Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,302
In comparison to a few Foundry authors, I'm still a new comer (less than a year) here. So I have a habit of assuming that because I figure something out, everyone else figured this out well before me. Still recently I've been seeing a lot of veteran authors recommending that the best place to build a custom interior is high above an exterior ground map.

There are a few problems with this though: First, exterior ground maps often contain sound effects that can work against the atmosphere of your interior. Second, if you have any windows, you will notice an annoying horizon on the backdrop.

Well I'm hear to tell you that there is a better way. It used to be that interior maps did not allow a spawn point or an NPC contact/NPC group to be placed outside the existing interior. They would just turn red and snap back. Well around Season 6, this restriction was removed, either by intent or bug. This means that anything could be placed in the negative space of an interior map and the Foundry wouldn't complain about it. At roughly the same time, a number of maps grew in size and gained a lot of negative space.

This excess negative is a perfect place to build custom interiors. You only need to make sure that any windows are not facing toward existing interiors. I've tried a couple and so far my favorite map for this purpose is the Argelius II Interior as it has a massive amount of space to work with. It's a a 1700 x 1700 area with the existing interior only taking a small portion of the upper right corner. The vertical space is the best part ranging from -10 up to almost 4000. You could build a complete deck of the Enterprise D in that space.

The best part is a nice horizon-less starfield is possible and no annoying sound effects. It's not the empty interior map we asked for, but it's really close.

@greendragoon
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 514
# 2
12-22-2012, 05:20 PM
Ooo, nice idea, thanks!
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,816
# 3
12-22-2012, 05:37 PM
It's an interesting topic for debate. I think you're right to point out that some of us veterans are set in our ways on certain ways that we've learned to do things. However, I don't really view your solution as a solution for a number of reasons.

1. I need access to the props available on an outdoor ground map. For example, right now I'm building a spooky interior for a zombie mission. Here is what I've done in about half an hour:

http://starbaseugc.com/wp-content/up...2/exterior.jpg

I'm using the top of a building as the floor, as well as sides of buildings as walls. Only the generic ship wall prop is available for interiors, unless I've not noticed that buildings are suddenly available for props in interiors.

For me, it has become essential to use buildings as interior pieces. There are just so many things we can do with them that we can't do without them inside of interiors. I also like having access to nature props, in case I want my interior to be a spooky cave. And I'm just so sick of those platforms and 3 types of walls, etc. I need the buildings and the ground props.

2. On your two problems with ground maps: a. There are many maps without sound. I'd rather hunt for one than try to map out the negative space of an interior. b. The horizon is easy to disguise.

3. The ground maps are much, much larger than the interiors, for the most part. With 475 props, I need the extra space. Granted, I've never tried to build on the set that you suggest for reasons 1 and 2.

4. Lastly, I don't really trust making a map on a part of a map that isn't designed to be part of the map. That's probably just my own paranoia about some season change instantly breaking my mission. Building in the sky just feels safer to me.

Interesting topic for debate. Thanks for posting it.

Last edited by kirksplat; 12-22-2012 at 07:46 PM.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,302
# 4
12-22-2012, 08:02 PM
Valid points, Kirkfat. I hadn't considered the use of buildings as interior assets. One thing I will point out is that the map I suggested is 3 times as wide as a ground map and almost 7 times as tall.

At the very least having more options is never a bad thing and a talented author should be able to leverage each to his/her advantage.

@greendragoon
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 844
# 5
12-22-2012, 08:19 PM
This is an interesting find. I do have to agree however that it sounds like you could be risking having your mission broken in a future update and it would mean a lot of lost work/potential difficulty in fixing it. If the Foundry were at a more stable point in development I would be less concerned about that, but as we're still seeing fairly large changes...

How is the lighting compared to making an interior on an outdoor map?

Another thing this makes me wonder is if DS9 control and Quark's bar are now accessible? If you perform a /loc in those areas in game you get a number that is many thousands off the main level. You can divide that by 3.281 to get Foundry compatible coordinates. When I tried that before it was below the usable map area. This news makes me wonder if that has changed?


Click here for my Foundry tutorial on Creating A Custom Interior Map.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 520
# 6
12-22-2012, 08:24 PM
I had no idea this worked, thanks for pointing it out. I would like to hear what Cryptic has to say though because if it IS a bug, and it gets fixed, it could destroy a mission you likely put a huge amount of work into if you built the entire interior this way.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,649
# 7
12-23-2012, 06:24 AM
I would say no particular map building technique is going to be inerrant ly superior to others. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. I say use whatever fits your need for each particular map. The advantage I see in this is it gives you access to the interior backdrops. Which are sometimes better than the exterior ones, especially if you need to have a window out into space, like on a starship.

I found out about this technique from Alimac. I asked him how he got an earth background out the door of his shuttle bay. He built it in the negative space around the ESD interior. So I used it on "Somewhere in Time" for my astrometrics lab. Built it above Starbase 39. found out that there was an area around the original geometry of the map, outside of which you couldn't spawn or place npcs, that may have changed now but I haven't checked.

But keep posting these, everyone, because you can safely bet that not everyone will know everything and there are plenty of new and newer authors out there. Sometimes even us old hands don't know everything.
The Foundry Roundtable live Wednesdays at 7:30PM EST/4:30PM PST on twitch.tv/thefoundryroundtable
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Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,400
# 8
12-23-2012, 10:33 AM
For interior maps I use the ESD (old) and build on the corners of the map at X+ ###

For exterior i'll use a "whatever clearing" map to build custom interiors.. the best i've found so far is the Icy Clearing.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 11,896
# 9
12-23-2012, 12:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagorak View Post
This is an interesting find. I do have to agree however that it sounds like you could be risking having your mission broken in a future update and it would mean a lot of lost work/potential difficulty in fixing it. If the Foundry were at a more stable point in development I would be less concerned about that, but as we're still seeing fairly large changes...

How is the lighting compared to making an interior on an outdoor map?

Another thing this makes me wonder is if DS9 control and Quark's bar are now accessible? If you perform a /loc in those areas in game you get a number that is many thousands off the main level. You can divide that by 3.281 to get Foundry compatible coordinates. When I tried that before it was below the usable map area. This news makes me wonder if that has changed?
That's the annoying part.... Many maps have walkable locations that are outside the allowed spawn area. http://marhawkman.deviantart.com/gal...et=24#/d4vub8a

See? you can walk on the hull of Utopia Planitia! But, you can't spawn there.
HAIL HYDRA!

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Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,302
# 10
12-23-2012, 07:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by markhawkman View Post
That's the annoying part.... Many maps have walkable locations that are outside the allowed spawn area. http://marhawkman.deviantart.com/gal...et=24#/d4vub8a

See? you can walk on the hull of Utopia Planitia! But, you can't spawn there.
Just for fun, try outside the Odyssey bridge.

@greendragoon
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