But I suspect the camps will stick around. If nothing else, needing to discover camps and shelters will encourage exploration, and in a game where “everything” can be explored, keeping people interested is just as important as giving them a vast world to explore. And if you’re wondering how a tiny studio like Wild Sheep is making a seemingly infinite game—even with the backing of the legendary Rayman creator Michel Ancel—look no further than procedural generation, or least something very similar.
“The tech means that the game is actually infinite,” explained Ancel, “but infinity can be very boring. The world is made up of a lot of different technologies, so you could say that [it’s procedurally generated]. I will say that, as a developer, we are helped by the technology to create a game world without spending time creating every single piece of grass, so there is a big system in place helping to create things. It’s a balance between homemade things, and generated things. But yes, we use a tool to generate the world in real-time.”
I wonder whether—after we’ve all tried to survive yet another night in Wild, or explore our 10,000th planet in No Man’s Sky Games Torrents —infinity will be quite as appealing. Maybe, by the end of 2016, we’ll be clamouring for a good ol’ fashioned scripted campaign. Or maybe, just maybe, Wild will keep us interested. It has the tech, it has the ideas, and it’s just weird enough that it might actually work… “in the current build” at least.