It's all in your head, Part 7

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It's all in your head, Part 7

Postby Chris » Wed Dec 12, 2007 6:46 pm

Subversion's procedural city generator system has been coming along very nicely, as a result of a few breakthroughs and sudden flashes of inspiration. The system is currently capable of building a city covering a 10Km square area of ground. I've now written procedural generators for every single step of the process, meaning you can now start with flat empty land, click "Generate All", and come back in a minute or two without any human involvement required. It can take several minutes sometimes, depending on the complexity and density of the city.

Image

The starting point for all this work was an incredible paper written by Parish and Mueller, entitled "Procedural modelling of cities". We've been building a lot of extensions onto the basic system outlined in that paper and we're seeing some quite incredible results now. I love the detail in these shots, and I also know we're nowhere near done yet.

This is all a direct continuation from the original tech demos and previous blog entries, which go some way to explaining how the system works. If you compare these images to previous blog postings on the city generator, you'll see how far things have come along. We're dealing with cities with upwards of 30,000 buildings now.
Blog Part 6, 6 months ago
Blog Part 3, 11 months ago

Image

At the moment the cities look great as long as you don't get too clos. The buildings are still generated as simple bounding boxes, meaning there is no variety. Down at the street level you're faced with rows and rows of blank buildings. The next major step is going to be generating more varied outer building shells, and starting to add in the sorts of details you'd expect to see at street level - windows, trees, pavements, doors etc.

I'm so in love with the procedural way of developing content at the moment. You can make a small change and see results in incredible detail immediately. Watching the entire process of city generation, it's amazing to think how much work has gone into each stage along the way. I've spent hours just clicking Generate, and seeing what pops out a minute later.

Here's a video showing the complete generation process for a 10Km city, from start to finish. Hope you like it.

Image

Format : xvid (download codec here if required)
Resolution : 1280 x 800 x 10fps, 2 minutes
Filesize : 34Mb
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Postby Rkiver » Wed Dec 12, 2007 7:02 pm

Slowly slowly catchy monkey.

It's looking good, and the generation is rather detailed in how it goes about it. Glad to see some inspiration hit, and looking forward to seeing more and more as Subversion slowly develops into.....well whatever it's going to be.
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Postby xander » Wed Dec 12, 2007 7:05 pm

Damn. That's just bloody cool.

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Postby microchip08 » Wed Dec 12, 2007 7:34 pm

xander wrote:Damn. That's just bloody cool.

xander


Damn. You got there before me.

POST STEALER!

Seriously, though, that looks amazing. Well done. (Can I test it.... pleeeese)
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Postby jelco » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:52 pm

Rkiver wrote:looking forward to seeing more and more as Subversion slowly develops into.....well whatever it's going to be.


Heh.

The GoldFish wrote:So, after all the hocus pocus, tomfoolery and mystery talk, it's now obvious to us all what Subversion is;

The best screensaver ever!


Anyway, it looks great. I must admit that I'm a little disappointed though that - after half a year of no news regarding the development - all we get to see is new footage of the City Generator which just got another upgrade. However, that disappointment fades pretty quickly when I look at the screenshots again; it's becoming so incredibly detailed, and with an upcoming added feature of generating the street-level details, I can't help but wonder how much possibilities this creates. There are so many ways the game can go, and I'm already excited at the thought of the probable results.

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Postby microchip08 » Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:12 pm

Congrats, jelco: - Post 1400
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Postby Gorans » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:02 pm

Could we get like a wallpaper size screen shot of the city :) (Top view and no controls)
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Postby DarkMatter » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:05 pm

Procedural generation is amazing i agree. your work is cool, i see a john carmack-esque brilliance in your work.
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Postby wwarnick » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:15 pm

jelco the galactaboy wrote:I must admit that I'm a little disappointed though that - after half a year of no news regarding the development - all we get to see is new footage of the City Generator which just got another upgrade.

If you recall,
Chris wrote:Yes I apologise, and i'd like to write much more about Subversion. But right now the entire company, myself included, is working on Multiwinia while we attempt to get the game up to beta quality. We've recently run some usability tests on the game and i've lots of work to do there to improve things. So the simple reason why i've been blogging about Multiwinia is that's what i'm working on right now! Once i'm back on Subversion fulltime i'll be writing more blogs about it, and my intention is to blog regularly right up to the game's release.

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Postby jelco » Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:30 am

Don't get me wrong, I did realize that. It's just that I silently hoped for just a little more. :wink: And, like I said, the content is cool nonetheless.

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Postby Xocrates » Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:16 pm

By the way, am I the only one who cannot see the video?

I got the codecs installed and they seem to be working, but all I get is an error message saying that "This pin cannot use the supplied media type."
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Postby jelco » Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:22 pm

Which player are you using? It sounds to me like you need to change the default video pin to fit with the codec of the video. (Forgive me the crappy explanation, I don't know how to explain it exactly.)

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Postby martin » Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:00 pm

I almost always have problems with the videos chris puts up, but not this time :P

anyway, this is all looking very cool - I just wonder to what scale you're going to procedurally generate stuff?
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Postby shinygerbil » Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:08 pm

martin wrote:I almost always have problems with the videos chris puts up, but not this time :P


I do :( I'll try downloading it again...but it cuts out after a few seconds. I've already downloaded it twice..

edit | works now, yaay, third time lucky
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Postby Rkiver » Thu Dec 13, 2007 3:38 pm

I use VLC plays everything, no issues, ever.
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