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GroZZleR

Random Sidescroller Level Generation

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Hey all, I'm looking for some advice on a way to generate random sidescroller levels. The levels would be more like Abuse or Super Metroid and less like Mario. So winding caverns and various depths are a plus. Here's basically what I've come up with: 1. Generate a start point and an end point. 2. Generate a list of "rooms" of varying sizes with varying obstacles and monsters placed inside. 3. Find an area in the map where the room would fit without touching any other room and place the entire room. 4. Connect each room with a series of corridors / elevator shafts (depending on height between each room). 5. Connect the start and end point to the closest rooms. This seems plausible to me. Anyone have any input for pitfalls to look out for?

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I assume you are doing this becuase having random levels is a requirement for the game. If you are doing it to get out of having to program a level editor then random levels may be more effort then they are worth ;).

I would program a series of constraints for each room. Obviously a purely random room won't work. You need rules to prohibit certain things from happening. For example enemies can't be on top of any platform tiles. The player can't start over a trap. Only a certain range of powerups can be added at any given room. Some enemies can't be created in the same room as each other. You also can't have an incrossable gap that has no way of getting across... Platforms can't be placed so that the player can't pass through them.

The biggest problem I would worry about is having dull or impossible levels...

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