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A-maze-ing generator


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Hi folks!


First off, yeah this may be the lamest title. But it made you look anyway! o:)


Edit: Now updated! With step-counter, reset button and a few GUI-tweaks. (the step-counter is cheating! It's calculated in advance...)

I recently thought a screenshot of a finished maze may be smart to show, instead of only my long story and code. o=path, x=wall. Here it is:




I started making my own implementation of the A* pathing script in a larger project, inspired by Toady's work. (But made one from scratch myself anyway ;))

After the A* pathing script was working (not cleaned up yet) I wanted to test it. Unfortunately I got no good, randomized, maze lying around that also had the format I needed. So I made my own maze generator!


I did a few hours of research on the matter and then a few evenings of scripting.

For the people who are interested, one of my problems was that I needed 'one-cell' thick walls. Most maze generation have 1 pixel thick walls drawn by a line, that could be opened if a path is needed. The solution is so simple, I needed this guy to tell me. Click here for my inspiration source.


This generator can be used with different sizes maze, even uneven ones! Just set the width and height settings. FYI, it must be odd numbers for this maze to work with it's containment walls.

It's the 'simple' Depth-First Search, with backtracking. And without further ado; my a-maze-ing generator!:

#cs ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 AutoIt Version:
 Author:         A-maze-ing generator
 Script Function:
    Generates a maze.
      In the $xy[$i][4] is the maze in array form.
      Don't forget to take the size with it, else it's just a string of o's and x's
    It does not generate an entrance or exit!
#ce ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

; Script Start - Add your code below here

#include <Array.au3>
#include <GUIConstantsEx.au3>
#include <StaticConstants.au3>

; Set various variables
; width and height must be odd numbers to have a closed, functioning maze.
Global $height = 27 ; demo height = 27
Global $width = 43; demo width = 43

; Check if width & height are an odd number (to get the outer edge an odd number is required)
If mod($height, 2) = 0 Or $height < 5 Then
   msgbox(0,"","Height is not an odd number or a minimum of 5 tall !")
ElseIf mod($width, 2) = 0 Or $width < 5 Then
   msgbox(0,"","Width is not an odd number of a minimum of 5 wide !")

; Set various variables when script is not exited
Global $grid_size = $height * $width
Global $numberofsteps = (Ceiling(($height-2) / 2) * (($width-2) - Ceiling(($width-2) / 2))) + (($height-2) - Ceiling(($height-2) / 2)) ; long formula to check the number of steps this maze will take, this is a mathematical given with a fixed number of cells. And yes, I am aware I'm taking a shortcut in this formula. ;)

Global $curpos
Global $backtrack[1]
Global $bt = 0
Local $grid_pixel = 20 ;How many pixels per square

; Initialize main array with all grid data
Global $xy[$grid_size + 1][5]
Global $reset_xy = $xy ; set the reset array
$xy[0][0] = $grid_size ; first entry is the total number of nodes, rest is set with a header name for easy reference in _ArrayDisplay if needed.
$xy[0][1] = "ID"
$xy[0][2] = "Row"
$xy[0][3] = "Column"
$xy[0][4] = "Type"

; Fill the grid array with 'walls'
For $i = 1 To $xy[0][0]
   $xy[$i][4] = "x"

; Start GUI and create standard buttons
Local $gui = GUICreate("A-maze-ing generator", 180 + ($width * $grid_pixel), 80 + ($height * $grid_pixel))

; Set the main window to the minimum width (IF) needed for the msgbox
Local $aPos = WinGetPos($gui)
If $aPos[2] < 696 Then
   $aPos[2] = 696
   WinMove($gui, "", $aPos[0], $aPos[1], $aPos[2], $aPos[3])

GUICtrlCreateLabel("This is a-maze-ing!", 30, 19)
Global $progress = GUICtrlCreateLabel("Standing by... " & $numberofsteps & " steps to go.", 150, 15, 550, 30)
Local $iOKButton = GUICtrlCreateButton("Start", 45, 50, 60)
Local $iResetButton = GUICtrlCreateButton("Reset", 45, 90, 60)
Local $iExitButton = GUICtrlCreateButton("Exit", 45, 130, 60)

GUICtrlSetFont($progress, 15)
GUICtrlSetColor($progress, 0x00AA00)
GUICtrlSetState($iResetButton, $GUI_DISABLE)

