Having just published my second Foundry mission, City of the Polmar Ree, I'm now going right back to the beginning of the mission-writing process and starting to create something else.
So I wanted to keep a record of my thoughts as I go about building a new mission... documenting what the creative process is like, warts and all, in my particular corner of the STO Foundry community.
I'm not sure anybody will be interested. But perhaps somebody, somewhere will appreciate the insight into the thought processes of a Founder. And I think a future version of me will appreciate it... a future me who would otherwise have forgotten how it felt to be fulfilling one of his life's dreams by creating characters and stories in the Star Trek universe, how challenging it was, and how much fun it was.
So if want to know what I'm thinking as I build my next mission, go take a look.
This is a very cool idea.. maybe one day it will actually contribute in part to somebody penning the proverbial "Understanding the Foundry" type guide that will break the whole thing down to the craft (including the most intangible elements like story structure and character development).
I will find this interesting to follow and also to see if other authors will drop by this thread to share that "eureka moment" that inspired them to first batter their heads against the harsh unyielding invisible wall that is the foundry
My first mission's initial idea was the result of a very early forum post when i 1st started out in the game. A couple of guys were discussing the lack of functionality to create optional or branching narrative paths. And I thought to myself, how cool would it be to have the player choose what to do in a situation where the lives of their crew are balanced against the lives of a multitude of strangers. "There must be a way..."
Turns out the idea was a bloody nightmare to implement... but the whole thing grew from there.
Haven't Played Polmar Ree yet, but I intend to sometime this week. Spirits of Ramok Nor was an early favourite of mine.
Your blog is an interesting read. And, for what it's worth, I agree that customizing character appearance is important. I don't necessarily go about it exactly the same way you do, but I do take the time to try to make some cool and unique looking NPCs. A character's appearance can help tell a lot about their attitude.
One of the biggest letdowns for me in the recent FE was the female Vorta who appeared to have the "standard" STO female face (the one that appears by default when you make a female character).
A lot of times I'll start out by just randomizing until I get something that looks cool and strikes my fancy, and then I'll tweak it further. Sometimes a cool NPC will actually inspire me to write a back story for them, so I have a reason to use them. Some of my most important NPCs have started out with relatively unimportant roles, but after seeing them I knew they were destined for greater things.
But, OMG you can also end up with some absolutely hideous randoms! I'm sure you know what I'm talking about!
As far as Rix goes, I can see him as being kind of the ******* type. But I can see some redeeming qualities in him too. I bet when the shtf he'd be right there doing his duty with the best of them. It's probably just that I'm weird, but if I were making a mission, Rix is the kind of character who probably would be promoted to a larger role.