Future Unfolding
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Future Unfolding’s team wants to randomly generate hand-designed puzzles

In his recent book Spelunky, Derek Yu writes about the process of designing his 2008 (and 2012 remake) game of the same name, and often refers to the difficulties introduced by the decision to generate levels randomly. He describes trying to make sure that every time a level is generated, it is new, challenging, and solvable: “The game’s first priority,” he says, “is to make sure that there is a path from the entrance to the exit that is traversable without the use of bombs, rope, or other special equipment.” Spelunky generates its levels with templates for rooms and patterns for smaller…

Call of Dudley
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Pick up the strangest call of your life in this videogame labyrinth

You come to, upright, in the middle of a room swirling with color. Quickly, you realize the stripped wallpaper isn’t actually moving. It’s you, swiveling your head around, trying to figure out where and who you are—how you got to this ugly room in the first place. The neon walls overwhelm, but not nearly as much as the number of doors surrounding you. Uncertain but too afraid to stand still in this ugly room, you walk through a door. But in this place, you will discover, only ugly rooms lie beyond the doors that lead into even more ugly rooms. In…

Forest of Sleep
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Turning Narrative Into A Play Space With Forest Of Sleep

Proteus creator Ed Key and artist Nicolai Troshinsky of Twisted Tree Games have only talked abstractly about their upcoming experimental narrative game Forest of Sleep before. But now, a few months after its initial announcement, the pair have cut into the specifics of what they mean when citing “emergent associations” and “cinematic language.” Speaking to Gamasutra, Key revealed the process behind his effort to use procedural generation to create stories that had both drama and pacing, using only hand-made art pieces and wordless animated scenes. Crucial to this aim is the choice of influence found in late-20th century Eastern European illustration…

mirrorlake2
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Generate tiny ominous landscapes with this procedural generation toy

Mirror Lake is a strange little thing. Made in a week for Procedural Generation Jam, it creates static black-and-white landscapes, nestled inside a giant patterned bowl and suspended in space. Sometimes the space is dark, dotted with stars and the occasional sun or moon or comet; sometimes it’s a vast white nothing, like a blank page. The tiny scenes inside the bowl change too, sprouting branchless trees and rolling mountains across wide meadows, shining grey lakes, and bright white salt flats. A few times, I didn’t even get a landscape at all. I’d click away from a particularly full terrarium…

PGlQNg
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This procedurally generated game captures the lurid rituals of a concert

Everyone shuffles in, somehow looking both non-committal and excited. The space is tight-knight, vaguely dingy, and hot from all the breaths and bodies. People are talking, but not real talk—at most, small talk, to diffuse the tension of waiting. Then, the lights go black and everything stops for one full second. Whether the lights come back on only to reveal a pouty mouthed Justin Bieber, or the pasty faces of Neutral Milk Hotel, the ritual is just the same. Like-minded (sometimes even like-looking) people huddle around a stage, thrashing their limbs in synchronization to a rhythm they know by heart. No…