Random Dungeon Generator

Death Raiders Random Dungeon GeneratorRandom generators have interested me for a long time, so naturally this random dungeon generator for Death Raiders caught my eye:

We’ll need to know how dungeon generators usually work. Basically, they split the whole map into rectangles of different sizes, filled with rooms. Then, the paths between them are built. Usually, there are a couple of rooms that must be there, or that at least, could be there. These rooms are commonly very specific, as in basically being pre-made.

Our system, is, in fact, more similar to this approach. All the rooms are “tilesets”; this is, squares of 20×20 tiles. What our software does is basically use these tilesets as if they were Tetris blocks. It turns them and puts them in a way they fit with their surroundings. It’s the same system we were using before, but previously the tilesets were much smaller (6×6).

Does this mean dungeons will be basically the same 4 or 5 pieces put together again and again? Well, by looking at the image above, it could look like that, but that was one of the first attempts and features just a couple of tilesets (you can probably discover them yourself). Currently we have more than 50 basic tilesets, and creating more is a really fast process. This tilesets can be from big rooms to long corridors, from mazes to simple dead ends. Maybe it’s not the most random system around, but I can tell you, it’s going to be good.

Volsung @ Death Raiders

I remember running a maze generator program sometime around 1976 … why, that was thirty-some years ago … I didn’t actually study the source code for that maze generator, but I’ll bet it was similar, in its primitive way, to the Death Raiders generator.

Costikyan on Randomness

Greg Costikyan on Randomness

Greg Costikyan has posted an engaging essay on randomness in game design. It’s a thoughtful, extensive read; here’s a sample to whet your appetite:

One sort of game aesthetic says: Games should be won by skill and not luck. Hence any recourse to randomness by a game is bad.

Curiously, it’s an attitude held by two sorts of gamers who otherwise have very little in common: Fans of abstract strategy games, and fans of first-person shooters.

Greg Costikyan: Randomness: Blight or Bane? @ Play This Thing!

I’m not sure what Costikyan means by “blight or bane” … perhaps he intended “boon or bane” …?