One of the biggest surprises of last year’s VGX awards show, other than how terrible it was, was the reveal of No Man’s Sky, from Hello Games. A number of things made it stand out. Firstly, it’s an indie game, coming from the guys who brought you Joe Danger. It also has the most incredible scope and ambition, indie game or not. And it’s going to be huge.
It’s features a procedurally generated, yet unified universe. When a player logs in and discovers a new location (a planet, a star, or whatever other celestial body) it gets logged and synched to a star map for all other players to visit. What then, is going to be left for players to find if they happen to start playing late in the game’s life?
"The first thing is that you probably underestimate the size of the universe," Hello Games Managing Director Sean Murray told Edge when asked about this very thing.
"If all of the people on Earth right now had very powerful spaceships and were to visit every corner of every planet in the universe, we would not do very well in our lifetime of mapping that out," he said.
"The second thing is that the outer edges of the first galaxy will begin to be more explored, but as more and more players come into the game there are mechanisms we’re bringing in that will keep everything in flux, and that ties in with things you can do that are of significance," Murray said coyly.
The game’s not just about exploration though, as it’ll feature both land and space combat as well. Space exploration and combat, with an infinitely large procedurally-generated universe? Sounds a heck of a lot like a modern day Elite to me. And that’s something to be excited about.
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I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces. I am also the emperor of the backend