Media Technology MSc

Biological Content Generation: Evolving Game Terrains through Living Organisms


This study explores the concept of evolving game terrains through intermediation of living biological organisms and presents a proof of concept realization thereof. We explore how fungal and bacterial cultures can be used to generate an evolving game terrain in real-time. By visually capturing growing cultures inside a Petri-dish, heightmaps are generated that form the basis of naturally evolving terrains. Possible consequences and benefits of this approach are discussed, as are its effects on the visual appearance of simulated terrains. A novel and convenient method for visually capturing growing microorganisms is presented, with a technical description for translating captured footage to virtual terrains. This work is experimental in nature and is an initial venture into the novel domain of organically growing virtual terrains.


Bio-digital hybrid systems, computer games, virtual terrain, procedural content generation, fungi, bacteria.


10.1007/978-3-319-16498-4 20


Wim van Eck and Maarten H. Lamers, Biological Content Generation: Evolving Game Terrains through Living Organisms. In: C. Johnson et al. (Eds.), Evolutionary and Biologically Inspired Music, Sound, Art and Design (LNCS Vol. 9027), Springer International Publishing, pp 224-235, 2015.