Brand New Worlds: Gratuitous Space Battles

The release of the conquest mode for Gratuitous Space Battles caused me to reinstall and lose a couple of weekends plotting and planning. Conquest provided a campaign to sit alongside the standalone bouts of ship wrecking and, lo, it was good. A few months ago, unbeknownst to me, a clever sort who goes by the name Pendra on the Positech forums released a random galaxy generator, providing Endless Consecutive Contextual Gratuitous Space Battles. There was an update to the generator this morning, which Cliffski mentioned in the Twittersphere, and I’ve copied some details into the emptiness below.

You can download the generator directly from this link. Galaxies can be customised as follows, during startup:

– Starting money, crew, pilots
– Factory probability on planets (0-100%) + chance of small/large factory
– Academy probability on planets (0-100%) + chance of small/large academy
– Production probability on planets (0-100%) + chance of A Shipyard/B Shipyard/Repair facility
– Enemy fleet value From-To
– Icon size scale to fleet value
– Probability of fighter/frigate/cruiser inhibition (0-100%) a planet like that will most likely come with a shipyard to make sure you don’t end up with an unaccessable area.
– Probability of various hostile planetary effects (0-100%)
– number of long range wormholes: create a few pathways between very distant planets

Time to reinstall once more, I reckon, especially since I haven’t played with the most recent DLC yet either. It’s amazing how much randomisation options can add to a game – even if it’s a case of stringing together nodes with variable qualities, which is how this most probably works, I rarely tire of seeing the results of my computer building worlds.

Any favourite world generation procedures? I’d have to go for Dwarf Fortress because it doesn’t just make a world, it journeys through the history of that world to reach the point where play begins.


  1. niko86 says:

    I want grand strategy games especially like Crusader Kings and Total War to record my conquests and loses and add a bit of procedural narrative.

    We make mental notes of a good play through and maybe pass them onto like minded friends but would be good to not have a single detail missed.

    • Havok9120 says:

      EUIII had a system which did that. It tracked the nation’s progress under each ruler. It….didn’t work so well. Very, very quirky. I enjoyed the touch, though. I was surprised when a similar system wasn’t in CKII.

  2. Shadowcat says:

    Somewhat on nostalgic grounds, but also because it was such an incredible milestone for procedural generation in gaming: “Elite”. The scale of the universe it presented you with was surely orders of magnitude beyond anything that had been seen before, and all with just 22K of code and data. I know there have been a great many more sophisticated feats of world generation since then, but Elite will always be a favourite.

  3. MattM says:

    Starflight’s fractally generated worlds were pretty amazing at the time. So was when we upgraded computers and could use the color disk instead of the B&W one.

  4. Steed says:

    Booo, looks like the campaign is paid DLC :(. *looks* Ah, £2.49 on Steam for the Galactic bit atm (50% off).

    Any advise whether the ‘Race’ DLC’s are worth getting? Think I just have the base game, maybe some extra to do with Onions. Should I just grab the Galactic DLC, or race packs as well?

    £2.50 for Glac, £7 for whole DLC shabang.

    • sabasNL says:

      I personally like the Nomad race alot, but I think it’s just what you like. You could *ahum* make use of the non-existing DRM *ahum* *ahum*. You should buy the Galactic expansion for sure, though.

  5. djarcas says:

    Interesting, it was GSB that originally inspired me to write TacticsForever. I *really* must get around to organising a trailer for it!

  6. Baines says:

    Hrm… I hadn’t ever really paid attention to GSB’s DLC.

    Turns out it is another game where, even though I already own the game, I’d be better off buying the “Complete” pack than buying the DLC piece by piece. $15 game with $31 of DLC, with a “Complete” pack that includes the game and DLC together for $19… (Not counting the Steam sale of 75% off the base game and 50% off the DLC and Complete pack.)

    When your complete pack is less than half the price of its component parts, maybe it is time to reprice the component parts.

  7. Reapy says:

    Dwarf fortress world builder is like the culmination of a great random generator because it leaves a ton of stories there for you to discover, not just a landscape, but even then the landscape is built off climate and all that so there is just a reason for where everything is, which makes it pretty compelling imho. I just wish the visualizer for it was better ;)

    Also, I’ve found the hands off on GSB is what has steered me away from it, but starefarer really quenched the thirst I wanted with this game.