Hierarchical Semantic Wave Function Collapse

Shaad Alaka, Rafael Bidarra

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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There are few proposals to improve the interactivity and control of wave function collapse (WFC) in a mixed-initiative setting. Moreover, most WFC algorithm variants operate on an simple, unstructured set of tiles. This limitation on the level of control provided to designers hampers their creative work in various ways. We propose Hierarchical Semantic WFC, a generalized approach to WFC that organizes its tile-set into a hierarchy akin to a taxonomy induced by the relation 'consists-of'. In such a hierarchical structure, abstract tiles (i.e. non-leaf nodes) can represent the first sketchy intentions of a designer (e.g. forest, urban, desert,...) This allows a designer to interactively collapse a given area into abstract tiles, while subsequently, (and repeatedly, if desired) WFC can resolve each area into a variety of particular instances, by further collapsing it into (a valid combination of) its children tiles (whether leaves or not). We identify how this subtle tile-set change affects the whole WFC algorithm, describe a number of novel exploratory and interactive functions that this enables, and showcase these with a variety of examples generated with our prototype implementation. We conclude that these new mixed-initiative content generation methods can considerably reduce design iteration times and improve the assistance given to designers in expressing their creative intent.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, FDG 2023
EditorsPhil Lopes, Filipe Luz, Antonios Liapis, Henrik Engstrom
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-9856-5
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event18th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, FDG 2023 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 11 Apr 202314 Apr 2023

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference18th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, FDG 2023


  • mixed-initiative
  • object semantics
  • procedural content generation
  • wave function collapse

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