For this week’s Dissecting Design, I’m taking a look at Spelunky; one of the first games to explore rogue-like design outside of an RPG setting. I talked about how it used procedural generation to elevate the game and deliver skill-based challenges.
Tribute Games retro-inspired hit Mercenary Kings mixed old school design with modern touches to create something original. For their next game Flinthook, we have similar aspirations; taking a page out of retro platformers with a mix of rogue-like design. While the inventiveness doesn’t go far enough, Flinthook could be the start of something amazing.
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.