MALSTORM

Atari ST - 1992
Back in 1992, this game was a really new concept for me. I quickly realized that the creator of a game knows everything about it - how it works, how it ticks, what awaits around each corner - and therefore can not really enjoy playing such game. Nothing can surprise him.

Randomly generated games was my next (and logical) step ...



I believed that a purely randomly generated game has the following problem - all the events have to be stored in memory at some point, just in case of the player wanting to walk back to a location and find everything the way it was when he first got there. This always bothered me, so I was looking for something more flexible...





So, I created algorithms allowing me to create infinite worlds, with n dimensions, where the player could go back to any location and find the same thing, and this without taking any memory in the computer (I much later realized that I had created algorithms and ideas already used in the 3D industry, like the Perlin Noise for instance, and the concept of random seeds...)





This is what Malstorm was all about. It was an space/exploration game (inspired by Elite) where the player could explore an infinite universe and, this time, even me could visit solar systems, planets, and be surprised by what I would find there.
It was also my first attempt in creating a game in 3D.






I never finished Malstorm, but it was a step in which I realized the strengths of such algorithms, which could be a lot more useful and interesting... and the virtual life simulator Beagle followed directly after this game. You can also look at World'ed which I developed at the same time and was supposed to later be part of Malstorm.


ORIGINAL ARTWORK (1992)
Each time I started working on a new game, I would do a lot of research and spend a fair amount of time sketching ideas and concepts. These would often spill out into the margins of my school work, much to the annoyance of my teachers...











MALSTORM is 1992 - Laurent KERMEL