With Spheres the aim is to create a big experience with limited resources. Non of the action in the game is pre-orchestrated, nor is it completely procedural or random. Instead, simple rules are used to create complexity.
To give you a better idea of how the game experience unfolds we've created a video that features five minutes of typical gameplay. See it in action:
The game experience is created by layering multiple interacting systems together over a hand crafted framework. Many of the systems are simple enough on their own. However, they are sufficiently sensitive to each other and their starting conditions to create dynamic outcomes that are different every time the game is played.
This approach to creating complexity is inspired by mathematician John Conway’s work on Game of Life. In the early 1970s he showed how simple rules can bring about startling levels of complexity when they
All of the systems in the game (AI, physics, animation, day/night cycle, level design etc) contain a degree of randomness or variability. This is carefully tuned to create a game world that is logically and physically consistent while always creating new and exciting outcomes.
This allows the player to develop skill and a growing understanding of the world around them, while never putting them in the same situation twice.