Sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure


At first, we won­dered if it was just our poor sense of di­rec­tion. But no – Be­low’s lev­els re­ally do change each time. Pro­ce­dural gen­er­a­tion has been used ju­di­ciously: you’ll of­ten see rooms that have fa­mil­iar parts but subtly re­ar­ranged. Some­times the dif­fer­ences are more dras­tic, but these spa­ces still look hand­crafted. “We didn’t want to do it the way that, say, Derek [Yu] did, be­cause Spelunky is a beau­ti­ful tile­based game, and it works per­fectly for him,” Vella ex­plains. “The aes­thetic we were go­ing for was com­pletely dif­fer­ent.” It’s taken some time, but giv­ing Be­low’s pro­gram­mers the space to en­sure it all looks nat­u­ral has paid off. “Some peo­ple don’t no­tice it at all,” Vella says, “and see­ing that hap­pen in real life is pretty darn grat­i­fy­ing.”

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