Map Generation Algorithms for Minecraft Clone

Posted by Danjen on Game Development See other posts from Game Development or by Danjen
Published on 2012-11-04T22:59:41Z Indexed on 2012/11/04 23:19 UTC
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I'm making a Minecraft clone for the sake of it (with some inspriation from Dwarf Fortress) and had a few questions about the way the world generation is handled.

Things I want it to cover:

  • Biomes such as hills, mountains, forests, etc.
  • Caves/caverns/tunnels
  • Procedural (so it stretches to infinity... is wrap-around a possibility?)
  • Breaking the map into smaller chunks
  • Moddable (ie, new terrain types)
  • Multiplayer compatible

In particular, I've seen things such as Perlin Noise, Heightmaps, and Marching Cubes thrown around. These are like different tools to use, but I don't know when or why I would use them. Are there any other techniques that are useful for map generation? I realize this is borderline subjective and open-ended, but I am looking for some more insight into the processes involved.

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