Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 767
Quote:
Originally Posted by markhawkman View Post
Interested in looking at my contest entry?

http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/sh...d.php?t=379991
Quote:
Originally Posted by markhawkman View Post
Mission Title: The Darkness between the Stars
Your @Handle: Marhawkman
Faction: Federation
Level Requirement: 31+
Mission Summary: The Federation has detected weak signals coming from a ship floating through deep space. The signals don't match any known race. From what we've been able to gather the ship is derelict and drifting in deep space. We need you to intercept the ship and examine it to determine if it is safe for us to study.

This is mainly a story driven mission but it does have some combat.



So what did you guys think of it? Be honest, don't worry about hurting my feelings.
Federation Mission - The Darkness between the Stars
Author: Marhawkman
Allegiance: Federation
Project ID: ST-HDAPHHNCI

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

Summary: Without knowing what the requirements of the "contest" this mission was created for I have to say it is a good story oriented mission. I would recommend this mission to other players who like story oriented missions with several interactive points in the story.

I noted the use of the response button "ok" in several dialogue boxes throughout the mission. I mention it because it just did not feel like it belonged in the story. It felt almost as odd as my usual pet peeve "Continue". As with that issue it just does not feel like something the Captain of a ship would say in response to any report from the BOFFs or other NPCs. The use of "Continue" is the default for a response button being left blank. You obviously did not do that, but you should consider adding something more to the response.

The use of upper or lower case letters in the interact buttons, mission tasks, and map names are not consistent. There were several places where the interact buttons switched between upper and lower case, particularly on the "Ship Interior" map. They were different interactions but it just did not seem to work. All mission tasks on the "Nebula edge" and "Black planet" maps were lower case. On the other maps they were a combination of upper and lower case. The map names also had a similar issue where the first letter on the first name was upper case and the second name was all lower case. For example "Nebula edge" versus "Ship Interior". In the overall mission evaluation it is not as big an issue as others, but it is a detail that should be considered.

The issue of additional information dialogue that adds to the story can also detract from it. I am referring to having a looping dialogue that brings the player back to a starting point in the dialogue. Some of the loop back dialogue did not seem to fit the loop back dialogue. Having dialogue loop back to the start can work depending on the initial dialogue that starts it off. For example you could have "Is there something else?" or "Would you like more information?" or along those lines. Otherwise consider having the dialogue all in one longer string with a "Skip Dialogue" option throughout.

A plot issue for your to consider between the "Dark Planet" and Black Cave" maps. It is a minor issue to consider but one that I felt should be identified for you to consider. On the "Dark Planet" map the tasks were to scan the debris. On the "Black Cave" map the mission was to "Tag the Generator". It felt odd that we would not try to recover some of the more interesting debris like the small room and power conduits on the "Dark Planet" but we would recover the generator from the "Black Cave" map.

Below are some things I noted while playing the mission that I wanted to let you know about. Everything in this write up should be seen as suggestions on ways I felt you could improve certain elements of the mission. They are yours to do with as you see fit.

Mission Description: This is an intriguing description. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this description.

Grant Mission Dialogue: This is a good grant dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue.

Mission Task: This is a good initial task with a clear start location for the first custom map. I noted no spelling errors with this task.

Mission Entry Prompt: This is a good use of the prompt. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this prompt.

MAPS:
Nebula edge: This map, while well designed seems unnecessary to the mission. After the initial entry dialogue there is nothing except flying across the map to various waypoints to then proceed to the next map. If you want to keep this map consider spreading the initial dialogue throughout the map at each waypoint. Additionally your mission tasks are all lower case throughout this map.

Nebula center: This is a good map design with a simple but fun battle. The story dialogue is well written. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map.

Ship Interior: This is a great map design with very well written story dialogue. I noted a couple of items to consider changing:
-Consider changing the use of response button "ok" throughout this map with "Very well" or something along those lines that fits the dialogue. It would seem more professional. From this point I will only note the maps where this is used and will address it in the summary.
-The additional dialogue prompts feel a little awkward. I understand you are trying to give the player the option to skip over some parts of the dialogue, but the dialogue that leads to those additional dialogues feels odd when repeated over and over again. Consider adding the additional information into one longer dialogue string with a "Skip Dialogue" feature throughout. From this point I will only note the maps where this is used and will address it in the summary.
-The interactions on the map switch between "Scan" for the bio signatures and "scan" for the consoles. Consider changing all of them to "Scan".
-Consider changing the response button "Maybe the medical Corps can figure it out later" to read "Maybe the Medical Corps can figure it out later".
-The climbing to the top of the reactor seems unnecessary to the story.
-All of the "Examine equipment in room" buttons say "Interact," which is the Foundry default when a "Interact Object" button is left blank. It is like the "Continue? button.

