Using Cellular Automata as a Basis for Procedural Generation of Organic Cities


  •   Melek B. Temuçin

  •   İlker Kocabaş

  •   Kaya Oğuz


Procedural content generation (PCG) methods are commonly employed in computer games, simulations, and other related industries. While these methods are used for levels, terrains, stories and missions, their usage for procedural city generation is relatively rare because cities are heterogeneous structures with different components such as roads, layouts and buildings that depend on and affect each other. Additionally, ancient cities grew organically to areas that are safe and to those that provide food and water. This resulted in cities that do not have apparent regular patterns, such as rectangular building blocks. We propose an approach that uses cellular automata (CA) that generates clusters of areas. The CA is repeated for each cluster to hierarchically create different levels of the city. This procedure creates an organic city layout with fractal properties. The layout specifies the building blocks, main roads, and foliage. We also present a set of methods that can transform this layout into a three-dimensional model of the city. The results are promising; cities can be created in under a minute with minimal required input, and the resulting virtual city looks organic, rather than an algorithmic layout that has repeating patterns.  

Keywords: cellular automata, computer games, procedural city generation


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How to Cite
Temuçin, M.B., Kocabaş, İlker and Oğuz, K. 2020. Using Cellular Automata as a Basis for Procedural Generation of Organic Cities. European Journal of Engineering and Technology Research. 5, 12 (Dec. 2020), 116–120. DOI: