Procedurally generated levels are nothing new – indies have been doing them for years – but Six Days in Fallujah is perhaps the biggest and boldest games to implement the feature, dubbing it “Procedural Architecture”.
Victura and Highwire Games have shown off a new feature for the upcoming first-person military shooter Six Days in Fallujah, and it’s being hailed as “groundbreaking” technology. The tech? “Procedural Architecture,” which re-shapes entire levels every time the game is played. Not just different rooms, mind you, but entire buildings and city blocks.
The idea is that during real combat, soldiers never know what’s on other side of a door, what’s around a corner, or who is lurking up the stairs. The developers at Highwire Games have taken this idea and spun it into procedurally generated maps.
“Marines told us they never knew what was waiting behind the next door,” says Six Days in Fallujah’s creative director, Jaime Griesemer. “But, in video games, we play the same maps over and over again. Just knowing the layout of a building in advance makes playing a combat encounter in a video game very different than actual combat.”
“Memorizing maps is fake. It’s that simple,” says Sgt. Adam Banotai, who led a squad of Marines block-by-block through Fallujah. “Clearing an unfamiliar building or neighborhood is terrifying. You have no idea what’s about to happen, and this is one of the reasons we experienced such high casualties.”
“With Procedural Architecture, even the game designer doesn’t know what’s about to happen in Six Days in Fallujah,” according to Victura CEO Peter Tamte. “And the best way to overcome this uncertainty is by deploying real military tactics, just like you would if you were really there.”
Six Days in Fallujah tells different stories from the conflicts in Fallujah, following squads of soldiers as they carry out missions. While the mission objectives will remain the same throughout each playthrough, it’s the levels themselves that will change, lending more replayability to the game as well as a fresh experience each time.
Six Days in Fallujah is set to release on consoles and PC later this year, though which consoles remains to be seen. Will it be next-gen only? Or will it be a cross-gen release? My money is on the latter.