I mean No Man’s Sky the game, which I’ve been play­ing again late­ly. It’s been ac­cused of be­ing most­ly a plat­form for gen­er­at­ing cheesy sci-fi book cov­er­s, but that’s not true, and al­so I love cheesy sci-fi book cov­er­s, so this is most­ly to show you some. With a few words on the game.

Starship flying in No Man’s Sky

Oh, just fly­ing my star­ship over the land­scape of
a plan­et I re­cent­ly dis­cov­ered and named. As one does.

Up­dates · No Man’s Sky launched just over a year ago, pre­ced­ed by a mas­sive hype wave and fol­lowed by howls of dis­ap­point­ment when it fell short of ex­pec­ta­tion­s. There’ve been three ma­jor up­dates, each with mas­sive ad­di­tion­s. and it’s be­com­ing in­creas­ing­ly like a “normal” game, with mis­sions and NPC’s and economies and so on.

Its biggest charm prob­a­bly re­mains that it’s an easy game, oc­ca­sion­al flash­es of ex­cite­men­t, but most­ly just cruis­ing along from star to star, en­joy­ing the views.

Nice view in No Man’s Sky
· · ·
Desert-scape, No Man’s Sky
· · ·
Nice view in No Man’s Sky

The game is start­ing to add inklings of multi-player, and mul­ti­ple play­ers are self-organizing, most no­tably to cre­ate The Galac­tic Hub, which I hope to reach some day.

Alien­s! · In NMS they’re, more than any­thing, fun. The plan­ets have their own procedurally-generated menageries, but there are three main species you can ac­tu­al­ly have re­la­tion­ships with, and learn the lan­guages of. There’s lots of back-story that you soak up as you move through the game. Here’s a Gek.

a Gek in No Man’ Sky

Aren’t they cute?

The beasts in NMS are chat­ty and come in all sizes, shapes, and col­ors. They’re more play­ful than scary. And like I said, it’s an easy game, any crea­ture that at­tacks you is pret­ty well toast. But, here’s Jab­ba the Flow­er­pot­t.

No Man’s Sky with fat alien

My ex­pe­ri­ence · In the pic­ture just above, that’s my cur­rent star­ship, parked on the left. Nice ride, eh? For the cognoscen­ti: A de­cent lit­tle Sa­mamo­ga 27-slot B-class fight­er, mod­est stats but a re­li­able pirate-killer. Which sort of sums up my play­ing style. I’m busy, with a job and fam­i­ly; thus not a se­ri­ous gamer. One of the re­al­ly nice things about NMS is you can do it for an hour here and an hour there and keep pro­gress­ing and nev­er re­al­ly get stuck.

Ship parked on peak, No Man’s Sky

Good park­ing spot!

I restart­ed af­ter the 1.3 up­date (like a lot of oth­er­s) and I’m go­ing to keep play­ing till I get a freighter.

Gen­der · The three pri­ma­ry alien races you deal with do not par­tic­i­pate in the hu­man no­tion of gen­der. Thus, when in­di­vid­u­als are men­tioned in text (and there’s a lot of text in NMS) it’s al­ways in a scrupu­lous third-person: They, them, their. It’s amaz­ing how quick­ly you get used to it.

On the oth­er hand, the beasts that pop­u­late the plan­ets are gen­dered, and while male and fe­male do ap­pear, one al­so finds Asymp­totic, Asym­met­ric, Orthog­o­nal, Prime, Rad­i­cal, In­de­ter­mi­nate,and Vec­torised.

So the au­thors of NMS are hav­ing some re­al post­mod­ern twenty-first cen­tu­ry fun; which on bal­ance is a fair de­scrip­tion of the whole game. I’m still on board.



Contributions

Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Michael Hannemann (Oct 09 2017, at 13:18)

Question - why would people restart after the 1.3 update? I’ve been (very sporadically) plucking along, and I think I have max inventory slots now. Why give that up?

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September 17, 2017
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