If you’ve ever played Spelunky, you no doubt have at least a cursory appreciation for why it’s constantly lauded as a prime example of exceptionally intelligent game design. The brutally difficult platformer carefully walks the line between frustrating and fair, and its randomly generated levels are a fantastic way to keep things fresh and unpredictable while still relying on a certain level of handmade content to keep things feeling neatly polished.
Basically it’s brilliant, and if you’ve not yet played it, you really should. Creator Derek Yu recently released a book that gives an in-depth look at how Spelunky came to be, and part of it deals with how the game generates its randomised levels. If you’re the type who’d rather wait for the movie, someone’s created a useful video that not only details how the level generation algorithm works, but also explains why the results are so spectacularly entertaining.
The video is fascinating (as is Yu’s book, I’m sure), especially if you’ve got even the tiniest interest in game design or making games yourself. Here, have a look below. And seriously, play the game. It’s lovely.