No Man’s Sky’s procedural algorithm surprised Hello Games

Hello unexpected cave network

No Man’s Sky is shaping up to be one of the most ambitious upcoming games, promising an infinite, procedurally generated universe to explore while being built by a small indie developer best known for the Joe Danger series. In an interview with Edge, Sean Murray of Hello Games discusses some notable experiences with the development of No Man’s Sky, including how procedural generation changes the development process, what the studio is doing to combat unnecessary “dickishness” in the community, and why the game is being compared to Dark Souls in some respects.

Interestingly, Murray relates that the production of a procedurally generated world can surprise its own creators. After setting up the rules for environment generation, he said, “I run the game and I charge about an environment and find some caves and think, ‘They look good!’ Then I fly to another planet and see that they look terrible, and they’ve created some kind of crazy landscape. And then you fly to another and there are no caves, and then [on] another there’s water in the caves, because of where the sea level is on that planet, and you dive down and find that there’s actually some small bacteria-based life there, and it comes as a total surprise.”

The entire interview is a good read for those interested in the inner workings of the massive fuchsia space exploration title. Check it out.

Hello Games’ Sean Murray on creating and exploring No Man’s Sky’s procedural worlds [Edge]

Darren Nakamura
Darren is a scientist during the day. He has been a Destructoid community member since 2006, joining the front page as a contributor in 2011. While he enjoys shooters, RPGs, platformers, strategy, and rhythm games, he takes particular interest in independent games. He produced the Zero Cool Podcast for about four years, and he plays board games quite a bit when he can find willing companions.