Lieutenant
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 39
# 1 Lack of Content
01-01-2013, 09:56 AM
One of the things that REALLY bug me about the Foundry is the lack of content. The editor its self is fine, and actually is easy to use for any level of player just starting to create content. But there needs to more props, and fewer props. What I mean is there needs to be a bigger variety, but a smaller amount. If you look at what props are available you'll notice more than one of the same thing. The only difference is is function and size.

So, if a player could change the function of a prop, then there would be no need for so many of the same thing. The player should be able to choose whether or not the door opens/closes, style, and even FX events, like maybe the player opens the door and a giant explosion knocks him back doing damage. A variety of skins should be added too, so you have plenty of choices on what to choose based on what era you are basing your mission out of. And of course, the last bit of the puzzle to adding changeable features would be size. Why not allow the player to customize the size to fit his purpose?

The other thing Foundry lacks is the ability to customize a map, or the ability to choose from a larger variety. To me it really seems the interior designs lack choices. Especially for me, cause I want an engineering level, and since Foundry lacks all the necessary props, conjuring my own is not gonna be easy, considering that Engineering is typically a two-deck room with stairs or a lift going up to the second. I don't want the Defiant map because it doesn't fit the style. Also, as offering a variety, allow the player's own ship to be used. For example, just like you can customize a dialog to represent a BOFF or an AT member, you could instead choose the map to be the skin of, say, the players engineering section. This alone would allow more oppurtunity to those creating missions that are suppose to take place on the player's own ship.

And another thing that would be handy dandy to have, is in the event an author wants to actually create a totally customized ship interior, provide different layouts of the different factions, and allow the author to add/remove, and even change the dimensions of rooms. This would also allow folk like me the ability to create an engineering level from scratch.

Oh, and, I just had an idea based off the last paragraph, that could really add to the ability of Foundry authors. The ability to create whole layouts for ships, and then allow the player to select those layouts for his own ship.

Foundry has potential, it should be harnessed.
Primary Character: Ramin
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Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,053
# 2
01-01-2013, 01:32 PM
From my perspective, the state of the props stems from a few problems during the launch of the Foundry:

Although we had a very nice guy named Mapolis (and others) who added all kinds of really interesting props and effects, there was never much of an attempt to put in things that fit together or to provide a comprehensive set of essential props. Part of this was that the devs just didn't know how we would build. The platforms and primitives were a quick afterthought based on some player feedback. They never intended us to basically throw away many of the maps they gave us and just build in the sky.

At the time of launch, there were also no triggers, so there was little planning as to how we would need to use props in conjunction with triggers. So, almost no "pick-ups" like medkits, etc., because (at the time) there was no way to pick up and "carry" items. Then, when triggers came, there was little to no effort to add in props to use with triggers, like a brig and a brig door that fit together. I think most of the non-programming stuff had shifted to NW (because there were already so many, many delays with STO Foundry launch, like 4 months late).


There was also no kind of checklist of needed locations like:

Props for Engineering, like a warp core.
Props for Sickbay, including sickbay map.
Transporter pad for..
etc. etc.

Now as soon as the Foundry team moved, the nice guy and others who did this stuff moved with them. By looking at some of the things from NW, it looks like they planned ahead based on watching us build. So, that game has more foresight, especially with stuff like an interior builder.

It seems like nobody on the STO team knew how to do any of this stuff, after they were gone.

State of STO's Foundry: We have a random collection of props, most of which don't fit together. There are obvious things missing, so we build our transporter pads out of klingon barrels, and other sets, like sickbays, have to be built from scratch.

Now, does the STO team have the ability to fix a lot of this? Yes, but no. Yes, they have someone who could probably crank out a carpeted floor primitive in no time. Does that person have that assignment? No.

Every team is assigned to do things unrelated to Foundry props, although they are encouraged to maybe add something every once in awhile (when they have nothing else to do after bug fixes).

This means that, unless priorities change from Dstahl, nobody will have the job of fixing the library, updating it, or making it rational. The art team will make stuff for whatever the next thing is, not revisit the old thing and add stuff.

So, we pretty much have what we have, and I'll be surprised if that changes, beyond a few more random glass panels being thrown in, or a few stealth additions. Usually, it has nothing to do with what we're requesting. It's more like if a dev is making something and has extra free time, maybe that thing will get added.

From the dev blog, it seems like, just to add a new npc group of Mugatos, our Foundry producer had to learn how and do it herself by unconventional means.

That's where we are.

