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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 101
06-18-2010, 06:19 PM
I'll see if I can't brainstorm both a sample mission and maybe an outline for how to divide this up into waves of expansion.

At the heart is this: Collect more data on how we view our individual BOs and it gives Cryptic more opportunity to feed that vision back to us. To that end, I'd favor collecting some or all of this data before the use for it is finalized.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 102
06-18-2010, 08:22 PM
very cool!!!!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 103
06-20-2010, 02:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarbasePrime
An example (like the Andor Affair) would aid us (me at least) in better understanding what you mean and may provide valuable clues to how it can work, and information as to what the attributes should be.

Well, that's why we do tests, try out an idea and see what works and what doesn't.
I apologize
You know, I read the Andor Affair mission write up today.
I dont know why I missed that before when I was commenting on your posts. Its brilliant.

From your follow up post I was under the mistaken impression that you were trying to change the direction of the story, and actually give different mission endings by branching in different directions based on some BO criterion or responses during the mission. (like one of those novels that you choose which page to read) which I didnt think was the right direction for this concept.

Andor Affair is brilliant documentation for BO mission arc quest creation/documentation.

My only comment is that I would take it and genericize some of the dialogue so that its not an "Andoran bridge officer" requirement, I believe you could easily mix in some proper dialogue for some other major races with an "other".

-

One of the things that struck me the most when reading it...

I really like the idea of establishing shots at the beginning of some act being worked into the mission.
Instead of just a dialog being thrown up on the screen, you are suggestion an in-game cutscene..

that is a spectacular idea to add some flavor.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 104
06-20-2010, 05:34 PM
Glad you liked it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nack
From your follow up post I was under the mistaken impression that you were trying to change the direction of the story, and actually give different mission endings by branching in different directions based on some BO criterion or responses during the mission. (like one of those novels that you choose which page to read) which I didnt think was the right direction for this concept.
Well, it does branch with different endings, but that's based on player actions. The follow-up posts are really more just observations as to what the attributes should be like -and their organization - which is radically different from where the thread was. I think based on the experiment the observations on the attributes is correct - but that's just me and I definitely don't see this as being anything like Madlibs - so take it with a grain of salt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nack
My only comment is that I would take it and genericize some of the dialogue so that its not an "Andoran bridge officer" requirement, I believe you could easily mix in some proper dialogue for some other major races with an "other".
Well, now you've lost me. I thought the whole purpose behind story arcs was to target a bridge officer using their unique attributes to make the story compelling. This is a pretty crucial point, because it's what most people object to as "complicated" (that is you have a mission that only works for Andorian BO).

Doing a generic mission is possible, and I think that's the test Levi has in mind. Here's how I see a generic mission. Remember the Salt Vampire episode? It could have been any character rather than bones. So, its highly reusable. But, is it the salt vampire or Bones that grabs the stage? There's also a caution to add which is to ensure the designer puts the flexibility into the mission so the BOs attributes shape the events and not the reverse (that is a BO story arc shouldn't change the character of a BO). For example in the test, one of the players choices results in the BO loosing their family - that's probably not a desirable occurrence.

The test mission isn't generic (must have an Andorian BO). You could strip out the sex dialog and the andorian family, Andorian politics, Andorian clan structure, and Andorian policing system - but that also removes the "depth" and "richness" to the mission. I think the real value to BO Story Arcs is similar to the TV episodes in that it brings the player closer to actors.

So, generic missions could be done. But for them to work for all possible bridge officers and all possible attributes in a fun and compelling way still seems complicated to me. The opposite of that is like the test missions, which only ever be available to a percentage of the players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nack
One of the things that struck me the most when reading it...

I really like the idea of establishing shots at the beginning of some act being worked into the mission.
Instead of just a dialog being thrown up on the screen, you are suggestion an in-game cutscene.

that is a spectacular idea to add some flavor.
Also necessary for the "test" as there was no other way for me to describe what the maps were like (I don't have DarkJedi's gift of illustration ).

I did cross-post the test on the UGC Features thread to try and drum up some feedback on the mechanics of the dialog mechanism, no takers so far though.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 105
06-20-2010, 06:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarbasePrime
Glad you liked it.

