Ben Jones talks about Procedural Sword Generation
It's not often that I let Ben out of my "personal dungeon", but today I thought it would be unfair to keep him cooped up like this especially in the final hours of the campaign. So on the proviso that he remains sane and calm, and refrain from any sacking or pillaging - for this update Ben talks about how the aesthetics of procedural sword generation will work:
Tinykeep will use a wide variety of item models for the weapons. As if twelve models for swords wasn't enough, we're splitting those swords into four - blade, guard, handle and pomel and then mismatching them to make entirely new swords. That's twenty thousand, seven hundred and thirty six kinds of sword. And that's not even the end of it.
In addition, we're looking at resizing the length of the blade in relation to the physical damage it does. Big, hulking swords which are slow to swing but deal a ton of damage and tiny little stabby daggers. Assuming you narrow the lengths down to 'long', 'medium' and 'short', that's now sixty two thousand, two hundred and eight kinds of sword. And that's not even the end of it.
We can polish off those swords with particle effects like fire, dripping poison, toxic fog, electrical sparks, motes of light, blood, leaking water and so on. Assuming just those seven have a chance of appearing as well as 'no effect' and the effects aren't combined (which they might), that's four hundred and ninety seven thousand, six hundred and sixty four unique swords. Guess what? That's not even the end of it.
Finally, Phi says we can use bump maps (to make rusty sword models), change the phong shading (for shinier swords), change the colours of the textures (for red handles and gold, bronze, silver, wooden swords) and even the textures themselves. Somewhere in the region of over three billion unique combinations of swords now. And I lied when I said finally. THAT'S not even the end of this magic train ride.
To add that little extra bit of customisation, we can add transparencies to the blade which give them holes and notches to show a well-used and careworn blade. Our final total is between twenty million and four billion unique swords depending on what is the most feasible range of colours available. Remind me to have a 'find the two most similar swords' competition after release.
Alright. That's it. For certain this time.
- Ben Jones, game and concept designer.