Guide: The Foundry

From Star Trek Online Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Template Historical.png
Timeline Change Imminent!
This article contains information that no longer applies to the current version of Star Trek Online. It is provided only for historical purposes.
This content covers user-generated foundry missions.
This article does not reflect any official game content or Star Trek canon.

This Guide to Cryptic's "The Foundry" will teach you the basics to design and create your own missions for Star Trek Online with The Foundry (Beta).

Getting started[edit | edit source]

The game launcher

Start the game launcher and let it perform any updates. Click "Engage". On the character selection screen, select "Create Content" at the top. If not done yet, click on "Buy Foundry Slots" and buy foundry slots.

Create Content tab

In the Character selection screen, click the new tab "Create Content". You will need to create at least one dedicated character to use the Foundry. For this purpose, you are granted an additional character slot. Note that you need a Federation character to test Starfleet missions and a Klingon character to test KDF missions.

Create a character for testing

You are not given a lot of options to customize the test character. You may find that disturbing at first, but rest assured, you will only need the character as sort of dummy that is able to move, trigger dialogues and interact with objects. It is not a regular character that you will level up or should care about. In fact, you are likely to delete him or her quite often to switch between Federation and Klingon content. Simply hit "Create Content" to fire up the Foundry.

Manage projects[edit | edit source]

Foundry project management screen

When you select a character from the "Create Content" screen (or create a new one), you will be redirected to the project management screen of the foundry. Each mission you design is called "project" in the terminology of the Foundry. Projects are bound to your Account, not the testing character. Therefore, you will never lose any UGC mission when you delete one or all testing characters.

On the left hand side under "Owned Projects" you will see an alphabetic listing of all your projects by name. On top of this listing you have the options to start a new project, delete a selected project, and sort the list by other criteria. When you have already created projects, you may select any of them from the list to see a project summary, including user ratings for that mission.

Importing is a future feature and has not yet been implemented.

At the bottom of the column you can switch to a second project listing. This listing contains shared projects that you may import to work collaboratively with other users.

Create a new project[edit | edit source]

Foundry New Project.png

In order to write a mission you need to start a new project. Click "New Project" in the top left. The EULA for The Foundry will appear and you have to accept the terms of use to continue. The following is a short, incomplete overview of what you may do or not do:

  • Use character names from any show and the first ten movies
  • But not their likeliness (i.e. it ok to talk about "Data", but not to create an NPC that looks like Brent Spiner)
  • Don't be too critical or controversial with your story telling. Check the paragraphs about political, religious and other topics.
  • Do not display the use of any drugs (even legal administration by doctors)
  • Do not include any URLs (e.g. link to your blog or fleet forum)
Important Disclaimer: Read and understand the EULA for yourself and do not rely on information from to decide what you do and don't do in your mission. The EULA is subject to change and can not take any liability for the accuracy of the above!

Click "Yes" to continue.

Name your project

The Foundry asks you to enter a name for your project. This is the name by which players will know your mission, i.e. the name of the mission in the mission journal, search pages and so on. The name may be changed later on, but changing the name may cause players to lose track of the mission, since it can no longer be found by the original name.

Click "OK" to create and load the project.

Edit an existing project[edit | edit source]

Loading a project

After selecting an existing project from the project management screen and clicking "Edit Project", or the successful creation of a new project as described above, the Foundry will load this project for you to edit. This might take a while.

Quick interface tour[edit | edit source]

The Foundry

When loading is complete, you will be sent to the main Foundry editor interface. Let's take a quick tour.

Sidebar[edit | edit source]

The sidebar lets you browse your project

Like many IDEs, The Foundry has a sidebar in which you can navigate through your project. There are four sections between which you may toggle.

  • Project: Used to review comments and publish updates of the mission to the game
  • Story: Used to create mission objectives and dialog, as well as link maps. Also lets you test play the mission from start to finish
  • Maps: Used to create and edit maps. Here you place NPCs, enemy mobs, objects to interact with and waypoints. Also you can test play individual maps.
  • Costumes: Used to create and customize the appearance of NPCs and ships.

We will discuss the individual sections in detail.

