Biological Content Generation: Evolving Game Terrains Through Living Organisms

  • Wim van EckEmail author
  • Maarten H. Lamers
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9027)


This study explores the concept of evolving game terrains through intermediation of living biological organisms and presents a proof of concept realization thereof. We explore how fungal and bacterial cultures can be used to generate an evolving game terrain in real-time. By visually capturing growing cultures inside a Petri-dish, heightmaps are generated that form the basis of naturally evolving terrains. Possible consequences and benefits of this approach are discussed, as are its effects on the visual appearance of simulated terrains. A novel and convenient method for visually capturing growing microorganisms is presented, with a technical description for translating captured footage to virtual terrains. This work is experimental in nature and is an initial venture into the novel domain of organically growing virtual terrains.


Bio-digital hybrid systems Living organisms Virtual terrain Computer games Procedural content generation Fungi Bacteria 



Preliminary results of this study were presented at the symposium “What’s Next for Procedural Content?” at IT University of Copenhagen, November 2014. We thank the participants for their useful feedback and comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Media Technology Research Group, Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer ScienceLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Royal Academy of ArtThe HagueThe Netherlands

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