Of course I had to pre-order this one af­ter read­ing World Without End in The New York­er. I’ve on­ly played a few evenings, haven’t done any­thing am­bi­tious, but I’ve learned that when you’re learn­ing some­thing is a good time to write about it.

  • It’s just re­al­ly cool bring­ing your ship in for a land­ing on a new plan­et.

  • There seems to be a con­sen­sus that with this game, spoil­ers are a virtue; I think I would have found it severe­ly frus­trat­ing if I’d had to puz­zle out all the crap I picked up in a quick scan of Red­dit & IGN.

  • There’s an­oth­er con­sen­sus that, whether or not it’s ac­tu­al­ly good as a game, the ear­ly ex­pe­ri­ence of just wan­der­ing around look­ing at stuff is pret­ty com­pelling.

  • Of course, the quick con­ve­nient in­ter­plan­e­tary traver­sals are wild­ly im­plau­si­ble phys­i­cal­ly. Charles Stross’ Towards a tax­on­o­my of clich­es in Space Opera has the de­tail­s, but I’m not let­ting them both­er me.

No Man’s Sky screenshot

    Both the ge­ol­o­gy, and the arc of the next-planet-over’s edge, are im­plau­si­ble I sup­pose. I walked along the top of that arch, though, just be­cause I could.

  • Notwith­stand­ing Stross, the fact that hu­mans like in­vent­ing new plan­ets (or, in this case, ar­rang­ing to have them com­put­ed) is one of our bet­ter fea­tures.

  • I’m giv­ing my sys­tems and plan­ets names like “T. Bray 00003”. Sue me for an unimag­i­na­tive clod. Ex­cept for I fat-fingered the one above, which is now known sim­ply as “T”. And there’s no re­do once you hit “upload”, be­cause who’d ev­er want to fix a ty­po in the name of a plan­et?

  • Which makes me think about the database. There may be a kazil­lion ba­jil­lion plan­et­s, but I guess they’re com­put­ed on de­mand. But once I’ve vis­it­ed one and lit up a few bea­con­s, that has to be per­sist­ed. Giv­en that there are like­ly mil­lions of peo­ple play­ing, I bet the state is ag­gre­gat­ing at an alarm­ing rate. I won­der what they’re us­ing? I won­der if they’re on AWS?

  • There are plan­ets with lots of use­ful stuff that are ra­dioac­tive and dan­ger­ous, and oth­ers that are safe but emp­ty. I sup­pose nice and fruit­ful is pos­si­ble in prin­ci­ple.

  • Who knew the ex­pe­ri­ence of space trav­el would be just like that old Win­dows 3.1 screen-saver with the stars hurtling to­ward you?

  • There’s a trick for com­bin­ing the melee and jet­pack but­tons to make huge cross-country leap­s. I’m not sure it re­al­ly gets you there faster, but it’s fun.

  • The script­ed parts of the game can be a lit­tle mean-spirited; there was this one place where you can get some­thing cool for twen­ty car­bon on­ly I didn’t have any, but there were two plants in the room I could mine, for a to­tal of 19.

  • I was fol­low­ing a bea­con sig­nal to­wards a new plan­et when I came un­der fire  —  still haven’t fig­ured out who was shoot­ing. I twist­ed and scram­bled and ac­cel­er­at­ed and came in for a hard land­ing on the near­est moon, where the at­tack­er wouldn’t fol­low. Is that space opera or what?


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Nelson (Aug 15 2016, at 07:25)

I've been having a great time with the game. After 20 hours or so the gameplay itself is starting to be a bit repetitive, but I'm still hooked on the upgrade grind, the story goal, and the overriding sense of beauty and wonder the game developers have created.

To your point about the backend implementation: "But once I’ve vis­it­ed one and lit up a few bea­con­s, that has to be per­sist­ed." I'm guessing all they persist is the discovery data: the planet name, the discoverer name, the time.

There's no need to record data about the planet geometry, etc itself. Players just re-generate it from the planet ID. The only real change a player can make to a world is mining out some of the materials and my guess is they don't persist that.


From: orcmid (Aug 15 2016, at 19:36)

There are more things that go into ones records. For example, all of the discovered outposts/waypoints, the identified fauna, etc.

This is all personal portfolio stuff, but it still has to be stashed somewhere.

I visited an in-system space station three times so far and there were differences each time. So there may be more record keeping, to the extent that what happened was based on my previous experience and other parameters.

In my first star system, I have found 3 planets so far. And they are all bearable and interesting. Since I had to start with a crashed starship, it is grand that the planet was in the terrestrial band, although colder and I had to watch it. I was able to repair the ship and get the thrusters and pulse drive working before I ever lifted off-planet.

One thing I learned lately is that it is easy to use the starship just to fly around a planet and find interesting places to land and explore. I have become tired of walking everywhere :).


From: anders (Aug 16 2016, at 01:32)

The pirates that attack you in space are really annoying, especially before you've upgraded your ships weapons and shields. Some systems seem to have a lot of them or just really aggressive ones that attack any time you're in space for more than a few minutes. It's usually easier to just make a run for the nearest planet or space station than to try to fight them. If they kill you, you can just go to your ship's "grave" after respawning and pick up your old cargo, so it's more of a nuisance than anything.


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August 13, 2016
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