Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 314
# 41
11-15-2012, 11:46 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicochavez View Post
Just curious, but you talk about long text of back story, but what about conversations?

As an example, in part two of my series Allegiance, the mission starts with you meeting the senior officers and other characters that will be with you throughout the rest of the series. Now a number of the conversations are entirely optional, as has been suggested to me before, but the main briefing is not. It is long, but it is also interactive with the player to a degree and involves both an introduction to other characters as well as setting the tone for the series. Would you consider a conversation involving multiple characters (sometimes talking to the player, sometimes to other NPCs) an issue?
Breaking up the text as a conversation does indeed help. It gives more personality to the narrative and makes the player (at least in my case) feel more involved. It feels more "active" and is less daunting to the reader than a massive screen of text. I don't even mind a single large text screen; it's multiple such screens back-to-back that are more problematic.

What you are describing reads more dynamically. When you can do things to make it feel like the story is moving, you're more apt to keep the player's attention.
Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 314
# 42
11-15-2012, 11:58 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by drogyn1701 View Post
That's the reality of user-generated content. Some of it won't be as good as dev content, some of it will be better. Authors come from a lot of different backgrounds and have a lot of different skills and skill levels in the things it takes to make Foundry missions. Some of us, such as myself, are even professional writers. But, as you said, evaluating whether a mission is "good" is a subjective assessment, and its one each player has to make for themselves. Look at the reviews on any mission, you'll see a review that says "This mission sucks" right next to a review that says "This is the greatest mission ever." This has been happening since the first third-party mods were made for Doom and Quake. It all depends on what you like.

Players look for different things in their content. The actual devs deal with this every day. For every person yelling on the forums about wanting more story content, there's one yelling for PvP content.

You can't please everyone. There is, quite simply, no way around that.
Agreed. I tend to look at reviews if a story looks interesting to me and have noticed the same trends. I wrote one Mission Architect story in City of Heroes (Granny Granite and the Senior Moment Gang) and saw similar results. It was a solid 4-star, but those who didn't like it, well, didn't like it.

I intend to start poking around with the Foundry tools soon. It may be a good way to get back into writing again. Most of what I've written for the last nineteen years has been technical (white papers, procedures, etc.); I sincerely miss fiction writing. The only book I've published thus far is a small literary analysis of influences on The Lord of the Rings (I have two English degrees and now work as an XML analyst and programmer. Go figure.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nagorak View Post
I don't think most people aim to make 2-3 hour missions, it just sort of happens by accident.

Also, length can be highly variable in some missions, depending on whether you interact with all of the NPCs, etc.
Understood. Writing short stories has always been difficult for me; I tend to think in "epic" terms sometimes.

To be honest, some of your stories are what I had in mind when I referenced 2-3 hours. The descriptions look intriguing, but finding the right time to play them is sometimes problematic. This is especially true when there is more than one story in a series and all of them at listed as multi-hour missions.

I'm just going to have to pick a time and dive in.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 73
# 43
11-15-2012, 12:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by connectamabob View Post
The focus on rewards seems odd to me, frankly, as the whole concept of the Foundry seems clearly more about boosting the game's story mission content. Turning Foundry into another way of item grinding would seems to be almost willfully missing the point. As long as random drops are on par with those in the Cryptic authored story missions, it'd be just fine. I doubt many foundry authors would be satisfied knowing people were playing their missions for the loot and ignoring the rest.

With increased rewards, or author-controllable rewards, you would see more people playing foundry... as a grind. And you'd get a influx of foundry missions and authors dedicated to no-story "go to system X, shoot all the things, collect loot" gameplay.
I don't think anyone is asking for mk xii supergear from foundry missions. In theory, some people won't participate in an aspect of a game if there is no perceived reward. The reward doesn't need to be huge. It's more psychological than anything else.

I love the foundry system, but I don't play many missions. I play all of the Spotlight missions, but little beyond that. Not because I don't want to, but because it's a total crapshoot. I may randomly find a great mission. Or I may end up with a pile of crap. When prioritizing how I'll use my time, other things go in front of the foundry simply because of a lack of certainty. Since there is no gear reward, the only reward is having an enjoyable time. But that is very much not guaranteed.

My participation (and many others) would certainly increase with better search options. MOST foundry authors seem to be honest people. They try to give you an explanation of what the mission is before you take it. All they need to do is an extra step in the foundry creation process. A couple dozen checkboxes. Things like:

Space combat
Ground combat
Conversations
Gorn
Cardassians

You could just check which ones apply to your mission. When people search, they would have the same checkboxes that would work as extra search options. If I want a mission involving Cardassians and ground combat, I'd check those 2 boxes and I'd only get missions with both things.

I'd play a lot more foundry missions that way. A lot more.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,629
# 44
11-15-2012, 01:04 PM
Trust me, we've been at them for nearly 2 years to get us a more detailed search interface. We'll all be properly ecstatic if one shows up
The Foundry Roundtable live Wednesdays at 7:30PM EST/4:30PM PST on twitch.tv/thefoundryroundtable
"I would rather take a chance on getting a change made to the game through positive engagement than know for sure that I got a change made by complaining" -drogyn1701, May 14, 2014.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 30
# 45
11-15-2012, 01:06 PM
I think, cryptic is aware of the foundry issues and with the spotlight missions they give us some good reason to play some foundry missions. My personal problem with this feature is, that they don't spotlight missions in other languages than english.

