No Man's Sky; Clearing The Air

Decided, in the wake of the newest trailer and resulting questions about the purpose of the game resurfacing, that I would update and refresh this thread, try to weed out the hypotheses I made that turned out to likely be wrong, and add new information where possible.

But first! http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2014/12/05/take-a-30-minute-behind-the-scenes-tour-of-no-mans-sky.aspx?utm_content=buffer049fd&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer A thirty minute interview with the developer, including some look at (what was stressed to be an early build) of the game, though for those of you hoping for space combat, there's mostly a lot of looking around, assisted by the debug camera in some cases. x3 The video and interview is about the tech and process of developing the game, not the gameplay and such. That and he rambles a lot, so anyone hoping for a concise, PR-prepared interview is going to end up frustrated. Still, I was entertained!

Keep in mind, some of the information will be coming from a supposed leak on Neogaf on the contents of a Game Informer article coming in January, but because that's obviously a shaky source at the moment, I shall be putting any information from that leak in italics, until it is either confirmed, or I can find an official source that corroborates.

Also, it's entirely possible new details will surface in the near future, be it from the Playstation Experience, or Game Informer's promised coverage. If that happens, I will add it in bold so anyone who comes back can find it easily.

WHAT'S THE POINT?

Technically speaking, the purpose of the game is to try and reach the center of the galaxy. You start on the outskirts of it, where the planets are pretty reasonable in terms of design and threat level, and you work towards the middle, where it has been hinted that something quite interesting resides. However, this is pretty much 'the purpose' in the same way the Ender Dragon was the purpose of Minecraft; a nebulous, unspecified end goal that you could ignore, or even be unaware of, preferring instead to build golden cock'n'balls, or in the case of NMS, explore the galaxy for new sights and new experiences. Should you choose to undertake this task, however, it has estimated that going from your starting point to the center of the galaxy will take between 40-100 hours, the 40 hours presumably being if you are both skilled enough to avoid getting blown up a bunch, and don't spend any wasted time exploring or being sidetracked.

At least two constraints shown have been fuel, without which you aren't getting very far, and the penalty for death; if your ship gets blown up, you jettison in an escape pod, landing on the nearest inhabitable planet. It has been suggested that your credit balance is unaffected, but you lose your ship and its cargo, with your next goal being acquiring a new ship to get you off the ground. However, details on HOW you go about this are unclear. It is suggested that if you die on planet, you are returned to the escape pod, losing any items that you collected SINCE leaving the pod. (I.e. your suit and weapon upgrades remain safe.) Depending on how difficult it is to acquire another ship, this could make a crash landing very challenging, and on the central worlds it may be devastating.

But what are the underlying mechanics? Well, you have a ship (with weapons,) a survival suit, and a handheld weapon/tool, so pretty much everything that fits with those, be it exploration, piracy, or gathering resources to sell back at a profit. It has been suggested that most, if not all, systems will have some form of starbase or trading post available, where you can go to drop off anything you've collected, in exchange for credits. All upgrades are purchased with said credits, and rather than upgrading an existing ship, you purchase new ships with enhanced capabilities. In the case of new ship purchases, at the very least, this adds an element of chance, as different starbases will have different vessels available, with different capabilities. You can, as some have put it, 'just fly around looking at planets,' gaining credits by discovering new species and cataloging new resource sources, or you can try to become an interstellar scourge and blow shit up; there are going to be fleets and ships aplenty that are NPCs, and if you're tough enough, you might be able to steal their stuff... keeping in mind that such an action will turn their faction against you.

However, it should be noted that these mechanics aren't likely to have the same depth and complexity as, say, Eve Online, Star Citizen, or Elite: Dangerous, and might best be described as streamlined, or 'arcady.' This is based mostly off my personal guess, and might be why the developer has focused more on showing off their galaxy than any underlying flying/trading/crafting, as it doesn't look like this mechanics will be reinventing the wheel by any stretch. So somehow hoping for massive techtrees and a robust crafting system may be disappointed.

The further you get towards the center of the galaxy, the more messed up things become, with both spaceborne and planetary threats becoming more twisted and more dangerous, making it increasingly difficult to progress. You might get attacked in space by pirates, or assaulted on land by some savage creature, nowhere is truly safe. In addition, some planets are said to be populated with ancient robots, left behind to try and preserve the planet; if you're wandering around minding your own business, they'll pay you no heed, but if you begin killing animals, or mining resources, they may grow increasingly hostile.

