Par­cel force

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XCOM 2’ s pro­ce­dural maps are built from ‘parcels’ – chunks of scenery that can be plugged to­gether. A par­cel might be a build­ing or a park­ing lot, but Fi­raxis groups them into two kinds: open parcels are out­doors and easy to tra­verse, while closed vari­ants have in­te­ri­ors and take longer to get around. The team has iden­ti­fied a golden ra­tio of open to closed, and an ideal map size, but there’s plenty of va­ri­ety within those rules. “So we have th­ese par­cel sets, and they don’t in­ter­mix,” Solomon says. “We may say, ‘This is go­ing to take place in the city cen­tre,’ and so we have hun­dreds of parcels, built out of thou­sands of as­sets, just for city cen­tres. And then we have, ‘Oh, now you’re go­ing to a small town,’ and so we have a dif­fer­ent set for those.” On top of th­ese are lay­ered vari­a­tions for snow, desert or tem­per­ate zones, en­sur­ing that even if you en­counter the same par­cel a few times, it’s rarely an iden­ti­cal re­peat.

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