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International Journal of Computer Games Technology
Volume 2009, Article ID 125714, 13 pages
Research Article

Breeding Terrains with Genetic Terrain Programming: The Evolution of Terrain Generators

1Escola Superior de Tecnologia e Gestão (ESTG), Instituto Politécnico de Leiria, Alto do Vieiro, 2411-901 Leiria, Portugal
2Centro Universitario de Mérida, Universidad de Extremadura, C/Sta Teresa de Jornet 38, 06800 Mérida, Spain
3ETSI Informática (3.2.49), Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071 Málaga, Spain

Received 14 June 2008; Accepted 24 November 2008

Academic Editor: Abdennour El Rhalibi

Copyright © 2009 Miguel Frade et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Although a number of terrain generation techniques have been proposed during the last few years, all of them have some key constraints. Modelling techniques depend highly upon designer's skills, time, and effort to obtain acceptable results, and cannot be used to automatically generate terrains. The simpler methods allow only a narrow variety of terrain types and offer little control on the outcome terrain. The Genetic Terrain Programming technique, based on evolutionary design with Genetic Programming, allows designers to evolve terrains according to their aesthetic feelings or desired features. This technique evolves Terrain Programmes (TPs) that are capable of generating a family of terrains—different terrains that consistently present the same morphological characteristics. This paper presents a study about the persistence of morphological characteristics of terrains generated with different resolutions by a given TP. Results show that it is possible to use low resolutions during the evolutionary phase without compromising the outcome, and that terrain macrofeatures are scale invariant.