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Clawdragons

Clawdragons

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Here's the thing.

Random generation often sounds like a good idea... But it's actually far harder to do well than many people give it credit for.

I've got some experience in this. I've been working on codeveloping a roguelike game for the last few years. I've got strong opinions on what sorts of elements make procedural generation work, and what sorts of elements don't go well.

There are some things that typically go along with procedural generation, and there are good reasons for why most of those things work.

I'm not convinced that a game like Runescape, which is so heavily focused on permanent progression, can really go along well with what you are describing.

03-Oct-2018 06:10:09

Clawdragons

Clawdragons

Posts: 4,496Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
4ev said:


Nothing can actually be coded to be "random." The closest thing I can think of to randomness is some sort of volatile function, which I don't suggest.

Anyway, what I meant by random, was that the rooms wouldn't be the same every time, and would spawn in different orders. Much like Raids 1 or Dungeoneering.


I used the term "procedural generation". This is a fairly broad term, but would encompass what you are describing. Using a set of algorithms to fit rooms together and to fill them with monsters, resources, obstacles, and so on.

The thing is, what purpose does the randomization serve? You can say that it would keep things interesting, by always having a different layout, but that doesn't actually work unless a certain number of other conditions are met.

For one, you need to have the layout actually matter. The layout and elements found within would need to in some way substantially change how the player approaches the dungeon. Otherwise, no matter how random you make it, each area is going to feel the same.

In order to require players to substantially change how they play, it would be required for the dungeons to be difficult enough to not be "brute-forced" by a single tactic. This is part of why traditional roguelike games are so difficult.

So how will you create that difficulty? If the difficulty is dependent on levels, then it might be possible to overlevel and end up in a state where all the dungeons feel too easy and, subsequently, start to feel boring and samey. Or, alternatively, be underleveled and the dungeon is impossible, which is also boring. However, if you make the difficulty independent of levels (including having it scale with levels), then you've completely abandoned one of the defining elements of Runescape.

In order to show how this idea would work in Runescape, you'd need to find some way to address that conflict.

04-Oct-2018 18:12:23

Clawdragons

Clawdragons

Posts: 4,496Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
I'm going to side with Elder Anos on this. As you've described it, I think that having a boss at the end is a bit janky.

I think there'd be several ways to accomplish high difficulty without a boss.

How about this? Resources can be converted directly into points of some kind, and those points, at the end, grant an experience boost based on the skills you used. This creates a scaling difficulty for players, because at any point they can choose to use all their resources to get through, or can handicap themselves by converting resources for a chance at a greater final experience boost at the end.

Have a bonus for how early the resources were converted - if you convert a bunch of stuff in the first room, you get a better experience boost than if you tried to hedge your bets and only convert near the end.

Then, distribute the difficulty across each room. Each room is difficult, and has mechanics that can kill an unprepared player. Later rooms tend to be more difficult than earlier rooms, since by that point you have access to more resources (assuming you've managed to stockpile them) than when you started.

Then, finally - give players only a single life. If they die, they've lost and will need to restart on a completely new layout. I am of the strong opinion that giving players only a single life on content like this is the absolutely correct way to go. There's a reason permadeath is such a fundamental quality of roguelikes.

Anyway, this way, the dungeon will be difficult regardless of player levels or player skill, but in a way that feels natural, and even more, feels rewarding.

05-Oct-2018 03:13:41

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