dinosaur like animal in No Man's Sky screenshot

I can’t recall any game in recent years that caused so much confusion. It seems that many gamers just can’t seem to understand about is this game and how to categorized it, and I included myself in that list. No Man’s Sky is one of the most ambitions projects that we’ve seen lately, but some gamers think that it’s too hyped and might disappoint many gamers when it’s released.

I watched a few No Man’s Sky gameplay videos in E3 and the official trailer. I’ve listened to interviews with Sean Murray, the founder of Hello Games. After viewing all of those videos and reading many articles about it, I think that I got the hang of it.

Here’s an interview with Sean Murray and some exclusive footage from E3 2015.

It’s NOT an MMO

No Man’s Sky is not a multiplayer game and not an MMO. To my understanding, it’s a single-player exploration game which lives inside a huge procedural generated persistent world. The idea of the game is to ignites the excitement of people to explore unknown alien worlds and share our findings with the game’s community via the social websites already available to us, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

This raises some questions. For example, maybe players will prefer exploring the universe with friends rather playing alone. After all, it’s such a huge verse, it can be more fun doing it with other people, like in real life.  Second, will it become boring repeating the same type of gameplay in each planet over and over again? I think that there has to be some type of persistent progression system that will push you forward and motivate you to explore new worlds. Naming a new star isn’t that exciting because the chances of other people visiting the same star are very low. It also depends how many people will play the game. It won’t be that exciting sharing your findings when you know that not so many games are playing this game.

A Rewarding System?

According to an interview with Sean Murray, every new species that you find will be logged in something like the verse encyclopedia, where people can find and learn about new findings.  That in mind, I think that it would be awesome to categorize species with unique rarity attribute, and to reward people who find those very rare creatures. This can certainly push people to continue to explore new territories and find those rare animals. So a rewarding system can be great to motivate people, and there should be like a social space where people can see how they progress compared to other players.

A social space is very important and I think it must reside inside the game. From my understanding, the only way to share your findings is via the conventional online social channels like sharing a video on YouTube or texting and sharing images on Facebook. I think that is essential for gamers to have it in-game, something that was built from the ground up to match this type of game with a seamless connectivity with real-time information from the game’s database.

If there isn’t any type of in-game social interaction, it doesn’t matter whether the universe is persistent or not, nor people will care about other people playing the game. It would be like a single-player experience and nothing more.  There should be something that will cause people to want to share their findings with friends. Because if not, it will get boring very fast.

Does No Man’s Sky has Any Ending

I always wanted to have a game that is focused on exploration. No Man’s Sky seems to be exactly this type of game and it overwhelmed me with its universe size and the fact that each planet will look different from the other planets. Even the developers don’t know what exists in each planet. Each planet has its own unique ecosystem that supports different lifeforms, plants and environment.

We know that each player strives to reach the center of the universe. So while we explore this huge universe, we’ll probably always be pushing ourselves exploring new stars in a direction towards the center of the verse. So I assume that the center of the universe was built to give the game and end of some sort. Without it, players will just continue to explore worlds forever and there would be no ending to the game.

Maybe No Man’s Sky doesn’t need an ending, and maybe the center of the galaxy was designed to reward you in some way and send you back to exploring new territories all over again. If that’s the case, I am interested to know how much time it takes for the average player to get to the center of the universe. This might give us an answer to how long No Man’s Sky game is, whether we can finish this game in a few days, weeks or years.

Maybe at the center of the universe there is a galaxy where all the players who finish the game have the option to build their home. It can be a single planet or a few planets. Then you can use your resources and tools to construct your home. From that point on you can continue venture the universe as you find fit. This is just an assumption, and the developers didn’t have even a single clue about what we can expect to see when we reach the center of the universe.

Will this Game Formula Work?

There are still to many variables missing for us to know whether this gameplay formula will work. For example, we don’t know how much in-depth is the crafting feature and fighting battles, what are the social interactions options, what’s the goal of the game, etc.

What I know for sure is that Hello Games wants to drive innovation forward and that’s a very positive thing.  I do hope that the game was made in a way that it will be fun to play and have the social in-game interactions that gamers are expecting from this type of exploration game.

Hello Games didn’t reveal a release date in E3, but I expect this game to be revealed in a year or less.