For this week’s “Founder Spotlight,” we sat down with Sovereign77x, who shares his insights as one of the highest rated Foundry authors. Please read and enjoy!
Q: You are the author of the Deadly Intentions trilogy and Forget Me Not. These missions are very highly rated by the STO community. How would you explain your success as a Foundry author, and do you have any advice for new authors?
This is an excellent question, and I’ll try to give it a good answer. To be blunt, I can’t pretend to know exactly why some of my missions have been so successful; specifically, my Deadly Intentions mission series. These missions are keeping company with some outstanding works of art from brilliant Foundry authors, and I’m not above calling it a lucky break. What I can do instead is tell you about my writing style and some of the positive feedback I’ve received from people who have played my missions.
I strive to maintain a very strong balance between story and action. I do not believe that these two elements are mutually exclusive, and I hope that players find my missions to be thought-provoking as well as a lot of fun. My ultimate goal is to create something that feels like an interactive movie, and my favorite movies are both intelligent and exciting (e.g. Inception). I also like to create combat scenarios that are more challenging than typical STO missions. Sometimes this gets me into trouble with players, but it seems to pay off more often than not.
My missions pivot between the big picture and personal narrative. At the end of Deadly Intentions (spoiler alert) your character has to make a horrible choice for the sake of the greater good. Once you’ve resolved the crisis at hand, you report back to the admiral who originally sent you on the mission. Upon learning about your actions he orders you to make an appointment with your ship’s counselor; he’s concerned about you, and the enormous psychological burden you must now carry. This simple moment takes the epic scale of the story and reduces it to something that is intensely personal.
The final thing I would mention in terms of my style is that I’m not afraid to take risks. The controversial ending of Deadly Intentions is a good example of this, and more recently my new mission, Forget Me Not, caused a bit of a stir on Podcast UGC for the use of a unique story-telling technique to create a more personal connection between the player and the narrative. Like the challenging combat scenarios I mentioned earlier, this sometimes gets me into trouble; nevertheless, I’m willing to create something that people might hate in order to create something that they also might love.
My advice for new authors would be this: get feedback and help from others. When I create a mission, I involve several trusted friends and fleet members in my creative process. These individuals are supportive of my efforts, but they’re also not afraid to give me constructive criticism. The trickiest part of this collaboration is harnessing the power of feedback while maintaining the integrity of my personal vision. This is something I’m still learning; if you can figure it out there is no limit to what you can accomplish.