Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Lets face it. Many MMOs out there employ what has been known as (and mentioned on STOked one of the most popular...if not THE Star Trek Online videocast) the theme park effect of many MMOs having content that is created by the deveolopers where you go through and do the missions or "rides" and level up. The problem with this aspect is, as in the case for other games like World of ******** is that players have to solely rely on the developers to dish out new content. In the case of World of ******** this is often only done once every few months and thus leave players who have reached top level or who has done what there is to do.. having to run through the same dungeon or instance or raid over and over and over in order to get that one rare piece of gear that 20 other people in the raid may or may not be trying to get as well.

The point is the hurdles of most MMOs is that they have to rely on the people who make the game for content.

With the Foundry players will be able to add their own touch to the game which will give it an edge that very FEW MMOs out there have. (in fact the only other commercially successful MMO that has such aspects is City of Heros which i believe was worked on at one time by Cryptic too)

And Hopefully to that end the foundry will give us some great tools to craft our own stories and adventures. I found the tools for City of Heros to be frustrating and not quite easy to use. but now that game is being handled by another company so .. :-) Hopefully the Foundry will provide more ease of use and more options.

I hope if it does not happen now, at some point there is an easy to use map tool for interiors and space (as i read both can be created, and ground envirments can be used but only pre-existing ground terrian but props and objects will be able to be added).

Now as for space/interiors i hope there should be some easy to use system of creating the areas.

The best suggestion would be something like the orginal Neverwinter Nights (the bioware version not the aol one) toolset that made making maps quite easy. (though perhaps with a bit more tile options and such)

In space maybe tools to "paint" objects like astriods and other things. or something...

But anyways lets hope its not just a system where you have a preset of interiors/space and you are just able to chose your quest givers and creatures /ships in the encounter but little real control over the placement of them, of props, of the arrangement of the interiors or of space /etc too.

But at any rate i would imagine this will be something that will be in the foundrey also i have a hint that the foundry may also serve two purposes. to allow user created content in Star Trek Online and also we all know that Cryptic is also working on Neverwinter Nights

what if they could provide the same type of tools (but of course not star trek themed) to be used to create your own adventures and quests too? Not with the same tools of course but.. just an interesting thought..but thats another game.)

Just saying that i look foward to trying out the beta on the test server and that i hope it will be something that will add some real depth and a great way for people to bring something to Star Trek Online too!

It should be a system also that things are not locked hopefully even for new players. I have evidence of this however in the "greyed out.." menu option for content creation on the test server. where it says you can create a new character for testing but that you have the option to change his or her level and gear later.

Now i might assume this charecter could only be used to test the misisons you create and not actually "play" the game. But thats still a cool idea.

It would open up the door at the start for players who may not like the idea of a MMO but would be interested to create their own Star Trek missions and such to do so. That if done well, could really open up a new door too!

But it must be done well and it must not feel too limited or restrictive. Of course some aspects need to be in place to not allow it to get too crazy or too complicated, but there should at least be some since that players have real control over what they create, by physically being able to place objects, creatures, ships where they want them to be, by somehow constructing the interiors (i assume in some sort of lego like fashion not too unlike the first Neverwinter Nights tile set tools) but that alone could add a whole new depth and value to the game!

I look foward to the test and i hope that if this is done well that other MMO developers take notice and realize it is time to stop making MMOs as "Theme parks" where you ride the rides but play a detached role.

Imagine if games like World of ******** had this feature....what it could become! (though i am extremely impressed with the Shattering and the upcoming addon though but its just too long of a turn around time from new content to new content for that game the problem with the Shattering is it gives the illusion that the world has become more dynamic and changing...but that really is not the case. its just more like a massive 6 year later face-lift and re-imagining)

Eve Online while not really have that much power of user generated stuff (though they are working on it with a better avatar creation system and control to make your own bars and establishments in Incarna) but they do have a dynamic "world" even if every system looks basically the same. Player controlled territory does add a lot to the game!

But i think it just might be Star Trek Online that might really pave the way for user based content and customization for the future. I look foward to being able to test out what they have done and hope that it will be something that will be "wow this is so cool" rather then "this is so frustrating and limiting.."

I know it wont let you create crazy cutscenes or Season like STO content...yet but if done right it can be a great thing!

We shall see!

Another idea is if this works well provide some of the tools to custimize your ships interiors a bit more.. now THAT would be cool too!

Time will tell!

