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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

Executive Producer Daniel Stahl posted a new engineering report, which includes a small teaser of info surrounding new updates to the Foundry. The language is fairly vague, and we don’t know what these “much requested storytelling features” are. We do know that branching dialogue and triggers have been much requested and are at the top of the devs’ priority list.

Most likely, the storytelling features relate to the devs’ Foundry Roadmap, which includes these short-term priorities:

Upcoming Foundry Feature Goals
The following features are high on the priority list for upcoming updates (most likely Q1 2011)

Improved features for playing Foundry missions
•The ability to flag missions as “favorites” so players can bookmark them for later play
•Improved searching options to allow for more specific flags and filters

Project Management improvements
•Setting prerequisite and follow-up missions that can be linked together into a story arc
•Set the level, powers, and gear for test characters to improve testing

Map editor improvements
•Better visualize placed objects in the editor using 2-D preview images
•Fully customize backdrops, assembled from various sky effects layers, atmospheric effects, sound effects and music
•Enable snap-to-grid to more easily place objects
•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

Costume creator improvements
•Add in body scaling features found in the in game costume editor

Timeline editor (new)
•Change encounter behavior based on objectives in progress and triggers
•Change contact dialog text in based on objectives in progress and triggers

Plus general improvements to usability and more choices throughout the environment

Here is the specific quote from the engineering report:

In other news the Foundry continues to perform wonderfuly in Beta on the Tribble Test Server. The development team is preparing the first major feature update for the Foundry which will introduce some much requested storytelling features for mission creators. Once this update is on Tribble in February, we will begin to make plans to migrate the Foundry beta from Tribble to Holodeck so that everyone can begin to see the awesome fun that is making and playing player created content.

From the time table, it’s also likely that we won’t see the Foundry “migrate” to the Holodeck server until late February or early March. Whether this “migration” will include ugc missions is still unclear, considering the mixed signals of the devs over the past few weeks.

Stay tuned.

The newest Priority One podcast includes an interview with Cryptic’s TauNeutrino, as well as some nice discussion of our website and community. Please give it a listen!

Description:

This is the episode you have all been waiting for! TauNeutrino (Tom) from STO’s Foundry team joins us to answer your questions! We keep the theme with this week’s “Blank of the Week,” introducing Starbase UGC, a fan-site dedicated to Foundry fanatics. After hanging out with Tom, we share the latest news, including the upcoming ”Design the Next Enterprise” contest Cryptic will be holding, an “unofficial” Ask Cryptic dStahl gave us and the latest Engineering Report.

Check it out HERE.

Some more definitive news on when the Foundry is hitting Tribble for open beta testing. From the today’s Engineering Report, executive producer Dan Stahl had this to say:

Our immediate attention is on getting the Foundry available on TRIBBLE possibly as early as next Monday so that we could enter Open Beta with the tools. That is our next hurdle with the Foundry and one the software team is working feverishly to hit.

Even if the Foundry is not made available on Holodeck at the release of Season 3, we will absolutely have it turned on in an Open Beta on TRIBBLE so that everyone can begin to learn the tools and begin play testing missions created by others. So no matter what, the Foundry is only a few weeks away for you.