Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
May 18, 2010
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According to programmer Zoid Kirsch, when he first started programming and learning BASIC, one of the first programs he wrote at the age of 13 was a maze generation algorithm that could generate a maze of any size with a single solution (a C code port of Kirsch's original BASIC implementation, posted by him on Usenet in 1989, can be found here). During the development of Metroid Prime, when designing Central Dynamo, the room in the Phazon Mines with the Power Bomb upgrade, he used the same algorithm to add a randomly generated maze for the Morph Ball that players would have to solve.

One of the game's tech leads Jack Mathews expressed concern that this algorithm would eventually generate an impassible maze, so to ensure that the maze was of sufficient length, he wrote a tool that would generate and then solve the maze, picking 300 random seeds that the solver indicated at least 75% of the maze was required to be traversed. This results in 300 different mazes that can be generated in Central Dynamo. The maze also features two obstacles along the route in the form of water puddles that must be bombed to short out the nearby nodes and open the path.

When this story was originally posted to Twitter in 2022, programmer Robin Lavallée commented that he wrote a similar algorithm for the Wii game Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, where all seeds were equally likely, and the solution would be stored as he built the maze.
Also Appears On: Metroid Prime (Game)
Contributed by MehDeletingLater on September 16, 2023
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