Generating a Virtual Forest Environment Using Procedural Content Generation

Liam Potter & Reza Ryan Part of CW17

Video game worlds are growing rapidly, creating a large amount of content that digital artists need to produce. To cope with this amount of content, game development companies would have to hire more artists and content creators, which is not economical. Therefore, Procedural content generation (PCG) techniques have quickly become a key area in the development of video game worlds. These techniques can be applied to generate a wide variety of things, from entire forests to the individual leaves on a tree. Simulated real-time virtual forests are one of the more common and complex virtual environments in contemporary video games that have to be generated procedurally. In this research, we developed a system that integrates different PCG techniques to automatically generate and simulate a virtual forest in real-time. These techniques include Height Generation, Terrain Texture Generation, Detail Generation, Point Generation, Shadow Map Generation, Life Cycle Simulation and Day/Night Simulation. The implemented day/night system accurately calculate angle of the sun through the time of day to simulate life cycles of all flora in the environment in real-time. The optimized developed system can be easily integrated with any real-time game that requires a forest environment.