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Random map generation...

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  • Random map generation...

    Whilst playing AS the other day, I was thinking back the to when I had a Space Hulk boardgame (as in the WH40k stuff) when I was younger. You basically made your maps by putting together these premade bits of corridors and rooms, slotting them together like you would a jigsaw puzzle. It was pretty cool...

    Anyway, what I'm getting at is this; would a 'random map' generator be a possible future addition to the mod?

    For one thing, I think an 'Instant Action' type mode (both for single and multi-player) would work well - you could have sliders to choose the speed and number of bug respawns, the size of the map and the amount of pickups available, for example, or just leave it entirely up to the game. Objectives might include taking out a certain amount of eggs, hacking a console or simply wasting a certain number of bugs. I think part of what makes AS such fun is using teamwork to adapt your tactics on the fly to any big suprises, rather than learning exactly where to place sentry guns and fire mines to get a perfect victory after playing each mission through 8577843 times.

    I was also thinking about the campaign screen, and how you have to 'move between' the little mission sites - currently, this looks cool, but it doesn't really serve any purpose that I'm aware of.
    What if, as in many RPGs, your team could be ambushed by bugs in a randomly generated environment whilst travelling between the sites? This would really force the player(s) to really think on their feet. Perhaps you could even implement special items into these sub-missions that wouldn't normally be available - alien technology, perhaps?

    On some occasions, maybe the player would not be given the chance to choose their favourite, most experienced marines with full equipment; this could also allow the 'rookie' marines to get a few more skill points on their side. It might gently put off players from trying to charge through a campaign using only the same 4 marines, and replaying missions until they're done without any deaths.

    I don't know if these have been suggested already or not - sorry if they have. Just a few thoughts.

  • #2
    The UT engines just plain don't support random map generation. Each map must be built and compiled.

    ...In theory, I suppose an exterior program could be made that takes map files (pieces) and overlays the 'reference actors' (added for the generator to use) then builds and compiles a map or two.

    But that would be a damn large pile of work
    Grunt: How dangerous can parasites be?
    Grunt has been infested with a parasite!
    Grunt: Oh, I thought I could step on them.


    • #3
      Also, clients would either have to download the compiled map, or download a much smaller manifest file made by a server that refers to locally stored prefabs, then each compile the map from it. I'm guessing UED doesn't support the latter, not to mention long load times for UED, UED's lack of scripting for batch processes or actions, problems with clients compiling at different speeds, problems with pathing through doors, etc...

      Random maps are an enticing idea, but it would have to be implemented by Epic. They are also fraught with difficulty in terms of design: a person designing a level can give it depth and authenticity, creating a synthesis of convincing environment and good gameplay. In contrast, a program generating maps syntactically would likely often create nonsensical levels and dull gameplay.
      Last edited by Nachimir; 4 Jun 2004, 08:32 AM.


      • #4
        Yeah, you both made good points...I guess it'll never happen. Sorry, I don't really know anything about the technology behind UT. I just play the game.
        Oh well. As I said, it was just a thought.


        • #5
          You can have quasi-random seeming maps, however by this I mean a huge map is made by a mapper and you can have scripts set up to randomly block off doors and trigger events that make a map very different over many plays.
          Important posts: Loadout screen:Scoreboard:Tutorial:Voicechat:Grenade aim:Upgrade points:Auto-reload
          - Kalias


          • #6
            That would be great, more variation so every mission isn't the same. One of the best things is adapting to the situation, I like it on Barracks when it's random who start on which side and you meet up. You should be forced to adapt to the situation more, makes it better when you win


            • #7
              Good idea; ThieveryUT has actors that allow mappers to impart a certain randomness to loot placement, and that works very well.
              Last edited by Nachimir; 4 Jun 2004, 01:46 PM.


              • #8
                I'm pretty sure the random functionality is already included in Swarm, however I'm not sure if people have used it for much more than 'Oooh... the aliens came from the LEFT this time!'

                I have some great ideas planned... it's just a shame I lack the skill to make decent maps right now :p
                Important posts: Loadout screen:Scoreboard:Tutorial:Voicechat:Grenade aim:Upgrade points:Auto-reload
                - Kalias


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Brent Rivienne
                  I'm pretty sure the random functionality is already included in Swarm, however I'm not sure if people have used it for much more than 'Oooh... the aliens came from the LEFT this time!'
                  Where does this even happen? Aliens/parasites swarm in same places, especially those continuous respawns. And exactly the same amount of aliens as well. You can camp respawn points and the aliens fall in the exact same place Do they even have a will to live?


                  • #10
                    /me points at

                    This trigger allows you to randomly change which target actor is triggered for a particular event, so your level isn't always the same. You simply fill out the Targets property with a list of events, then when the AoRandomTriggerTarget is triggered, one of these targets is randomly picked and triggered. Could be used, for example, to make 1 of 4 AoAlienSpawners start throwing out Aliens, so the player can't predict where they will come from each time they play the game.
                    Actually I was thinking about that big map thing mentioned earlier when I first read that.
                    Last edited by [CoFR]Jacq; 4 Jun 2004, 03:10 PM. Reason: typo


                    • #11
                      Actually, you CAN make a random level generator, i'm working on a racing mod with an in-game track editor.

                      Just make everything out of static meshes.
                      Static meshes can be places dynamicly, so can movers afaik because they use static meshes, and you can easily make new triggers for dynamic placement if they don't support it yet.

                      Sure, the levels will be quite limited, but it's possible :p


                      • #12
                        Ohhh we wanted this =/


                        • #13
                          One feature of the new Serious Sam engine has me really interested. Real time editing of a map while you are actualy playing it. With something like that you could have a DM type person watching, and dropping in some extra random spawns while you play if he thinks you are doing to well


                          • #14
                            my god Rens2Sea, you're everywhere. :p

                            random maps sounds fun... especially when combined with some kind of 'survival mode'


                            • #15
                              or maybe a set of small arenas, similar to smashTV ? where you can earn money to buy upgrades ? i think i could get addicted to something like that