Monday, 12 November 2012

Caving in

A common thread to many developers who have successfully developed interesting games featuring procedural generation is that they don't consider themselves to be great programmers - Tarn Adams of Dwarf Fortress and Brian Walker of Brogue* have both said as much (and I definitely fall into the same category).

One of the things I've been waiting in vain for is someone who is a 'great programmer' to also have the vision and drive to deliver on a similar scale project. Infinity, the Quest for Earth has been promising to do so for some time, and I had thought Spore would deliver along those lines - but both projects haven't resulted in what I was expecting to date.

I'm now quietly confident that Miguel Cepero of newly christened Voxel Farm will get there. I've voiced doubts previously, but his latest blog post on cave systems has won me over. I'm now a believer.

* For the record, I loved working with the Brogue code.


Miguel Cepero said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence. I actually thought a lot about your blog and all your work while doing the cave systems. Somehow the roguelikes were always in the back of my mind.

Darren Grey said...

I'm almost of the opinion that a good game designer needs to be a bad programmer. Okay, I don't actually believe that, but there is some logic to it. To actually make games - real games with gameplay that work and are out there being played by people - you have to do some bad programming. You have to take shortcuts, make quick hacks, and stop fiddling with your precious procedural generator. You can't let good code get in the way of good gameplay.

Nevermind said...

Just today I'd quit my day job to begin working on my on game. Which would feature a lot a procedural generation. AND I consider myself a pretty competent programmer. Not "great" maybe, but definitely good.

Still, Miguel Cepero's work is a hell of a lot more awesome than what I want to create.

Abe Heron said...

Brian sure is modest...but no way is he not a great programmer - that code is a piece of art - even more so than the game itself. It should be put on display somewhere!

Jonathan M. said...

As an avid reader of both your blogs, I'm so happy to see others taking notice of Miguel's work. I've followed it for years now, and I have to say it's some of the most exciting work I've seen in "realistic" and usable procedural generation.

Votes of confidence from others like Andrew is an important step for what Miguel is creating -- and the next steps he will take in getting it into production!

If I hadn't seen "Procedural World" before this, I'd be thanking Andrew profusely for pointing me to it -- because it's another fascinating blog to go with Ascii Dreams and the like!!!