Tasks[edit | edit source]

Errors in the project that need to be fixed

Under the sidebar there is a list of incomplete tasks. These are errors in your project that need to be fixed before it can be published. It is normal to have a number of errors in a new project, since it makes no sense to let a user publish an empty mission. Clicking on any task should redirect you to the element causing the problem.

Editors[edit | edit source]

An editor for objectives

Depending on your selection in the sidebar, one of several editors will be opened in the center area of the Foundry. These may be objective editors, maps or costumes. Usually you will be able to manipulate the content of editors with mouse and keyboard input. Editing might also require to use the library and properties areas of the Foundry.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

A typical library
Searching in libraries works like searching the Exchange, i.e. the complete string including spaces is matched against the names of the database items. So the order of your search terms matters.

Most editors are accompanied by a library on the right. Libraries contain assets, with which you can populate editors. E.g. a pop-up dialog for a story editor or a NPC contact for a ground map. Most libraries will let you browse through several categories, filter items by criteria and text from a text box.

In order to use an object from a library, drag and drop to place it in an editor.

Properties[edit | edit source]

The properties of an asteroid

The map editor features a properties area at the bottom of the screen. With it you may edit many aspects of a selected object, like exact position by coordinates, NPC animations etc. We will discuss specific settings in detail when they become important.

Main menu[edit | edit source]

Cut, Copy and Paste are not functioning at the moment.

The menu entries are pretty redundant and can be found elsewhere in the Foundry interface, except for "Exit Editor":

  • File
    • New >
      • Create Map... (
      • Create Costume...
    • Play Mission F5
    • Save Project Ctrl+S
    • Publish Project
    • Exit Editor Alt+F4
  • Edit
    • Undo Crtl+Z
    • Redo Ctrl+Y
    • Cut
    • Copy
    • Paste
    • Delete DELETE

Your first mission[edit | edit source]

For the rest of this guide we will look at some of the details of making a mission. Since it's pointless to discuss the UI of the Foundry without a framework of reference, I will embed a tutorial to create a simple mission like those you may encounter in different patrols. So when I discuss several aspects of the Foundry, I will discuss, how certain aspects of this sample mission can be realized.

Plan ahead[edit | edit source]

It is important you have a clear idea planned out of what you want to do. The Foundry is a forceful tool. If you stumble through the mission making process without a goal, the Foundry will drown you in detail work and you will come up with patchwork. There will be enough room for creativity after the skeleton of the mission is completed.


The tutorial project is available in game. Search for "STOWiki Guide".

Here is our plan for the tutorial: An ESD contact will send us to deliver some cargo to Kei, where we run into some Orions. Before we can deliver our cargo, we will help the miners defend their colony. The objectives should look as follows:

It's helpful to sketch your mission by laying out missions objectives the way they display in-game. Top-level objectives should be map changes.
  • Go to Earth Spacedock
    • Talk to Market Speculator
    • Interact with Console on ESD to Take up Cargo
  • Go to the Kei System
    • Fight Orion Raiders
    • Repair Damaged Satellite
  • Beam Down to Colony in Distress
    • Talk to Miner
    • Fight Orions
    • Disable Spatial Charges
    • Deliver Cargo
On social maps you may not place any additional NPCs, reach markers, objects etc., but are restricted to use objects that are flagged by the developers for UGC use.
So our mission will require us to create maps for the Kei System (space) and Colony (ground, interior). ESD is a social map, so we will simply reuse it. We also need costumes for the ESD contact, Orion captain and Kei colony miner contact. We will create the miner from scratch and reuse pre-made costumes for the ESD and Orion contacts.

Project[edit | edit source]

The Foundry

In this mode you can review and edit the most general aspects of your mission, and how it is presented to the public. You may rename the project, provide a short description, leave notes for your own reference and read reviews by other users. There is also a toggle to determine which factions may access the mission (Starfleet or Klingon).


Enter a short description
Click "Project" in the sidebar if you have not done so already. Enter a short text in "Description" that should evoke the interest of other players who found it while doing a search. This text is the only thing visible to them before they accept the mission, so be concise and interesting. Outline the mission in two or three sentences, but don't spoil any plot twists.

Story[edit | edit source]

Editing the story of a mission

By clicking the "Story" tab in the sidebar, the story editor opens. Here you design the "logic" of your mission and lay out the sequence of objectives the player has to complete in order to finish the mission.

