What is an expanded world in Minecraft

World generation

The World generation is an essential part of Minecraft, because this part of the program creates the game world. At first she was Level generator called. The file in which the generated data is saved is still named level.dat. Later came the world generation Map generator called and the world map. Today we speak of World generator.

Some parameters for world generation can be set individually in buffet worlds.

Generation [edit]

What is significant, first of all, is the fact that the world at all generated becomes. In many computer games, the scenes through which the player moves are not generated, but rather pre-produced by artists. These can be two-dimensional or three-dimensional interiors of palaces or spaceships, but also scenery-like landscapes, such as those used in adventure games.

In contrast to this are the generated landscapes, such as those shown in Minecraft can be used. But star systems can just as easily be generated in space. In which procedural generation The landscape does not exist in advance. Whenever a new part of the landscape is required, a procedure is called that generates a random-looking landscape. This makes it possible to create landscapes of almost any size that are only limited by technical boundary conditions (storage space, maximum values ​​of variables).

Simple generation procedure

Apart from the fact that you don't have to create landscapes in advance, another advantage of a procedurally generated landscape is that you don't have to worry about the connections have to do. The landscape will automatically have no gaps or breaks. A greatly simplified example of a procedurally generated landscape would be the use of the sine function: e.g. creates a landscape that looks like an egg carton with its regular hills.

A slight change leads to what calculates a height value Y that is between 32 and 128 for each position (X / Z). The entire landscape is calculated, it is, so to speak, the three-dimensional graph of a function. For each position (X / Z) a unique Y-value is delivered, which fits to its neighbor without connection problems. In Minecraft this becomes clear when teleporting to a distant place. A landscape is then generated there. This lies apart from the already existing landscape like an island in nowhere. If you now walk back to the starting point, the nothing in between is filled with landscape, the fits exactly to the already generated landscape.

In addition to generating the surface, the same process is also used for rivers and caves, so that these always have a suitable connection when new parts of the landscape are generated.

You could go even further and generate the texture of the landscape, with different shades and patterns. But Minecraft uses pre-produced textures. Therefore, for example, all earth blocks look the same. The Minecraft-World is a mixture of procedurally generated landscape and prefabricated textures.

An important element in the generation is the Random number generator. It is used constantly and determines e.g. the landscape modeling and the distribution of the biomes up to the distribution of the lakes and plants. The random number generator generates a random number, but this is dependent on a starting value. If you give the random number generator the same starting value, it generates the same random number. In Minecraft the starting value for the random number generator can be specified so that the same world can be generated multiple times with the same starting value.

The first generation of the world is started with the menu item "Create new world":

  • Then an area of ​​12 chunks is generated around the player's spawn point. The player is in the central chunk of this 25 × 25 chunk area (corresponds to 400 × 400 blocks).
  • Basically only 10 chunks in each direction are loaded around each player in the game. If a player moves through the world, the chunks that are more than 10 chunks behind him are saved and the missing chunks that are in front of him are loaded or - if they did not exist yet - regenerated. The world arises around the player and his movements control which parts of the world are generated. Each chunk is only generated once. Once it exists, it can be saved and reloaded as needed.
  • At the beginning of the generation there is no landscape, because the biomes are generated first because they have a decisive influence on the appearance of the landscape.

Biomes [edit]

