Will maps get boring?

Ms Nutcracker

Recommended Posts

* I made a post about generated maps but have not discuss these ideas in my old post. So decided to talk about it here and see if its a good idea or not?

Reason for procedural generated for a small team!

There are a few main reasons that we chose to use procedural generation over less code-based approaches. The most important one, of course, is that as a small independent developer we could never afford the resources, production time, or team size to produce the large, explorable game worlds that we all love at Big Robot. Procedural content generation allows us to use sneaky maths and coding to overcome many of those issues and stay closer to the open world style vision that we are aiming for. Another reason for using procedural techniques is that it gives us the ability to generate a huge number of environments that will be unique to each player and really increase the levels of replayability and emergence in the game.

What do you all think about this? I get the feeling that once a map gets explored and used you wont really want to go back there unless there is something useful that draws you back.

So what are the purpose of new maps?

Extend your survival days?

Then how about the old maps like mystery lake?

Why would you go back there if new maps have new items and such?

You want to stay in a place that has items that can give you maximum survival rate. So maps like mystery lake wont have any use over time. Its like playing those games where you move to different stages. You need to keep moving deeper like those old first person missions games. Go to one place it gets unlock, explore everything, move on to other areas that has not been explored.

At the moment you need to move to new places to collect items and new items can spawn.

I do hope this wont be how it will be in the final version. Where you just collect and move from map to map even though you are surviving. I mentioned before and other have on foraging and making items out of what you find in nature so perhaps this will keep old more playable? So player have to be smart and its not about collecting everything in all those huts or hidden places. But to use your skills to utilize what exist in the environment.

What are all your thoughts on this? Any new ideas of how old maps wont become boring and useless? Is this a problem with others players out there?

I posted a post sometime ago about generating maps on a large scale i think this is the reason why it would help. Sorry for posting an old post! But it just got me thinking about it of which i have not before when i posted that post on large maps.

If the map is very large at a large scale like dayz maps. I mentioned this game so you know what I am talking about. If you have seen some of the reviews. What could help is making it hard for player to travel all over the map.

Players can travel all over the map if they want to see everytthing buts its not the best way to go to survive.

Players will have to choose which areas they want to explore. And since items are randomn. It could be that no one place is the best. Eg travel to this hut or cave and you get a good bounty!

If the map is generated and tweak then any place could be good place to survive. There could be rules like near a large lake, near a town, etc. Will have certain things that well you wont find somewhere in the woods.

But if you so happen to be in the woods where these is no town or huts you can still survive cause you can forage for things and make things out of what you find. Not just have items that spawn in different locations.

So the purpose of a generated large map is to force players to come out with wise decisions on where to travel and where not to travel. To keep it big so players can explore when they are skilled enough to do so. But its not the main focus to travel all over the map because that wont help you survive.

Eg you could go exploring all over this huge massive lake but you mostly likely will die! You could explore all over this large massive forest but its not going to help you to survive. So you need to be smart of where you want to explore.

The focus is not that you have explored everything but how you have gain skills in the environment to your advantage to survive! Then when you have those skills you can go on a long expedition to explore the unknown.

Player create missions

It could be a sub missions all by itself..

Players going out with their resources to explore the unknown to see what is out there! :) Can you track all over canada and survive? Or just track for 400km for a short exploration?

What does everyone think about this idea?


Alpha backer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well for starters I wouldn't be suprised if the guaranteed rifle spawn will stay in ML and I can very well imagine that in future releases there will be stuff on each map that is only available there. I'm not getting bored by the maps though, I just became very proficient in clearing them and I like that feeling that I "know my way around". In my current Stalker game it took me 2 days ingame time to clear all interiours, find the bunker and kill fluffy. Plus it helps boosting confidence to know that even at night during a blizzard I can always find my way to some shelter.

Which is btw why I love the fact that the maps are handmade and not random generated, this way you have a learning curve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

sorry opeth, no no and no. Random generated maps is what would kill this or any other game that is based on learning by dying. How do you want to learn the terrain if it changes with every death you have? TLD is designed this way that you first die alot, hopefully learn your lesson from your death and then don't repeat your mistake. How do you want to learn anything about the terrain if it changes everytime you start a new game?

Example: the first time someone goes to Abandoned Lookout in Stalker there is a 99% chance he will be eaten by a wolf. The next time he visits the place he will know to be more careful and chances he will die again from a wolf are anywhere from 1-100%, depending on how learn resistent the player is :D. That's why it is important that player have the ability to learn the terrain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although I think generated maps would work for the sandbox mode and would add to the longevity of the sandbox, increasing it's replay value, I don't think generated maps would ever give you the enjoyment the hand build maps do. They are designed in such a way to give you a specific experience on each map. ML and CH are very different maps and the new map will again be something very different according to the devs. It's next to impossible to achieve that with generated maps.

