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Tuesday, November 3, 2009
 

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Subversion's Procedurally Generated Content
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

gry.o2.pl has published a new interview with Introversion Software's Chris Delay. The Q&A format interview focused on the company's current project, Subversion, which will offer procedurally generated cityscapes. Delay discussed the game's procedurally generated content, its level of realism, and options the company plans to include for those who wish to create their own content for the game.

Klecha (Gry.o2.pl): You decide to use a lot of procedurally generated content technology in this game right? How it's changing development process and how it will change gameplay experience?
Chris Delay (Introversion): We're using proc-gen because the game world we want to create is just too vast for us guys to make by hand. Proc-gen is extremely scalable, because you can take rules that generate a small city and just run them over a larger area, and you get a larger city. Once you have the generation rules written down, the size of the content is no longer a factor in how long it takes to develop.

In terms of gameplay, I think of proc-gen's real strength to be the widening of the game world you inhabit. It will never replace hand-made content produced by real game designers, but worlds made entirely by people tend to be very limited in their scope - you can rarely go outside the bounds set by the designers. Proc-gen fills in all the surrounding areas - meaning the player can go there and doesn't immediately run into an impassable wall, and the game world feels richer because of it.

Klecha (Gry.o2.pl): Are you planning to make this game user made content friendly?
Chris Delay (Introversion): We know that only a small percentage of users want to make content, but everyone wants to play new content, so for us user-made-content is certainly one of our high level aims. We've made a number of tools and editors that let us control the content in our game, and we plan to release all those tools in some way. I personally think the key to a successful user-made-content system is the automatic and seamless sharing of that content - games like Spore and LittleBigPlanet have done an awesome job of making it very easy to build something and then share it.

We're gradually modifying our Meta-Generator to be more data-driven, meaning the whole system and generation rule set is defined by a series of data files, rather than game code. This means people will be able to write new generation rules for content in the game world - such as the Parks example from earlier. We've also been using the LUA script language (like in World of Warcraft - Klecha) to control the logic of our systems like the Elevator shaft. LUA is very readable and easy to understand, and we're confident some of our players will want to get stuck into that to create some truly unique stuff for Subversion.
Click over to the page below to read the full interview.

gry.o2.pl: Subversion Q&A
Introversion Software


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