i never saw guardians of the galaxy so as far as i know this is a bit in that movie. does not change the fact that a show with this concept and format would be the most amazing thing ever
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I have to say that the flora was probably the most disappointing part of NMS for me—it's amazing for the first thirty minutes to see all the weird plants but then you go to a new planet and see that the plants there are just meaningless variations on the same handful of templates you've already seen. plus there's no real model of ecology and biodiversity—from my office chair in manhattan I can see more species of plant than there are on an entire planet in NMS
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it's the same "kate compton's 10k bowls of oatmeal" problem that applies to pretty much everything in the game (other than the scripted/authored content of course) and maybe all procedurally generated content in general. it's just that the wonder of nature comes from how those kinds of detail—history, ecology—fractally unfold in response to investigation, whereas all investigation of "nature" in NMS reveals is the number of sliders in the underlying algorithm
i feel like you could write a phd thesis on any given square yard of nyc sidewalk but you could only write ~1.5 paragraphs on an equivalent area of any nms planet (without immediately diving into general software/platform materiality). (i'm risking operationalizing "interestingness" here which isn't what i mean—i don't think the interestingness of these two artifacts can be compared, but this is why procgen for me is always an exploration of systems & aesthetics, not stand-in for "content")
the primary failure of procgen in nms being that it exists almost purely to bolster a kind of verisimilitude of the infinite—as galaxy set dressing, essentially. very different even from (eg) random gear in borderlands 2, which offers no verisimilitude ("infinite different guns!" isn't an important part of the fiction) but *does* materially affect how you play the game (watching out for drops, adjusting strategies for drops that are good in some ways but substandard in others)
@aparrish passing this on, because you haven't seen the movie: it's a very ableist bit, just fyi
@aparrish (i don't know Monty Don, though -- not a comment on the concept)
@ramsey yes I want a star trek spin-off about keiko and her botanist pals as they go from planet to planet conducting surveys, except it's not narrative, it's presented in a format like a PBS science show
@aparrish I would watch this.
@aparrish dangit now I want this, too
@aparrish he looks way more like a doctor who than a spock to me
@aparrish I don't know any of this but I recently discovered Monty Don's series on french gardens on Netflix and it's the best thing ever.
Now I want to watch the parody but I believe I have unreasonably high expectations.
@aparrish It's been interesting to watch the game as they keep updating it. It seems they understand at least some of this criticism because I keep seeing more variety with each update.
@aparrish Also, I would totes read that dissertation.
@aparrish for years i've been dreaming about an attenborough-style show that focuses on one planet's biome per episode
@phooky it would be so good. it would also be really fun to *make* (from the writing to the production of the sets and props [whether virtual or physical]). though also probably really expensive to make which is probably why it doesn't exist (other than the fact that it's, you know, a concept with an incredibly niche appeal)
@aparrish maybe the way to get that ball rolling is via a xenonatural history text, with live sketches of bizarre fauna/flora. Maybe something more along the lines of a naturalist https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barlowe%27s_Guide_to_Extraterrestrials
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