Seaside town tool Townscaper is a wonderful little toy for tickling the brain. Developer Oskar Stålberg is known for procedural toys of the same ilk and this one’s really hit on an aesthetic that I can’t get enough of.
The only trouble is, I’m an absolute clod who just endlessly attempts to recreate other things in Townscaper. No, my attempts at building Windfall Island from The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker have not panned out. Please do not ask me about it. Other folks are so much more inspired than me it’s tragic, frankly. Just look at the things they’ve built.
For starters, some folks have been working on labyrinths. Don’t look in the replies to this maze by “Gold-Plated Games” if you want to solve it yourself as someone’s posted the answer. I’ve spent some time looking top-down on my creations to give them a particular shape, but it definitely didn’t occur to me that you might make puzzles out of them.
While this maze can be completed from above like a 2D puzzle, another maze by “Pesto_Power” challenges you to think in 3D by using the stairs and arches generated to get from one place to another as if you were actually walking around.
Other folks are creating highly detailed towns that look like they might be real places. Not only that, they’re naming and labeling them as if they’re maps of actual cities. The diagram of fictional Seegrad made by “Yalensky” below is daunting. There is lore for Seegrad. Are you kidding me? This is bananas and I love it.
“The spire of St. Christopher’s was the site of the famed Battle-Between-the-Stray-Cats-and-the-Seagulls during the mayoralty of Lord Bronislaus,” is just one of the bits of lore on their museum-worthy diagram. Can’t wait to play the first game set in Seegrad, given how much backstory the dang place already has. This builder was inspired by the Port Jouvence map built by “Tukata11.” Just for fun, here’s a giant, yellow residential building called The Hive.
Another player, “Nviate” has created a script to auto-generate builds by creating save file codes that can be imported into the game. Think Minecraft seeds. Another user took it for a spin and got this very hectic-looking town.
Townscaper is still in early access, despite the extremely imaginative builds already being made. Stålberg has said he wants to see how folks interact with Townscaper to decide on new features. My personal pick would be the ability to change the color of a block without removing and replacing it. So far as I can tell, tediously removing and rebuilding each individual block is the only way to repaint a town if you got carried away and accidentally went monochromatic.
You can find Townscaper over on Steam for £4.79/€4.99/$5.99.
If you build Windfall Island, don’t show me.