Happy New Year. I hope you had a good start into the new year.
This is our first Dev Blog in 2022, today we focus on the Random Map Generation.
Let’s get into it!
The random map generation in Insurmountable so far has been that the mountains the player moves on are partly handcrafted and partly randomly generated.
First, let's look at the handcrafted mountains.
Handcrafted Mountains are made of a chain of different areas. In the picture above you can see the structure of a mountain. The highlighted sector is an area.Small decoration objects and bigger chunks are randomly generated at every game start.But these chunks have also small handcrafted areas within the bigger areas like in these two pictures.
The advantage of these handcrafted mountains is simple: We can guide the player as we want and have much more control over the level design without losing the ability of random generation.
Disadvantage is the amount of work to create all the areas and different chunks, and for a small team like us it is not possible to create enough content in a short time. They have different gameplay, a more epic look and a lot of love and details inside.
Now let’s talk about the random mountains. The experience from creating handcrafted mountains came in handy when switching to complete randomness. With this type of generation, we can create an almost endless number of mountains. The difference to the handcrafted mountains and the combination of smaller random areas are that we now use a whole map for each level, which is created only by parameters and will change with every build. These two Pictures are the same mountain which built two times differently.
We still use chunks, but instead of building a lot of different ones, we now use a small amount which also have randomness in height and surface settings.
We create the different values for the height, shape, object distribution, surface distribution and the event placing by using a set of noise maps.
Those maps are new generated, when a new Map is loaded. The values for each noise map can be set by the mission type, so the mission itself can set the difficulty for each map.
But this comes with some disadvantages. The Players guidance us now reduced. It is less obvious where is the best way to the top. It can happen that an initially good path to the top turns out to be a dead end. Random mountains are more challenging than the handcrafted ones. At the end of the game, it is not that much a problem but in the early stages, we want a smooth increase of the difficulty.
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We hope you can overcome the insurmountable in your life. Have a nice day!