Reality Check - How Does No Man's Sky Actually Work!?

Cam investigates the question we've all been wondering: how does the procedurally generated world of No Man's Sky actually work?

Discussion

42 comments
X-tract
X-tract

I remain skeptical about this game... It just sounds too good to be true, especially with such a small crew working on it.

I'd love for the game to prove me wrong, but for now I'm going to say that this is not going to live up to its hype.


"Hope is the first step on the road of disappointment" 

lilflipp
lilflipp

This almost looks too good to be true, too ambitious to control.

Apofis_SG-1
Apofis_SG-1

Thats the first time I see this game. I heard about it but didnt bothered myself to see what it is. And damn, this game looks awesome.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

I wonder how long it takes to play before the feeling of familiarity starts to creep in?

I know he said that they don't create worlds randomly as such, they actually put thought and calculations into each world to make it look natural BUT your movement from one planet to another and the generation of that planet IS random.

Like for example when you enter a system that system will be locked down, but move to another and the next system would be created at random again and then locked down. As with anything random there is always a chance that you go from one red planet at x distance from the sun with y rotation speed and z axis tilt that has the knock on effect of generating the wildlife and terrain to another red planet with similar x, y and z variables generating similar terrain and wildlife.

The game will be wonderful when you first get into it, seeing things you've never seen before but how much variety is ultimately possible will all depend on the developers attention to the physical parameters they have decided to use and how much each of those variables effects every other variable. In real life every parameter will effect most others on a continuous scale, but have they locked it onto a discontinuous scale for computational reasons? If they have they have quite drastically reduced the variety possible overall. 

The difference between one world with a TINY tweak in one variable is probably going to look pretty much the same as the world before the tweak. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

hitomo
hitomo

advertisment ... why is addblock not filtering this Episode?


first they get your trust by acting like one of you, end then they use this trust to force the paid opinions down your ... what ever

krys_luzzi
krys_luzzi

The way the do this is quite beautiful, and making sure the whole team is on the same page is equally spectacular. I venture that they have certain rules that they've calculated, like all kinds of special glasses you put on while working on a particular scope of the game. 


For example, a game artist might say to himself, "Hey I just made animal "X", which is great but I'm not done yet! I know I still need to define variances on my animal [like spot colors, or mutation/breedability] in a wide range of situations by regressing animal "X" in terms of world "A" with a result, lying within range "Y<--->Z". And any instance's particular result, that are within range "Y<---->Z" is ADDITIONALLY connected to other by multipliers and regressions to other equations, such as regressing "world A" to "vegetation B". 


In a nutshell, any particular equation, has a variable who is also the result of another equation for another scope, almost like a tunneling network universe. My guess is they started making the rulebook, with one equation on the most micro level (actually, probably many co-equations) and another (or others) on the most macro level, all of which with interval/range results.  And use permutations and combinations of the macro/micro equations to fill in whatever's in between while ensuring the equilibrium of the most micro/macro equations is adherent to the production team's desires.


I don't blame them for getting a god complex when they created a universe. I mean when you're isolated like that day after day working on a universe and it becomes self-propagating and sustainable like that--->you'd feel quite godly. I mean, I'll admit it...I probably would feel quite godly myself too. 


Wouldn't you? 


-K

SaintsRowLA
SaintsRowLA

Hey Cam,


Talk to any 'good' accountant and they'll tell you:

How much is 45 + 62?  How much do you want it to equal?

oldtobie
oldtobie

I don't like to use this word, but holy hell is this video pretentious.  With the whole "oh it's not random, it's procedural" crap, implying "randomly generated" games like Minecraft and Endless Space don't use mathematical algorithms, they're just trying to put themselves above other games in the genre by pretending that they've created something new.  ALL randomly generated games can be considered procedural.  Every single one.  Then they just rant for ten minutes about this idea trying to shove it down everyone's throats how incredibly unique and different and better they are.  Horrible.

pweidman
pweidman

Simply fascinating video piece. These guys at Hello Games are really pushing some game design boundaries. I know procedural programming has been used in games like Spore but the scale being employed here is just astonishing.


Congrats to Gamespot on some of the best content in this series about NMS I've seen in quite a while. Danny boy you done good!

vadagar1
vadagar1

GIANT WORMSSSSSSSSSS :D


OMG :D

Freelancer1
Freelancer1

After seeing all the reviews, SPORE came in mind :)...I mean it's like SPORE RE-Made but from a FPS/ADVENTURE/SPACESIM like style.

hammerfall22
hammerfall22

Looks real good! Nice to know that is not random, and it is not make by hand, but a procedural (= a lot of good diversity). I really want to see this game.


But... I don`t know.... I just hope that the "game itself" works. I mean... will be a good use of all this stuff? Will be a reason to visit a lot of planets/places?

neverenoughpl
neverenoughpl

That's interesting in philosophical point of view. I like the idea that to much power allowing to create everything everywhere leads to a self-destructive universe. 

So, if we consider those game algorithms as kind of transcendent creative cosmic force that built Universe we live in, we definitely should state that those couldn't be made out of randomness - that Something predefined them so the Universe could survive (maybe in an enormous life circle) and not destruct itself.

