Not Man’s Sky: A Quartet Of Procedural Planety Things

Look, I know what we said about No Man’s Sky and hype and all that, but this isn’t about that. Stop pointing hissing “Hypocriiite” at me and howling like Donald Sutherland at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Give over. I’m trying to show you nice things. Sheesh.

Today I bring you a quartet of things showing pleasing procedurally-generated spacebits, two directly inspired by No Man’s Sky and two I’m mentioning again because they’re nice and you might like them. We can’t explore No Man’s Sky yet, but we can coo over many other colourful planets.

Every Planet Procedural [official site] will show you planet after planet, all of them with procedurally-generated mountains, rivers, flora, structures, and skies, all of them in many different colours. Refreshing the browser-based doodad in search of a pretty planet is pretty great. Creator Marian Kleineberg calls it a “fanart generator” and yeah, sure, that’s nice.

Seeing that yesterday also reminded us of the cheeky No Man’s Sky Beta [official site], which offers very barebones text descriptions of planets. What wags!

Moving onto things that are less NMS-y but still procedural pleasantness, Daniel Linssen’s Planetarium [official site] generates procedural spinning planets complete with moons, asteroid belts, and their own climate. You can tweak the temperature to watch ice, water, and land spread and recede, accompanied by a very chill soundtrack. It’s lovely and I’m not sure why I didn’t post about it when it came out.

Lastly, I’ve posted before about Sunrose [official site] but it’s nice enough that I want to mention it again. Sunrose generates musical stars based on letters you feed it, a lovely wide range of stars to spin and stare at and slightly dread. Have fun entering names and words and see what comes out. It’s very relaxing.

No Man’s Sky is coming out… who cares? Look at all these cool planets and stars, man.


  1. SuicideKing says:

    Alice, you should record stuff for kids or host a radio programme. I’d be surprised if people won’t sit transfixed and listen to you all day. :D

  2. Swordfishtrombone says:

    Isn’t Linssen’s game/thing called ‘Planetarium’?

  3. Cooper says:

    With all the hype around NMS, there really should be more mention made of Noctis

    This is an old game (it originally ran in a DOS environment) that had procedural planets, each with procedural flora and fauna, billions of stars and a means to share locations between players. All of this a decade and a half before No Man’s Sky…

    It looked like this:
    link to

    • Ejia says:

      I actually kept bringing up Noctis every time NMS was discussed, usually in the form of the question “Is No Man’s Sky a more modern Noctis?”.

    • airknots says:

      Was a fan of Noctis IV too. I’ve played it a lot even though there’s nothing to do aside from visiting planet after planet. I will be surprised if the developers haven’t heard of it before.

  4. daver4470 says:

    Also fun to play with, and free: Nested.

    link to

    It’s a simulator of everything, with…. well, a lot of nesting.

  5. Amun says:

    For gods sake is no one going to mention space engine?

  6. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    There’s also a wonderful little story around the fate of the human race hidden within Planetarium’s procedurally generated Planet “alt text”s, which is a lovely and very RPS thing to do.

  7. DantronLesotho says:

    Just… just tell me everything.

  8. racccoon says:

    For god sake just use ModTracker,.
    Its so easy to use and we’ve, or most of us have had so much more fun with it over the years.
    Goodluck though for those that use SUNROSE or is it going to be suncollapse. lol

  9. Mr_Blastman says:

    Umm. Space Engine?

    Why wasn’t that mentioned?