Hello Games co-founder Sean Murray described the studio’s upcoming space adventure No Man’s Sky as functionally infinite during Sony’s E3 press conference, but only fully addressed the game’s procedural world in a recent gamescom interview with IGN.
Although the game was originally generated using 2^32 as the base planet line, the team upped the projection to 2^64. In the 32-bit realm, “it would take you four or five thousand years to see every planet if you spent only a second on each one,” Murray said. With the game now running with 64, it would take roughly five billion years to explore all 18.4 quintillion planets, assuming you still spent one second on each.
A more realistic calculation might use one minute per planet, allowing time for launching and landing your ship and getting a proper look at your discovery. By this math, it would take a single player approximately 300 billion years to see all of Hello Games’ universe.
Mathematically infinite? Not quite. Functionally infinite? You bet.
No Man's Sky will be a timed PS4 exclusive and is currently slated for a 2015 release. Hello Games is interested in bringing the game to PC but has yet to give any hard details regarding a PC version.