I am roughly 270 episodes late on this topic, but I'd thought I'd give a bit of debate on this because I recently went back and have been watching from the start to actually learn what Casey is doing instead of just watching and being entertained by his mistakes :)
I have got to day 31, and this was the era of TileMap's and the transition from pixels to real-world units. In the Q&A, it was asked whether or not there would be a map editor, and Casey replied that the game would be procedurally-generated.
Just recently, a Co-optional Podcast episode by TotalBiscuit, Jesse Cox and Dodger involved the discussion of procedural generation, and that such an idea is starting to lose traction because of a major flaw in the design of such a concept: the fact that nothing is deliberate.
For instance, you can't place an object in a specific room that's specifically designed to do something that allows the player to progress because of the fact that the entire world is procedurally-generated. Procedurally-generated games, in my opinion, only works for sandbox games where you can do whatever the game offers you, which in itself is flawed by design and limited by the mechanics you offer. It's obvious that the Handmade Hero game is far from complete but I'm curious about the design decision to make this game procedurally-generated now that the topic has been criticized and brought up by perhaps the most cynical critic I know, that being TotalBiscuit.
His words on the topic was (not the words exactly): "I would rather play a game that was specifically designed by the developer because that's how the developer envisioned it, not a game that is procedurally-generated that has objects that make no sense or has no real value to it."
Now, I'm not the kind of person that just follows a single opinion. I'm not exactly a TB fanboy or anything. But it got me thinking that, even though Handmade Hero is a tutorial series and not a game that is going to end up on Steam once it's finished (correct me if I'm wrong), creating a procedurally-generated game and advising on creating one may not necessarily be the best advice from a design perspective.
I'm curious what your thoughts are on this topic.
Bottom line: I think creating a procedurally-generated game for teaching purposes is fine, I'm not against that and neither am I against procedurally-generated games in general, but I would personally advise that people handcraft their worlds and design it specifically how you intend the world to appear because that way you can make the final product feel polished. It's a lot harder to polish a procedurally-generated game due to the nature of such games by design. No Man's Sky is a perfect example of this. As far as I know, there is no procedurally-generated commercially available game that is considered complete.