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No Man’s Sky’s Sean Murray to speak at GDC 2017

No Man’s Sky creator, Sean Murray, to bring a really big calculator to the Game Developers Conference.

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No Man’s Sky creator, Sean Murray, to bring a really big calculator to the Game Developers Conference.

You can say what you like about No Man’s Sky, but there’s no denying that the algorithms and formula upon which the game is built are super-impressive, even if they do occasionally nose-dive a shark into the ground.

The technology that generates the No Man’s Sky‘s planetary terrain and alien wildlife will be the subject of a newly-announced talk by Sean Murray, founder of Hello Games, at the Game Developers Conference.

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In ‘Building Worlds Using Math(s)’, Murray will reveal how the small development team at Hello Games created and tested a procedurally-generated – and near-infinite – universe.

Attendees will get an understanding of the knowledge required to create, render and populate their own planets, as well as an insight into the development challenges and future potential of using such techniques.

GDC returns to the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, running from February 27 to March 3, 2017. If you are looking for a little inspiration on which of the 350 sessions, tutorials, roundtables and bootcamps to attend, read our GDC 2017 preview.


If you’re thinking of attending Sean Murray’s No Man’s Sky talk may we also recommend this article on the problem with procedural generation by our very own, Tom Baines.

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Thumbsticks editor, and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Ape Out, Skyrim (again), and Yoshi's Crafted World.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Gary

    6th February 2017 at 7:47 pm

    That’s great news! I’m glad Sean will come out again and talk about No Man’s Sky!

    I have played No Man’s Sky for around 100 hours + and feel that these harsh reviews on the internet are somewhat misleading.

    When I purchased this game I knew NOTHING about it. I did not read the reviews or hear any hype before the release. To me it looked like a cool game so I tried it out and was pleasantly surprised.

    Now after reading the negative reviews and watching Sean Murry’s promises I do agree that the game was to be something much better. People had hoped for more. However, after seeing the Foundation Update and hearing that the team is working hard on future updates I am excited.

    I’m sure the team had a ton of pressure from Sony to release the game on the promised date. I have faith they will end up with the game they promised, if not something better.

    As it stands now, after the Foundation update the game is very nice to play. The planets are beautiful and are a joy to explore….even the dark cold ones are fun to play and fun to try to survive in. The animals are funny looking and occasional attack you but all very amusing.

    One thing I want to point out that not many people are taking about is the FEEL of the game. When you enter the atmosphere of a new planet the joystick shakes…the screen shakes…it’s loud…. I mean it’s a really cool feeling. Also flying around in your ship is also a very cool feeling. There are many things that just FEEL good when you play.

    I know the game is not what is promised but if you are NOT expecting a thing it’s quite enjoyable and beautiful. Like I mentioned, the game will ONLY GET BETTER! Sure, at this time it does not offer multiplayer or some of the visuals are a bit repetitive but overall Hello Games made a pretty cool game and it will only get better with the updates. Another thing is that this is not Call of Duty, it’s not a high pressure crazy first shooter game. But for what it is, it’s pretty cool.

    This small team is busting their butts to offer new updates constantly. They are even hiring new people now if you look at their website. I am confident Hello Games will come through with some incredible updates. Hopefully, the damage is not too too bad so they can come out of this. Remember some games including Destiny were not so great and look at them now.

    Good luck to Hello Games and their effort on delivering many updates in the future!

  2. Sam Rush

    7th February 2017 at 9:45 pm

    I absolutely agree with yoy. No Man’s Sky is one of my top games and have been and will always be playing it. I have easily racked up 70+ hours and i have only really just finished my base by addeming a landing pad. I still have alot to look forward to in the game and it can only get better.

    Hello Games has my full attention and i am very excited to see what they come up with next

  3. G Phipps

    7th February 2017 at 10:53 pm

    No respect for Hello Games and Sean Murray.
    I too spend over 100+ hours on the game, in no way that takes away from how Mr Sean mislead his customers to buy false promises.

    HE LIIIIIIIIIED IN YOUR FAAAAAAACE. I guess this is part of our future, where people will get scammed and at the same help the scammer get away from the police.