In the sidebar you find a list of all story elements that are currently present in the mission. You will always see the full mission structure even if your mission takes place on more than one map.

In the main editor you see a graphical layout (similar to a flow chart). Each mission objective or popup dialog is represented by a box that connects to the next. The first and top-most objective is always the "grant mission dialog", after which the player is given the option to accept or decline the mission.

On the right you find a library of story elements. The following elements are currently available:

  • Interact With Object: Interact with # things (objective)
  • Kill Enemies: Defeat # mobs (objective)
  • Talk to Contact: Interact with NPC (objective)
  • Popup Dialog: Unprompted dialog with only one answer
  • Reach Marker: Go to waypoint (objective)

All objectives/dialogues have to be completed in the sequence indicated by the arrows in the story editor. To place a new objective/dialog drag it from the library and place it in the main editor area.

Create, rearrange and delete story elements[edit | edit source]

Foundry Trash Can.png

New story elements are created by dragging elements from the library to the editor area. You can also rearrange existing boxes in the story editor by dragging them around. A "snapping guide" will tell you where the box will be placed, when you release the mouse.

To delete a box, drag it to the top-left corner of the editor, where a trash can appears during drag and drop operations.

Story elements in detail[edit | edit source]

Let us take a look at the elements you can drag from the library to the story editor. For the purpose of this guide we will call the boxes that appear in the story editor "widgets".

Grant Mission Dialog[edit | edit source]

Each story must start with a "Grant Mission Dialog" widget. This widget is special, since it cannot be created from the library, moved in the story editor or deleted. It will display a dialog window very similar to the "Talk to Contact" or "Popup Dialog" widgets with the exception that the player will be given two choices to answer and close the dialog: "Accept" (thus adding the mission to the mission tracker) and "Dismiss" (thus canceling the start of the mission without further consequence).

Foundry Grant Mission Dialog Widget.png


  1. Costume: The portrait that appears in the dialog. This cannot be a custom costume from the project.
  2. Style: The animation stance to be used in the portrait window.
  3. Text: The mission briefing displayed in the dialog window. This should contain directions where to go in order to start the mission.


Place the following text into the "Text" of the "grant mission dialog":

[Rank] [LastName], what a pleasure you finally decided to take my call. Did you already get your orders?

Good. Prices are fluctuating a lot these days. As the Ferengi say: "War is good for business." But I'm happy to report, I have obtained the mining equipment your superiors were looking for to refit the Kei mining colony.

Please visit me at Earth Space Dock as soon as possible, I have a busy schedule.

Go to the Exchange at Earth Space Dock and talk to the Market Speculator.
Your dialog should contain these short concise instructions so the objectives are always clearly spelled out for the player.

Use the mouse to select the last sentence and click "Highlight". This way the last sentence will appear in green and bold. You will notice several markups in the text. [Rank] and [LastName] are placeholders that will be replaced by the character's rank and formal last name. [MissionInfo] and [/MissionInfo] contain text that will be set bold and green, so the player has a crystal clear instruction on what to do next.

Select Costume dialog

Now select a costume for the portrait to be displayed with the text. Click the button under "Costume". Since we use a contact from a social zone, we can pick it directly from a map. Click "Map View" and select "Earth Spacedock". You can either pick the Market Speculator from the North-West of the map or select her from the list on the right. Click "OK". The portrait of the Market Speculator is now visible in the "grant mission dialog widget".

Select Style dialog
We want to to make her a tense and busy character, so click the button under "Style" and select "Arrogant" from the dialog. Click "OK" and notice how the portrait is updated. You can use styles to make the dialog portraits more lifelike and enhance immersion.

Talk to Contact[edit | edit source]

This is an objective that will require the player to walk up to an NPC (ground) or fly close to an NPC ship (space) and click the "Talk to [name of contact]" interaction button. A dialog window with the portrait of the NPC (called "Actor" in terms of the Foundry) on the left will appear with some dialog text ("Text" box in the widget). The player is given exactly one response button, and clicking the button resolves the corresponding objective in the mission tracker.

