No Man's Sky makes its own music with the help of mathematics

No Man's Sky Space Battle

Since Hello Games announced their space epic game No Man’s Sky its massive galaxy of 18 quintillion procedurally-generated planets has been causing more than a bit of a stir.

While most of the frenzy surrounding the game has been around the vast setting and the potential for unique experiences some of the excitement has been around the announcement of Sheffield-based maths-rockers 65daysofstatic as the folks behind the game’s soundtrack. The band has released their work on No Man’s Sky in album form and will be touring the album later this year across Europe beginning in Tilberg in the Netherlands is October and ending in Glasgow, Scotland in mid-November.

65daysofstatic’s contribution to No Man’s Sky goes further than contributing an album’s worth of tracks for use in the game though. In fact No Man’s Sky’s music is every bit as procedurally-generated as the game’s planets.

Paul Wolinski from the band explains their involvement with No Man’s Sky in a brief chat with Wired magazine. He began, “Procedurally generated music is something we’ve been interested in for a while but the way it tends to play out is that most generated stuff in computer games tends towards ambience: quite granular, soft, synthy stuff because the music’s never sure what action it’s about to be soundtracking.”

He went on, “We decided on a two-pronged attack. We recorded linear stand-alone compositions, because we want the record to be worthwhile in its own right, but at the same time we collected a big sound library of individual sounds, instruments, melodies and beats.”

From these building blocks the game assembles the soundtracks for every individual encounter via a series of algorithms that aim to create music that fits the mood whether the player is strolling around on a planet surface or jumping accidentally into the middle of a massive space battle.

No Man’s Sky will release on the PC and Playstation 4 on August the 12th.

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