Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 13,673
# 1 The Darkness Between the Stars
09-07-2012, 01:32 PM
Mission Title: The Darkness between the Stars
Your @Handle: Marhawkman
Faction: Federation
Level Requirement: 31+
Mission Summary: The Federation has detected weak signals coming from a ship floating through deep space. The signals don't match any known race. From what we've been able to gather the ship is derelict and drifting in deep space. We need you to intercept the ship and examine it to determine if it is safe for us to study.

This is mainly a story driven mission but it does have some combat.



So what did you guys think of it? Be honest, don't worry about hurting my feelings.
HAIL HYDRA!

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I can haz joystick!
MMOs aren't charities. Corporations are supposed to make a profit. It's what they do.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 830
Quote:
Originally Posted by markhawkman View Post
Interested in looking at my contest entry?

http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/sh...d.php?t=379991
Quote:
Originally Posted by markhawkman View Post
Mission Title: The Darkness between the Stars
Your @Handle: Marhawkman
Faction: Federation
Level Requirement: 31+
Mission Summary: The Federation has detected weak signals coming from a ship floating through deep space. The signals don't match any known race. From what we've been able to gather the ship is derelict and drifting in deep space. We need you to intercept the ship and examine it to determine if it is safe for us to study.

This is mainly a story driven mission but it does have some combat.



So what did you guys think of it? Be honest, don't worry about hurting my feelings.
Federation Mission - The Darkness between the Stars
Author: Marhawkman
Allegiance: Federation
Project ID: ST-HDAPHHNCI

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

Summary: Without knowing what the requirements of the "contest" this mission was created for I have to say it is a good story oriented mission. I would recommend this mission to other players who like story oriented missions with several interactive points in the story.

I noted the use of the response button "ok" in several dialogue boxes throughout the mission. I mention it because it just did not feel like it belonged in the story. It felt almost as odd as my usual pet peeve "Continue". As with that issue it just does not feel like something the Captain of a ship would say in response to any report from the BOFFs or other NPCs. The use of "Continue" is the default for a response button being left blank. You obviously did not do that, but you should consider adding something more to the response.

The use of upper or lower case letters in the interact buttons, mission tasks, and map names are not consistent. There were several places where the interact buttons switched between upper and lower case, particularly on the "Ship Interior" map. They were different interactions but it just did not seem to work. All mission tasks on the "Nebula edge" and "Black planet" maps were lower case. On the other maps they were a combination of upper and lower case. The map names also had a similar issue where the first letter on the first name was upper case and the second name was all lower case. For example "Nebula edge" versus "Ship Interior". In the overall mission evaluation it is not as big an issue as others, but it is a detail that should be considered.

The issue of additional information dialogue that adds to the story can also detract from it. I am referring to having a looping dialogue that brings the player back to a starting point in the dialogue. Some of the loop back dialogue did not seem to fit the loop back dialogue. Having dialogue loop back to the start can work depending on the initial dialogue that starts it off. For example you could have "Is there something else?" or "Would you like more information?" or along those lines. Otherwise consider having the dialogue all in one longer string with a "Skip Dialogue" option throughout.

A plot issue for your to consider between the "Dark Planet" and Black Cave" maps. It is a minor issue to consider but one that I felt should be identified for you to consider. On the "Dark Planet" map the tasks were to scan the debris. On the "Black Cave" map the mission was to "Tag the Generator". It felt odd that we would not try to recover some of the more interesting debris like the small room and power conduits on the "Dark Planet" but we would recover the generator from the "Black Cave" map.

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: This is an intriguing description. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this description.

Grant Mission Dialogue: This is a good grant dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue.

Mission Task: This is a good initial task with a clear start location for the first custom map. I noted no spelling errors with this task.

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

MAPS:
Nebula edge: This map, while well designed seems unnecessary to the mission. After the initial entry dialogue there is nothing except flying across the map to various waypoints to then proceed to the next map. If you want to keep this map consider spreading the initial dialogue throughout the map at each waypoint. Additionally your mission tasks are all lower case throughout this map.

Nebula center: This is a good map design with a simple but fun battle. The story dialogue is well written. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map.

Ship Interior: This is a great map design with very well written story dialogue. I noted a couple of items to consider changing:
-Consider changing the use of response button "ok" throughout this map with "Very well" or something along those lines that fits the dialogue. It would seem more professional. From this point I will only note the maps where this is used and will address it in the summary.
-The additional dialogue prompts feel a little awkward. I understand you are trying to give the player the option to skip over some parts of the dialogue, but the dialogue that leads to those additional dialogues feels odd when repeated over and over again. Consider adding the additional information into one longer dialogue string with a "Skip Dialogue" feature throughout. From this point I will only note the maps where this is used and will address it in the summary.
-The interactions on the map switch between "Scan" for the bio signatures and "scan" for the consoles. Consider changing all of them to "Scan".
-Consider changing the response button "Maybe the medical Corps can figure it out later" to read "Maybe the Medical Corps can figure it out later".
-The climbing to the top of the reactor seems unnecessary to the story.
-All of the "Examine equipment in room" buttons say "Interact," which is the Foundry default when a "Interact Object" button is left blank. It is like the "Continue? button.

