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Uniqueness == asymmetry??

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Dune. Waterdeep. Hoth. Myth Drannor. Babylon 5 Heaven Hell Is it safe to say that uniqueness-- in characters, or places, or gameplay elements-- comes from asymmetry? When you look at everything that's the same in a game: The gameplay, or the setting, or the NPCs / monsters / enemies, then anything that's really different will stand out. The difference breaks the symmetry, and stands out in th player's mind. So one way to REALLY make a location stand out is to REALLY make it asymmetrical. Dune is known for it's vast wastes and the only place where spice is produced. Myth Drannor is known for nightmarish monsters and evil mysteries. Heaven is known for (depending on the belief system) a place of endless peace and plenty. These are things not generally found elsewhere, or at least not nearly the same quantity. I've been thinking that asymmetry-- in gameplay, puzzles, enemies, plot, whatever-- is the best approach if you wanted to randomly generate a world. There's nothing worse than visiting a dozen dozen different locations and finding them all to be the same. How could an algorithm handle this? Well, maybe you could generate content like some algorithms generate terrain: Say you were able to seperate out every important element (plot, gameplay, enemies, etc). The amount that you encounter in any area-- like a mountain's high's and lows-- would then determine the character of a place. Then some places would be sharply and distinctly known for some things in contrast to everywhere else. Even if that element is found throughout the game, player's will remember the high's and lows more than anything else. What do you think? -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership... Edited by - Wavinator on March 19, 2001 10:44:00 PM

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I don''t think you''d need that many rules. For example, when generating realistic terrain, you won''t find rainforests in a desert, or polar bears near the equator.

You''d simply need a ruleset which stated which items or features are compatible with one another.

Say your Heaven example, you may be allow Angels (loctn = HEAVEN | EARTH), but not Demons (loctn = HELL | EARTH). That''s overly simplistic, but then, isn''t that all you need?

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I guess I was shooting for a sense of "the place" something is known for. Simple inclusion / exclusion rules will probably be needed, but what I''m talking about is how you could generate the "exception" to the rule.

If it followed logically, or was plausible, then the angel you discover hanging out in Hell would be VERY unique (as would the bizarre rainforest in the desert)

Just waiting for the mothership...

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