There is no planned voice chat, as far as the leak suggests, but you may be able to see the position of your friends on the galaxy map, as well as the hint at an in-game messaging system. Details quite unclear, however.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=944662

http://www.idigitaltimes.com/articles/21626/20140124/man-s-sky-news-5-things-know.htm

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-12-09-a-future-that-has-a-history-introducing-no-mans-sky

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/12/10/interview-no-mans-sky-and-procedural-generation/

If there's any information I missed that folks want to share, feel free. Same for any questions, if there's something I can clear up. Personally, I am both extraordinarily hyped, and yet petrified that this thing is going to fail miserably, because half of what they talk about just seems too big for anyone, let alone such a small studio, to accomplish.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0APP5WcX8v8

New video! Montage, short but with footage that wasn't in either E3 trailer. Laser pistols confirmed apparently. xP

Thanks for that. I heard about the game a few days ago and thought it looked awesome but just assumed it was a PC only thing (dunno why I thought that) last night when Sony shown it off I was surprised and buzzed, really can't wait to play this.

This game has looked interesting the couple times I've seen it, but I think it's going to end up being a very niche, but very dedicated audience. It seems like a game that would be great to just mindlessly get lost in without any real need to pursue a goal.

Hadn't seen this game before. Looks like the sort of thing I'd be interested in. Thanks for pointing it out.

No Man's Sky looks amazing. I was introduced to it for the first time last night at Sony's press conference and (even through my awful, choppy stream) I was really impressed with what I saw. Since then, everything I've read/seen about it just makes it seem more and more like a dream come true.

Hopefully this is a sign of things to come. The new generation of consoles may not have been much of a step up graphics-wise, but if it means ambitious developers can create something of this truly breath-taking scale on the hardware, I will be very, very pleased. If there was ever a game I desperately wish to deliver on its promises, No Man's Sky is it.

No Man's Sky is one of the most interesting games currently in development for me, so, not entirely selflessly, I wish all the best to the folks at... I forgot how their studio is called.

I just hope they add re-entry effects. Being able to fly from orbit to ground level within a few seconds, and without any visible heating up, does not do justice to the majesty of space flight imho.

Looks sweet.

Still waiting to see what it will offer mechanically though. Apparently there's zap-zap space combat, which is nice, but what do you do on the planets? Wandering around procedurally generated environments will be cool for a few hours, but get old before long.

CloudAtlas:
No Man's Sky is one of the most interesting games currently in development for me, so, not entirely selflessly, I wish all the best to the folks at... I forgot how their studio is called.

I just hope they add re-entry effects. Being able to fly from orbit to ground level within a few seconds, and without any visible heating up, does not due justice to the majesty of space flight imho.

I don't see why they couldn't. The Evochron games have had something like that for a while now, and that's made by just one guy using DarkBASIC.

Scars Unseen:

CloudAtlas:
No Man's Sky is one of the most interesting games currently in development for me, so, not entirely selflessly, I wish all the best to the folks at... I forgot how their studio is called.

I just hope they add re-entry effects. Being able to fly from orbit to ground level within a few seconds, and without any visible heating up, does not due justice to the majesty of space flight imho.

I don't see why they couldn't. The Evochron games have had something like that for a while now, and that's made by just one guy using DarkBASIC.

Well, I hope they will. I don't suppose we're getting a galaxy were calculationg trajectories between orbital bodies is a science in itself in No Man's Sky, a la Kerbal Space Program, but a few little touches, like visual re-entry effects, would go a long way. Or the possibility to just orbit around a planet. We'll see.

I wonder if it'll work offline, because I've been wanting single player space combat for a while and combining it with planetary exploration and flight is just wonderful.

Oh good, I was worrying it would end up an xbone exclusive when I read that the developer's office got flooded and Microsoft stepped in and helped foot the bill.

http://m.edge-online.com/features/no-mans-sky-how-a-four-person-team-from-guildford-strode-forth-to-create-an-entire-universe/

An interview back in Feb with the Devs; funny enough, apparently the first trailer, shown at the Spike VGX, nearly wasn't shown because the developer got slightly panicked, concerned that the trailer would be ill received, and tried to pull it. Something about the developer having an honest to God case of stage fright is actually kind of comforting. xP

As with all ambitious projects this has the potential to go spectacularly right or spectacularly wrong. Definitely one of the most interesting games in development right now.

Racecarlock:
I wonder if it'll work offline, because I've been wanting single player space combat for a while and combining it with planetary exploration and flight is just wonderful.

It sure as hell should. The devs have been saying stuff like No Man's Sky was never intended to be an MMO-like experience and the chances of actually running into another person are miniscule in an infinite universe anyway. Despite the multiplayer elements, the game seems to be very much focused on the solo adventure. So if that's their vision, I really don't see why not. It would just mean not having the ability to see that nubuttz1337 discovered a planet before you.

