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No Man’s Sky: Exploration, Land Battles & Classic Sci-Fi in an Indie Title

December 9, 2013 Written by Sebastian Moss

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The biggest news out of this weekend’s VGX show was undeniably No Man’s Sky, an incredibly ambitious looking title from Hello Games, the studio behind Joe Danger.

For a game just nine months into development, it’s hard to believe the glimpse we saw was from a developer with just four employees. Talking to RPS, Hello Games explained that Sean Murray is the lead developer and works on most of the big procedural aspects, while Hazel McKendrick “is mainly focused on creatures and the look of planets”, Dave Ream handles “gameplay” and Grant Duncan is the game’s one and only artist. The look and feel of the game aims to bring back the excitement of classic golden age sci-fi, rather than the gritty realism or space marines of recent titles.

The game starts you off on the edge of the galaxy, and most people will make their way towards the center. Murray explained to Eurogamer:

The universe as such will be a really dangerous place for you. It will start out not so dangerous, but as you try to journey to the center of the galaxy, things will mutate a lot more and will make your gameplay experience much more dangerous. Undertaking that trip will require lots of preparation. It will require you to, without going into too much detail, build up your character, build up your ship. I don’t know how much I want to say about how you go about doing that, but you will have to co-operate with other people to make that journey. You will feel very vulnerable in this universe, and not necessarily empowered, but you will have the ability to travel great distances very fast and you have a lot of freedom… A lot of freedom but maybe not masses of power.

Talking to Polygon, Murray revealed that the game will contain land battles not shown in the trailer, and that every planet and every star system in the game is generated procedurally. Once they are discovered by a player, they exist for everyone else, and he/she can choose to share the planet’s location, but, with resources on planets limited, you may decide not to. RPS gave the example that, if you killed a bird, no one would know, but if you wiped out the bird, the species would be gone for everyone.

How the online aspect of the title works has yet to be fully detailed, and much of the game is still shrouded in mystery (even which platforms the game is coming to), but what little we have seen is incredibly exciting. Luckily, it looks like Sony has their eye on the game, with SCEE’s Shahid Ahmad saying:

It’s the video I was teasing the other day. I practically wet myself watching it.

Did you wet yourself? Let us know in the comments below.