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The Map Maker

February 8, 2011 Leave a comment

The thing that I am most proud of when it comes to the map maker that I have developed for Space Mercs is the way that the computer is able to create and adapt the tiles that are made in a way that makes them connect in new and exciting ways each time. Unlike in a game like Carcassonne, the “tiles” that the computer uses are flexible. What is an out-of-the-way cupboard in one map might be the crossroads that connects a series of dungeon branches in another.

space mercs roguelike map tile

A new 15x15 map tile with some holes punched in it.

Here is an example of what I mean. This map tile is really just a few rooms and a connecting (albeit not perfectly straight) corridor that lies between them. When taken into consideration with the rest of the map, however, we can see how the room in the lower left, which might otherwise be taken as an out-of-the-way corner of the map, becomes a dangerous thoroughfare with a doorless hole in its south side, allowing enemies passing by to see into your hiding place. The north-western room, however, was generated with a door in its west wall, providing blocking cover and making the room much safer.

By combining even a relatively small tile set, the way my generator creates connections means that no two maps will ever be the same. Even the strategic and tactical significance of a particular tile can change depending on how and where it is connected to the rest of the map!