Foundry Talk to Contact Widget.png


  1. Mission Text: This is the text that will appear in the mission tracker.
  2. Waypoints: Either "None" or "Automatic". Automatic will create a white circle on the mini map indicating where the contact can be found.
  3. Actor: The NPC or NPC ship the player has to talk to. This will determine the portrait that appears in the dialog.
  4. Map: Either "Cryptic Map" for social zones or "Project Map" for custom maps followed by the name of the map on which the contact can be found.
  5. Style: The animation stance to be used in the portrait window.
  6. Text: The dialog text displayed in the dialog window that opens on interaction with the contact.
  7. Button: The text on the response button that closes the dialog and resolves the objective in the mission tracker so the story can advance to the next element.
This is how the "Talk to Contact" objective will manifest in-game


Empty "Talk to Contact" objective"
Place a new "Talk to Contact" objective below the "grant mission dialog".
  • Change the "Mission Text" to "Talk to Market Speculator". This will cause an objective to appear in the mission tracker.
  • Change "Waypoints" to "Automatic". This will create white circle on the minimap at Earth Spacedock to make the contact more easyly to locate.
  • Click the Button next to "Actor". In the dialog select "Earth Spacedock" and pick the "Market Speculator" from the map or the list on the left. Click "OK"
  • Change "Style" to "Arrogant".
  • Paste the following to "Text":
Good you are here, [Rank], I don't have all day. Here are the papers you need to transport the merchandize to your ship.

Have a nice day, [Rank].

[MissionInfo]Use the console next to the Market Speculator to transport cargo to your ship.[/MissionInfo]
  • Leave "Button" as it is.

Notice how an automatic transition to Earth Spacedock is created by the editor after you select the "Market Speculator" as actor. We will discuss map transitions later on.

Foundry Play Mission.png
Foundry Edit Tools.png
You can now test play a mini mission that only consists of a single objective "Talk to Market Speculator". Click "Play Mission" in the top right of the Editor window. When you are done, click "Return to Editor" in the "Edit Tools".

Interact With Object[edit | edit source]

In Crypic's missions it is permissible for a ship to move slowly during object interaction. Due to a bug any movement in space will cancel the interaction in Foundry missions.

This is an objective that will require the player to interact with one or more objects. The player must move the character (ground) or (ship) close to each object and click an interaction button. In order for the interaction to succeed the character/ship must not participate in combat or move away from the object until a progress bar is filled.

Foundry Interact With Object Widget.png


  1. Mission Text: This is the text that will appear in the mission tracker.
  2. Waypoints: Either "None" or "Automatic". Automatic will create a white circle on the mini map indicating where the contact can be found.
  3. Object: The object(s) the player has to approach in order to start an interaction.
  4. Add Object: Using this button more than one object interaction can be required for the objective to complete. All objects in the widget must be interacted with for the objective to resolve. If there is more than one object in the widget, the mission tracker will display the total number of interactions required and the current number of interactions already performed.
  5. Map: Either "Cryptic Map" for social zones or "Project Map" for custom maps followed by the name of the map on which the contact can be found.
  6. Interact Text: The text on the button the player needs to click in order to start the interaction.
  7. Animation: The animation applied to the player's character while performing the interaction.
  8. Duration: Configures how long the player has to wait and stay out of combat for the interaction bar to fill and the interaction to complete.
This is how the "Interact With Object" objective will manifest in-game.


Create the interaction with the Exchange console
Let us create the next objective of our mission. We want the player to use a console to beam the cargo to his or her ship. We will use the Exchange console next to the Market Speculator.
  • Drag and drop a new "Interact With Object" objective at the end of the current story.
  • Mission Text: "Beam up Cargo"
  • Waypoints: "Automatic"
  • Object: Pick "Auction Console #3" from "Earth Spacedock"
  • Interact Text (label on the button to start the interaction): "Beam up Cargo"
  • Animation: "Interact - Leaning 01" (this will make the character type on the console)
  • Duration: Leave at "Medium"
Test the mission. Note that the mission immediately finishes after the interaction bar has filled and you are given only a short notification that the mission has completed. We could continue with an objective in the Kei System to advance the story, but it would be wise to give the player both feedback that the interaction was successful, and instructions on how to get to the next objective. For this reason, we will take a look at "Popup Dialogues" next.

