Prey: Mooncrash's Randomized Levels Were Almost Part of the Base Game

The procedural levels were scrapped from the base game, but brought back for its DLC.

Prey’s Mooncrash DLC randomizes its rooms and item placements to turn Prey into a roguelike experience, but developer Arkane Studios tells us some of that procedural generation was almost in the base game as well.

Speaking with IGN at QuakeCon 2018, Prey Senior Game Designer Ricardo Bare said that Mooncrash’s randomized room conditions were initially designed to be part of Prey’s campaign. They would have made it so different rooms along your path would have random states, like being on fire or out of oxygen.

Exit Theatre Mode

Bare said it was ultimately scrapped before release because most players don’t even finish single-player games, so “it didn’t work quite well for a very longform game.” It wouldn’t have worked as well in Prey because most people don’t even play a single-player game all the way through.

“It wouldn’t have worked as well in Prey because most people don’t even play a single-player game all the way through,” Bare explained. “Most people just wouldn’t even get the payoff for that.

They’d just be like ‘oh, it’s on fire, and I’m never going to see this room ever again.'”

He continued by saying that it works well in roguelike experiences like Mooncrash because “you walk through the same space many many times, so you get the payoff of like ‘oh my gosh, this time the power is off! Oh my gosh, this time it’s on fire!'”

Exit Theatre Mode

Bare praised the recent roguelike hit Dead Cells for its use of procedural levels, while his observation about randomization in a long, single-player game not being noticeable reminded me of my review of a similar game, Chasm. For more news out of QuakeCon, check out the gameplay reveal for Doom Eternal.

We also spoke to Avalanche Studios and found out that there will be flying vehicles in Rage 2.

Tom Marks is IGN’s PC Editor and pie maker.

You can follow him on Twitter.

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