World generation is a feature of The Dead Linger which creates unique maps for players. It is procedural, meaning the world is created according to mathematical algorithms rather than being completely designed by hand. Because only parts of the world in which a player is in have been generated, and for the sake of gameplay only parts around the player need to be loaded into memory, the game can have large and detailed maps without taking up too much hardware resources.
Every procedurally generated world in The Dead Linger is 18 x 18 kilometers in size. After Build 16 the world will be made up of regions which in turn are made up of zones. Regions are groups of thematically similar zones that allow the world generator to create more realistic looking maps. Zones are regions of the map that are about 700x700 meters in size. Zones currently randomly generate areas that contain trees, houses, roads, farms and other map details. In the future to allow for more realistic and interesting map design zones will be designed using the Watertower scene creation tool.
Each unique map has an associated random number seed. This code represents the way the map generates zone placement, building placemnet, road placement etc. Players can share the seed to other players who will get a nearly identical map. This is faster and more convenient than copying the actual map file. Loot spawns and other certain items are purposefully not included in the seed, and so are unique even to maps with the same seed.
The size of the world requires the game to "re-origin" the center of the world in relation to the player. When this occurs the world refreshes by dropping in fog to hide object popping and slows the game down for 20 - 60 seconds. The player can keep playing the game and an DOVRAC symbol in the bottom right corner indicates the world refresh is occurring. The eventual plan is to make this process almost seamless.
- TDL Team. Development Roadmap 11 November, 2014.