What was it? Creature with intentions? A God?

lunaticjetman
lunaticjetman

WOW! I have been waiting for somone to do something like this, with everything generated through intertwined algortihms, instead of say having a huge staff creating the sandboxes of the so called "AAA games. Having said so I am still in awe and it is still very impressive and interesting to hear about it, more so than the resulting game product. I bet that this approach will be useful for other applications as well in the future even if the game does not deliver. Of course there are some quite major rules in there that they have implemented that potentially limits the possibilties, but hey even our universe seems to run on rules to some extent, based on our accumulated knowledge. Just think about it, keep implementing rules and intertwines and it is soon a evolution/galaxy simulator. Anyway, kudos to the developers for going in their own and way more elegant direction than the brute force AAA and good luck to them on the remaining path to finishing the game.

mesomorphin
mesomorphin

This is literally fucking amazing! thank GOD its only a timed exclusive.

vadagar1
vadagar1

kids thats how a real developer looks like....


full of passion and pure AWESOMENESS

moronsmartypant
moronsmartypant

Good job operating the camera sebby! you even had two assistants... earn that money!

spoonmanx
spoonmanx

This game is beautiful and seems like a prime candidate for Sony Morpheus VR support. 

ne0meg4
ne0meg4

It's ingenious in its simplicity

losstoney
losstoney

i got to ask ... are there planets with really big monsters ??? like you look in the water and there is a monster the size off a island ? 

thedeadraptor
thedeadraptor

what if the tree on the mountain is shot down? Will the crater still be there when I go away and come back?

fbn_games
fbn_games

I WANT this game.

I want it now.

martinmichaud
martinmichaud

However, is there some tracking of the player interaction with the worlds?

ginobili1
ginobili1

@X-tract I agree. This looks too good to be true. I'd rather have Sony put more people on this game as it is their exclusive and try to make it the way they are advertising. But if it does come like this, and I sure hope it does, then it will be one hell of a game.


Best of luck to all the geniuses at Hello games. And great video as always Cam.

bicelis
bicelis

@hitomo Yes, a 10 people studio is paying one of the biggest gaming websites to advertise a game on the website's own feature called "The Next Big Game" specifically created to highlight new upcoming interesting games... 
Logic, not for everyone

GrahamZ
GrahamZ

@oldtobie As I pointed out in another thread regarding the same game, procedural content is about as old as computer gaming itself. Some of the earliest games from pre-PC days contained procedural content:  Rogue (the grandfather of all roguelikes and rpgs), and Empire (the grandfather of most 4X and war games) both had procedural content.  What makes this game different is not procedural content, but the scale and complexity of that content.  Truly, most mainstream developers abandoned procedural content for a long time in favor of hand-designed content, simply because creating INTERESTING procedural content that feels natural and non-repetitive is hard.


And yes, ALL random content is procedural -- as I pointed out, the only difference between what this game is doing and what most other games with procedural content do is that this game will only use a single seed, whereas others have multiple possible seeds so that no two games/worlds/dungeons are alike.  I do agree with you that it's very misleading.


I'm not saying that this game won't be pioneering,  But the word 'procedural' alone is not what makes it so.. Computer gaming has a long history of procedurally generated worlds

g0nz0j03
g0nz0j03

@oldtobie You're getting hung up on a very small part of clarifying semantics.  As you say, all randomly generated games can be considered procedurally generated, but more specifically, any game that is described as randomly generated is not described accurately.  Random generation and procedural generation are distinctly different things and he was just pointing that out.  I don't know how ten minutes of a high level discussion of their algorithms constitutes a rant?  


I did find it lacking in some regard though, as they implied that the same seed would automatically be used for multiple players in a single world but didn't describe whether or not persistent change would be a factor.

kristianhansso1
kristianhansso1

@hammerfall22 Apparently you can upgrade your character and ship using different resources that you find on different planets AND you might find stuff like an alien base or maybe ancient ruins of a long lost civilazation, apparently you must upgrade your speed and range of the spaceship if you want to travel long distances. In addition there is apparently something ''secret'' in the center of the universe. There is also (as seen in the video) going to be wars between generated factions.

quaker04
quaker04

@thedeadraptor Sean explained that when a player is not in the range to create a planet, all data is thrown away and nothing is stored at cloud or disc, so the tree will actually be "respawned".

muttw7
muttw7

@g0nz0j03 Your second paragraph is the thing that immediately popped into my head as I was watching this video. Do your actions have a persistent impact on the universe? If that large space ship crashes on the snow world, will the wreckage still be there next time you visit? If you burn down the tree will it be back in the exact same place when you return? It looks like they might be sacrificing the ability to permanently effect the world in favor of scale. 


This still looks like a great game though. I'm definitely going to be watching this one closely.

oldtobie
oldtobie

My point was that they are trying to imply that they are the only people who have done something like this. THEY are using procedure. THEY aren't random. THEY are different. There is a clear implication that they are doing something never successfully attempted before, and the smug ways they present this idea is just awful.

pignugget
pignugget

@quaker04 @thedeadraptor Seems to be the logical conclusion... would be nice if destruction was written in as some sort of adaptive quality to the code, but I'd imagine that would be a tall order, considering it would have to be updated to anyone else who visited that same spot. Hmm... the things that keep programmers up all night.