Nebula center#2: This is a good map design with well written story dialogue. I noted a couple of items to consider changing:
-Consider adding the additional information into one longer dialogue string with a "Skip Dialogue" feature throughout.
-The use of response button "ok".

Dark Planet: This is a good map design with well written story dialogue. I noted a couple of items to consider changing:
-Consider adding the additional information into one longer dialogue string with a "Skip Dialogue" feature throughout.
-The use of response button "ok".
-There are nine objects to scan with mostly "Scrap" dialogue from the away team. It felt like too much running around with little story to support it. Consider changing some of the dialogue to fill in more story details or remove some of the objects to be scanned.

Black Cave: This is a good map design with well written story dialogue. It felt a little rushed and the ending of the mission seemed abrupt. Consider adding some wrap up dialogue with Starfleet Command that indicates they have dispatched research vessels to continue the investigation.

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

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

This critique report also filed 09/09/2012 on forum posting for: In depth mission reports upon request.
If you would like a detailed review of your mission please visit my forum posting "In depth mission reports upon request" for details. Also see Evil 70th's list of missions at "Evil 70th's Missions".
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 13,673
# 3
09-09-2012, 11:42 AM
Nebula edge: good point. I've pondered that myself. Maybe move to the points to verify the course heading that takes you to the ship?

The idea I was trying to go for in Dark Planet is that you're looking for the Generator object that you find inside the Black Cave. However you don't know where it is well enough to know that it's below ground. You go around scanning the peices of debris you find on the surface in an effort to locate it. your crew is planning to retrieve the debris, but it's relatively unimportant. Then when you figure out where it is you enter the cave to retreive it. Maybe I didn't communicate that well enough.

One change I've considered is having the various bits of Debris get beamed out or something(tractor beam?) when you interact with them.

Yeah I kinda screwed up the ending. I needed to do a better wrap up.

Case correction: hunh... forgot about that. oops.

I suppose I could get rid of the Ok buttons too. I actually made a single long dialogue string for most of the looped dialogs, then reworked them to loop. I guess they need reworked more.

Thanks for the review!
HAIL HYDRA!

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
I can haz joystick!
MMOs aren't charities. Corporations are supposed to make a profit. It's what they do.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 830
# 4
09-09-2012, 02:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by markhawkman View Post
Nebula edge: good point. I've pondered that myself. Maybe move to the points to verify the course heading that takes you to the ship?

The idea I was trying to go for in Dark Planet is that you're looking for the Generator object that you find inside the Black Cave. However you don't know where it is well enough to know that it's below ground. You go around scanning the peices of debris you find on the surface in an effort to locate it. your crew is planning to retrieve the debris, but it's relatively unimportant. Then when you figure out where it is you enter the cave to retreive it. Maybe I didn't communicate that well enough.

One change I've considered is having the various bits of Debris get beamed out or something(tractor beam?) when you interact with them.

Yeah I kinda screwed up the ending. I needed to do a better wrap up.

Case correction: hunh... forgot about that. oops.

I suppose I could get rid of the Ok buttons too. I actually made a single long dialogue string for most of the looped dialogs, then reworked them to loop. I guess they need reworked more.

Thanks for the review!
Glad I could help. It is still a fun mission and I would recommend it to other players.

Thanks for authoring,
Brian
If you would like a detailed review of your mission please visit my forum posting "In depth mission reports upon request" for details. Also see Evil 70th's list of missions at "Evil 70th's Missions".
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,202
# 5
09-10-2012, 04:26 PM
I enjoyed it a lot. With minor tweaks it can be a great story. It's funny and it keeps you busy and wondering what will happen in the next couple of minutes during the whole mission. I don't expect anything more from a foundry episode.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 13,673
# 6
09-10-2012, 04:30 PM
Thanks! I like your spin on it.
HAIL HYDRA!

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
I can haz joystick!
MMOs aren't charities. Corporations are supposed to make a profit. It's what they do.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 298
# 7
09-11-2012, 09:26 AM
I played this one last night, and thought the story was very interesting. The only thing I would recommend from my own experiences is tone down the scanning of objects a bit, or perhaps add some dialog to each of the scans to make it feel as if we are completing something. Much like evil70th said the first map seemed a little pointless. Perhaps adding some combat scenario or puzzle to the map would be interesting. I was also kind of sad I didn't get to bash some faces in, but a good story mission doesn't hurt either.

Overall very interesting maps and use of objects. I look forward to seeing more.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 13,673
# 8
09-11-2012, 01:56 PM
I do have several ideas for improving it now. I'm thinking of adding a few fights with a group of Boslic mercenaries. Maybe leave it a mystery as to who hired them?

edge: maybe a ship battle? or maybe just an angry standoff with the Boslics? Hmm.... I like the idea of writing a tense encounter that doesn't involve shooting.

center #1: maybe a note about them here too, but no major conflict

ship: I really wanted to do a bunch of optional dialogues, but I hadn't learned how yet. I've figure it out since then. It might be fun to make people climb on top of the pipes to find things for the optional dialogues. I love playing find the easter egg.

planet: yeah this part is boring. Neeeds a bit more pizzazz. I'm not sure quite what to do but if I use the Boslic angle I can do some sort of conflict with them.

cave: see planet.
HAIL HYDRA!

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
I can haz joystick!
MMOs aren't charities. Corporations are supposed to make a profit. It's what they do.
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