My generation: How Indie Game Makers are Embracing Controlled Chaos

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12 Responses to “My generation: How Indie Game Makers are Embracing Controlled Chaos”

  1. phillryu says:

    A great example of some skill and control mixed with a lot of luck/randomness resulting in a super addictive product: pachinko games / Peggle. I think our brains like to believe we’ve made the perfect shot when a random ball takes out half a level, and it only helps when Peggle SHOWERS you with positive feedback at the end of every match. (If you haven’t played it, it blasts Handel’s Messiah, exploding rainbows, and showering confetti at you while it bullet-time zooms to the ball hitting your last target.)

  2. 8Bitz Jack says:

    Zactly what these guys seem to be up to.. Old school point n clickage!!!

    http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/iPhone/Badge+of+Carnage/news.asp?c=15732

  3. Simeon says:

    I finally got around to installing Spelunky a couple of weeks ago and have played a couple of hundred games (it keeps count). It really is fantastically challenging, punishing you with instadeath for an ill considered move.

    Randomly generated environments require original solutions to the problems at hand, rather than relying on memorisation of layouts. The capacity for a procedural game to be suprising is what keeps me coming back for more. In Nethack you know there’s a fork to the gnome mines on lvl 3 and the oracle on 6. With Spelunky things get interesting once you get down to lvl 5 a couple of times. Apart from certain waypoints the journey will be different each and every time.

  4. hdon says:

    Kobo Deluxe is another game that uses this technique. Even some of the multimedia is procedurally generated (sounds and music IIRC.) The game is a good deal simpler than some of the others mentioned here, but it’s worth checking it out if you haven’t seen it.

  5. julianz says:

    Nice article. I’m a little surprised there’s no mention of Elite, which used procedural techniques to generate the whole galaxy in which the game takes place.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elite_%28video_game%29

    This extract talks more specifically about how they did the procedural stuff.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2003/oct/18/features.weekend

    • muteboy says:

      Elite used procedural generation, but the galaxy was the same every time. It wasn’t random. The PG was used to cram the locations and descriptions into a small space. Excellent game though!

  6. Anonymous says:

    If you like platformers – try Runman Race around the World-
    http://whatareyouwait.info/

  7. Anonymous says:

    The recent winner of Microsoft’s “Dr. Dobbs Challenge Deuce” game development contest was a procedurally-generated puzzle game called “BlockRogue.”

    Here is its entry at the Procedural Content Generation wiki:

    http://pcg.wikidot.com/blockrogue

  8. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget Warning Forever, which looks similar to Captain Forever but instead creates evolving end bosses, based on your strategy of defeating them. It’s awesome.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warning_Forever

  9. l'elk! says:

    yesssss! spelunky! i spent months playing that game and even after beating it i still come back for more. not many games have such a rewarding replay value.

  10. Anonymous says:

    canabalt reminds me of spy hunter…

  11. Anonymous says:

    What about Dwarf Fortress? The entire world is generated from scratch, everything from the geography to the history of each civilization.

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