No Man’s Sky, the Astounding Unlimited Procedural Universe…

No Man’s Sky is the science fiction unlimited universe video game putting procedures to work building universes. Produced by Hello Games players will be set loose in a completely unlimited universe to do whatever they like, a universe so large players may never see its boundaries.

To be released on the PS4 initially, the game is still deep in development with no specific release date set yet. Other platforms are expected to be supported in the future but again it is too early to say which and when.

Presented for your viewing pleasure are the videos of a game blowing people’s minds around the world. A game that proceduralizes procedures to go unlimited in every direction. Sit back relax and let the universe evolve around you.

highpants-no-mans-sky-footageIn the world of game development there is a decision made early on that affects every aspect of a games evolution, what kind of universe to use. Do you base the game on a pre-built hand crafted world or do you create a self-generating world, static model versus a procedural. The procedural based universe is the least often selected universe but it does offer the only way to produce an unlimited playing environment.

Hello Games decided to take the most difficult approach, taking the procedures to the limit. They are currently working hard to make No Man’s Sky a reality. Following in the footsteps of the all time classic Elite along with modern variations such as Eve Online it has big shoes to fill, especially if they intend on taking unlimited to a new limit.

The back story of the game sees each player join on their own unique world, a primitive world. Each player using their resources to get to the centre of the universe. Mine, manage or steal resources to buy or develop technology. None of this is absolutely necessary however, players are ultimately free to do as they please.

highpants-no-mans-sky-worldsHello Games don’t want to define the game in the sense of roles the player can take on, this will continue to evolve as they add new abilities and features. It is also possible that players will find new and unique ways to work in the unlimited universe. There are secrets too, protagonists to struggle against perhaps?

One of the difficulties of building a procedural universe is the effect on multi-player gaming. As the worlds are generated in the game during play it is possible for the same world to appear differently to players with each machine generating its own copy of that world. No Man’s Sky hopes to mitigate this issue by uploading newly discovered worlds, allowing players to share the worlds they discover. Eventually Hello Games may even build a cloud based shared universe.

No Man’s Sky is the latest game to test the unlimited universe theory and produce a game so massive it may be impossible to see its boundaries even after a lifetime of play. Combining sandbox style anything goes game-play with an unlimited universe No Man’s Sky pushes unlimited in every direction, the sky has a new limit.

Reference: Hello Games
Reference: No Man’s Sky