NPC spawning

Video game concept

NPCs, monsters and any other enemies (and possibly allies) are (re-)spawned/repopulated occasionally, either by time trigger or location triggers such as distance or level change.


Alternate names: Monster spawning, NPC respawning

The first video game about NPC spawning was released in 1981.

2K Games, U.S. Gold and Blizzard has published most of these games

* Random encounters
* Monster generator - in case the spawning can be stopped by destroying an object.
* Pop-up mooks - respawning process may appear like creatures are popping up out of nowhere, but players normally don't see it (unless they have a habit of running back and forth rapidly).
* Re-animators

See also: NPC refills where areas are repopulated by unrelated things
This is also the norm for MMOs, so tagging them is somewhat redundant, but there are cases where no AI controlled adversaries exist and some may have some form of biological simulation running that removes the need for artificial respawning, so this tag could still be used where appropriate.

Although unrealistic in most cases, this provides some extra entertainment for players when they backtrack/revisit locations they have been to earlier. No longer finding them devoid of life as they left them. Usually coupled with corpses and dropped items disappearing at similar pace.

There are two common approaches to produce NPC (re-)spawning.
* Literally respawn the creatures at their "start" locations, some have the decency of adding a teleport-in effect or similar.
* Spawn new replacements that arrive from "outside", whether they're exactly the same as the old is irrelevant.

* NOT for simulated breeding
* NOT for devices that spawn creatures that can be stopped indefinitely

The spawning process is usually limited to replacements, but can occur without such limit.


Windows 68
PS3 15
X360 15
Linux 15
Mac OS X 11
C64 5
PS2 4
Pandora 3
Apple II E 3
Amstrad CPC 3
Xbox 2
Switch 2
Mac OS Classic 2
Wii 2
ZX Spectrum 2
Flash 2
Atari 400/800 2
MICRO 7 - FM7 1
Sharp X1 1
GameCube 1
PS Vita 1
PS4 1
Arcade 1
Xbox One 1
Master System 1
Atari ST 1
TRS-80 1

By year

Popular tags

actionrpg aloneinthedark bioshock-series borderlands-series darksouls-series darkvoid-series deadisland-series diablo dungeoncrawler farcry grimrock-series hackandslash hordegame l4d-series lootemup metroidvania okami-series overlord-series prototype-series redfaction sacred-series souls-series soulslike stacsim stalker-series stealthgame systemshock tactical tradesim turok wizardry wolfenstein ys-series