No Man’s Sky’s too big for traditional multiplayer

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ForeveraloneNMS

No Man’s Sky is one of those game’s that is inconceivably large. The sheer scale of it is astounding. All players explore the very same universe, starting out at random spots on the edge, and try then to work their way to the middle, discovering new worlds as they go. Because it’s one connected universe, people have been asking about multiplayer, and if you’d be able to play with friends.  Speaking to Game Informer, Hello Games boss Sean Murray explained that the game’s scale makes traditional multiplayer a tad difficult.

“People keep asking us about multiplayer and I think when people see this they are going to fully realize what it means to be that far away from somebody else who’s playing,” Hello Games boss Sean Murray told Game Informer. “People keep saying to us, ‘Yeah, but what if I knew where they were? Would I go there?’ And it’s like, yeah, but they are going to have to stay there for quite a while while you get over there. And then once you get over there you might land on the same planet and then you will say, ‘I’m on a planet the size of Earth and I am on a mountain. Where are you?’ Which is, I know, a weird thing and it’s a daunting thing.”

It’s rather different to the sort of things you’re familiar with. No Man’s Sky won’t be like other multiplayer games,  and it’s certainly not an MMO. Multiplayer will work through open lobbies – not dissimilar from how Watch Dogs worked. OR even games like Journey, and Dark Souls.

“People are coming into that lobby and leaving it – like if you play Watch Dogs or something like that. Effectively, we have players joining your discrete space,” Murray said. “We’re not trying to make an MMO where you can play with literally 60,000 people on screen. We handle the case like where other people can fly past in your game or that you can bump into other players in the game.”

“Like Journey multiplayer, that was a huge part of the game for me, but they did a good job in not describing it as a multiplayer game. Journey would have been really disappointing if you entered into it thinking it was a multiplayer game. It’s not. Dark Souls I think of as a single-player experience, but I’m really glad of the elements that they have in there. “

And while you may encounter other players, you’ll probably just think an AI has flown past you. Encountering other people on any planet’s surface is even more rare.

“We keep talking about Jack’s dad from Lost, basically just to see them in the distance. Like, ‘Did I? What?’” Murray said.

The game, at it’s core, is about exploration. Lonely, lonely exploration.It sounds, to me, like the stuff of childhood dreams. I worry though, if those dreams brought to life will be any fun. It’s out in 2015 for PC and PS4.

Last Updated: December 11, 2014

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