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Future Creep - Designing a coherent world

Following on from some of my ramblings in a previous post about level generation, I’ve been toying with the idea of having a semi-consistent world. Each level is still procedurally generated at runtime, and the overall path you explore would be different, but still all fit together in the same world.

Hahah I don’t really know how to describe what I mean very well. Essentially, the entire game would take place on a continent with various cities and environments, and you start in X and it creates a route to Y.

I’ve drawn up a quick map to demonstrate what I mean. In this example, the player might begin in some sewers under the big city, and on his quest to save the world find a magical artifact somewhere in the wilderness above tiny town. He can either travel through the mountains, a rough and dangerous journey, or spend a little bit longer by taking a route through the scary forest, somewhere he might find more loot.

The level progression might look like:
Sewers → City → Scary Forest → Beach (?) → Tiny Town → Wilderness Area

I’ve yet to actually implement anything along these lines. I’m not a big fan of the idea of an open world roguelike, so it’ll likely either generate a specific path for you and you explore a series of themed levels on the way to the finish. The alternative would be to let the player choose between two or three routes to the finish, where each route might have its own challenges, and then generate a series of levels for the player to travel through.

Of course, all of this will be a lot of work and way more scope than I’d ever planned to get out of this project, but I’m having fun coming up with some crazy ideas. I’m going to start working on a map as soon as I have some different types of levels being generated, and hopefully can still incorporate a fun difficulty curve into the gameplay progression.

There’s a lot of mechanics and systems to implement when creating something like this. Each area needs a variety of enemies of different difficulties, the game needs to get more difficult as time goes on, but you may start and finish in completely different regions between games. Of course, there will be a handful of places you can start, and a handful to finish. It wouldn’t make sense for the player to live inside of a volcano, but at the same time I don’t want them to have an end-game on the beach fighting tiny crabs, so lots of moderation will need to be involved.

Maybe I’m overthinking things. Maybe this is a terrible idea.

Maybe I just felt like drawing maps today…


A post by @rtaylz