Just letting you know... this UGC is probably going to be the lifeline your game needs to not only survive, but thrive.
There are many of us out there that know what a good MMO is, and realize that STO really doesn't fit the traditional terms of that. I, myself, a rabid fanboy, have to constantly admit to my non-believer friends that if this weren't Star Trek, I would never play it.
This UGC has the potential to change all of that. Many of us who are barely sticking with the game will have a reason to put more investment into the game.
You wont just be breathing more content into the game(which you are leaps and bounds behind other games on), you'll be bringing OUR content into the game. You will do something that no other game out there is doing(at least, not popular game), and allowing US to craft and create OUR stories in YOUR universe, rather than having us just be witness to it.
They tried this with City of Heroes with the architect tools but in my opinion it really was not a real "mission editor" it felt more like a quasi-random fill in the blanks editor as you could not hand place any objects or npcs. It was a nice feature that had some options but instead of being a in depth editor it felt more to me like a cookie cutter template and in the end instead of creative tool it became more of a mission farmer.
It seems at least there will be more options in the Foundry but in order for it to be sucessful it needs to feel like you really are in control of your missions and story and more features should be added down the road.
The mission editor in City of Heroes felt like a one time add on that did not seem to have any updates or new features after it came out so hopefully with the Foundry that will not be the case.
I imagine that the foundry will become more in depth because Cryptic is also working on Neverwinter which will have tools to make your own quests and adventures and i assume then that the Foundry for Star Trek Online is just the beginning of their tools for in game content creation.
In the end in order to succeed the toolset should at least be able to create branching diplomacy type missions after launch, provide ways to create triggered events, maybe even change the lighting in interiors or even outdoors for more customization (as evidenced in one of the Featured episodes one taking place in the president in a dark station the other taking place in the past fully lit....it shows how lighting alone can change the look and feel of the same location greatly.
I have to say im a little worried over the Foundry mainly do to the fact that so little real information has been released yet but they may just be holding back untill they know what is set in stone on its first release.
If it is done very well i think this is the key to making Star Trek Online stand apart from many MMOs out there.
and unlike other games that you can edit, considering the fact that you are always connected in Star Trek Online means you always have a resource of other players to try out your missions and to try out there's!
To really work the toolset needs to give a lot of creative power to the users it should not feel restricted like the city of heroes mission editor feels. In the end they should work on custom interiors down the road as well.
If done well i think this could be a very powerful and fun system but if it is not done well and feels tacked on and "limited" then people will get tired or frustrated with it quickly and it will end up being more of a gimmick like the mission editor for City of Heroes felt to me, rather then a full fledged creative tool.
We will see. I think Cryptic has/had a history of hit and miss ideas. some things they do are great and awesome and some things still need much work. I hope that the Foundry will be one of those things that will be awesome, while of course still having work done to it and more addictions down the road...
I remember the fun i had when i was first able to edit levels for the first Unreal game, and using the Elder Scrolls toolset too, the foundry may not be as complex as that (most likely with no scripting system) but it should at least provide a good bit of creativity options.
and a very large selection of maps users can select from. In fact in my opinion the interior and planet maps in the foundry should include pretty much everything that is in the game so far plus a few custom made foundry maps just for foundry use... We need a very large selection of premade maps since at the moment you cannot make custom ones though if you can place objects and npcs by hand the same map can be used many different ways!
also there should be a large selection of ship interior maps and ship bridge maps so that we can make missions that take place on ships, that would be fun!
I hope you will be able to eventually place or edit lights too as lighting can be a big part in setting the mood and can add more usability to premade maps. with different lighting the very same map could be used in many different ways!
but for sure in order for this to be successful this HAS to be better and have more hand placed options then the City of Heroes editor if it is not any step above that then it will look to star trek fans and to other people who want to create content for online games as a tacked on feature! You cannot really enjoy or learn about mission design unless you have controll over placement of objects and npcs!
We will see. i just wish they would at least give us some more info while we wait....
I hope it's very indepth, allowing you to create new maps, not just pick from a list of ones we've seen 400 times already. I hope we can make mountains, place objects, lakes, houses, interiors, trees, etc, set planet gravity levels, create aliens, etc. If it's a cookie cutter program... what a huge let down. *Fingers are crossed*
I hope it's very indepth, allowing you to create new maps, not just pick from a list of ones we've seen 400 times already. I hope we can make mountains, place objects, lakes, houses, interiors, trees, etc, set planet gravity levels, create aliens, etc. If it's a cookie cutter program...
Most of what you listed is in the editor. It's veyr powerful (enough that many are complaining it's too unintuitive - when it's actually as intuitive as you can make tools of this complexity).
That said, walkthroughs should start pouring in and I'll be working on a series of videos to demonstrate some more advanced features.