Procedural content generation in IF?

Hi all. I’m trying to think of any IF that’s used procedural content generation techniques in any capacity. Other than Kerkerkruip I’m having trouble coming up with anything, although I feel like there are obvious examples I’m overlooking. In general I’m looking for stuff that does more than just random variation, although interesting uses of random variation are nice too. Help?

Hunter, In Darkness randomly generates the map as well as room descriptions.

I’m not quite sure how An Act of Murder works under the hood, but I got the impression that it was randomly combining possible murderers, murder weapons, etc., and then seeding the game space with the appropriate evidence to support the current story in each case.

The maze in Reliques of Tolti-Aph is also randomly generated and I think randomly sprinkled with contents. (It’s been a while since I looked at this, but the code is available, so it should be possible to check up on the details.)

Beyond Zork is the first thing that jumps to mind for me, but that’s true in the context of a good many topics :slight_smile:

I’m fairly sure that the A Bleach of Etiquette section of When Help Collides uses procedural generation to establish a number of things, including the PC’s potential to develop skills; the core of the game’s strategy is working out which, and finding a way to win despite your limitations. (The interaction style is very atypical for IF; it’s basically a calendar-arrangement game after the style of Princess Maker, with a very limited IF-ish front-end.)

I thought that Hunter, In Darkness was only pseudo-random; though it still counts as procedurally generated.

I’m pretty sure that Rogue of the Multiverse randomly generates some aspects of the salvage quests.

Isn’t there an Infocom title with a puzzle that’s randomized, which prevents undo and has a famously fiendish way of making sure you don’t try to brute-force the solution? But I don’t remember what it is (and don’t tell me how it works!).

Troy Jones’s The Knight, The Jester, and the Spy is a short implementation of the knight-knave puzzle which randomizes the solution and also the answers you get to the questions you ask; it’s still in beta as far as I know but you could ask him about it.

Oh, yes. If it’s the one I’m thinking about, it’s a puzzle in Spellbreaker which is really one of those guess-the-odd-one-out-by-their-weight-with-only-X-weighs puzzles (I’ve always hated them). I will spare you the details, as you asked, but save/restore/undo and brute-forcing will only ensure you never complete the game.

There’s also Avon. Lot’s of instances with randomized puzzles - and if you save the game AFTER you receive a clue and BEFORE actually using the clue to solve the puzzle, the game becomes unwinnable. Very nasty, that, especially since in at least one puzzle it’s not at all clear that you were just GIVEN a clue.

Photopia does something similar in the storytelling sequences.

And yes, the maze in Reliques is randomly designed and randomly populated with a random assortment of items and creatures.

That’s correct.

(The difference between random and pseudo-random is almost irrelevant in these discussions. The interesting work is in the generation algorithm.)

In Heliopause I do some random variation of the areas you explore. It’s simpler than in Hunter.