneccesary).

Act two... My God, a choice. It's depressing that my first one is over an hour into the mission.

Oh, and she took my bridge officers. Lovely.

I find it odd that I get to decide not Kaliena's choice of coffee, but my BRIDGE OFFICER'S... highly illogical.

...Can we beam there?
No.
Why not?
...Magic...
These are Vulcan ruins. Ruins that will soon be holding a full expedition team. Why is there no explanation for the lack of beaming other than 'lol I don't know.' Very thin excuse.

And why precisely do we run the entire morning household routine in the town square?

Just how big is this transporter blocker? Why not take the transporter to the continent, then hike? Or take teh transporter, then the shuttle? Sure'y there's a closer spot than two hours away... Highly illogical.

*snickers* Plateform...

A small nitpick; you can make the walkover objective a 'reach location' rather than an interact, so that you don't have to scan the ramp...



OVERALL:
I'm now even more firmly of the opinion you're barking up the wrong tree here. The idea of the novel is a good one, and I like the idea. I imagine that the first holonovels might have had this problem.

The biggest one here is player interactivity. You have us run around doing these menial things, with the idea of them being ways to shorten any given info dump. We are given no control over the conversations (something fixed a little bit later in the story), and the fact that we're supposed to be this woman, while simultaneously watching over her shoulder and interacting with her as a separate entity shows me clear signs of the author or authors not being able to pin down just what the player is doing here.

Occasionally we're audience. Sometimes we're GM, and sometimes we're actor. There's no rhyme or reason to when we are what. And that's both confusing and poor writing.


My one suggestion is that you remove Kaliena. Make her us. Now I'm not saying you remove her characterization. You simply give us the most basic information at the beginning, such as she's female, estranged from her parents, dating a bajoran admiral, pregnant, on leave... and let us roleplay her without being shoehorned into a particular run of the conversation.

Conversations can be very choice-oriented while still maintaining the single ending. In short, the predestined outcome is much easier to swallow because there is the illusion that his choices had an effect. In the long run, will it matter whether the main character decides to bite her tongue or lash out at her dad at dinner? Or whether she tosses her clothes in the hamper or on the floor?

I'm asking you to think about what the holodeck looks like in Star Trek. The players are the main characters; they don't hover behind their shoulder, watching and opening every door for them. The novel can play out, the story can be written, and written well, while still giving the actors choice and freedom.

I mean, if you didn't want to take advantage of the medium at least a little, why didn't you simply have us stand on the steps of vulcan and read the whole thing?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 17 My response is..
04-26-2012, 11:37 AM
QUOTE=stargate525;4183103]Well, I did promise a play and a review...

Below, I've recorded my thoughts as I played. Take them in the spirit in which they were given (genuine attempt to be helpful with a dash of snark for entertainment), and do with them as you will.

_____SPOILERS BELOW_______

Quote:
At the beginning of the story, you tell me that 'these are the voyages of the starship [shipname].' Uh, no, no they're not. Not at all. With that kind of introduction, I feel that this could be much better framed as an in-game holonovel.
First, thank you for the comments, I am going to go through and explain why these occur.

When real people play tested the mission over a year period of time, we originally had that as the actual ship Kaliena uses in the game. But as people were playing, it was suggested we put the players ship name in the dialog. So the script was changed to do that.

Quote:
The beginning of Act 1, Scene two, the air is 'filled' with tension, not 'field.'
This is a typo. No matter how many times people go through a script, the typos will always be there. I would have to point out you did not capitalize "you" in the sentence after you point out our typo.

Quote:
you have many many floor overlap errors, which are freaking me out.
Quote:
This is most easily solved by dropping or raising one of the elements by a fraction.
We have tried what you suggested when the town was first laid out. The terrain there will not facilitate your one step solution. We thought it would be cool to have gray and beige tiles set at regular intervals. It also helps to measure out the town when standing on the set. Most other players did not feel this was a big issue.

Quote:
I'm -fairly- certain the room with the dabo table is missing a wall.
The room with the dabo table is not missing a wall. The facing wallis a piece of glass that goes from floor to ceiling which looks like a door opening. But we thought people would figure out it is a window. Since there were not going to be any dialog staged in the room, the rooms sole purpose in the script is to just be a fancy decoration.

