Saturday, 13 March 2010

Question for Game Developer Conference attendees

Anyone at the GDC? I have a sneaking suspicion based on the increase in direct traffic that someone there mentioned the Procedural Content Generation wiki. It'd be good to know if there was a mention - even if it is just someone talking about procedural generation in general...

(And I'm going next year, come hell or high water. A single mention of fellow Australian Ben Abraham getting to sit down and chat to Clint Hocking was enough...)


James McNeill said...

Eskil Steenberg (whose game "Love" is due to be released in a couple of weeks) gave a talk about procedural techniques; I didn't hear him mention the website explicitly but it might be responsible for an uptick in Google searches that land there.

The gist of his talk was that procedural techniques have a couple of potential roles. One is to do the tedious, repetitive work during art production. Example: animating crowd scenes in movies. The nice thing about this role is that the procedural technique doesn't have to work in 100% of cases; an artist can do a pass to touch up the problem cases.

A much harder problem, Eskil said, is to incorporate procedural techniques directly into the game engine. In his view the primary benefit of this sort of use of procedural techniques was to increase the interactivity of the world. An example might be the difference between having a few hand-authored burnable objects, and having a general system for fire propagation that allows things to be burned more systematically.

Andrew Doull said...

Thanks James for the summary.

I think Eskil is missing a trick or two (Google Julian Togelius for some more sophistiacted thinking in this area).

It's probably time for me to do a revised series on procedural generation - I'll work on it after the quest for quests series is finished.

Clayton said...

I was at GDC and didn't hear the wiki mentioned specifically. I've been thinking about Procedural content in general, and I went to a few GDC panels on Procedural sound: one for sound effects, another for a sort of ambient music thing that was kinda cool. Anyway, some follow-up thoughts I had on my own led me to google, and from there to the wiki and this blog.