Nebula center#2: This is a good map design with well written story dialogue. I noted a couple of items to consider changing:
-Consider adding the additional information into one longer dialogue string with a "Skip Dialogue" feature throughout.
-The use of response button "ok".

Dark Planet: This is a good map design with well written story dialogue. I noted a couple of items to consider changing:
-Consider adding the additional information into one longer dialogue string with a "Skip Dialogue" feature throughout.
-The use of response button "ok".
-There are nine objects to scan with mostly "Scrap" dialogue from the away team. It felt like too much running around with little story to support it. Consider changing some of the dialogue to fill in more story details or remove some of the objects to be scanned.

Black Cave: This is a good map design with well written story dialogue. It felt a little rushed and the ending of the mission seemed abrupt. Consider adding some wrap up dialogue with Starfleet Command that indicates they have dispatched research vessels to continue the investigation.

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

Thanks again for authoring and for giving me the chance to review your work. You did a great job with this mission and I look forward to playing/reviewing more of your work in the future.
Brian

This critique report also filed 09/09/2012 on forum posting for: The Darkness between the Stars.
If you would like a detailed review of your mission please visit my forum posting "In depth mission reports upon request" for details.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 767
# 292
09-09-2012, 11:21 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoleviathan99 View Post
I'd like you to try out my latest effort:

The Inner Darkness
ID: ST-HLP235DKL
Faction: Starfleet
Level: 31+
When a retired ambassador undergoes treatments for his rare, degenerative neurological condition in the Briar Patch, your presence is requested to provide a security detail against the combined threat of the Na'kuhl and the Ekosians. However, the greatest threat may prove to be within.

Caution: This mission may be on the long side and a touch controversial for reasons that may become apparent. No foul language or anything.
Hey stoleviathan,

Thanks for the review request. You are currently 4th in the queue behind diogene0. I am continuing my reviews of the missions within my queue today. I am not sure how quickly I will get through yours but I will post it here as soon as I have completed it.

Thanks for authoring,
Brian
If you would like a detailed review of your mission please visit my forum posting "In depth mission reports upon request" for details.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 767
Quote:
Originally Posted by designationxr377 View Post
Mission Name: The Computer's Daughter
Author: XR-377
Minimum Level: 16+
Allegiance: Federation
Project ID: ST-HAX922V0C
Estimated Mission Length: 1h - 3h
Method of Report Delivery: Forum Post
Federation Mission - The Computer's Daughter
Author: XR-377
Allegiance: Federation
Project ID: ST-HAX922V0C

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

Summary: This is an excellent mission albeit a long story oriented mission. From the great map designs through the excellent, in depth, story dialogue, and the tough but fun battles scattered throughout, I was riveted to my seat from the first map all the way through. I would highly recommend this mission to all players who like a combination of an excellent story with great map design. You will love the mission despite the length. If you do not like story oriented missions then this one is not for you.

The only real issue I noted was the "Optional Dialogue" you used on a couple of the maps. Consider using triggered dialogue instead. This would allow the player to interact with NPCs on that map and once they do so the dialogue option disappears. You can also set it up so if certain story elements are completed then the optional dialogue would disappear as well.

Below are a couple of things I noted while playing the mission that I wanted to let you know about. Everything in this write up should be seen as suggestions on ways I felt you could improve certain elements of the mission. They are yours to do with as you see fit.

Mission Description: This is a good description. Consider moving the actual mission description ahead of the [MissionInfo] dialogue that indicates the nature of the mission. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this description.

Grant Mission Dialogue: This is a good grant dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue.

Mission Task: This is a good initial task with a clear location for the start of the first custom map. I noted no spelling errors with this task.

Mission Entry Prompt: This is a good use of the prompt. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this prompt.

MAPS:
Lackey System Rendezvous Point: This is a good map design with excellent, in depth story dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map.

Paulson Nebula, First Contact Point: This is a great map design with excellent story dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map.

