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Show HN: Eigengrau's Generator – A procedural city generator for tabletop gaming (github.com)
153 points by wishingonawendy 8 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 20 comments

Have never heard of Twine [1] before, which this project uses. Very interesting tool!

[1] https://twinery.org/

Yep, pretty cool - it's a very popular tool in the "interactive fiction" genre of game development/writing. It's widely used for "choice-based IF" (also called "CYOA" after the Choose Your Own Adventure books), with the other main side of the genre being parser-based IF (like Colossal Cave and other PC text adventures from back in the day). Parser IF is often built with a tool called Inform, might also pique your interest.

Emily Short's blog is a good resource for that field in general: https://emshort.blog/ Or re tooling specifically: https://emshort.blog/how-to-play/writing-if/

I built something like this in Java in the past to generate whole towns/cities. I have to admit that generating things as you go along is probably more effective than generating everything up front.

It’s interesting to see what random generation comes up with.

It definitely prevents some headaches! I admit to losing myself for hours at a time trying to see all the different generations this thing makes.

When I shared this story internally, a colleague posted this procedural map generator, which I also thought was quite cool. You all might enjoy it as well:


Ah yes we've seen the work from watabou! It's very good stuff. We like to direct people there when they suggest our generator should also output maps haha

This is a cool project, it reminds me of Talk of the Town (https://github.com/james-owen-ryan/talktown) which is the simulation used for the game/experience Bad News(https://badnews.ai/), where you play a live adventure game in a simulated town with an actor that improvises generated characters.

I think it'd be interesting to apply modern generative text models to stats and random table based simulation. Normally, the text is generated by grammars that describe world state, but they can be both hard to write and repetitive for the reader/player. Generating flavor text from world state instead of writing it might be an interesting avenue to explore.

That's an incredible project! Thanks for the introduction and links.

On similar track (but unrelated to original post) is the Jason Roher's Sleep is Death game (http://sleepisdeath.net/). It's asymmetrical turn-based adventure game. One person is a player and can do literally anything. The other person is a game master who has to come up with appropriate responses to player's actions. There's in-game editors for graphics, text bubbles, even the music.

I'm also toying with something like what you're describing in second paragraph. The procedurally generated world with tables of stats modelling the state, all rendered through styled text. All objects have defined list of actions that can be performed on them (open, smash, drink...), mapped to proper state responses. I'm hoping if these actions/responses are easy enough to input by non-developers, a complex world with rich interactivity could be built by collective effort. It's still in early stages so I don't have anything yet to show unfortunately.

That reminds me of Sleep is Death [0]

It's a sort of a turn-based storytelling game. One player plays the story and the other controls the world and the NPCs. It's pretty indepth and well though out, despite the low-fi look.

[0] http://sleepisdeath.net/

We are in a golden age of generators its excellent. For the campaigns i run, i tend to use generators to help add extra details to my over arching plot. Its invaluable.

I made some excellent use of https://sectorswithoutnumber.com/ for a Star wars campaign recently. tempted to check out the system it was intended for.

I had not seen this generator before, but that's awesome! Yeah definitely one of the main reasons Eigengrau's came about was to help add that extra detail that just fleshes out the world without getting in the way.

I'll definitely put yours to some use. I think I've seen it before, maybe you posted it on reddit before. For last weekends game, the players had arrived at a new town and i vaguely recalled this generator or at least something very similar. But could i find it amongst my MASS of links :(

The creator u/rcgy posts links to the generator pretty often on D&D reddits so it's very possible! In the future we'd love to hear what features you liked most and what parts you used in your game! The hardest part of designing this is getting live testing for what parts DM's really need. So many people tell us they use it but so few get back to us on what parts they mainly use.

Really cool project. I saw a dozen of Twine projects, but nothing close to this in complexity. Do you think you are pushing Twine past its capabilities?

I think we've only scratched the surface of what we could break twine to do in the future!

What's your take on Ink [0]? It seems to be solving the same class of problems as your specific needs for Twine. Would it work better or worse for you?

[0] https://github.com/inkle/ink

I hadn't personally heard of it before but just from a cursory overview it doesn't look like something that would be easily implementable in the place of twine. If we were to do anything instead of Twine it would probably be to just build our own front end as Twine itself is handling very very little of the generation.

"tippy is not defined"

Yeah, it doesn't work for me in Firefox. Had to open it in Chrome for it to work.

Other than that, it looks quite skookum. I may use this for my own campaigns. Thanks for sharing!

Ah yeah there are definitely plenty of bugs it's the project my friend used to learn to program and I started learning when I joined on, sorry about that!

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