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No Man’s Sky Needs Probes to Record its Massive Universe

No Man’s Sky developers need probes to explore the game for problems

It’s no secret that No Man’s Sky developer Hello Games is a small team, 4 people (now 10 with the recent expansion) in fact. So when they were first thrust into the spotlight at the 2013 VGX Awards, a lot of questions were raised as to how such a small group could manage such an expansive and ambitious project.

No Man’s Sky has a universe of over 18 quintillion worlds, so how can a team so small make sure every single one is polished and ready for release? The ingenious developers have created a robot probe that will fly to each individual world and survey them, taking short videos that get converted into GIFS, for the team to easily view and take action if needed.

Another question that was raised was how could an entire universe of procedurally generated content be created in a way that will look and feel genuine? The art director Andrew Duncan explains how as an artist, he feels about procedural generation compared to hand-crafted worlds.

“I think that the truth is, we’re actually all control freaks. Artists are so used to having complete control of every single pixel, especially now with digital artists. We can get Photoshop, we can zoom right in and obsess over something no one will ever care about.”

So in turn, these probes give him a little more control to tweak and add more vitality or realism to the world created by the algorithms.

It will be interesting to see and explore this new world when No Man’s Sky releases on PS4 later this year.