A Novel CNet-assisted Evolutionary Level Repairer and Its Applications to Super Mario Bros

Tianye SHU, Ziqi WANG, Jialin LIU, Xin YAO

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsConference paper (refereed)Researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Applying latent variable evolution to game level design has become more and more popular as little human expert knowledge is required. However, defective levels with illegal patterns may be generated due to the violation of constraints for level design. A traditional way of repairing the defective levels is programming specific rule-based repairers to patch the flaw. However, programming these constraints is sometimes complex and not straightforward. An autonomous level repairer which is capable of learning the constraints is needed. In this paper, we propose a novel approach, CNet, to learn the probability distribution of tiles giving its surrounding tiles on a set of real levels, and then detect the illegal tiles in generated new levels. Then, an evolutionary repairer is designed to search for optimal replacement schemes equipped with a novel search space being constructed with the help of CNet and a novel heuristic function. The proposed approaches are proved to be effective in our case study of repairing GAN-generated and artificially destroyed levels of Super Mario Bros. game. Our CNet-assisted evolutionary repairer can also be easily applied to other games of which the levels can be represented by a matrix of objects or tiles. © 2020 IEEE.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation, CEC 2020 - Conference Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781728169293
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFC0804003), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61906083), the Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory (Grant No. 2020B121201001), the Program for Guangdong Introducing Innovative and Enterpreneurial Teams (Grant No. 2017ZT07X386), the Science and Technology Innovation Committee Foundation of Shenzhen (Grant No. JCYJ20190809121403553), the Shenzhen Science and Technology Program (Grant No. KQTD2016112514355531) and the Program for University Key Laboratory of Guangdong Province (Grant No. 2017KSYS008). T. Shu and Z. Wang contributed equally to this work.


  • evolutionary algorithms
  • latent vector evolution
  • level repair
  • Procedural content generation
  • video games


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