This work demonstrates the potentials of procedural content generation (PCG) for games, focusing on the generation of specific graphic props (reefs) in an explorer game.
We briefly portray the state-of-the-art of PCG and compare various methods to create random patterns at runtime. Taking a step towards the game industry, we describe an actual game production and provide a detailed pseudocode implementation showing how Perlin or Simplex noise can be used efficiently.
In a comparative study, we investigate two alternative implementations of a decisive game prop: once created traditionally by artists and once generated by procedural algorithms. 41 test subjects played both implementations. The analysis shows that PCG can create a user experience that is significantly more realistic and at the same time perceived as more aesthetically pleasing. In addition, the ever-changing nature of the procedurally generated environments is preferred with high significance, especially by players aged 45 and above.