If you haven’t heard already, then Hello Games’ sci-fi space sim exploration title No Man’s Sky is huge. It’s so huge that the developer is putting players on separate planets across the universe rather than the same planet (or group of planets). It’s so huge that bots had to be sent to gather in-game screenshots from the farthest reaches of the universe. According to studio co-founder Sean Murray in conversation with IGN, the game will apparently take you 5 billion years to see it all and that’s if you travel to one planet per second.
Murray stated that a 32-bit number was being used to create every planet in the game and “with that 32-bit number it would take you four or five thousand years to see every planet if you spent only a second on each one.”
Of course, bigger is always better so Hello Games used a 64-bit number instead which meant that it’d take 5 billion years to travel to each planet at the rate of planet per second.
Consider that there are 31,536,000 seconds in a single year. Now multiple that by 5 billion and you’ll get an idea of how many planets are in No Man’s Sky. Confounded by the scale yet? We’ll see how this translates into actual gameplay when No Man’s Sky comes out next year for PS4 and PC.