And then there is the problem with the leaderboards. With generated maps, some people will be lucky with how the maps were generated (more shelters/ closer together etc). It would be very difficult to have the maps be generated in such a way that some players don't get an unfair advantage over others so survival time is less based on actual skill and more on luck (this problem already exists with the current randomness in the spawning mechanism (loot, containers, shelters) and would only be worsened).

But the main reason you won't see generated maps is very simple:

Hinterland has chosen to use hand build maps. The entire game has been designed around this. To change this now would be very expensive/ cost a lot of time.

Also, the generated maps can't be used for the story mode. And all the maps you see in the sandbox now will be used in the story mode eventually. This is why they have chosen to use hand build maps.

The best you could hope for is that after TLD has been released they will spend the time needed to implement map generation for the sandbox mode or perhaps add a new mode like the sandbox that uses generated maps. But I wouldn't count on it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very valid points elloco, haven't even thought about the LB. Instead of random generated maps for sandbox though I'd rather prefere they ship a map editor with the final release, like in the original Far Cry for example. This way players could make and share their own environments, I think that'd be awesome ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or - "Click this check box if you want a random map without a storyline" - There's a good option.

Now, if its much to difficult and time consuming to code in a random map generator, which I'm assuming it is, then that's a good enough reason to not have it...otherwise, give me the option. After you've finished the story, the randomness sure would make the game replayable!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My points are similar to ellocos' ones.

Random generated maps surely would mean a totally different (but an even more realistic) game, but I am sure I would love to see it as an option or mode.

The programming effort would be immense, to make the finetuning that everything fits together, so I don't think the programmers are thinking much about this right now.

But I hope for this option anyhow sometimes :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd kind of like to see both static and generated maps.

I can see the starting zones being pretty static, however as you explore the world and hit other maps they could be generated. That way folks can learn how to survive in the starting areas and then utilize those skills in the generated maps.

I'll say though that in stalker mode hitting a random map would seriously up the challenge!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the devs ever add generated maps after TLD is released, they'll want to do it right. Meaning the generator will need to generator balanced maps that also look and feel right for TLD. To do so will probably take them almost as long as it took them to make TLD in the first place...

A map editor for the community to add their own maps like ChillPlayer suggests would be a great alternative to keep the sandbox "fresh".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi first of I am a guy!:) My name is a real life organism: organism Oxytricha trifallax. :)

I did post this sometime ago on procedure generation maps. But as said did not think of this until now. So sorry for bringing it up.

What do I mean by generated maps?

I dont mean they get generated randomly everytime you start the game. I mean procedural generated maps.


Procedural design makes it possible for the four guys of Hello Games to make huge games and still keep every part unique. Writing an algorithm to create a lot of content can be far more labor-effective than hand design. (Not for everything, though. Writing a dot-placing algorithm takes me nearly as long as hand-dotting a texture, because it's a one-off, but then again it has the benefit of amusing glitches and less RSI.)

Have a read:

http://www.polygon.com/2013/12/10/51920 ... generation

They could tweak it and improve certain main areas if need too. So areas dont get repetitive. They could use real data for that too if they wanted.

Once a player enters a city it could be like real life that massive! Will take ages to explore all over but that is where it gets very interesting. So if a city can be done like this the whole of canada could be generated all possible terrains could be in the game.

So perhaps possible for the team at Long Dark to do this?

Reason for procedural generated for a small team!

There are a few main reasons that we chose to use procedural generation over less code-based approaches. The most important one, of course, is that as a small independent developer we could never afford the resources, production time, or team size to produce the large, explorable game worlds that we all love at Big Robot. Procedural content generation allows us to use sneaky maths and coding to overcome many of those issues and stay closer to the open world style vision that we are aiming for. Another reason for using procedural techniques is that it gives us the ability to generate a huge number of environments that will be unique to each player and...

really increase the levels of replayability and emergence in the game.

Unfortunately this developer is making a horror game. :(

http://www.big-robot.com/2012/07/02/pro ... eneration/

But some other ideas for the dev: One is generated on a large scale!

Here are some maps design and I think the dev at Long Dark could do this too. I am not sure how big the team are of this game but this could be long dark on invididual maps. Scroll down and look at Fallujah.

http://www.mmogames.com/gamearticles/th ... -map-list/

* I dont want zombies either!

So hope this is clearer now. And its possible and does not change the vision of the game. They just dont have to keep creating new maps to keep things interesting.

