'Procedurally-Curated' First Person Shooter Hybrid
Hitbox Team, the indie outfit behind sensational indie platformer Dustforce, have blown the lid off their next project. Spire is a radically different proposition to their previous effort, a fantasy FPS based around ascending an enormous tower using first-person combat parkour.
Oh, and it's also going to attempt to set the bar for procedurally-generated environments, with levels feeling like they've been hand-crafted with careful intent. More details below.
Players will explore the titular Spire, packed with "elusive dangers and myriad secrets," through a first person perspective, using a range of bizarre weapons and objects in each hand. Much like Dustforce, Hitbox Team are trying to create a game that both looks and feels incredibly cool, using "an FPS movement system that feels snappy like Dustforce, incorporating walljumps, wall sliding, and other advanced techniques."
The interior of each spire will be procedurally generated, but Hitbox Team describe the stages as "curated" rather than randomly cobbled together. "Environments and the transitions between them tell a story," they explained.
"In Spire, we want to keep this in mind in order to create a procedural level generation that has flow and character. If the generator has created a dangerous, frantic sequence with lots of combat, it might think to then generate a scene with lower intensity to better control the emotional arc of the experience. In this way, Spire will generate intentional level flow instead of randomized environments. The resolution of the generation is very high: there are no premade rooms or scripted events. Everything from the placement of the books on a shelf to the shape of the walls and floors will be generated with intention."
Though Spire is billed as a fantasy game, enemies and environments will be designed to look unfamiliar and alien rather than sticking to staid conventions. That means no trolls and goblins.
Spire is apparently "well into" development, presumably on PC. You can read more on Hitbox Team's blog.