Spacing Out: Procedural Generation Gets Me Hot

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19 Responses

  1. Josh B says:

    We must share a gaming gene, because I totally agree. Procedurally generated worlds make for much better sandboxes… and I like playing in a convincing sandbox.

    The other side of that coin, for me, is games like Star Command (iOS). I funded the Kickstarter and read all the updates… and I lost almost all interest in the game as soon as they revealed it would have a linear story (not to mention that panic is a core challenge of their gameplay… bleh).

    • Brian Rubin says:

      OMG I lost interest in Star Command for the same reason! I’ll still play it, but my expectations are way, waaaaaaaay lowered. And yeah, I think it’s all about the sandbox. I think one of the best sandboxes ever is EVE Online…shame about the gameplay though. ;)

      • Josh B says:

        I’ve tried to love EVE so many times. Each time, I end up just mining and mining and mining and getting too bored to log in, or I join a corp and it goes to war and I end up being blasted repeatedly and losing all my hard work. I want to love EVE… but I dislike the steepness of the grind and death penalty.

        • Brian Rubin says:

          OMG, that is my experience exactly (though maybe replace one “mining” with “scanning for wormholes”) and the rest is the same. Go in by yourself, mine mine, explore explore, yay? Join a corp, hi there everyone! Oh, we’ve been wardecked? Ok…I guess I’ll fight…I don’t want to though…do I have to, can’t I play a support role? Fine, let’s this….AAHHHH *boom*

          Yeah, not so much with the fun times. LOVE the universe they have though. :/

        • Same here. I probably never would have decided to just ‘make my own damn game’ if it wasn’t for EvE War Decs. I’d spend months — Months recruiting miners. (Because they were just more pleasant to be around). Then we get a random War Dec and in less than 24 hours 3/4 of the roster jumps ship. Happened way too many times. And I can’t blame them. They wanted to ‘play’ a game. And whether anyone wants to admit it or not, EvE Online, at it’s very core, is a Combat game.

          As weird as it sounds, I believe players simply want to “live” in a game and play an actual role in it’s universe that doesn’t require them to tread on someone elses need for fun.

          • Brian Rubin says:

            Oh yeah, I TOTALLY wanna live in the game universe and make my way. I don’t mind piracy and stuff if it’s done organically. That’s part of the fun. In EVE, it’s anything but organic.

            • I have exactly the same “problem” with EVE Online. I like just to live in universe, travel and explore. I “forced” myself to buy and sell stuff on market to make my travel more meaningful. :-) For me construction is more fun. We need more construction sandbox space games!

  2. How about dynamically generated? In VOD there is randomness, but the randomness is based on events, and the current state of things in the universe. For example, another race who isn’t at war with another race won’t attack their space stations. Or you won’t be ambushed by an alien nation hostile to you, on the other side of the universe away from their territory. Events will make sense and take place according to where you are, or who you might have pissed off.

    Btw a new DW expansion being released while trying to develop a game isn’t easy. Stop tempting me!

    • Brian Rubin says:

      Hahahaha, I’m also gonzo over the idea of a static map with random events and dynamic campaigns or what have you. That works fine with me too. :)

  3. mutosfr says:

    Hi all,

    I think we’re all the same feaky people who don’t buy those AAA games made up around a rail-like scenario and want random sandboxes all around ! I fit in the genre also and the games I play are generally sandboxes with a great part of controlled randomness.

    I realize we’re a minority after all. I often talk with a colleague, who likes a game for its scenario and doesn’t mind to grind over a same mission several tmes. I know that, in 90% of cases, when he’ll love a game, I’ll not like it, and vice-versa ^-^

    I think many gamers are still held in the scenario-driven world, and the majors want it to be so. It’s simply far cheaper and less risky to cast a classical “discover-who-you-are-and-save-the-world-for-the-nth-time” scenario into a known engine and a franchised, already well-known-to-public universe, then to pay hundreds of graphical artists to get top-of-the-line ingame rendering, than to delve into designing a true sandbox with all the complexities inherent to managing the interaction of many random bits flying all around…

    But there is a trend towards sandboxes, and, interestingly enough, many online semi-casual games use at least parts of sandbox in their design, to offer a lot of replayability and make people stay in the long run. So I think sandboxness and randomness is an expanding feature in the world of games today, if not overtly, but little by little and in a slow but powerful way.

    As for me… I’m building a space game named “Stars of Call” as a TC of an open-source very simple but powerful framework named “NAEV”, from the game of same name, that some here may know. That need for sandbox gaming and freedom in a vast universe was what drove me into that adventure ! And it’s quite exciting to build part after part a fully sandbox game. One has to study what could happen and never let a path unexplored, or it may backfire into your hands… or open new, unforeseen scenaristic avenues ^-^ In my opinion, the best recipe for a compellng and immersive game is a solid, consistent background, on which to build a sandbox where many small things are randomized and then left to interact and create truly livelike events !

    And it happens to be just what people here like ^-^ Life is nice, no ?

    @+

    Mutos

  4. Nes Anderson says:

    I’ve always wanted to make a space game that is a mixture of random generation and story arcs…
    Think, hundreds of stories written, each of them like a piece in a puzzle… but able to fit in many combinations of ways, and only perhaps 10 or so actually played out during a campaign. Also some true randomness thrown in, the galaxy, the planets, some of the people, the technology, ship designs…

    Some day… I did find another programmer recently, so we might actually get stuff done. :D

    • Josh B says:

      I’m a programmer too — not much graphics/game coding experience, but I’ve dabbled enough to be familiar with the area, and I’ve done plenty of non-game programming professionally. I’d love to write a 4X game some day. Maybe we should talk? ;)

  5. Markypoo says:

    Random generation is awesome. Hope to see even more of it.

  6. mat says:

    Elite dangerous anyone

  7. VladVoivode says:

    Age of Wonders Shadow Magic has brilliant random maps and at least IMHO is superior to Age of Wonders III though the next expansion does look VERY promising.

    Of course there is the wonderful Approaching Infinity which has become digital crack. But there is another game I wanted to mention that you might like. The game is titled Hand of Fate and just came out of BETA into full release on Steam. I don’t think I could the game justice by trying to write a description at 5:21 AM. Check it out on Steam Brian. I think you just might like the core mechanic.

  8. VladVoivode says:

    And of course since I am writing so late, I should have written “I don’t think I could do the game justice …” Argggh!! I loathe sleep when there are so many games to play!

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