An algorithm to generate a random map of islands
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This project is a demonstration of an algorithm to randomly generate islands on a map.


In order to build this software, you will need to install :

  • A C++ compiler supporting the C++11 standard such as GCC >= 4.8.
  • Qt4, available at qt-project. Qt5 was not tested yet, but it should be compatible.
  • OpenGL and GLU libraries.


The demo displays the result in a window. You can navigate through the map using the following commands :

  • mouse click and drag : translation on the map
  • mouse wheel : zoom in and out
  • CTRL + mouse wheel : rotation of the map

Feel free to test several sets of parameters in main.cpp !


To generate islands, the following method was used.

  • The map can be seen as a honeycomb where each cell is given a score (initially one). We fill part of these cells with particles at random.
  • Whenever we add a particle in a cell, it modifies the scores of the neighboring cells, which is proportional to the probability of the apparition of a new particle. Thus, particles tend to stay close together.
  • At the end of this process, we obtain islands made of groups of particles. We convert the scores into a heightmap which is displayed on screen.

This method can be adapted to create a forest (if we see particles as trees), or random ressources on a map.


Copyright (C) 2014 G. Endignoux

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see