Shamus Young is an inspiration.
He is able to juggle a large amount of hobbies and responsibilities and makes it look easy. I have a lot of respect for the fact that he finds time to be a father, a husband, get his paid work done and to disport in the same number of hours that I achieve half of those things.
His latest project, Procedural City is best described by outlining its three primary goals (as quoted from his introduction to the project):
1. The goal is to make a nighttime cityscape that is mostly made of lights and suggestions rather than real detail.
2. The city will be entirely procedurally generated. That is, the program will contain no art assets. No textures. No models. Everything must be built from scratch at startup.
3. I’m budgeting a week of nights and weekends for the project. So, probably about 30 hours of time total.
The results are fairly astounding. I love procedural generation. I’m not sure how I feel about the potential reduction in reliance on human artists, musicians or even level designers, but I guess thats the way things are going these days. Having said that, nothing procedurally created can really outshine the loving care that is put into a hand-crafted level, texture or piece of music.
Check out Shamus’ latest video showing off the project.
Shamus has also created some other things which have really grabbed my attention.
He has been featured multiple times on one of my favourite podcasts, Fear the Boot for his ability to run and document his D&D campaigns. These are a really good read if you’re into D&D – they should provide you with some inspiration for your own.
He has also authored one of the funniest web-comic series of all time, DM of the Rings (DMotR).
If you have ever seen or read Lord of the Rings and have either played, or are simply interested in learning about D&D, do yourself a favour and read this webcomic. It has a lifespan, Shamus knew to stop it before it got old which means that it is at quite a readable length.
Keep up the good work Shamus.