Space adventure No Man's Sky is one of next-gen's most ambitious titles

Next-gen indie game set in a procedural sci-fi world.

UK indie developer Hello Games, maker of the Joe Danger series, has announced No Man's Sky for next-gen platforms.

The game, set in a sci-fi universe, was unveiled at the 2013 Spike VGX awards. Hello Games founder Sean Murray mentioned Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke as influences to the game's procedural sci-fi world.

An impressive trailer of the ambitious game was shown, showing both exploration and space combat in the game's universe. Hello Games, a four-person development team, said the game was being developed for next-gen, but did not mention specific platforms.

"We wanted to make a game about exploration and we wanted to make a game that was real," said Murray. Mentioning a player looking at the stars in the sky, he added "if you can see it, you can walk there."

Planets have their own ecology and ecosystems. Everyone is playing in the same universe, and Murray said that there would also be persistent features.

Murray also added that the series' previous work with Joe Danger was a stepping stone for development for No Man's Sky.

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Discussion

135 comments
VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

Let's hope it's no where near as god awful as Joe Danger...
At least, the trailer looks promising. I want more info at this point.

GOGOHeadray
GOGOHeadray

I have a hard time believing that this game is going to come out on time and meet the expectations that people are already placing on it.

pvspartan36
pvspartan36

I'll be very impressed if 4 people can pull off the scope being advertised here. Very interested in No Man's Sky.


I'm also enjoying the push of sci-fi games coming to next gen. Destiny, No Man's Sky, Titanfall, all sci-fi but with different approaches. Can't wait for all this stuff to finally land.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

The fact a 4-person team is pulling this off is just mind-blowing to me. Hopefully this will pay off for them. It certainly looks interesting.

cousinmerl
cousinmerl

been looking at it on you tube - looks fun, like the version of elite we've been waiting 15 years for.

banana23man
banana23man

Can a 4 person team really pull this off?

xxmavr1kxx
xxmavr1kxx

This is very ambitious and I like what I heard at VGX, but there are still so many questions. SO if I destroy a tree on a planet, will it stayed destroyed? How many people in the world? What happens if I crash my ship? How many planets can I go to. I know he said if you see a star you could go to it, but to what point?


I want more information on this.

ecurl143
ecurl143

This has Oculus Rift written all over it.

ClusterBlaster
ClusterBlaster

I still miss Homeworld. Hope an awesome studio brings back it to life.

Zombrex
Zombrex

I'm still somewhat asleep, but I swear I thought the title of this article was, "Space adventure No Man's Sky is one of next-gen's most ambitious TITTIES."

Mega_Skrull
Mega_Skrull

Damn, I'm so not into multiplayer, but the premise for this sounded great

spikepigeo
spikepigeo

The problem with procedural generated worlds is that they can't truly be persistent -- at least, not without taking up massive amounts of server space. If a person goes to a planet for the first time, for example, and as they fly down to it all of the terrain and features get generated, then that data is going to have to go to the server, be stored there and remain so that others, or even the same player, can come back at a later date and still see the exact same thing.


One player will say to their friend, "hey come with me to this planet, I found an awesome mountain on it!" So if the massive amounts of procedural generated data aren't retained server-side than either they're going to arrive and see two totally different things from one another, or the planet is just going to generate itself again as the previous data was cast out when the player left.


tl;dr If this game is anything like what the dude is saying it will be like (it probably won't) then they are going to need to have MASSIVE server space to log the continually expanding procedural universe

poopinpat
poopinpat

"If you can see it, you can walk there"


Is he implying that you can walk to the stars or walk on the stars?

fzzywarbles
fzzywarbles

I sincerely hope that we don't turn games about space into the next overdone scenario in gaming. Back when Star Citizen was first announced over a year ago now there was something incredibly awesome about the resurgence of interest in space sims. Now everyone seems to be cashing in on the hype. Almost every week it seems I hear about a new game in space. As soon as Call Of Duty features a game set on Mars I'M OUT!!! ;)

Diegoctba
Diegoctba

This game looks horrible, clearly the name is a spoiler. Who wants to play that if the Battlefield 4 expansions are coming?

chieflion
chieflion

if this is the game where i can fly my spacecraft from one planet to the next, open world with multiplayer, have dogfights in space and have sex with green digital women, then this is a game i will gladly support

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

Basically a bunch of buzz words, and not many of them at that.


Doesn't sound like some vision of greatness; sounds like complete bullshit.

catsimboy
catsimboy

"we wanted to make a game that was real" + looking at the stars in the sky, he added "if you can see it, you can walk there."

=DOES NOT COMPUTE Error in walking to space code.

roman4545
roman4545

if just add a little more words for it... might be interesting...


No Man's IN THE Sky

t3ero2zero
t3ero2zero

It has got to take a hit to the elite kickstarter i would think who gets there game out first will cap alot of players looking for a game like this.