Quote:
The third mission objective, the word you're looking for is 'converse,' not 'conversate'
This is a colloquial term used by people in that culture.

Quote:
your dining room candles are floating.
Yes, the candles were staged to be floating above the table. In Star Trek, the Vulcans have mastered the technology to defy gravity. Also, the candles are a chandelier. Also, the flowers used as the food does not always appear on the map either. This is a graphical issue that we as writers cannot fix. You have to refer that problem to the special effects team at Cryptic Studios. We originally wanted to have food on the table but that is not an object option on the Foundry.


Quote:
One of the first lessons you learn when writing is that, wherever possible, you show instead of tell. Emotions are especially true in this regard. Granted, while the palette of options for this is rather limited, I don't need you telling me she's angry when her portrait is angry for me to clearly see.
I do not need a first lesson.

Yes you do need to know that she is angry because it goes to establish her personality in the story which is essential to the drama. Not every player who sees the emotion are going to know "Oh, that means she is angry." The story has to express that as a fact so the reader knows it is the true feeling to get an internal perspective of Kaliena to know this topic is important to her.

The Foundry list of preset emotions in dialog is limited. The only purpose of that is to give the actor on stage some movement other then the default setting. But since her mood and emotion is described in dialog, then it is not necessary for the player to interpret the imagery.


Quote:
Dr. Siror has the annoying habit of declaring what he is doing as he does it. It's redundant and breaks flow.
People have annoying habits. That is what Vulcans do.

Vulcans like to tell dramatic stories. He is an Anthropologist. It is also part of his personality at the beginning of the story.

See in a story, characters start off at a certain point. Then throughout the show, the characters grow and overcome flawed elements of their personality. If you always present your characters as ďperfect people who never do things wrong or make mistakesÖĒ then the audience is not going to be able to relate to the character in a meaningful way.

Dr. Siror, who is a real character in STO, is a proud man. He is on the verge of answering questions that he has sought for most of his life. He has been ridicule by other scientists including his daughter because of his pursuit to find evidence of the story of Cthulhu. He is in his moment of glory.

Quote:
AGAIN, you use my ship name. NO. I could accept that you have your own character playing out here, but why the incongruous usage of my ship, but literally NOTHING else about my character? This shatters any sort of building immersion at pretending to be this woman.
I already explained why this occurs, but you need to let go of the idea that the story has to be all about you.

Quote:
You've got persistent tense and suffix errors in the dialogue. I suggest running the whole thing through a grammar-enabled spell-checker.
Also, I am not familiar with persistent tense, In writing you have present, past, imperfect past, perfect past, pluperfect, future, future perfect, infinitive, active voice, passive voice, perfect passive participles, present active participles.

They then conjugate into first person, second person, and third person singular and plural forms.

No, in dialog, people speak in a manner that is individualized to the character. Writers are free to use improper or proper methods of formal grammar in dialog. That is how real people speak. We purposely wrote the dialog with grammar the individual character would use. Have you ever read Mr. Scott's or Mr. Chekov's dialog in a book?

Also, if we did that, then we would deny the players who like to go out and point out what is wrong with a script their fun. Mistakes are good, it is how we learn and grow as a society of writers.


Quote:
I'm... confused, I guess, is the name of the town. The town where T'pol came from was not named 'Capitol City,' it was THE capitol. Of all of Vulcan. Having shifted it's name like that would be like changing the name of New York City to The Grover Cleveland University Town, and then again to the Mary-Jane, Grover Cleveland University Town. The name simply makes no sense whatsoever.
It does make sense.

No, in Enterprise and on Memory Alpha site, the town TíPol was from was Capitol City. We changed the name in our story to TíPol University Town to pay homage to TíPol and give the player some anchor to the historical nature of the town. Also, we felt TíPol University Town would be a good name to start with because UGC_223000718999811999_000111928263738] would be too long for people to pronounce when the mayor honored her by renaming the town.

