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I know the worlds are generated randomly by a seed the creation of a new world. I also know that there are rules to how everything is put together. Water only between these levels (as an ocean) ores of type X found in range Y, everything pretty much between 0 and 128.

What I am looking for is if there is also some sort of rhyme or reason to just the overall shape/makeup of land on the surface level. Like is there some sort of ratio that this % of the surface must be covered in water vs land or the like.

I hope this clears up my question as again, I know its all random at the end of the day.

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

This depends entirely on the random seed used to generate the world.

Update: This blog post by Notch on Terrain generation in Minecraft may be of interest to you even though it doesn't give you the figures you are looking for. Basically: The terrain is generated from Perlin noise with some manipulations to ensure that there is enough land and water. This means the ratio will fall within some range (but I can't say what it is, sorry).

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This can still be answered generically by giving the average case. –  StrixVaria Apr 25 '11 at 21:34
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Only if the distribution is normal. –  Rein Henrichs Apr 25 '11 at 21:52
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We need someone to hack up a quick program that generates many thousands of maps and run some stats. –  Zoredache Apr 26 '11 at 0:07
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@Zoredache Only on a Stack Exchange website would a community elect to do something like this. :) –  Kevin Y Apr 26 '11 at 2:07
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@Tim From what I understand, Notch uses Perlin noise to generate the terrain, with some manipulation to ensure that there is enough land and water. What I don't know (and can't speculate on) is if this just trims the ends of the distribution off or shapes the distribution into something more normal. –  Rein Henrichs Apr 26 '11 at 16:51
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I don't think there is a land\water ratio per 9 square chunks or anything, because my friend (he also plays MineCraft) spawned in a forest biome and even when he tried walking in one direction for 5 MineCraft days however he couldn't find a large body of water anywhere, only small lakes, so unless his world has heaps of underground lakes, there isn't much of a rule to land/water amounts.

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