Talkin’ ’bout procedural generation

Gamasutra looks at procedural generation from the developer's point of view, in a pair of articles this week about indie “roguelikes” and Sir, You Are Being Hunted.

From the first article: “One- or two-person teams can’t afford to make 100 hours of sexy 3D-storytime. But they can make 100 hours of roguelike bliss.”

And from the second: “There have certainly been people who have played Sir and then asked what difference it made, and why we didn’t just build one level, but personally I now find it weird that other games do stay the same each time I play them.”

  1. Procedural generation can be marvelous magic — it’s a little, to me, like an analogue to the mysteries of the universe, or god, or whichever way one understands the way that everything got here. I am probably biased because my undergrad degree was in math, but I reckon Math Is Everything, or, more accurately, Everything Is Math.

    One of the most amazing things in gaming to me, still, 5 years later, is that the 14,000 square kilometer world of FUEL (watch out, he’s going to start blithering on about FUEL again) is still mindblowingly beautiful and varied and organic, and it fits into 4Gb on my hard drive. Hell, I think there are textures in the new Wolfenstein game that are bigger than 4Gb! (Not really, but you know what I mean.) As I understand it, the developers wrote and tweaked and rewrote the procedural algorithms to generate the world, then FIAT LUX, then hand tweaked bits where, for example, the road-generation went a bit wonky. But it’s a whole damned world — a rich, interesting one — that takes 8 hours to drive all the way around, and that continues to blow my mind every Friday night when I go for beery drives in it with @bearman and it was built, in terms of its structure and topology and stuff, with MATH. So cool.

    I’m really looking forward to (but prepared to be disappointed by) what procedural approaches bring to the upcoming No Man’s Sky.

    In terms of Sir, You Are Being Hunted, it’s one of the few games I’ve bought into in the Early Access stage, but I haven’t even fired it up since it went 1.0. For me, at least, it’s just not that much fun to play. But that’s not technology choices, just game design, which is a different thing entirely.

  2. Loved that first article. The proliferation of roguelikes is making this a really exciting time to be gaming. I absolutely love Spelunky and am really looking forward to Catacomb Kids.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Spacechimp thinks you might also like...

Skip to toolbar

What Is Gamefilter?

Gamefilter is a community weblog based in spirit and intent on the great work of Matt Haughey and his staff at Metafilter. It's all about sharing links to interesting stuff on the web, but with a narrower focus on gaming-related links -- good stuff that other people might not have already seen -- and talking about them.

Anyone can join for the low low price of zero dollars, and once you're a member, you have the senses-shattering power to post new stuff right from the front end of the site, and talk about that stuff in the comment threads. You don't need an account to read GFi, but as well as giving you The Power To Post, membership also lets you

  • Thank and Favorite all the goodness
  • Build a profile page with all your stuff in one convenient place
  • Send private messages and friend/follow your favorite GFites and their unstoppable Gfiltering style
  • Feel the warm glow of satisfaction in helping grow the community
  • Do all sorts of other neat things, both now and coming in the future!

Gamefilter is part of the growing MefightClub Network of sites, including our forum home, MefightClub itself, FullGlassEmptyClip, our group blog, and Ludic Research Labs, who are a bunch of bastards.

Your genial host is stavrosthewonderchicken, the miraculous poultry who built and administers the MFC Network sites, and a bunch of other web stuff as well. He has a minor addiction to building websites. He loves you all.