[Continued on next post]
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 18 My response (continued)
04-26-2012, 12:02 PM
Quote:
You also really don't need to give us a header with who is speaking. We can see them.
If this is true, then why did you comment about the emotion setting earlier?

Some dialog boxes in the show will have multiple people talking. When we played through the story, we read the script out loud it is helpful to the actors on stage to know when their lines are queued up. Also, when the actors play the show, they often just use the basic script as a starting point and most times change the dialog on stage to fit with their own personality. The identifying marker seems useful to the actors/roleplayers. So we put them in the show here.

Quote:
How can one be rambling while directly reading from a book?
Dr. Siror was making a joke about his long story. At formal dinner parties, it is often the norm for the host to make fun of himself or herself to provide entertainment for the guest who have to listen to him read a story. That is why the host usually provides free food and a holographic dancer for entertainment.


Quote:
it's Chateau Picard, not Chatea.
I spelled it based on how it is spelled in the game and on STOWiki. However, it is a typo.

Also, I would point out there that you did not capitalize your pronoun 'its."


Quote:
...Why the need to interject that comment, when you're READING to us the text in question?
I have to go see where this is at to recall why it is there. Sometimes words are put in a sentence for the lack of a better word.

Quote:
This has SO MUCH potential for a holonovel. It really, really does. But there is no interaction. You're trying to tell a traditional strong narrative via the Foundry, which I get, but this method is striking me as round peg in square hole. It's technically possible, but there's no... passion... in it.
No, the story starts off the way in Act I. Act I is all introductory story. The purpose of the act is to tell the player why they are there. Who all these people are? Why is it necessary for all of them to go on the trek? Who is Kaliena and why should we care about her. In that act we have to understand what kind of person her mother Paulina is and her father Dr. Siror is. We have to explain why all the shipís crew is going with her and what is going on with the ship in orbit. Are the people on the ship just going to sit up in space while she is on an anthropological mission to a remote part of Vulcan?

Also, I have watched several players read the dinner scene out loud with a ton of passion and drama. Passion and drama are internal to the individual playing the role. Also, how much more passion do you want from a dinner party where people are telling a story.

The major purpose of the dinner scene is to provide the background of Cthulhu to the people that have no clue in the world what that is. We staged it around a Vulcan formal dinner party because it felt that it would be neat to have a couple of Vulcan's sitting around a cozy fire reading HP Lovecraft. I think it gives the scene in the story credibility. We in this scene have to establish some sense in the reader that Cthulhu could be real.

And that is why Kaliena is important to the scene. She starts off as the skeptic and through the scene she has to put her arrogance in doubt when presented with the clay bas relief. The introduction of the bas relief is the moment in the story where the mystery begins in a physical way.

Dr. Siror reads to you the origin of the bas clay relief in the short story at the party, then the object is revealed on Vulcan which predates the object mention on the story from earth. This is why Kaliena says "fascinating" in her remark. A scientist presented with the situation would start to ask questions like 'if the story is fictional then how did this bas relief get here?"


The only action in Act I is a dream sequence.

But the purpose of the dream sequence isnít to let the player prove how good they are at killing people. Its purpose is to demonstrate to the audience in a short time that Alan Hunt is a dangerous person. The scene introduces the main villain in the story. And because it is Act 1, it has to be done in a way that teases the audience.

We felt that because the audience would have to sit through a long pointer scene in the beginning of this novel, it would be a good point to put a small action scene in the show for them.

Psychologically, this is going to be long enough to train the players to the upcoming combat later in the story.

The Act 1 is staged in a way that trains players to understand how things are going to progress in the show. So later on in the other Acts and Chapters, none of that is going to be explained. The player is going to have to remember those things.

Also, the combat in the show is purposely staged to be easy for now. Again it is designed to ease the player into how combat will progress in the story. Also, if you watched the combat in the dream sequence, they were not objectives for the plot. The player has the choice to engage in the combat or not, which is going to be the theme throughout the show.

Starting in Act 2 when the players get to the wilderness, the combat is staged where the player has to actually identify the foes and are given an option to negotiate peacefully or outright attack people.

However, if you come away with this should be a holodeck-novel, and then youíre not taking the entire story in consideration in your analysis.


