Recently I’ve been playing a lot of games built around randomized or procedurally generated design. Yet despite their generated content, I keep finding myself getting bored with them fast. As I thought about this in detail, I came to realize that randomized elements in game design can actually be categorized easily to explain their impact on a game.
A major evolution of game development over the years would have to be the use of procedural generation. Instead of having a linear experience that is one-and-done, you can create something that always keeps the player guessing. Rogue-likes, survival and simulator games have been using procedural generation to extend their replayability.
When it works, you have a game with almost unlimited replayability. However, as with all elements of game design, it’s not perfect and can hurt as much as help a game if not properly balanced.
Replayability is a huge factor for a lot of gamers and one of the best ways to make a game replayable is to design it so that the game itself creates content. There are two philosophies that are used — Randomly generated and procedurally generated. However these two terms tend to be used interchangeably even though they have very different functionality. For today’s post we’re going to examine these two concepts and what they mean for game developers.