Foundry Tips and Intro by Duncan Idaho
Current Bugs and Work Arounds
As it is, the Foundry has a few bugs. None of these will prevent you from working in the Foundry but you should be aware of a few to work around them. Browse through as needed (you don’t need to take this whole list to heart before you jump in…apart from the first item.)
I cannot type anything in the Foundry!
When loading the Foundry the system currently doesn’t register your keyboard. The work around: swap to another active program or the desktop, then swap back to STO. You can do this either by hitting the Windows key or ALT+TAB.
Note: Do not actually close the STO application when doing this. It’s the act of returning STO to an active window that properly sets keyboard controls. After you’ve done this once, you won’t need to do it again during a session (even if you change project files.)
Map transitions do not work!
When making a Foundry mission you can opt to preview from the very beginning of the project (ex. sector space) or for each map you’ve created. At present though, in the editor you cannot transfer between maps. Simply put, nothing happens. Published missions are unaffected.
Work around: you must test each map individually during the build. Also, be sure to run your mission once published to be sure it plays as intended (which is highly recommended regardless.)
I’m publishing my mission, but progress is stuck!
Sometimes when publishing or republishing a project the process can stall at a particular percentage and never complete. Work around: try it again. It’ll eventually work.
My space maps have no lighting under lighting 2.0!
There’s no effective work around, we simply don’t have any working lighting options besides using the Zaria backdrop. That changes the lighting from a dark blank to a dull brown. It’s not much, but it can help set two locations apart in the same project.
One of my objective waypoints doesn’t show!
This is an odd one. On what seems like random occasions, an objective waypoint for a published won’t be properly set despite everything checking out in the editor. You need to keep an eye out for this one while testing. Fix: go back into the project and remove the problem objective for the story tab. Then, replace it with a fresh objective.
Thanks to Mattjohnsonva for both identifying this bug and its work around
General tips and an intro to the Foundry
Learning to use the Foundry can be daunting, especially for first timers. There’s a lot to think about and a lot to create. However, it’s totally doable. We’ve had first time authors make great missions during these challenges. Some general tips:
Include starting location in your mission’s description.
Make sure you include respawn points at appropriate locations on your map.
Avoid spawning the player in combat.
Never set a location objective with a radius of zero
Test play your missions thoroughly.
First, you want to get familiar with the tabs. There’s Project Info, Story, Maps, Dialog, and Costumes.
Project info: fairly self-explanatory. It’s where you set your mission name, description, and faction.
Story is where you specify where the mission starts (best pick a location in sector space, the option’s in the first transition prompt), which maps go where in the mission (including live social zones), their objectives, and map transition dialog (which will work in your published mission.)
Maps: these are your maps which you can separate into three categories: interior ground, exterior ground, and space. You can place objects, objectives, pop-up dialog, and NPC’s. The tab at the bottom of the screen is where you change object properties (ex. when they spawn in or out, what animations they have, whether they have optional dialog [check the box], and their coordinates.) The tab on the right is where you pull in new assets. If you don’t see either, click the prompts at the bottom or right of your map window.
There is a separate limit to every category of asset, but most beginners probably won’t encounter these on their first builds (though if you do, kudos.)
Costumes: here you can create custom NPC’s for ground and space using a tailor similar to what we have in the main game. We have more options, so go nuts. You can duplicate NPC’s using the relevant button (helps when giving a single character multiple outfits, for example.) This will apply a # and number which you may want to delete (if having trouble, start with the #).
Dialog: this is your dialog. Here you can add more prompts to a dialog chain, add multiple dialog options for a single prompt, link different prompts together (drag the arrows), change the NPC who appears in the window, and change their animations. Dialog added to stories and maps will automatically show up here (so, you shouldn’t ever need to manually add more dialog using this window. You can but I find it less intuitive.)
From there, get building. There’s no substitute for direct experience so feel free to try things out as you will. This will give you an appreciation for what you can and can’t (reasonably) build in the foundry, so play around with your initial story ideas during your initial experimentation. You may need to find creative work arounds to story points or action beats to make the best use of the Foundry format. Try to observe a reasonable balance between action and exposition (info-dumping is best used sparingly, if at all) and keep firmly in mind that you are creating a story for other players. Keep them engaged and keep the story flowing. Outlining your mission beforehand (map-by-map) can help greatly with this.