Chris Park answers in what ways ‘A Valley Without Wind’ is randomized

By on April 19, 2011

In his latest developer journal, CEO/Head Programmer Chris Park answers a couple of questions that have come up often since the title was first revealed: “How much of it is procedurally generated?” and: “Is it in the vein of Dwarf Fortress, where all of it is random?”

“Dwarf Fortress is not nearly ‘completely random’ as you imply.” wrote Park and continued. ” This isn’t a criticism of that game, but I think that if I’m going to be able to answer you we have to define our terms a bit here. I’ve only played a little bit of DF, but for the most part I find that it has lots of pieces, and high randomization with how those pieces fit together, but the overall algorithms are anything but random.”

“Now, to answer the spirit of your question: from what I have seen of DF, I would say that AVWW will have a similar degree of randomization overall.  AVWW will also have a similar or greater degree of randomization to AI War.  The tricky thing about this sort of algorithmic randomization, though, is that it requires a ton of input in order to generate a lot of randomized output.  AI War has had about two and a half years to build up, and DF has had… I want to say seven years, but I’m not positive.  Maybe as little as three.”

“At any rate, earlier in their life cycles, both DF and AI War felt “less random,” even though they were just as random, because they had less content.  If you have three things to choose from at random, that doesn’t seem very random even if it is.  If you have three million things, it would seem very random to choose between such items even if it’s not random at all, or only partly random.”

“AVWW, of course, won’t ship with three of anything — nor with three million.  My hope is to have dozens or hundreds of each type of thing in the game at 1.0, though, so that there’s a high degree of “this feels random” that we can then continue to build on with free DLC and paid expansions as we have with AI War in the two years since it came out.  My expectation is that AVWW will feel considerably more random and content-ful at 1.0 than most games on the market, but that it will truly start becoming crazy post-release, assuming players are interested in that.”

The full discussion can be found on the Games By Design blog. A Valley Without Wind is currently set for release in October 2011, with a beta version available to pre-order customers coming this summer.

About David Scarpitta

I am a critical guy, and love to review and give my professional opinion on just about anything. Though have a love for tech/gaming and music alongside the cinema. You can catch me consulting and developing the net any day of the week.