As I’ve alluded to before, I’ve been working on a new programming project. Like most of my other projects, this one is tied to procedural content generation. While the Good Robot project turned into a real video game, most of these projects are intended to be experiments, educational projects, or proof-of-concept demos. I guess this project is all three.
What are we Doing?
I want something just like this, except completely different.
Our goal is to make a procgen shooter level. It probably won’t matter, but I’m aiming for something that would work as an immersive simYes, this is a confusing and awkward name for this genre. It was named back in the 90s when a lot of genre boundaries hadn’t settled in and we were still calling shooters “Doom Clones”., not a turbo-charged run-n-gun shooter. Games like System Shock, System Shock 2, and Prey are some of my most beloved games. I like how the space station setting allows for open-ended exploration without needing to contrive a silly wall around the world to keep the player in the playpen. I like how the isolated setting creates a quasi survival horror vibe, where you’re all alone in a haunted box full of monsters. I like how combat is slow-paced and risky, and I like having to balance my supply of ammunition, weapons, tools, and healing items.
I also give partial credit to games like Thief, Deus Ex and Dishonored for being Immersive Sims, even if they don’t take place in my favorite settings or feature the open-endedness I’m looking for. I give partial-partial credit to the BioShocks for being watered-down examples of the formula.
You can argue over genre boundaries all day, but you don’t need to haggle with me that game X should be included or game Y should be excluded. It’s fine. You can decide for yourself what Immersive Sim really means, but it’s not going to change my design. I’m just trying to make something I’d like, which means a procgen space station / space ship setting.
I’m not going to be adding AI or monsters to fight, so this focus on “Immersive sim levels” is mostly academic. I just want to head off objections that the stuff I’m building wouldn’t work as a shooter because it’s too constrained to allow for insane run speeds and rocket-jumping.
So anyway, back to defining our overall goals…
Continue reading 〉〉 “Project Bug Hunt #1: What Are We Doing?”