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Magical blueprints for procedural generation of content. Based roughly on a series of articles by Sean Howard. Overview here. .. _series of articles: .. _Overview here:

David Eyk


Magical blueprints for procedural generation of content. Based roughly on a series of articles by Sean Howard. Overview here.


Blueprints are data objects. The essential idea is that you write subclasses of blueprint.Blueprint with fields that define the general parameters of their values (e.g. an integer between 0 and 10). When you instantiate a blueprint, you get a "mastered" blueprint with well-defined values for each field. Mastered blueprints may define special "generator" instance methods that build final objects from the master.

Think of it as prototypal inheritance for Python! (Yeah, I probably don't know what I'm talking about.)

Most of the big moving parts have their documentation, often with examples, in the docstring. Blueprint is best played with at the command line, trying out how things work. For the impatient, an example:

import blueprint

class Item(blueprint.Blueprint):
    value = 1
    tags = 'foo bar'

    class Meta:
        abstract = True

class Weapon(Item):
    name = 'Some Weapon'
    tags = 'dangerous equippable'
    damage = blueprint.RandomInt(1, 5)

    class Meta:
        abstract = True

class Spear(Weapon):
    tags = 'primitive piercing'
    name = 'Worn Spear'
    damage = blueprint.RandomInt(10, 15)
    value = blueprint.RandomInt(4, 6)

class PointedStick(Weapon):
    tags = 'primitive piercing'
    name = 'Pointed Stick'
    damage = 6
    value = 2

class Club(Weapon):
    tags = 'primitive crushing'
    name = 'Big Club'
    damage = blueprint.RandomInt(10, 15)
    value = 2

class Actor(blueprint.Blueprint):
    tags = 'active'

class CaveMan(Actor):
    name = 'Cave Man'
    weapon = blueprint.PickOne(
        Club, Spear, PointedStick

And then:

>>> actor = CaveMan()
>>> actor
    name -- 'Cave Man'
    weapon -- <Spear:
        damage -- 5
        name -- 'Spear'
        value -- 6

Now, we can take our reified master data object and do something with it--use it as-is, or build another entity using the generated data.

Fields and Generators

Blueprints are data objects. By default, every member of a blueprint is treated as a field, either static or dynamic. Static fields are simple data attributes. Dynamic fields are callable objects that take one positional argument, the blueprint on which they are being called.

Dynamic fields make blueprints quite useful. A few basic fields are provided to get you started, and Blueprints themselves can be used as fields. Fields are designed to be nestable. They can rely upon each other too--use the blueprint.depends_on decorator to declare these dependencies.

If you really must have a callable method on your mastered blueprint, use the blueprint.generator decorator (or mark your callable object with the is_generator flag). These are called "generators" ("contractors" in squidi's terminology) because they're intended to be used to generate your final entity, whether it be a dict or a WAD file.


Blueprints automatically organize themselves using tags (domains in squidi's parlance). A direct descendant of Blueprint has its own tag repository (blueprint.taggables.TagRepository), which all its subclasses will share. So, in the above example, you can queryWeapon.tag_repo.query(with_tags=('piercing')) and receive set([Spear, PointedStick]).

Blueprints are also automatically tagged by their class name (and their ancestor superclass names!), with camel-cased words separated out. So CaveMan will automatically get the tags set(['cave', 'man', 'actor']).

This makes the following possible:

class MammothHunter(CaveMan):
    weapon = blueprint.PickFrom(
        blueprint.WithTags('pointed weapon')


Sometimes, you'll want to dynamically modify a blueprint. To do this, create a subclass of Mod. Mods are just special blueprints:

class OfDoom(blueprint.Mod):
    name = blueprint.FormatTemplate('{} of DOOM')
    value = lambda _: _.meta.source.value * 5

Then, apply it to another blueprint:

>>> club = OfDoom(Club)
'Big Club of DOOM'

Mods always produce mastered blueprints.


Factories put all the pieces together--they're rather a blueprint factory. Say that you want an item drop that selects from a few common Weapon blueprints and adds a couple magical Mods to make it cooler. Here's our second mod:

class MagicalItemPrefix(blueprint.Mod):
    prefix = blueprint.PickOne(
    name = blueprint.depends_on('prefix')(
        blueprint.FormatTemplate('{parent.prefix} {}'))

Now, here's our Magical Item factory:

class MagicalItemFactory(blueprint.Factory):
    product = blueprint.PickFrom(
    mods = [MagicalItemPrefix, OfDoom]

Now, when we call the factory, we get a random Weapon with magical properties:

>>> weapon = MagicalItemFactory()
'Gnarled Worn Spear of DOOM'

Factories always produce mastered blueprints.


  • Better documentation. :)
  • Support all operators on blueprint.Field


If you run into trouble, or find a bug, file an issue in the tracker on github.

On github, bleeding-edge development work is done on the develop branch. master should always be stable.


  • 0.3.4: Learned how to read. Corrected Sean Howard's name in the intro copy. Three micro-releases in 1 hour!
  • 0.3.3: Learned how to use distutils. :P (Fixed a unicode string in setup([packages=[...]]).)
  • 0.3.2: Added the LICENSE file to the source distribution, so pip won't fail.
  • 0.3.1: Radically improved docstrings, with relevant examples. Added a changelog!
  • 0.3: Added Factories. Bugfixes.
  • 0.2: Added Mods. Bugfixes.
  • 0.1: Initial release.



Home Page


blueprint 0.3.1 — 19 Feb, 2012

blueprint 0.3.3 — 28 Feb, 2012

blueprint 0.3.4 — 28 Feb, 2012 account Comments

  • Danilka99 2012-03-01 16:12

    Cool Game!