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I'd like to implement procedural world generation, but I don't want it to look gridded or blocky, where everything is obviously placed on an integer grid.

I know that you can do this in gridded worlds by inputting a square's x and y into a noise function, or similar, but is it possible to generate a more natural looking object placement using procedural methods?

This is in the context of an adventure game, if it matters.

Edit: I guess I should have been a bit more clear in my original question, but I'm mostly wondering about the actual placement of objects in game, e.g. trees, buildings.

Edit 2: I feel silly now. I typed up this question too quickly, and I didn't realize I was asking a yes or no question. I've reposted my actual question which asks, more specifically, how this can be done. Sorry!

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

EDIT

To address you change from generation of worlds to generation of objects in game.

Yes, the same still applies. For example, included in my original post, SpeedTree is used for placing vegetation in game:

enter image description here

So yes, it's entirely possible. Most any large world (Skyrim for example) will use some form of procedural generation for placing items like this. They're not all placed by hand and they're clearly not aligned to a grid.


Procedural generation absolutely has use outside of a grid world. You need look no further than Terragen for excellent examples of such:

enter image description here

SpeedTree is another popular choice for many games for producing vegetation.

Noise generation commonly fractal in nature, that means you can continue "down" to smaller and smaller details.

And a popular method from Red Blob Games uses polygons, blending and noise:

enter image description here

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I edited my question now, but I should've been a bit clearer I apologize. My issue is more of placing objects onto the map, rather than the generation of the land itself. Sorry! –  nbadal Jul 5 '12 at 21:22

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