Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Parallel Intentions
03-25-2012, 10:30 AM
Out of the review phase at this point, Parallel Intentions is the long awaited conclusion to Parallel Intersections.

In Parallel Intersections you helped Nevada, an Orion-Borg from a mirror universe, stop a Terran attack on her people and recovered information that helped to stop them from invading this universe.

In Parallel Intentions, Nevada and the Borg from a mirror universe want you to find a spy that has been feeding the Terrans tactical information and is responsible for a growing background noise that floods the Borg interlink.



One of the biggest complaints/issues mentioned in Parallel Intersections was the vast amount of dialogue to sift through. There is still a lot in Parallel Intentions, lots and lots.

However, one of the things I did was structure the dialogue in a way that you could skip through much of it quickly. It also means it can be easy to miss things if you don't consider which prompt you take. Additionally there are a number of entirely optional dialogues that provide more exposition and a couple optional things that provide more tangible effects.

So with that in mind, I am very curious just how easily these optional things were missed or skipped. Below is a list of spoilers of things I think people may have missed, so I'd prefer you ran through the mission before looking for the spoilers, that way I have a better understanding of just how difficult things were to find for people that wanted to find them without knowing about them first. After you finish it, see what you may have missed and give me some feedback on whether you would have even thought to find it or look for it.





Spoilers!

Outside the Badlands base, after the initial combat, there is a destroyed shuttle that you can investigate which leads directly through several dialogues that eventually allow you to spawn some allies.

Also outside the Badlands base, there is a cube, did you get close to it and investigate it despite Nevada's warnings?

Inside the Badlands base there are 4 consoles with more optional information: 2 are in the south room with the Borg Drones, though one of them is primarily just to drop the forcefield in the hallway; 1 is in the north room with the purple goo everywhere; 1 more console is well hidden behind some boxes in the storage room, guarded by another group of Borg Drones.

Also inside the Badlands is Siziz with some things to say, just outside the storage room. He is easily missed, I think. However I am curious how many people realized he has a second dialogue, the first dialogue pops up as you get close to him, and the second you can get by talking to him again.


End spoilers.

Basically I'm looking to understand how people interact with the various things in the game and whether they investigate things fully when clues are there to suggest there might be something there, or whether those clues just aren't good enough. The optional stuff provides more story, and while its easier to skip it for people that don't care, I also want it to be found relatively easily by people who want to find it all.

In any case, I hope you enjoy the mission, and feel free to leave any feedback beyond what I'm specifically interested in here.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
03-25-2012, 05:06 PM
You probably don't remember, but I played your mission fairly early on and sent some tips even back then.

I'd first like to begin by saying, this mission did not disappoint. It shows I was doing the right thing -- looking your name up in the Foundry Missions list every month. Also, A+ on your use of "..." very few people know it's not ".." or "...." and it is so refreshing to have it done correctly.

I didn't like the Vulcan ensign, so I wasn't too heart broken when he died (purple blob thing). However, I happened to be looking in his direction while reading the dialogue. I saw the guy start calling out to the ensign, he didn't respond, yet he wasn't in the purple blob yet. I'm writing all of this from memory, so this may not be doable, but you could make it so that specific dialogue prompt ends just before the crewman calls out to the Vulcan. Then you could make the rest of the dialogue set to be triggered by the completion of that dialogue, as well as the purple blob swallowing that no-so-likable Vulcan (what do you mean I'm being emotional? Let me show you emotional >:O!!!). It may not be doable, and it'd take a bit of work, but it'd make the scene a bit more precise. But that's really small, probably not worth all of the work.

I do have a few things I need to mention. First, the "8 times" joke with Nevada and them was really funny, and as an adult, I have no issue with it. However -- considering the influx of F2P players -- it is quite likely that there are a decent amount of younger players now. As such, I think you should probably add a warning in the author notes section, or perhaps make hearing that joke optional (make it clear that adult content is coming up if you choose a certain option). Again, not saying the joke is wrong or out of place, just that considering the probability that some younger kids will play it, it'd probably be best to give some warning.

When first entering the holodeck, it says, "your officer taps HIS combadge" when my tactical officer is female. A Small error soon after that (2 or 3 dialogue boxes) SPOILER while charm is explaining the situation on the holodeck, she says "To destroy the interlink or the run the bypass for Nevada Neither". You missed a period there.

The ending was a good ending, I didn't see it coming (well, I just finished beating Mass Effect 3, so maybe I did see something like that coming, just not that exact thing). I am confused and was hoping you could elaborate on something. Does the Nevada not trusting you thing change based on your actions? I was pretty confused when she said she couldn't trust me. Was it that I made the wrong choice or something?

