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|Platforms:||Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX, Linux|
|PCG Types:||Universe generation Instancing Of In-Game Entities Dynamic World Generation Sandbox|
Set in a distant part of outer space in the far future, EVE Online is a "sandbox" game that allows players the freedom to choose what they want to do within it. Players are represented by the ship they pilot, in which they can warp around solar systems, pass through a stargate to another and dock at stations amongst a variety of other possible actions. Where other massively multiplayer games isolate sets of players to shards, what sets EVE apart is that the players play together in the same single continuous game instance.
Use of Procedural Content Generation Methods
With the intention to avoid the use of shards, a large universe was fractally generated. At the highest level, a network of solar systems was generated, with its links representing the ability of players to travel from one to another and determining the placement of a stargate within either connected solar system which players could use to do so. The next level down, was the generation of solar systems, containing planets, moons, asteroid belts and space stations. And below that, the detail of the different types of entity like planetary surfaces, asteroid belt contents and so forth.
Names of solar systems were randomly generated according a range of factors including the location of the given system, its place in the game universe and what faction or race the solar system belonged to. However, a range of names were hand picked for selected systems for a variety of reasons. Some were named in order to contribute to the game world, whether after in-game factions or similar thematic aspects. Others were named after developers of the game, e.g. Friggi, Ingunn and Nonni.
Solar system level deployments of NPCs of various types are randomly generated based of a combination of factors, including the faction owning a the system and its security level. Hand authored scenarios called dungeons are also randomly deployed into solar systems depending on a range of similar factors, each unique dungeon consisting of rooms containing placed scenery objects and object linked randomly generated NPC deployments.
The universe was generated using diffusion limited aggregation.
PCG Wiki References
Images on Flickr
EVE Online - Wikipedia entry for EVE Online.
EVE Online - MobyGames entry for EVE Online.
EVE Online Toolkit - Exported EVE database tables, including generated universe information.
EVEMap - Java application to visualise the generated EVE map data.