Finally, just to clarify, I never ever said I wanted to model each and every single deck of every single ship class down to every last crewman's quarters (like on the 42-deck Galaxy-class) - the only explorable areas would be near the key rooms.
I managed to find some Galaxy class deck plans the other day, as well as ones for the Intrepid class (in addition to the Miranda plans I emailed centersolace the other night) - perhaps I can draw up some 2D layouts to prove once and for all I'm only asking for small, explorable subsections of ships (and not the whole hog as people keep labelling me)?
Ah yes, thank you for those.
And I could help with drawing up some of those Ship Decks too. Send them to me and I'll see what I can do.
The Foundry as it stands today, is really a whole separate entity. There is no way (to my knowledge) that I can take what someone has built in the foundry, and convert it into a normal map that I can edit with dev tools. There's also no way currently to replace a map like your ship's interior, with a foundry map. I'm not a programmer, so I can only guess that that is theoretically possible, but it's not something that has ever been done, and I don't know if it's doable where we stand today..
It's entirely doable. It's essentially just a problem of data format conversion. Cryptic would need a utility that would take the map format data in the Foundry DB and convert it into the format that that their development tools use. The problem is that it's probably a non-trivial conversion. Not that is would be a hard thing do do, it's a very tedious and iterative process. You have to account for every bit of data, every possible conversion issue, every corner case that could possible arise. And even then it's probably not perfect.
Imagine having to make square pegs fit into round holes, taking the shaving of the square peg and fitting them into a semi-circular depression, and everything having to weight exactly the same as what you started with (they don't). As you change, test, reconvert, balance, change again, reconvert, balance.... And then wondering how in Gre'thor their accounting ledgers balanced in the first place???!!!! ( Why yes, I made a career of that sort of thing for 10 years. How did your guess?).
Or perhaps put it this way, images rendered on a computer screen has a given data structure. Images are stored in many different types of formats JPG, TIFF, GIF, PNG, etc. Say the dev maps tools work with GIFs. And the Foundry map tools work with PNGs. You'd have to write a program to convert the Foundary PNG maps into the GIF maps for the dev tools.
And I could help with drawing up some of those Ship Decks too. Send them to me and I'll see what I can do.
Any help would be greatly appreciated
I'll start by doing the Intrepid, so that you would have an idea of what sort of art style I'll be using to block out the explorable regions. And just so you know, I'll be using the free vector art software Inkscape.
On the topic of using the Foundry to make starship interior maps, I'd like to see the "Lego assembly" feature from Neverwinter taken one step further; custom built rooms. Not just prebuilt rooms, but the ability to snap together room building blocks (which I know STO has) as inevitably someone will run into a situation where they need a room built a certain way that doesn't exist. This could even be used to make several floor high rooms, like in missions such as Khitomer Accord (Ground), or The Cure (Ground) with all of its elevated walkways in the canyon above the players.
This would allow players to make even more accurate starship interiors, especially if the ability to place rooms at angles other than 90 degrees - like in the KDF mission "Second Star to the Right, Straight on 'til Morning" - was given to players. (It IS actually possible, since the person who made that mission and "Keep Your Enemies Closer" was able to pull off off-angle rooms somehow.) Said mission also includes curved hallways, like in the large starship interiors. These halls can be used to create small curved corridors, although it would help if they were broken down into smaller pieces so that longer curved corridors can be built.
With all due honesty, I'm not sure that "lego feature" of room connections could really make a good starship interior.
Why? Because when creating hallways for the saucer would be awfully complicated. So the map maker would have to have access to various degress of corridors ranging from circular (Consitution), Triangular (Prometheus), Hemispherical (K'T'inga Pod, Saber), Oval (Odyssey, Sovereign), and Arched (Intrepid). So IMHO, someone on the Art Team would have to premodel the saucer section.
Trust me, right now with my Foundry mission, I actually created a TOS D7 Interior and I honestly don't feel like such a thing can be created from the NW Interior map creator. So it's better if the art team premade the maps or we unleashed our imagination in doing it ourselves.
Yes, please! It makes me sad when I customize the appearance of all of my officers, and half of them never appear on my bridge.
Mott's barbershop and the theatre are "major set locations?" I don't know about that...
To me, the most important locations would be the "standing sets," most of which are in-game already: bridge, ready room, engineering, sickbay, the lounge, the transporter room and the captain's quarters are the places where most of the action takes place. And we've already got some science labs, which suits me just fine.
