The importance of randomness

crowded
In the screenshot above, the new random items in all their splendor!

I’ve been recently playing Diablo3 on the PS3. I can hear a voice in my head saying:

“What? You’re playing!? Go back immediately to work on the games!”

But NO! Doing research is important for every business, so I decided to force myself to play it (also an excuse to use the PS3 for something since the recent PS+ games have been a bit disappointing for my tastes).

I played more and… I had the idea to implement random items on my next RPG, Seasons Of The Wolf :)

One of the strong points of Diablo has always been the use of the random element. I am not sure if other games before it used it so well. I fairly remember the first game, and how every match was different.

Obviously, since I make story-based games, I cannot rely too much on the randomness, since the plot follow a linear path, some locations must be fixed, the characters too, etc. I cannot also generate random maps or dungeon (at least for now!) so the only random element I could add was in the items/loot.

looting
A test for the looting screen. Of course in the real game you rarely will get so much stuff!

And I must say that it works VERY WELL. Now whenever I kill an enemy during testing I wonder what item I’ll get – is pretty exciting! Of course the drop rate is not high, rather than flooding the inventory with garbage that you’d have to resell it immediately I decided to limit the amount, but increase the average quality.

In general the rare items are, rare, but also depends on the enemy. Boss enemies now will drop obviously higher level loot ;)

I decided to go with the following tiers: Rusty, Standard, Fine, Quality, Excellent, Masterwork, Rare and Legendary. Legendary is the only item that is not randomly generated, since I still want to have control over the most powerful items, so I’ll define those manually. They’ll also be unique and have a unique name.

To help the player recognize better the top items, the Fine/Masterwork/Rare/Legendary have a different color and a small letter with the initial of the word near the item icon in the inventory.

Overall, it took me a week of hard work (last weekend I worked 10h/day straight!!) but now that is working I must say that was time well spent! :)

I’ve seen the (green)light

In other, but no less important, news, three more of my games were greenlit yesterday! They are Flower Shop: Summer In Fairbrook, Always Remember Me and of  course Planet Stronghold (was about time!).

I plan to release Always Remember Me next weekend, if all goes well. And the others coming shortly after in next weeks. Stay tuned :)

This entry was posted in development screenshot, development tricks, game design, indie life, roleplay games, Seasons Of The Wolf, Steam. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The importance of randomness

  1. candesco says:

    Diablo 3 differs greatly from it’s famous predecessors and not in a good way.
    Played myself Diablo II + LoD on the pc, still do this sometimes. A strong point was always the dark and unwelcoming setting. Storywise it was pretty weak, as diablo has almost no story. By the way; you should try the both Torchlight games then from Runic (also indie). Now Torchlight II is overall better and also bigger. Runic is founded by 2 keypeople of former blizzard north and some people from mythos. Torchlight looks alot like the old diablo games. Hack ‘n slash rpg’s in general has no great story. For that you have to look to classic crpg’s like Planescape: Torment. PS:T is well-known about it’s story. A spiritual successor is now in development. It’s called Torment: Tides of Numenera and made by InXile Entertainment.

    • admin says:

      Yes I played both Torchlight games too, forgot to mention it in the blog :) pretty good games too, but I cannot play games with mouse much anymore because of carpal tunnel issues, so I am playing Diablo3 on PS3 now :(

  2. Missy says:

    I have all of those! Do we get steam codes if we already have them?

  3. Rai says:

    You have to know that Diablo’s randomness is poor enough, even in its first two parts. Well, lots of games use random (or pseudorandom, or fixed random) generators much better. Diablo series use pretty simplified implementation of what we do call a heart or “rogue-like” games, where almost everything is random.
    Yep, Diablo is just another “rogue-like”, extremely simplified in every aspect to fit casual player needs. It’s not actually bad, it’s just… it is :)

    Cheers from Russia, my friend :)

  4. Jess says:

    Congratulations on getting your games Greenlit!

  5. Rincewind says:

    Congrats on getting Planet Stronghold and the other games Greenlighted!!

    But, why the Heileen series have been not Greenlighted yet!? Why Steam Community!? Whyyy!?

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