Giant death worms eh.... All kidding aside, I've been excited for this game for months, though it did fall off of my radar for a while because of lack of news and me having school.

"Colored Paper"

Genocidicles:
Oh good, I was worrying it would end up an xbone exclusive when I read that the developer's office got flooded and Microsoft stepped in and helped foot the bill.

I thought it was suddenly Sony exclusive because it was only roughly shown on Sony's panel with the PS border around the entire trailer.

I originally found it funny when this was first shown because at the time SC fans were busy praising their game and saying it would beat every other game including NMS, now this was shown more at E3 the tune is slowly changing.

http://www.gamespot.com/videos/e3-2014-no-man-s-sky-stage-demo/2300-6419415/?utm_campaign=gamespace_b&utm_content=footer&utm_medium=partner&utm_source=gamefaqs

Contrary to what the title might suggest, this isn't a demo, no gameplay is shown. However, it is a pretty interesting interview with one of the four devs; I find his demeanor actually kind of adorable, in an awkward geeky way, as he's clearly both extremely excited and possibly a little petrified. The more he talks about the game though, the more I'm having vivid flashbacks of Molyneux. Not because I don't trust the Dev, but because some of the stuff he's talking about, in terms of size and scale, is something I don't think even Molyneux was insane enough to conceptualize. He seems to be skirting around whether or not direct multiplayer interaction is possible, leading me to wonder whether maybe a multiplayer element will be introduced, but he seems very firm about the idea of not turning it into lobbies and easily set up pairings. Meaning even if you can encounter other players, it would be the equivalent of random encounters, paths crossing in a massive galaxy. Journey was mentioned as one inspiration for player interaction, as was dark souls.

He also mentions that space itself will be quite populated, with AI traders, space stations, pirates, fleets, all sorts of science-fiction goodness. The E3 trailer suggests that you might actually be able to forge alliances with AI factions, which would be absolutely fascinating, and he also very briefly suggested that there was some grander malevolent force that would act as a threat to any and all.

All in all I am quite excited. Another comparison I actually have to draw is that little iOS game called the cube or something, where hundreds and thousands of players were tapping away at little squares to find out what was inside this giant cube. The reason I draw the comparison is that, hopefully, they will be keeping exactly what lies at the center of the galaxy close to their chest, leading to this massive rat race to try and be the first there. A grand mystery, with countless dangers and wonders in your path, sounds like a very spirit of science fiction.

I really hope that this is as good as they're promising it will be. At least it's being released on the PS4, so they won't be able to stick it on early access in a pre-alpha build and then abandon it, which is what would happen on PC in all likelihood.
Seems almost like what a 3D, finished Starbound would be. Which is a good thing. I think.

Hopefully it ends up a lot more like a Firefly/Metroid and not just be a pretty minecraft in space. More action and adventure and less digging and tree punching.

If I can be the love child of Malcom Reynolds and Samus Aran and tool around the galaxy in my spaceship then the hype will be strong with this one.

If it ends up that every planet is only slightly bigger than a chunk of space rock a la Ratchet & Clank or Mario Galaxy then it might still be good if there were a fantastic variety of them.

KoudelkaMorgan:
Hopefully it ends up a lot more like a Firefly/Metroid and not just be a pretty minecraft in space. More action and adventure and less digging and tree punching.

If I can be the love child of Malcom Reynolds and Samus Aran and tool around the galaxy in my spaceship then the hype will be strong with this one.

If it ends up that every planet is only slightly bigger than a chunk of space rock a la Ratchet & Clank or Mario Galaxy then it might still be good if there were a fantastic variety of them.

I doubt crafting stuff will play a role comparable to Minecraft. But you shouldn't expect an adventure with story and characters and the like either. Exploration seems to be the hook here.

I just looked around youtube for more info on this game, and I'm amazed that I had never heard of it till tonight.

From the recent trailer and that IGN interview I'm more than happy with what I have seen.

I don't think I've been this excited about a game since I was like 10 years old lol.

If it is coming out on PC I doubt I could possibly run it, and I certainly have no money for a PS4.

But if I were to buy a PS4 for ONE game it would be this one, or Bloodborne if it turns out to be way better than Dark Souls 2 was.

Hopefully the ship options are extensive. I don't really want to pilot the one in the trailer, it looks too much like an X-wing.

Oh wow. I've spent the last half hour now just youtubing dev interviews and gameplay videos of this game. It looks like the kind of thing I could end up sinking hundreds of hours into...

Note to self: Don't get too hyped, don't get too hyped, don't get too hyped.