The whole thing was certainly thought provoking, I enjoyed it highly. It's odd to find someone similar to you, in a world where thought provoking stories are outshined by big explosions. Two overall suggestions for future missions though:

1. The captain's dialogue is -- most of the time -- like a little kid who doesn't know what he's doing. I loved the scene where he shouted at Nevada and what's-her-name, but other than that, I always felt like my captain was being ordered by the away team.

2. There's not enough talking by the captain relative to the NPC's. He says like 1 line, to every 3-5 paragraphs by NPC's. This is something normal to STO, but I feel that it's something that could use improving.

Overall, I gave the mission 5 stars, I was truly invested in the whole thing emotionally (always enjoyed Nevada's character).

Dialogue was A+, only noted one minor error (forgetting a period... I've probably made more mistakes in this post, although it would be because I'm kind of rushing).

Combat was a B+, Nothing really outstanding about the combat.

Story was an A, the story was really good, you were very invested emotionally. The twist at the end was excellent, but it could use a bit more explanation. Not to mention, it's really unavoidable when it comes to things like this, but knowing it was all a holomission and know that for some reason Nevada doesn't trust my character, makes me look back on the ending as somewhat negative (yes, I was that emotionally invested, you deserve 5 stars for that alone -- the Mass Effect effect [that should so be a real phrase]).

Maps I'll give an A on, they were really good, and fairly detailed.

Overall, it's worth anyone's time to play this mission (and the one that preceded it -- don't forget to tip the author the max, working for a year on a foundry project, he deserves it).

Now to answer your spoiler questions (Spoilers incoming):

I did not interact with the shuttle or the borg cube. I'm a completionist and I would normally, but most STO missions don't do minor details like that. I wasn't expecting it to be honest, I the shuttle off as minor detail of some sort.

Nope, yet again I didn't expect you'd add such detail. Props to you, I'll be doing a similar sort of thing in my upcoming missions in the form of side quests that aren't mentioned.

I did find and use the consoles.

I looked for Sizaz but I couldn't find him for some reason, I gave up fairly quickly though.


Really good mission, I'd like to thank the author for taking so much time to make it, and I'd also like to make a mean face at you for making me wait this long... >:O!!!

P.S. If it sounds like I was being harsh, I wasn't trying to -- really! I loved the mission, just wanted you to get the full picture from my point of view.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
03-26-2012, 03:04 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AriusDecimus
I didn't like the Vulcan ensign, so I wasn't too heart broken when he died (purple blob thing). However, I happened to be looking in his direction while reading the dialogue. I saw the guy start calling out to the ensign, he didn't respond, yet he wasn't in the purple blob yet. I'm writing all of this from memory, so this may not be doable, but you could make it so that specific dialogue prompt ends just before the crewman calls out to the Vulcan. Then you could make the rest of the dialogue set to be triggered by the completion of that dialogue, as well as the purple blob swallowing that no-so-likable Vulcan (what do you mean I'm being emotional? Let me show you emotional >:O!!!). It may not be doable, and it'd take a bit of work, but it'd make the scene a bit more precise. But that's really small, probably not worth all of the work.
A good suggestion, unfortunately since that whole dialogue is in the story tab, it won't let me activate a component on a dialogue prompt. Instead I moved the trigger up to completing the previous objective, which means the blob will eat him as soon as you use the computer console, which should work too.

But I agree, Vulcans can be very hard to like.

Quote:
I do have a few things I need to mention. First, the "8 times" joke with Nevada and them was really funny, and as an adult, I have no issue with it. However -- considering the influx of F2P players -- it is quite likely that there are a decent amount of younger players now. As such, I think you should probably add a warning in the author notes section, or perhaps make hearing that joke optional (make it clear that adult content is coming up if you choose a certain option). Again, not saying the joke is wrong or out of place, just that considering the probability that some younger kids will play it, it'd probably be best to give some warning.
Well I can't disagree more. I double checked and there is no reference whatsoever to anything sexual in the dialogue, not even "sleeping" together. Two Charm is mad at him for doing something 8 times with Nevada. What? Well we can guess, but there is really absolutely nothing to pin it down. Also, I'm not sure that my dialogue is going to corrupt young minds any more than the seventeen million scantily clad females running around ESD, DS9, and especially Qo'nos, or the names people put on their ships, the words they use in chat, etc. etc. Besides, the game is rated T for teen.

