Procedural Generation of Dungeons

Ronald van der Linden, Ricardo Lopes, Rafael Bidarra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


The use of procedural content generation (PCG) techniques in game development has been mostly restricted to very specific types of game elements. PCG has seldom been deployed for generating entire game levels, a notable exception to this being dungeons: a specific type of game level often encountered in adventure and role playing games. Due to their peculiar combination of pace, gameplay, and game spaces, dungeon levels are among the most suited to showcase the benefits of PCG. This paper surveys research on procedural methods to generate dungeon game levels. We summarize common practices, discuss pros and cons of different approaches, and identify a few promising challenges ahead. In general, what current procedural dungeon generation methods are missing is not performance, but more powerful, accurate, and richer control over the generation process. Recent research results seem to indicate that gameplay-related criteria can provide this high-level control. However, this area is still in its infancy, and many research challenges still lie ahead, e.g., improving the intuitiveness and accessibility of such methods for designers. We also observe that more research is needed into generic mechanisms for automating the generation of the actual dungeon-geometric models. We conclude that the foundations for enabling gameplay-based control of dungeon-level generation are worth being researched, and that its promising results may be instrumental in bringing PCG into mainstream game development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-89
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Gameplay semantics
  • procedural content generation
  • procedural level generation
  • role playing games

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Procedural Generation of Dungeons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this