I’ve been playing a bit of No Man’s Sky now, and I’ve kinda started to notice something. Aside from the fact that I managed to play 13 hours of No Man’s Sky in 3 days. Simply put, there’s a lot of randomness in No Man’s Sky. It’s literally a game of random number generators.
I don’t mean that in a bad way.
I genuinely don’t. No Man’s Sky is, at its core, a huge amount of randomness. I mean, do you really think someone would sit there and make billions of planets? Of course not!
But almost everything in No Man’s Sky is randomly generated, from the planet you originally spawn on to the plants that you step on are all randomly generated. Each new star system you enter has a randomly generated name and each planet in that start system has a random name too. Visit one of those planets and you’ll find that all the rocks will have random names, as do the randomly generated plants and animals.
Each planet has different resources on it and each system has different economies. And then you have random freighters and pirate ships flying around. You can even buy very random ships that wander in and out of the randomly shaped space stations.
“But random stuff isn’t new!”
No, I agree, it’s not new at all. Tons of games have randomness. That’s what makes games repeatable.
Randomly generated worlds are a pretty common thing as well. Take Minecraft for example. Every world you create is created with a unique seed. So every world is different. In theory at least, because apparently Bedrock edition calculates things differently. And there’s only so many number combinations available to make Minecraft worlds. In fact, there’s random Minecraft worlds that could coincidentally look very similar, because there’s only so many ways you can stack grass, trees and stone together.
“It’s not true randomness either!”
Again, you’re right. It’s not true randomness. Very few things are actually truly random. The aforementioned Minecraft worlds are randomly generated but they all use the same set of building blocks. No Man’s Sky is no different. It uses a library of assets and creates stuff from there. If you want a new creature from a planet, just generate one from your massive pile of assets, give it some random colours and dump it on your world.
What makes No Man’s Sky stand out (a bit more at least) is that it has a huge library of assets and combines them all together. Sure, you get some hideous animal monstrosities and some repetitive creatures, but all in all, it mostly works.
Honestly, I just find No Man’s Sky neat!
I think it’s cool! So much is randomly generated, and pretty smoothly as well! Sure, randomly generated worlds spawned me on a planet with huge amounts of radiation and very little Sodium, and I spent ages looking for copper. But random generation also got me some cool ass space ships!
It’s all swings and roundabouts at the end of the day, but I do very much enjoy this sheer amount of randomness.