What Is Procedural Generation?

Making video games is no small task, with modern AAA video games being the work of hundreds, if not thousands of skilled developers. Plus, as the video game industry has grown and developed, these creators having been pushing the limits of what is and isn’t possible in the digital world. Some of the gaming evolutions are all but miraculous.

One such amazing technology is known as procedural generation, and it is all but a triumph in the video game world. Many modern games use this technology, and it goes a long way to creating words that seem more real than ever before. But what is procedural generation, and how exactly does it work, and will we ever see it in online pokies?

Procedural Generation Is An Old Technology

When creating a world in a video game, it is normally a process of creating specific maps. A great deal of time and effort goes into the maps, making them not only realistic and amazing to look at, but also intuitive in how it should be navigated. This can take level design professionals weeks, and even months to do properly.

But static maps, once explored, become boring. An answer to this problem is procedural generation, which allows a game to make things such as maps on the fly, with a new result possible every time the software is run. It sounds almost too advanced to be possible, but the technology has existed for a great deal longer than many think.

The most popular first game to use procedural generation was in 1980, titled Rogue, which gave rise to the term Rogue-Like.

How It Works

Games that copied the randomised nature of Rogue were called Rogue-Like, which is a term that still exists today, referring to a game that is largely randomly generated on the fly. This meant that every player who played a game would have a different experience. Procedural generation in modern times is, of course, used for a great number of game aspects, and cannot simply be classified as Rogue-Like.

At its core, procedural generation uses an algorithm, which can be programmed to work in specific parameters, with specific elements. So, as an example, a procedural generation engine may have information about treasure chests, but be given the parameter that treasure chests are rare, and should only appear once per level, in an area guarded by a powerful monster. When constructing a level, the engine will follow these instructions, amongst all other instructions concerning how a level should be created.

Needless to say, designing a procedural generation engine is not easy.

Benefits Of Procedural Generation

Procedural generation creates a situation where the player virtually has no end to a certain type of game content. Although the levels created will have a certain feeling of similarity, they will never be identical, meaning that a game can virtually be played forever.

Levels created in this way, however, will not have the precise, handcrafted feel of manually created game levels. It is, therefore, a tit for tat exchange.

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