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Degree Of Detail In "procedural" Generation?


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This has been niggling at the back of my brain for a few days...

 

Yes there will be a cost to building the EK's (nothing is free) however from our perspective this is the same core tech we are using for the Campaign worlds. We plan on using same Tetris piece overlays to make the Campaign worlds POI's, ruins, castles, work. In a crude example:  imagine a big giant box of Tetris pieces and the campaign worlds grab a handful of them when the world is generating, drops them down and then fills in the remaining space with smaller pieces.

 

We have to spend the time to make them already, this way we get lots of re-use out of them for those who are interested in the EK portion of the game.

 

Ok, so the world is cells filled with Tetris-parcels that have various "stuff" in them. Great. How many different parcel-pieces are there? Are the features in the parcels generated also, or are those fixed - and the game just gets to choose between them?

 

Basically, at what level(s) of detail does the generation algorithm work? Obviously at the max level it is cells being filled with Tetris-parcels of various shapes until the world is full. Past that, parcel terrain features? PoI placement? Resources? Villages? Ruins?

 

How much of this is pre-set in the parcel-piece choices available and how much is built from scratch each time?

 

I am remembering the video showing development of a little town and how they were just plopping stuff in - that looked like a "designed" town to me, not a generated thing. Will towns in the worlds end up being random placements of the same 6 (or however many) towns to choose from ... or will the buildings be dropped in by the generator algorithm as it fills in the lots on the parcel?

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My impression from that post is that the world is procedurally generated, and then they place down hand-crafted Tetris pieces, which will be the Points of Interest, ruins, castles, etc.

Edited by Teekey

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My impression from that post is that the world is procedural generated, and then they place down hand-crafted Tetris pieces, which will be the Points of Interest, ruins, castles, etc.

 

Well, in the EK post, parcels are shown to be "terraforming" pieces that give a cell it's look and feel. They provide lots on which to build stuff - multi-cell parcels tend to have lots distributed more efficiently (more available per cell-space). Un-parcelled (yeah I made that word up) land in the EK is wild "impenetrable" forest or something.

 

So the reason it's bugging me a little is that the parcel pieces seem to give the land its shape - that's not procedural generation per-se, that's randomization of a selection of tiles. If I find parcel section 123-B (or whatever) in one world, and again in another - that cell would look the exact same, assuming I'm reaching a correct conclusion here.

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I am not sure but the mountain citadel for instance will all be one parcel, so its probably pretty likely all parcels of the same type will look the same and the difference comes in placing them in random areas to make the map different. Maybe?

Edited by Mytherceria
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I am not sure but the mountain citadel for instance will all be one parcel, so its probably pretty likely all parcels of the same type will look the same and the difference comes in placing them in random areas to make the map different. Maybe?

 

Yeah  :unsure:  That's not what was described in the FAQ: http://crowfall.com/#/faq/54e359997450fc794e7711c0 (#4,5,6)

 

Hence the thread.

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I think you're right here, which is why I hope they do have a lot of variation in their parcels. 

 

There might be some tricks they can employ, for example, to procedurally generate some of the parcels too though.

Edited by M0rdred
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My assumptions are as follows in bold.

 

This has been niggling at the back of my brain for a few days...

 

 

Ok, so the world is cells filled with Tetris-parcels that have various "stuff" in them. Great. How many different parcel-pieces are there? Are the features in the parcels generated also, or are those fixed - and the game just gets to choose between them?

 

Parcels are for the EK, not for the campaigns. The parcels sound like they will be hand generated, especially if you take what that one guy was working on in the video with boobs... err Natalie.

 

Basically, at what level(s) of detail does the generation algorithm work? Obviously at the max level it is cells being filled with Tetris-parcels of various shapes until the world is full. Past that, parcel terrain features? PoI placement? Resources? Villages? Ruins?

 

From the sound of it, the world is randomly generated, but some of the world is prepared already (points of interest). These are plugged in via adjustments in the generation procedure.

 

How much of this is pre-set in the parcel-piece choices available and how much is built from scratch each time?

 

I assume everything outside of the points of interest will be random every time.

 

I am remembering the video showing development of a little town and how they were just plopping stuff in - that looked like a "designed" town to me, not a generated thing. Will towns in the worlds end up being random placements of the same 6 (or however many) towns to choose from ... or will the buildings be dropped in by the generator algorithm as it fills in the lots on the parcel?

 

I honestly think that was the huge Bloodstone citadel that the super backers will receive. Towns and worlds in campaigns will not be generated at all, it will be up to us to make them. Unless they are points of interest, in which case see my previous assumptions.

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So the reason it's bugging me a little is that the parcel pieces seem to give the land its shape - that's not procedural generation per-se, that's randomization of a selection of tiles. If I find parcel section 123-B (or whatever) in one world, and again in another - that cell would look the exact same, assuming I'm reaching a correct conclusion here.

 

You might be right in your conclusion.  But I think there's more to it than that.  They've said something like the EK's are their test bed (or proof of concept) for the world generation, and that the cells of your EK are wild lands until you drop a parcel on them, so maybe the only predesigned locations in the Campaign Worlds are the Points of Interest.  Like villages, mines, ruins, etc.

Edited by Reliq
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I do hope the POI's have some randomness to them too, not just the wilderness. After a while approaching mine template A and knowing where all the choke points, line of sight areas etc are takes away some of the fun of the battle. If they've got say 15 mine tunnels, 15 quarries, 15 ramps etc that combine in a random shape to create mines as a whole POI, that'd be much better.

 

Guess it depends how deep the detail of procedural generation ends up going. Suppose we will see in time.

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I do hope the POI's have some randomness to them too, not just the wilderness. After a while approaching mine template A and knowing where all the choke points, line of sight areas etc are takes away some of the fun of the battle. If they've got say 15 mine tunnels, 15 quarries, 15 ramps etc that combine in a random shape to create mines as a whole POI, that'd be much better.

 

This, exactly.

 

Make everything be new in every campaign! (and make scouting and intelligence gathering matter a lot more!)

 

Here's wishing for ACE to chime in... if not maybe I can get it answered in the AMA tomorrow  :)

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any of you ever played torchlight? There are handcrafted individual parts, combined together to form a procedurally generated level. Crowfall strikes me as having that, but on a bigger, world scale. 

If there are enough variations for each mountain range, woods, lakes etc and mob placement are also algorithm based, then it should be fine I think.

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the answer is somewhere in between. we're procedurally generating the worlds, but using the tetris model to create them. yes, that means that some areas will be similar between Campaigns -- but not exactly the same.

For example: I might recognize that this S shaped, 5 parcel area consists of hills and a river, but the villages within it are different. I don't know if there will be a city wall around the next hill, or a barracks, or a burned villa.

Completely procedural worlds, using a fractal algorithm to generate the terrain, tend to look cool when viewed from a distance but don't feel right when you play them. I struggled with this problem for 4 years on shadowbane.

This approach, IMO, the best balance point between "custom-built areas" and "procedurally generated maps."

 

http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/30aqli/crowfall_ama_with_executive_producer_and_creative/cpqrax6

 

Soo... kinda in-between. I guess we'll see how it feels when playing it!

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