Bashiok saw the Act 2 map Leord has been working on, and commented favorably, while adding some useful explanations.

    Nice. Although that isn’t Act II, at least not all of it. Or most of it. The playable area in the demo is a portion of the second act, not the whole thing.

    And to clarify, our exterior zones have static borders, roads, and town placements. Most of the area in-between is static too, but there are these chunks of the map in various shapes that are essentially cut out. We then create pieces to fit those shapes and sizes, a bunch of them for each, and the game randomly picks which ones to use. They could have quests, little events, mini-bosses, just different scenery, or whatever else we want to cook up in them. It keeps the exterior locations static, while still having some random bits in there to keep them fresh. We refer to it as the adventure system.

    And to clarify on THAT in case anyone hasn’t been following along much, we keep our exteriors static for the most part because following the edges of the map to find exits and find where the town/questgivers are just wasn’t a fun use of randomization. You also couldn’t easily or quickly meet a friend anywhere outside of town because nothing was ever in the same place. And lastly it helps us create a sense of a world that actually exists, the towns and cities and at least the important points of interest exist in stationary locations.

    The dungeons, in addition to being random in design and flow, also use the adventure system to bring in random events and quests.

    Prior to that post Bashiok hadn’t been seen since last weekend’s PAX event, and there was some non-serious speculation that he might have been felled by the swine flu that was running rampant at PAX. Bashiok posted to say that he had been sick, but not that sick.

    I did have some sort of flu/cold which kicked up Monday morning, but it didn’t get very bad. I seriously doubt it was swine flu, which apparently has nausea/vomiting associated with it.

    So anyway, I’m back, in time to leave for AGDC next week.

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