‘No Man’s Sky’ Game a Adventurous Gamble for Sony PS4


Created in a procedurally generated universe, No Man’s Sky is a game about exploration and survival. It is being developed for Sony’s Play Station4 at Hello Games, a studio in southern England. Featuring an infinite, virtual universe, its design will ensure that no one will ever be able to visit all of the game’s planets. According to Sean Murray, one of the company’s founders, “If you were to visit one virtual planet every second, then our own sun will have died before you’d have seen them all.”

This is the first game that enables one to fly to a variety of planets that feature “procedurally generated” life and geography, thereby creating an endless and diverse playing area. Once the exploration of one planet is complete, it is off to another planet and another adventure.  Utilizing Sony’s international network, the game will be distributed to players around the globe.

Procedural generation is the designing of an environment through an algorithm rather than an artist’s pencil. It is similar to Minecraft which creates an individualized world for each player by randomly arranging game pieces. No Man’s Sky, however, is more complex. Each of the multi-million planets is individually unique and generated upon a player’s discovery of it. Planets are all subject to the laws and forces of its personal solar system, making them vulnerable to the evolutionary processes of space and living organisms. Its scale of virtually building new worlds is unprecedented.

Sony’s No Man’s Sky game is a massive undertaking that comes with issues of development. One of which is the means of testing such a large-scale universe. Risk of players being stranded alone in such a vast environment without ever running into other players is also a possibility. To address that issue, every player begins the game in his or her own galaxy, with a goal to travel to its center. Along that journey players can meet, trade, explore or fight.

After a player discovers a new planet and completes its exploration, new discoveries can be uploaded to the game’s servers. Players’ names will not only be linked forever with new discoveries, but they will also have the ability to label the planet with life and atmospheric information that will be universally transmitted to all players.

Originally, the game was randomly generated. But that created issues with uninteresting and unnatural features. Simple rules were created to circumvent those types of issues. Some of the rules surrounding water include distances from the sun and quality of light rules are dependent on the type of sun the planet orbits.

There is already a high expectation for the release of No Man’s Sky. It was the most appreciated video game at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) video game conference earlier this year. This game is a science fiction enthusiast’s dream and truly offers the Star Trek vision of, “Going where no man has gone before.”

Murray and three friends founded Hello Games in 2009. After some modest success, they opted to develop a game he had imagined as a child, a game of exploration that featured the yet unexplored. In a day when YouTube becomes an outlet for every recorded and uploaded game, No Man’s Sky will never be captured in its entirety.   Therefore, the game can never be spoiled for any player.

No Man’s Sky is scheduled for release in 2015 for Sony’s PS4 and the PC. It will lure players into a new universal reality that is unprecedented in today’s gaming world. Adventures will be personalized and no two experiences will ever be the same.

By Hans Benes


Science Alert
MIT Technology Review
No Man’s Sky

12 Responses to "‘No Man’s Sky’ Game a Adventurous Gamble for Sony PS4"

  1. John Bond   September 30, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Actually, each player starts out in the same galaxy as all the others, but are spread out along the vast expanse of the outer start systems of that galaxy. Odds of running into another live player is rare but would increase as more players approach the center most parts of that galaxy. So we dont start out in a galaxy of our own, all alone. We are all in a race to reach the center of the same galaxy, one galaxy of many in this game. Some say that once the reach the center of the galaxy all start out in, you are teleported to another, completely different galaxy. Whether others will follow or end up in different galaxies than the new one you are teleported to is another question.

  2. LeeC   August 28, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    First game with procedurally generated planets? I think you might find Rescue on Fractalus holds that claim to fame. Closely followed by Koronis Rift, and The Eidolon, all this about 30 years ago. Then you have Captain Blood to consider.

    None of these have done it to the extent that NMS has done, but they certainly did it before NMS.

    • AFD   August 28, 2014 at 7:22 pm

      I’m glad somebody pointed this out. I distinctly recall playing a space game like this with albeit simplified graphics. It was actually freeware and an incredibly small program. You could even land on the planets and discover new life forms. People need to crediting these guys with inventing something new.

  3. mike olson   August 28, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    If this game is as good as it seems it will be, I may lose my girlfriend, if Destiny doesn’t make that happen sooner. I can’t wait

  4. Hans Benes   August 28, 2014 at 10:35 am

    It’s an exciting concept, especially when you realize that each game is individualized and never ending. While they won’t run out of planets, my concern is whether the game will be able to create as many different adventures. With high current expectations, it will be tough to satisfy everyone.

  5. Jonathan Gardner   August 28, 2014 at 9:33 am

    I’m really looking forward to this game, but I’m concerned that it’s promising too much. The last time a game tried to sandbox to this type of scale was Spore, which made a lot of promises in his pre-production that it ultimately couldn’t deliver on in the finished product.

    Fingers crossed.

  6. Hans Benes   August 28, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Thank you for your input. “No Man’s Sky” promises to be a whole new gaming experience.

  7. Bobby   August 28, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Just want to point out that every player doesn’t start in their own galaxy. They just start on their own planet. And probably in their own solar system. Everyone starts in the same galaxy, around the outer rim. Considering how large the first galaxy will be, this still means that you’ll be unlikely to run into another player, but still possible.

    • william   August 28, 2014 at 10:22 am

      You all Start in the same universe. You each get a galaxy. Hello Games says that it would take 5 billion years to see every planet if you only were on each one for a second. That is 157,680,000,000,000,000 planets!

      • Greg Verrall   August 28, 2014 at 2:13 pm

        That number isn’t out of the realm of reason for a single galaxy. There are 300 billion stars in our galaxy alone.

      • Bobby   August 29, 2014 at 12:49 am

        As said by Sean:

        “Your ship is crap,” said Murray. “You are trapped in your starting solar system you have nothing and you have to buy either a new ship or a hyperdrive. Do this and you can travel further.”

        Notice the “starting solar system”, not galaxy. They’ve said plenty of times that people will start on the outer edges of the first galaxy. I can see where there’s confusion though as they do seem to mix up galaxy and universe quite a lot, but based on other things they’ve said, it’s clear that people will start in the same galaxy.

  8. Ted   August 28, 2014 at 6:53 am

    This is most concise, best written article I’ve read so far about this apparent behemoth of a game.


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