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Procedual level generation for a platformer game (tilebased) using player physics


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#1 HexDump   Members   -  Reputation: 219

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 02:58 AM

Hi,

 

I have been searching for information about how to build a 2d world generator (tilebased) for a platformer game I am developing. The levels should look like dungeons with a ceiling and a floor and they will have a high probability of being just made of horizontal rooms but sometimes they can have exits to a top/down room.

 

Here is an example of what I would like to achieve. I'm refering only to the caves part. I know level design won't be that great when generated but I think it is possible to have something good enough for people to enjoy the procedural maps (Note: Supermetrod Spoiler!): http://www.snesmaps.com/maps/SuperMetroid/SuperMetroidMapNorfair.html

 

An idea I had to accomplish this was to let the computer play a level and carve the dungeon as the "computer player" plays. But don't know how to handle branches in the way, etc... Using this way of carving I could be confident that at least an exit exists in the map and that it is reachable.

 

Another idea I had was using a celular automata with some heuristics to do the carving. A problem arises here: how could I make sure that all zones carved are reachable by the player (that is limited by gravity, etc...) ?. I guess I could use some kind of graph that could follow the different dungeon floors the automata is carving and then somehow I could measure if some part would be reachable or not by the player and add platforms or new terrain to make it reachable.

 

If anyone could bring some experience here I would be really happy.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

 



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#2 Ashaman73   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7991

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 03:23 AM

Procedural generated content is really hard, it gets even harder if you need some functional layout (platforms needs to be reachable, walkable, riddles etc). In my personal opinion (I have experienced with PCG over the years), PCG is only useful for abstract/chaotic content, eg abstract caves in a rogue like or chaotic plant placement in a terrain generator. As soon as you need some functional/meaningful content it will get messy quite quickly.

 

Many games use a hybrid approach (torchlight, diablo3,spelunky), where you have designed content, often in form of templates, and a procedural generator which plugs these templates together to deliver randomised, but still functional/meaningful content.



#3 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19366

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 03:52 AM

Maybe take a read through how to make insane, procedural platformer levels and procedural level generation for a 2d platformer for some ideas. :)



#4 HexDump   Members   -  Reputation: 219

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 04:59 AM

Procedural generated content is really hard, it gets even harder if you need some functional layout (platforms needs to be reachable, walkable, riddles etc). In my personal opinion (I have experienced with PCG over the years), PCG is only useful for abstract/chaotic content, eg abstract caves in a rogue like or chaotic plant placement in a terrain generator. As soon as you need some functional/meaningful content it will get messy quite quickly.

 

Many games use a hybrid approach (torchlight, diablo3,spelunky), where you have designed content, often in form of templates, and a procedural generator which plugs these templates together to deliver randomised, but still functional/meaningful content.

 

Yes I have read about all this. The problem is that this is not that appealing. I know that pcg generated levels could not be fun to play either but I really wanted to try what people had achived with this and if I could apply some ideas on it.

 

I really agree with you about the fact that if you want to create something with some sense/meaning  when creating for example a platformer it will be really hard if you do not create good heuristics (I see lota hacks comming to handle all different cases).

 

I have been researching about having a computer player creating the levels in order to make sure a path from start to end exist, but again, don't know how nice the levels created could be. Tought topic!

 

 

Thanks a lot for the links but I read them last week smile.png (I have researched a lot this topic). The problem with these tutorials is that for example the fbksoft one makes use of vines to walk through the level. This is a little trick that solves a lot of the problems that one can find when trying to dig something meanful for example like a metroid dungeon. The first one talks about really broad topics and it is good as an introductory tutorial but it lefts a lot of gaps to follow. It took the "compluter player creating the level" idea from that one smile.png.

 

Cheers.


Edited by HexDump, 20 August 2014 - 05:01 AM.





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