Reaching for the stars: Gamers await infinite possibilities of No Man’s Sky

08.08.2014 Hello Games : Procedural Gaming : Generation I

UK – When gamers start to play No Man’s Sky, the space exploration game will be as big as a planet. By the time they have finished, it could be the size of a galaxy.

No Man’s Sky, an open-world science-fiction game made by small Guildford studio Hello Games, became the talk of gamers at the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles in June after a trailer for it was shown. The game features a universe in which every blade of grass and every star in the sky can be explored and colonised. Theoretically, the game has infinite possibilities because the players create the world as they go. 

How is this possible? Because No Man’s Sky is a procedurally generated game produced by algorithms rather than human hands. Hello Games makes the system on which the game is based, but the players themselves are responsible for naming and enlarging the universe as they progress.

In its use of procedural generation, No Man’s Sky resembles a bigger version of Minecraft, the crowd-created game in which Generation I kids make their own landscapes and join with friends to build or fight together. No Man’s Sky players can explore or pursue their own projects on the tens of millions of unique planets, or they can attempt to complete the game by finding their way to the centre of the galaxy. 

No Man’s Sky, which has no confirmed release date, is expected to be launched in 2015. For more on games that are entering the realm of art, read our Game Imitates Art microtrend. 

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