Last edited by kirksplat; 01-01-2013 at 01:37 PM.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 13,063
# 3
01-01-2013, 02:03 PM
I hope they take a serious look at the requested assets threads. Some would be hard, but really cool, others.... are really easy. I'm hoping to get at least some of them.
HAIL HYDRA!

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Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,277
# 4
01-01-2013, 02:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by markhawkman View Post
I hope they take a serious look at the requested assets threads. Some would be hard, but really cool, others.... are really easy. I'm hoping to get at least some of them.
Agreed. We need those mirror universe ships! (all 22 of them. )
"It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid."
-- Q
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 844
# 5
01-01-2013, 07:36 PM
I have my own theories on the reason behind the problems, but it would be rude and most likely counterproductive to post them.


Click here for my Foundry tutorial on Creating A Custom Interior Map.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 39
# 6
01-01-2013, 09:15 PM
I would agree with that based on how I'm seeing how Foundry is done. Pretty much, we get the leftovers, or what they poop out. I don't see why the guys that left didn't take the time to at least instruct a new set of developers on how to do the Foundry. It don't make sense. I actually don't see how it would be difficult to transfer some of the essential props from THEIR library into the Foundry library. It just be copying over from one server to another.
Primary Character: Ramin
Ship: U.S.S. Versailles (Assault Cruiser: Strategic Ops/Support)
Specialty: Tactical, long range/assault
Rank: Vice Admiral
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 421
# 7
01-02-2013, 02:21 PM
@captainlonghorn

Most like their mission creation platform is vastly different than the one provided to us, a simple copy paste is likely not possible. More than likely each object has to be manually selected, categorized and entered into foundry and tested that it doesn't crash foundry. Also there is not likely some simple interface for them to do all of this, they might have to add the code themselves.

If so, that would take a team of interns quite a while to do this.

All speculation of course.

If I'm wrong though it suggests one or some combination of the following: 1. adding elements to foundry is of the lowest priority, 2. they are severely understaffed and have more important issues to deal with like fixing the exchange, 3. they simply don't want foundry missions to be on par or better than episode missions

I'd like to think the last one isn't the case as a fully functional foundry would be a great thing for the game, just look at any other game that has a strong player content creation. Those games tend to get developed and supported by players for years beyond the developer themselves.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,053
# 8
01-02-2013, 04:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bootyboots View Post
@captainlonghorn

Most like their mission creation platform is vastly different than the one provided to us, a simple copy paste is likely not possible. More than likely each object has to be manually selected, categorized and entered into foundry and tested that it doesn't crash foundry. Also there is not likely some simple interface for them to do all of this, they might have to add the code themselves.

If so, that would take a team of interns quite a while to do this.

All speculation of course.

If I'm wrong though it suggests one or some combination of the following: 1. adding elements to foundry is of the lowest priority, 2. they are severely understaffed and have more important issues to deal with like fixing the exchange, 3. they simply don't want foundry missions to be on par or better than episode missions

I'd like to think the last one isn't the case as a fully functional foundry would be a great thing for the game, just look at any other game that has a strong player content creation. Those games tend to get developed and supported by players for years beyond the developer themselves.
Since Mapolis seems to have added a ton of props in a short period of time, I don't think it's that labor intensive. Zero also told us that it took around 4 hours for a guy to add a map to the foundry.

At most, I think, it takes maybe half an hour to find a prop in the library and import it into the Foundry. Pure speculation, but I can't imagine it takes longer if the person knows how to do it. If we imagine that Mapolis only had this job for three months, and he was working on this ONLY for 8 hours a day, then we can do the math for how long it takes.

A lot of assumptions here.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 13,063
# 9
01-02-2013, 04:25 PM
I do remember a comment about how Cryptic maps are rendered differently. IIRC they're less modular, which causes them to load faster.

How long did it take Tacofangs/Tumerboy to setup Utopia planitia to work in Foundry?
HAIL HYDRA!

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
I can haz joystick!
MMOs aren't charities. Corporations are supposed to make a profit. It's what they do.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,053
# 10
01-02-2013, 04:35 PM
The one whole part of this that I really don't get. They consistently commented about the dev fears that we'd make ugly things, then screenshots of those ugly things would spread around the web.

It's why we don't get new costumes, because they're scared of us using them in ugly ways when they don't have the resources to add restrictions to who can wear what etc....

Now here we are making transporter pads out of Klingon barrels, reusing the same three fed walls, and generally making ugly custom interiors.

I have tons of respect for my fellow builders, but our custom interiors are usually pretty dark and ugly, and our ceilings barely have a visible texture.

We're doing the best we can, but with such limited set pieces, we're making ugly maps.

You'd think that a. given that the look of the game is a priority, then b. they would make better props a higher priority.
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