Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 22nd Jul 2014 21:03 UTC
Games

No Man's Sky is a video game quite unlike any other. Developed for Sony's PlayStation 4 by an improbably small team (the original four-person crew has grown only to 10 in recent months) at Hello Games, an independent studio in the south of England, it's a game that presents a traversable universe in which every rock, flower, tree, creature, and planet has been "procedurally generated" to create a vast and diverse play area.

"We are attempting to do things that haven't been done before," says Murray. "No game has made it possible to fly down to a planet, and for it to be planet-sized, and feature life, ecology, lakes, caves, waterfalls, and canyons, then seamlessly fly up through the stratosphere and take to space again. It's a tremendous challenge."

Minecraft comes to mind - obviously - but No Man's sky goes much, much further. You're looking at a procedurally generated universe with millions of individual, unique planets and individual, unique ecosystems, each evolving over time.

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We'll see
by WorknMan on Tue 22nd Jul 2014 21:33 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is this: is the game fun? If not, gamers aren't going to give a rat's ass about all that technical wizardly. So we'll see how it turns out.

Reply Score: 6

It's just a pretty game.
by reduz on Tue 22nd Jul 2014 21:43 UTC
reduz
Member since:
2006-02-25

As of now it's just a very nice looking game. Concept is not new (venture the void is similar and more than 10 years old: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YS1yuygr2Hs)

It's not "like Minecraft but much bigger", as the worlds are not really editable.

The problem with these kind of open procedurally generated games is that the quests also have to be generated the same way, and this usually epic fails (remember Daggerfall?). Only very few games succeeded at this and it's because they have an incredibly huge amount of content (like Nethack).

So, for now, to me it's just pure hype. Let's wait and see.

Reply Score: 6

RE: It's just a pretty game.
by Soulbender on Wed 23rd Jul 2014 06:49 UTC in reply to "It's just a pretty game."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Yeah, personally I think the best result probably comes from a combination of a procedurally generated world and hand-crafted content and parts.

Reply Score: 5

Sounds similar to spore
by Alfman on Wed 23rd Jul 2014 03:22 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

"We are attempting to do things that haven't been done before," says Murray. "No game has made it possible to fly down to a planet, and for it to be planet-sized, and feature life, ecology, lakes, caves, waterfalls, and canyons, then seamlessly fly up through the stratosphere and take to space again. It's a tremendous challenge."


Did anyone else instantly think of the game "spore" after reading this description? In the case of spore, the idea was more interesting than the game play, IMHO, but No Man's Sky can take the concept in different directions. Of course modern improvements in hardware should provide much more realism and immersion.

it's a game that presents a traversable universe in which every rock, flower, tree, creature, and planet has been "procedurally generated" to create a vast and diverse play area.


Minecraft does come to mind, as mentioned, but there are tons of other games that are procedurally generated too, steam even has a collection specifically for procedurally generated games:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=175642667

Wikipedia has some other titles w/links, like Cube World, which was developed by a single person.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procedural_generation

This genre will just get better over time, at least visually and technically. Who knows if it'll be more fun than scripted plots inside of deliberately designed worlds though? When I used to play, my favorite kinds of games were those like Halflife and No One Lives Forever. Can these kinds of games work inside of procedurally generated worlds? I think possibly yes! Instead of modeling 3d buildings and terrain, they could be generated randomly using constraints appropriate to the event ordering, aesthetic, and difficulty desired at a specific point in the plot. The game could produce a brand new world every time you played it. And because it's procedurally generated from a small seed, the world can be huge without huge amounts of storage.

I wonder if gamers would feel alienated by having a different experience from everyone else who played the game? Would you loose the social connection to others if you played the same adventure game with a different generated world? Interesting dilemma.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Sounds similar to spore
by zima on Sun 27th Jul 2014 19:02 UTC in reply to "Sounds similar to spore"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Did anyone else instantly think of the game "spore" after reading this description?

