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joeG

Procedural Metropolis

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Take a look at this paper. Does anyone think that adding support for city evolution would make a great screensaver (not to mention make many games a lot more realistic)? Really cool stuff.

joeG

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That is, agreed, really cool stuff... imagine starting up Grand Theft Auto, or Midtown Madness, and clicking the "Random City" button...

I''m sure the memory requirements for all that would be straight out through the roof, though... and besides, the example cities they show near the end took "10 seconds for the road network, and near to 10 minutes for the lot division, lot allocation, and building generation."

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About the memory requirements, I agree, but I think my machine could handle something similar to that.

There are several improvements for realtime stuff:


  • Building it on the fly, by taking advantage of occlusion
  • If it is a multiplayer game, distribute the task among the clients, or have a really powerful backend server
  • A realtime game would not need to have that much variance in the appearance of the buildings so one could ''bake'' the buildings during development stages of the game.
  • Conversely, the augmentation of existing building sets could occur whenever the CPU has some spare power
  • You could start from pre-existing roads if you based your game on something from real life. You could even generate the road systems and lots in advance. This would benefit mainly the artists and content designers. I read somewhere about how this one development team spent lots of hours trying to recreate a section of London. Having never been to London before I wouldn''t mind seeing artificial buildings as long as they looked decent.

    What intrigues me the most about this field of research is that it is like mimicking what SimCity does, but on a more meaningful level.

    Also ever since I was a kid I''ve been fascinated by those ridiculously complex highway interchanges: ramps that go eighty feet into the air, etc... So, I guess, I''d like to see these modeled better in future games. After reading this paper, I believe that that cannot be too far away.




    joeG

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Yes, but if one is able to fractalize the method of generating these lots and roads then I think such a game would only take just as much RAM as SimCity. If the program found the need to load a certain sector into memory then it would take whatever 32-bit seed is in memory and re-generate the entire sector.

You''d probably need to use non-axis aligned space-partitioning hierarchy just because sometimes you can have sectors of roads that are not parallel to each other.

Does anyone know how they modeled Liberty City in GTA?


joeG

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