Game Central has given Runic Games' Torchlight the preview treatment, thanks to what they learned during a demonstration given by lead designer Travis Baldree at PAX 2009.
A big emphasis from Travis about Torchlight was the level design. There are seven distinct tilesets of randomized environments, these include sunken ruins, mines, and crypts. Instead of the carefully mapped out topography of other such titles as Titan Quest and Diablo II, Torchlight features completely randomized levels. You won't notice this unique characteristic on your first playthrough of this 20-hour game. However, it will be wholly apparent on return visits of the game; excluding the pre-designed (boss) portions, each room will appear to be totally different. It's understandable why players could potentially be skeptical of this mechanic, as past games have been criticized for lack of depth and personality in the design. With Torchlight, Runic is attempting to combat this plague.
We questioned Travis about the narrative structure of the story progression, specifically how it will be possible in a game where levels are totally randomized. We learned not every single level is randomized, but a vast majority of them are. The story will remain the same, since there will be certain key dungeons that will appear in each playthrough.