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  • #31
    Hellgate London is a good example how even randomization can get boring if the game does not have enough material to randomize. The levels felt and looked the same. The game had like less than 10 tilesets...

    Still, it might come back to the west in a free-to-play model this year. Should be fun.


    • #32
      Hellgate: London's randomization was really, really, really bad. As were the tileset designs.

      I had fun with HGL, and I am also looking forward to them bringing it back... but my god, the levels for that game were just soooooooo bad.

      But I think that says more about the poor design of HGL than the merits and flaws of procedurally generated content.

      To be sure, badly done random generation will destroy a game... its certainly not the mythic easy path to solve all a games problems.

      HGL's random levels are like Borderlands random weapons... supposedly near endless, but in reality you only have a handful of actual pieces to work with.
      Last edited by Void(null); 01-22-2010, 01:51 AM.
      After Void(null) left there was basically no point anymore...


      • #33
        I would like some sort of randomization option maybe just have some massive high level dungeon or something. Something I can just go in and survive trying to get more and more loot. I didn't mind the static enviorments of TQ but I did want some good random dungeon crawling in there as well.


        • #34
          A static world does fine for me. But if chests, traps and enemies/bosses were not always on the same spot, then this would add greatly to the replay value. Some squads could wander around and make your life difficult.


          • #35
            Ah good point. I think slightly random monster population is more important than slightly different level layout. Random boss mobs are also great (TQ had than, but downplayed their importance).

            Then again Diablo 2 comes to mind... I remember entering and exiting the game so I don't get Flesh Spawners or Worms as I'd get drowned in minions...

            That reminds me... the 1.13 realm beta is live.
            Last edited by Ansive; 01-22-2010, 07:14 PM.


            • #36
              I personally feel that randomization is over-rated.
              In theory it sounds good, but in practice it has it's own disadvantages associated with it. Take Diablo 2, it had randomized areas, but they all felt the same anyway. Everything was cookie-cutter in design and then just re-arranged in a different order to give people the false sense of being different, but it was still just as linear as any other game like it (but with lacking in variety in overal design because you had the same tree, rock, building, etc repeated over & over again to fill space). Hellgate: London is the extreme where this is concerned, as every level looked pretty much like all the rest.
              You may gain some randomness with layout, but you also lose a lot with the repetitive design.
              Yes, TQ had static level design, but look how fantastic it all looked. There wasn't the exact same tree repeated hundreds of times, or a sorry excuse of a wall that served as a road block to mark the boundaries of a map. It may have been static, but it looked soo nice and beautiful.
              I will take an awesome looking static designed world over a random cooki-cutter generated one that doesn't look as appealing any day of the week.

              But if the Developers can incorporate a little of both then that is fine too.


              • #37
                That's why most people opt for a 50/50 solution, Shawnmck. As I once said, the landscaping work is the thing I love the most in TQ.

                And why randomly generated land in D2 wasn't all that amazing? Because it was, basically, a flat area with points - creatures. Nothing happened, just land, units, boxes/chests/etc.

                I suggested something for that, probably tiresome to make, but... well. If it's randomly generated, it can also have randomly generated encounters. For example - guard patrols fighting creatures. A caravan fending off monster attacks. A trade outpost hidden somewhere. Traps and ambushes - imagine that in TQ, you're going down the road, in a canyon and then FUCK! Bands of satyrs running down at you from both sides!

                The general idea is to make the world more lively.


                • #38
                  I think any above-ground randomization approach we take will be a hybrid system. We probably can't and I don't think want to have completely randomized above-ground. Custom crafted beautiful outdoor environments are something that I think people have come to expect from us. We have some ideas for adding more randomization to the outdoor environments without sacrificing that quality though. At the very least, even if we cannot randomize the terrain or layout at all, I think we can vary the location of quest objectives, monster camps, chests, and such, much more than we did on TQ. That way even if you recognize the terrain, you still have to explore the areas to find the points of interest. We may be able to go beyond this but we won't know for sure until we get further along in development.

                  I think there is a good chance we'll be able to add more significant randomization to undergrounds. This isn't implemented yet though, so I can't promise it will happen but it is something we're working on.


