In July 2014, anonymous designer Strangethink created a video game exemplifying generative art in the form of a glitchy video game by the name of Error City Tourist.

Strangethink created Error City Tourist using Unity 3D as part of a “Glitch Jam” game design challenge, in which glitches are meant to be implemented in the gameplay and/or aesthetic of a game. What was most visually surprising to me about this game was its lack of consideration of the draw distance, as shown by the video above. Unlike most games that attempt to have objects in the distance fade in as they are generated, Error City Tourist does not attempt to hide this, adding to the glitchy appearance of the game.

This sparked his next project, Secret Habitat, a game in which the player is able to view generated art in a digital walk through gallery. Rather than being limited to visual art, the game includes both generated poetry and music.


Strangethink revealed that his fascination with procedurally-generated games came with his distaste of “heavily-stage managed” video games, or games in which the player is merely following a one-way path created by its designers. What I admire about both of these projects is its aesthetic consistency despite the nature of variables being generated.

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