Our first installment of “Founder Spotlight” is an exclusive interview with Alimac30. Enjoy!
Q: You’re the author of The Spirits of Ramok Nor and City of the Polmar Ree. These missions now have a combined total of 16495 reviews from the STO community. These are phenomenal successes. Were you surprised by this success? Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?
Both my published missions have been popular with players and podcasters. I feel very lucky… and I’m very grateful!
I had no idea whether The Spirits of Ramok Nor would be popular – in fact, I thought it wouldn’t be. It was my first mission, and it was totally self-indulgent. It was heavily seated in the Bajoran-Cardassian back-story from DS9, it was almost zero combat, it was long and wordy, and it was crammed full of homages and in-jokes to the shows. I created my own dream mission with very little consideration of what anybody else might want. Thankfully it struck a chord; STOked gave it a very positive review and that started it rolling; I’m still awed by the great feedback I get.
I expected City of the Polmar Ree to get plays because I knew people were looking to see if I could match (or trump) The Spirits of Ramok Nor. But I still didn’t know how well it would be received. It was a great big folly, even more so than Ramok Nor. I just indulged my passions to the extreme: huge custom-built maps, incredibly long and involved dialog, weird NPCs, cameos from Ramok Nor, and a story that was huge in scope. Everything was BIG – to satisfy the epic nature of the story’s concept, and also to indulge myself in everything I like spending my creative time on – the Foundry is my hobby, so why not?
The best advice I can give an aspiring Foundry author is: spend lots of time learning the Foundry tools and absorbing the community-made tutorials; experiment, play around, and learn what you can and can’t do; and then: build a mission you love.
Any Foundry author who says they don’t care about star ratings is lying. But if you’re a slave to the ratings, to other people’s expectations, you’ll take the joy out of creating a mission. Stuff like First Cause Then Effect and The Infinitesimal Frontier are crazily unconventional and inventive, and they’re incredibly popular. So don’t be afraid to experiment. Build your own dream mission, do what you’re really passionate about, and it’ll shine out of the final product.