What Producer Hello Games call “procedural” actually is the same as “recursive” which will always lead to fractal patterns.
And in the end, even in Sean Murrays word, they produce the incredible variety by applying fractal variation.
The fact that this game is so vast and complex and yet everything is based on “a few” simple rules is mindboggling in itself.
But in the end, this is the closes model of a simulation of our universe, of life, that has ever been done. (at least in a “non-scientific” way)
I fell in love with this game since the first announcement. I love how the guys at Hello Games approach game design from a completely new – fractal – perspective. Create the algorithm, and let the fine but important details generate itself.
No game previous has ever focussed this much on this concept – a concept that has been known in level design and world generation for a long time.
You migh have met it as the term “seed” in one of your favourite videogames.
From ultra-independendt games like Dwarf Fortress to the world generation of Minecraft based – it’s all on feeding a starting-value through a long chain of formulaes that will always give the same result, no matter where and on which computer the path is calculated. 1+1 is alwas 2, everywhere – on steroids!
It’s this aspect of infinite variety, of exploring, all those untold storys that waken our urge to explore, that make the hype for No Man’s Sky perfectly appropriate.
And I really hope that the developers stay on their seriously brave path to ignore requests for deadline. They just want to make it worth, and that deserves a little patience!
For the geeks, here’s a more in depth look at how Hello Games achieved this: