Generally speaking, it’s not too difficult to spot a problem in a game. It is, however, a herculean task to determine the best solution. This explains the magical co-existence of gamers and game developers. Gamers spot a problem, big or small, and developer work to fix it. In theory, it’s a rather simple cycle. However, according to Hello Games’ Sean Murray, things aren’t always perfect. Sometimes, players discover an issue, then soon after begin suggesting ways in which the development team should fix it. While players are usually right about the issues themselves, Murray said they’re never right about the best way to solve them.
Murray elaborated on this sentiment in a recent interview with PCGamesN. He told the publication the following:
Players are normally almost always right about problems. That’s the thing I always find. They’re almost never right about the solutions – or they can never agree on them, anyway. So they’ll be like, ‘Oh, I don’t like your inventory system,’ and they’ll tell you crazy things that they want you to do to solve that. Generally that isn’t the most useful thing.
Still, community feedback is extremely useful when taking the broader picture into account. Murray continued,
But the useful feedback is, ‘Sure they don’t like that thing’ or ‘We want to do more of this’ and they’ll have some way that they think that you should add that. But it’s better to take this broader view of all the things that people are saying, and step back and boil that down to data–one of my favourite things in my little programmer brain–and decipher what that means.
The useful feedback is most notably evident in No Man’s Sky’s updates. Much of what fills out the title’s patch notes are direct responses to what the community has voiced concerns about. According to Murray, in fact, “about 70% of our patch notes are just community-driven stuff.”
Will the same be true of the upcoming Beyond update for No Man’s Sky? We’ll have to wait and see. Apparently, the wait may not be too much longer. While the Beyond update currently lacks a launch date, an Australian classification listing suggest it could be launching in the not too distant future. Most exciting about the impending update is its being the introduction of No Man’s Sky’s multiplayer features.