Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Generating Realistic Planets

  1. Sep 23, 2016 #1
    Hello everyone!

    I'm working on a game and I've been trying to wrap my head around procedural generation of planets. Sounds super difficult but I don't think it actually needs to be all that complicated. I don't need to generate a planet using physics, instead I'd like to generate the planet from an array of possible variations. For instance:

    1. Size of planet
    2. Atmosphere composition
    3. Mineral Composition
    4. Ocean Coverage
    5. Land Coverage
    6. ...
    An example of how this would work is that planet size would be decided via RNG. However, I want it to be at least somewhat realistic so I begin running into issues of "Well how large does a planet have to be to allow liquid water, what are the other factors that allow liquid water..." and then I'm kinda boned because it's a near endless rabbit hole of research.

    I've done some searching for examples of this kind of thing, and to be honest the most comparable example of what I'm trying to do is take Dwarf Fortresses world generation and scaled it up to a planet. Gravity, atmosphere, land/water, ability to support life, all these are factors that I need to generate somehow. Is anyone aware of anything similar to this being done? I wouldn't really call it a simulation, I believe Spore might have done something similar but even from what I've read about Spore they did simulate galaxy formations, stars and all.

    Is anyone aware of any examples of this type of generation? It's a little difficult to search for on Google.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 23, 2016 #2


    Staff: Mentor

  4. Sep 23, 2016 #3
    Hmm, very interesting project. There's a lot of information here and it can at least give me something to go on as far as the types of planets that can be generated. However, I'm looking for something more technical perhaps. Maybe a post-mortem or developer explaining how they generated planets/worlds in a procedural manner.

    I do like the website though, right in the bookmarks that one went. I'm even considering contacting the author and seeing if I can't just use their lore for the game. Certainly enough to go on there.
  5. Sep 23, 2016 #4

    Just in case someone else is on a similar path here is a good website that realistically covers possible planet types.


    I also found something that does exactly what I am looking for, specifically generates an entire solar system along with planets and provides information on those planets. Now I can just use the variables it seems they used and create my own planet roller.

    (It also has many other generators on the site)
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted