Graham Davis, now at Kixeye, came to talk to us about the procedural level generation system he created in Unity for TinyMob Games‘ M.E.R.C. His talk went over why procedural level generation was used in M.E.R.C., how it was implemented, the design and technical problems that were overcome, and how it turned out (spoiler: pretty cool!). For me the most surprising part of the talk was learning just how much custom art and modelling there is in a generated level – it would be great if you could tell the computer what to do and call it a day, but sadly that’s not how it actually works. An enormous amount of work goes into creating building blocks for your levels that your level generation code can assemble for you so that all the pieces look good together.
Graham was kind enough to share his slides, if you missed his talk you don’t have to miss out! If you’d like more detail than is in the slides, Graham also wrote a two part blog about it on Gamasutra: part 1, part 2.
Thanks again to Graham for telling us all about procedural level generation!