Simulating Urban Area Development For Semantic Game Worlds

In the past decades lots of research has been done on procedurally generating urban models. Some primarily focus on the creation of realistic buildings [1], some only create a road network [2], and others try to combine these to form urban areas [3][4].

The techniques proposed in the past decades can be divided into two major groups. The first group is inspired by real world city layouts and try to replicate the found road patterns. The second group focuses more on the land use within a city and the development of the city over time.

Although some of the methods do include meaning in the land use simulation and the generation of the road network, many factors are not included. The complete history of a city is important for its growth, especially the first settlement. A city can start as a small village around a bridge because this a place for trade and transport. This will cause the city to develop a harbour for transport over water and gates to be able to levy toll on carts and keep unwanted people outside the city. Also the resources play an important role in the early development of villages. If the urban area is near mountains, stone is cheap and will therefore be used more often in buildings than villages far from rocky areas where buildings are more likely to be built from clay bricks or wood. These factors influence the success and growth of a city and therefore also the modern development.

In my research I want to develop an urban area simulation that takes into account the meaning behind the steps made in the creation of the city. The initial placement, resources, and events (such as disasters) influence the growth and city type. Other factors like technological advancement and neighbouring settlements may also contribute to the final shape of the city. These events might be triggered automatically or by the user. It will extend current techniques by adding more history and meaning to the procedurally generated cities.


S. Greuter, J. Parker, N. Stewart, and G. Leach, “Real-time Procedural Generation of `Pseudo Infi nite’ Cities,” in GRAPHITE ’03: Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Australasia and Southeast Asia. ACM, 2003, pp. 87-94.


J. Sun, X. Yu, G. Baciu, and M. Green, “Template-based generation of road networks for virtual city modeling,” in VRST ’02: Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology. ACM, 2002, pp. 33-40.


G. Kelly and H. McCabe, “Citygen: An interactive system for procedural city generation,” in Proceedings of GDTW 2007: The Fifth Annual International Conference in Computer Game Design and Technology, 2007, pp. 8-16.


B. Weber, P. Müller, P. Wonka, and M. Gross, “Interactive geometric simulation of 4d cities,” Computer Graphics Forum: Proceedings of Eurographics 2009, vol. 28, pp. 481-492, April 2009.