; Create label-grid and fill the xy array with the positions
Local $squarenr = 0
For $i = 0 To ($height * $grid_pixel) - $grid_pixel Step $grid_pixel ; Row
   For $j = 0 To ($width * $grid_pixel) - $grid_pixel Step $grid_pixel ; Column
      $squarenr = $squarenr + 1
      $xy[$squarenr][0] = GUICtrlCreateLabel('x', 150 + $j, 50 + $i, $grid_pixel, $grid_pixel, BitOr($SS_SUNKEN, $SS_CENTER)) ; if you want debugging numbers, replace 'x' with $squarenr
      GUICtrlSetBkColor($xy[$squarenr][0], 0x5E87C9) ; lightblue-ish
      $xy[$squarenr][1] = $squarenr
      $xy[$squarenr][2] = ($i / $grid_pixel) + 1
      $xy[$squarenr][3] = ($j / $grid_pixel) + 1
$reset_xy = $xy

; Show GUI

; Start looping and waiting for input
Local $aMsg = 0
While 1
   $aMsg = GUIGetMsg(1)
      Case $aMsg[0] = $iOKButton
         GUICtrlSetState($iOKButton, $GUI_DISABLE)
         GUICtrlSetState($iResetButton, $GUI_DISABLE)
         GUICtrlSetState($iExitButton, $GUI_DISABLE)
         GUICtrlSetColor($progress, 0xFF8C00) ; orange
         GUICtrlSetData($progress, "Running - Creating maze. Please stand by... " & $numberofsteps & " steps to go.")
         GUICtrlSetColor($progress, 0xFF0000) ; red
         GUICtrlSetData($progress, "Maze complete!")
         Sleep(1000) ; Just a small sleep for dramatic effect
         GUICtrlSetColor($progress, 0x00AA00) ; green-ish
         GUICtrlSetData($progress, "Maze completed in " & $numberofsteps & " steps.")
         GUICtrlSetState($iResetButton, $GUI_ENABLE)
         GUICtrlSetState($iExitButton, $GUI_ENABLE)

      Case $aMsg[0] = $iResetButton
         GUICtrlSetData($progress, "Resetting maze...")
         GUICtrlSetState($iResetButton, $GUI_DISABLE)
         GUICtrlSetState($iOKButton, $GUI_ENABLE)
         GUICtrlSetData($progress, "Maze reset!")
         Sleep(1000) ; Just a small sleep for dramatic effect
         GUICtrlSetData($progress, "Standing by...")

      Case $aMsg[0] = $GUI_EVENT_CLOSE Or $aMsg[0] = $iExitButton


; Resetting the maze to default state
Func reset_maze()
   $xy = $reset_xy ; Set the $xy array back to it first-run values
   For $i = 1 To $xy[0][0]
      $xy[$i][4] = "x" ; set everything to 'x'
      GUICtrlSetBkColor($xy[$i][0], 0x5E87C9) ; reset the background color
      GUICtrlSetData($xy[$i][0], "x") ; (re)set the label to 'x'

; Main function
Func make_maze()
   Local $heading
   Local $stepcount = $numberofsteps ; Reset the step counter.
   Local $timed = TimerInit() ; Start the timer to see how long the maze generation took.

   $backtrack[0] = 0
   $curpos = $width + 2 ; This is the starting position, second row, second column - aka top-left, one in from the sides.

   open_maze($curpos) ; Set the starter cell to 'open / white'

   ; Main maze generation loop
   While 1
         $heading = direction($curpos)
      Until $heading <> 0
      If $bt = 1 Then $bt = 0 ; reset backtracking-tracker, else the backtracking array keeps adding the current position

      GUICtrlSetData($progress, "Running - Creating maze. Please stand by... " & $stepcount & " steps to go.")
      Sleep(50) ; Slow maze creation down to look at it - relax! (or don't and comment out the sleep)
      If $heading = -1 Then ExitLoop
      $stepcount -= 1 ; Count down the steps to finish.

      ; We got the heading - now which way do we go? After that, set the current position to the last known heading.
      Switch $heading
         Case 1 ; north
            open_maze($curpos - $width)
            open_maze($curpos - ($width * 2))
            $curpos = $curpos - ($width * 2)
         Case 2 ; east
            open_maze($curpos + 1)
            open_maze($curpos + 2)
            $curpos = $curpos + 2
         Case 3 ; south
            open_maze($curpos + $width)
            open_maze($curpos + ($width * 2))
            $curpos = $curpos + ($width * 2)
         Case 4 ; west
            open_maze($curpos - 1)
            open_maze($curpos - 2)
            $curpos = $curpos - 2
         ;msgbox(0,"","Turn pause") ; for debugging, click every turn.

