Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Help Me Dubug my "Mission"
03-22-2012, 11:14 PM
This is kind of an odd request, and I'm not totally sure if it should go here, so if a mod needs to move it, please do...

Anyways, a couple of weeks ago, I started playing around with the Foundry after watching some tutorial videos, with the mission of figuring out just what I could do with it, and what the limitations currently are. I thew together a bunch of "test chamber" type maps, and eventually loosely tied them together with a bare-bones storyline to pretty it up for publishing for public testing. Some parts are just plain not implemented yet, and so some of the test maps are on the short/straightforward side.

Problem is, not many people at all have actually played it. So the only bug-reporting I've gotten is from 2 people I personally know, and from me playing the published version myself (more on that shortly). And OH MY apparently there are bugs. Nothing that stops you from completing the scenario from start to finish, but bugs that I'd REALLY like to figure out how to fix before I move on to any "real" projects.

I saw Evil70th's thread offering to review Foundry missions, but I thought to myself, "mine isn't really a real mission, as much as it is a personal exercise", so I opted to instead put a post here for the general public to look over. (Even tho someone suggested to me to post on Evil70th's thread by name via mail.)

tl;dr version: I'd like it if some of you folks could look over my "mission" and tell me what I might be doing wrong. I'd like people to try to outright BREAK it, again, to tell me what I might have done wrong. And I've got a small list of bugs reported to me already that maybe some of the more experienced Foundry mission makers could look at and give me suggestions on fixes I could make. Because dang, some of these little problems are just eating at me.

My "mission" is called "A Room Filled With Crazy", and it's published under the name "milesredria".



The bugs that have been reported to me/I've looked at so far are:
1) On the second map, I have a Klingon barge appear after the third objective is completed. Optional is to climb on the barge and trigger a fight via dialog (insist on spiders). The way I had it set up is so that when the fight is triggered, the mobs are dropped onto the boat surface from a height of Y= Terrain +15. But when the fight is triggered, the mobs seem to appear BELOW the boat. Which is odd to me for 2 reasons, the first being that this bug DOES NOT seem to occur when I use the preview tools to check the map, and ONLY with the published version. The second being that I added other non-combat NPC contacts to the boat in the same way, and they show up just fine. (For reference, the way I set thing up was to stagger it so the boat is spawned after the third objective is completed, and then the NPCs are spawned when the 4th objective is in-progress. The fight-able mobs are placed after talking to one of the NPCs placed on the boat.) So any help understanding this would be appreciated.

2) On the third map, I've been told of a problem with mobs I've placed behind invisible walls. AGAIN, this is a maddening one, because the problem ONLY seems to show up in the published version, not when I'm using the preview tool. What happens is that I've got a 4-sided invisible wall cage set up to appear when the map is entered. The cage is of the "tall" variety, and I've placed it at Y= -20 to boot. During one of the objectives one the map, the player checks a swirling projectile effect to trigger a dialog, and then a hostile NPC group is spawned inside the cage. The cage is only supposed to be removed if the player responds in a negative manner, not only releasing the group inside the cage, but spawning another smaller group as well.
The thing is, with the published version, the cage doesn't seem to be there at ALL. From what I've been told, from what I've seen, and from watching over someone's shoulder as they do it on their own character. Again, this is another case of "the thing is there in the preview tool, but not the published version". Any ideas?

3) This may be less a "bug" and more a "I don't know if I did this right" thing, but on map #4, I've set some of the NPCs (the "Patrons) to wander. And they don't seem to want to. Even though I've given them the exact same wander parameters as some of the Selhat neutral NPC groups that I had added to the third map, and they seem to get around just fine. Input on that would be helpful.

4) Another "not totally sure if I'm doing it right" thing from map #4. The main objective for the map is to look at something on the wall. The thing is, there are no other real objectives on the map. The path to the wall console is obstructed, and your objective is to find a way to remove the obstruction (via dealing with NPCs and such), and so the obstruction is eventually removed via a combination of triggers along the way. It works fine until you're meant to do 2 things for the "cook" there. His "all finished up with me" dialog is supposed to be accessible after a certain spot is checked and the resultant enemy group is killed AND after another NPC dialog is finished. So I've got it set up to show up when both of those "components are complete". But the dialog will still show up if only one of those two things are done.
This is another thing that's just outright confusing me, since I have a similar setup in my third map that works just fine in the same way...


I've got some other minor issues, and they're noted on my "author's notes" consoles scattered on my maps. (Along with other Foundry musings.) Any other help or feedback regarding those notes would be appreciated as well.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
03-25-2012, 04:16 PM
I'm going to do my best to take a look at this tonight and give you some feedback and food for thought.

EDIT: Okay, so I played through the mission to make sure I was on the same page as you were.

To be honest, you've answered your own questions about this mission when you said...
Quote:
. I thew together a bunch of "test chamber" type maps, and eventually loosely tied them together with a bare-bones storyline to pretty it up for publishing for public testing.
What I played through is exactly that. it's not a mission per se, but an author's attempt to learn the tools at his disposal. I have one of these missions, too. It never got published but it's my go-to place for trying stuff out. If you want my opinion, I think you should just accept that this particular mission is just a proof of concept and leave it be.

Having read your Author's Notes in the mission it seems to me like you've more or less discovered the technical extent of what the Foundry can do as it stands right now. It's certainly not the most robust set of tools in the world. There isn't really anything I could see that anyone could teach you about the Foundry that you haven't learned by your own trial and error. For all intensive purposes I'd say you're ready to jump in head first and swim.

As such, what I really think you ought to do is take the technical knowledge you gained from this mission and apply it to a new project. Start with a story in mind that you want to tell and let your new found understanding about how the Foundry works shape how that story is told. Since you seem to have a good grasp of what the Foundry's technical limitations are, then you should be able to anticipate where they'll affect the telling of that story.

Long story short, you're good to go, sir. Just come up with a story you want to tell and let the rest fall into place where it will.
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