No Man's Sky procedural creation 'scares me,' creator says

One click creates "hundreds of thousands of variants"

No Man's Sky's procedural creation engine lets its four-person team create a huge variety of content with a single click, according to Hello Games.

Studio co-founder Sean Murray told Polygon that preparing the game's impressive video debut for VGX in December was easy with the systems already in place.

"People think we spent a year making a trailer, but actually we spent a year making a set of tools and an engine that is procedural right at its very core," Murray said.

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"It's such a different way of working, and I don't think it's been done before. We're at a point where Grant makes a creature prototype, or Aaron makes a spaceship blueprint, then clicks a button and it creates hundreds of thousands of variants. Just this massive grid of every possible permutation of shape, size, texture, color. Every Friday we have this big review, and it's sort of overwhelming. The game frequently scares me."

Hello Games' studio flooded over the Christmas holiday, damaging much of the studios' equipment and personal effects. But rebuilding the workplace has encouraged the No Man's Sky team to expand to seven people.

"For the last year there have been four of us working in a locked room, creating No Man's Sky," he said. "Actually the flood brought us all together, forced us back into a cramped little room - the whole team. It's been really positive, and it's felt like the right time for us to have more people help make this insanely ambitious game."

Murray explained how player discoveries will affect No Man's Sky for everyone, and how previously explored regions may change unexpectedly, in January.