   ConsoleWrite("Maze completed in " & Round(TimerDiff($timed) / 1000, 1) & " seconds." & @CRLF) ; Show the generation time in seconds, rounded up with one decimal

Func open_maze($dest) ; Function set inputted cells to 'open' instead of being an uncool wall.
   $xy[$dest][4] = "o"
   GUICtrlSetData($xy[$dest][0], 'o') ; If you want debugging numbers, replace 'o' with $dest
   GUICtrlSetBkColor($xy[$dest][0], 0xEEEEEE)

Func direction(ByRef $curpos) ; Insert current position, output next heading for path generation.
   Local $nesw
   Local $open_directions[5][2]

   $open_directions[0][0] = 0

   $nesw = $curpos - ($width * 2) ; north side checking
   If $nesw > $width + 1 Then fill_open_dir($nesw, 1, $open_directions)

   $nesw = $curpos + 2 ; east side checking
   If mod($nesw - 1, $width) <> 0 Then fill_open_dir($nesw, 2, $open_directions)

   $nesw = $curpos + ($width * 2) ; south side checking
   If $nesw < $grid_size - $width Then fill_open_dir($nesw, 3, $open_directions)

   $nesw = $curpos - 2 ; west side checking
   If mod($nesw, $width) <> 0 Then fill_open_dir($nesw, 4, $open_directions)

   ; Check which (if any) direction(s) are already opened, if so, discard them from the results-array
   For $i = $open_directions[0][0] To 1 Step -1
      If $xy[$open_directions[$i][1]][4] = "o" Then
         $open_directions[0][0] -= 1
         _ArrayDelete($open_directions, $i)

   ; If there are any results left...
   If $open_directions[0][0] > 0 Then
      If $open_directions[0][0] = 1 Then
         Return $open_directions[1][0] ; Random does not work with min 1 and max 1 (output = 0), so in this case, return only with the only one result.
         If $bt = 0 Then ; If there is not backtracking active, add this crossroad to the backtrack-array. This is only needed if there are two or three possible sides.
            $backtrack[0] += 1
            _ArrayAdd($backtrack, $curpos)
         Return $open_directions[Random(1, $open_directions[0][0], 1)][0] ; Random choose between all possible directions and return with the outcome direction.
   ElseIf $backtrack[0] > 0 Then ; If there are no results ánd there are entries in the backtrack list, then visit those entries to see if there still is a path possible.
      $curpos = $backtrack[$backtrack[0]]
      _ArrayDelete($backtrack, $backtrack[0])
      $backtrack[0] -= 1
      $bt = 1
      Return 0 ; Return with a new current direction ($curpos), from the backtrack array.
      Return -1 ; If there are no paths to explorer, in the pathing, or backtracking, then return with the message that we are finished.

Func fill_open_dir($nesw, $direction, ByRef $open_directions) ; Fill the $open_directions array with a new possible way
   $open_directions[0][0] += 1
   $open_directions[$open_directions[0][0]][1] = $nesw
   $open_directions[$open_directions[0][0]][0] = $direction


P.S.  The 'slow' generation is intended because it looks cool. Comment out the Sleep line on line 157 for a fast generation.

Edited by Triblade
Things and stuff. And now a code update!

My active project(s): A-maze-ing generator (generates a maze)

My archived project(s): Pong3 (Multi-pinger)

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Very neat!  A reset/regen button would be handy too; also a start and finish location would be cool--either in the outside border or different color "tile".

Good stuff.

Edited by spudw2k
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17 hours ago, spudw2k said:

Very neat!  A reset/regen button would be handy too; also a start and finish location would be cool--either in the outside border or different color "tile".

Good stuff.


I now made a reset button, a new label for a bit more show-and-tell and some minor GUI tweaks.

When I convert this in a fully usable UDF, I'll add-in a start and finish location, in both border modes. At the moment it's too much GUI integrated for my liking. ^_^

My active project(s): A-maze-ing generator (generates a maze)

My archived project(s): Pong3 (Multi-pinger)

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