Hello Games' Sean Murray says "No Man's Sky doesn't use superformula", tells everyone to chill | PCGamesN

Hello Games' Sean Murray says "No Man's Sky doesn't use superformula", tells everyone to chill

If only E3 looked like this every year?

Update July 25, 2016: No Man's Sky lead developer Sean Murray has taken to Twitter to put to rest speculation about whether a recent claim made by a Dutch company would affect the release of Hello Games' space epic. 

No, he says. In fact, they didn't use the superformula when creating the game at all. It's also very unlikely he would be speaking so openly about it if the team were worried - their lawyers would probably be doing the talking if that was the case.

Distract yourself from your earthly cage with our list of the best space games

Here are the tweets putting the situation to rest:

Everyone isn't chilling, however.

People are now worried that the PC version of the game has been delayed by a few days. Where originally it was to release on August 9, the official site is now saying it will release on August 12. Sean Murray's mentions are hell right now, but he's stayed completely silent on the matter so far. 

At least if there is a short delay, it's nothing to do with patent troubles.

Original Story: July 20, 2016: Hello Games just can't catch a break, can they? No Man's Sky has finally gone gold after fighting through a troubled development filled with floods and secret legal battles, and now, right near release, another potential issue crops up. 

It was only recently that Hello Games revealed that they had been having a legal battle over the word 'Sky', which some are speculating led to the short delay the game faced. Now a Dutch company claim they have a patent on the formula used to power No Man's Sky's procedural generation.

As the Telegraaf reports, Dutch company Genicap claim to own the superformula that powers the tech, though they haven't seen the game's code. 

"We haven't provided a license to Hello Games," says Genicap's Jeroen Sparrow, transalted via NeoGAF. "We don't want to stop the launch, but if the formula is used we'll need to have a talk."

In an interview with the New Yorker last year, Hello Games lead architect Sean Murray explained how the team looked to biology to create a procedural universe that straddled the line between diversity and chaos. 

Eventually Murray stumbled upon an equation, published in 2003 by a Belgian plant geneticist named Johan Gielis, and that's when No Man's Sky's procedural generation began to, well, take shape. 

Johan Gielis, it turns out, is the Chief Research Officer at Genicap, via Gamezone. He has also patented the application of the superformula, which covers using the equation to "create 2-D images, 3-D images and/or animations", so it looks like the accusation may perhaps have legs.

There's a good chance the Murray and the team at Hello Games have tweaked it beyond recognition though, essentially making it their own. For now, all we have is speculation.

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monkeyfritz avatarAnAuldWolf avatarDustyGerkin avatarEbon Wolf avatarhahnchen avatarWhiteCrow avatar+3
hahnchen Avatar
1 Year ago

Even if Hello Games have tweaked the formula, it could still be a considered a derivative work.

monkeyfritz Avatar
monkeyfritz(26 days 10 hours played)
1 Year ago

They are popular. They are making money. Everyone want's a piece of the pie. Nintendo and Atari will be after them next, I'm sure.

AnAuldWolf Avatar
1 Year ago

Atari's just a brand name, now. And why would Nintendo go after it? Why would Nintendo even be interested in an over-ambitious but oddly unimaginative title? That's pretty much anathema for Nintendo.

Also, if you'd bothered to read the article? It seems very much like that Genicap's actually in the right, here. And they're even being reasonable in saying that they're not looking to stop the game from launching. This kind of vapid evangelising and poor reading comprehension is what gave rise to hyperbolic thinking like GamerGate.

Ebon Wolf Avatar
Ebon Wolf(2 hours played)
1 Year ago

How is this, in any way, unimaginative? Is your head that far up your ass? You seem like a guy who just likes listening to himself speak.

WhiteCrow Avatar
WhiteCrow(7 days 11 hours played)
1 Year ago

He is. The verbosity he espouses in each and every one of his comments illustrates this. You've heard of people with diarrhea of the mouth? This is diarrhea of the keyboard.

JMiles2 Avatar
JMiles2 replied to WhiteCrow
1 Year ago

Actually AnAuldWolf has some good points.

DustyGerkin Avatar
1 Year ago

It seems like quite a leap from the superformula to what is generated in game.

Just have to wait and see I guess.

(oh and some background here: http://genicap.com/category/genicap/super-formula-a-guide/?active=13)

midimaker Avatar
1 Year ago

A bit strange tbh, the quote from last year's New Yorker interview says something different

" Murray, sitting before his monitor, typed the Superformula into the terrain of a test planet. He began simply, creating walnut-shaped forms that floated in an infinite grid over a desert. The image resembled a nineteen-eighties album cover, but the over-all look was not the point. Whenever he refreshed the rendering, the floating shapes changed. Many were asymmetrical, marred by depressions and rivulets. Game designers refer to lines of code that require lots of processing time as “costly.” The Superformula is cheap.

“One of the hardest things for us to do is to create coherent shapes,” he told me as he worked. In order to produce varied landscapes, a formula must be able to cope with a wide range of random information without generating mathematical anomalies that cause glitches. “This sounds ridiculous, but it is hard to find a formula that you can rely on,” he said."

DayWalker Avatar
1 Year ago

he also said you're going to be able to meet other players...

AnAuldWolf Avatar
1 Year ago

I figured this was blown all out of proportion. I remember telling someone to read the original article, probably a comment in here somewhere. Since it wasn't about suing or delaying the game, but more that the Genicap(?) guy just wanted to have a chat with the No Man's Sky team. All he said sounded like what he was legally obligated to say, really.

Mountains out of molehills and all that.