They dont have to design the layout of the terrain from scartch and can just used real terrain data of Canada to generated a diverse environment. Would this be correct? If using procedural generation?

Grass and tree and terrain could be procedural generated and it would look real nice!

Individual maps:

It seems individual maps can be very detailed. Is this what The Long dark is trying to get too?

400miles would that be big enough? Graphics of Just cause 3 looks very nice

Witcher 3:

http://www.dualshockers.com/2014/04/03/ ... an-skyrim/

45 mins to travel across

http://n4g.com/news/1320696/witcher-3-i ... -horseback

And the detail of the graphics is amazing!!!!!!

But I still think massive could be good in terms of players have more places to go too to stand their ground to survive. Not just going to the same place over and over again. Like in the real world where you can pick so many places to test your survival skills. Not just go to X ever single time cause that places has the most resource amoung other places.

So your game might be detail like in witcher 3 but then players might have seen everything already..

I know a game called crew its a racing game and even though i think it would 30mins to go from coast to cost well its not that fun cause you could go from point A to B very fast since there is no fuel in the game. And it just loses it excitment.

I suppose the team could make it like wither 3 with its graphics being amazing! And taking more then 45 mins to travel from point a to b cause you get tired and hunger set in etc.

But can the map still be playable over and over again?

If foraging and farming and crafting is in the game it would. Since Life is fuedal is doing just that and they can expand the map if need too also. its in alpha stage. Its a realistic sim base in medival times with no zombies! So if that is going well then I suppose if the team just wants to craft individual maps it will work out. They started off I think with kickstater funding too.

So the next issue:

Is that the content needs to be diverse in Long dark to keep things interesting. As discuss in other post and by other players is that foraging and crafting items from the enviroments needs to be a really important feature so you can play the game for a long time to come.

Have a look at what items are in the game: And its only alpha and they will be more!


So if maps are design with no procedual generation then crafting and foraging needs to be a feature to keep the game going on for a long time. Cause there will be many things you can do to the enviroment.

So can anyone see why this just wont work? Its already a hit with games like Life is feudal. But if any doubt do please point it out. Or any new ideas that can help?

I think I have said enough about the issue! :) I hope all our ideas are helpful to the developer. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really like how maps are now, built with love. It is just better to make unique and interesting locations that way, that makes whole gaming experience memorable.

By generating it should be relatively easy to create believable nature, problem is however, that all traces of humans are harder to generate to be believable. Often you end up with a maps that does not feel different to each other and are not memorable.

Wonder if they already actually generate maps or parts of them and build from that :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Resurrecting this thread instead of creating a new one.

What about randomizing elements in the existing maps? In Mystery Lake, for example, there seem to be two hunting stands. If there was a third location for a hunting stand, but there were still only two stands in any game, there would be a small level of uncertainty as to whether you were headed to a cache or not. If there was a fifth location on the lake for a fishing hut, but there were still only four huts in any game, they could put thin ice at the fifth (random) location. They could do the same thing with caves, and isolated cabins, and possibly other things. There could be a second large space that the Trapper's Homestead might appear in.

By varying which buildings, stands, cars, whatever appear where, they can add a random element to the map from game to game, but keep the hand-crafted landscapes. All of this so that you don't start a new game and just confidently set out looking for the locations you know by heart.

Obviously, this might work better in future regions, if they haven't got too far in crafting them already. And there might be story reasons for leaving everything in the same place that we don't know about yet. (Although I really hope that they include these sandboxes as a playable option when they release the story game, because they are a lot of fun on their own!)

How difficult would it be to program this kind of random element into the game? Is it prohibitively difficult, or just annoying?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

They could do random maps with modules that were hand crafted but then randomly rearranged.  If there were zones within those random maps that were also randomly populated it would feel like a whole new area.

What if Hibernian processing was replaced by a costal town.  What if there was a lighthouse on Jackrabbit island?  What if a road ran through Forlorn Muskreg connecting these two new zones instead of a railway? These maps could be randomized to feel totally new to vets of the game without sacrificing any of the "love" in the map creation at all.

take the existing terrain and make modular tiles from it.

there is a simple and easy way to do this people!

and why are the current leaderboards any different?  - they already are populated by sandboxes that can't possibly bear any relation to each other.  I mean you have people there who started at morning on a sunny day with no wolves between him and a shelter where he found matches in the first place he looked, while at the same time some other poor bastard spawned into a blizzard  at night and never found any source of fire before he got ganked by a random predator.

It's already random -- just not in a way that will ensure the awe you first get seeing a new region.  

That awe could be preserved with clever terrain randomization


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.