Overview of biome generation with AMIDST
  • In the first step, the area is divided up without generating heights or blocks. At first, the whole area is a single ocean. The land areas are generated in these. The ocean is therefore not the result of biome generation, but arises beforehand.
  • Then the climatic zones are created on land and separately in the ocean. The climatic zones prevent warm biomes from directly bordering snow-covered biomes. But because the climate zones in the ocean were only added afterwards with full version 1.13 without wanting to change the previous land division, it can happen that a warm land climate zone borders on a snowy ocean climate zone, which can lead to icebergs next to a desert.
  • The bio areas are distributed in the climatic zones like a kind of patchwork quilt.
  • Then the biome areas are assigned to a specific biome basic type (desert, taiga, forest, etc.). That depends on the climatic zone and the neighboring biomes. Each biome belongs to one of four climate zones (warm, temperate, cold, snowy).
  • The AMIDST(Advanced Minecraft Interface and Data / Structure Tracking) uses Minecraft's biome generation code to display the biomes that will be generated for a given seed value. The program supports current and previous biome generations. It can also load worlds that have already been played and shows the location of the spawn point and the player. However, it does not show landscapes or self-built buildings, only the biome area, which is why it is not suitable as a map, but only as an additional information aid. Nevertheless, this program gives a very good impression of the world of Minecraft and even shows villages, desert temples and other program-generated structures.
Sharp dividing edges when changing the biome code (old: Taiga, new: savanna). You can see that the world is generated in chunks, but also that the biome decoration (including trees) is not based on the chunks. That is why there are spruces in the middle of the savannah.
  • Additional biomes are generated in the basic biome types: hills, plateaus near table mountain and savannah, small forests in non-forest biomes such as mountains or plateaus, edge areas of the jungle, deep sea zones in the ocean and, depending on the biome, sandy beaches (in the AMIDST- Yellow picture), rocky coast, snowy beach or mushroom country coast.
  • Rivers are also additional biomes. They are mostly drawn from ocean to ocean in a serpentine pattern. Care is taken to ensure that they do not cross themselves. In addition, rivers often run along biome boundaries because this forms a natural transition between two biomes.
  • If the biome generation code of the game changes - as last happened with the full version 1.7 - this has two effects: firstly, it creates a starting value for the old game version Not more of the same world in the new version of the game. Second, new chunks are created with the new biome generation code, while old ones remain unchanged (because they already exist as a storage file and are not regenerated). This results in sharp separating edges all over the world where new chunks are generated.
  • Sharp dividing edges when changing the biome code: old chunks = ocean and desert, new chunks = jungle

  • The generation of structures is also impaired when changing the biome code

  • While there were already changes to the bio code in earlier versions, the most noticeable code change up to that point took place with Beta1.8

Surface [edit]

  • After the surface has been divided into biomes, the surface is modeled with the help of Perlin noise functions. The Perlin noise functions create natural-looking structures of highs and lows (for details, see Customized # Advanced Settings). Depending on the biome, other parameters are used so that the plains biomes only have gentle hills, savannas and table mountains have rounded mountain tops, the mountains are very high and steep mountains and the ocean sinks that are consistently below sea level. When modeling the terrain - especially in the mountains - floating islands can occasionally emerge.
  • Originally the world was only 128 blocks high. This was doubled to 256 blocks with the full version 1.2, but the elevation modeling was only adjusted with the full version 1.7. Since then, mountains can be higher than 128 blocks.
  • Now the modeled landscape can be filled with blocks. Basically, the entire landscape is first filled with stone. Depending on the biome, this is replaced on the surface by a skin made from typical biomass natural substances. In the beach, desert and table mountains it is sand, including sandstone. In most other biomes it is earth with a layer of grass block. In the mushroom country it is mycelium. The table mountains are completely replaced by layers of clay in different colors. Depending on the biome, the ocean receives a sand or gravel bottom.
  • Replacing the stone can create landscape anomalies, e.g. B. floating sand or floating snow. Since these anomalies are not a bug, they are a feature.
  • The oceans are replenished with water to sea level. This was at level 64 until beta 1.8, and since then at level 63.
  • Smaller landscape features such as lakes, rocks (in the giant tree taiga), icicles (in the icicle tundra) or icebergs in the icy ocean are placed on the surface and water and lava sources in the steep mountain walls. Some biomes receive a particularly large amount of water (seen in the AMIDST image near the swamps). Then there are the small, almost round water and lava lakes. However, these are not pure surface elements, but are distributed as water and lava bubbles throughout the entire landscape from the bedrock level upwards, so that only a few can be seen on the surface by chance. You can tell that they were not placed on the surface by the fact that they are mostly under a more or less large overhang of earth.
  • Structures such as jungle temples, swamp huts, desert temples, desert wells, villages, ocean ruins and shipwrecks are generated on the surface in as flat a place as possible, but can also be partially located on a hill or in a gorge if the area is appropriate.
  • Trees and other plants are generated in a bio-typical way: from cacti and dead bushes in the desert to various tree species in the forests to the overflowing and therefore computing power-intensive flora in the jungle. This includes the many colorful flowers and the coral reefs in the warm ocean.
  • In cold zones, the surface is covered with snow and water is converted into ice.
  • Spawn areas for biomypical animals are determined at the appropriate places for them. The actual spawning is then subject to further rules. Monsters are not part of the world generation, they - like the weather - are always generated around the player.
  • In extremely rare worlds (1 in 140 bilions) it can happen that the world has a constantly repeating section. As a result, blocks are generated again and again at a certain distance and are in the same position. Structures can also be affected
  • On the left the pure terrain modeling, on the right with the surface (forest in front, snow-covered mountains in the back)

