Procedural generation

Today, most games include thousands of times as much data in terms of memory as algorithmic mechanics. For example, all of the buildings in the large game world of Grand Theft Auto were individually designed and placed by artists. In a typical modern video game, game content such as textures and character and environment models are created by artists beforehand, then rendered in the game engine. The number of unique objects displayed in a video game is increasing. In addition to highly detailed models, players expect a variety of models that appear substantially different from one another. With the increased visual fidelity of modern games, however, it is very jarring to see many copies of a single object, while the real world contains far more variety. However, a single algorithm can be envisioned to generate a realistic-looking tree, the algorithm could be called to generate random trees, thus filling a whole forest at runtime, instead of storing all the vertices required by the various models. This would save storage media space and reduce the burden on artists, while providing a richer experience. The same method would require far more processing power (though somewhat less disk access), but with CPUs getting faster, the problem is gradually becoming smaller. However it is not easy to develop such an algorithm for a single tree, let alone for a variety of species, moreover assembling a forest could not be done by just assembling trees because in the real world this introduces interactions between the various trees which dramatically change their appearance.In 2004, a PC first-person shooter called kkrieger was released that made heavy use of procedural synthesis: while quite short and very simple, the advanced video effects were packed into just 96 Kilobytes.

Source: en.wikipedia.orgAdded: 22 March 2007