Procedural Content Generation in Games: A Textbook and an Overview of Current Research

Noor Shaker, Julian Togelius, Mark J. Nelson (2016). Procedural Content Generation in Games: A Textbook and an Overview of Current Research. Springer.

Abstract

Welcome to the Procedural Content Generation in Games book. This is, as far as we know, the first textbook about procedural content generation in games, aka PCG. As far as we know it is also the first book-length overview of the research field. We hope you find it useful, whether you are studying in a course, on your own, or are a researcher.

We wrote this book for two reasons. The first reason was that all three of us were doing research on PCG in games, and we wanted a good overview. As we come from somewhat different methodological backgrounds, we realized that many researchers did not know about methods that had been developed in other communities. For example, researchers using logic programming and those using evolutionary computation might not know that the other type of algorithm was applicable to the same problem; and researchers coming from computer graphics might not even know that artificial intelligence methods are being used for PCG problems. As PCG in games has just recently started to be seen as its own research field, this was not surprising, but pointed to the need for a book such as this one.

The second reason was that we were teaching a course on PCG (in fact, entitled simply 'Procedural Content Generation in Games') at the IT University of Copenhagen, where at the time the three of us were faculty members. When this course was started in 2010, it was probably the first of its kind in the world. Naturally, there was no textbook to teach it from, so we assembled a syllabus out of academic papers, mostly recent ones. As we taught the course in subsequent years, the syllabus matured, and we felt that we were ready to turn the content of our lectures into a textbook.

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