Some time in 2009 emerged an indie game which was nothing short of revolutionary – Minecraft. Open sandbox style of game where in a voxel based world of same size boxes you mine, build and explore. Minecraft players generally build awesome/funny structures or explore randomly generated world.
Problem with Minecraft is, that the explorer kind of players have very little to do soon on their world, since even if the environment random generation algorithm is good, it is still an algorithm with a limited possibilities. On the other hand the players in creative mood have quite limited options of sharing their creations for admiration etc. while they have it on their multiplayer server, players from other servers never get to see them unless they visit it and they are subject to griefing. I got an idea how to combine these two styles of play to work in synergy, providing potentially infinite fun!
The idea in general is to make content creation and sharing of it very easy, mostly affecting environment random generation. In creative mood players could create structures like shrines, dungeons, towns or even maybe quests and challenges, sharing it globally with whole community (ideally in decentralized manner). Server administrators could then choose those components to be integrated into their server, by the environment generation algorithm, or they could use some semi-automated server administration tool, which would automatically search the community repositories of components for those which fit the servers demand (no spaceships on medieval fantasy servers). Players then would explore the world, where there would be incorporated components made by other players, each world being different, given enough components: infinite fun.
I don’t really care what game will use such design if I could play it (will be grateful for attribution), but best would it be if it was some open-source Minecraft clone (running on linux), thus allowing most flexibility and crazy ideas incorporated, like the already very good Minetest which is coded in C++ and much faster then Minecraft. I really don’t have time for developing it myself, so the fame is waiting on someone else. What I might help with could be the content distribution system, since that is consistent with my current work interests and specialization.
Suggested detailed vision
The core of environment random generation should ideally be done by scripts, which could be then easily shareable between server owners, possibly someone could make a sharing platform for this. There would be several aspects to cover:
- Ecosystems (bioms)
Define with what ecosystems they can neighbour and how (vertical position), what kinds of ground blocks, vegetation, NPCs they can contain. They act as filler between:
Define in what ecosystem they can be placed.
- Random generated
Similar to ecosystems, but different, with more special rules. Probably not scriptable but hardcoded. Define what other locations they can contain. Examples: dungeons, towns…
Contain game objects, define how many times they can be generated. Ideally created in game, scripted stuff like chest loot, scripted NPCs… Examples: boss locations, quest location, like shrines, towns, city parts, houses…
- Random generated
Important is that the creation of locations could be easy, people would be able to share the locations and explore infinite unique world, made possible only by random environment generation and crowdsourcing of interesting locations.
Other then exploring, great would be to collect loot and fight monsters and bosses… I’d love to have system which would make me jumping by joy of randomly finding an awesome rare item, something I didn’t experience since Diablo 2 which should be main inspiration for the item finding system.