  4. John Whittaker

    8th February 2017 at 12:56 am

    I’ve played the game since its release back in August. Approximately 400 hours. I still enjoy it. I believe that NMS delivered what it promised- single player experience of an expansive universe. People are upset because their expectations were based on their hopes, not on facts. Sean Murray never said it would be multiplayer. People kept bugging him about it so he finally said it was theoretically possible for two people to see each other. That doesn’t mean they would.

  5. Sam

    8th February 2017 at 5:39 pm

    I don’t see how anything No man’s sky does is impressive all the planets are the same, the creatures are just miss matched parts that only 1{54aa50b9c141fdc6877fe76dd9617d72386c166c2b8f2ba44b2c6137e789c1e0} of the time looks good. All forms of combat are boring and repetitive. Space fights are the worst since you constantly have to charge your shields manually or you die and weapon upgrades for your ship are useless. Also the new building mechanics makes no sense what’s the point of establishing a base on a planet if they all look and feel the same. This game is also 90{54aa50b9c141fdc6877fe76dd9617d72386c166c2b8f2ba44b2c6137e789c1e0} grinding for resources and 10{54aa50b9c141fdc6877fe76dd9617d72386c166c2b8f2ba44b2c6137e789c1e0} exploration and honestly I didn’t mind the grinding at first, but after hours of exploring multiple planets and finding the same creatures with slight variation it just didn’t seem worth it anymore.

  6. Steve

    9th February 2017 at 11:36 am

    The game was so boring. It’s a harvesting simulation with no story depth, based on lies. There is zero interesting content. You can name a planet no one can visit. If it was marketed as a $20 game, they could have been spared the vitrol they deserved.

  7. Quintin

    10th February 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Open ended games often seem not worth it or boring. When humans are left with no direction, no instruction, and no pre-defined goal they tend to shut down and make up their own goals. In the case of NMS, these ‘goals’ were the usual human thought process of “Get stuff, buy stuff, get more stuff” without thinking of the other possibilities they have.

    You don’t have to mine, you don’t have to upgrade, you don’t even have to leave your starting planet. If you wanted you could simply fly to the nearest planet, log off, and never play again or you could also explore, document anything you find interest, draw maps of planets you find, basically live you own life. People play it too much like Minecraft, a game where the goal /is/ to mine and craft while, really, NMS is all about telling your own story.

    With the foundation update came many major improvements. The AI was overhauled, Animal generation became much more coherent (Tentacles are still rather prominent though), and the planet generation was made much better. Something not many of the NMS critics know is that the planets get better as the tiers of stars you visit get higher. There’s the yellow stars, with cold dead planets, then there’s blue, green, and red. I forget the order of the tiers, but as the star’s coloured tier gets higher so do the planets get better.

    Hell, I found a planet that resembled Namek on a /yellow/ star. Blue grass, blue trees, green sky, it was the most beautiful planet I’d ever seen. Immediately found a base and it is now my home planet, of which I am the proud guardian. I do agree that it has its flaws; Some broken promises, janky AI, a tad boring if you aren’t into the kind of game that you got, etc. etc. etc.

    Before Foundation the space battles were mundane and solved by simply airbraking so that they pass you and shooting. Now, though, the space battles are much more challenging in that the enemy AI will now try to dodge your attacks, get behind you, and even out-maneuver you. I, to be quite honest, bought the game for the concept, not the promises. At first I was skeptical like “Eh, it’s just some random indie game.” After I looked into it I was like, “Man, this game looks neat.” I bought it four days after release, plenty of time to hear the many issues people had, but I got it nonetheless.

    I found the idea of flying lazily through space, documenting my travels as I went, to be quite interesting and I’m happy with what I bought within the first week of launch. Even though many people enjoy the game, many people hate the game, and there are many people who are sick of hearing either side of the argument there’s no denying one simple fact: No Man’s Sky was an ambitious, innovative game that used Procedural Generation at a scale never seen before, effectively showing that you can make an entire universe with nothing but math.

  8. Sean Murray Sucks

    11th February 2017 at 6:04 am

    Sean Murray is a joke and No Man’s Sky is a terribly boring game. The interface sucks. The fact you need to go into your inventory to recharge your oxygen, armor, shields, etc. during actual gameplay instead of just pressing a button is clunky and stupid.

  9. Quintin

    14th February 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Clearly you’re not up to date on the games mechanics. There is now a quick menu that is accessed by pressing up on the D-pad and scrolling through with the right and left D-pad directionals while still controlling the game. Very easy to restore everything there.

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