Golly-gee-whizz but No Man’s Sky is a big deal at the moment. The game pretty much “won” this year’s E3, and that’s largely thanks to developer Hello Games’ candid showing of the upcoming exploration title. The whole thing is built off a custom game engine designed from the ground up with an emphasis on procedural generation. The artists of Hello Games design the “blueprints” for each object (be it a tree, a spaceship, a fish, a deer etc.) but then that blueprint is varied in infinite ways by the game’s engine. The result is a universe that’s loaded with fauna, flora and planets that nobody has seen yet; not even the developers at Hello Games. (If you want to know more, read Tina Amini’s article on the game’s engine over on Kotaku.)

The development team behind the game is rather small, but the scope of No Man’s Sky is colossal. Hello Games isn’t sweating it, and that’s largely thanks to their clever game engine’s ability to generate an endless stream of new content.

There’s still quite a bit about the game that’s open for speculation. For instance: will there be specific missions? How will space battles start? How will factions work? Is there a plot? Is this all just for the sake of exploration? While most of those questions remain unanswered, Hello Games and Sony have put out a developer diary that provides the background on how No Man’s Sky started. Hit the jump to allow Sean Murray’s totally chilled-out voice to talk you through their journey so far.

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