Stoneshard - Dungeon Generation

HiddenX

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Couchpotato spotted a devlog about dungeon generation in Stoneshard:

Devlog: Dungeon Generation - Part I

Hello everyone!

In today's devlog we'll demonstrate the final version of the reworked Dungeon Generator and showcase the main principles that governed its development.

Let's start with a list of reasons that led us to reevaluating our approach to dungeon generation. The player feedback we received about its current state revealed the following issues:


  • There isn't much visual variety to speak of - the only difference between dungeons of the same type is what enemies can spawn in them, not their layout or overall design. This quickly makes dungeons feel predictable and uninspired.
  • All dungeons use the same generation algorithm, which limits the room for structural distinction and environmental logic.
  • The overall room structure and the abundance of single tile passages facilitate the funneling of enemies into doorways, trivializing both combat and positioning.
Our new approach is based on dungeon tiers. Initially, tiers were an informal term used by players to refer to dungeons based on their difficulty - in RtR they will actually become an official form of categorization. So instead of using hidden, rudimentary mechanics built around levels, this new system splits everything, be it enemies, items, or dungeons, into 5 distinct tiers.

Let's explore what it entails, point by point:


  • Different dungeon types will use different generation rules: the structure of Crypts will have noticeable differences from the structure of Bastions or Catacombs.
  • Dungeons will feature varying visuals and room presets depending on their tier: the higher the tier, the more opulent a dungeon will appear, and the greater diversity of rooms it will display. Tier 4 and 5 dungeons in particular will look especially awe-inspiring.
  • All dungeons will be split into two categories: generic and large, the latter consisting of two floors. We don't have plans to introduce dungeons deeper than that: three floors or more would be way too tiresome and draining in most scenarios. The visuals will change depending on how deep you go: lower Crypt floors, for instance, will appear more damaged and use alternative room layouts.
  • Rooms with bosses or contract objectives will spawn in dungeons' farthest reaches, with secondary rooms branching off from the main path rather than being a part of it, giving you options for additional exploration.
  • The updated visuals for dungeon descents and ascents will make them easy to spot and separate from one another: descents will always be a part of the floor, and ascents will be built into dungeon walls, just like they are right now.
  • We decided to almost completely do away with single tile passageways, which should bring additional depth to the combat system and positioning by making group fights more frequent or even inevitable in certain situations (obviously, this comes with tweaks to most enemies' stats, especially high tier ones).
  • Rather than remaining the same once they spawn (or respawn after being cleared), dungeons will be generated when you enter them for the first time, just like in the earlier versions of the game (the layout won't change if you save your progress after discovering it though). This will make dungeon exploration more engaging and unpredictable, since the ability to familiarize yourself with the location of enemies and traps throughout multiple save-load attempts won't be as easily available by default.
  • Secret rooms will be generated once per dungeon instead of once per floor. The roster of available secret rooms and their visuals will also depend on a dungeon's tier.
  • Even though it's not directly related to the Dungeon Generator, we decided to rework the Noise and Enemy Awareness Systems, as the old ones didn't work well with new dungeon layouts.
[...]

More information.
 
Joined
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Forgot about this game. Anybody played this one ?
I played the prologue a few years back, and I remember thinking it seemed promising. Recent reviews aren't good though, and some people are getting pissed about how long it's been in early access.

The prologue is free if you want to try it.
 
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Feels like this has been in Early Access for years now.

I may check it when they actually finish it, but at this point, all interest is gone.

The recent Steam reviews are sitting at 55%~(mixed) which does not bode well.
 
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If they're still at the adding things point and not yet reached the taking things out point I'd say early access is far from over.
 
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Oh, it's still in Early Access alright, 4 years and going strong! They've made a staggering amount of money, especially for a non-Western team, so it looks like they're going to take as many years as they need to get everything perfect.

It's a decent game and worth a try if you like real Iron Man-style roguelikes. I'm guessing the Prologue is badly out of date by now and not representative of the game, but you would get a general idea of gameplay. Which is extremely unforgiving. You usually meet 2-3 enemies at a time, any one of them a match for your character. You need to think things through very carefully, both in character creation and combat. Imagine playing Battle Brothers but you only get one Brother...

One gripe I've got is the ENDLESS trudging through forests between towns and POIs. A fast travel system is introduced later on, but even then the countryside is unbearably boring, and dumb animals interrupting you gets old fast.
 
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