First Contact Meeting, Lower Decks: This is a good map design with very well written story dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue. I noted one item to consider changing:
-Consider changing all the current "Optional Dialogue" to triggered dialogue that goes away after the player interacts with it.

Paulson Nebula, Cultural Exchange: This is a great map design with a fun battle and excellent story dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map.

[b][color="Red"]Paulson Nebula, Dense Cloud Fields: This is a great map design with several tough but not impossible battles. The story dialogue is very well written. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue. I noted one item to consider changing:
-Consider changing all the current "Optional Dialogue" to triggered dialogue that goes away after the player interacts with it.

Paulson Nebula, Confrontation: This is a great map design with a fun battle and excellent story dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map.

Starship ICAI: This is a great map design with some tough, but fun battles and excellent story dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map.

Paulson Nebula, Face to Face: This is a great map design with excellent story dialogue, and is a good wrap up to this mission. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map.

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

Thanks again for authoring and for giving me the chance to review your work. You did a great job developing this mission, from the dialogue through the map design and the battles. It was very enjoyable and I hardly notice the length. I look forward to playing/reviewing more of your work, including the Klingon version of this mission next up in the queue.
Brian
If you would like a detailed review of your mission please visit my forum posting "In depth mission reports upon request" for details.

Last edited by evil70th; 09-09-2012 at 06:03 PM.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 767
Quote:
Originally Posted by designationxr377 View Post
Mission Name: The Computer's Son
Author: XR-377
Minimum Level: 16+
Allegiance: Klingon
Project ID: ST-HL3FLRFGD
Estimated Mission Length: 1h - 3h
Method of Report Delivery: Forum Post
Klingon Mission - The Computer's Son
Author: XR-377
Allegiance: Klingon
Project ID: ST-HL3FLRFGD

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

Summary: This is an excellent mission albeit a long mostly story oriented mission. The battles are glorious and it is a great retelling of the story from the Klingon point of view. From the great map designs through the excellent, in depth, story dialogue, and the glorious battles throughout, I was riveted to my seat from the first map all the way through. I would highly recommend this mission to all Klingon faction players who love glorious battles combined with great map design and excellent story dialogue. You will love the mission despite the length.

As with the previous review of the "Sister" mission, the only real issue I noted was the "Optional Dialogue" you used on a couple of the maps. Consider using triggered dialogue instead. Since this has already been covered in the previous review I will not go into additional detail here.

Below are a couple of things I noted while playing the mission that I wanted to let you know about. Everything in this write up should be seen as suggestions on ways I felt you could improve certain elements of the mission. They are yours to do with as you see fit.

Mission Description: This is a good description. Consider moving the actual mission description ahead of the [MissionInfo] dialogue that indicates the nature of the mission. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this description.

Grant Mission Dialogue: This is a good grant dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue.

Mission Task: This is a good initial task with a clear start location for the first custom map. I noted no spelling errors with this task.

Mission Entry Prompt: This is a good use of the prompt. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this prompt.

MAPS:
Alhena System Rendezvous Point: This is a good map design with excellent, in depth story dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map.

I.K.S. Gharwl? Ro?, Briefing: This is a good map design with very well written story dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue. I noted one item to consider changing:
-Consider changing all the current "Optional Dialogue" to triggered dialogue that goes away after the player interacts with it.

Paulson Nebula, Dense Cloud Fields: This is a great map design with several glorious battles. The story dialogue is very well written. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue. I noted a couple of items to consider changing:
-Consider changing all the current "Optional Dialogue" to triggered dialogue that goes away after the player interacts with it.
-The post battle dialogue buttons with derelict ships; consider adding some dialogue from a BOFF indicated no contact or life signs. Otherwise the contact buttons serve no purpose to the story.

Paulson Nebula, First Contact Point: This is a good map design with great story dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map.

I.K.S. Gharwl? Ro?, First Contact: This is a great map design with a glorious battle. The story dialogue is very well written. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue. I noted a couple of items to consider changing:
-Consider changing all the current "Optional Dialogue" to triggered dialogue that goes away after the player interacts with it.
-The Kai warriors used Romulan weapons like the thalaron radiation generator. Consider changing them to another race that would not be so easily recognizable.

Starship ICAI: This is a great map design with glorious battles. The story dialogue is very well written. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue. I noted one item to consider changing:
-Consider changing all the current "Optional Dialogue" to triggered dialogue that goes away after the player interacts with it.

