No Man’s Sky Is Not Using Gielis’ Superformula, But Sean Murray Wants To “Chat Maths” with Him

Alessio Palumbo
Posted Jul 25, 2016
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No Man’s Sky fans have been a little worried after claims of patent infringement were outed in an interview by Dutch magazine Telegraaf.

As you probably know, the universe of No Man’s Sky is generated procedurally. According to Dutch company Genicap, Hello Games would be using the so-called “superformula” created by a plant geneticist named Johan Gielis (also the founder of Genicap). According to Gielis, this equation is able to describe a vast number of life forms; you can find more about it here.

Eurogamer reached out to Genicap’s Jeroen Sparrow, who provided the following statement:

Genicap is working on a project to create revolutionary software based on the superformula that can be used likewise by indies and the major game studios.
Using the superformula to generate natural objects enables you to create endless varied and original objects such as trees, rocks, beaches, planets and mountains. Currently most of this work is still done manually. We are still in the conceptual phase. We expect to be able to tell you more in autumn.
It would be great to exchange knowhow with Hello Games. We believe No Man’s Sky is the beginning of a new generation of games. What Hello games did with the formula is very impressive. Johan Gielis, the founder of Genicap and the one who discovered the superformula, is extremely proud.
If Hello Games used our technology, at some stage we will have to get to the table. We have reached out to them but understand they have been busy. We trust that we will be able to discuss this in a normal way.

However, Sean Murray begs to differ. He reassured fans of No Man’s Sky that this is a non-issue as the game isn’t even using the superformula in the first place.

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He then added that he’d love to meet up with Johan Gielis to “chat maths”.

No Man’s Sky will be available on PC (via Steam) from August 10th and on PlayStation 4 from August 9th in North America and 10th in Europe.

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