No Man’s Sky blew people away when it was originally revealed and while I generally prefer games with a stronger narrative, I’m getting pretty excited to give it a whirl when it’s a released later this year. The New Yorker did a feature on Sean Murray that is really worth checking out; nestled among the human interest elements are some cool aspects about the game.
No Man’s Sky is designed as an homage to the sci-fi that Murray grew up reading – Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein. Aesthetically, it’s based on the vibrant cover images that were often designed in bulk; commissioned by publishers for a range of sci-fi books, they generally had nothing to do with the plots of the books but still hinted at something strange and unknown. Murray wants the game itself to be experienced similarly to the older science fiction stories rather than the newer approach to the genre:
But inherently what is going on is optimistic. You would read it and go, Wow, I would love to be this person—this is so exciting. Whereas at the moment a lot of sci-fi is dystopian, and you go, I would hate to be this person. How would I deal with it?
The article goes on to talk about current development and how important the E3 demo is for the game. It is frequently cited and referred to when pushing the game forward – did the ship leave the planet too quickly and easily? Did it look and feel the same way it did in the demo? Is exploration interesting and fun? When in doubt, the team chooses to err on the side of what they promised in the demo rather than what might be more correct according to the physics and the numbers. It’s an interesting balancing act that they’re doing and has made me incredibly intrigued about the game – it’s nice to hear about a company seeking to deliver on what was promised when gamers first saw the title, rather than what the game becomes during it’s development life cycle.
There is a story hidden in the game, but players can choose to delve into it or not. Want to journey to the center of the universe? Go for it. Prefer to spend your days mapping the planets in detail, one at a time? You can have fun with that instead. The choice is yours and I’m utterly intrigued.
Last Updated: May 12, 2015