Procedural City: Intermission

 By Shamus Apr 17, 2009 20 comments

A malfunctioning back is preventing me from investing more time into the procedural city project. But that’s fine, because I think I’m at the stage where I need to stop and have a jolly good think. Even if I was up for working on it right now, I’m sure I’d just end up writing code that would have to be rewritten or replaced later.

When I began I had some aspects of the project worked out in my mind. Now I’ve distilled those ideas into code, and the next few steps are much more murky. I know if I wait, the ideas will firm up and I’ll get a better idea how to design things. This is one of the reasons coding as a hobby is more fun than coding for a living. Your average boss isn’t going to want you to take a couple of days off to screw around while you design the thing in your head. This is perfectly understandable, but sometimes it’s nice to work at the rate at which you get good ideas instead of at the rate which someone is paying you. I suppose if I was smarter then my ideas would keep up with my schedule. But… if I was smarter I’d probably have a more demanding job for more money. Hm.

20A natural twenty.


  1. You, sir, are a master of suspense.

  2. elias says:

    Are Americans allowed to say “jolly good?” I’ll have to see if I can get away with it… : )

  3. Xpovos says:

    We can say anything we like, just louder. :-D

  4. Dev Null says:

    Be more better stupid malfunctioning Shamus-back.

  5. Rats says:

    gah! waiting? however will we cope!

    “if I was smarter then my ideas would keep up with my schedule” – So true, i wish i had come up with that.

    Get well soon Shamus’ back!

  6. Primogenitor says:

    Well, goofing around works for Google, so I guess there must be something to it.

  7. Julian says:

    Let’s hope you back gets better (I would have thought that sitting down and typing wouldn’t hurt your back, but it seems backs work differently than I supposed, heh)

  8. Colonel Slate says:

    This is kinda off topic, but hopefully someone picks it up, or Shamus does, my email is on the fritz, so I can’t send it to him, but it relates to the piracy talk we had in the comments yesterday

    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2009/04/wizards-of-the-coast-fails-saving-throw-against-pirates.ars

  9. Superkp says:

    Hey Shamus, an idea to help make the whole thing procedural city thing not quite so…regular (i think you called it homogeneous?).

    Really big buildings (like the ’20 impressive skyscrapers’ that you added first) when in construction have a REALLY big budget, and usually some world class architect. The creators of them also tend to want to make a really big impression on anyone who happens to glance at it. The easiest part of a building to see at a distance is the top, so they tend to make these things needlessly complicated, just for the extra attention.

    and at night, they light those suckers up.

    I live in Columbus, Ohio, and live 4 miles from downtown. At night I can see the lights of the LeVeque tower if I stand in my street or get above the trees. It is the one thing that I look for when coming home from a road trip at night to tell me that I Am Home.

    Here is a link to a really good picture of the Columbus skyline: the one in the middle whose top looks like a glowing ember is the LeVeque tower.

    About roofs and the clutter upon them: air traffic warning lights. They are a very distinctive part of every skyscraper in america. You may also want to put the occasional gigantic company ad near the top (I think AEP is featured on the left in that picture, as well as Huntington, second from right.).

    I am rambling. here I will stop, please ignore this entire post if it has repeated what you are thinking or comes off in any way other than helpful.

  10. Factoid says:

    @elias: I’ve noticed he says “rubbish” sometimes too. Shamus must have a bit of the old country in him.

  11. @Factoid: “rubbish” is a pretty common word around Pittsburgh (where Shamus is near). I grew up there and I remember in middle school there was an old incinerator access thing in the wall that said “RUBBISH” on it. And my grandmother would also use the word all the time.

  12. Leonardo Herrera says:

    Shamus,

    Yesterday I was seeing a rerun of Constantine on TV. There is an impressive shot of a city at night there (near the end of the movie) that may be of help to you.

  13. SatansBestBuddy says:

    Of all my predictions, a broken back was not one of them.

    Maybe I’m not cut out to be a pshyic…

  14. nooblade says:

    I’m part sad and part happy. Sad because the most interesting thing to come home to after classes is put on hold; happy because it is getting more time put into it.

  15. Anachronist says:

    So, what happened with your back? Too much working out on the Wii Fit, or not enough? :)

    Regarding Superkp’s comment above regarding how buildings are lit: check out Dallas at night or Hong Kong by night. I’ve been to both places and can attest that they look even more impressive when you’re actually there.

    It would be nice if your algorithm for generating buildings (at least for the block-type buildings) include a random chance that the edges will be outlined with lights. -A

  16. Alex says:

    I found this series of articles really interesting. I hope you feel well soon so you can continue!

  17. [...] Textures Procedural City, Part 3: Generating Buildings Procedural City, Part 4: City Planning Procedural City: Intermission Procedural City, Part 5: Fixes Procedural City, Part 6: Sky Procedural City, Part 7: The [...]

  18. Mike says:

    Pretty darn clever, good!

  19. thomas says:

    you should pay attention to the demoscene.

  20. I didnt notice much about the price of these wines. Talking about how great these 2005 Bordeaux are great if you have the money.

One Trackback

  1. By Procedural Content Generation: Pixel City on May 15, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    [...] Textures Procedural City, Part 3: Generating Buildings Procedural City, Part 4: City Planning Procedural City: Intermission Procedural City, Part 5: Fixes Procedural City, Part 6: Sky Procedural City, Part 7: The [...]

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