  • Terrain section (with MCEdit the generated world viewed from the side)

  • The transformation of stone into clay did not work in the table mountains at first

  • When flying over the landscape, one can observe the generation of chunks on the horizon

  • The surface is partly composed of circles of different sizes. Here: sandy areas in shallow water

  • A taiga in which the snow distribution was generated incorrectly

  • The world barrier begins as standard from the coordinates X = ± 30,000,000 or Z = ± 30,000,000. Up to full version 1.8(14w17a) the usual 12 chunks were generated in each direction around the player even beyond the world barrier, but without vegetation.

Underground [edit]

  • The ores are generated underground. For each ore there are parameters, in which levels they should occur, how large an ore vein may be, and how often and in which biomes they occur.
  • The most important landscape features of Minecraft, the caves, are generated in the underground. Each cave is basically a long, winding tube. The generation is set so that these hoses are not too far apart. From a certain proximity they overlap, which automatically results in a cave system. Sometimes they are so close together that you can hardly see the individual tubes and large, perforated cavities arise. There are different shapes of cave tubes, some are very long and relatively thin, others are so large that you cannot see the ceiling in the torchlight. The caves occasionally pierce the surface, creating natural cave entrances. In spectator mode you can take a look below the surface of the earth and see the caves. Even if you fly quickly in one direction through the world in creative mode, you can sometimes briefly see the caves before they are covered by the surface.
  • In addition to the caves, very long and high ravines are generated underground. Due to their size, they serve as a connection between different cave systems.
  • Another element that is generated underground are vertical, round cave shafts, which, due to their height, often penetrate the surface and thus provide access to a cave system.
  • Caves, ravines and shafts in the ocean are filled with water. This is only possible because cave structures are filled with cave air rather than normal air. If an underwater cave penetrates the surface, the cave air ends there, which means that when it is filled with water, only the cave and not the whole world is flooded.
  • At the bottom of the world an impenetrable and closed bedrock layer (in survival mode) is generated. It is given an uneven surface that can reach level 4.
  • All caves are filled with lava up to the lava level (level 11). The bedrock in front of which the caves end can therefore not be seen. Rather, the caves filled with lava look like lava lakes, but they are generated separately.
  • Lava and water lakes are among the smaller landscape features that are distributed underground. They are scattered throughout the underground without a cave connection and regardless of the sea and lava levels. Sometimes they break the surface.
  • The walls of caves and ravines are decorated with water and lava springs that flow into the cavities.
  • Underground structures such as mines, dungeons and fortresses are generated.
    • Mines form a rectangular but randomly generated system of 3 × 3 block corridors with stairs, shafts and a central chamber. They are so big that, like the gorges, they can connect different cave systems. When they cross a cave or gorge, a wooden floor is generated. Mines can penetrate to the bedrock. They are not filled with lava. A block update is usually carried out for them when they penetrate gravel or sand so that it falls down.
    • Dungeons are only generated at positions where they touch a cavity (cave, mine, canyon, fortress, underground lake). They always include a spawner.
    • A total of 128 underground fortresses are generated in up to eight rings around the center of the world. Similar to mines, they are a randomly generated system of corridors and rooms. The end portals can be found in fortresses.
  • As underground plants, brown and red mushrooms are more often generated on stone, sometimes grass and even flowers in places with soil - even in places in complete darkness.
  • Sometimes the world is rendered so slowly that you can briefly see the caves beneath the surface