Well, it does branch with different endings, but that's based on player actions. - but that's just me and I definitely don't see this as being anything like Madlibs - so take it with a grain of salt.
Right, I saw the branching to different final conclusions. I don't think that is exactly what the proposal is about, but you pull it off well in this story. We've seen an example of branching stories in game *franics drake*, but your proposal takes it a bit futher. Again, its a next logical step from Levi's proposal, while I dont think it's required as part of this proposal its a nice spin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarbasePrime
Quote:
My only comment is that I would take it and genericize some of the dialogue so that its not an "Andoran bridge officer" requirement, I believe you could easily mix in some proper dialogue for some other major races with an "other".
Well, now you've lost me. I thought the whole purpose behind story arcs was to target a bridge officer using their unique attributes to make the story compelling. This is a pretty crucial point, because it's what most people object to as "complicated" (that is you have a mission that only works for Andorian BO).
Yes and No.
I think the idea is to have a collection of BO story arc missions, such that when you decide to trigger one. (not something that is forced on you per se) the game engine can choose from a list of potential missions that fit the BO you want to run a story arc about.

So I guess there could be Andorian specific BO missions - and the game may choose that from the list if it fits.

For me, the notion is to have a story that _incorporates_ BO specific traits, but not restrict the mission from triggering based on a specific trait. Will it be less compelling that your mission, perhaps, but I think we'll have to have some more generic stories in that sense in order to cover all the bases and make sure any BO can get an arc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarbasePrime
Doing a generic mission is possible, and I think that's the test Levi has in mind. Here's how I see a generic mission. Remember the Salt Vampire episode? It could have been any character rather than bones. So, its highly reusable. But, is it the salt vampire or Bones that grabs the stage?
Valid question, but the point is the threat/challenge is oriented towards the BO, not the captain.... so its a BOs story arc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarbasePrime
generic missions could be done. But for them to work for all possible bridge officers and all possible attributes in a fun and compelling way still seems complicated to me. The opposite of that is like the test missions, which only ever be available to a percentage of the players.
You are essentially correct, either you narrow down the episode criteria to be very focused and very in-depth, or you broaden it to incorporate more BOs.
But I still think there is a way to keep the mission a bit more generic that the test mission you wrote to allow for more BOs to use it as an arc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarbasePrime
Also necessary for the "test" as there was no other way for me to describe what the maps were like (I don't have DarkJedi's gift of illustration ).

I did cross-post the test on the UGC Features thread to try and drum up some feedback on the mechanics of the dialog mechanism, no takers so far though.
Actually your document is a good example of the "format" that could be used by guest writers, or submission contests and things. So its interesting in and of itself.

Regarding the "mechanics of the dialog mechanism" as you say, today, that would be a dialog box in your face on the screen. What I saw in your document was more of a programed cutscene complete with emotes.
I like the programmatic cutscene idea, I think you should work that notion up separately in the UGC thread.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 106
06-20-2010, 09:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nack
We've seen an example of branching stories...
Right, I just did it because I could to try it out (mostly curious), nothing per se to do with BO story arcs. There's also a bit of Banter Arcs too and it looked like they worked out well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nack
I think the idea is to have a collection of BO story arc missions, such that when you decide to trigger one. (not something that is forced on you per se)
I'm a proponent of the requirements in the UGC Features thread, no mission should ever be "forced" on you. The game engine should only ever recommend ones you might like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nack
I like the programmatic cutscene idea, I think you should work that notion up separately in the UGC thread.
I like it too, the thread has the reference so it can be seen. As to a requirement, I think that would put artificial limits on it (might be a far better way for it to be handled) so I'm hesitant to put in the list. There's a call for feedback on it there, so we'll see happens (I suspect obscurity )
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 107
06-21-2010, 06:26 AM
/Signed

Fantastic idea and would make staying inside your ship even more fun as engaging and would help bring your crew to life. Must have feature and you have my support.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 108
06-23-2010, 04:40 PM
Quote:
"Putting Episodes dealing directly with your Bridge Crew is one of my dreams that I'd like to see in ship interiors eventually." - Zinc
http://www.zam.com/story.html?story=22624&storypage=2
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 109
06-24-2010, 02:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leviathan99
Glad to hear that Cryptic is looking at Boff based missions serioiusly.

An intermediate step between where we are and full missions might be adding some "character" to our boffs ... i.e. allowing us to pick a couple personality traits that colors the text in future (or possibly current) missions.

What does the community think?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 110
06-24-2010, 03:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alien_de_jour
An intermediate step between where we are and full missions might be adding some "character" to our boffs ... i.e. allowing us to pick a couple personality traits that colors the text in future (or possibly current) missions.
This is one of the big reasons that I'm such a proponent of voice packs for our boffs. They started implementing them in late Beta, but removed them so they could polish the feature more thoroughly. Since then I think it's been put pretty low on the priority lists. Would adore for this feature to come back with full functionality.
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