Procedural Generation

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Procedurally generated worlds in Dual Universe

Background[edit | edit source]

Procedural generation in Dual Universe is the random generation of terrain within predefined constraints on planets, moons, and asteroids. It may also be extended beyond terrain to include the procedural generation of atmosphere, flora, or fauna. While there is essentially no limit to what can be done with procedurally generated terrain, more complicated attributes like animals will most likely be limited to a pre-made pool of assets. Nevertheless, what assets are generated, and when, is still an aspect of procedural generation.

Handling Possible Drawbacks[edit | edit source]

Once there is procedural generation, there is no limit to how many planets there could potentially be as they are basically "free" to create. Big numbers here aren't really meaningful for an MMO community; what matters, in the opinion of NovaQuark, is gameplay and player interactions. Are those planets going to be interesting for the players, or just feel empty and all the same? It has already been seen in other games that having an immensely huge "playground" can quickly give a feeling of emptiness if it's not filled with proper content.

(Note: What follows is the plan of NovaQuark, in their words, but this feature may or may not make it into the official release, and could be implemented afterwards)
"Ideally, We plan to handle our game universe under the form of a galaxy that can be visualized on a map right from the beginning. This map is the "visible" universe. However, everybody starts at the same location - the planet Alioth - and will slowly expand from there by building more and more stargates to explore new near-by systems. This expansion will define what we call the "explored" universe, the part in which players can directly travel and interact. So the "explored" universe will be much smaller, at least at the beginning, than the "visible" universe.
Deciding to build a stargate will be a very strategic and costly decision. We will provide tools to help making the right decisions. The visible universe will be accessible to some very basic sensing techniques to obtain information about the composition of the stars, from which educated guesses could be made about the type of materials of the planets of this system, and potential mining opportunities. Because the explored universe will by player-driven, and that the decision to build an expensive stargate to new systems will carry meaning and will drive players to be active in the new system, the explored universe should never feel empty or boring. This will also help to keep the game size in proportion to the player size, which is a very important aspect to us." [1]

Q&A[edit | edit source]

Don't you think using procedural generation will make the game repetitive in the end?

Procedural generation can be a powerful tool if used properly. That would be indeed a big risk if we were counting on this feature as the miracle solution to make all the content of the game. However, we use it only to quickly generate the planets with a decent environment. In short, we use it to make the scenery, but the most part of the content won't be made procedurally... as it is supposed to be made by players! Moreover, the fact that the game universe size will grow at the same speed as the players explore their surroundings in space will also prevent (or at least greatly reduce) this feeling of repetitiveness. [2]