a video game by Jason Rohrer

Cultivation is a game about a community of gardeners growing food for themselves in a shared space.

Cultivation is quite different from most other games. It is a social simulation, and the primary form of conflict is over land and plant resources---there is no shooting, but there are plenty of angry looks. It is also an evolution simulation. Within the world of Cultivation, you can explore a virtually infinite spectrum of different plant and gardener varieties.

All of the graphics, sounds, melodies, and other content in Cultivation are 100% procedurally generated at playtime. In other words, there are no hand-painted texture maps---instead, each object has a uniquely "grown" appearance. Every time you play, Cultivation generates fresh visuals, music, and behaviors. You can read more about what I was trying to do with Cultivation in this essay

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  • OpenGL
  • Mouse
  • 3D card that can render OpenGL
  • 400 MHz or faster processor
  • Stereo headphones
Development and testing took place on a 250 MHz PPC computer without a 3D accelerator card (in other words, using software OpenGL rendering). Cultivation is actually playable on a meager system like this, though it runs a lot smoother on a faster computer with a 3D card.

If you have an older computer, you may be able to improve Cultivation's performance by disabling some of the more complicated graphical features. Open the included file features.txt with a text editor (changing a "1" to a "0" will turn a given feature off).


Play instructions are included with your download. Cultivation also includes an in-game tutorial.

Version 8 released on August 9, 2007. [change log]

Clicking a download link below will lead you a list of download mirrors---pick the server that is closest to your geographical location.

MacOS X -- (tested on 10.2).

Windows 95/98/2000/XP -- Includes the GLUT library.

Unix Source Code -- Compile yourself. Requires the GLUT development library [GLUT source] [GLUT RPMs].

Cultivation is free software (released into the public domain).


Sam Ashwell has posted an in-depth review.

Trailer Video

Format: MPEG 1 with mp2 audio (playable on almost any computer)
Two sizes available:
360 x 242 (5.95 MB)
720 x 486 (19.44 MB)
720 x 486 DVD Quality (28.32 MB)
Hosted by the Internet Archive
YouTube Stream:


A high-resolution screenshot, suitable for printing, is available in the press section


You can browse the source code in CVS.

hosted by:
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For those who do not fear sacrifice:
your souls will burn bright trails in the night sky.