Zombrex
Zombrex

@ClusterBlaster Great game although I've never been a fan of RTS. Did you ever play Freelancer?

G4mBi7
G4mBi7

@evil_m3nace All of that takes a LOT of space especially if done on a per player basis. We aren't making Super Mario Bros anymore.


@spikepigeo As a developer I have no idea what you said. I don't think you understood what procedural or persistent in this context meant. Procedural refers to the fact that planets won't be manually coded or manually changing; persistent meant that player interaction will affect the planet from my interpretation of the above article. Now from a development stand point they could do as you say and save data for every single planet for every single user but that would be redundant and rather pointless. More than likely they will save data for each individual planet and the changes that players make on certain variables. So they are only saving data for each planet and not each planet for each user. Also even if there is a massive amount of data for a single planet; the user will never see or get any of that because at most they will get is a localized snapshot. Take google maps as an example. You don't see the whole planet or the names of countries or streets that you aren't looking at; you just get enough to satisfy your viewpoint and your blind spots giving you the illusion that you have everything in front of you when in actually you have pieces of a greater picture which you are given 1 by 1.

evil_m3nace
evil_m3nace

@spikepigeo all the server has to do is save the seeds of the world that it used to generate the world, textures, colors and so forth. Doesn't take up much space at all.

Zombrex
Zombrex

@poopinpat Oh crap, we have another Peter Molyneux on our hands if he's already saying that.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

@poopinpat Well the whole idea is that you can hop into a starship and warp drive over to any other planet or system you want...so yeah.  That's kind of the point of the game.

doraemonllh1989
doraemonllh1989

cashing in on the hype is a good thing,which means there will be big competition for that particular genre

evil_m3nace
evil_m3nace

@Diegoctba The name is a reference to world war one. The area between the opposing forces trenches was called no mans land.

biggest_loser
biggest_loser

@Diegoctba Maybe you can play it in between Battlefield 4's crashes. 

ClusterBlaster
ClusterBlaster

@Zombrex i Have a copy of Freelancer. Bought it a few years ago after the unending delays. Microsoft finally published it though. That game felt tedious midway & i stopped playing it.

spikepigeo
spikepigeo

@G4mBi7 Thanks for the clarification. All I know is that if the world is ever expanding, randomly seeded or not, and you have thousands of players in "the same universe" as the article states, then their constant discovery of new planets and locations throughout the universe should pile up a large amount of data server side so that everyone can access that data as well and see the same thing.


I know what persistent means in terms of a players affects on the world but I am literally talking about a universe existing in the exact same state for everyone. Every change, every discovery being consistent across the entire base of players. 


Also, I never stated that they would need to save each planet for each user. That would be silly. I meant that they would need to save the planet's data server side once, in an accessible location for every player that "flies" to that location. When thousands of players are discovering more planets, asteroid colonies, stars, space stations, etc. this is really going to stack up. The server will need to save the exact location of every terrain feature on that planet after it is generated so every player sees the same thing when they fly to that location and access the data on the server. Sure, one planet might not be much. But hundreds? Thousands?


I understand the localized snapshot description you gave. I had no thoughts to the contrary. The google maps analogy, contrary to what you think, only better describes my point. I never said that the user was experiencing a large amount of data at any time, but the servers. Google's servers to handle ALL of that data are HUGE. It doesn't matter if one player gets a localized "snapshot" for their viewpoint, the server still has to have accessible for everyone, the ENTIRE picture. So, imagine if said picture was ever expanding. The file size server-side is only going to grow. Think about how big Minecraft files get, for example. But instead it will be tons of "maps" constantly being generated and stored on the server, always growing. That is, of course, assuming "if you can see it, you can walk there," is true.

Zombrex
Zombrex

@G4mBi7 I think what might happen is as each person discovers a planet, that planet is INITIALLY procedurally generated and then becomes cannon for everyone. Possibly even generating locally, covering only the area being explored. The real question is, will a planets placement in a solar system effect it's generation? I.E. Would being closer to an G-class star make it a heated ball of bare minerals and molten metal?

Example(for those confused): Person A finds an uncharted planet. Programming takes in account variables and generates planet features/terrain/atmophere and applies that to the area being explored. Person B shows up on the other side of the planet and explores a different area but uncovers similar features based on initial generation. Person C comes along and crosses paths with the areas Person A and B explored and sees the same thing they saw.

fzzywarbles
fzzywarbles

@doraemonllh1989 Two trains of thought I guess. I agree that competition is one benefit to the addition of many other games, but over saturation is the detriment. I'd rather a few really good games exist than a multitude of sub par games that lead to peoples disinterest and then the inevitable death. Not commenting on this game particularly but you must know from experience that over saturation kills once great things.

