Better Living Through Generativity

Hi! This post is probably better-suited to my research blog, but it’s having a technical blip right now, so it’s going here instead. Also, it’s #procjam right now!

Tonight there are two things circulating my Twitter feed: the creative joy of the Procedural Generation Jam, and a Medium post about the horrors of semi-automated YouTube kids videos. I recommend reading the Medium post, but to reduce the relevant bits down (massively) it describes a kind of nightmare scenario brewing on YouTube, where algorithms churn out bizarre and disturbing videos based on trends and popular characters, which in turn lead human creators to warp their content to suit, and all of it is poured into an algorithm-sorted mess that kids wade through every day.

Continue reading “Better Living Through Generativity”

Moon Hunters & Procedural Space

Today I want to talk about Moon Hunters, which is an action RPG by Kitfox Games that came out earlier this year, and recently had a huge free content update. I’ve been meaning to talk about this game for months, and I’m only getting around to it now, but here’s my advice: if you like procedural generation or are interested in thinking about procedural generation, I think you should get this game. It’s beautiful, it sounds great, it’s charming but most importantly I think it has something to say about how procedural generation can be used in a game, and it’s helped inspired some of the generators at work in Rogue Process. Today I’m going to tell you how!

Continue reading “Moon Hunters & Procedural Space”

Procedural Snake Eyes

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 22.26.56

I spent a good couple of weekends last month playing alien-busting strategy sequel XCOM 2. I enjoyed a lot of my time with the game, but it also frustrated me a bunch of times as well – in particular, it frustrated me in a lot of ways that Invisible Inc, Klei’s 2015 sneaky masterpiece, didn’t. After completing my XCOM 2 campaign and going back to Invisible Inc for a bit of mulling, I think I’ve come to some conclusions about an important way the two games differ, and how it reveals subtle problems with how procedural generation interacts with other game systems. I want to tell you why I think Invisible Inc structures itself better around procedural content and why I think it’s important (and why my opinion might not matter, too).

Continue reading “Procedural Snake Eyes”

Generating Cyberpunk Cities



Rogue Process is a game about running through cyberpunk cities and making a huge mess of them. The prototype for the game was an endless runner, where buildings were only seen for a few seconds and then thrown away, but now the game has a very different flow and so it needs a different kind of building. Now you break into skyscrapers, plot paths through security, steal targets and execute an escape. Buildings aren’t just important – they’re almost the entire game. So I thought I’d talk for a bit about how I’m creating the buildings in Rogue Process and why it might let you design your own.

Continue reading “Generating Cyberpunk Cities”