I'm a german player and i write my missions in german language just because there is a huge german community who doesn't naturally all speak english. The foundry is by far not unpopular. One of my missions has 1200+ plays and because it's in german language, i believe, most of the players were german ... so, just a part of the community.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,497
# 46
11-15-2012, 01:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by timeras View Post
I think, cryptic is aware of the foundry issues and with the spotlight missions they give us some good reason to play some foundry missions. My personal problem with this feature is, that they don't spotlight missions in other languages than english.

I'm a german player and i write my missions in german language just because there is a huge german community who doesn't naturally all speak english. The foundry is by far not unpopular. One of my missions has 1200+ plays and because it's in german language, i believe, most of the players were german ... so, just a part of the community.
Perhaps you can talk to the German Community Manager (if there is one) to set up a German Spotlight thing similar to how it was before. It won't be on the UI but at least it will give German missions more exposure.

Check out my Foundry missions:
Standalone - The Great Escape - The Galaxy's Fair - Purity I: Of Denial - Return to Oblivion
The Defenders - Duritanium Man - The Improbable Bulk - [WIP] Commander Rihan
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,629
# 47
11-15-2012, 02:42 PM
Hello Germany, big fan of some of your metal bands \m/ \m/

Anyway, Just drew BranFlakes' attention to that request. He said on twitter that the EU team would be looking for German missions to spotlight. So maybe some movement there, cheers!

So because I read all these threads, including the ones in the other forums going almost two years back, I have come to this conclusion:

The true reason the Foundry isn't used by more players is in fact that there is no one overarching reason. Every player who does not play the Foundry has a different reason why they don't. It might be a lack of reward, it might be an aversion to non-official content, it might be they don't want to read, it might be that there are not enough missions in their native language, it might be... etc, etc. There are a million true reasons why people don't play Foundry missions.

Therefor, there can be no silver bullet that will suddenly get everyone playing and enjoying themselves. Which kinda sucks, but there you go. There are plenty of little things Cryptic can do if they want to spend the time on it. I hope they do, but where they put their resources is, as always, their choice. In any event, all we authors can do is to keep trying to make great missions.
The Foundry Roundtable live Wednesdays at 7:30PM EST/4:30PM PST on twitch.tv/thefoundryroundtable
"I would rather take a chance on getting a change made to the game through positive engagement than know for sure that I got a change made by complaining" -drogyn1701, May 14, 2014.

Last edited by drogyn1701; 11-15-2012 at 02:56 PM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 844
# 48
11-15-2012, 02:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by broadnax View Post
Understood. Writing short stories has always been difficult for me; I tend to think in "epic" terms sometimes.

To be honest, some of your stories are what I had in mind when I referenced 2-3 hours. The descriptions look intriguing, but finding the right time to play them is sometimes problematic. This is especially true when there is more than one story in a series and all of them at listed as multi-hour missions.

I'm just going to have to pick a time and dive in.
Well, don't feel obligated or anything. I know my missions are long, especially Dereliction Duty. I didn't realize how long it was when making it, and also made the mistake of front loading most of the optional conversations at the start of the mission.

I guess the trick I would say with DD is if you start playing it but don't have a lot of time, you can spend time on U.S.S. Atlas Deck 13 until you finish everything or get bored, and then you can quit and come back the mission another time and just rush through Deck 13 (shouldn't take more than 5 minutes) and just do the actual mission.

I've tried to keep the others a little shorter, but I run into the issue where it's not really realistic to break up the mission after every single map. So, they still end up being a little bit long.

Really though, we have the advantage with the Foundry of not having to cater to absolutely everyone. It would be nice though if there was some way to select the mission length you want, etc. As has been mentioned we've been asking about that for a long time.


Click here for my Foundry tutorial on Creating A Custom Interior Map.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 11,840
# 49
11-15-2012, 03:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagorak View Post
I don't think most people aim to make 2-3 hour missions, it just sort of happens by accident.

Also, length can be highly variable in some missions, depending on whether you interact with all of the NPCs, etc.
Yeah.... don't play my Treasure Hunt mission if you're in a hurry. It's long, not because of the story, but because you need to fight a small army, and not all at once.

Speaking of other languages, I remember playing a mission that was either in Czech or Hungarian once. It was fun. I couldn't read it, but it was fun.

As for story, one way to mix the two approaches is to have optional dialogue branches for exposition. that way people can skip reading the wall of text. But only if they want to.
HAIL HYDRA!

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I can haz joystick!
MMOs aren't charities. Corporations are supposed to make a profit. It's what they do.

Last edited by markhawkman; 11-15-2012 at 03:51 PM.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 168
# 50
11-16-2012, 04:44 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagorak View Post
It is kind of amusing that all these guys threatening to quit playing Foundry missions think that we care, when they never even played the missions, they just did console clickers.

It's not like we're getting royalty payments for the number of players visiting the Foundry tab or something like that.
You made a very good point here. I was so angry when I read the "flame- and hate-war" because of the clickies-removal... Now after I thought about your words I could calm down a bit

Thx.

Last edited by naharikajal; 11-16-2012 at 04:46 AM.
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