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Maze generation algorithms!

Super cool post from Jamis Buck on mazemaking algorithms. It’s set up so you can click and see the maze being formed, for each of 11 different algorithms!

When I was about 12, I was really into making mazes. I’d make them on graph paper and give many of them out to my friends. Somewhere along the way I lost most of them, but I remember it was a fun challenge to figure out how to make them difficult. I don’t know about these automatic maze generation algorithms, but handmade mazes (of the sort that used to appear in puzzle books) often had the problem that they were really easy to solve if you started at the end and worked back to the beginning. I didn’t want that, so when I designed my own mazes, I’d start from each of the two ends and then work out the middle. I remember one maze I was particularly proud of that had no dead ends. The dud paths just looped back to the beginning area, and you had to find the path that made it all the way through.

I never tried to formalize the algorithm I used to make mazes, and now I don’t remember how I used to do it.

P.S. Jamis Buck also has a family blog full of adorable quotes from his kids.

2 Comments

  1. Manuel Moe G says:

    Anyone have any notes on how to algorithmically generate or solve Lewis Carroll type mazes:

    http://www.mathpuzzle.com/loyd/cop260-261.html

  2. Raghu Parthasarathy says:

    It’s a bit embarrassing that my first comment on your blog, which I like a lot, is to point that I briefly wondered if “them” at the end of “I’d… give many of [the mazes] … out to my friends. Somewhere along the way I lost most of them…” referred to the mazes or the friends! I had a hilarious vision of sixth graders ducking into doorways or feigning coughing fits whenever they saw you running towards them with graph paper!