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medierra 04-28-2011 07:17 PM

Partial Randomization
The mysterious crop-circle looking things in the image below are a new feature we're experimenting with that generates randomized scenery. Levels that use these won't be totally randomized as the heightmap terrain currently remains fixed but these "setpieces" can allow us to more significantly randomize the location of important things within the level as well as the general scenery. For example, in the level below, I'm using setpieces to generate natural scenery, enemy spawn locations, human camps, and loot chests. So far, this seems to be a nice blend between hand-crafted and randomized. You get the visual quality and uniqueness of hand-crafted terrain but some of the fun of exploring a level each time and never knowing quite what you might find or where.

We're also investigating methods of randomizing the path through the level by creating a bunch of different possible routes and then randomly closing some of them off with dynamically generated obstacles.

ZorusX 04-28-2011 07:27 PM

Awesome. I seriously can not wait to use this editor. I already enjoy the TQ one and this will be so much better! No random crashing, magnet pieces, new lighting and randomization! awesome!

So far, this seems to be a nice blend between hand-crafted and randomized.
I'd have to experience it first hand to say for sure, but I'd be inclined to agree.

Question - are the 'setpieces' a group of pre-defined objects or do you plop them on the map and then select them to manually edit what appears inside?

Keep up the awesome work!

PCDania 04-28-2011 07:31 PM

Sounds very interesting and very promising what replayability goes. I hope you manage to get it working as intended. I guess it's not that easy to implement.

yerkyerk 04-28-2011 07:31 PM

The pathing would be really awesome, but even this is something I didn't expect. Great news!

Will the set pieces be randomized each time you start a new game, or will they remain the same for the same character? I'm assuming the former, but you never know (Diablo 2 used the latter in single player for some reason).

Renevent 04-28-2011 07:52 PM

Awesome...did not expect this kind of thing :)

Seronx 04-28-2011 08:11 PM

Looks nice!

medierra 04-28-2011 08:13 PM

Here is a peak at the way they are configured in the editor. Basically you created a database file for each setpiece that you want to place and it contains a bunch of fields where you can specify different arrays of objects and then set a chance to spawn, number limit, size variation, rotation, and placement algorithm. Using these we can spawn scenery objects, enemy spawn proxies, loot proxies, merchants, NPCs, etc. So, for example, this human camp can currently spawn a tent or two, a wagon, a cookstand, campfire, various barrels and crates, a merchant, and NPCs. We're thinking we could possibly use this to spawn randomly appearing quest givers / objectives.

They currently randomize each time you enter the game. I'm not sure if we'll be using these throughout the game or just in certain randomized "wilderness" regions, which is how we have it set up currently.

I have some ideas as to how we could use this tech along with new randomized portal tech (more about that later) to possibly add a cool new twist to the way that you progress in the game. Still have some thinking to do on that though before I make any decisions.

Dobster 04-28-2011 08:49 PM

This is sounding so good, really wasn't expecting things like that to be in the game.

I love the idea of random loot chests changing places in the levels.

Moschl 04-28-2011 09:13 PM

Oh its looks really greate. I like it.
Im really interested in it :D

Harlequin 04-28-2011 09:45 PM

This sounds very very awesome. I am really looking forward to this game and the editor. :>

Will we be able to use the editor during the alpha?

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