This is how No Man’s Sky creates infinite universes

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How No Man's Sky creates infinite universes

Studying engineering, I love knowing how things work. Mixing that with my love for games, and you could say that I look at them a little differently. I often sit pondering how a certain effect was created, or a particular mechanic was implemented while playing. There’s a special type of magic to making millions of pixels obey your every command on screen – an intoxicating feeling of control that creating games just fosters.

It’s for this reason that No Man’s Sky intrigues me so much. Mathematics is at the forefront of most games, but I don’t think I’ve seen one embrace it as much as the procedurally generated space sim from Hello Games. As Sean Murray so briefly explains, there’s numbers flying around everywhere in the billion planet strong universe they’ve created. So much so that it’s all he really sees when he looks at the game – like an operator checking out The Matrix.

Knowing how No Man’s Sky works is really part of the reason why I already adore the game. For others it’s the allure of infinite exploration, or the type of space putty that allows you to create your own intergalactic adventures from scratch. Instead, I just drool at the ways numbers and mathematic principles are stretched and bent into glorious shapes and sizes –  something which dropped my jaw to the floor during the game’s showing at E3.

And I’m not really alone. There’s rarely a day where I don’t get into conversations with other game designers about No Man’s Sky. This little slice of insight into the magic of how the game ticks is an absolute treat, but like any good magic trick it’s just enough to fuel even more intrigue into how the payoff really works.

Just something else to look forward to when the game eventually arrives on PS4 and PC.

Last Updated: July 23, 2015

Alessandro Barbosa

You can all call me Sandy until I figure out how to edit this thing, which is probably never. Sandy not good enough? Call me xXx_J0k3R_360degreeN0Sc0pe_xXx. Also, Geoff's a bastard.

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