Gamasutra reports on a talk by Far Cry 2
developer Dominic Guay in which he discussed why procedural content generation
is becoming more and more important
as games get bigger and more complex. He also talks about some of the related difficulties, such as the amount of work required for the tools and the times when it's hard to retain control of the art direction. Quoting:
"Initially, the team created a procedural sky rendering approach based on algorithms — which led to a totally unconvincing skybox that was clearly inferior to what a hand-authored skybox would be. 'We considered it to be a total failure,' he said. He explained that a great deal of focus must be put on the tools that surround the algorithms, to allow the systems to be properly harnessed. In the end, the game shipped with a revamped procedural sky system that ended up much more effective than the first attempt."