Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 952
As you may know already, I have been hard at work on the first installment of a trilogy for Federation-allied Romulans (which I will eventually convert to an all-Romulan mission once we gain that ability). Well, I am pleased to announce that it is now live and ready for play!

Title: "[Rom] Valley of the Shadow I" (aka "Into the Valley")
ID: ST-HBHYVOLP6
Author: @NCC-89471
Allegiance: Federation/Romulan
Level: 31+
Estimated play time: 60-75 minutes

The mission has no reviews yet, so if you want to play it, be sure to select "Become Reviewer" so the mission will become searchable.

This trilogy is a prequel to my six-part Federation saga Ghosts of War, and will feature some of the same characters and story elements seen in that saga. However, it is not necessary to play that series before this one.

Except for the final map, this mission takes place entirely in ground and interior settings. Part I features heavy dialogue (particularly in the first four maps) and some elaborate set-piece events. In fact, there is no combat at all until almost two-thirds of the way through the mission (though there is a puzzle earlier on).

Tentatively, I plan to have Part II ("The Shadow of Death") done sometime this fall, and Part III ("Fear No Evil") by the end of the year or possibly early next year. These will be significantly more combat-heavy.

Last edited by paxfederatica; 07-26-2013 at 09:09 PM.
Commander
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 471
# 2
07-28-2013, 09:07 AM
Been hoping to get the time to play this and have just finished it. I really enjoyed it and it was well done. I'm looking forward to how the plot develops! I made a few notes as I was going through on minor issues I saw;


Intro:
I like the fact there was lots of detail in the initial mission giver - really encouraged me to trek though all that space to get there.

Map 1:
Nice, but clipping issues on the walls (I noticed this on other maps later on too). Good overview data on people but they didn't seem to be all used by the end. If that was for later parts, it may be best to give info on characters as they're about to pop up as too much in one go means you won't remember it all. It would be good to make some other changes in transition (when you go to quarters and come back) even if it is just moving the people round a bit - just to make it seem like time has actually passed. If only we had objects for fresh and empty pizza boxes...

Map 2:
I like the set up here, I hope that wasn't me falling too far! The Romulans attaking locals didn't look very natural IMO, one Tal Shiar stamping on one local each at spaced intervals. Might look better to have a small number of locals beaing goated and attacked by a larger number (think about the interaction between officers and prisoners in Schindler's list for example). Just a thought.

Map 3:
I like the brick design, though I wonder if there is a way to dirty it up a bit? Nice overview on the internal working and politics of the factions here.

Map 4:
Good work on the hacking code bit - must have taken a while!

Map 5
Good twist, though I'm surprised I got so far interrupting an interrogation without begin questioned or having to give an excuse.

Map 6
Way too many! They stormed at me through the doorway and I was fighting there so never triggered the explosion.

Map 7:
Very nice burning tower and fight scene here.

Map 8:
I like the fact fighting more was optional! Repeating space fights get a bit tiring. Nice to give the choice.


Let me know when part 2 comes out!

& Rose Tinted Mirror (Fed 31+)
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 952
# 3
07-28-2013, 12:07 PM
Thanks for your thorough review, isthisscience. I usually do have to tweak things quite a bit in the first few days/weeks after publication once the feedback starts rolling in; this will be no different.

I may spread out the attacker/victim pairs across a wider area but I think I will keep their ratio at 1:1 (reasoning that the Tal Shiar already have an enormous hand-to-hand advantage over the Nivayans with weapons, armor and physical strength to begin with). I'm also considering adding a Tal Shiar mob that escorts a captured Nivayan mob into the compound for processing.

As for background info, yes, Dorev and Veledrus were included for the sake of Parts II and III. (Veledrus, in particular, should have a major role in the rest of the trilogy.) That said, what I could do is move their information into later dialogue and only include Tarnak in the briefing.

Edit/update: I just published some updates to the mission. I condensed the Dorev and Veledrus references in the briefing (so now only Tarnak has his own "page"), and also moved around the Tal Shiar in Map 6 so that they'll (probably) no longer move into the corridor before the big explosion is triggered.

Eventually I'll tweak the animated mobs in Map 2 as described above, and maybe Map 1 too, but since those are just cosmetic changes, I'll wait until I get more feedback and then do all those changes at once.

Last edited by paxfederatica; 07-28-2013 at 01:44 PM.
Ensign
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 23
# 4
07-29-2013, 09:29 PM
I'ts great to see a Romulan Republic mission out, I was excited to play it. Thanks for creating a mission for the faction.

I didn't really enjoy the mission though. I didn't want to leave a bad review on the foundry so I decided to leave some hopefully constructive criticism here.

Map design: Visually really nice. Some pathing/clipping problems outside with the big wall - Civilians and Tal Shiar walking into the wall rather than around it. In the resistance tunnels, why is that one corridor so long? I swear its as long as ESD is around! In map 6, after planting the explosives, I had to fight ridiculous groups (2 or 3 groups larger than most combat groups... all at once!) because it seems like the explosion doesn't go off until well after it was supposed to. Also the dialogue about the explosive going off came up during these fights so I had to just skip through it without reading it until after things calmed down. Very frustrating.

