NMS was quiet a inspiration for me as well as Star Citizen, but this engine is going a little different route by it’s architecture which also aims to give the best possible performance for browser engines so it only takes minimal impact on the budget, leaving most room for the actual game. I never really heard about technical details how they solved various problems, mostly that they at least take advantage of 64bit what isn’t an option for WebGL. I think NMS is mostly based on a DC implementation for the close area, Tesseract mixes faster GPU tiles with volume terrain features only where it’s required, and another technique to maintain surfaces details like mountains in far LOD levels, this also helped with LOD since caves for example can be visible form a far distance while not being actually generated yet.
Since it aims to be a generic engine not being only controlled procedurally i had to work on different concepts and combining these without limiting each other. It can be fully automated/procedurally but also mixed with with different levels of manual control, starting from parameters, to sources and to hand-crafted data with procedural brushes composed on different levels.
Recently i’ve also focused on adding a faster method of procedural generation, like i mentioned above, statically composited layers of pre-baked terrain types which give a very detailed and natural result while being very cheap compared to the required noise functions. Basically when creating sources it always will be a mix of composed data and purely generated as very huge scaled sharp features like a several hundred kilometers long river cant be derived from static data, while all the details and terrain features can.
It’s a lot fun working out different noise features, but it’s also important to keep performance in mind, for example a complex varying but natural landscape can be also archived with feature blending of static maps and masks with different characteristics being very fast and predictable in terms of performance.