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Computer designs Mario levels by watching gameplay videos

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a computing system that is able to design and create levels from simple games, without human input.

The unnamed system is part of a program called "Toward Game Level Generation from Gameplay Videos." The computer program views gameplay videos of the original Super Mario Bros. and then designs its own levels.

It analyzes standard features from the levels, such as walls, pipes, enemies and jumps, and recreates them in workable formats. The algorithm also analyzes player behavior to determine the most entertaining level layouts.

"An initial evaluation of our approach indicates an ability to produce level sections that are both playable and close to the original without hand coding any design criteria," said lead researcher Matthew Guzdial.

The researchers hope to use their work to aid game designers create procedurally generated areas in games.

Nintendo is releasing its own level-design game later this year. Super Mario Maker, due out in September for Wii U, allows players to design their own Super Mario levels.

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