Paulson Nebula, Face to Face: This is a great map design with excellent story dialogue, and is a good wrap up to this mission. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map.

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

Thanks again for authoring and for giving me the chance to review your work. You did a great job with this mission. I look forward to playing/reviewing more of your work in the future.
Brian
If you would like a detailed review of your mission please visit my forum posting "In depth mission reports upon request" for details.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,875
# 295
09-09-2012, 11:10 PM
I believe he could also use invisible objects with "Use Default Prompt" enabled. Not sure though.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oh, lovely, I can't even requote the Douglas Adams quote I used to have here I WANT IT BACK!!!!
Dalo Lorn
DaloLorn, StarCraft 2 Roleplayer and proud of it.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 547
# 296
09-09-2012, 11:46 PM
Thank you for your quality reviews as always. I'm really glad I'm getting better at the proofreading.

As for your concerns:

Optional Dialog Rework:
Few Big Issues with this, a few more that aren't worth going into.
-Although a smooth way to make sure players see the progress, it causes too much problems if someone wants to go back and read something again. Worse, it limits and in some places erases any kind of group play if they want to take part in it. The only dialog triggers that can be used to "mark off" other dialogs would be read by all party members, in addition using the triggers to prompt them rather then contacts (as most of them are now) severely limits who you see you can speak to. Additionally, it makes the rotating and changing dialog in some contact's lists as objectives progress even more tricky to form, even if most players miss that dialog already.
-I would have to transpose ALL of my optional dialog to new trees, cut and paste. Reselecting the emotions and the costumes of the speakers. Considering the mess the Klingon Dialog list is as is, that mission alone would be an undertaking in attempting it.
Like I said, there are more reasons I'm going to side with them as is, but those were the two big ones. Still a good suggestion, but I'm gonna keep mine as a stylistic choice.

Romulan Ground Combat:
-The romulan faction is actually the best suited for how I want the Kai to fight, that does include thalaron weapons. I never necessarily wanted them to play fair, even if their lead ambassador said they weren't going to try and disintegrate you. Also, keeps the mission 16+ for both Kling and Fed.

Mission Brief:
Although I want the big bold letters saying DIALOG INTENSIVE and 1H -3H up as the first thing to read, the secondary explanation text was only next to it back when we had the 500 char limit and I needed to mash all the [missioninfo] together to get it in. I will be splitting it up, and putting the faction different mission disclaimer after the mini-blurb of what the mission is actually about.


Again, thanks for your work and viewpoint! I always appreciate everything you call to light and all you can add! Keep up the good work!
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 767
# 297
09-10-2012, 03:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by designationxr377 View Post
Thank you for your quality reviews as always. I'm really glad I'm getting better at the proofreading.
I am always happy to help and your mission was quite enjoyable, despite the length. I got sucked into the story and hardly noticed how long it was. I think that is the sign of great writing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by designationxr377 View Post
As for your concerns:

Optional Dialog Rework:
Few Big Issues with this, a few more that aren't worth going into.
-Although a smooth way to make sure players see the progress, it causes too much problems if someone wants to go back and read something again. Worse, it limits and in some places erases any kind of group play if they want to take part in it. The only dialog triggers that can be used to "mark off" other dialogs would be read by all party members, in addition using the triggers to prompt them rather then contacts (as most of them are now) severely limits who you see you can speak to. Additionally, it makes the rotating and changing dialog in some contact's lists as objectives progress even more tricky to form, even if most players miss that dialog already.
-I would have to transpose ALL of my optional dialog to new trees, cut and paste. Reselecting the emotions and the costumes of the speakers. Considering the mess the Klingon Dialog list is as is, that mission alone would be an undertaking in attempting it.
Like I said, there are more reasons I'm going to side with them as is, but those were the two big ones. Still a good suggestion, but I'm gonna keep mine as a stylistic choice.
For the optional dialogue, I understand your points but for me it is annoying to see the "I" hanging there after I've already talked to the NPC or even worse if I go all the way across the map to talk to them and they have little to say. In your story I did not notice that as an issue. However it is still something I felt would stream line the story. My feeling is if it is a necessary part of the story then make it part of the story line and therefore required as part of the map. Otherwise it is window dressing to the story and therefore not required for the player to enjoy the mission, albeit not as rich and full as your optional dialogue makes it. In the end it is your story and you have to decide how best to tell it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by designationxr377 View Post
Romulan Ground Combat:
-The romulan faction is actually the best suited for how I want the Kai to fight, that does include thalaron weapons. I never necessarily wanted them to play fair, even if their lead ambassador said they weren't going to try and disintegrate you. Also, keeps the mission 16+ for both Kling and Fed.
The use of the thalaron device was a distraction for me from the story. Not a big distraction, but it did take a little bit from the story for me. You could use Orion to for the Kai warriors too, which would keep it at 16+ for both. As with the optional dialogue, you have to decide how best to tell your story. I can only make suggestions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by designationxr377 View Post
Mission Brief:
Although I want the big bold letters saying DIALOG INTENSIVE and 1H -3H up as the first thing to read, the secondary explanation text was only next to it back when we had the 500 char limit and I needed to mash all the [missioninfo] together to get it in. I will be splitting it up, and putting the faction different mission disclaimer after the mini-blurb of what the mission is actually about.
The warning of the "DIALOG INTENSIVE and 1H -3H" at the beginning is fine as is. Warning the player of what they are about to get into is a good thing, although you will probably still get players who say "Too much dialogue". There is nothing you can do about that. I was only really thinking you should get the story information up front to draw the player in. Otherwise I liked it and it served the purpose you intended.