Quote:
When first entering the holodeck, it says, "your officer taps HIS combadge" when my tactical officer is female.
You know, I remember I caught this too, when I was doing the final check, and guess I forgot to fix it.

Quote:
A Small error soon after that (2 or 3 dialogue boxes) ... You missed a period there.
Good catch there, and being that specific is extremely helpful of course. A lot of people say I make typos and don't even begin to hint at where they are.

Quote:
The ending was a good ending, I didn't see it coming (well, I just finished beating Mass Effect 3, so maybe I did see something like that coming, just not that exact thing). I am confused and was hoping you could elaborate on something. Does the Nevada not trusting you thing change based on your actions? I was pretty confused when she said she couldn't trust me. Was it that I made the wrong choice or something?
Well I think I am getting mixed reviews on the ending and I totally understand. Some people love it and some hate it. I hate it myself but my only option was to rewrite the whole thing, so I just went with it.

Unfortunately while I really wanted to have your choices carry through the mission, and originally thought I could do that, it isn't possible. Any triggers that use a dialogue reached prompt only work for non-story dialogues, and ONLY in that map. So when you get asked that question in the Holodeck about what you chose to do, I can't even force the player to pick what they actually chose and hide the other prompt.

Quote:
The whole thing was certainly thought provoking, I enjoyed it highly. It's odd to find someone similar to you, in a world where thought provoking stories are outshined by big explosions. Two overall suggestions for future missions though:
I'm glad you liked it. I'm not one for big explosions and much prefer a fascinating plot.

Quote:
1. The captain's dialogue is -- most of the time -- like a little kid who doesn't know what he's doing. I loved the scene where he shouted at Nevada and what's-her-name, but other than that, I always felt like my captain was being ordered by the away team.
I kinda agree with you, unfortunately there are a lot of problems with that. First and foremost is the very tiny character limit in the reply boxes.

Of course even if that weren't there, writing dialogue for someone else's captain is very tricky, and quite a few of the dialogue choices you have in the mission are rhetorical, both leading to the same follow up dialogue, but exist simply to let you pick something closer to what your captain would say.

So in the end I solve the problem by having the BOFFs come up with most of the ideas and have them bounce those ideas off the captain. Ultimately the captain chooses to do it, because that is the captain's job to choose a course of action. I do try not to have the BOFFs telling the captain how to do stuff, but instead phrase it as a suggestion. If you have a better idea, though, I'm certainly open to suggestions.

Quote:
2. There's not enough talking by the captain relative to the NPC's. He says like 1 line, to every 3-5 paragraphs by NPC's. This is something normal to STO, but I feel that it's something that could use improving.
And again this goes back to the above, there is only so much I can do without putting words into someone's captain's mouth, especially so with such tiny character limits in the reply boxes. This is unfortunately why the BOFFs end up being more communicative with other NPCs than the captain.

With the BOFFs, I can have them explain to the player what is going on, why you want to do that thing or the other, and in a way that they probably are much less concerned with just exactly what the BOFF says, though even there I try to have BOFF dialogue as generic as possible. I don't know if someone is using an emotionless Vulcan BOFF, or a seductive Orion.


Quote:
Overall, I gave the mission 5 stars, I was truly invested in the whole thing emotionally (always enjoyed Nevada's character).

Dialogue was A+, only noted one minor error (forgetting a period... I've probably made more mistakes in this post, although it would be because I'm kind of rushing).

Combat was a B+, Nothing really outstanding about the combat.

Story was an A, the story was really good, you were very invested emotionally. The twist at the end was excellent, but it could use a bit more explanation. Not to mention, it's really unavoidable when it comes to things like this, but knowing it was all a holomission and know that for some reason Nevada doesn't trust my character, makes me look back on the ending as somewhat negative (yes, I was that emotionally invested, you deserve 5 stars for that alone -- the Mass Effect effect [that should so be a real phrase]).

Maps I'll give an A on, they were really good, and fairly detailed.

Overall, it's worth anyone's time to play this mission (and the one that preceded it -- don't forget to tip the author the max, working for a year on a foundry project, he deserves it).
I'm glad you enjoyed it. I can understand the combat was weak. In the previous mission I had a number of complaints about some combat being too difficult, so I tried to make it as easy or as hard as you wanted it in this mission, but combat is not likely to ever be a real focus of my missions.

