Game Design Game Development Geek / Technical

A Book on Procedural Content Generation

Sometime back, I discovered Procedural Content Generation for Games, a book about using the computer to create or help to create game content such as levels, landscapes, rules, story lines, or any number of things.

The chapters are available in PDF form on the website for free. Each corresponds with a lecture for a university course the book was designed for, so it is a bit academic. It’s also a little rough, as the point of it being released for free online is to get feedback. These chapters are drafts and not necessarily how they’ll be when officially published.

The book hasn’t been released yet in hardcover, but Amazon’s link shows it as a 2017 edition. And since textbooks are like cars (I once had an accounting textbook that said it was an edition for a year that hasn’t arrived yet), apparently it means it might be released later this year?

I don’t know. There isn’t too much current info on the book. The latest blog post announcing new chapters was from 2013, and the link to the course website is broken.

But the chapters drafts are still available, and they offer some good insight into the algorithms and approaches used in existing games such as Rogue, Spelunky, Elite, Spore, and Minecraft.

Whether you’re interested in the Mario AI framework they describe, or learning how race tracks can be generated to appeal to certain player types, or how to use L-systems and formal grammars in general to generate plants and other features of your games, you could do worse than read through this freely available resource.