[project1dev] Re: procedural generation

  • From: eric drewes <figarus@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: project1dev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 7 Apr 2009 16:06:35 -0400

alan... don't post stuff like this while i am at work, I will be severely
embarrased if someone sees me celebrating and weeping w/ joy at this awesome

On Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 3:56 PM, Alan Wolfe <alan.wolfe@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> ok so... that game LOVE that i posted a link about has some really neat
> ideas especially about the problem we will have of not being able to supply
> art fast enough to keep up w/ content creation.
> Thats what i think anyhow, it just seems like the process of building is
> going to take a lot less tiem than the process of prettying up since
> prettying is more involved (although adding enemies and scripted events may
> make the process more on an even playing field).
> Anyhow, i thought we could maybe brainstorm about the possibility of making
> our game procedurally generated.
> If we do figure out something, we dont have to do it right away, i think
> it'd make most sense if we still built things by hand for a while so we
> could still keep making progress instead of just being stopped dead in our
> tracks (:
> Here's a scenario i was picturing, one of the many avenues we could
> possibly go down to make this work.
> 1) A builder goes through and makes a basic skeleton map like kent did with
> the cave level
> 2) As the map is being built, the model used for the floor peice basically
> defines what kind of art it will use
> So for instance if you placed down a 4x1 tile model that was
> "CaveFloor_4x1.ms3d", when you placed it down, it would just be a flat 4x1
> tile that had a dirt texture on it.  Not pretty lookin, but it makes sense
> when you look at it what it is.
> 3) When the map loads, it fills in the details
> When the game loads the map, it looks at that cave floor model and it knows
> a few things about cave...
> a) cave floors aren't level... they have bumps in them
> b) cave floors that border on nothingness have walls to keep players from
> falling into infinity
> c) cave floors have small rocks on them
> So, it would take that 4x1 cave floor and generate a model on they fly (or
> maybe choose randomly from some existing cave floor models) and place it
> there.  It will find out where the walls should be and automatically border
> it in walls.  Lastly, it will populate the cave floor with small rocks.
> And when i say randomly i'm talking pseudo random numbers.  Basically it
> will be the same random numbers each time for a given map that define where
> these things go, so every time you went into a specific cave it would be the
> same cave.
> 4) Artists can still hand-touch up the resulting generated map.
> We'll really need an in game editor for this, but artists will be able to
> take the fleshed out, generated map and hand tweak things by moving things
> around, scaling them, rotating them, and adding new models in there (ie
> models specific to missions and thing like that).
> Basically those hand tweaks will correspond to extra script commands to run
> after the map has been "fleshed out" by the procedural generator.
> Each environment will have it's own set of oddities we'll have to work
> out... like a forest gets populated differently than a cave, and stuff like
> that... so there are lots more details we'll have to figure out.  But, i
> think a system like this coudl work.  It would take a lot of coding but I
> think it's doable and i think it's worth it.
> We would also need some base art for the procedural generator to work, but
> that should be a lot less work than an artist having to pretty up each map
> by hand i think.
> What do you guys think?  Also, any things you would change about it?  Or
> anyone have any better ideas?  Or disagree that this would be useful? (:

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