I intend to use the Mersenne twister to generate a level using a seed , but I also want to make fixed levels, so for now I'm using XML to store data of the level (~40 numbers).

However, it would be awesome if I could get the seed of a specific level by reversing the process.

I guess if I used my own pseudo-random number generator I possibly could do it, but my question is can I do it with the Mersenne twister?

Here is an example of what I want to do:

If the seed 1234 gives output 25 65 78 01, can I get the seed 1234 knowing only the generated output?

Thanks in advance! (For those who wonder why I'd want to do this; my XML parsing is a lot slower than generating a level, plus XML files are bigger than seed numbers.)

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ AFAIK, it's not physically possible except by brute force. Why not just store the seed? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 18, 2011 at 9:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ because i cant determine a fixed level with fixed values using seed (except brute force too) \$\endgroup\$
    – eephyne
    Jun 18, 2011 at 9:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am confused by 'fixed level'. Usually that refers to a level that is not randomly generated. So you are generating a level with a seed X and getting the first 40 numbers for it..why can you not store the seed when you generate? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 18, 2011 at 9:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ there are two kind of levels i use , those who are generated by seed , and those who i name "fixed" , wich are writed by myself with each values determined individually and not using any computing. \$\endgroup\$
    – eephyne
    Jun 18, 2011 at 9:36
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I personally do find this interesting. It's like compressing an entire level into one number! It reminds me a bit of spline fitting - if you have a set of points in 2D, you can try to fit them along a spline and then just store the parameters of the spline which might be fewer than the points themselves. I've considered this for terrain generation, for example; instead of storing a heightmap, just store a set of 3D splines which can then generate the necessary terrain points on-the-fly. I don't know if this is done anywhere currently. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ricket
    Jun 18, 2011 at 15:45

3 Answers 3


No, you cannot get a seed for a sequence of numbers that you have created yourself. You could possibly get a seed from a sequence of generated numbers by brute force.

Coincidentally, in the infinite monkeys writing Shakespeare way, if you used large enough seed numbers, you probably could find a seed that generates your sequence, but linearly searching for one specific number in the range of (potentially) a 256bit or greater integer is not possible in a real time.

I do not see why you are needing to store 40 numbers in an XML file. Why not use a text file? Heck, why not hardcode them into an array?

  • \$\begingroup\$ i said 40 numbers for indicating an average number of random number used. the xml is more complex . i admit , that was not very clear \$\endgroup\$
    – eephyne
    Jun 18, 2011 at 12:24

In general, no, you can't do that. Random number generators are one way functions from the current seed to the value.

A simple thought experiment should clarify why you can't do this. Say you're using your random number generator to generate the numbers for a level like 25 65 78 01. Lets say your seed is a four digit number and each of those levels is a two digit number. Given that, there's 100,000,000 possible different levels but only 10,000 different seeds. Obviously each level can't have its own unique seed then, there aren't enough to go around.

  • \$\begingroup\$ and if i don't care about the seed length ? \$\endgroup\$
    – eephyne
    Jun 20, 2011 at 8:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Then just store all of the level data directly and call it the "seed". \$\endgroup\$
    – munificent
    Jun 21, 2011 at 0:18

In case this wasn't obvious from @Communists' answer: there is no reason every level needs to be stored in the same format.

If you want to store your hand-made levels by storing every detail, but store your randomly-generated levels by only storing the seed, that's fine. Just add a parameter in the level-file describing which it is eg. <level type="random" seedvalue="1234567890">


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