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From the Sept 2011 Ask Cryptic:

 

Q: OldLordSkull: What are your immediate/short-term plans for the Foundry? Us authors would love more assets, triggers, cut-scene tech and more, but we’ve seen nothing for a long time.

A: Because the Foundry is a cross project tool that will appear in multiple Cryptic Games, the development team that manages the Foundry features are currently working on features for Neverwinter. That said, in order to bring over all of the new features and updates they are adding to the tool, we need to synch up our code between our projects in order to take advantage. We expect to do this sort of big merge again after F2P launches. In the short term, one of the things the STO team can do is hook up new social zones for Foundry access

Make sure to check out this week’s episode of Stoked, for an exclusive interview with STO’s Daniel Stahl on the Foundry.  This is a must watch for all Foundry authors.

Watch it here.  Or, watch the embed:

Great job, Chris and Jeremy!

So, while others were poking sticks at Dan late at night, I was able to get a VERY important (to me anyways) answer out of him regarding why we cant currently adjust the faces of the Foundry characters the way we can our STO main characters. The answer wasnt what I wanted to hear, but it made sense. He also didnt say NEVER either, but it looks like face adjustability wont be happening for a few more Foundry updates, at the least…if ever. I guess I’ll just have to use the “same actor” for every role in my story like the rest of you do.

Heres the forum thread. It gets interesting at page 5 where I start you.

http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?t=204385&page=5

Still no sight of The Foundry’s long awaited return to Tribble, let alone Holodeck. However, dstahl has revealed a new schedule:

We ALMOST had the Foundry back on TRIBBLE around 5pm, but found a publishing bug that postponed the switch until we can get a fix. My best ETA right now is sometime early next week it’ll be back on TRIBBLE.

The team is reaeaaallly itching to get this on HOLODECK soon – so I wouldn’t be suprised if there was a huge bug bash and we hit it out of the part sometime shortly after the Romulan Feature Series ends in March.

(Source: http://forums.startrekonline.com/showpost.php?p=3389726&postcount=17)

Boom tomorrow. There’s always a boom tomorrow.

Only one Foundry related dev post to report upon today. StormShade brought us up to date on a few outstanding issues relating to the recent Foundry spotlight:

Hey gang,

I’ve got two update for you all on these missions:

1) We know why some of them have been disappearing, and are working to resolve this now. It should be happening much less frequently already.

2) Regarding the pathing issues reported: We have a fix coming for this as well. It should make it in next week, and once that’s done, we’ll do a quick republish of the missions which should squash those for good.

Thanks,

Stormshade

(Source: http://forums.startrekonline.com/showpost.php?p=3328413&postcount=28)

Additionally, the last few days have seen more direct interaction between the devs and a hand-picked group of Foundry enthusiasts.

Cryptic COO Jackalope, along with dstahl and Stormshade, have taken time out of their busy schedule to participate in a pair of conference calls with these players. The players were asked for their advice and feedback regarding the current direction of the Foundry, and which issues need to be tackled as a priority.

Initial reports appear positive, as there seems to be synergy between what the selected players want and what the devs are working on. StormShade was taking minutes at the first conference, and presumably will be at the second. I am sure we will see these minutes published as soon as possible, for the greater community’s benefit.

In the meantime, a discussion about the conference calls has been posted by the participants on the Official Forums. This would be worth reading further, as a few choice nuggets of information have already been released – most notably that the Foundry Spotlight is intended to be a weekly event.

The discussion thread is at: http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?t=198865, but please let us know what you think below.

The last 24 hours have seen lots of interesting Foundry-related announcements from Cryptic. First, as we are mildly aware, the first batch of Spotlight Missions have been announced on the website, featuring some excellent testimonials from the authors.

The first four missions are:

And there’ll be more spotlights in the future:

Periodically, we’ll Spotlight more player-designed missions. Be sure to check back to this page to see what your fellow community members have been creating!

(Source: http://www.startrekonline.com/foundry_spotlight)

Read on for more dev quotes about these particular choices.
continue reading…

The latest update to the Tribble testing server includes a few minor changes to the Foundry. dstahl had the following to say about them:

Foundry

  • New Skyfiles have been added to the Foundry sky editor
  • Fixed several display names of starships in Foundry
  • Fixed some text issues in mission journal UI that was causing Author info to wrap improperly
  • Updated ability to search missions by language

(Source: http://forums.startrekonline.com/showpost.php?p=3313588&postcount=1)

If anyone knows what the new skymaps are, or has discovered anything else in the latest build, feel free to let us know in the comments.

Additionally, StormShade has elaborated on their previous post about the lack of an Import function:

I understand your feelings, and sadly, sometimes breaking bad news is a part of my job. I’m not saying this won’t change, but right now the plan is not to move over all the missions you guys have created on Holodeck.

The process to copy such a few missions over to Holodeck is long and tedious. It would require a great deal of downtime to move them all to Holodeck. I hope you all can understand why this isn’t something that seems realistic at this time.

Thanks for you understanding,

Stormshade

(Source: http://forums.startrekonline.com/showpost.php?p=3312532&postcount=28)

Confirmed bad news is better than uncertainty, one supposes.

