Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,070
# 11
12-28-2012, 10:15 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by drogyn1701 View Post
The thing about our audience is that it is so widely varied and have so many ideas about their characters and their bridge officers, none of which we can know. To my mind there are two approaches you can take. You can either attempt to write for every eventuality or write what you want.
I get what you're saying...I guess to me, it's more fun to try to imagine how different personalities might respond to a different situation. And also fun for there to be different consequences according to the choices the captain makes.

I do think that some things have to be considered no matter what, though. I played one Foundry mission where the entire thing hinged upon my Cardassian captain having had a human son with a human name whose primary residence was on Earth. The son also spoke to his "father" as exactly that: his father, meaning players with female captains were just as completely excluded from that mission as aliens were.

Quote:
That's a decision each author has to make for themselves. I lean toward the latter. I think writing for every eventuality just makes things very bland. I do try and give options though. Sure, i get a couple "my character would never say that" comments per mission, but sometimes you just have to say sorry buddy, but the Foundry is the author's sandbox, not the player's, and I needed you to say X so the story could go in Y direction.
Sometimes yes, there may be only one way to get to a certain place. But, I also find myself considering if there are multiple ways to reach the same objective. (Though when that happens, the way the other person will respond to your captain varies.)

Quote:
Anyway, I can add a couple pet peeves.

1. Klingons are not evil. They may have been straight-up mustache-twirling villains in TOS, but the Ron D. Moore Klingons of TNG, on which all subsequent klinks have been based, are not evil at all (Duras family excluded of course). They are different from humans, they have different cultural values and different rules, and they would do things humans wouldn't, but that doesn't make them evil and it doesn't mean that they always do bad things.
Funy enough...I actually find the TOS Klingons more sophisticated. The movie ones to an extent, too (Chang on Trek VI: yeah, he had a moustache to twirl, but dang, he was smart and sophisticated while doing so). They really got dumbed down on TNG and especially DS9 (ironic given that DS9 upped the ante for most species).

Quote:
2. Not all KDF players are Klingon. Players should note this one too. In many reviews people said my spotlight mission "Raktajino in a Jar" was not very Klingon. However, I wasn't really writing it with Klingons in mind. I was writing for Orion or Gorn or whatever others (my own KDF main is a Vorta).
Perhaps multiple paths--or failing that, something in the mission description to give people a heads-up would've helped keep people's expectations in line with what you created?
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Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,070
# 12
12-28-2012, 10:22 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by drogyn1701 View Post
I try not to necessarily ascribe "abnormal" personalities to bridge officers. Since I don't know what the player has in their head for them, for instance on my main the tac officer i have in one of my boff slots is my first officer, she's Bajoran from one of the DMZ colonies and is "involved" shall we say with the captain, but nobody outside of me knows or cares about that.
I had a mission where someone made my tactical officer involved with my captain and calling him by his first name. It didn't matter that the genders happened to line up. My reaction was still . ( )

Oh...one scenario where you could get away with an abnormal bridge officer personality--though it would be really tough to write given the limitations of the Foundry (especially the fact that your BOFFs will fight in tip-top condition unless injured or incapacitated)--would be for said BOFF to somehow be possessed or under outside influence, or a holodeck simulation.
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Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,636
# 13
12-28-2012, 10:29 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
I had a mission where someone made my tactical officer involved with my captain and calling him by his first name. It didn't matter that the genders happened to line up. My reaction was still . ( )
Yeah romance with player characters as one of the parties is... difficult. Especially if you run across players that have a very strict view on such things. I usually don't go there. Except once and she was tricking the player anyway lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
Oh...one scenario where you could get away with an abnormal bridge officer personality--though it would be really tough to write given the limitations of the Foundry (especially the fact that your BOFFs will fight in tip-top condition unless injured or incapacitated)--would be for said BOFF to somehow be possessed or under outside influence, or a holodeck simulation.
Could certainly do that. I have 3 missions on the KDF side that are holoprograms that put the player in the shoes of Kang, Kor and Koloth. I remind the player several times that they are playing as themselves playing someone else and should get into the spirit of the role.
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"I would rather take a chance on getting a change made to the game through positive engagement than know for sure that I got a change made by complaining" -drogyn1701, May 14, 2014.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 514
# 14
12-28-2012, 11:09 AM
You know, one thing you could do is have a BOFF temporarily assigned to your crew as part of the set up of a mission... and then you are free to somewhat react as you wish.


