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Xevete

procedural map generator for sidescroller

5 posts in this topic

Hello!

I'm working on a sidescroller game in which you traverse an infinite, procedural generated map. I find the design hard to make, but it still seems simpler to do opposed to making one in a top-down perspective. Anyways, I need help outlining what specific things I need for the design. Much help is appreciated, thanks!
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Firstly it's not really simpler when compared to top-down generated infinite map, unless you mean that your side-scroller has limited height of the map. Even then you could just as easily limit width of top-down perspective game map and generate infinite map only on vertical axis.

It's a bit difficult to answer about your question about what things are needed for a design. Could you make the question less generic? At the moment it seems that you want to know something about design of a sidescrolling game. Unfortunately very long stories can be written about different aspects of different sidescrollers where infinite maps are generated with infinite amount of different methods. What specifically would you like to know about design with regard to your game? What are the problems you are facing?
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The actual generation isn't hard; there are dozens of tricks. The chief area of concern, though, would be the same as with a top-down proc gen game: ensuring the level is navigable by the player. This task is somewhat more difficult in a side-scroller than in a top-down, since the movement mechanics of jumping are so different from just simple pathfinding on a top-down map. The generator has to be able to generate a level that is 1) Interesting 2) Suitable to the gameplay and 3) Fully navigable by the player given the abilities the player character is given, whether this includes jumping, grappling hooks, jet-packs, or what have you. They physics-based nature of movement in a side-scroller makes analysis of a side-scroller to determine navigability to be a fairly complex problem.

Many games will circumvent the whole issue by allowing the player to alter the world, via digging and whatnot, which certainly does reduce the complexity of the problem but also forces the game into a certain "Minecrafty" style of play that may not be suitable for some gameplay tropes.
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Not sure if it exactly what you are looking for, but Gamasutra had an article on procedural platformer levels: [url="http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/170049/how_to_make_insane_procedural_.php"]http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/170049/how_to_make_insane_procedural_.php[/url]
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[quote name='laztrezort' timestamp='1341346933' post='4955441']
Not sure if it exactly what you are looking for, but Gamasutra had an article on procedural platformer levels: [url="http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/170049/how_to_make_insane_procedural_.php"]http://www.gamasutra...procedural_.php[/url]
[/quote]

You beat me to it. Yes, checking for completability and challenge is the real trick. Generating something is relatively easy. You could shortcut it by making some assumptions about what a good level should involve, but that will make the levels feel more samey. After a certain time they will of course feel samey.
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[quote name='laztrezort' timestamp='1341346933' post='4955441']
Not sure if it exactly what you are looking for, but Gamasutra had an article on procedural platformer levels: [url="http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/170049/how_to_make_insane_procedural_.php"]http://www.gamasutra...procedural_.php[/url]
[/quote]

That is actually what I was looking for. Thank you.
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