Launchpad: A Rhythm-Based Level Generator for 2D Platformers

Gillian Smith, Jim Whitehead, Michael Mateas, Mike Treanor, Jameka March, Mee Cha. Launchpad: A Rhythm-Based Level Generator for 2D PlatformersIEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games (TCIAIG), vol. 3, iss. 1, March 2011.


Launchpad is an autonomous level generator that is based on a formal model of 2-D platformer level design. Levels are built out of small segments called “rhythm groups,” which are generated using a two-tiered, grammar-based approach. These segments are pieced together into complete levels that are then rated according to a set of design heuristics. Generation can be controlled using a set of parameters that influence the level pacing and geometry. The approach minimizes the amount of content that must be manually authored: instead of piecing together large segments of a level, Launchpad uses base components that are commonly found in a number of 2-D platformers. Launchpad produces an impressive variety of levels which are all guaranteed to be playable.

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