HadrianII
HadrianII

@evil_m3nace @Diegoctba I think its more of a general reference to unclaimed land in same sense that Europeans viewed the americas as not belonging to anyone and thus free for the taking. WW1 no man's land wouldn't really fit.

MateykoSlam
MateykoSlam

@TheOnlyConan @MateykoSlam it is better.

spikepigeo
spikepigeo

@G4mBi7 Gotcha. I am working under the assumption that this small developer might not be able to field servers powerful/large enough for the task, but hopefully I am wrong.


Ive seen an update though. The game will have players start at the outskirts of the universe and work their way toward the center, generating terrain and stuff as they go. So this tells me that they will have server space ready to go for a FINITE amount of data (exploration) since, in the end, players will reach the center. Thus, procedurally generated though the universe may be, it won't be infinite. Which makes it much more feasable.


As for your piece about Star Citizen... I think you're mistaken. No publications have been given any amount of access to Star Citizen yet, beyond the hangar module that we all have access to, let alone a full fledged space battle. At least not that I know of. I certainly would have heard of a 4 hour space battle if GS had a look at it. I don't think the game is at that stage.

G4mBi7
G4mBi7

I didn't read anything about the universe being ever expanding but even if that were the case; i would speculate that around 10-50 thousands of players would be on the same server. Going with the example in a previous post; yes all the data for all the planets would be stored server and would be large but nothing a server now days can't handle. At most each planet or maybe even each solar system would have 50-500 players; gw2 caps at 500 players per map; eve capped at 3000 players in a battle). If we were to split the universe into tiles. As a player gets to an adjacent tile to an unexplored tile; that new unexplored tile would get generate and as the player explores it; it would have finished generating the planets and w.e other objects. As a player affects the environment; the persistant changes would be saved to the server, such that the next person to explore the region would see them.


Not every change will be persistent; i don't see server issues to be a problem. In fact the only issue i see would be with content. Having 100s or 1000s of planets as you suggest could be fun but what would be the point unless each is fully explorable; yet if each is fully explorable then that would get rather tedious and at the same time while it would look pretty; the game would be lacking in terms of things to do (main issue with space mmo's/sim's).


I believe it was GS that did a video on star citizen and said that a space battle took approx 4 hours yet there were very little checkpoints making it frustrating and at the very end while the universe was vast that it felt empty at the same time.


Accessible for everyone but it won't be accessible for everyone at the same time so there is really no issue there.

Zombrex
Zombrex

@G4mBi7 Sounds like it would work perfectly. I just hope that it all ends up being persistant among all players after it gets generated, otherwise that might break the purpose of exploration and turn people away. If they plan on having any sort of mining/trading based economy similar to the game Freelancer, I would imagine they would have to have that consistency. If not the game will just shift towards being a space-fighting sim.

G4mBi7
G4mBi7

The easiest way in my mind would be. On launch, generate all the planets/systems. stellar objects, w.e. that is generally close to the spawn location for all players. As players explore farther out into space, generate more stellar objects before they are even discovered. Which is where my google maps references comes from. Since you never see the whole map as person a or person b you only have to worry about loading one tiny bit.


I say this because to randomly generate a planet in high fidelity as it is discovered (as you suggested) would result in the mother of all load screens while waiting for the server to run all of it's background calculations.

Zombrex
Zombrex

@fzzywarbles  It's a double edged sword. On one side you obviously have the competition theory saying that it will bring in greater games. More likely scenario would be your oversaturation idea. Not because there would be too many titles out there and make the genre stale, but because the genre would likely sway towards catering to the lowest common denominator. The producers of high quality game will see the lower quality games selling really well(or vice versa), and instead of maintaining their quality game, they'll have the developer lower the quality of their titles in order to draw a bigger slice of the pie. Then you have an oversaturation of shitty titles.

fzzywarbles
fzzywarbles

@HadrianII @fzzywarbles @doraemonllh1989 So to your point, do you not see interest in survival games dying out? I would argue that they are but personally have not played one honestly in quite a while. Then again I think that's because I'm absolutely tired of zombies in general now (over-saturation). I just don't want to see a WarZ equivalent scenario affect the space sim genre. As far as strategy games are concerned. They will have their moment to shine again. Why haven't more developers been inspired by World In Conflict? That was an amazing experience and one that has not seen much borrowed from since. 

HadrianII
HadrianII

@fzzywarbles @doraemonllh1989 I don't know that's true, We are definitely over-saturated with survival games since dayz and minecraft but this is forcing them to work to innovate to stand out from the herd. Long term it could result in stagnation and complacency and the genre can die out when people get bored. This is what  happened to rts/rtt it just got harder for them to effectively change the formula games started to blend together, and now most are follow ups or revivals, but even that genre will probably see an up tick at some point in the near future

CrouchingWeasel
CrouchingWeasel

You don't want to talk? Why? Did you wear out your brain coming up with that last little nugget of "wisdom"?