I do know that STO will never have the level of user created content as say Second Life...but nor should it be.. that would ...well make it not Star Trek Online (though some users have made some cool Star Trek stuff in it.. theres even a whole role playing circle around it!) but at the very least it will give something more to Star Trek Online that few MMOs will have.

and perhaps then it can really become about exploring new worlds!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
11-27-2010, 04:17 AM
Even if the Foundry has many "limits" in the first version out, there are always "work arounds" a creative person can get by with. Here are a couple of examples. Scenario 1- Your second scene is intended to make the players beam onto a Borg sphere, and your away team gets captured and assimilated but you manage to escape. You set the Borg ship layout up, you have away team dialogue written and ready to explain what the scope of the situation is and then get ambushed, and grabbed by Borg drones, but somehow allow the player to escape. Then you encounter an issue- Foundry will allow your away team to beam down and say whatever you wish, and trigger the Borg attack- but one problem-you can't find a way to make the "away team" get grabbed and captured and YOU escape as player with the tools available at the time. One work around solution- your team beams down and they describe how a dampening field is making tricorders useless...there's a glowing door,and your sci officer suggests trying to disable the dampening field and that doors the only way out.

Clicking the glow y door, you make the next instance have you alone, and no away team, you make pop ups of the away team screaming for help and a text say the door slams shut cutting you off from them, another pop up you hear them being assimilated etc.

You just worked around the limitation. You accomplished the intent of the next scene, but not as flashy as you envisioned. The point is, the story can move on as you intended,and this was a way to make the players aware the away team has been captured and you alone must save them from the Borg,and liberate them, etc.

I'm fairly confident the example i gave "would" be possible if it is even close to the city of heroes mission content editor.

Creative minds will love foundry for the challenges as much as the "flexibility"of creating a mission as envisioned. You just have to re-think how your telling the scene if a tool limit prevents exactly what you had in mind.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
11-28-2010, 03:32 PM
That is perfect. The way you make the possibility is how I expected it to be chooch. With the Foundry, we from a storyline part can be as detailed as possible, but when execution comes to it, all you have to do is flesh it out in the narrating part of the mission. It works the same way, if not better.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by chooch99 View Post
...Clicking the glow y door, you make the next instance have you alone, and no away team...
And what if the restriction that prevents you from doing the whole "Borg-grabbed-my-away-team" is actually in the game's core-engine(s) and the Foundry never allows you to control whether the player can bring Bridge Officers on the away-team?

Odds are, whenever you'd transition to the next map, you'd either get the same away team you had before, or you'd see that little dialog that asks you to select Bridge Officers again.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
11-29-2010, 05:17 PM
In said example, i HIGHLY doubt you can't control if away teams can come..even if u couldn't? Here's my work around-

You materialize and your boffs did not come down with you- texts of a communication where they say they are spread out by transporter scrambling devices, get interrupted by dialogue of them getting grabbed. "rescuing them" simply means when u reach them, you "create" static drones or closest models to a generic Boff that has been assimilated, have them in stasis chamber alcoves or regeneration alcoves, something. When you rescue em your ship beams them up to begin "liberation" of the nanites.

There is ALWAYS a way. It's just a matter of how much your "allowed to show" or "say" but texts i DOUBT have ;limits on what you can have the boffs communicate at checkpoints in mission.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
11-29-2010, 05:19 PM
Gotta say nice post
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
11-30-2010, 10:23 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by chooch99 View Post
...There is ALWAYS a way. It's just a matter of how much your "allowed to show" or "say" but texts i DOUBT have ;limits on what you can have the boffs communicate at checkpoints in mission.
The text has no limits to what you can put in it, except filtering obscenities, hopefully. However, how silly would it look to the player if your BOFF's pretend to be missing and then start off a long-winded chain of dialogs explaining how they're being rescued or what-not while standing around your Captain because that's how the game beams us all in?

Not to mention that the way many player's play MMO's is by quickly dismissing any dialog that doesn't have a reward-selection panel so they can get to the combat and looting...

Seriously speaking, sometimes the Foundry limitations may require story-elements to be re-thought and re-conceptualized or completely removed if the story-element requires too much work re-working it. This already happened to me personally with the City of Heroes UGC tool-set and I've got no reason to assume it never will with the Foundry.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
11-30-2010, 02:25 PM
Quote:
Seriously speaking, sometimes the Foundry limitations may require story-elements to be re-thought and re-conceptualized or completely removed if the story-element requires too much work re-working it. This already happened to me personally with the City of Heroes UGC tool-set and I've got no reason to assume it never will with the Foundry.
And the difference between that and a work around is...?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
11-30-2010, 02:36 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by chooch99 View Post
And the difference between that and a work around is...?
The complete removal of a story-element that simply doesn't fit with existing limitations. If you call that a work-around, then fine, there's no difference what-so-ever

Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
11-30-2010, 04:10 PM
Well, the same story can be told. In "Homefront" ds9 episode, Ron Moore intended to show a HUGE fed vs fed fleet battle and extend it to one more part. The same basic script was used the same story, he just couldn't do the budget had to save for finale fx. He had to "trim" a lot off the script. work-arounds, editing, some concessions and sacrifices may be necessary.
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