New Resources for Procedural Generation

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New Resources for Procedural Generation

Postby Flatfingers » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:33 pm

I ran into some remarkably timely resources today -- papers from the recent International Conference on Computational Creativity in Sydney, Australia.

Michael Cook manages the fascinating Games by Angelina project -- the procedural generation of games themselves -- and often provides notes on interesting items from that general field. Well, today's was a doozy.

Michael commented on three papers from the Sydney conference. The first had to do with generating relationships among metaphors -- possibly handy if you're doing NPC conversational AI, but otherwise perhaps mostly just generally interesting.

The second paper sounded like it might have been related to something Josh was looking at a couple of weeks ago (music generation): automatic composition of soundscapes based on text phrases. Just by describing the environment, appropriate audio can be produced. How cool would it be to have music and sound effects that match the feel of a particular star system or your current activities?

But the best was last: the "invention of fictional concepts". On its face, this is about merging animal types to create new kinds of animals. But step back, and what it really appears to be is a system for generating sensible new kinds of objects given a set of inputs and constraints. As Michael Cook puts it:

"It’s not just concerned about generating an animal that isn’t in the database already. They’re interested in animals that are surprising, or interesting, or thought-provoking in some way, and they’ve tried to describe what ‘interesting’ means in terms of what knowledge about the world your animal-inventor already has. While the system itself isn’t easily integrated into a game because of the software it uses, I wanted to give this paper a special mention because it might inspire people who are randomly generating content for their game, and make them think about ways they can filter their content to make it a little more interesting and a little less random."

Replace "animal" above with "ship systems" and you can see why my eye-ears perked up. I may be off-base slightly, but this sure sounds similar to what Josh was considering for object creation rules in this week's devlogs.

Josh, no idea if these may be useful to you, but there they are in case anyone finds them interesting!
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Re: New Resources for Procedural Generation

Postby codeape » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:01 am

Good stuff :clap:

Flatfingers wrote:Replace "animal" above with "ship systems" and you can see why my eye-ears perked up. I may be off-base slightly, but this sure sounds similar to what Josh was considering for object creation rules in this week's devlogs.


Indeed. I just skimmed the papper but it looks interesting. :thumbup:
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Re: New Resources for Procedural Generation

Postby Kektain » Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:46 am

Bookmarked for later perusal, thanks man :D
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Re: New Resources for Procedural Generation

Postby Flatfingers » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:54 pm

My pleasure!

There's an amazing amount of good stuff out there. Need Moar Time! :D
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Re: New Resources for Procedural Generation

Postby Flatfingers » Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:19 pm

Michael Cook is back today with a very thoughtful post at Gamasutra on what it really means to make a game that uses procedural generation to massive amounts of content, such as the 18 quintillion worlds promised for No Man's Sky.

When does quantity become a kind of quality? How does massive quantity contribute consistently to delivering enjoyable gameplay?

There are some pretty direct connections between these questions, explored in the linked essay, and Josh's aims for procedural generation starting with Limit Theory.
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Re: New Resources for Procedural Generation

Postby JoshParnell » Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:34 pm

Flatfingers wrote:Michael Cook is back today with a very thoughtful post at Gamasutra on what it really means to make a game that uses procedural generation to massive amounts of content, such as the 18 quintillion worlds promised for No Man's Sky.

When does quantity become a kind of quality? How does massive quantity contribute consistently to delivering enjoyable gameplay?

There are some pretty direct connections between these questions, explored in the linked essay, and Josh's aims for procedural generation starting with Limit Theory.


Definitely reading this one during downtime. Thanks for the linkcandy Flat :D
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Re: New Resources for Procedural Generation

Postby Silverware » Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:37 pm

JoshParnell wrote:
Flatfingers wrote:Michael Cook is back today with a very thoughtful post at Gamasutra on what it really means to make a game that uses procedural generation to massive amounts of content, such as the 18 quintillion worlds promised for No Man's Sky.

When does quantity become a kind of quality? How does massive quantity contribute consistently to delivering enjoyable gameplay?

There are some pretty direct connections between these questions, explored in the linked essay, and Josh's aims for procedural generation starting with Limit Theory.


Definitely reading this one during downtime. Thanks for the linkcandy Flat :D


You will have to write some articles at some point Josh, I am fairly sure you will have some fascinating insights after finishing LT.
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Re: New Resources for Procedural Generation

Postby JoshParnell » Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:03 pm

I actually left a pretty extensive comment on this article that divulges some of the clarity I've gained over the course of LT development concerning proceduralism. Unfortunately since it's my first comment ever on Gama it'll require moderation so dunno when it'll show up :P

But yes, I'll look forward to blogging lots and lots about this kind of thing after LT is finished and I have "Free Time"!! :ghost:
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Re: New Resources for Procedural Generation

Postby Idunno » Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:09 pm

JoshParnell wrote:I actually left a pretty extensive comment on this article that divulges some of the clarity I've gained over the course of LT development concerning proceduralism. Unfortunately since it's my first comment ever on Gama it'll require moderation so dunno when it'll show up :P

Well, don't ask me. No sane mind would ever give me that kind of responsibility. :ghost: :twisted: :shifty:
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Re: New Resources for Procedural Generation

Postby Flatfingers » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:39 am

For the curious, Josh's comment on this Gamasutra article finally got unlocked.

It's worth a read, as it's a ringing defense of what makes procedural content generation valuable and effective from someone who's actually doing it.

Glad you enjoyed the article, Josh!
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Re: New Resources for Procedural Generation

Postby Talvieno » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:47 am

The founder of Kitfox Games, Tanya X Short, posted there too. :) Was cool seeing a name I recognized.

Speaking of which, Josh, you should've been at her procgen conference alongside Toady One. :lol:
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Re: New Resources for Procedural Generation

Postby JoshParnell » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:47 am

Flatfingers wrote:For the curious, Josh's comment on this Gamasutra article finally got unlocked.

It's worth a read, as it's a ringing defense of what makes procedural content generation valuable and effective from someone who's actually doing it.

Glad you enjoyed the article, Josh!


Thanks Flat :)

It really has been a slow and steady mental breakthrough over the past three years realizing that these algorithms are just like all other content. The tricky part is handling them like we handle content (i.e., easy to tweak / edit, fast iteration, good tool support, etc..) -- but that's where LTSL (or in general, a scripting language) comes in. It was my first step into the waters of handling my procedural algorithms just like all other content. In fact, when you finally install LT, you'll see a directory called 'assets,' with subdirs like font, shader, sound, etc...and if you dig around, you'll realize that most of the game actually lives inconspicuously within the 'assets/script' folder, right alongside the rest of the game 'assets' :)
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Re: New Resources for Procedural Generation

Postby Flatfingers » Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:45 am

JoshParnell wrote:It really has been a slow and steady mental breakthrough over the past three years realizing that these algorithms are just like all other content.
...
In fact, when you finally install LT, you'll see a directory called 'assets,' with subdirs like font, shader, sound, etc...and if you dig around, you'll realize that most of the game actually lives inconspicuously within the 'assets/script' folder, right alongside the rest of the game 'assets' :)

Top-to-bottom conceptual coherence driving elegant implementation.

Love it. :)
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