Video: How continuous world generation works in No Man's Sky
Hello Games' 2016 release No Man's Sky uses procedural generation by necessity, constructing planets in a virtual universe where players can transition seamlessly from space down to an interactive and populated terrain.
It takes some unique technical architecture to pull that off, and at GDC 2017 Hello Games' Innes McKendrick explained how it works, focusing in particular on the techniques used to generate planets and the supporting structures allowing this to happen continuously in real-time.
Giving insight into the challenges Hello Games faced in developing a vast game-world as a small team, McKendrick offered up a step-by-step breakdown of the No Man's Sky generation pipeline, from voxel-based world generation, through polygonization and texturing, to eventual population and simulation.
It was a remarkable talk, especially if you're a programmer with an interest in building procedural generation tech that makes artists' work easier. If you missed it at GDC last year, no worries -- you can now watch it for free on the official GDC YouTube channel!
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