Destiny Design Head talks No Man’s Sky procedural generation and UI aesthetics
In many ways, Destiny and No Man’s Sky share a lot of similarities. Both titles deal with intergalactic travel, with sci-fi and futuristic themes. But they also share another aspect, something which Hello Games might not be too eager to acknowledge.
First spotted by Gamespot’s Alex Newhouse way back in July, No Man’s Sky apparently takes its UI design inspiration from Destiny, to the point where it could be considered questionable. The menu items and upgrade tree look very similar to Destiny’s design, something which hasn’t gone unnoticed at Bungie.
In an interview with Metro, Destiny’s World Design Lead Steve Cotton opened up about No Man’s Sky. Although the interview was regarding the upcoming Destiny expansion pack Rise of Iron, things quickly took an interesting turn when the interviewer inquired about Cotton’s take on No Man’s Sky.
Unsurprisingly, Cotton knew about the whole UI fiasco, and jokingly implied that Hello Games copied Destiny’s UI design.
On a more serious note, Cotton gave Bungie’s stance on why the studio refuses to take the ‘procedural generation’ route with its game world. According to Cotton, games which are handcrafted by designers rather than being generated through an algorithm are much more unique and interesting. This is simply due to the intentional nature of the design, as every single element in the world is placed due to a reason.
Cotton stated that for Bungie, just creating a huge world, something he referred to as ‘real estate’, is not enough for a good experience. It is very important to fill that world with interesting things to do, otherwise the players would get bored.
He said that he had nothing against No Man’s Sky, though he felt that games which are not crafted manually find it hard to deliver memorable moments. Funnily enough, this is also one of the major complaints from the people who’ve played No Man’s Sky.
Destiny: Rise of Iron will release for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on September 20. The expansion pack will be the first piece of Destiny content skipping its release on legacy consoles, as part of Bungie’s future plans for Destiny.