The Content Conundrum – Why So Many Games Feel Generic – Extra Credits

Procedurally generated content seems like a really appealing route for a lot of indie developers–it’s what AAA game studios are doing, and it seems to protect game balance! But often times it’s worth the extra effort to craft a few handmade pieces, even at the risk of “breaking” the game.
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  • Procedurally generated content is very popular in AAA games right now, because it saves money–but especially in the indie game space, it often pays off to create some handmade content that makes your game’s personality come alive.
    Also, apologies to everyone who has made a comment and has not seen it appear yet–something's wonky with our YouTube settings so a lot of comments are hiding right now! Thanks for your patience.

    Extra Credits July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • Terraria hello there

    Luke Gaming July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • The CDI Zelda frame proves that this is a series of culture.

    Hermon the great July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • Funny, because when games have low variety of enemies/monsters, I automatically find them boring.

    Ajmes July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • Well, that was timely and keen… exactly the kind of things I've been thinking about and working on.

    Resurgent Ocelot July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • procedurally generated content vs handcrafting content? Why the …… versus?

    gorgis seva July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • I'm starting to really enjoy listening to Matt speak. When he first took over Extra credits, it was kind of uncomfortable having things play in the background. He had that, sort of 'youtuber voice' that felt really loud and, in your face. But now I feel like I can finally relax and let this run in the background while I work.

    Gunboyshootman July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • a game called venture land made a lot of items by making teirs of each one. and added attachments and enchantments that are hard to get. instead of making its own back story you find your self hoarding items because it took you hours to make compared to the next gear. they also add prefixes and suffix that change things about the item as well. you can also get items of bosses and enmeis that you can reforge into better weapons. in that game you dont find a better weapon you painstakingly craft it making its story and lore that makes it much harder to get rid of.

    Creepys land of dreams 123789 July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • There's an owo monster at 0:06…

    J Choi July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • And where is the dark souls vs diablo items comparison?

    Mariano Lucas July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • Why don’t people just remeber updates, you make the base game it sells you get money yoy put it back into the game more people buy it repeat intill the game is perfect look at Minecraft, terraria, ark vs. COD, Souls (they do bug fixes), most Nintedo games. Now to be fair AAA games are expected to have the whole package vs. indie which are small time

    eeveegaming4798 July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • Well sea of theives doesn’t really give you much you just buy skins

    eeveegaming4798 July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • It's true, procedural generation is not a cost saver, it's a statement, and one that can easily break an otherwise great game's writing. Relying on procedural generation in games can be like relying on choose-your-own-adventure form in books. It's just a fact of life that only once in a blue moon are these forms beneficial to the crafting of an experience. Procedural generation fits well with games that have very thin writing, but focus on expression; One (not perfect, but still very good) example would be Heat Signature, a pretty fun Hotline Miami-esque thing set in SPEHSS. The idea is simple: instead of guiding the player through a carefully crafted story laden with our message, we give them the expressive tools to make their own story and impart it with their own message.

    Luigi Vercotti July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • 0:05 I FOWNED A OWO

    Bilbo Baggins July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • his voice got so much deeper

    zylokun July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • Because you constantly play the same genre instead of trying out new stuff. Well that or you are one of those people that only play AAA games.

    maciekx10 July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • This is why I love Dead Cells and Enter the Gungeon. They both have copious amounts of weapons and abilities to play around with. And on balance, Gungeon throws this right out the window, having a weapon that can one-shot the final boss (Cells does this to a lesser extent, the only real balance patches being too buff things that are never used). If you haven't played either of these games I highly recommend you try them at least once.

    Mr Trash July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • This is why I love contemporary retro game development. essentially stick to the graphics that were available around the early mid and possibly late 2000s and build content from then on like not everything has to be new and shiny we are kind of spoilt in that

    Zachary Hare July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • Yare yare desu you just called procedurally generated things bland how un-minecrafter of you

    Vilmos Palik July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • I remember there is an episode where Dan pointed out that imbalance (talent tree or items) is useful.

    Doran Martell July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • 0:47


    Space Chase July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • I impulse bought Gungrave on the ps2 at a retro game store and was blown away how different it was from everything else I played in years.

    WDCain July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply
  • Wait…


    Kinda Brian, But not really. July 2, 2020 12:59 pm Reply

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