No Man’s Sky at GDC

Are you going to GDC? If so, we can recommend some hot art talks. We’re keeping a low profile at the moment so we can put all we’ve got into continuing to make No Man’s Sky, but we’ve let our art director Grant out to talk about it, just this once.

He’ll be showing some glimpses of the technology we’ve developed to produce procedural places, creatures and vegetation, and give you an idea of how he came to love letting a computer decide how his game should look (this was not easy), and how we all work together. It should be fun!

His first talk is on Monday, March 2 at 3pm, and it’s part of an amazing art direction bootcamp featuring talks by great artists from Naughty Dog, Ninja Theory, BioWare and more. Proper art heroes!


Here’s what Grant will be presenting about:

How I Learned to Love Procedural Art

“Procedural” is a bit of a buzzword at the moment, but what does it actually mean? A tiny team of artists at Hello Games is using procedural technology to create the infinite worlds of No Man’s Sky. But how do you maintain quality and artistic control when faced with the chaos of infinity? Like many artists, they were very cynical about procedural art, thinking that the loss of control inevitably leads to inferior art. They were so very wrong! Art Director Grant Duncan will describe their procedural journey so far, as well as show the tools and techniques they’ve used to bring technology and art together far closer than he ever imagined.

His second talk is on Thursday, March 5 at 5.30pm:

Do Artists Dream of Electric Sheep?

No Man’s Sky is a strange beast: an infinite, procedural galaxy filled with endless alien worlds. Art Director Grant Duncan will talk about how a tiny indie team at Hello Games has gone about creating the artwork behind No Man’s Sky, from early concept to finalised art. Grant will talk about inspirations, pre-production and the complicated, rewarding (and sometimes messy) union between programmers and artists. Attendees will be presented with lots of pictures and a step-by-step walk-through of the No Man’s Sky art pipeline.

If you’re there, come along and say hi!