I decided to talk about The Binding Of Isaac as my choice of generative art, mostly because its one of the few generated games that I have found myself play over and over and over again, and with my general propensity to not replay games I find this significant to me.

The game follows the story of Isaac, a young boy whose mother is asked by God to sacrifice him as a test of her faith. Upon trying to murder him, Isaac flees to their basement where he must fight for his life against a cohort of monster's and manifestations of traditionally evil elements that faith challenges.  It is this element that I so admire about this work, the complete freedom to enjoy it's gameplay or read into the dense subplot about conflicts over religion and how evil manifests itself within the stereotypes we associate with certain qualities of character (eg Greed, Envy etc).

The floors are generated from a library of rooms, with certain fixed rooms (like the starting room and the boss fight room) acting as cruxes for the rest of the rooms. What makes the game so replay are the endless combinations of items, enemies and rooms which makes every individual room a unique experience, as well as each instance of the game. The system as a whole is very ordered, as multiple replays will make apparent, but its the chaotic nature of every individual room that really makes the game.  It was heavily inspired by the first Legend of Zelda, with the gameplay following a very similar format. The art style of the game stands bold as well, with the combination of the algorithm and the design of the rooms combining to build the overall experience.


Creation: Edmund McMillen and Florian Himsl, initially released in 2011, with a remake (The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth) in 2014