Quote:
Why! Does! The toilet! Require me! To Speak in all! Exclamations?!
Because your giving a command to the toilet.

When a person gives a command it is in exclamations. The toilet is a holographic person who can morph the toilet into over a thousand different forms to accommodate different alien needs in toiletry. When you go out to the wilderness to use the bathroom the TL6 Mk 1 is going to go with the group.

The player needs to know how to speak properly to the toilet.

Also, we felt that after a long pointer scene with the formal dinner, we wanted the next scene to be light hearted and funny. The next scene has to establish to the audience very quickly what kind of personality Kaliena has. Prior to this scene, Kaliena is pretty much upset and comes across sort of with an attitude. So we wanted to show that she is not really like that, which I think comes across well in the shower scene. Also, that is how Kaliena is in Star Trek Online. I think the portrayal of her is fairly accurate for people to grasp at.

[to be continued]
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Quote:
...I think I figured out another reason why I'm not getting brought into this. I'm going through the motions of the main character, but in the conversations (which this mission is about 90% of) I'm not in them as the character. I'm the silent third party. In essence, you're shifting me from second to third person all the time, without a real reason or change in perspective. It's 'go get the clothes' 'go take a shower' go do all these things, which are decidedly making me an actor in the play, not an audience member. Then, I'm shoved out of the spotlight with the conversation. I feel like a stagehand guiding a bunch of paraplegic actors about through their stage motions.
Yes, for now. That isnít the case in the entire show.

For act 1 it isnít necessary for the player to be in 100 percent control. Act 1 is all introductory. That is so in the next 35 Chapters we wonít have to do anymore pointer scenes.

All the exposition is done in the first act. In Act II when you go out of the house and start by the fountain, that begins the reduction of dialog. So when Act 2 Scene 3 starts, there isnít going to be anymore exposition.

Act 2 begins the more action part of the story. Also, we think of it as a reward to the reader who patiently stayed with the story. Also, it sets the tone as a light action for the player. next when the tension picks up in the story it is going to provide contrast to the player.

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Scene 4... 'I check Kalina's sleeping body' ... I check Kalina's.... I? ME? I GET TO DO SOMETHING? I thought I WAS Kaliena. Now I'm me? When she's on maternity, do I get my ship back too?
Yes, in play testing with real people we did not have Kaliena in on stage at all, but many people felt we should have her staged in the show because people were not going to be able to make the connection to her without a frame of reference.

So she was added in the story as a staged stand in.

Yes, you get your ship back. Admiral Utta Dyrus stated that in the conversation they had in the previous scene.

It is also restated in the following scenes. Yes, she is only 3 weeks pregnant in the story, and the entire story is only a 7 day duration.

The entire story of Call of Cthulhu and Terror in the Patch only occur between February 28 and April 2. This is the pagan month of Aries. Cthulhu can only interact with the mortal plane in the month or Aries when the planets, solar systems, and galaxies are aligned to the galactic ecliptic. And he has to be called by the famous chant:

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"Ph-nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagen."
Which is why the story is called Call of Cthulhu. In Terror in the Patch, which is the novel that is after this one which we have released five chapters of the twenty-eight, when the crew walks aboard the drifting freighter the Aenar pilgrims they find are uttering that chant.

But we as audience members playing Terror in the Patch do not know why they are saying that. In Call of Cthulhu we get to learn why that chant is dangerous.

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As for the setting... It doesn't feel very dreamlike. Some mist, some effects... SOMETHING. (I also have a problem with every Starfleet officer seemingly dreaming exclusively the Bajoran Shrine on DS9, but that's a separate issue).
No, this scene main purpose is to let the audience know that Alan Hunt can create these Illusions, he reached back into her mind and created a past memory.

This was the previous story to this one. The scene helps establish to the audience the personal history of Kaliena and her recent battles with the Borg there.

Yes, Joanna Harley the coauthor, she wrote that back story for her character. We included it in this show because we wanted to bring our show alive in the game. So we took elements of all our different writers and their characterís personal history in the game in put them in our live shows.

All our main novels, when you come across NPCís they are real people in Star Trek Online. Instead of making up a name of each NPC in the show, we staged real people as NPCís to give them better depth and back stories.

Also, as the player progress through this show, the story is slowly going to move away from Kaliena, but it is not going to completely move away from her. It is just going to line up to how Terror in the Patch starts out. In Terror in the Patch, the player comes in as a ship in the Fleet Sf41.

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What is Dryus doing here? Why do I need to talk to him? Why is he on the other side of the station? I've been led around by the hand for so long I have no idea where to go during this seemingly gratuitous combat section.
If you actually read the previous scenes, it is well established who Utta Dyrus is. He is the guy who is the father of the baby. He doesnít play a large role in the first 3 Acts. He comes in later when the Story shifts to Andoria. At this point of the story, you only need to know they have a relationship, they are having a baby, they survived a battle at Ds9, and Alan Hunt creates this dream for Kaliena where the opposite of that happens ( a nightmare). Later on in the show when they are doing a love scene, it will make more sense. But also, we are starting the love story part of the show.


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...Q. Really? The dream is a non-sequitor, and the visitation strikes me only as a hackneyed, overused attempt to inject conflict and stakes when the author is too lazy, badly-versed, or otherwise incapable of doing it normally. (and if we actually knew the Cthuhlu mythos, this warning is wholly uneccesary).
If you have no idea why a dream sequence would be necessary, then you have never read the actual story to Call of Cthulhu. Which was explained in the dinner scene.

No, in our shows, Q is a character played by a player. When we wrote the show live on stage, he is a very integral part of the story. You just do not know why, which you wonít until Chapter 35. Q never reveals his true motives in Star Trek.

If you claim to know about Cthulhu and you're wondering why Q is in the story, you are going to need him later. Especially in the time travel sequences. Cthulhu is a powerful alien who lives outside of the universe.

Also, the dream sequence let's you know that at this moment in the story that exposition is done, you now have to figure every thing on your own.

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Act two... My God, a choice. It's depressing that my first one is over an hour into the mission.
No it is not depressing at all. By now it should be well established in the players mind that the "this is a long story" was factual.

Lord of the Rings started off with a very long Introduction. Dracula's introduction was 12 chapters long out of its 28 chapters.

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Oh, and she took my bridge officers. Lovely.
Yes, this starts the movement of the story away from a dialog heavy story and it will slowly start to peel away that for the reader. See, in a story here we start from a traditional novel format and over time move to a traditional movie format or TV format and then into a Video game format (MMORPG).


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I find it odd that I get to decide not Kaliena's choice of coffee, but my BRIDGE OFFICER'S... highly illogical
I find it odd that you do not realize that your concerns of not being in control is now confounded when the story does that.

Yes, this is introducing the player to the idea that they are going to have to make choices in the story and some of those choices have consequences. If you Pick the wrong choice you are not going to get key information for later on in the show when you will need to recall that information. We decided to introduce that with a coffee scene.

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...Can we beam there?
No.
Why not?
...Magic...
These are Vulcan ruins. Ruins that will soon be holding a full expedition team. Why is there no explanation for the lack of beaming other than 'lol I don't know.' Very thin excuse.

It isnít a thin excuse.

If they reveal that to you in the first Act, there would be no point in playing the remaining 6 acts. It is called ďa clue.Ē

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And why precisely do we run the entire morning household routine in the town square?
Because, the previous scene walked the player through the house, so there is no point and revisiting those sets. Also, the Foundry is limited to 10 maps a episode. It was a better production value to just do it in dialog. However, it was a good point to teach the player who may not be familiar with how button pushing is in the Foundry to help train them for up and coming scenes later in the show.

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Just how big is this transporter blocker? Why not take the transporter to the continent, then hike? Or take teh transporter, then the shuttle? Sure'y there's a closer spot than two hours away... Highly illogical.

It is two days away. It is going to be a two day trek over land.

But okay, since you need entire explanation. I will provide it to you.

There was battle in the part of that world in a long distance war fought eons ago by the Vulcans. The debris from those ruins is filled with a technology we do not understand is buried under the surface of that continent.

