Date of Award


Document Type



Computer Science

First Reader

Dr. Jeff Matocha

Second Reader

Dr. Ruth Plymale

Third Reader

Professor Donnie Copeland


Procedural generation is a method for generating mass quantities of data algorithmically rather than manually. One perfect example of this is the recently famous No Man’s Sky, a video game where the entire marketing scheme was structured around its procedurally generated universe. The game’s trailer and advertisements promised its players 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 unique planets[1], all of which were procedurally generated. In other words, the developers did not create exclusive profiles for every single planet, but instead programmed the game in such a way that the planets were built from the code. This method of content creation is the essence of procedural generation.

Procedural generation has a broader application; it is a solution to many problems. It can take many different forms, and there are many different algorithms that have been written to accomplish many scenarios. The purpose of this analysis was to choose four common and interesting procedural generation algorithm archetypes, analyze each of them in the same way, and then demonstrate a practical application for each of them. Procedural generation techniques are some of the more convoluted programming techniques in existence; therefore, extra emphasis is placed on writing, demonstrating, and applying each algorithm.

[1] "How 4 Designers Built A Game With 18.4 Quintillion Unique Planets." Accessed April 16, 2017



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