Dialogue: Well written. I didn't see anything majorly misspelled or grammatically incorrect. For some reason my Science officer always showed up for both Science officer and Engineering officer dialogue (I did have an engineering officer with me). Also at one point a science officer from my ship showed up in a dialogue. Sorry I can't remember which map this was on.

Story: Fairly interesting. None of the characters really felt very deep or "alive" to me. Even though I'm not crazy about this mission, I am somewhat interested in seeing how this plays out.

I play a Reman captain and most of the dialogue assumed I was Romulan. Granted, most of the Cryptic missions do too, but I always think its nice when the foundry missions don't make assumptions on the race of the captain.

In the interrogator's logs it states that he spoke with Sela and Haakev 4 days earlier. Based on your description of the journey on Yates' ship, that means the conversation took place around the same time I started the trip, maybe a little before. In "my" world, Sela and Haakev have been gone for quite awhile. Not a huge thing, just another assumption that can be jarring.

Mainly it was the map design and related combat issues that soured me here. I do appreciate the work you've put in to make a (maybe the first?) Romulan mission, and I hope you continue.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 952
# 5
07-30-2013, 05:35 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by grifterrik23 View Post
Map design: Visually really nice. Some pathing/clipping problems outside with the big wall - Civilians and Tal Shiar walking into the wall rather than around it. In the resistance tunnels, why is that one corridor so long? I swear its as long as ESD is around!
The tunnel map is just a redressed version of one of the generic ship maps, which has the same super-long corridor. (Indeed, this corridor is one of the very reasons I chose this map, because I'm planning to reuse it in Part III and have a running firefight through it.) As for the pathing issues on the previous map, the mobs walking into the wall should be easy enough to fix (just by rerouting the paths to swing a bit farther "south").

Quote:
Originally Posted by grifterrik23 View Post
For some reason my Science officer always showed up for both Science officer and Engineering officer dialogue (I did have an engineering officer with me). Also at one point a science officer from my ship showed up in a dialogue. Sorry I can't remember which map this was on.
The science/engineering thing happens for me too. I went back and double-checked those dialogue boxes and the ones meant for the Engineering officer are selected and labeled as such. It may be a Foundry glitch.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,900
# 6
07-30-2013, 08:37 AM
Just played this one last night. Well done! You definitely captured the feeling of the Romulan Republic should be about (almost a proto-Federation but with a Romulan twist). Definitely looking forward to the rest of the series.

We do plan to talk about the mission on the next Foundry Roundtable. I know greendragoon also played this last night.
The Foundry Roundtable live Wednesdays at 7:30PM EST/4:30PM PST on twitch.tv/thefoundryroundtable
Forum Logic dictates that if the devs don't do what a poster wants, they therefor actively hate what that poster is advocating for.
Forum Logic =/= Real Logic
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 952
# 7
07-30-2013, 04:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by drogyn1701 View Post
Just played this one last night. Well done! You definitely captured the feeling of the Romulan Republic should be about (almost a proto-Federation but with a Romulan twist). Definitely looking forward to the rest of the series.

We do plan to talk about the mission on the next Foundry Roundtable. I know greendragoon also played this last night.
Thank you; I'm glad you guys liked it. Be advised that I'm going to make a few fixes and other changes to it in the next day or so, based on feedback and on my own observations. If your reviews mention anything that I have since changed, I'll say so in the thread for the next Roundtable episode.

I've already written the "script" for the first three maps of Part II, and have a general idea of how the rest of Part II, and Part III for that matter, will play out. However I probably won't start mission-building on Part II in earnest until after Labor Day. For now I'm thinking Part II will drop around the end of September or early October.

Last edited by paxfederatica; 07-30-2013 at 05:28 PM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 952
# 8
07-30-2013, 08:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by grifterrik23 View Post
For some reason my Science officer always showed up for both Science officer and Engineering officer dialogue (I did have an engineering officer with me).
I've actually submitted a bug report for this issue. As mentioned earlier I've gone through all my dialogs to confirm that they're all going to the intended BOffs, and they are, so I can only assume this is an issue at Cryptic's end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grifterrik23 View Post
Also at one point a science officer from my ship showed up in a dialogue. Sorry I can't remember which map this was on.
I found this occurrence and fixed it in my latest update this evening. It was actually in the Map Transition Dialog at the end of Map 3.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,493
# 9
07-30-2013, 09:29 PM
I really enjoyed the mission, Pax. You might want to tune into this weeks Foundry Roundtable. Just say'n.

Edit: And of course Drogyn beat me to it.

@greendragoon
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 952
# 10
07-31-2013, 08:44 PM
Part I has passed the magic number of 5 reviews, meaning it is now available to non-reviewers!
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