Amidst the kerfuffle and fury of the anniversary events hitting Tribble early, recent dev posts have confirmed and denied a few things on the Foundry roadmap. First, the good news. dstahl posted the following as an aside in an unrelated thread: (emphasis mine)

and on that note – we are only a few weeks away from Branching Dialog, Cut and Paste, and Triggers going to Foundry on TRIBBLE. I expect those improvements to make those Foundry missions even better.

(Source: http://forums.startrekonline.com/showpost.php?p=3311430&postcount=236)

I may be wrong, but I believe this is the first time ‘cut and paste’ functionality has been confirmed. This will improve the toolkit dramatically, cutting out a lot of the grunt work in setting up repeating elements.

Bad news, however, for those wanting to import their Tribble-created missions into Holodeck. StormShade has revealed this won’t be likely, in the thread that originally revealed the export command:

Hey gang,

Just a quick heads up. This command is in place to help us trouble shoot issues you may experience. It isn’t meant to be used as a back up mechanism, and you won’t be able to import these files back into the shard once you have them.

Thanks,

Stormshade

(Source: http://forums.startrekonline.com/showpost.php?p=3311311&postcount=14)

Which means the only way to get missions from Test to Live is to manually recreate them on the Live Foundry. Or hope they get picked by Cryptic for promotion ahead of everyone else.

Is this an acceptable compromise? Please let us know in the comments.

If you haven’t read Dstahl’s lengthy Foundry Roadmap for the Future, check it out here.

Rather than reposting the whole thing in a huge blog post, I wanted to highlight the development goals of the devs and possible upcoming features of the Foundry. This is certainly not a complete list. Rather, it details what I think are really interesting features that we could see soon or someday:

Upcoming Goals:

Setting prerequisite and follow-up missions that can be linked together into a story arc
Fully customize backdrops, assembled from various sky effects layers, atmospheric effects, sound effects and music
Place waypoints for patrol routes for actors to follow
Place “job” nodes for actors to interact with, such as consoles

Mission Triggers (new)
Triggers are a way to make the game play react to the player’s actions
Show pop-up dialogs in response to a trigger
Spawn encounters in response to a trigger
Play music or sound effects in response to a trigger
Set a trigger on entering a volume
Set a trigger on killing an encounter
Set a trigger on interacting with an object
Set a trigger on talking with a contact

Branching dialogue (new)
Add multiple buttons to a prompt and chain prompts based on button chosen
Show/hide buttons based on mission state
Alter button behavior based on mission state

Long-term Goals:

Improved ways for authors to collaborate on projects
Create fully customized interior layouts from room and hallway pieces
Custom behaviors for encounters (custom AI)
Placement of auto-generated civilian populations
The ability to create custom planetary surface (exterior) maps
3-D visualization while editing to improve placement of details
Give the player quest items used by the mission
The ability to create content that takes place on the player’s own “bridge” interior
Custom cut scenes as part of the mission

Using Foundry to create custom starship bridge and ship interiors
Using Foundry to create custom starbase interiors
Using Foundry to create PvP maps
Using Foundry to create Fleet Action maps

dstahl has dropped the bombshell on the official forums:

Season 3 release is scheduled for Dec 2nd.

The Foundry specific testing and Closed Beta starts today (so check your email starting today for invites).

The rest of the Season 3 update is scheduled to hit TRIBBLE in early November. The goal is that when the Season 3 release hits TRIBBLE, the Foundry is then open for everyone to test.

Note that even at Season 3 release to Holodeck – the Foundry will stay in a Beta state.

Good luck to everyone who gets in. May your bug hunting prove fruitful!

The Physics of Impulse

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 covered what technobabble is by looking at a famous example quoted on Memory Alpha.  This week we will look at writing some dialog that includes technobabble in the context of script for a playable mission that you will write as a script.  We just saw the alpha version of the Foundry tools and  I’m not entirely sure what is possible with the dialog system but it appears the first generation will have simply dialog “Text” and a button that you can write the Captain’s response in. continue reading…

User Generated Content tools now have a name. Thanks to the people over at Jupiter Broadcasting and their STOked Podcast we now know that the name for these tools will be Foundry. In an interview on STOked, Dstahl let it be known what the name of our future tools are called. Also in the same interview, our beloved Executive Producer had a lot to say about “Player Authored Missions” as the UGC itself is referred to. I highly suggest you either listen to the interview or watch it but I will mention some of the information that was presented there. First, for everyone worried about running into Dark Elves with phasers, there will be a sort of internal vetting process that will help weed those out. We already were aware of the ranking system but now we have confirmation of that there will be some sort of review before it hits the mission lists.

Other information that was mentioned was that you will be able to use a unlocked form of the character generator to create your own aliens for use in the missions. In the same context you will be able to edit uniforms to make them tailored more to the mission you wish to create. Besides editing aliens and uniforms there will be some “stock” npc groups that they are preparing for us to use. So that means that if we need to have a group, we could use one the the stock or standard groupings for our missions.

Like I said already, the interview had a lot of good information. So much so that there is no way I could recant all of it. If you are interested in authoring your own missions I highly suggest listening or viewing this interview with Danial Stahl. The only thing that was somewhat of a downer? Looks like we will not see Season 3 till the first week in December.