                  • #39
                    This sounds like probably the best option. It still allows you to have elaborate levels that are interesting but don't feel like narrow one way streets. I wish TQ had a bit more of this, as having to explore for each quest item thats in different locations helps break up the monotony, especially when it comes to multi-part quests such as having to find several broken parts of a valuable object. This way you can never assume that there won't be anything to find in that corner thats out of the way. Its memorable when you think "ah theres probably nothing over here, then stumble upon a chest and out pops a unique item (only to have it roll down the hill and over the cliff no doubt). Just kidding bout that part.

                    Also having a small pool of several types of baddies that can make an appearance in any given area sounds good too. Or possibly have a sequence of special events that can trigger at any given moment in certain zones. This will give a better sense of uncertainty as you don't know if something will happen. Such things could be an earhquake where the ground shakes and you have trouble controlling your toon, or a powerful sub-boss appeears with some minions out of nowhere, or perhaps a landslide that blocks of a certain path and you are forced to go the other way. This could be an easier path or harder one. The possibilities are endless.
                    Only in the Shade I can be Me...


                    • #40
                      How about having multiple paths to the same goal ?
                      Having paths that branch out & then lead to the eventual goal (boss monster, end of level, etc) would add replay because you can make the different branching paths contain their own respective unique designs, monsters, mini-bosses, whatever, but still be pretty much static.

                      Say for example one route led accross a rocky mountain top, while the other led through a cave, ravine.
                      Or one could lead through a forest, while the other path led through a swamp.

                      Players would then be able to choose a path, & take the other the next time they played.....or if they wanted to, back-track to where the paths branched off & try the other.

                      Just a suggestion.


                      • #41
                        Yeah, multiple paths would be great IMO, otherwise what's the point of having a beautiful 3d environment if there's only ever one direction to go in?


                        • #42
                          As far as I know most people hate the Kurast Jungle with its multiple paths in diablo 2.

                          Maybe optional places to go. But backtraking to check the other path isn't fun.


                          • #43
                            For the persistent world vs random world, i'll have to go for some more random.

                            TQ world is gorgeous, and is quite a trip the first time through. Maybe the second. But it losses its appeal real quick after that.

                            Here's the difference beetwen a friend of mine and me. He plays games a first time around, have a blast, then jump to another one. I try different games to find the one i really love, then play the s#%& out of it; because it offers depth and replayability. And in the end, i played D2 a LOT more than i'll ever play TQ. Even if the dual mastery system is quite cool.

                            Both are valid approach, and i'm not to say GrimDawn should favor one over the other one. But it all depends on what their goal is. If they want people to play their game again and again, then i think part of the world being randomized, while key points are consistants would help replayability.


                            • #44
                              Personally, I dislike randomly generated content. I find it to be the quick way to do things and the game suffers for it. Randomized areas have no personality or heart put into them; just a random, boring layout that you don't pay any attention to whatsoever. Titan Quest had a sense of place, you ran through the entire game and it felt like you were moving over distances between the quest and shop HUBs, in Diablo 2 it felt like you were going through several boxes to get to somewhere and there was no sense of coherent direction or distance. Save for a few spots, the Diablo 2 areas are largely forgettable whereas the Titan Quest areas are quite memorable due to their scale and complexity.

                              The only way I can see randomly generated content working is if it were done on enemy placement. Different types of enemies and set in different areas each time you run through the level.
                              We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams.


                              • #45
                                I agree wholeheartedly Jimbot,

                                This is why I am a fan of randomly generated dungeons, but not randomly generated worlds.

                                Random Dungeons do not really suffer from a lack of cohesion, and its fairly easy for the tiles and randomization script to be designed in a way to create a sense of flow. No one really cares if two corridors look near identical, as long as the dungeon progresses in some fashion that makes sense.

                                Procedural world generation on the other hand, often suffers greatly for all the reasons you mentioned above.

                                There is too much distance to travel and too much variation needed in the landscape for random generation to maintain any form of soul.

                                Random quest locations and creature spawns can work really well, but exterior world spaces really do benefit from handcrafting, but I don't think Dungeons really suffer because of Random Generation.
                                After Void(null) left there was basically no point anymore...