There's a fine line and tension between interesting characterization and being too obviously tramping on a player's freedom.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
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# 15
12-28-2012, 11:33 AM
lol I have a mission that allows the player to slap/insult or annoy every alien he/she meets

granted your playing your mirror counterpart.. people seem to liek it overall.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
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# 16
12-28-2012, 11:35 AM
My mirror counterpart is a bit of a wimp who likes to negotiate and follow the prime directive under all circumstances
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 520
# 17
12-28-2012, 12:16 PM
I've had a lot of positive feedback on dialogues in my missions from people playing varied characters; one even noting how he played the same mission (Finding Resolution) with his Vulcan and then his Fed KDF and how impressed he was by the way there were such good options available for both.

I have a very simple technique:

1) I have a general dialogue line with very straight, by the book comments that would be suitable for any character; the kind of responses that a Vulcan or Picard type would make.

2) I add two divergent lines (as appropriate to a situation) at certain key points: A belligerent one and a sarcastic one. I then give each its own mini side-tree where these interactions can develop on their own and I can go "full bore" with that line knowing the player has already consented to it by picking the initial choice. Just make it obvious where it's going by the initial statement and you are fine.

3) Once I have completed these "tangent dialogues" I link back to the main line as soon as possible to allow for more possibilities of variation.

By using these three response types, allowing them to go as far as they need to, and allowing for multiple instances of each where possible, you can make your dialogues feel perfect for almost any personality type. The best part of it is the player will happily do all the real work for you, picking and choosing as they go. Since we can't really do multi-pathed missions this is also invaluable for creating the illusion of veriety and choice.

Last edited by ajstoner; 12-28-2012 at 12:25 PM. Reason: OCD
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,636
# 18
12-28-2012, 12:30 PM
I suppose you might call that the "Mass Effect Technique"

Don't get me wrong, I love those games, but that has to be a lot of writing to do.
The Foundry Roundtable live Wednesdays at 7:30PM EST/4:30PM PST on twitch.tv/thefoundryroundtable
"I would rather take a chance on getting a change made to the game through positive engagement than know for sure that I got a change made by complaining" -drogyn1701, May 14, 2014.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 520
# 19
12-28-2012, 12:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by drogyn1701 View Post
I suppose you might call that the "Mass Effect Technique"

Don't get me wrong, I love those games, but that has to be a lot of writing to do.
One official metric ****-load. Still, worth the effort imo.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 546
# 20
12-28-2012, 03:05 PM
Yeah, when I started into my branching dialog it was simply, "Huh, I made this a little long didn't I? Well, lets make a quick version. A quick version would maybe be for a someone a little more... cut to the chase. Bare bones... but maybe more military minded."

Next thing I knew I was making super short, shoot first options, Diplomatic Captain Fed options, and a little more (Curse you ME references) Renegade Captain or perhaps... a Klingon Captain.

Then what I started doing, Shoot First Short Version, Diplomatic Fed Captain, then Fed Captain more like a Klingon.

Then for Klingons the Inverse. A Klingon Captain that acts more like a Diplomat. And I try not to pigeon hole everyone as klingon, let alone supportive of the empire, but... like most Federation Captains would be aiming to get all the answers and solve through words... let's be honest... the warriors way tends to be more blunt. It's the outliers that ask questions first.

It's a lot of work, but, I find it fun and intuitive, perhaps like other authors find map design.


The one thing I always struggle with, is the Vulcan captain. It's easy enough to throw in a "That's logical," or "That's Illogical" here and there... but it's the idea of it. There is a cold cut nature to it, and one... that may not using slang or contractions. I used "It's" and "can't" in my captain dialog a little to much for anyone playing a Soong-Type. I once got an angry letter for a having a captain use the word "Alright" as opposed to proper "All Right."
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