Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Dead Men Tell No Tales (KDF)
03-01-2012, 06:32 PM

Dead Men Tell No Tales
ID: ST-HSO9VJ8W4
Author: @Aavarius
Language: English
Allegiance: Klingon
Levels: 16+

"I came into a place void of all light,
which bellows like the sea in tempest,
when it is combated by warring winds."

~The Divine Comedy, Canto V, lines 28-30

A secret mission in the Kahless Expanse to save the Klingon homeworld where one man discovers that apparently it wasn't a good day to die.



Featuring...
* Roleplaying dialogue choices
* A dude from Alabama
* Klingon cannibals
* A puzzle with silly pop culture references
* NPC-on-NPC banter
* Boarding parties
* A heck of a lot of chroniton particles
* Disruptor diplomacy
* Really bad rhyming dialogue


A mission that will take you out of time, out of space...and out of your mind!





Well, it's time to admit I have a problem. That problem is called the Foundry. It's REALLY addictive. This mission is a byproduct of that addiction and I hope you all have as much fun playing it as I did making it. This is my first entry in the Foundry, but that doesn't mean I want you to go easy on me. If I am going to improve as a Foundry author then I need a good critique. At time of writing this mission is sitting in reviewer's limbo awaiting enough responses to appear in the regular UGC mission list, so if you play it, please rate it. As I do not presently have a KDF character at the level cap I cannot test for high level play issues. If any of you have a good (or a bad) experience with a high level character, please let me know. I should probably thank the folks who maintain the Starbase UGC site and various random people here in the Foundry section of the forum. The community support with the Foundry has been extremely useful! Otherwise, any feedback you experienced authors can provide would be most appreciated.

Happy playing!

EDIT: Looksie! I flubbed a map transition in the Ship Interior map. All fixed now.

SPOILER ALERT! - Only read if you think the mission can't be completed during the duel
Black-on-Black Text----> Here Nor There's warning about stepping off the platoform in Sto'Vo'Kor is something to take seriously. If you break the rules, then the mission can still be completed, but you will likely have to respawn a couple times to do so. To complete the objcective you'll have to kill all the Here Nor There duplicates. Respawn as necessary to do so. After that, a dialogue pop up should appear to continue the mission. If you are bing swarmed, give Red Alert some time to end and the mobs time to clear off the platform a little before respawning and activating the pop up dialogue.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
03-04-2012, 04:11 AM
This was crazy and a lot of fun. Had a very good Klingon feel. Well done.

Only thing that didn't seem to work was the first map. It was too easy to fly over the enemy patrols to reach the nav points. It was a good looking map but I don't think it added very much to the overall mission.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
03-04-2012, 05:36 PM
What an awesome compliment! Thank you very much.

As to the first map, the idea was that you were flying out to the sticks of Klingon territory, where you were completely cut off from backup (with a Fed fleet and a crazy nebula between you and the homeworld) so it was important not to get into a fight. I'm not convinced it was the most effective way to demonstrate that, so I'll give it some more thought for future redesign.

Thanks again!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aavarius View Post
You, my good man, are free to go nuts with reviewing this mission. I'll be grateful for any constructive feedback you can provide. The relevant details are below. Also, it must be noted that this still trapped in review purgatory, so you won't find it in the regular list. I wish we had a play counter so I could tell if folks were actually completing it or not.

Mission Name: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Author: @Aavarius
Minimum Level: 16+
Allegiance: Klingon!
ST-HSO9VJ8W4
Estimated Mission Length: 45 min to 1 hour
Method of Report Delivery: Forum post (there's a thread here if it will help)
Klingon Mission - Dead Men Tell No Tales
Author: Aavarius
Allegiance: Klingon
Project ID: ST-HSO9VJ8W4

----------Report Start-----------

Summary: This is a really great mission. It starts out a little slow but once it gets going it becomes a roller coaster ride with great twists and turns. You have captured the feel of a Klingon mission with a good story, great maps and glorious battles. I would highly recommend this mission to all players who like a good Klingon story.

I mention the use of the response button “Continue” in a few spots. I note this as an issue especially if it is used as a response to a BOFF report. It just doesn’t feel right to me in those circumstances. It works when in conjunction with reading a long dialogue such as log entries or information like that. I usually recommend the use of “…” or if there is an emotion the player should express “[Smile]” or something along those lines. In the end it is not really a show stopper but more of a detail oriented item.