Popup Dialog[edit | edit source]

The popup dialog is the only story element you can create that will not be listed as an objective in the mission tracker. The element becomes active when the previous element was resolved and the character is not in combat. It simply opens a dialog window with a single option to continue/close the dialog. You can use several popup dialogues in series to create a multi-page conversation. However, just as all other elements, popup dialogues are mandatory and have to be passed by the player in order for the next objective to become active.

Foundry Popup Dialog Widget.png


  1. Costume: The costume to be used for the portrait on the left of the dialog window.
  2. Style: The animation stance to be used in the portrait window.
  3. Text: The dialog text displayed in the dialog window that opens when the popup dialog becomes active (i.e. the previous objective was finished).
  4. Button: The text on the response button that closes the dialog aso the story can advance to the next element.
This is how the "Popup Dialog" will appear in-game.


We want the player to be hailed by a Bridge Officer, who tells us that the cargo is aboard and where we need to go to deliver it.

  • Drag and drop a "Popup Dialog" to the end of the current story.
  • Costume: Click the button and select the tab "Bridge Officers". Choose "Tactical Officer (Ship)". This placeholder will be replaced by the player's highest ranking tactical bridge officer (aka "Number One").
  • Style: "(Default)" will do.
  • Text: Copy & paste the following:
Transporter Room 3 has received the equipment for the Kei mining colony, sir. We are ready to depart any time now.

[MissionInfo]Leave the Sol System and travel to the Kei System in the Vulcan Sector.[/MissionInfo]
  • Button: Leave "Continue".
Test the mission to verify how the popup dialog is automatically played after the interaction is completed and how the placeholder costume is substituted by a character portrait (since your test character has no bridge officers yet the game will randomly create a redshirt).

Kill Enemies[edit | edit source]

This is an objective that will require the player to defeat one ore more groups of enemy NPCs. The enemies will spawn as soon as the last preceding objective has been resolved (i.e. not popup dialogues). Note: Adding certain enemies will change the level of play and lock out lower level players.

Foundry Kill Enemies Widget.png


  1. Mission Text: This is the text that will appear in the mission tracker.
  2. Waypoints: Either "None" or "Automatic". Automatic will create a white circle on the mini map indicating where the enemy groups can be found.
  3. Encounter: The NPC group(s) the player has to defeat.
  4. Add Encounter: Using this button, more than one group kill can be required for the objective to complete. All NPC groups in the widget must be defeated for the objective to resolve. If there is more than one encounter in the widget, the mission tracker will display the total number of groups required and the current number of groups already defeated.
  5. Map: Either "Cryptic Map" for social zones or "Project Map" for custom maps followed by the name of the map on which the contact can be found.
This is how the "Kill Enemies" objective will manifest in-game.


After the cargo is aboard we want the player to fly to the Kei System in the Vulcan Sector. Of course we cannot simply deliver our cargo and be done, but instead find a group of Orion raiders attacking the colony.

We will create the map of the Kei System later, since the Foundry allows us to create objectives even if the assets and maps required for that objective do not exist yet.

  • Drag and drop a "Kill Enemies widget" to the end of the current story.
  • Mission Text: "Defeat Orion Raiders"
  • Waypoints: "Automatic"
  • Encounter: Leave blank since we do not have any Orion ships created yet (we will need to create a custom a map later on so we can place them)
  • Click "Add Encounter" twice, so we have a total of three placeholders. So the objective will require the player to defeat a total of three groups of Orion ships to complete.
It may seem strange that we may create objectives without specifying all assets needed to define it. In fact, the Foundry realizes this and creates a new task that prevents you from publishing the mission with the inclomplete objective. However this is a really nice trait of the Foundry as it allows you to design the logic of your missions before you start to create any maps and costumes.

Reach marker[edit | edit source]

This is an objective that will require the player to enter a sphere volume with his or her character (ground) or ship (space).

Foundry Reach Marker Widget.png


  1. Mission Text: This is the text that will appear in the mission tracker.
  2. Waypoints: Either "None" or "Automatic". Automatic will create a white circle on the mini map indicating where the player needs to go.
  3. Marker: The place maker or planet the player needs to reach in order to complete the objective.
  4. Map: Either "Cryptic Map" for social zones or "Project Map" for custom maps followed by the name of the map on which the contact can be found.
  5. Reached Text: A ticker style notification to be displayed in the game UI when the objective has been completed.
This is how the "Reach Marker" objective will manifest in-game (you can only indirectly infer the marker volume [3] from the automatic waypoint [2]).


