Map generation. What to do about cliffs?

I'm currently programming random map generation, and one of the issues I've run into is the matter of steep drop-offs.

Initially, I had programmed steep inclines to have platforms, but for gameplay reasons I also want there to be large dropoffs without platforms. Problem is, how is the player going to get back up?

I've already considered the idea of having ropes for climbing to unreachable platforms, however that would be to reach optional areas or items. Having a cliff means that the player needs to have a way up, even if they have no resources to work with. Normally in this sort of game cliffs aren't an issue since you can just mine your way through, but I explicitly want to try and avoid treading the same path as games like terraria/minecraft.

Currently, I think my best best is probably climbing that requires stamina, ala BOTW. Though that still potentially causes the problem that if the player finds themselves with no energy, and thus no stamina, they could not climb certain surfaces.

I could leave the player to their fate I suppose. Enemies will be glad to take the player elsewhere...


  1. So a climbing mechanic similar to Celeste then?

    1. I believe Celeste also had a stamina meter. It was essentially a 2D platformer focused around climbing a mountain so it might be worth researching it's gameplay.

  2. it looks like a good game, for me it would be a + if you could add balls on that goblin and tits on the girl(big tits)(or medium atleast)(and maybe aggresive face for the enemy in H scene) anyway keep up the good work!

  3. If there was a BOTW-like stamina system, i personally think it could make for interesting gameplay. Having to decide weather or not to climb down and face enemies, risking the chance of running out of stamina and getting stuck down there.

    Maybe you could combine the idea of the stamina system with a rope item? So with some extra preparation, a player could use the rope to get out of a sticky situation if things turn south for them.

    Just some thoughts i had when seeing the post!

  4. I mean if the game is set to be a rogue-like, I say you'd have to just focus the mechanics more on management and preparation. If there's food and things that can replenish stamina, it should be the player's responsibility to bring those things with them and avoid areas they potentially might get stuck in if not.

    I'm actually much more excited about this game being something the player has to work around to avoid the unpredictable rather than something that's always got a forgiving answer if there's a slight slip.

    In this case for me, it'd turn into, "Oh, I've run out of the stamina to climb back up and I can fend off these enemies." but maybe also Breath of the Wild-like, perhaps night time makes enemies stronger or brings out a stronger type of enemy so you either keep moving forward or maybe get overwhelmed and give up.
    Maybe the tougher enemies actually carry stamina items? That way your decision to wait for night to fall could be the gamble that either has you fail, or quickly defeat an enemy that lets you climb back up before more show up to finish you/kidnap you or whatever they decide to do.

  5. You could make cliffs a late-game exclusive hazard. By that, I mean cliffs would only appear in areas quite a ways away from the player's house so that if the player is that far away, they should already be carrying various items/abilities that allow them to scale cliffs or cross gaps. Hell, you even could make being able to climb cliffs a requirement in order to access harder areas by having an area that forces the player to climb a cliff in order to progress. You could make it a biome specific thing too, so it doesn't feel unnatural (i.e. the first area of a mountain biome requiring cliff scaling or the first area of an ocean biome require swimming). The actual scaling of the cliff could be tied to either an unlockable ability, or an item like a rope.

  6. would love to see water/underwater level with dangerours hazard with water/underwater specific action and "action, maybe a air meter would help ^^

    love the game !

  7. Leave players to their fate.

    If you make map paths branch out before steeper cliffs start to appear, you can code the map generation in ways there's some alternative paths further down the road for the player to come back to the said map branching. That would create interesting "one way loop" maps following your direction, even if by exploring the other road you'd probably loop it the other way around.

    Another solution, the classic one, is checkpoints that you can choose to use for fast travel back or ignore to travel further. It can be under the form of obvious save feature (crystal, statue or other cliché) or events like a caravan already transporting NPCs. (Player just have to make sure it's not a caravan of bandits with a poor guy threatened into pretending its his wagon...)

    The last one, about stamina. Unlike magic, it's usually something that regenerate itself if standing still (unless you're talking about HPs) or by making a campfire (may attract ennemies?). Either that or making "heal items for stamina" (fruits?) easy to access (high respawnability?) may be enough for players to afford their climbing.

    Some later cliffs may be too high for base stat, but that only serves as a reason to train the said stats to access more areas as you play the game. Also, climbing in full plate seems a super bad idea so players who uses exploration gears (light clothes) may consume way less stamina for map actions, which could help alot coming back from the first ones with only the base stat.

    There's lot of stuff to play with to add interesting variations, like you said tools could bypass the stamina requirement aswell but just make sure the heavy armors makes the animation slower (unless they have enough strenght/endurence/stamina?) to warn the player about how it's not supposed to be a regular "exploration" gear.

    1. Right now there are two stats, energy and stamina. Energy is a long term resource, whereas stamina comes back fairly quickly.

      There are a few things I can do, but I also want to avoid making it too complicated (like having 4 different stamina esque stats)

      For branching paths, that would be possible, however it wont be possible for a while, given the extra programming. I'd also say that not all maps should have caves, I think.

      A possibility would be to make area maps have more than one screen (in/out) but I havn't thought much about that yet.

      I don't think the game will have checkpoints or manual saving. It will likely be auto saving/ "if it happens it happens", given the nature of the game.

    2. About the checkpoints;
      The crystal/statue one was more like exemples of quality of life mechanic "close the game mid-exploration to not have to restart it" (Save&Close rather than classic Save may fit your vision?) which doesn't matter now but can later.

      (Imagine someone who only play 30mins a day and always have to stop at the same part then inflict themselve a gameover and restart from the house for any long-term progress to be saved xD)

      As for the caravan exemple, it's a "fast-travel" that would indeed autosave and make you restet exploration from your home even if you try to cheese it by closing the game mid-animation if it trigger a "bad event".

      I guess the misunderstanding came from my phrasing, I didn't ment it to be a classic 2-ways "travel back to skip" checkpoints. Even if that mechanic can exist later since it's a classic to pay money in town for a safe fast travel. (which can also be used to get to unique quest-maps you can't access by normal exploration.)