No mans sky - A Limitless Universecomment_here

A Indie game, which, in Sean Murray’s words, captures the science fiction he grew up with.

If you’ve seen Sony’s E3 press conference, one of the things that might have jumped out at you was a very humble Sean Murray, founder of Hello Games presenting the game No Man’s Sky. This was a break in momentum from the triple-A titles we were swarmed with and a welcome breather from the relatively tried-and-tested franchise iterations presented to us throughout each press conference. (I’m looking at you, Assassin’s Creed 12).

This comes as a surprise console-exclusive reveal to many as similar indie games focused on exploration like Minecraft, Terraria and Starbound all started out on the PC. That was, however, before the new generation of consoles.

With Xbox One and PS4 established in the market as acceptable technological alternatives to the PC, I estimate that indie games might favour console-exclusive deals to help with development costs. We will eventually get No Man’s Sky on the PC, the only question left is when.

Exclusivity deal concerns aside, No Man’s Sky is no lightweight in presenting the amount of world for us to explore. Sean Murray introduces the game as “infinite, and it’s one that everyone can share”, focusing on the concept of the infinitely-explorable universe in the game later in his introduction. The ability to explore endlessly is great, but the ability to share somewhat conflicts with the mobility that the game wants you to have.

You see, meeting strangers in a game happens when you run into them – usually it is facilitated in online multiplayer games because there are only a finite number of places everyone can be. When your game world is infinite, will the players simply be picking up each other’s “flags” (as seen in the game, all planets and wildlife have their pioneers inscribed into them) and never really seeing each other?

It really begs the question, especially when the game seems to want you to travel across planets like a nomad rather than having a home planet you stay on. Sharing aside, the gameplay experience will undoubtedly be unique as it combines both land and space exploration in a fully-realized 3D game. 

The E3 trailer gives us a glimpse of other gameplay aspects like wildlife demeanours (aggressive/ non-aggressive) as well as voxel resource blocks. With the emphasis on exploration, I highly doubt construction will be a feature in this game.

Inter-planetary trading and planetary governance might be the secondary mechanics and motivations to continue pioneering new planets, however, as observed in the convoy-like ships in the trailer.  

Stay up-to-date with Sean Murray @NoMansSky and Hello Games @Hellogames. Sean Murray also posts at playstation.blog, and you can check out his pre-E3 blog post here.

tgg author avatar Chen FreakofNatur Yiji
/Chen Yiji
The Gaming Ground
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