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Tag: branching dialogue

Mission name: Epohh’s Day

Author: @voporak

Faction: Fed

A simple visit to New Romulus for a holiday takes a turn for the worse when disaster strikes. However, as events start repeating themselves, you realize you’re not just trapped in catastrophe… you’re trapped in Epohh’s Day!

This Groundhog’s Day-inspired mission comes to you Star Trek style, with lots of fun, optional accolades, and a health dose of Mimey.

Trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5lBgF4VXn4&feature=youtu.be

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Enjoy, and please leave feedback.

  • Location: Raveh Sector, Orellius Sector Block
  • Faction and Level: Federation, Any Level
  • Foundry ID and Server: ST-HSRO4D6XK, Holodeck

Summary: One of Starfleet’s many missions is making navigational charts of explored space.  Survey duty isn’t generally the most exciting in the universe unless you find something unexpected… and this unexpected discovery becomes an unusual relief mission.  Diplomacy is the order of the day, especially considering the people you meet…

(Mild spoilers after the break) continue reading…

I hope that it’s helpful.  I mess around with branching dialogue and the default text of a npc.  It’s a sordid tribble love affair.

Greetings, this is Captain Allen of the Federation star ship Andromeda here again to continue my mission to bring technical speaking to every star ship Captain in the galaxy.  Last week we discussed integrating technobabble in short dialog boxes and writing responses the player might say and designing mission objectives around the technobabble mentioned in an ongoing effort to make your player character Captains to feel more like they are the Captain of a starship and not just clicking a NEXT button.  This means that even if dialog is very simple in the Foundry (at launch) you can still write compelling missions that take the audience on a mission seemingly pulled from their favorite TV show.  This week, since half of my columns name is “Speaking”, I would like to take a break from listing off technobabble that I like and instead wrap up a lot of loose ends about how to write believable technobabble.

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Greetings, this is Captain Allen of the Federation star ship Andromeda here again to continue my mission to bring technical speaking to every star ship Captain in the galaxy.  Last week we got up to speed on our Chief of Medicines’ commonly used phrases, medical conditions, medicine and technology.  This week I have a very amibitious goal, to show you how to make your technobabble a solid part of the mission and not just an afterthought.  Technobabble must be carefully used, you don’t want to confuse or frustrate your player character Captain, but at the same time technobabble provides a wonderful way to tie your mission to the episodes of Star Trek and provide mystery, intrigue and wonder that captured our hearts when we saw our first episode (or movie) of Star Trek.

Before we get started we need to take a look at our competition, Cryptic’s missions.  Let’s consider the average Patrol, Genesis or repeatable Daily mission, Featured Episodes and various Enemy Front Episodes that are played by every star ship Captain in the galaxy.

  1. The patrol missions frequently start with a very simple 1 sentence dialog box from your tactical officer explaining you are about to get attacked, then you get attacked, then you kill everything on the map and leave.
  2. Genesis missions are either a space combat mission, ground combat mission, scan 5 things while there are enemies around, Aid the Planet, or the rare but beloved walk around and collect 10 DXP.
  3. Repeatable Daily missions are a little better, the dialog is dramatically improved, but players only read them once.
  4. Featured Episodes do a fantastic job of slowly building plot, such as a mysterious ship decloaking and then warping out, or otherwise giving you a non-combat interactive cut-scene where player is happy to read what’s going on because they know the story is going to be good.
  5. Enemy Front episodes (in Season 3 see your Ready Room computer for the reason I use this term ‘Enemy Front’), such as the ones delivered at launch and in Season 1, are themed around a region of the galaxy populated by the bad-guys of the episodes.  These episodes aren’t quite as polished as the Featured Episodes and don’t employ as many cool tricks, but they are really fun the first time you play through the game.

I know what you’re thinking, ‘get to the point, Allen’.  Well here it is: We can do better than 1, 2, 3 but not 4 or 5, at Foundry’s launch.  Why do I say this?  Cryptic’s well thought out episodes employ tricks we don’t have access to, but that’s okay because we have one advantage over them that they will never have: Time.  We can write, rewrite and ponder and wait to release a mission when we feel like it is ready, and Cryptic does not have that luxury.  This is why I am so passionate about technobabble and dialog and presentation of the mission, because we can slow down and take our time and not have t0 resort to abbreviations like we see in Genesis.  I could do a fantastic mission surrounding a ‘kill 5 things’ objective if I just add a little mystery, a little story, and a little believability with the help of technobabble.

I’m so confident that I can create a compelling ‘kill 5 things’ mission, that I’m going to do it, right now.  That’s right, I’m going to take my least favorite mission and make it shine like never before.  And here it is:

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Branching dialogue is the ability to present players with more than one prompt.  We see this in STO’s diplomacy missions, in the featured episodes, and in many missions where there is a multi-layered dialogue happening.  Is this feature a make or break for the Foundry?  Can we work around it if it’s not part of the Foundry?  Or, is it not really that important?

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