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A video game description language (VGDL) - 0.2

A high-level video game description language (VGDL) built on top of pygame.

Tom Schaul

Our motivation is to make it easy to:

  • design new games that employ a variety of dynamics and strategies, in a simple language
  • automatically generate such games
  • use a collection of such games as benchmark for general AI approaches (possibly in competition format).

We decompose game descriptions into two parts:

  1. a high-level, human-readable description language, to specify the dynamics, which builds on
  2. an ontology of preprogrammed concepts for dynamics, interactions, control.

Programmers extend the possibilities of (1) by writing modules in (2), and game designers can very quickly compose new games from those components without programming.


It is now possible to convert simple games into full MDP transition probabilities. Also: some new game examples.


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A video game description language (VGDL) 0.1 — 26 Jun, 2012

A video game description language (VGDL) 0.2 — 2 Feb, 2013 account Comments

  • Defenestrator 2012-06-28 01:29:54

    Cool idea!  The language is a bit hard to understand, but certainly better than Python :).  Keep up the good work!

  • Jeremy 2013-02-27 06:19:06

    This is a great idea. Unfortunately it's a bane to write it in python AND use the pygame module for those that wish to use this language because they will be severely limited in the amount of things they can do due to speed limitations. As you know, python isn't fast especially when coding AI and pygame is even slower with its drawing mechanisms. In order to achieve standards of 30-60fps you need to do manual optimization which won't be possible in this language i'm afraid...