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The Destroy All Humans remake has procedurally generated cow dung and here’s what happened there

Hack weeks produce the best, and apparently worst, ideas

The Destroy All Humans! remake has procedurally generated cow pats. Personally I saw this day coming long ago, but only when computational power became so great as to simulate reality to the finest, least necessary detail. Learning it’s in a game that’s due out next year has me worried about developer Black Forest’s priorities.

The news came in a hands-off demo at E3 2019, and I’m mostly but not entirely relieved to discover that, actually, it’s not the studio’s priorities which are curious, but rather those of an anonymous employee or group thereof who chose some curious things to simulate during a window of creative play.

“We have a special feature in our company, where employees are allowed to work on stuff that we would normally not spend time on”, explains producer Dennis Schiefer. “One of the things that came out of this is procedurally generated cow dung. So if you’re in a cow field, all of the patties will all look a bit different.”

One of the variables that the procedural generation algorithm can adjust is, Schiefer tells us, the moisture of each dropping. “Is it wet? Is it dry?” he asks. Who knows. I have a master’s degree.

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It’s hard to illustrate stories based on closed E3 demos, especially those based on ruminant droppings (boy, if I had a nickel…). So it was raised a smile to find that the pride which so seized Schiefer as to tell us of this tech also extended to the game’s Steam page. The header image on this story? The one with the rippling and let’s call it solidly damp cow pat in the foreground? That’s one of the promotional shots. I see what you’re doing out here, Black Forest.

Read more: find better poo in all the open-world games on PC, we dare you.

Destroy All Humans! is a remake of the quirky and much-loved 2005 cult classic, in which you play an alien invader out to validate all the best 1950s conspiracy theories by bringing down the US government. It’s out sometime next year and boasts the finest cow turds in gaming.