  • Caves seen with MCEdit

  • First the ravine was generated, which in rare cases - as here - breaks through the surface, then the lake with its bank. Both are marked with colored wool. On the left dark grass in a swamp biome

  • Mine floating in a lowland world to see its extent

  • Fortress floating in a lowland world to be able to see its extent. In front two libraries, in the middle the room with the end portal

  • The cave, which can be seen at the bottom right, extends above the surface of the earth and has a black oak cut in half

The nether

  • The Nether and the end are not generated at the start of the game, but only when they are entered for the first time via the corresponding portal.
  • The Nether was developed at a time when the world in Minecraft was only 128 blocks high (256 today). As a result, it is only 128 blocks high. Above it lie 128 blocks of air that do not belong to the landscape of the Nether. The nether represents the underworld. Therefore it is basically a solid block of netherrack, which is limited above and below by an inwardly uneven bedrock layer that cannot be penetrated in survival mode.
  • Layers of gravel are inserted into the Netherrack massif, soul sand in large, flat lumps and nether quartz in the form of ore veins.
  • Then very large, bubble-like cavities are generated with Perlin noise functions, with a distance of approx. 20 blocks to the upper and lower bedrock layers. They are so close together that they form a single contiguous cavity. No block update is carried out, which can result in floating gravel areas. Exposed gravel and soul sand structures can form larger, flat surfaces.
  • Up to height 32 - the lava level in the nether - the cavities are filled with lava and thus form lava oceans.
  • In addition to the large cavities, small cave systems are also generated in the Nether, following the same scheme as in the overworld. Nether canyons are also generated, which - if there is a large cavity underneath them - can be open at the bottom. Basically, the small caves and canyons are not filled with lava if they are below the lava level. However, sometimes a very deep cave or gorge like in the upper world below level 11 is filled with lava.
  • Details are distributed in the cavities: Glowstone lumps, mushrooms, fire and lava springs.
  • A building in the Nether is the Nether Fortress. It is generated like a mine and consists of randomly generated, very long paths with crossings and stairs, as well as some parts of the building. The paths and buildings stand on massive nether brick columns that reach through the lava lakes to the bottom of the large cavities. The nether fortresses, like the mines and fortresses of the upper world, have gaps in their overall structure and can continue to run after an interruption.
  • The Nether seen from the side with MCEdit

The end

  • The end consists of three parts: In the center, a large, free-floating, flat lump of end stone is generated. Obsidian columns are placed on top of it. The main island is massive and has no cavities.
  • A circular sea of ​​emptiness with a diameter of 1000 blocks is generated around the main island.
  • The rest of the end is filled with the "small end islands" biome, into which the other end biomes are generated like a patchwork quilt. Using the biomes, the world generation forms the large and small terminal islands (for details see The End # Biome).
  • On the large end islands, numerous forests of chorus plants and, some end transit portals and rarely an end settlement are generated.
  • Seen the end with MCEdit

  • Version 14w26a generated the ending incorrectly

  • The end consists of a central main island, which is enclosed all around by 1000 blocks of emptiness, followed by an endless number of large and small islands with individual end settlements

Rendering [edit]