When the player has defeated the Orions we want him or her to approach the mining colony to beam down. This is a typical "reach marker" objective

  • Drag and drop a "Reach Marker" widget to the end of the current story.
  • Mission Text: "Beam Down to Colony"
  • Waypoints: "Automatic"
  • Marker: Leave blank since we do not have created the map yet.
  • "Reached Text":
We are in Transporter range.
Again we need to come back to this objective in order to fill in the specifics when we have a map for the Kei System.

Map transitions[edit | edit source]

Transition to a social map

Map transitions are story objects that are created automatically by the Foundry when you define a new objective, that requires an interaction on a different map than the objective before.

There are basically two possible transitions:

  • To a social map
  • To a custom map contained in the project
Transition to custom map

Transitions to social maps are easy, since they don't require any setup by the mission author. Custom maps are a different story, since the game does not know "where" in relation to other locations in the game the map should be placed. It could be a room behind a door on Deep Space Nine, it could be the surface of a planet from another space map in your mission, it could be a star system you want to access through sector space.

Select a "door" from which to access the new map
Note that you cannot "force" map transitions. The player will always given the "Not now" option that postpones the map transfer.

By default, transitions are possible immediately after the objective or dialog in front of the transition is finished. This setting is called "Whole Map" as can be seen in the second line of the map transition box. If you want to change this default behavior click the button to the right. In the "Select Object" dialog you can browse between many social and all project maps. The transition may be triggered by a reach marker, object interaction or sector space system. This way you can create missions like “Cold Case”, where you visit multiple systems.

In theory it would be possible to visit an individual map more than once during a mission and spawn at different locations each time. Practically this is prevented by a bug that scrambles the mission objectives when there is more than one transition to the same map.

Vice versa you may specify where on the new map you want the player to appear, you only need to have a spawn marker at that position. You can select the spawn marker by clicking the button to the right in the "Spawn at" row of the transition box.


  1. Leave from: The sector space "door", reach marker or object the player must trigger to bring up the transition dialog. If the transiton originates from a project map this may also be "Whole Map". Then the dialog will come up right after the last objective has been completed and the player is out of combat.
  2. Costume: The NPC costume to be displayed on the left side of the dialog.
  3. Style: The animation stance to be used in the portrait window.
  4. Text: The dialog text displayed in the dialog window.
  5. Button: The label to be placed on the first button triggering the actual map transfer. The second button is always labeled "Not Now" and minimized the dialog window to a button in the bottom right corner of the UI.
  6. Spawn at: The spawn point on the following map the player's ship or character will be placed.
  7. Map Mission: The header to be displayed in the mission tracker window for the duration of the next map. This is typically a "chapter header" and often has an ironic or ambiguous ring to it.


We will deal with map transitions shortly when we create the Kei System map. Note however, that there is not yet a map transition between the popup dialog and the kill enemies objective. That is because we have not selected any enemy groups yet. When we do select an enemy group to fight, the Foundry will automatically check if it needs to insert a map transition.

Parallel objectives[edit | edit source]

Parallel mission objectives
Parallel objectives are a great tool to allow for a more open play style. However it burdens you with additional work and testing in order to guarantee story consistency.

It is possible to have several simultaneous objectives, if all these objectives have to be completed in order for the mission to progress. This is the mechanic known from "system patrol" missions, where the player may decide in which order to visit the systems.

In order to create a parallel objective drag a new objective from the library directly on top of an already existing objective. The story editor automatically wraps both objectives in a "Complete All" box indicating that all objectives (or objective chains) in the box have to be resolved before the first objective below the box becomes active.

Parallel objectives can be nested into each other. So it is possible, that during one of four patrol missions the player is free to decide in which order he or she wants to repair four satellites and talk to three NPCs.


This is an advanced feature that we will come back to at the end of the tutorial.

Writing dialog[edit | edit source]

A typical dialog widget
You can reduce spelling mistakes by writing the dialog in a word processor and copying it to the "Text" area.

