“Sam?” she called out over the wireless. “You... you didn’t go back home, did you? Between Marathon and this?”
There was a long silence.
“His father is looking after him,” Sam replied eventually. Short. Flat.
The connection between them broke up. Helena sighed. That feeling of belonging quickly, quietly flitted away. She looked up at the low dirty ceiling of the Celestra’s radio room, and wondered how long before the next contact.
Attention, nuggets! In today’s Developer Diary, we’re going to have a deeper look into the Environment Generator, the entity that is responsible for the procedural map generation in Battlestar Galactica Deadlock!
Mapping New Frontiers
In the singleplayer campaign of Deadlock, there are two instances where your environments are procedurally generated; during a resource mission, and a roaming battle with a Cylon fleet. Previously the generator only had asteroids and inert dust clouds to play with. With the new environmental hazards coming in the next update (see Developer Diary #10 - Hostile Environments), there’s a whole lot more for the generator to use and create interesting environments with.
A number of factors are used by the generator to determine what is used to create an environment, and how it gets shaped. First, the generator looks at the location where the battle is located.
If the battle is taking place over a settled colony, the environment will reflect a calmer, more civilised space, with inert dust clouds and network satellites. The further out from civilised space, the more dangerous the environment becomes with ionised nebulas and asteroid clouds. Over some colonies you may even find forgotten Imperial War era minefields!
Additionally, the location determines the type of skybox used to surround the environment. Each of the four star systems, as well as Helena’s starlane coordinates, have their own distinct sky to differentiate where you’re currently battling.
Daidalos in an environment from v1.0.41, and Daidalos in a new environment.
Once the generator knows what to make the environment out of, it takes great pains to construct shapes and bodies that provide interesting gameplay choices, while providing a sense of scale to the battling fleets. The generator has been balanced to avoid blanketing an environment with hostile terrain, and provide both the player and the Cylon AI with new and interesting tactical choices to make.