Catchup Interview with Watabou of Fantasy City Generator
Creator Interview Procgen Interview Map Gen Interview

Catchup Interview with Watabou of Fantasy City Generator

Duncan Thomson
Maybe I am too critical of my work, but I'm rarely really proud of it. There is always something I am dissatisfied with, either with results achieved, or with the quality of my code.

A follow-up interview with Watabou, creator of Medieval Fantasy City Generator, One-Page Dungeon and other tools. The first interview is from Dec 2018.

Q&A 2 with Watabou

What's the main news since the first interview? [Dec 2018]

During these 2 years I have released around 10 updates to MFCG [Medieval Fantasy City Generator] and also I've made a few new generators. Some of them were one-time undertakings, others turned out to be interesting enough to keep developing them.

For me personally the most important event was starting a Patreon. Thanks to it the development now depends less on my mood and more on schedules and users' feedback.

What update to Medieval Fantasy Generator are you proudest of?

Maybe I am too critical of my work, but I'm rarely really proud of it. There is always something I am dissatisfied with, either with results achieved, or with the quality of my code.

But I am pretty content with the last update, with its main feature - the new algorithm for buildings placement. I came up with its idea some time ago, but I wasn't confident enough to implement it until now.

This new algorithm is slightly slower than the old one and there are occasional glitches, but overall new maps look much better now. So I am sort of proud of it.

What were the main challenges of building the One Page Dungeon?

1PDG consists of two major parts.

The first one is the dungeon generator itself which creates rooms, connects them with doors and corridors etc. I wanted the dungeons to have traces of symmetry so I had to use a special trick instead of one of common methods. There were some bumps on the road, but it wasn't particularly hard because it wasn't the first dungeon generator in my life.

The second part of 1PDG is textual and making this one was a real challenge for me. In the beginning I thought that piling random "dying elves", "cursed swords" and "tapestries depicting " would be enough, but in practice this all didn't sound like interesting or even coherent dungeon descriptions.

Narrative stuff is hard.

What generators of others would you highlight or inspire you?

I have seen many good random generators. Some of them are so good that their output is interesting to read even when I don't really need it. They are like a special genre of very short stories: plot hooks, character backstories etc. But this is not my area of expertise at all so it's probably incorrect to say they inspire me (but they make me jealous of authors' talent). What is much closer to my area is Azgaar's generator and it really impresses and inspires me.

What's the weirdest generators request you've had?

I can't remember any weird requests off the top of my head. I usually get requests for variations of my existing generators: modern cities instead of medieval ones or castles instead of manors.

What's the next project?

I don't have plans for anything big at this moment. In a few days the PROCJAM starts and I am looking forward to making something interesting.

If you have any ideas (especially weird ones) I would be happy to hear them!

[This came out after Procjam for which Watabou made a Stick Figures Gen]

Are there any generators you'd love to make but can't / haven't found a way to?

I've been long fascinated by the idea of procedurally generated stories.

It shouldn't be too hard, but every time I tried one of my smart ideas on the topic, results were... underwhelming (as in 1PDG).

I have no ambitions to make a "novel generator", but maybe I will try to add a "narrative layer" to one of my existing generators.

More Interviews

First interview from Dec 2018 can be found here

You can find more more Creator Interviews on Rand Roll.

I have a discord for discussing random tools and tables and I'm also on instagram as rpg_generators with random tables and gens.