Interesting little tidbit. I have no idea how they are going to handle player death in the game, which obviously is going to be a factor since there are threats on the ground, but apparently if your ship is destroyed while you are in space, the equivalent of an escape pod brings you to the nearest inhabited planet, where you essentially have to rebuild your ship from scratch. (well, using the pod as something to build off of) Any enhancements you made to your vessel will have been destroyed, and you won't even be able to get off the ground without constructing some crude engines, in all likelihood.

If I had theorize, I think that maybe there is both a ship inventory, a cargo container basically, and a personal inventory. If you die while on your ship, you lose everything in your cargo, and if you die on the surface, you lose everything in your personal inventory. Just a guess.

So getting to the center of the universe isn't going to be as simple as clawing your way forward bit by bit with endless respawns. Biting off more than you can chew, and getting destroyed as a result, could actually set you back catastrophically, even force you to backtrack so you can reacquire resources on planets you've visited before, so your ship can be upgraded to its previous capabilities.

Thanks for that. The more I learn about this game, the more I'm giddy with excitement. As one of my friends put it, it really sounds like Freelancer (and I loved Freelancer) on a massive scale, except this time we can land on planets instead of avoiding them.

I mean, sure I don't expect it to be as massive as they promised, but I'm sure I'll enjoy it anyway.

KarmaTheAlligator:
Thanks for that. The more I learn about this game, the more I'm giddy with excitement. As one of my friends put it, it really sounds like Freelancer (and I loved Freelancer) on a massive scale, except this time we can land on planets instead of avoiding them.

I mean, sure I don't expect it to be as massive as they promised, but I'm sure I'll enjoy it anyway.

Aye, same, been very hard to keep my hype levels low. x3 Not just due to the game itself, but for what (assuming they pull it off, of course,) this line of development could mean for the industry. When I saw their most recent trailer with that portal thingy, (mind. blown. by the way,) first thing that popped into my head was "Well, now the industry has no excuse whatsoever NOT to make a kickass Stargate game. o_o "

No Man's Sky might border on a prototype, with its relatively streamlined and simple mechanics. Can you imagine what would happen if the developer, or another developer, took this template and built something with an Eve Online level of mechanical detail? o____o If, again, this pans out, it could be a new frontier for sci-fi development.

hopefully the games massive scope doesnt become tooooo large where the game becomes nothing more than a flying sim with nothing to do...

Looks very good, very good indeed. In fact too good to be true, so I gonna assume it's terrible until proves otherwise.

mitch13pavel:
hopefully the games massive scope doesnt become tooooo large where the game becomes nothing more than a flying sim with nothing to do...

For me I am going to find out how to go FAST. You got to go faster my friend.

Soooo the mysterious A Night Under No Man's Sky event turned out to be... well, pretty much just a music concert for the band doing the songs. No new info, very little in terms of a new look at the game, in fact for the last good sized chunk of the show the cameras were all doing different angles on the band, half of which weren't even looking at the projector screen. xP I'm pretty disappointed, HOWEVER, Playstation channel has a four minute long gameplay trailer! =D On mobile, cannot link, check out the Playstation Youtube channel for it, and if someone could link it, much appreciated. (Hint; there is more flying and walking around. xP )

The more I hear about the game, the more it seems...well, pretty awesome. If I put my expectations in the right places that is. This game looks to be one about exploration and adventure. Maybe even in game communities with a bit of luck. (Imagine being able to make player factions. Even if you don't have bases it would be awesome.) And for that, it truly does look 'next gen' to me. As in, the next generation of the genre that Minecraft started. Even if it doesn't appear it will have any building like minecraft does.

If this game really will be what the devs claim it will be so far, then I'm up for it. For the last weeks and even months, when me and a friend wanted to play a game together that doesn't require -too- much of your brain power we would play space engineers, or maybe some casual wow alt leveling. But this game, with it's exploration, looks awesome for that as well. If the npc's and beasts have half-decent AI it will be fun to explore new planets, and just for the fun of it hunt big or strong looking beasts every now and then.

Come to think of it, if there are npc factions does that mean they will have their own planets? As in, will you be able to find and explore planets with civilizations linked to the npc factions? Even if said civilisations had pretty horrible AI and pretty bare-bones infrastructure, I would still love something like that. One can only dream for now.

SeventhSigil:
No Man's Sky might border on a prototype, with its relatively streamlined and simple mechanics. Can you imagine what would happen if the developer, or another developer, took this template and built something with an Eve Online level of mechanical detail? o____o If, again, this pans out, it could be a new frontier for sci-fi development.

Not just for sci-fi, though that is a large part of it. Imagine having a fantasy world just as large as earth, but also with things 'a little bit closer to each other' than in the real world, all procedurally generated. I would say it could become it's own genre, but maybe it kind of already is? :P

 

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