I've been playing STO for a couple of months, and just got around to purchasing a few Foundry slots. All's going well so far - I've released mods for Skyrim (anyone know Atvir Dres?), and used CoH's Mission Architect system extensively, so I like to think I'm not a total noob at this sort of thing.
However, I've run into a seeming roadblock that confuses the hell out of me. I see plenty of discussion about creating custom ground maps, and the Jan. 17th update release notes state that new decorative items were added for interior maps. However, when I attempt to create a new indoor map, the "Custom Map" option is grayed out, and I'm only given the option of choosing from premade options.
Is this a normal limitation of the Foundry system? Everything I've read seems to suggest that custom interiors are possible. If that's the case, can anyone tell me why I'm not able to create one?
Glad to hear back from a fellow modder (I suspect that a number of Foundry users have dabbled in the field - it's a hard habit to kick ). It's unfortunate that we can't use a grid-based system to build our own truly "custom" maps - I had thought that we could, as I found a number of references to designing custom interiors, including an interview stating that the grid system was intended for (ground) implementation in season 5 (http://sto.perfectworld.com/news/?p=556551).
However, I understand that the Foundry is a work in progress, and that these things take time. Now that I've got a straight answer about the custom maps, I can move ahead with my project. Thanks again, I appreciate it.
@hippiejon: Thanks for the link, I'll likely reference it in the future. At the moment, modifying a premade interior really doesn't seem very difficult - unlike TES/FO, there's no real issue with keeping set pieces connected or navmeshing interiors, it's just drag and drop. In some ways it's a relief... while it would be nice to build maps from scratch, development time has just dropped from weeks to days.
@pendra3780: I appreciate the advice regarding coordinates. Rolling terrain blocks for outdoor maps would be nice, but I'm not too surprised they don't exist in the Foundry (seeing as how they don't exist in vanilla either). Generally speaking, I'm pretty impressed with the Foundry, considering that it's still in beta. Some features are noticeably absent, of course - in the mission I'm building, for example, I've found myself wishing we had:
-Custom ground maps (the point of this thread)
-An "under attack" animation for dialogue contacts (portrait shaking at random intervals, sparks flying, etc.)
-"Unknown contact" uniforms for dialogue (as seen in some vanilla missions... the silhouette portraits)
-Dialogue branching with consequences beyond mission fail/succeed (ie. variable objectives depending on dialogue)
That said, the Foundry in its current state is still a great resource, particularly for RP-based fleets that like to keep things fresh.
Thanks to everyone who's responded for your feedback!
You can do things OUTSIDE the actual mission goals that cause the mission to behave differently based on the player's dialogue choices. An easy example is to spawn an enemy if a player interacts with a certain object. You can also change the map layout in this way. As an example, having an interact prompt create a forcefield walkway.
IIRC the base map is called Argelius II interior. It's from the Treasure Trading Station mission, and there's a huge area where you can put platforms in the black void at will. The room Tetin is standing in in the scrrenshot is entirely things I added to the map. The actual trading station map is visible in the distance.
One thing to remember when adding props is that not all props have a back. The way polys work in STO, you can only see them from the outside. So if it's a "hollow" prop and someone is inside it they might not even be able to see it at all.
There's a number of inside maps you can do this with. I've built above Starbase 39 interior several times. Check out "Somewhere in Time" if you're curious.
I allows you to use the interior backdrops, some of which have better starfields than the exterior backdrops.
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Ah, yeah, Sibiran would probably work too. But the cool part about Argelius is that you can work at 0 altitude. It's weird though... the parts of the map with actual terrain are around -1600, 0, 1200 and equally huge numbers... the 0,0,0 point is WAYYY to the lower right.
For some reason the zero point glitch DOESN'T happen on Argelius! I thought it was a coincidence the first time or that it had been patched, but... OTHER maps still do it.
One time saving trick is to drop one item in, then set it to the right height, then use copy to get another with the same height settings. It's quite handy for saving you the time of setting the height of EVERYTHING...