If you haven’t seen No Man’s Sky Gameplay Trailer | E3 2014 | PS4 please do so before reading any further.
Gigantic games are now becoming more common. Planet Annihilation is one of those where you zoom in on entire planets and command a vast army of robots against each other and although is not much different from say, Dune 2, the scale of these things is just mind boggling to say the least.
Even Notch - creator of Minecraft - wanted a space shooter where you lived and upgrade your ship, traveled through space and landed on planets - You usually get one of these sub-themes as an entire game - but has somehow abandoned the idea.
Enter No Man’s Sky with its procedural universe. Freaking awesome demo and I think the game will consume plenty of hours exploring, fighting, mining or just gazing dinosaurs.
Not many details have surface though, so I’ll take the chance and guess what we’ll get:
1) the universe is fixed. Everyone gets the same universe even though it’s generated. There won’t be a lot of network traffic because of this and I hope it’s true!
2) When you get to a planet or space region, significant changes made by others will be downloaded, this is where things get complicated as more and more people explore the universe but there’s a solution: The universe it so damn big that you won’t get tons of updates because not a whole lot of people have been there before you.
3) The demo looks like there’s no plot or story besides the in-game credits for upgrading your ship in order to make progress to the center of the galaxy (or universe) but the truth is you will be in a very dangerous world and you will probably need to survive first - inspired by the first night in Minecraft maybe? - and slowly build your ship later.
Technically, from what they shown on the video, I’m still scratching my head! At first it seemed like the transition between a planet’s surface and space used the atmosphere as fade out effect for going to space or vice versa, offloading all those polygons as you went from one place to the other but later you see the ship diving on a planet and it all seems to be continuous. Maybe only a PS4 class of device can cope with that but it looks fucking awesome!
Even more impressive is the fact that it’s all being done by a small group of people that can still be called an Indie studio - Hello games - and if you’re curious as to what they’ve done before, look for Joe Danger in the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/joe-danger/id573859785?l=en&mt=8
I can’t wait for this game!