Repli­cant City is prob­a­bly the clos­est thing No Man’s Sky has to Times Square, but in space. Look­ing at it, you’d think that some­one at Hel­lo Games must put the locale togeth­er, but no. Repli­cant City was built by a small team of No Man’s Sky archi­tects who push the game to its lim­its.

Nor­mal­ly, what you see above isn’t even pos­si­ble — not with­out the use of “glitch build­ing.” As the name implies, No Man’s Sky play­ers use bugs to force parts togeth­er. Doing so at scale can be tax­ing on the game, and accord­ing to builder JC Hys­te­ria, mere­ly find­ing a spot that could han­dle some­thing this com­plex took about a week. Repli­cant City resides in the mid­dle of a dead world with low atmos­phere, because it’s the only way the game can han­dle dis­play­ing the play­er cre­ation.

“Plan­ets with a large amount of fau­na and flo­ra great­ly hurt the ren­der,” JC Hys­te­ria explained.

ERBur­roughs, anoth­er mas­ter­mind behind Repli­cant City, notes that play­er imag­i­na­tion often out­strips what the game can actu­al­ly do — and so, com­pro­mis­es must be made.

“As a group, we tend to all have grandiose ideas, that … our PS4s just can’t han­dle,” he said. If No Man’s Sky builders aren’t care­ful, their PS4s can crash. “We often over­build, then reduce the num­ber of parts, down to what is only nec­es­sary to con­vey the idea.”

The plan­et hous­ing Repli­cant City was par­tial­ly picked because it was a moon with deep trench­es, which helped play­ers build long walls. The idea was to chan­nel a lit­tle bit of Blade Run­ner and The Fifth Ele­ment. All told, it took about 20 hours to build.

With the Beyond update land­ing this week, there’s an under­stand­able amount of excite­ment over what play­ers will be able to build with added sup­port from Hel­lo Games. Per­haps No Man’s Sky play­ers won’t have to rely as much on glitch­es to make won­drous builds? One can hope.

“With news of larg­er base com­plex­i­ty, new parts, log­ic gates, and more, our minds are spin­ning,” ERBur­roughs said. “Our hope is to take what new toys we are giv­en and up the ante on what we already do!”

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