Variety and replayability! Ever notice how after you beat a game once (or multiple times), you start to know exactly what’s coming next? Well, not with procedural generation. Even if you do the exact same major quest, each step is going to be in a different sector or planet. And that area will be completely different than the last time you played it.
Did you find the Stealth Suit in a hidden cave in the mountains on a terran planet? Well, this time it’s on an island in the middle of a lake of acid on a high gravity world. How are you going to get it? Did you first find the Gruff Troublemakers in an asteroid belt? This time they’re in a Mine Field; look out!
Procedural generation takes random numbers and applies a set of rules to produce maps, loot, monsters, quests, etc. There are currently 6 unique sector generation algorithms, which produce very different results, as well as 8 planet generators. Not to mention shipwrecks, star temples, caverns, and environments I haven’t even come up with yet.
Loot is done in a similar manner, taking into account what sector you’re in, how powerful your existing equipment is, and what the ‘danger’ of the area is. Each item has its own set of stats, so they all have their own algorithms. It will be very hard to find the perfect item. And even that will eventually become obsolete, as you continue to make progress.
Details about monsters and quests are generated based on similar methods, with a long list of possible types. And more are still to be added.
Every time you play approaching infinity, the experience will be different. You will never know where the space station is, what kind of planets you’ll find, or what enemies you’ll face. You just have to explore…
Here are 4 shipwrecks generated using the same algorithm; look at the variety. Imagine landing there, and only being able to see 30 feet in any direction. What will you find? Will it make you rich, or dead?