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Here’s how No Man’s Sky’s countless worlds are built

by Eric Frederiksen | July 16, 2015July 16, 2015 6:30 pm PDT

No Man’s Sky is huge. That word doesn’t even begin to describe it. It’s so big, though, that it would be impossible to manually run quality assurance on without involving everyone on earth. In this week’s episode of PBS Game/Show, host Jamin Warren takes a look at how the game is built and how we don’t end up with just one mess of a planet after another.

The whole game is built on formulas. Plants work basically this way, land masses form in that way, things like that. The system takes liberties with those formulas, putting variations on them to give us the variety we’ve seen in the videos so far.

To ensure that planets are good looking – not just a collection of brown and grey Fallout worlds or somewhere where everything is jet black – they have a bot that does flyovers of various planets, capturing gifs of the planets so that the art team can look at them and make sure that we’ll be going somewhere with enough visual variety and consistency.

It’s hard to tell how much of No Man’s Sky is going to be a traditional game and how much is going to be a matter of finding our own fun, but seeing the way the team is making the game helps reassure me that at least the worlds I’m visiting won’t be boring.


Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...

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