I immediately thought of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noctis (though I didn't remember the title; luckily, the list on the Wiki article you linked to includes Noctis). And by extension, of Elite (how could you not think of Elite?! ;p ). Generally, No Man's Land seems like Elite and especially Noctis (also a one-man show BTW) on steroids...

Well, I also thought about Oolite, another Elite clone, but it seems that this game isn't procedurally generated... :/

Reply Score: 2

What comes to my mind...
by Kochise on Wed 23rd Jul 2014 07:04 UTC
Kochise
Member since:
2006-03-03

Robsinson' Requiem : www.youtube.com/watch?v=RllFvqrMlcY

Pioneer Space Sim : http://pioneerspacesim.net/

Infinite procedural Terrain : www.youtube.com/watch?v=1axTirlOkvI

Dr Typo's Planet Engine : http://drtypo.free.fr/screenshots.html

Sean O'Neil's sandbox : http://www.sponeil.org/Sandbox-exe.zip" rel="nofollow">http://web.archive.org/web/20061104133933/http://www.sponeil.org/Sa... and http://www.sponeil.org/Sandbox-src.zip" rel="nofollow">http://web.archive.org/web/20061104133933/http://www.sponeil.org/Sa...

Philippe Decaudin, some other french guys I don't remember the URLs, ...

Kochise

Reply Score: 5

RE: What comes to my mind...
by Kochise on Thu 24th Jul 2014 08:49 UTC in reply to "What comes to my mind..."
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Got some other links :

Philippe Decaudin's work : http://phildec.users.sourceforge.net/ (via http://antisphere.com/ )

Philippe Decaudin's Proland : http://proland.inrialpes.fr/

Eric Bruneton's "Rama" rendering using Proland : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBIQCm54dfY (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O%27Neill_cylinder )

Proland in Unity : http://scrawkblog.com/2014/05/19/proland-to-unity-core/

Will look for other links I don't remember right now...

Kochise

Edited 2014-07-24 08:50 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: What comes to my mind...
by Alfman on Thu 24th Jul 2014 13:28 UTC in reply to "RE: What comes to my mind..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Kochise,

I've seen realtime terrain generation before in the old PC demoscene where infinitely generated landscape was very impressive (I'm trying to find it again). But the level of detail & realism in the realtime proland videos you linked is truly astonishing. It's a huge technological feat that high quality scenes that would have taken hours to render in the past are now rendered in real time.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: What comes to my mind...
by Kochise on Thu 24th Jul 2014 14:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What comes to my mind..."
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Go there : http://www-evasion.inrialpes.fr/Membres/Eric.Bruneton/

Eric Bruneton is Philippe Decaudin's buddy, they produced Proland.

Look the "Terrain"'s editing videos, all done in real-time (or see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggLYTGLS1tk and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ghulpp6CPw )

Outerra is also interesting : http://www.outerra.com/ (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNgWwvSaTZ0 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i9iOAHWYz0 )

BTW, demoscene : http://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=52938

Still missing some links...

Kochise

Edited 2014-07-24 14:42 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: What comes to my mind...
by Alfman on Thu 24th Jul 2014 16:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What comes to my mind..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Kochise,

The 4k demo didn't run for me.
Anyways, the video looks awesome!

Navigating through elevated shader:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XlXRtrfYdE

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: What comes to my mind...
by Kochise on Thu 24th Jul 2014 17:13 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What comes to my mind..."
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

The demo is compiled against 'd3d9_33.dll' so you have to find it, like here : http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=8109

EDIT : obviously the answer lies here : http://www.geeks3d.com/20090415/demoscene-4k-intro-elevated-by-rgba...

Just download http://www.crinkler.net/crinkler14.zip and use the EXE to correct the DLL linkage.

Been there, done that...

Kochise

Edited 2014-07-24 17:20 UTC

Reply Score: 3

David Braben
by SunOS on Wed 23rd Jul 2014 07:10 UTC
SunOS
Member since:
2011-07-12

David Braben of Elite fame did a fine talk on Procedural Generation - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEVutbSqBI0

Can't say I'm a fan of NMS's aesthetics, it looks very cartoony whereas Elite: Dangerous has a much more hard sci-fi vibe. Good times for PG advocates regardless.

