Seeds within Seeds
No Man’s Sky—Where fact meets fiction… Where every potential is possible… Where everything is procedural… A near infinite universe that imaginatively reflects our own incomprehensibleness.
It is only that, everything within our own cosmos exists on a level of organization, perfect balance, expansiveness, raw power, unbounding love and assorted variety, that no inferior “simulation” can ever fully realize.
Which is precisely why so many do not buy into the theory of evolution or a simulation theory.
Engaging a discussion on the infinite nature of NMS is both awe-inspiring and humbling all at once.
Congratulations Sean Murray and Hello Games for creating a magnificent masterpiece, both artistically and technologically. For leading the future with heroic perseverance. Opening windows within windows within windows within the quiet mind. Thank you for pushing the boundaries of… “WHAT IF?”
And that's where we're all left trying to comprehend how it all works...
When Hello Games seeds the universe, they appear to have a master list of categories with sub-categories containing each item, further broken down into sub-lists of each item’s details, with each detail’s details, and so forth. - Something like that.
And thus it is fun to speculate how they maintain control of each individual seed’s details within details, and somehow retain every aspect of a seed’s original details, tweaking only what they like, as they so desire. So that a Starship or Multi-Tool can slightly change or remain the same, and yet the name too can also change or remain the same.
And so therefore, because the item names changed this time around (v1.5), just as the item details changed, I can only assume that they must have re-did the naming system, at least to some extent to warrant such a change, just as they re-did the item details.
Of course, one may argue, maybe it’s once they redo the seed’s item’s details that the name automatically regenerates as well. But here even then they still somehow retain every other aspect of that seed’s item’s details. So, why not retain control over naming, too?
I would buy that video series, even if it was completely over my head.
What I know is this… I can drop any “seed code” in any item type and it will render a unique result according to each item type. Yes, the same seed code dropped in different items: A multi-tool seed dropped in as a starship seed. And I will get a unique result.
Freighter NPC’s according to race; The same seed will render different results according to race.
And I have further found identical exotic ships with separate names and separate seed codes. And if I switch back and forth between seeds, they always remain named according to each seed. So…
Example: We drop seeds into item types, not classes. And upon doing so, we tweak it’s class, slots and stats. Like, “Starship: Fighter” or “Multi-Tool”, are both item types. “Starship” is broken down a bit further, so you can choose “Fighter”, “Exotic” or otherwise. Whereas presently for multi-tools you can’t specifically choose “Experimental” or “Alien”, but instead all types are found awash together. And every item type is randomized within seeds.
This is at least how the save editors lay it all out. And it does function this way.
And thus we come to better understand Hello Games’ use of “Procedural Generation” (ProcGen) for No Man’s Sky in the most basic form of a description.
Therefore, although we see it all organized according to items and classes, and so forth… Seeds appear to contain all core details that make an item what it is, including it’s name. With class, slots and stats reserved for “on-the-fly” randomization. The part we can tweak with an editor, if so desired. Unless we’re a modder and know how to manipulate game assets directly; Well, sky’s the limit then, almost.
And as a bonus, they allow us to rename an item, but it’s seed name still remains.
And they tweak according to their own desire, based on our wishes and where they want to go with it, releasing changes as update versions. All that within a seed, and somehow they retain maximum control. Except, they still seem to need to reseed planets and more with major updates. But they do allow us to keep our stuff, and that’s all thanks to seed codes.
So why would they ever have a problem with our cataloging seeds?
It’s at the very heart and soul of No Man’s Sky. Except that the “search n’ find” process of discovery is also quite central to it’s ethos. Of course, co-op multiplayer quickly counters that. Yes, go out there and explore, and share together…