If you’ve been following upcoming space exploration game No Man’s Sky, you’ve probably heard a few things about its incredibly large procedurally generated universe. Because the entire universe is generated randomly but uses the same random number generator seed for every player, everyone visiting the same star system will see identical planets even though the planets weren’t explicitly designed by developers. It’s the only way to create a reasonably persistent galaxy on any kind of realistic scale, and the developers at Hello Games are understandably proud of what they’ve accomplished.
In a recent interview No Man’s Sky‘s chief architect Sean Murray discussed the use of real physics in the game, commenting that things like the day-night cycle are based on the actual rotation and curvature of the planet rather than being faked with a skybox as they would be in other games. Murray revealed that the team has made a number of compromises with its physics model for purely aesthetic reasons, however, such as allowing moons to orbit much closer than should be possible in Newtonian physics. The developers also had to fudge the physics of atmospheric scattering to produce planets with green atmospheres. No Man’s Sky is currently in testing and is scheduled for a June 2016 release.