Spicing Up Map Generation

  • Tobias Mahlmann
  • Julian Togelius
  • Georgios N. Yannakakis
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7248)


We describe a search-based map generator for the classic real-time strategy game Dune 2. The generator is capable of creating playable maps in seconds, which can be used with a partial recreation of Dune 2 that has been implemented using the Strategy Game Description Language. Map genotypes are represented as low-resolution matrices, which are then converted to higher-resolution maps through a stochastic process involving cellular automata. Map phenotypes are evaluated using a set of heuristics based on the gameplay requirements of Dune 2.


Cellular Automaton Cellular Automaton Strategy Game Game Engine Terrain Type 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Dune II: The Maker,
  2. 2.
    Ashlock, D.: Automatic generation of game elements via evolution. In: 2010 IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence and Games (CIG), pp. 289–296 (August 2010)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ashlock, D., Gent, S., Bryden, K.: Embryogenesis of artificial landscapes. In: Hingston, P.F., Barone, L.C., Michalewicz, Z. (eds.) Design by Evolution. Natural Computing Series, pp. 203–221. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bentley, J.: Programming pearls: algorithm design techniques. Commun. ACM 27, 865–873 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Doran, J., Parberry, I.: Controlled procedural terrain generation using software agents. IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games 2(2), 111–119 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Frade, M., de Vega, F., Cotta, C.: Evolution of Artificial Terrains for Video Games Based on Accessibility. In: Di Chio, C., Cagnoni, S., Cotta, C., Ebner, M., Ekárt, A., Esparcia-Alcazar, A.I., Goh, C.-K., Merelo, J.J., Neri, F., Preuß, M., Togelius, J., Yannakakis, G.N. (eds.) EvoApplicatons 2010. LNCS, vol. 6024, pp. 90–99. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Herbert, F.: Dune. New English Library (1966)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Johnson, L., Yannakakis, G.N., Togelius, J.: Cellular automata for real-time generation of infinite cave levels. In: Proceedings of the 2010 Workshop on Procedural Content Generation in Games, PCGames 2010, pp. 10:1–10:4. ACM, New York (2010)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mahlmann, T., Togelius, J., Yannakakis, G.: Modelling and evaluation of complex scenarios with the strategy game description language. In: Proceedings of the Conference for Computational Intelligence, CIG 2011, KR 2011, Seoul (2011)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Mahlmann, T., Togelius, J., Yannakakis, G.: Towards Procedural Strategy Game Generation: Evolving Complementary Unit Types. In: Di Chio, C., Cagnoni, S., Cotta, C., Ebner, M., Ekárt, A., Esparcia-Alcázar, A.I., Merelo, J.J., Neri, F., Preuss, M., Richter, H., Togelius, J., Yannakakis, G.N. (eds.) EvoApplications 2011, Part I. LNCS, vol. 6624, pp. 93–102. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Meffert, K., Rotstan, N., Knowles, C., Sangiorgi, U.: Jgap-java genetic algorithms and genetic programming package (2008),
  12. 12.
    Nielsen, J.L., Jensen, B.F.: Artificial Agents for the Strategy Game Description Language. Master’s thesis, ITU Copenhagen (2011)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Smelik, R.M., Kraker, K.J.D., Groenewegen, S.A., Tutenel, T., Bidarra, R.: A survey of procedural methods for terrain modelling. In: Proc. of the CASA Workshop on 3D Advanced Media In Gaming And Simulation (3AMIGAS) (2009)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Togelius, J., Yannakakis, G., Stanley, K., Browne, C.: Search-based procedural content generation: A taxonomy and survey. IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games 3(3), 172–186 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Togelius, J., Preuss, M., Beume, N., Wessing, S., Hagelbäck, J., Yannakakis, G.: Multiobjective exploration of the starcraft map space. In: 2010 IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games, CIG (2010)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tobias Mahlmann
    • 1
  • Julian Togelius
    • 1
  • Georgios N. Yannakakis
    • 1
  1. 1.IT University of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

Personalised recommendations