Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Digital Production Arts

Committee Chair/Advisor

Eric K Patterson

Committee Member

Rodney Costa

Committee Member

Tony Penna


The work and research of this paper sought to build upon traditional city generation and simulation in creating a tool that both realistically simulates cities and their prominent features and also creates aesthetic and artistically rich cities using assets that combine several contemporary or near contemporary architectural styles. The major city features simulated are the surrounding terrain, road networks, individual buildings, and building placement. The tools used to both create and integrate these features were created in Houdini with Unreal Engine 5 as the intended final destination. This research was influenced by the city, town, and road networking of Ghost Recon:Wildlands. Both games exhibit successful creation and integration of cities in a real-time open world that creates a holistic and visually compelling experience. The software used in the development of this project were Houdini, Maya, Unreal Engine 5, and Zbrush, as well as Adobe Substance Designer, Substance Painter, and Photoshop. The city generation tool was built with the intent that it would be flexible. In this context flexibility refers to the capability to create many different kinds of city regions based on user specifications. Region size, road density and connectivity, and building types are examples of qualities of the city that can be directly controlled. The tool currently uses one set of city assets created with intent for use together and an overall design cohesion but is also built flexibly enough that new building assets could be included, only requiring the addition of building generators for the new set. Alternatively, assets developed with the current generation methods in mind could also be used to change the visual style of the city. Buildings were both generated and placed based on a district classification. Buildings were established as small residential, large residential, religious buildings, and government/commercial before being placed in appropriate locations in the city based on user district specifications.



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