Reply Score: 3

RE: David Braben
by daedalus on Wed 23rd Jul 2014 08:07 UTC in reply to "David Braben"
daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

I thought of Frontier: Elite 2 right away when I read that. Sure, it doesn't go down to that same level of detail, but you can fly all the way in from beyond Pluto's orbit right down to read the clock face on the clock tower in some towns on Earth's surface. I'm sure if the capabilities existed back in the early 90s it would have been possible to do that in Frontier too. I don't really think we've got much that's new here, it's just more detail than anything before. Like a new FPS that can throw more polygons around the screen - it's impressive but not revolutionary.

Man, I loved Frontier! Can't wait for Elite: Dangerous to come out!

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: David Braben
by Soulbender on Wed 23rd Jul 2014 16:50 UTC in reply to "RE: David Braben"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I thought of Frontier: Elite 2 right away when I read that


In fairness to NMS you couldn't actually fly around much on the planet itself in Frontier.

Man, I loved Frontier!


I wanted to love Frontier, I really did, and the story booklet that came with the game really fueled the imagination. I was pretty psyched when I started playing.
The game itself though, while being fun and interesting for some time, soon turned out pretty darn tedious and stale. Another spaceport, another set of the same ole missions. Oh hey, mining sounds fun and adventurous...until you actually did it. I think a major problem was that you never really interacted with anyone in person and that it lacked an overall narrative, it was all just ships and spaceports.
Never played Frontier 2 though and I heard it improves that aspect at least to some degree.

Edited 2014-07-23 16:51 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: David Braben
by abstraction on Wed 23rd Jul 2014 10:38 UTC in reply to "David Braben"
abstraction Member since:
2008-11-27

Yeah I was just about gonna scream Elite! but you beat me to it. This is Elite on steroids.

Reply Score: 3

No game?
by Carewolf on Wed 23rd Jul 2014 09:09 UTC
Carewolf
Member since:
2005-09-08

Elite 2 sounds much much closer, as in Elite 2 and 3, you could in fact fly to any solar system in the galaxy and all the way down to the ground watching the mostly procedural generated landscape (though in 1990 details).

Reply Score: 4

Procedural generation + multiplayer
by andrewclunn on Wed 23rd Jul 2014 14:15 UTC
andrewclunn
Member since:
2012-11-05

The key to making a procedurally generated game fun is to allow it to be multiplayer, as then the community can create their own narratives and goals. It's why spore sucked and minecraft worked. This will succeed, I'd put money on it.

Reply Score: 4

Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

The key to making a procedurally generated game fun is to allow it to be multiplayer, as then the community can create their own narratives and goals. It's why spore sucked and minecraft worked. This will succeed, I'd put money on it.

I liked single player minecraft. If it was only multiplayer I would have never played it. I hate it when I am playing a gameworld from somebody else.

Reply Score: 4

ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

The key to making a procedurally generated game fun is to allow it to be multiplayer, as then the community can create their own narratives and goals. It's why spore sucked and minecraft worked. This will succeed, I'd put money on it.

I have to disagree here. Multiplayer support only matters to people who enjoy multiplayer. There are plenty of people who prefer single player, and love to explore vast landscapes.

Reply Score: 3

Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Like Proteus : http://www.visitproteus.com/

Kochise

Reply Score: 3

It's already been thought of
by Boomshiki on Thu 24th Jul 2014 05:24 UTC
Boomshiki
Member since:
2008-06-11

"We are attempting to do things that haven't been done before," says Murray. "No game has made it possible to fly down to a planet, and for it to be planet-sized, and feature life, ecology, lakes, caves, waterfalls, and canyons, then seamlessly fly up through the stratosphere and take to space again. It's a tremendous challenge."

Rocket Club has been doing this for a long time. The game was just lost in forever alpha.

http://www.synthetic-reality.com/rocketClub2.htm

Reply Score: 3