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News video games 23 February 2021, 17:32

author: Milosz Szubert

EA Patents Easy Map Generation With Neural Networks

EA has been granted a patent for a new virtual terrain generation technology. By using neural networks, the creation of surfaces and biomes is supposed to be faster than ever.

Specialists employed at Electronic Arts definitely are not idle. Recently we learned that they are working on a new technology that will enable you to instantly run games without having to download them first. However, that's not all. The team from Redwood recently received a whole bunch of other patents. One of the most interesting, which has been applied for back in 2019, concerns a prodecure of rapid creation of terrains and biomes.

This is possible through the use of so-called neural networks. These are information processing systems whose structure and operation are supposed to resemble the human brain. They consist of artificial neurons that can share information and "learn" certain patterns by predicting different outcomes based on the input data sets.

How can they be harnessed to create worlds in video games? According to EA's patent, you start with a sketch of what you want the environment to look like. This must include basic data like elevation and verbal description of the area. Based on the data, the network will begin to select the most appropriate types of terrain and create mountains, plains, and valleys, and even caves, bodies of water, deserts, forests, and meadows at locations selected by the developers. You can see how it looks in practice on the example of a mountain with a crater in the middle, in the picture below attached to the patent application.

EA Patents Easy Map Generation With Neural Networks - picture #1
Source: Game Rant

Certainly such a way of creating terrain can make life much easier for designers of open-world games, especially if we take into account the fact that the latter are getting increasingly large lately. The question is, how the technology, which looks quite promising on paper, will work in practice? And in which game will it be used first? The answers to these questions so far remain unknown.

  1. Electronic Arts - official homepage
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