Quote:
Now to answer your spoiler questions (Spoilers incoming):
And thanks for the answers to the spoiler questions. It's helpful to understand whether side details and the like should be added by learning how often people look for them or examine them, or how easily they are found.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
03-26-2012, 03:11 PM
I really liked both your missions especially the choice you had to make at the end as for your spoilers question I found the 1st,3rd and 4th of your spoilers list.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
03-26-2012, 04:23 PM
Quote:
Well I can't disagree more. I double checked and there is no reference whatsoever to anything sexual in the dialogue, not even "sleeping" together. Two Charm is mad at him for doing something 8 times with Nevada. What? Well we can guess, but there is really absolutely nothing to pin it down. Also, I'm not sure that my dialogue is going to corrupt young minds any more than the seventeen million scantily clad females running around ESD, DS9, and especially Qo'nos, or the names people put on their ships, the words they use in chat, etc. etc. Besides, the game is rated T for teen.
While it's true, it doesn't explicitly say that it's sexual, it is what it naturally implies (at the very least, that would be the natural assumption most people would make). I'm not saying that what you did was horribly wrong, I'm just of the opinion that there should be a warning before accepting the mission. But that's just my suggestion, the game does not normally have sexual references (or even things things that can be taken as sexual) and as such people probably won't be expecting it. I thought it was funny personally, but I have to admit (perhaps it's due to the perversion of society), that's pretty much the only implication most people will get from it. So while it's not necessarily your fault, I do still feel that it would be best to add in a warning or something. But of course, it's your mission. If you think it's not needed, then forget about it.

The T rating precludes sexual references, those are only allowed in M rated games in ESRB. At least, that's what it says on their site. I think it has to explicitly say, "sexual references" on the case, or it doesn't have them. I have the CE so mine doesn't say what it's T rated for so, unless it says that, the game isn't meant to have sexual references I don't think.

Quote:
Good catch there, and being that specific is extremely helpful of course. A lot of people say I make typos and don't even begin to hint at where they are.
It's the least I could do, you provided me with somewhere around 5 hours of pure Trek fun .

Quote:
Unfortunately while I really wanted to have your choices carry through the mission, and originally thought I could do that, it isn't possible. Any triggers that use a dialogue reached prompt only work for non-story dialogues, and ONLY in that map. So when you get asked that question in the Holodeck about what you chose to do, I can't even force the player to pick what they actually chose and hide the other prompt.
Yeah, I really think the foundry needs more options.

Quote:
Of course even if that weren't there, writing dialogue for someone else's captain is very tricky, and quite a few of the dialogue choices you have in the mission are rhetorical, both leading to the same follow up dialogue, but exist simply to let you pick something closer to what your captain would say.

So in the end I solve the problem by having the BOFFs come up with most of the ideas and have them bounce those ideas off the captain. Ultimately the captain chooses to do it, because that is the captain's job to choose a course of action. I do try not to have the BOFFs telling the captain how to do stuff, but instead phrase it as a suggestion. If you have a better idea, though, I'm certainly open to suggestions.
You're precisely right, it's too much work for such a little return. That's one thing I'm trying to do with my series to make it stick out. The current system I'm going to use is you have the general response as the clickable button, which leads into a more detailed response in the next dialogue box if I need to. I really want to make people feel like their captain at least controls the situation. I remember this one foundry mission I played, where if I didn't know better, I would've assumed my captain was the ensign following the orders of the away team.

Quote:
I'm glad you enjoyed it. I can understand the combat was weak. In the previous mission I had a number of complaints about some combat being too difficult, so I tried to make it as easy or as hard as you wanted it in this mission, but combat is not likely to ever be a real focus of my missions.
That's a good thing in my opinion. You can't really do much with combat anyways. Most missions won't even get a B in my book for combat, because most of the combat in other missions is kill 5 groups then kill another 5 groups etc. I prefer single fights to occasionally break up the dialogue and add in some variety, but that's all.

Quote:
And thanks for the answers to the spoiler questions. It's helpful to understand whether side details and the like should be added by learning how often people look for them or examine them, or how easily they are found.
Sure, no problem. Thanks for making this wonderful mission.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
04-04-2012, 01:10 AM
I enjoyed both of these episodes! The only downer I had with the ending was feeling somewhat confused when Nevada told me that she couldn't trust me, when I'd gone out of my way to accommodate her instructions during the mission. It kind of felt like, "Oh sweetie, you did everything I asked of you, but I don't think I can trust you for reasons I can't explain." I totally understand that this is a limitation of the Foundry system though, and I don't hold it against you or your story, which I found very engaging. I just wish we'd get to see these characters again some time!
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