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Programming Games Technology

Building the Infinite Digital Universe of No Man's Sky 100

Posted by Soulskill
from the go-really-really-big-or-go-home dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Hello Games is a small development studio, only employing 10 people. But they're building a game, No Man's Sky, that's enormous — effectively infinite. Its universe is procedurally generated, from the star systems down to individual species of plant and animal life. The engine running the game is impressively optimized. A planet's characteristics are not computed ahead of time — terrain and lifeforms are randomly generated on the fly as a player explores it. But, of course, that created a problem for the developers — how do they know their procedural generation algorithms don't create ridiculous life forms or geological formations? They solved that by writing AI bot software that explores the universe and captures brief videos, which are then converted to GIF format and posted on a feed the developers can review. The article goes into a bit more detail on how the procedural generation works, and how such a small studio can build such a big game.

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Building the Infinite Digital Universe of No Man's Sky

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  • Sigh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ledow (319597) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @05:43PM (#47319063) Homepage

    Definitely feel a Peter Molyneaux coming on - before you know it the hype will go so mad, you won't even notice that the game's actually been released, and then we'll find out it's as dull as hell as a game.

    But aside from that, a team of 10 isn't exactly tiny. A lot better games have been written with a lot less people.

    And front-page of Slashdot before release? I'm guessing at least one of those people works in marketing...

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky

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