A Declarative PCG Tool for Casual Users

  • Ian Horswill Northwestern University


Declarative programming allows designers to create procedural content generators by providing descriptions of desired artifacts rather than bespoke algorithms to generate them.  Unfortunately, these systems are notoriously inaccessible, requiring considerable sophistication with formal systems, and detailed understanding of the impact of equivalent formalizations on the system performance. Imaginarium is a declarative PCG system for tabletop role playing games (TTRPGs).  Following Compton’s work on casual creators, it trades expressiveness for accessibility.  As with Nelson’s Inform 7, its source language is a highly structured subset of English.  A single sentence, such as children are parented by at least one adult can be used to simultaneously introduce the predicates child, adult, and parent, along with a cardinality constraint over the parent relation.  We describe the system, its knowledge representation language, and the issues in their design.  Together, they allow users with minimal STEM background to engage in playful experimentation.