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  "No Man's Sky" - Procedurally Generated Space Exploration  (Read 4419 times)
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Offline Ecumene
« Posted 2014-07-23 21:53:46 »

So there's a new game coming to PC/Ps4, and it apparently features a completely procedual, explorable universe. It generates stars, planets, animals and planets.

Here's the trailer:
<a href=";hl=en_US&amp;start=" target="_blank">;hl=en_US&amp;start=</a>

Some gameplay/Interview
<a href=";hl=en_US&amp;start=" target="_blank">;hl=en_US&amp;start=</a>

I'm interested in your opinions on this procedurally generated ecosystems, animals, and life. The game also seems like it has a voxel engine, and that could contribute to a building factor. The game also seems like it has a PvP component, which could be interesting.
Offline StrideColossus
« Reply #1 - Posted 2014-07-24 08:31:18 »

This trailer (and it was a 'canned' video btw) took centre stage at the recent E3 2014 show, it certainly looks very pretty, not bad for a indie bunch from Guildford!
Procedural generation seems to be in vogue, Elite Dangerous is following the same approach amongst others.
Offline princec

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« Reply #2 - Posted 2014-07-24 09:06:36 »

I will wave my predictive wand over my crystal ball, and I see the following...

1. It will capture a large number of the interesting elements in the game in its promotional material. Coupled with the promise of "infinite" (which is always beguiling) it will sell fantastically well when launched.

2. After a fairly short while people will discover that "infinite" isn't really that infinite, it's just "a lot of variations on the same few themes that the programmers thought of", and there will be a general disgruntlement because the game will generally feel quite samey... wherever you go. When variety becomes the expected norm our brains filter out the variation as background noise.

3. At which point we're left with the game laid bare. The crystal ball grows cloudy. Will they spend all their effort on making background noise or will they figure out a way to make something fun on top of it?

(Yeah I'm cynical but we've been here before, but now we've got blackjack, and hookers. Infinitely procedurally generated blackjack and hookers! in 3D!)

Cas Smiley

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Offline PandaMoniumHUN

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« Reply #3 - Posted 2014-07-24 10:49:31 »

I used to love randomized worlds and procedurally generated things because of their replayability but nowadays I came to a point where I prefer games with premade levels (and good storylines) instead of random ones with a very few exceptions.
Those few exceptions are mostly Minecraft, Spelunky and the rest where the random elements have a huge impact on the gameplay. However, most games that feature random elements doesn't affect the gameplay enough to compensate for the loss of a consistent world with a contiguous storyline.

This is why I'm afraid of this game's random elements too, it's nice to have random planets, but what's the point if those planets aren't important in any ways? When the guy was asked about the gameplay elements all he said is that there will be no scripted quests and similar, but he didn't say anything else meaningful. Player interaction is not core according to the interviewed developer, sooo what should a player do if there are no quests, no objectives and there is barely any player interaction?

With that being said I'm looking forward to this game and hope it turns out fun. Smiley

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Offline basil_

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« Reply #4 - Posted 2014-07-24 11:06:47 »

aye. i prefer "scripted-randomness". both things alone cannot cannot. a mix can.

something like bohemia does with their opf/arma map editor. fixed map, fixed points with random radius with random probability of existence.
Offline Cero
« Reply #5 - Posted 2014-07-24 13:04:38 »

I don't like procedural content in general. Well made, thought out maps, levels and scenarios seem way more appealing.

However the concept of the game is solid of course.
GTA is awesome for the freedom it gives, however it is not procedural. So make this, however with a shitload of content that you actually manually design to be good and dont use procedural stuff.
Now thats a tall order for a small indie team, BUT, if this game sells according to hype, then those guys will have enough money to make a really good sequel like that

Offline Cero
« Reply #6 - Posted 2014-07-24 13:56:54 »

Also looking at the actual trailer reminds me of another glaring issue: What do you actually do ?
All we have seen is space dog-fighting, whoopie. GTA works because there is so much to do, so it could fall short on there easily.

Offline princec

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« Reply #7 - Posted 2014-07-24 14:13:02 »

Well, consider Elite, for example. The game was a trading game; the procedurally generated galaxy was minimalist but complete enough to enable the trading game.

Cas Smiley

Offline kevglass

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« Reply #8 - Posted 2014-07-24 14:19:30 »

It does look awful pretty though. Smiley


Offline princec

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« Reply #9 - Posted 2014-07-24 14:21:05 »

Yes, it does, and just that promise will have the punters flocking to buy it. Which is no bad thing.

Cas Smiley

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« Reply #10 - Posted 2014-07-24 15:21:47 »

im with cas..

looked really pretty, but i didn't see any gameplay that appealed to me, and it is a game right?
Offline Ecumene
« Reply #11 - Posted 2014-07-24 16:36:07 »

It does seem to have a voxel engine, which could add allot of promise to the game.

Having a building aspect in games like minecraft and starmade (Procedurally generated, I mean) forces you to go outside your settlement and explore the world for resources. While doing this exploration, you might get side-tracked and find something amazing that you didn't know the game had. I'd say probably the 'make or break' for this game would be the building aspect, otherwise its just threw its replay value down the toilet.

In the interview, they said that they where exchanging gameplay for things that are scientifically possible. So who knows? It could be mildly different from the trailer.
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