No Man’s Sky would take 5 billion years to explore (Wired UK)

No Man’s Sky Gameplay Trailer | E3 2014 | PS4PlayStation

When the creators of No Man’s Sky revealed that every
facet of their massive space exploration game was procedurally
generated, they weren’t kidding. To that end, cofounder of Hello Games Sean Murray
revealed that the total number of generated planets makes visiting
them all individually impossible — unless you have five billion
years to spare.

Murray told IGN that the team had originally been using a
32-bit number to help code for every planet in the in-game
universe. This created a total that would take around 5,000 years
to see in its entirety, but unhappy with this level of unfathomable
detail — and to prove wrong the naysayers on their forums claiming
technology limitations make it impossible — the decision was made
to step up to 64-bit.

As a result, No Man’s Sky will
feature 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 worlds. That’s 18
quintillion, if you were counting. Visiting each at the blistering
rate of one per second would take five billion years (with no
toilet breaks) and quite a lot of rocket fuel. You would also need
to secure alternate accommodation and power sources because our Sun
plans on running out of its own fuel in around 4.6 billion
years. 

This hasn’t put the team at Hello Games off attempting to
catalogue every planet in their virtual universe, however they have
had to enlist an army of bots instead of human testers to go out
and take photos from the surface of each one. Lucky
bots.

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18 August 2014 | 4:39 pm – Source: wired.co.uk

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