  • In order to be able to see the generated world data, it must be converted into an image. This process is called Rendering. The ID name of a block indicates, for example, which texture is to be displayed. The block object data of a block are additional information that must be displayed, e.g. the labeling of a sign. The challenge with rendering is speed. The rendering functions must be optimized so that the image is not built up too slowly. For example, only the faces that the player sees are rendered. The backs (e.g. of a tree trunk) that cannot be seen are left out.
  • While the landscape generation is a task of the server, rendering is done by the client (see client-server concept). The position of the player and his line of sight are transmitted from the client to the server, which immediately returns the corresponding landscape data. The amount of data transferred can be adjusted, e.g. it can be reduced significantly by reducing the visibility, which in turn accelerates the display.
  • Since the client does the rendering, every player can see the server's landscape with individual graphic settings and an individual texture package.
  • An essential element of rendering is the calculation of lighting. It results from the light level, which, regardless of day or night, ranges from an unobstructed view upwards through shady areas to complete darkness. Additional light sources, e.g. lava or torches, are added.
  • Real-time rendering is a challenge. Since the player is constantly moving, the entire screen content has to be constantly recalculated and displayed. In order to be able to adapt this process to the computer performance of the player, there are various setting options in the game.
  • In order to speed up rendering, the corresponding functions have been decoupled from the rest of the game. The game no longer has to constantly calculate the actions of the player and the creatures and at the same time try to display everything quickly enough, but can concentrate on the former, while the graphic display of the world runs separately, i.e. several functional sequences run. threads) in parallel. The result is that you can fly over the landscape without the game jerking or even getting stuck because it can't keep up with rendering.
  • Graphics settings:
    Left: nice graphics, maximum soft lighting, all particles (e.g. smoke), long visibility, clouds on.
    Right: fast graphics, no soft lighting, reduced particles, tiny visibility, clouds off

  • The calculation of the lighting takes into account shaded areas, e.g. on mountain overhangs

  • For a long time there was the bug that rendering under overhangs sometimes didn't work. There were then black spots to be seen, which were clearly different from shady spots. You can see how it looks right on the neighboring pillars

Difference in generation in other Minecraft editions

Basically, there is no difference in the generation of the world in other Minecraft editions. There are only minor modifications in the generator in the world size and in the size of the section held in the main memory, which are described in the following.

In the current Bedrock Edition1.16.221, the maximum world size is only approx.30,000,000 blocks (PC: 60,000,000 blocks) and the volumes of the rendered chunks are:

  1. step: 3 chunks
  2. step: 5 chunks
  3. step: 7 or 8 chunks (7 for iOS, 8 for Android)
  4. step: 10 or 11 chunks (10 for iOS, 11 for Android)

This also applies to the two XBox editions.

Since those in the Playstation editions The existing render distances may differ depending on the detected performance and the size of the hard drive, the limits of the world generation cannot be set.

For the Wii U Edition no information is available yet.

Since the Pi edition is based on an old Pocket Edition, it should correspond to this in the points mentioned.

See also [edit]

On March 9, 2011, in the beta phase of game development, Notch started one Report on the state of the world generation at that timewhich he unfortunately never finished.[1]

Gallery [edit]

  • The first world generator in the version Pre-ClassicPre 0.0.9a (rd-161348) generated a landscape made of stone, which was covered with a layer of earth with grass growing on top

History [edit]

