Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
So, fellow authors: what's your creation-time-to-consumption-time ratio?

i.e. How long does it take you to create a map (including all objects, NPC contacts, NPC groups, costumes, dialogues and objectives) compared to how long it takes the player to play through it?

I'm finding it's a "days = minutes" thing. So if it takes me 10 days to create it, it'll take about 10 minutes to play it... heh

...or is that just because I'm putting in lots of details and being a completely pedantic, obsessive-compulsive perfectionist? :p
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
04-06-2011, 06:45 AM
That's an interesting question.

My first mission I spent about 30 hours on, and I would expect it could take anywhere from 20 - 30 minutes to play through depending on which options you choose and how you engage the enemies. That's assuming normal difficulty though. It took me closer to 45 minutes to complete my mission when running it on Elite and that was choosing the path where I could avoid some of the enemies. I tried to design it in a way where you could either completely avoid some enemies or for the final bit on the ground you could let your BOs engage the main group while you head for the objective.

For me though on average I'm guessing about 1 minute of playtime to 1 hour of creation time.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
04-06-2011, 11:06 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by alimac30 View Post
I'm finding it's a "days = minutes" thing. So if it takes me 10 days to create it, it'll take about 10 minutes to play it... heh
Welcome to the nightmare that is creating content for players

Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
04-06-2011, 11:09 AM
if i know what my story is going to be about, I design costumes FIRST then maps then story because i find my foundry lags after a lot is on it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
04-06-2011, 11:18 AM
its hard to say as i did at least have the worst of all worlds already done on tribble so the dialogue just need transferring over and i had most of the stuff already worked out, similar to nine of space deep were the first part was on redshirt. so i had a leg up with the dialogue again.

they both took about 2 days of solid work to get onto holodeck. id guess maybe 20 hours of work for each in total. a large part is just making sure the things works and tweaking bits here and there. putting it together is pretty easy.

when i start from scratch it could add another 5-10 hours onto the making time. i guess every hour of work equates to about a minute or two of play.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
04-09-2011, 11:23 AM
Sounds like most poeple have a farily similar experience. After work and real rife are done, I get to spend around 2 hours per day on the Foundry... so taking 10 days to create a map for me is actually around 20 hours of work. But as I said, I am compulsive about the details

Also, I'm really talking about interior maps, as that's mostly what I've focussed on so far. I've only attempted a very simple space map so far, and haven't attempted a ground map at all.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
04-09-2011, 04:37 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ooiue View Post
if i know what my story is going to be about, I design costumes FIRST then maps then story because i find my foundry lags after a lot is on it.
Yes my Foundry lags horrendously. It takes 10+ seconds for me to select an object and then another 10 seconds for it to be set. That is probably at least doubling how long it is taking me to make my mission.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
04-09-2011, 05:07 PM
Thought it was just me, if it wasn't for the foundry lag i could eliminate approximately 15% of my time. My first mission took about about 30 hours and only being able to work on it a couple hours here and there. Work 3 jobs so my time is very limited. That doesn't reflect the true amount that i spent on it. All in all i would say about 40 hours considering learning time. I guesstimate my next mission will take around 20-25 hours. For about 45 minutes of play. lol
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
04-09-2011, 05:50 PM
Creating content takes far longer than it takes anyone to consume - especially if you have branching or optional dialogues that 1% of users will see.

It's also hard to gauge things objectively when it comes to mission time (and why I err on the side of shorter missions rather than long, drawn-out ones). I spent a good 4 hours on Drawing Proof (and I'd already set up the mission once on Redshirt and once on Tribble). The average playtime is something like 15-20 minutes (and that's only if you're reading).
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
04-09-2011, 06:13 PM
Still working on my first mission. It's been about a week now. I'm still on the first map, but this is the mission where I'm learning as I go, so I expect it to take longer.

I figure it's going to take me a few weeks to do this mission working it a little each evening. But, I hope it's something that people will like.
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