ACM - Computers in Entertainment

Procedural Content Generation for Game Props? A Study on the Effects on User Experience

By Oliver Korn, Michael Blatz, Adrian Rees, Jakob Schaal, Valentin Schwind, Daniel Görlich
Theoretical and Practical Computer Applications in Entertainment, [Vol. 15, No. 2]

DOI: 10.1145/2974026

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.

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