The final item is the use of map space. I applaud your use of map space for the “Deep Space Trail” map. I’m seeing a lot more mission where the author is using a single map to tell at least two parts of the story. On this map you use the “Weather Starstreaks North South” effect with the entire map oriented to the north and south. I have found that effect does not work well unless the player is at “Full Impulse”. That is why I usually recommend the “Weather Starstreaks West East 01” effect with the map oriented east to west. The effect works well at any speed as the streaks flow from west to east regardless.

Below are some things I noted while playing the mission that I wanted to let you know about. Everything in this write up should be seen as suggestions on ways I felt you could improve certain elements of the mission. They are yours to do with as you see fit.

Mission Description: Interesting description. Consider adding a little more story to draw in the player and make them want to click that "Hail" button. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this description.

Grant Mission Dialogue: The dialog is well written and gives the player the choice to "Accept" or not the follow on transmission. This is not bad but you may want to add a little more story to give the player a real reason to "Accept" the transmission. The follow on dialogue is very well written. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with any of the dialogue.

Mission Task: You should include the location of the first custom map in the initial mission task.

Mission Entry Prompt: This is a good use of the prompt. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this prompt.

MAPS:
Whiteplume Nebula: This is a good map design with lots of optional battles along the way. The story dialogue is very well written. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map.

Sh'alk's Coordinates: This is a good map design with excellent battles. The story dialogue is very well written. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map. I noted a couple of items to consider changing:
-The use of the response button “Continue”. There are a few places that you use it when it seems as if the Captain would have responded to the BOFF report or dialogue.
-Check the BOFF set in the argument towards the end of the initial dialogue. It appears to be the same engineering BOFF arguing with himself.

Medical Ward: This is a good map design. The story dialogue is excellent. I haven’t seen or heard the use of the word “Chirurgeon” since my days fighting in the SCA. That’s a nice touch. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue. I noted a couple of items to consider changing:
-Consider moving the spawn point out from the door a little more. Two of my BOFFs get trapped in the door in its current location.
-The use of the response button “Continue”.

Ship Interior: This is a great map design with glorious battles and excellent story dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map.

Hirogen Ambush: This is a good map design with some nice battles. The story dialogue is well written. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue. I noted one item to consider changing:
-The response button "Hold your tales. We have business, you and I" leads to a blank dialogue with the response button "Continue". This leads the player to a repeat of the dialogue. Consider removing that dialogue branch or making it a successful conclusion. If you cannot then it may be a bug.

Feast Hall: This is a good map design. The story dialogue is well written. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map.

Deep Space Trail: The map design is okay but could use a little adjustment on some of the effects as noted below. The story dialogue is well written. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue. I noted a couple of items to consider changing:
-The “Weather Starstreaks North South” seems to be bugged with the streaks going both directions at regular impulse. Consider changing your map orientation to a westerly orientation and using “Weather Starstreaks West East 01” effect. It looks more like warp space then the other.
-Consider adding a “Drop from warp” interaction along with the interaction animation coming from warp as you make the warp streaks disappear. It would look better. If you can make the nebula invisible until after you drop from warp that would be a nice touch too.
-The use of the response button “Continue”.

Gre'thor: This is an interesting map design. The battles are good and the story dialogue is well written. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue. I noted a couple of items to consider changing:
-There is a glitch in the dialogue that leads to a loop same as the one noted on the “Hirogen Ambush” map above.
The use of the response button “Continue”.

Sto'Vo'Kor: This is an interesting map design with a glorious battles and well written dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map.

Here Nor There: This is a good map design and a nice wrap up to the story. The story dialogue is well written. The use of the explosions was very well done but I think the player will miss it unless they turn around prior to detonating the charges. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map.

---------End Report----------

Thanks again for authoring and for giving me the chance to review your work. You did a great job with this mission. I look forward to playing/reviewing more of your work in the future.
Brian

This critique report also filed 03/24/2012 on forum posting for: In depth mission reports upon request.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
03-24-2012, 05:00 PM
Thank you for the critique! You've given me quite a few things to check on. This is why authors need editors!

Quote:
There was one item in the dialogue I mention on the “Sh'alk's Coordinates” map regarding the response button "What is the lifeform". This is more of a plot point issue as it was a story point that had no prior mention, which would’ve caused the player to ask that question. That is why I suggested moving it to a different place within that dialogue. Otherwise the questions in that section seem to work pretty well.
I'm moderately certain the lifeform got mentioned before that point...but my memory isn't always reliable. I'll check it out! Also, the number of buggy dialogue choices is frustrating since I thought I got most of those squashed. *Sigh* More to double check on...

