Procedural Content Generation Using Patterns as Objectives

  • Steve DahlskogEmail author
  • Julian Togelius
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8602)


In this paper we present a search-based approach for procedural generation of game levels that represents levels as sequences of micro-patterns and searched for meso-patterns. The micro-patterns are “slices” of original human-designed levels from an existing game, whereas the meso-patters are abstractions of common design patterns seen in the same levels. This method generates levels that are similar in style to the levels from which the original patterns were extracted, while still allowing for considerable variation in the geometry of the generated levels. The evolutionary method for generating the levels was tested extensively to investigate the distribution of micro-patterns used and meso-patterns found.


Design Pattern Game Design Digital Game Pattern Language Original Game 
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.
    Shaker, N., Togelius, J., Nelson, M.J. (eds.): Procedural Content Generation in Games: a Textbook and an Overview of Current Research (2013).
  2. 2.
    Togelius, J., Champandard, A.J., Lanzi, P.L., Mateas, M., Paiva, A., Preuss, M., Stanley, K.O.: Procedural content generation: Goals, challenges and actionable steps. In: Dagstuhl Seminar 12191: Artificial and Computational Intelligence in Games, Dagstuhl (2013)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Nintendo: Super Mario Bros. [Digital game] (1985)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dahlskog, S., Togelius, J.: Patterns and Procedural Content Generation: Revisiting Mario in World 1 Level 1. In: Proceedings of the First Workshop on Design Patterns in Games, DPG 2012, pp. 1:1–1:8. ACM, New York (2012)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dahlskog, S., Togelius, J.: Patterns as Objectives for Level Generation. In: Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Design Patterns in Games, DPG 2013 (2013)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Alexander, C., Ishikawa, S., Silverstein, M.: A pattern language - Towns, Buildings, Construction. Oxford University Press, New York (1977)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gamma, E., Helm, R., Johnson, R., Vlissides, J.: Design Patterns Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software. Addison-Wesley, Reading (1994)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Björk, S., Holopainen, J.: Patterns in Game Design. Cengage Learning (2005)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Adams, E., Dormans, J.: Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design. Voices That Matter. Pearson Education, Limited (2012)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hullett, K., Whitehead, J.: Design Patterns in FPS Levels. In: FDG 2010: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, pp. 78–85. ACM, New York (2010)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Smith, G., Anderson, R., Kopleck, B., Lindblad, Z., Scott, L., Wardell, A., Whitehead, J., Mateas, M.: Situating Quests: Design Patterns for Quest and Level Design in Role-Playing Games. In: Si, M., Thue, D., André, E., Lester, J., Tanenbaum, J., Zammitto, V. (eds.) ICIDS 2011. LNCS, vol. 7069, pp. 326–329. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cermak-Sassenrath, D.: Experiences with design patterns for oldschool action games. In: Proceedings of the 8th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment: Playing the System. IE 2012, pp. 14:1–14:9. ACM, New York (2012)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Liapis, A., Yannakakis, G.N., Togelius, J.: Towards a generic method of evaluating game levels. In: Proceedings of the AAAI Artificial Intelligence for Interactive Digital Entertainment Conference (2013)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.
    Smith, G., Whitehead, J.: Analyzing the expressive range of a level generator. In: Proceedings of the 2010 Workshop on Procedural Content Generation in Games. PCGames 2010, pp. 4:1–4:7. ACM, New York (2010)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Shaker, N., Yannakakis, G., Togelius, J.: Crowdsourcing the aesthetics of platform games. IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games 5(3), 276–290 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Karakovskiy, S., Togelius, J.: The mario ai benchmark and competitions. IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games 4(1), 55–67 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Fullerton, T.: Game Design Workshop - A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games, 2nd edn. Morgan Kaufmann, New York (2008)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Malmö UniversityMalmöSweden
  2. 2.IT University of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

Personalised recommendations