It?s no secret that No Man?s Sky is one of the year?s most anticipated games. Since it?s unveiling in late 2013, gamers and industry figures alike have fawned over Hello Games? tantalizing vision of a fully explorable, procedurally-generated universe. With every trailer and teaser, we?ve gotten glimpses of its infinite roster of planets, environments, and creatures; all generated by a series of algorithms and formulas quietly churning away in the background.
No Man’s Sky
Whether all this translates into an enjoy gameplay experience remains to be seen; but it is fascinating to try and wrap your head around what the developers have accomplished. In a recent feature published in the Atlantic, HelloGames popped open the hood to reveal the many different systems driving the game.
?The universe begins with a single input, an arbitrary numerical seed?the phone number of one of the programmers. That number is mathematically mutated into more seeds by a cascading series of algorithms?a computerized pseudo-randomness generator.? Reads the article. From there, the total number of planets that can be generated reaches an astonishing 18,446,744,073,709,551,616.”
The developer has said in the past that the ?goal? players are tasked with is reaching the center of the universe. Given the incomprehensible amount of different worlds they?ll have to pass through before they get there, is that even possible?
HelloGames founder Sean Murray conceded that the playerbase will definitely move on before anyone gets to that point. ?People will stop playing long before even .1 percent of everything has been discovered,? He said. ?That?s just how games are. I would be foolish to think anything else. It?s a sad thought though. When we fly through the galactic map, we see all the stars, each of which will have planets around them, and life, and ecology?and the vast, vast, vast majority will never be visited. ?