Quote:
I mention the use of the response button “Continue” in a few spots. I note this as an issue especially if it is used as a response to a BOFF report. It just doesn’t feel right to me in those circumstances. It works when in conjunction with reading a long dialogue such as log entries or information like that. I usually recommend the use of “…” or if there is an emotion the player should express “[Smile]” or something along those lines. In the end it is not really a show stopper but more of a detail oriented item.
I know this is a pet peeve of yours, but I totally understand where you're coming from with this. I tried to put "Continues" in places where someone speaks up before the player's captain can respond (like when BOffs are arguing with each other) but maybe "continue" isn't the right word to use. I don't know. I'll give it some thought. If I had it my way the game would allow you to advance a dialogue window without requiring a "response" button from the player's captain.

Otherwise, you've given me lots of improvements to consider implementing, which is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for! Thank you, my good man!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
03-24-2012, 09:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aavarius View Post
Thank you for the critique! You've given me quite a few things to check on. This is why authors need editors!
The mission is a great mission. I really enjoyed playing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aavarius View Post
I'm moderately certain the lifeform got mentioned before that point...but my memory isn't always reliable. I'll check it out! Also, the number of buggy dialogue choices is frustrating since I thought I got most of those squashed. *Sigh* More to double check on...
You are correct and I missed it. I went back and reviewed the dialogue leading up to that button I noted and there it was. So I will correct that in the report. I use “Fraps” to do screen grabs of the dialogue, maps and general mission information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aavarius View Post
I know this is a pet peeve of yours, but I totally understand where you're coming from with this. I tried to put "Continues" in places where someone speaks up before the player's captain can respond (like when BOffs are arguing with each other) but maybe "continue" isn't the right word to use. I don't know. I'll give it some thought. If I had it my way the game would allow you to advance a dialogue window without requiring a "response" button from the player's captain.
Giving and alternative to the response buttons would be nice but in lieu of that I in my own work I try to avoid the use of the word “Continue” as I indicated “…” is my fall back when the player doesn’t need to respond. That’s why I usually recommend it. Of course it is just my opinion and Cryptic seems to use the heck out of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aavarius View Post
Otherwise, you've given me lots of improvements to consider implementing, which is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for! Thank you, my good man!
Glad I could help. Like I said, I really enjoyed the mission. Thanks for authoring.
Brian
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
03-25-2012, 02:32 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil70th
Of course it is just my opinion and Cryptic seems to use the heck out of it.
And that's really its only saving grace. I can trust that every STO player has been conditioned out of sheer repetition to basically fill in their own response mentally when they click "continue." Either way, I'll take a look at it.

Quote:
The response button "Hold your tales. We have business, you and I" leads to a blank dialogue with the response button "Continue". This leads the player to a repeat of the dialogue. Consider removing that dialogue branch or making it a successful conclusion. If you cannot then it may be a bug.
I took a look at this and the similar issue you described later. I couldn't find anything in the dialogue tree to explain it. I guess it's a bug in the Foundry itself?

Glad you liked the mission, though. I had a heck of a good time making it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
03-25-2012, 10:32 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aavarius View Post
And that's really its only saving grace. I can trust that every STO player has been conditioned out of sheer repetition to basically fill in their own response mentally when they click "continue." Either way, I'll take a look at it.
It truly is a pet peeve of mine but only from a review stand point. It doesn’t detract from the story for me. In the end it is your story to tell and you have to decide how best to tell it. My story telling is developing all the time as I see new ways to do things. I’m always trying to figure out the best way to tell the story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aavarius View Post
I took a look at this and the similar issue you described later. I couldn't find anything in the dialogue tree to explain it. I guess it's a bug in the Foundry itself?
My only thought was if the dialogues in question have a “Fail” option at the end of them to cause a repeat of the previous dialogue. Even then it shouldn’t be causing a blank dialogue to appear. Do you see it in testing inside the Foundry? If not, see if you can see it with your regular player in the published version. Otherwise I would agree with you that it may be a bug, in which case you should get some screen grabs of it and send it to the Devs for them to look over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aavarius View Post
Glad you liked the mission, though. I had a heck of a good time making it.
In the end if you enjoyed making it and the players enjoyed playing it then that is all you can hope for. Thanks for authoring,
Brian
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