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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

No Man's Sky: Procedural Design

The big buzz on the street is Hello Games title No Man's Sky.  It is a space game that is completely procedural based.  So everything in the game is random in a way.  As it says every atom is procedural.  So the world is completely unique and unexplored.  Not only that world but every world.  Apparently not only can you climb every mountain you see but you can fly to any star in the sky and that star is a sun with it's own solar system of planets.  And you can explore each one.

This sounds mind bogglingly huge so everyone is talking about it.  I really hope it is all that we the consumer
dream it will be but the game designer in me has to question it.  I'm not a fan of procedural design.  Call me old fashion but I don't like putting design in the hands of programmers.  Sometime you end up with a pretty tech demo rather than a game.  While I love open random sandbox game play I still think there needs to be a designer guiding the fun.  If not No Man's Sky could be an entire galaxy of the same few algorithms that you quickly tire of looking at.

This is all speculation on my part.  I'm really just like the rest of us watching the video and keeping my fingers crossed.



UPDATE August 2016: Well now we know don't we. ;)

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