The player when they investigate that area, are going to learn this. It is also tied to the Cult of Cthulhu story arc. See, the Cult of Cthulhu has been around for Eons, they have this technology which allows them to use portals to go to other worlds.

Cthulhu who is this alien organism who lives outside of the universe lives independent of time and space. He along with this technology is preventing the Vulcans from aligning their transporter beams early in the show.

However, after the players go to the wilderness and explore there and investigate it scientifically. The engineer and science officers figure out a way to get around that.

Which we wanted the players to have to figure to do. Also, it has already been established in the scene that Dr. Quinn is heading the advance survey team there. He has only been there since the 28 of February. In the story, it is only the 1 March. That is only two days.

[To be continued]
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
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*s******s* Plateform...

A small nitpick; you can make the walkover objective a 'reach location' rather than an interact, so that you don't have to scan the ramp...
No, in play test with real people walking around when we did what you suggest, players had a harder time finding the spot to go to. People were walking all over the map.

When we changed it to the way it is now, people were able to find it in a short amount of time. So, your idea works well in your imagination, but in actual playÖno one did that, even when I pointed out you could use your scanner to find the starting point and stood at the spot for people to know where to go, players would still go aimlessly around the entire map trying to figure out how to find the walk over.

Also, in this story, we are not going to figure everything out for people. There is a map and a scanner button to direct people where to go. And the actor told the players where to go.

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OVERALL:
I'm now even more firmly of the opinion you're barking up the wrong tree here. The idea of the novel is a good one, and I like the idea. I imagine that the first holonovels might have had this problem.
No, you made your decision before you even played the story. The only thing you did was confirm your own bias. You want every story to be for you and only for you.

The biggest one here is player interactivity. You have us run around doing these menial things, with the idea of them being ways to shorten any given info dump. We are given no control over the conversations (something fixed a little bit later in the story), and the fact that we're supposed to be this woman, while simultaneously watching over her shoulder and interacting with her as a separate entity shows me clear signs of the author or authors not being able to pin down just what the player is doing here.
The interactivity comes in the next Acts. In the first Act, it is not necessary for what you suggest.

Occasionally we're audience. Sometimes we're GM, and sometimes we're actor. There's no rhyme or reason to when we are what. And that's both confusing and poor writing.
No, it is clearly stated in the beginning of the story that you are Kaliena. You are only an actor here. The GM is a provided NPC at this point of the story. The story progresses to a more player driven story over time.

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My one suggestion is that you remove Kaliena. Make her us. Now I'm not saying you remove her characterization. You simply give us the most basic information at the beginning, such as she's female, estranged from her parents, dating a bajoran admiral, pregnant, on leave... and let us roleplay her without being shoehorned into a particular run of the conversation.
No, in play test, when Kaliena was not there, people had a hard time following the story, she was added in because other players suggested putting her in the scenes.

No, if we did what you suggest, then you would not be the one experiencing pregnancy, the internal struggle she has to overcome with allowing her parents to be part of her life.

In the beginning of the story, Kaliena is a flawed character who is too quick to make decisions without thinking about the consequences. She learns through the story that decisions she has made in the past have led her to problems now 11 years later.

The point of the parentís scene in Act II is that it establishes that all these ideas she is internalizing is just her own internal anxieties. She avoids her Vulcan training out of fear that she will lose her independence.

Anger and fear are avoidance motivated behavior.

We as an audience need to understand early in the story that Kaliena is a flawed character and we need to understand that most of it is her own internal struggle.

If we do what you suggest, you as a person standing next to her is not going to be able to internalize that.

Jake the Ferengi bartender who happens to go off on exploration missions to get dilithium crystals is not going to be able to step into the role. The role of Kaliena has to be staged in the show as the central character because it is her story that you are witnessing.

However, Cthulhu needs Kaliena for a specific task which she does not understand yet. In the story, Kaliena is playing the role of Pandora. She is filled with ideals which has led her down the wrong path.

The overall story plot has to be told in a way that the player understands how Cthulhu enters the realm or our Space-time continuum. Cthulhu affects idealist which Kaliena represents.
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