Quote:
Originally Posted by designationxr377 View Post
Again, thanks for your work and viewpoint! I always appreciate everything you call to light and all you can add! Keep up the good work!
As always I am glad I was able to help. I would definitely recommend both these missions to players of those factions.

Thanks for authoring,
Brian
If you would like a detailed review of your mission please visit my forum posting "In depth mission reports upon request" for details.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 767
# 298
09-10-2012, 03:53 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by designationxr377 View Post
As for your concerns:

Optional Dialog Rework:
Just another quick point. I was playing around in the Foundry to see if there were other options based on dalolorn's input. Using invisible objects does give a wider field of interaction triggers. The objects go from 5ft to 1000ft and therefore can be triggered from further away. This means the player does not have to pass right by the NPC to trigger the dialogue. I had also forgotten that the optional dialogue can be triggered to disappear when an objective has been completed. So that would address your concern with players being able to come back to it during the map if they needed to do so.

Of course I also realize the level of editing required for you to shift to this method as well, but perhaps it will help for future missions.

Just a thought,
Brian
If you would like a detailed review of your mission please visit my forum posting "In depth mission reports upon request" for details.
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,202
# 299
09-10-2012, 04:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by evil70th View Post
Just another quick point. I was playing around in the Foundry to see if there were other options based on dalolorn's input. Using invisible objects does give a wider field of interaction triggers. The objects go from 5ft to 1000ft and therefore can be triggered from further away. This means the player does not have to pass right by the NPC to trigger the dialogue. I had also forgotten that the optional dialogue can be triggered to disappear when an objective has been completed. So that would address your concern with players being able to come back to it during the map if they needed to do so.

Of course I also realize the level of editing required for you to shift to this method as well, but perhaps it will help for future missions.

Just a thought,
Brian
The problem with pop-ups is that they require an important level of planning, and make any editing a hell. If you make one mistake it can ruin the whole story, especially if you have to play with many of them. And I don't want to imagine the amount of work it would require to maintain and update with let's say 15 popups and 15 invisible objects you have to move for any map edit...
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 767
# 300
09-10-2012, 10:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by diogene0 View Post
The problem with pop-ups is that they require an important level of planning, and make any editing a hell. If you make one mistake it can ruin the whole story, especially if you have to play with many of them. And I don't want to imagine the amount of work it would require to maintain and update with let's say 15 popups and 15 invisible objects you have to move for any map edit...
I actually used them quite extensively in my mission "Contamination". It is a lot of work keeping track of them but I also use a script and that is where I make the first round of changes. Once I figure the branches out and how I want them to flow I make the changes in the Foundry. I then test it in the Foundry before publishing. Then I check it in the live server right after I publish it. It can work well and gives you the ability to add alternate story lines on a given map. Having said that, it is a lot of work, and if you've already set something up it can be even harder to change.

Brian

PS: I have finished your mission and am working on the report. I hope to have it out tomorrow afternoon.
If you would like a detailed review of your mission please visit my forum posting "In depth mission reports upon request" for details.
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