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Master the frantic physics-based combat, lure enemies into traps or make them fight each other for dominance in this procedurally generated dungeon escape game.
Master the frantic physics-based combat, lure enemies into traps or make them fight each other for dominance in this procedurally generated dungeon escape game.
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802 backers pledged £25,675 to help bring this project to life.

Ben Jones talks about Procedural Sword Generation

Posted by Phi Dinh (Creator)

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.


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    1. Dean Thrasher

      Wow, that's a lot of swords! And to think we'll only be able to carry one or two at a time... that's going to force some hard choices.

      I assume we'll have similar choices to make with armor and other equipment, too. It'll never be the same run twice.

      BTW, shouldn't it be spelled "pommel" instead of "pomel"?

    2. Howeln on

      Well, if you just get off the whole metal kick, you could have wood on one end, and crytal on the other. Not to mention some mithical metals/materials, and my favorite, paper mache. Nothing scares skeletons more than paper mache long swords. ;-)

      @Ben On a more serious side, I'm assuming this just covers swords, and at some point other weapons are in planning. Cuz, 20M swords are fine and all, but 20M maces, 20M flails, 20M etc are good too. I figure at that rate, you would never see the same weapon twice....well, with 20M swords, one would have to play a bit.

    3. GermanMG on

      Oh, nah, the blade color is good. Heck you can sell me green blades as long as they look like something that will annihilate stuff. Silver, Gold and Scarlet blades are often used for unique weapons to set them apart, we could have something like that for the end game equipment.
      That's the great thing about fantasy, screw realism!

    4. Ben Jones on

      @GermanMG Thanks GMG. The blade colour was changed for the diagram - I suppose blue was a poor choice. I'll look into ways combining swords (stats and visuals) could work - or perhaps having an artist alter it for a cost. Maybe that cost is in junk weapons... hrm hrm hrm.

      I should also point out that the text says four billion and the diagram says twelve billion. With all the textures, hue changes (assuming we're limited to 256 colours, which we probably won't be), twelve billion is the most likely upper limit.

      Thanks everyone for your support! I can't believe there's only 3k left to go!


    5. GermanMG on

      Absolutely love this, looking forward to some badassery. Will higher level blades have different blade hues too or is that limited to the handle?
      There should also be a way to re-roll the look of your sword between games, for a fee of course. I like the idea with the Speed/Damage dynamically influencing the size variable of the weapon. With this there is already more visual variety than in, say, Diablo 3.

    6. Phi Dinh Creator on

      Fingers crossed!

    7. Zwarteziel on

      Hi Ben en Phi,

      I'm relatively late into the campaign but have to say: love all the articles on AI, dungeon generation and now this. Really looking forward to seeing it all come to fruition. Good luck with the campaign!

    8. Howeln on

      BTW, I really like the sword third from the right.

    9. Howeln on

      I think procedural is the way to go, and seems many other KS games are thinking along the same lines...but 20M....really, that's it. Well, it is a Tinykeep. :-) wow, that's a lot of variables.

    10. Phi Dinh Creator on

      Do you think it's clear enough that we love procedural generation?