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Programming Games Technology

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

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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @05:56PM (#47319189)

    Jesus Christ, it's terrible when somebody advocates "downvoting" as something of value.

    Just look at reddit or Hacker News today, or even Slashdot, for example. The discussion there is horribly sterile, all thanks to their flawed moderation systems that encourage rampant censorship of any ideas that are unique or worthwhile. Comments expressing such ideas are near-instantly downvoted out of view.

    That kind of a system fails even worse when the audience consists of people who are commonly labeled as "hipsters". These people have a very skewed perception of reality. They pretend to embrace "tolerance" and "acceptance", but they're often among the most strident crusaders against any sort of free thought and free expression.

    We see the same with academic peer review, where the theory behind it is sound enough, but in practice it's just the entrenched players demonizing and shitting upon any challengers. Hell, we see the same with democratic political systems.

    I don't see why your system would be any different. Unique game content would be quenched by the stupidity of those who seek to enforce total and unrelenting conformance with what they like.

Evolution is a million line computer program falling into place by accident.