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GDC + VRDC 2019 Session Scheduler

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Math for Game Developers: Tile-Based Map Generation using Wave Function Collapse in 'Caves of Qud'

Brian Bucklew  (Co-founder, Freehold Games)

Location: Room 2006, West Hall

Date: Tuesday, March 19

Time: 4:40 pm - 5:10 pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Summits - Get your pass now!

Topic: Programming

Format: Tutorial

Tutorials: Math for Game Developers

Vault Recording: Video

While games have been procedurally generating tile-based dungeons for decades, new techniques are allowing developers to produce ever more interesting and immersive spaces. In this session, the speakers will walk through the novel, multi-pass approach used to generate ruins in 'Caves of Qud' based on the procedurally-generated cultures that once occupied them. Each pass applies increasingly fine levels of detail. The early passes formulate the coarse architectural structure. Middle passes fill in details by using Wave Function Collapse, a brand-new generative technique. Final passes provide level connectivity and intelligent dungeon population. In totality, the approach blends several techniques to map a set of cultural attributes to varied, playable game spaces optimized for emergent gameplay.


Attendees will be introduced to a cutting-edge generative technique and learn how to structure map generation as a series of iterative passes.

Intended Audience

This talk is for programmers and designers who have some experience with procedural content generation and would like to expand their toolkit with a couple recent advances in the field, or for people with interest in learning to develop procedural content generation systems that would like to see an outline of an end-to-end production system.