Tag no man's sky
Procedural Generation in the Post No Man's Sky Era
I think the time is ready to talk about Procedural Contents Generation (PCG) in the post No Man’s Sky era. I’m talking about “era” for a good reason: No Man’s Sky huge failure will definitely mark an era in the history of PCG, and not for a good reason. Players’ perception on PCG has been severely hurt by how badly NMS delivered its contents. Probably, this will be the end of PCG as a marketing buzz-word.
The Challenge of Infinite Space
A.K.A. why Elite: Dangerous, Star Citizen and No Man’s Sky could be doomed to fail
Since the beginning of the videogame era, developers aim to reach a perfect simulation of the world. “So realistic!” is probably one of the most abused comment to a videogame ever. The videogame industry tried to reach realistic graphic, realistic sounds, realistic landscapes and realistic Non-Player Characters. However, reaching the perfect realism is a never-ending quest. As soon as we reach something, desire drives us to seek more.
Now that we have extraordinary graphic capabilities and stunning landscapes, some developers are going to raise the bar to a much bigger task: simulating the universe (or at least, the galaxy). We are not in the first (game) generation who is trying to achieve that (the original Elite is a very old game indeed), but we are for sure in the first generation who can reach this goal; at least to some extent.
We have the technical capabilities for doing amazing things: we can generate and simulate hundreds of billions of star systems, we can allow the player to travel to every one of them, explore and land on every square unit of the planet surface, every asteroid, every satellite. Software/games such Space Engine can clearly show us what a lonely developer can do in its spare time. Imagine what a game developers team can do on their full time job! It is not a surprise that several studios spotted the niche in the market and tried to use this power for a real game. After all, it is not “simulation of experience” one of the meaning of “game”?