Monday, August 1, 2016

No Man's Sky

There's been a lot of hype over a videogame about to be released called No Man's Sky. The game is set in "a procedurally generated deterministic open universe, which includes over 18 quintillion (1.8×1019) planets."
This is what I refer to in Machinamenta as the kaleidoscope pattern. They have come up with a limited set of ways that planets can vary, and then counted all the variations as unique creations. But there is going to be little joy in discovering new combinations of those patterns, once the patterns themselves are recognized from a few examples. I understand the appeal! But ultimately I think people will be disappointed once they realize that the variation is limited, as it must be for this kind of universe.
I do like that they are using Lindenmeyer systems for the plants! It's the difference between producing new sentences with a grammar versus producing them with mad-libs.

How could a future game do better? Here are a few suggestions:
All of which are too computationally intensive for a game right now.