Procedural Genrated Universe

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Spacemonkey
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Procedural Genrated Universe

Postby Spacemonkey » Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:18 am

I've come up with another idea for an awesome computer game.

I like space sim, I was a big fan of freelancer, the only problem with freelancer is that it was so limited.

After seeings crooks random radial city generator, http://forums.introversion.co.uk/defcon ... 17&start=0 , I came up with an idea that an entire galaxy could be procedurally generated, from the location of all the starts to the cities on the planets.

The advantages would be:

Firstly, unlike in a game like freelancer where every planet would need to be designed and placed by the developers, all planets would be made randomly.

Secondly, unlike in most games where the map data would have to be saved, taking up lots of memory, because everything would be procedurally generated from a seed number, it can be just regenerated every time a player wants to play, and also it would only need to regenrate the area in which the player can see, (a few planets at most, plus the light from distant stars.)

Also another limitation with a game like freelancer, is that is that each 'level' has a boundary, and the only way to get to another level is through a jump gate'. I think it would be better if the entire galaxy were just 1 'level', and the playing could fly his ship from one side to the other if he wanted to (not that anyone would, it would take thousands of years, ships can have some FTL travel system.)

Basically how the game would work is players can fly around, trade resources, fight each other, do missions etc. ships would have proper physics (or at least as proper as we could make them when dealing with FTL travel).

I think it would be cool, what do you guys think?
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Postby Montyphy » Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:28 am

I think that sounds a lot like Elite
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Postby BrianBlessed » Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:30 am

To the best of my memory Elite was procedurally generated, although obviously there was probably significantly less to generate. Spore will be procedurally generated universes, although i'm relatively sure there will be no trading or dog fighting in that.

Personally I would like a game not disimilar to EVE: Online (in that it is massive, huge range of crafts, open ended missions etc), except where you have actual control. Also so you don't dock with planets, you fly down and can do planetary missions and thus are effected by varying degrees of gravity. Also being able to run around and gun would be brilliant, take over planetary structures.....basically like a Space GTA but far bigger.

Edit: Curse you and your shorter and subsequently faster to type comments.
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Postby Chucko » Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:53 am

Like that game oblivion in space...I played it at my friends house and everytime someone would come up to talk to me I would stab them in the face...it was great.
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Postby KingAl » Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:31 am

I believe Infinity is largely procedurally generated.
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Postby Chucko » Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:18 am

I believe the best game ever would be a multiplayer grand theft auto.
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Postby Montyphy » Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:58 am

GTA isn't exactly well known for its procedurally generated universes. :P

However, http://www.sa-mp.com/
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Postby Chucko » Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:37 am

Montyphy wrote:GTA isn't exactly well known for its procedurally generated universes. :P

However, http://www.sa-mp.com/


Have you played it? Is it worth buying the PC version?
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Postby Montyphy » Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:47 am

Sad to say, I am yet to try it out.
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Postby Testrie » Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:39 am

all this (what was tha big p word again?) stuff reminds me of spore... but unfortunately i've lost a school textbook so I don't have money to buy any game anymore :(

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Postby Darksun » Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:11 pm

SA-MP is actually pretty good. Other attempts at multiplayer GTA have been pretty poor, but SA-MP manages to sync an impressive amount of stuff, so you can have races, dogfights, boxing matches, nearly anything in single player really. There was an especially fun gamemode I used to play, protect the prime minister. You had a Prime Minister, a small team of bodyguards, police, terrorists and psychos (who basically were out to kill anyone, including each other). Insanely fun in the GTA environment.
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Postby Darksun » Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:12 pm

Testrie wrote:all this (what was tha big p word again?) stuff reminds me of spore... but unfortunately i've lost a school textbook so I don't have money to buy any game anymore :(


Spore probably won't be out this year anyway (or not until near Christmas if it is).
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Postby Crook » Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:34 pm

The eternal problem is repetition. Only an artist can create suitably different and interesting models, planets, textures, maps and missions to keep a player interested. At least, that's the traditional view. Elite was procedurally generated and did have an enormous amount of space to fly in.

If enough good content can be created procedurally to keep players interested then the major problem will be finding other players in such a massive universe. I'd guess that in a system like that you shouldn't be able to move too far from a population. In a space game for example you would run out of fuel/oxygen/food if you simply flew off into the black.

Such a world/universe would have limitless expansion and minimal coding. You could zoom in to the tiniest details and should be able to have no trouble with texture resolutions or polygon limits. The game should be cheap to run, too. No massive subscription costs as the artwork is not a cost factor. The universe isn't held on a server, it's generated by the players PC. Done right, this is the future industry killer game. It would far outstrip WoW in scope and playability. I doubt it willl ever happen though. No one wants to code an amazing MMORPG that you don't need to charge a lot for :)

It's an interesting concpet though. I hope Subversion goes some way towards this idea.
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Postby xander » Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:56 pm

Crook wrote:If enough good content can be created procedurally to keep players interested then the major problem will be finding other players in such a massive universe. I'd guess that in a system like that you shouldn't be able to move too far from a population. In a space game for example you would run out of fuel/oxygen/food if you simply flew off into the black.

I disagree. If it were me, I would fly off into the aether. I like the idea of exploration. And, even if the universe if procedurally generated, it is fundamentally static -- if I discover a planet, it will still be there when the next group shows up. Why should I be artificially forced to interact with other players when I don't want to interact with other players?

xander
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Postby BrianBlessed » Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:16 pm

The major problem I see, more than anything, would be the fact that in Freelancer and other space dogfighting type games the structured missions were the interesting part. The randomly generated assassination/transport missions and so on were unbelievably repetitive and I can't really think of anyway you could procedurally generate a mission, without just scripting parts of missions and randomly interchange them so missions are just slightly different. As interesting as random villians with bounties or mining maybe initially, it would become tiresome incredibly quickly.

The key here is to invoke some form of chaos theory gaming.

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