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  1. #1
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    New Interview on Clocktown Blog

    An article based on a phone interview with some of the people of Runic Games surfaced yesterday, and it talks a lot about quests, story and level design in Torchlight 2. It can be found over at Clocktown.net, and it really is a very interesting read.

    It talks about how chunks of the world will be randomized in Torchlight 2, and those chunks will have stories or quests tied to them. However, the stories and quests you receive from those chunks will also be further randomized by having the potential to give you one of several quests, and while you may not get the other quests from an NPC or item, other players in your game might. Here is a quote from the end of the article:

    Gaming is in a transitional period in which narrative is taking on a much larger role than it has in the past. That usually comes in the form of crafted stories. In the wake of this change, it's refreshing to see a developer like Torchlight continue to push in other directions, namely that of procedural content generation, all the while still conveying an overarching story. "There is an overarching storyline and it is not randomized," says JD. "So, everytime you play, you will be on that main storyline quest if you follow it all the way through, but there will be side quests and quests revolving around landmarks and event quests and quests that involve the lore of the world." There is an undeniable appeal of a singular story created by a writer, but the real draw of the game is the way it randomizes bits of story. Random elements in games have been around since Rogue hit in the 1980s, but the approach still has merit. With Torchlight II's refined approach to randomization, everything old is new again.
    Does this remind anyone else of a more advanced version of the quest system Max and Erich set up in Diablo 1?

    *********

    An article based on a phone interview with some of the people of Runic Games surfaced yesterday, and it talks a lot about quests, story and level design in Torchlight 2. It can be found over at Clocktown.net, and it really is a very interesting read.

    It talks about how chunks of the world will be randomized in Torchlight 2, and those chunks will have stories or quests tied to them. However, the stories and quests you receive from those chunks will also be further randomized by having the potential to give you one of several quests, and while you may not get the other quests from an NPC or item, other players in your game might. Here is a quote from the end of the article:

    Gaming is in a transitional period in which narrative is taking on a much larger role than it has in the past. That usually comes in the form of crafted stories. In the wake of this change, it's refreshing to see a developer like Torchlight continue to push in other directions, namely that of procedural content generation, all the while still conveying an overarching story. "There is an overarching storyline and it is not randomized," says JD. "So, everytime you play, you will be on that main storyline quest if you follow it all the way through, but there will be side quests and quests revolving around landmarks and event quests and quests that involve the lore of the world." There is an undeniable appeal of a singular story created by a writer, but the real draw of the game is the way it randomizes bits of story. Random elements in games have been around since Rogue hit in the 1980s, but the approach still has merit. With Torchlight II's refined approach to randomization, everything old is new again.

    Does this remind anyone else of a more advanced version of the quest system Max and Erich set up in Diablo 1?
    Last edited by Jarcho; 11-17-2010 at 10:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Interesting article, particularly the part about "landmark areas." I wonder if the existence of those landmarks themselves will be randomized per game, or if only the quests tied to each will be. By the way Web, you might want to fix the URL in the interview link,

  3. #3
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    I'd assume that whether or not a landmark would spawn is also randomized, or at least some of them would be. Basing this on how much emphasis there's been on randomization.

    Fixed the link

  4. #4
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    Re: New Interview on Clocktown Blog

    I read it as the landmarks are randomized, and then the quests attached to the landmarks are also randomized, but I could be wrong (I hope I'm not!).

    Thanks for fixing the link... what did I do to it?

  5. #5
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    you wrote "http://http://clocktown.net/2010/11/procedural-stories-in-practice-torchlight-ii/"

  6. #6
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    Re: New Interview on Clocktown Blog

    Ahhh, Chrome must have tacked an extra one on there :P

  7. #7
    raddevon Guest
    I'm glad you guys enjoyed my interview, and I appreciate the link love.

    I have transcribed the entire interview. Here is something that may help clarify the structure of the landmark quests for you. This is Patrick Blank, lead level designer:
    "...we have landmark areas in each of the zones. So, for instance, there's always gonna be a cemetary in this zone. One thing we're talking about doing now is, along with that, we could have random quest-givers spawn that affect the cemetary so that the cemetary is always there but, if you have random people spawn that could tell you to go do something in the cemetary and they have you to do different things... It's kind of two different things right now."

    The last sentence there refers to the dichotomy between event and landmark quests. I hope this helps you guys. It sounds to me like the landmarks will always be present, but there may or may not be quests given associated with them. Those quests will apparently be randomized.

  8. #8
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    Re: New Interview on Clocktown Blog

    Cool! Thanks for the clarification!

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