I suppose it couldn't hurt to add another, empty crew quarters, and a few of the more notable ship-specific sets - the Intrepid's mess hall and Astrometrics, the Galaxy Astrometrics as seen in Generations, and (most importantly to me), a shuttle bay. Maybe a cargo bay as well, for good measure.
Even that's a pretty big list, and I think that on the whole, anything else would be a waste of time and resources.
They were featured in 6 or so episodes each, all pretty memorable. The theater got as much or more screentime than most of the Defiant interior and played a big role in a lot of fan musing on TNG, including TNG Recut on Youtube.
My preference would be that they take the extra effort on a Galaxy interior and have a deck with the theater, the barbershop, a holodeck, an art studio, and the classroom. It'd give Thomas some fun work like the Barbershop logo, paintings in the art studio, and the kid-ified LCARS in the classroom. It reinforces the Galaxy interior as a light, fun, safe space for civilians.
If you do the Galaxy interior without pushing the "civilian cruise ship" aesthetic, you lose the heart of it.
And I can see that all fitting well with extra development DOff assignments and an onboard tailor... And maybe make it extra social by having offduty clothes vendors who sell things like Picard hotpants and civilian wear for dilithium. Or make the interior part of a pack along with Skants, the dress dress uniforms, and all the questionable but frilly, soft, quirky things from TNG that scream "This is not a warship."
If it is premium priced and extra love is put into it, might be fun to have Hide and Seek with Q as a feature on the ship, maybe as a mission that pays out latinum and encourages teaming.
I based the room/deck locations from Sternbach & Okuda's Voyager Tech Manual (never published) and the actual layout from the fanon Strategic Designs / Cydonia 6 Voyager deck plans - I simply got rid of the hundreds of crew quarters, M/AM storage tanks and utilities, as well as trimming down most of the corridors and adding dummy doors to seal off unexplorable regions.
This is intended as a proof-of-concept for potential canon ship interior maps. I'll try sticking this in my proposal doc as well...
The Foundry as it stands today, is really a whole separate entity. There is no way (to my knowledge) that I can take what someone has built in the foundry, and convert it into a normal map that I can edit with dev tools. There's also no way currently to replace a map like your ship's interior, with a foundry map. I'm not a programmer, so I can only guess that that is theoretically possible, but it's not something that has ever been done, and I don't know if it's doable where we stand today.
Based on the admittedly-flimsy evidence of what we see if we use the not-really-documented feature to export Foundry missions to text, which appears to indicate your missions are effectively in a custom scripting language, I suspect it's one medium-hairy perl script away from happening.
I think the idea of using foundry tools to build our own ship interiors is a great idea.
Look how popular a lot of "building" type games are. Take the Sims for example. They have a cash store where you can buy all sorts of furniture etc. Think of the possibilities for the C-Store with this. Say we get a base set of building blocks, for example, a couple 2409 hallways, small, medium and large crew quarters, a med bay, holodeck, turbolift, ten forward etc etc. The turbolifts have a property box that allows you to pic a deck that you have already built or it can go to your bridge. Or maybe it just automatically lists all the decks your have made when you use it.
As for curved hallways. I can't imagine why, with a lot of coding, there can't be a way to make curved blocks of "hallway style X" with a series of "door connection points". Those "door connection points" tell the foundry where and at what angle you can connect a room.
So now I use, say, the "medical room style Y" and drag it near a "door connection point" on the curved hallway and it snaps into place at the right angle. Then I can add a couple unique furniture items that I bought in the C-Store and dress it up a bit from the base look.
For example, don't the NPCs know how to face us when they fight us? Isn't that sort of the same thing. They have a "front" that points to our character. I'm sure there is some math that can do this for connecting rooms to a curved hallway. If it's worth the development time is the question. But ship interiors are a big big part of the Star Trek shows and movies. So far, outside of the 2 C-Store interiors, what we have is pretty basic and not really as good as it could be.
At the very least it would be nice if this was something that could be added down the road, even if we have to start with a more block-based layout system. And if it's not doable, then I'd love to see more custom-built, high quality, interiors on the C-Store like we have already.
I think it's clear from taco's posts that having the Foundry build the actual layout of the ship interior is impractical - I myself would also add that there would be the potential for immersion-breaking by minmaxing players i.e. somebody may simply plonk all the rooms on the same deck.
My proposal opts for fixed canon-accurate layouts for each class with limited decor choices, and the Foundry being reserved for positioning additional props within said maps.