This week I’ve made a lot of headway on generating graveyards and have started to generate the graves as well. Graveyards generally have one main entrance (this can sometimes be two, with the other on a different side of the graveyard) then a selection of interconnected areas. As with everything in the game, this is a completely new form of generation that isn’t used again in any other kind of settlement or area – I wanted to give it a feeling that the graveyard had been built up over the time, and that different areas placed graves in different patterns in various eras (note the various patterns for grave placement), whilst farms/towns and everything else have their own algorithms behind them. In a way, I suppose I want to almost “hide” the fact the game is procedurally generated – I want each area to look sufficiently unique that one can be fooled into thinking a region was hand-made. I also have begun to fully implement the generation of architectural styles (brick styles, colours, etc) for each civilization, so the colour of bricks seen here will be unique to this civilization. The road does not yet connect properly with the graveyard, but that is being worked on, whilst the tiny closed-off section of grave in the top-left corner will be removed during generation once I’m finished. Anyway, graveyard:
As for the graves, there are twelve different headstone styles, twenty different “base” styles, thirty different patterns (the little flourishes on the grave, like spirals or diamonds or whatever), and each headstone style may be undamaged, slightly damaged, or heavily damaged. A zoomed-out picture of all the headstone variations is shown before, but once you include the number of possible patterns and bases, there are over 20000 possible graves, more than enough to service any playthrough. I’ll soon be adding a little bit of moss and general overgrowth at the base for the older graves.
The graves note three things – the years the person lived to and from (the date of birth may not be known, and older graves are more likely to be damaged), their name, and – if appropriate – what they died of (so naturally with these three aspects, the permutations are almost infinite). Obviously things like “He died of a horrifying wasting illness” would never be mentioned, but things that most would think merit commemoration, like falling in battle, or a duel, or whatever, might be mentioned, along with graves relating to important historical events like disasters. Thus, importantly – and rather nicely I think – these now link up to the histories! If you see a civilization fought in a particular war, you can check out the graveyard by their capital (and likely the minor graveyards in towns) and, indeed, find people to died in that war within the years that war was fought. Ditto for diseases, civil wars, whatever. I’m still working on thinking about tombs, catacombs, ossuaries and the like for wealthier people, rulers, etc. There is a good chance that graveyards which have catacombs below (which may not be all of them) might connect to the subterranean regions of the game (in the future), but these are still early plans right now.
Equally, as with all the history stuff, this will later have gameplay repercussions – maybe you hear somewhere of something buried in a particular grave, or in a particular tomb or ossuary? Or possibly that a particular set of graves are in a particular pattern that has some deeper meaning? As with other things like this relating to the in-game histories, you’ll always be making a choice: do I have the time to explore this little side-aspect whilst you’re passing through a city, or do you need to continue? The overall global clock (which I know I haven’t said anything about yet in detail) will give you time for some side exploration as these explorations of the world will be key to building up your character, but it’ll be up to you to decide which you can/cannot risk.Graveyards as a whole will also serve other functions. Maybe particular cults, religions, smugglers or other individuals might meet there? Perhaps there is treasure to be grabbed from any remaining tombs?
So there you have it. Next week’s blog entry could be at pretty much any time since between the 8th and 12th I’m in Berlin for the International Roguelike Developers Conference! Thus, the next update will either be whilst I’m in Berlin, some time a bit before, some time a bit after, or SOMETHING ELSE. It will likely be on slums and the early graphical generation of keys, and possibly something about the system of keys/doors/civilians I’ve been thinking about for a little while now. See you all next week (at some point)!