State of the Game #32 : Level Polish

StateofTheGameHeader_DSMF

Hey everyone, it’s state of the game time!

First things, there is no new build today 🙁

As you may recall from last week I have been working on a procedural level system. Work is continuing on the level system, but I experienced a few setbacks in the past week.

Here is why I am delaying the release:

In the previous release I was generating the level using various systems of noise creation. I would then apply this to level chunks and then do another layer of generation for ‘extras’ like rocks and trees.

Sadly, this was very slow and it was nearly uncontrollable. In the build it was running at an acceptable speed but it was very far from the quality level I wanted and barely generated playable areas. As I tried to layer control and detail, the system quickly became too slow to be usable.

I then tried a new approach. I found that if I generated the terrain using rules instead of random noise, I could get much more playable levels, but I again quickly ran into performance problems. I tried several different methods to eliminate the performance issues, but I reached a point of ‘maximum’ optimization and it was still very slow.

Keeping things modular

So, I have created a new system that I feel will solve all the issues I have hit in the past. Instead of generating EVERYTHING from scratch, I will be using a system similar to the part generation system itself. There will be several modular set pieces that get spawned by a series of rules. This will ensure the quality, playability and speed that I need.

The downside

It requires a lot of artwork to get working. Sure, I could put in some temp sets, but I also feel that the game as at a point that features need to start coming in with a bit more polish.

This week I have been creating the pieces for the new terrain system and polishing it to a level that I feel is more representative  of what I imagine the final game looking like.

Does this new path sound better to you? I would love to hear your feedback on it.

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