Many widgets in the story editor require you to write NPC dialog. The popup dialog allows you to additionally create dialog when ever the script calls for it. All these story elements work very much alike.

For "Talk to Contact" objectives you are not free to choose an arbitrary costume, but you need to pick an "Actor", i.e. a contact NPC that is present on a map and that you can walk to and interact with.

Besides the obvious exposition using plain text you can use a specific markup language to insert text variables and highlight mission objectives in any dialog text.

Text variables[edit | edit source]

These placeholders don't work outside "Text". So it is not possible to use them for buttons or objectives.

Insert the following placeholders if you want to insert the player's name and the like into dialogs:

  • [NickName]: Character handle name
  • [LastName]: Last name of the character
  • [FirstName]: First name of the character
  • [Rank]: Rank of the character (Starfleet/KDF, not Federation Diplomatic Corps)
  • [ShipName]: Plain name of currently active ship
  • [ShipFullName]: Name with prefix (U.S.S. or I.K.V.) of currently active ship
  • [ShipRegistry]: Registry number of currently active ship
  • [ShipType]: Type of currently active ship (in-game name, not Starfleet/KDF class name)

Sample: This dialog text

Good morning, [Rank]. It is good to see you. Did I mention that "[ShipName]" is a beautiful name?

will be rendered like this

Good morning, Captain. It is good to see you. Did I mention that "Prometheus" is a beautiful name?

if the player's character is a Captain and his or her current ship is called Prometheus.

Highlighting[edit | edit source]

There is only one text formatting tool available. If you select a portion of text and click the button "Highlight", it will be enclose in a pair of [MissionInfo][/MissionInfo] tags. This will cause the text to appear bold and green.


[MissionInfo]Go to Vulcan and talk to Elder Sokret.[MissionInfo]

will be rendered like this

Go to Vulcan and talk to Elder Sokret.

Highlighting is not a simple matter of formatting text, it has a "semantic". In STO, bold green text signals to players that a new objective is about to come up and summarizes what is necessary to complete it. This is usually the last paragraph of a dialog in which the story background of the objective was given. It should be as precise and short as possible and written in a neutral style (thus, not part of the NPC's dialog).

Many players (especially those who do not bother to much with roleplaying) rely on the bold green text to work exactly this way, so try to adhere to the above standard. If you have a dialog that lays ground to a new objective that is about to turn up in the mission tracker, concisely repeat the objective in one or two sentences at the end of the dialog and highlight them.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Editing mission maps

By clicking the "Maps" tab in the sidebar, the map editor opens. Here you design custom "sets" for your mission and place NPC contacs, objects the player may interact with, enemy mobs and invisible entities like respawn points and place markers.

In the sidebar you find a hierarchy of anything you have placed on any map with the individual maps as top level elements.

It is not yet possible to view a map in 3D while editing it. Also, most bounding boxes only give a rough estimate on what space will actually be required by such an object. The developers want to fix this in the long run

In the main editor you see a 2D version of the currently selected map, very much like the in-game mini map. Each entity on the map is represented by an icon or bounding box.

On the right you find a library of story elements. The following categories are currently available:

  • Special: Invisible "logic" entities, basically waypoints and volumes for different purposes
  • Planets (only space maps): Large planetary bodies (includes Moons and large planetary rubble)
  • Details: Objects for decoration and interaction. Different options for space and ground maps (asteroid fields, plants, satellites, consoles etc.)
  • NPC Contacts: These are NPCs or NPC ships that will be stationary and available for "Talk to Contact" objectives. They will always remain stationary, do not participate in any combat and will not be engaged by any NPC group. They can, however, play through animations.
  • NPC Groups: These are the friendly and enemy mobs. Mobs from the player's faction ("Allegiance" setting under "Project") will always be friendly toward the player. In general mobs of different factions will fight each other. An exception from this rule are the Klingon Empire Factions (Klingon, Orion, Nausicaan, Gorn) and Romulan Empire Factions (Romulan, Reman, Hirogen).
    • Each mob inside an NPC group has a default costume. However, this can be changed. Simply click on the map the individual mob you want to change the costume of, then in the properties box, click the button with the name of the costume and choose from a list of entities. The look of the mob will change, however its allegiance will not. This is helpful if you want to make a certain faction an enemy, i.e. Federation ships fighting a Federation captain.
  • Unplaced: Entities you need to create in order to define incomplete widgets in the story editor.

