As the anticipation for No Man’s Sky, the procedurally generated shared universe game of exploration, continues to grow, there is still a lot players don’t know about it. While still hesitant to give a release date, thankfully, Sean Murray of Hello Games, the small developer behind the wildly ambitious game, took the time to answer some of those lingering questions. As part of a recent Q and A with IGN, Murray opened up a bit about just what players can hope to find in No Man’s Sky.
Speaking to the openness of space, Murray teased, “We have a variety of different types of star, some of which are super rare, and you’ll start to realise they’ll tend to offer certain opportunities… As to other phenomena, well we don’t want to say too much about what to expect, because No Man’s Sky is about exploration and finding things for yourself, but the rule we’ve set ourselves is that it’s a game first, not a simulation.” Simply put, “Space has to be fun, and everything you find in it should offer interesting ways of playing.”
As for the look and feel of the universe, he explains, “Personally I always tend to want to go for a more realistic depiction of everything, but Grant, our art director, always pushes for a more aesthetically interesting game. He says space should always looks beautiful. We argue, but he’s totally right. Every sci-fi book cover, artist, or film we look at for inspiration proves him right, with gorgeous space vistas.”
But of course, a game is only ever as good as it is fun to play. To that point, Murray talked more about the experience of playing, most notably about the interactions players will have with the game’s AI factions. “Factions are procedurally generated, because they have to fill such a large universe, but individual factions occupy what will feel like pretty huge chunks of space, so you’ll get to know them well as you travel through. You’ll actually be able to get a real sense of personality from them.”
Explaining further, Murray continued, “Factions will become friends with you if you help them out, maybe by defending them against an attack from a warring faction or a pirate attack. Perhaps if you’re attacked and they’re around, they’ll come and help you in return, or maybe they’ll give you preferential treatment as a trader.”
And finally, as far as what players will find on the planets themselves, “There are things like rain, dust storms, snow, blizzards, storms and a bunch of other things possible. There are also more alien weather types, effectively like radioactive and toxic hazards, and atmospheres made from different compositions to ours.”
While their won’t be any character customization in the traditional sense (you never see your character anyways), Murray added, “You can customise yourself hugely in other ways. Your ship, your weapon and suit will feel personal to you. If you have an asymmetrical, golden, scientific ship, then it’s because you went out and found that ship. You filled it with all its technology, and you would share it with pride. I could look at it and know what kind of player you are.”
With the game set to come to both PC and PS4, more than anything, Murray stressed how excited he is for players to get their hands on the game and promised a release date will be announced soon. Are you ready to jump into the impossibly huge universe of No Man’s Sky, alien weather types and all? Will you win the approval of every faction you meet, or shoot them in the face and run away as fast as possible? Let us know in the comments.