Version history of the Java Edition
Pre-ClassicPre 0.0.9a (rd-160052)
  • New world generator
  • The world is surrounded by a sea
  • New world generator
  • More cliffs
  • Longer and narrower caves
  • The deeper you go, the bigger the caves are
  • Lava also occurs on the surface, but only very rarely
  • Tree growth is added
January 6, 2010
  • Card type selectable: Island, Floating, Flat, Original
  • Selectable card shape: Square, Long, Deep
  • Selectable card size: Small, Normal, Huge
January 7, 2010
  • Deep, floating maps have layers of islands
  • Selectable card theme: normal, light
January 11, 2010
  • Islands are made up of more sand
January 22, 2010
  • Liquids are built into the world generator
  • Liquids can occur above sea level and on floating islands
  • Less flooded caves
  • Caves can be significantly larger and more extensive
  • Coal can be found in smaller and larger seams
  • For the first time, some new worlds are created in winter mode during generation, i.e. they are completely snow-covered and have ice
  • Biomes added, i.e. when generating new worlds (and new chunks in existing worlds), different landscapes are now generated within a world: forest, deciduous forest, coniferous forest, rainforest, marshland, scrubland, plains, cold steppe, savannah and desert
  • Instead of the winter mode, which always generated a whole world in the snow, only certain biomes are now covered with snow
  • A new underworld dimension is generated, the Nether
Beta 1.2
  • Iron ores, diamond ores and coal ores are generated in larger quantities
  • two new tree species: birch and spruce
  • The start value can be set manually
Beta 1.6
  • Added sky dimension as an unreachable biome
Beta 1.8(Beta 1.8-pre1)
  • New biome code that enables larger biomes and rivers
  • Clear boundaries between the individual biomes
  • Removal of old biomes, new biomes: swamp, forest, taiga, plain, desert, mountains, river, ocean
  • Villages
  • Underground ravines
  • Fortresses are underground structures with corridors, doors and stairs
  • mine
  • Rivers
  • Deep (re) oceans
  • The sea level will be lowered from 64 to 63
Full version 1.0
Full version 1.1
  • Spruce forest can now contain ice and snow
  • New World Type Option: Flatlands
  • Biomes are refined by biome additions: beach, hill, mountain edge
  • Softer color transitions between the individual biomes
Full version 1.2
  • New jungle biome with jungle hill added
  • Old maps from version 1.1 are still supported; the biomes do not move because of the new world generator, because new chunks will continue to be generated with the old world generator.
  • The overall height is set to 256, i.e. doubled
  • Lots of world and light system changes
Full version 1.3
Full version 1.4
  • There are 7 default settings for flat land worlds: Classic flat land, tunnel builder's dream, water world, upper world, snow kingdom, bottomless abyss and desert. If you choose Classic Plain, you can choose the material in the world and the height at which it should appear
  • Swamp huts are seldom generated in swamps
  • New flatland template "Redstone, get set, go!"
  • When creating flatland worlds, there is the option to generate trees, fortresses, etc.
  • Mines, dungeons, fortresses, lakes, desert wells are generated on flatland worlds
Full version 1.5(12w06a)
  • Improvement of lighting
Full version 1.6(13w17a)
  • Fewer lakes are generated in deserts
Full version 1.6.4(1.6.3-pre)
  • Until now, structures such as fortresses and mines only existed as part of the chunks that had already been generated, but were not saved in their entirety, which meant that the connections and transitions were not correct when the world generation was changed in new chunks. Therefore, these structures are now saved entirely separately, independently of the chunks
Full version 1.7
  • New world type CRACKED with large biomes, 255 meter high mountains and deep gorges with rivers
  • Even in normal worlds, the landscape is generated higher than 128 meters for the first time (mountains)
  • The riverbed of the rivers consists partly of gravel
  • 6 new biomes, 14 rare biome variants and 17 new additional biomes added
  • Oceans are smaller
  • The sea bed is made of gravel
  • Biomes are divided into four categories: snowy, cold, temperate, and warm. Biomes from categories that are too different are not generated side by side
  • The generation of swamps is changed: the land masses now contain more elevations, some land masses are interspersed with a lot of water, the grass is greener and varies depending on the biome temperature
  • A world limit is introduced: from the coordinates 30,000,000, all blocks are solid, including the air. That's why you can no longer move there
Full version 1.8
  • Some parameters for world generation can be set individually in adapted worlds
  • The world is generated with vegetation as usual, even beyond the world barrier
  • The rendering is decoupled from the rest of the game and runs in its own threads
  • The algorithm for not rendering graphics that are not visible (e.g. because they are hidden by a house) is adopted by the Bedrock Edition
Full version 1.9
  • The end is generated differently: Many islands are generated around the main island after a large distance
  • New flatland template "The Void"
Full version 1.13
  • The world generation is being reprogrammed. Outwardly, hardly anything should change, but internally the generation will be callable in the future using a JSON script[2]. The adapted worlds are omitted
  • The outer part in the end is more finely divided into biomes that describe the different areas of the end islands
  • Added nether canyons
  • The previous ocean and deep sea biomes will be more finely divided by new ocean biomes and will be generated and decorated differently with the next development versions
  • Coral reefs added
  • The new world type buffet enables an individual world generation
Full version 1.14(19w02a)
  • If a world is generated or loaded, a loading screen appears showing the loaded chunks
Full version 1.17(21w06a)
  • The area of ​​the generation and construction limits has been expanded up and down by 64 blocks in the upper world.

References Edit]