At the bottom of the screen, below the editor, there is a properties panel, that is quite important for editing maps, especially the fine tuning. We will discuss relevant settings for the different types of objects that can be placed on a map.

Creating and deleting maps[edit | edit source]

Currently it is not possible to create ground or interior maps from scratch. Only space maps may be created from an empty template. In order to do a ground or interior map you need to customize an existing template.

The Foundry differentiates between three types of maps:

  • Space: Any maps that you move through with a starship.
  • Ground: Any "exterior" planet/asteroid surface with an irregular terrain, flora, water, a sky etc.
  • Interior: Any ground map consisting of rooms and hallways.

It is not possible to combine the concepts of the two ground map types in a single map. If you want to explore a cave on a planet's surface you have to create both a ground and interior map. To connect the two you need to place an object like a cave entrance on the ground map (or a cave exit on the interior map) that can be used as "door" for the map transition widget.

Foundry Create Map.png
The "Create New Map" dialog

To add a new custom map to your project, click the "Create Map" in the sidebar (or choose "File > New > Create Map..." from the main menu). In the following dialog you need to select which of the three types of maps you want to create. You may choose to create a new map totally from scratch or expand/modify an existing map template provided by Cryptic.

Foundry Delete Map.png

In order to delete a map from your project, click "Delete Map" in the sidebar. If you accidentally hit the button, do not panic! Select "Edit > Undo" from the main menu.


An empty space map
Since the Kei System is a patrol map, it is not (yet) available as a template. So we will build the map from scratch.
  • Switch to the map editor, if you have not done so already.
  • Click "Create Map", the "Create New Map" dialog opens.
  • Map Name: "Kei System"
  • Type: "Space"
  • Custom Map: Yes
  • Click "Create"
The Kei System as it appears in-game.
We want to replicate the look of the Kei System: A class M planet, some asteroids and a yellow/green background.
Our replica of the Kei System so far
The background can be switched easily:
  • Select the "Kei System" in the sidebar
  • In the properties pane at the bottom click the button "Background" (should read "Stars Only 01")
  • In the "Select Backdrop" dialog type "Yellow" in the search box
  • Select "Yellow Space 04" from the list.
  • Click "OK"
We will add more scenery to the map later on.

Placing, editing, and removing objects[edit | edit source]

A default spawn point is present on every new map. This is the position at which the player's ship or away team will be placed at the beginning of the map. You can create more than one spawn point and choose in a map transition widget which one to use

When you have created a map, you will need to populate it using the library. Open a category of objects by clicking one of the tabs in the library. Each type of map supports a different set of objects. In some categories you can use combo boxes and search boxes to filter the available items. Most objects come with a short description and small preview picture so you get a better idea of what the object is.

When you want to add an object to the map, drag and drop it from the library to the map editor, or click the "place" button in the bottom right of the map editor.

Typical properties

To move an object, you must select that object by first clicking on it and then either dragging it to its new location or editing the "Position (km)" coordinates in the properties pane. If an object has other properties that can be edited, they will appear in that pane as well.

To rotate an object, select it and then drag the outer circle around the object. The object will look in the direction of the circle's arrow. An alternative way to rotate an object is to edit the "Rotation (deg)" property.

Another common property is the "Name" property. It allows you to replace generic object identifiers by meaningful names, that make them easier to find in the sidebar.

Finally, if you want to get rid of an object, select it either by picking it from the sidebar or the map editor, and press the "Del" key or drag it to the trash can in the top left corner of the editor. Alternatively click the trash can icon in the top right corner of the properties pane.


We will now create the scenery for the Kei System.

  1. Zoom out, until you see the whole map (mouse-wheel or slider in the top left of the editor)
  2. Move and rotate "Spawn Point #1"
    Drag "Spawn Point #1" to the bottom left of the map, somewhere near the last intersection of the big grid lines (roughly X = -2900, Y = 0, Z = -2900).
  3. Rotate it, so the player will look to the North-East-East (ca. 60°). Either grab the circle surrounding the spawn point or enter the value manually into the properties pane.

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]