Game environments used to be quite static in nature, there were very few alterations that the user could make to the world. Nowadays, with games like Minecraft making millions of dollars and computers being able to calculate simulations faster than ever, it's worthwhile to think about how game environments will look like in the future. Can a gamer physically change and shape the world he resides in? What effect will alterations of the game environment have on the player experience and how will they interact with traditional game mechanics? Using this project as an example, I tried answer at least one of these questions. If you are interested in how it works, you can download my (german) Master's thesis Simulation von 2D Spielwelten mit zellularen Automaten.
This project was written in Java and relies on cellular automata principles to simulate various aspects of a game environment, such as plant growth, water flow, spreading of fires and others. It's easiest to think of each block as about a square meter of the game world that is in a certain state which is influenced by the surrounding blocks. So through interaction with itself and player input, a living and constantly changing environment emerges. If you want to know just a bit more about the project, read my article on tumblr. See my Master's thesis for more technical details or pictures with lots of colored squares on it.
Author: Nico Harather
Categories: Game Environment, Game Development, Experimental