Procedural algorithms in games, good idea, or piece of crud

I just want to know what you think of things being generated procedurally in games. Take the upcoming Spore for example, the terrain and creature animation is all procedural and thus eliminates the need for animators and allows for large detailed worlds, without procedurals Spore’s diversity would have to be limited citing thousands or millions of unique creatures would require an eternity to animate.

Or take Simcity, what about how the game would look with procedurally created buildings so that each one is different, it takes a pallate of styles and base pieces and procedurally generate the building with its own random name mixing base pieces and styles if wanted.

Personally having smart procedural algorithms to run games will change the way we see games. No more fixed amounts of objects for say simulations. We just use a procedural algorithm and we get a lot more diversity even in little things if you apply it and makes the look of the world more dynamic.

Spore is one of the most exciting things that I have seen as far as gaming goes in the past year… and its not even finished yet…

and i have to agree with you… the only possible negative of procedurally generated content in games would be a much more limited field of work for game producers, and, as Will wright said in his speech, would lead to a great reduction of 3d artists required to produce a game…

but all in all, it seems like a good future for games…

Kind Regards,

Or buildings with procedural inside areas so in a first person view in Simcity you can go inside the buildings. Or in an RTS procedurally generated debris will fly off as you blow apart enemy or civilian buildings.

In Age of Empires III you can see pieces fly off the buildings, but as i’ve seen there’s a preset of pieces already on the buildings and it’s not entirely dynamic.

I think such debris effects is coming with the new Havok FX program on the Havok website.

Just can’t wait till it’s used in the elder scrolls game after oblivion :smiley:

Well they’re already using procedural forests and terrains in Oblivion, and that is the shit. It’s so good looking, and pretty realistic too.

Well they’re already using procedural forests and terrains in Oblivion, and that is the shit. It’s so good looking, and pretty realistic too.[/quote]

Do you know if they were procedurally generated, and then put into the game (like they are the same every time you play, but were generated procedurally by the developers), or if they will actually be generated ingame (so every new character you play will actually explore different terrain)?"procedural+building"&fr=FP-tab-web-t&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF-8

Interesting stuff on the creation of procedural structures, not as advanced as Spore or other games but still proves they’ve been doing research.

Also, i’ve read that the textures and music in Spore is also procedural :o

or completely different tools and techniques… which has already happened at least twice

doing art for an 8 bit game is nothing like drawing textures and making models for quake 3, is nothing like building normal maps in zbrush, is nothing like building procedural content generators will be.

I think procedural terrain generators were used by a company called Terminal Reality (their slogan is “if reality had a patent, we’d own it”) in at least the game 4x4 evolution. I think they made a flying game too.

The driving game allows you to drive off-road forever. But it gets very boring after about 5 minutes because there’s nothing interesting there. No interaction and no real artistry. For that reason, I don’t think procedural generators will reduce the need for 3D artists, quite the opposite. Because there is so much more goemetry, there needs to be more creative control to avoid it looking dull.

Procedural terrain just that wouldn’t make the game interesting, now if they also procedurally added trees, forests, lakes, mountains, cliffs, caves, procedurally generated interactive buildings and cities that can be blown up, procedural bridges that swing and can be blown up, and objects to push around it’d probably last more then 5 minutes.

Though I’d doubt the procedural effects were as good as Spore’s.

for those of you still in the dark, a demo of Spore from will wright’s 2005 GDC speech can be seen at google video here

IIRC, the forests themselves in Oblivion are generated procedurally on the fly, meaning that every time you travel through them, they will look different

Kind Regards,

while were on the topic, here is a cool RPG, it randomly generates the whole world while you play:

the interface and stuff is kind of quirky, and the gameplay really isnt all that good, but its still fun in its own way. :slight_smile:

WOW, i just watched that spore video… awesome, i am speechless :o . That has got to be the ultimate game… completely open-ended… i cant wait for it to come out O_O
/me goes to look for more info

EDIT #2:
is there any set release date for Spore? or a general ETA?

Spore will come out this year. Check Gamespot for projected release date or quarter.

Being created procedurally doesn’t necessarily mean that it will look different every time. They can just be generated according to a certain algorithm. For example, procedural textures in Blender look the same with same settings.

Unless they use a seed to make a different algorithm depending on what it is, like Blender particles

OH YEAH, i almost forgot one of my all-time favorite games ever. It is cool because the whole galaxy is generated procedurally, and you can go from sun to sun, visit the various planets around the suns (they have interresting things like lifeforms and ruins), the moons also, there are almost no bounds to what you can do :D. if anybody is interrested (which nobody probably will be after seeing the games 3d graphics), it can be found at:

you can visit the planets/stars and name them, then send the info in to the website and then download the ‘inbox’ which is full of names people have given to stars. the game uses the same seed to generate the universe for everyone, so each universe is the same.

the next version will hopefully come out in the relatively near future. it will have much better graphics and larger planets that will actually be virtually impossible to actually fully explore. and all of it will be procedurally generated like its predecessor.

I don’t know about a new version, the latest news I could find would be from a few years ago and the site is a mess and looks unkept.

Then again they do have some fairly recent forum posts and there could be a slight chance (I said slight because the site’s not that active)

Games are going to becoming even worse than they already are because of this.

I remember that. I remember finding the interface to be offensively anti-intuitive, to the point of making it impossible to enjoy.

That website seems to have nothing at all to do with it either.

Procedural created universes exist, but the one that stands out for me is the one of eve online

Because first they wrote the procedural algorythme, then they fed it the base value to start it… and they chose 42 as base value.

I think procedural will be used a lot in the future to develop games, but as said before, there will always be the need for a human hand to guide the computer: “Computer have no artistic, or common sense”.

I use Blender World Forge for building details into my models, it’s fast and looks nice.