Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

No Man’s Sky Pre-Orders Open for a June Release

Posted by Rampant Coyote on March 3, 2016

NoMansSkyIt seems early for pre-orders, but the giant procedural space game No Man’s Sky is finally scheduled for release, and is available for pre-order from their site / Humble store, from GOG.COM and from Steam. It will also be available for the PS4.

I’m trying not to be too excited for this game. After all, procedurally generated space epics have been around as long as Elite. I have no idea how it will play. It looks like they’ve gone over-the-top with the procedural generation. But the one thing that convinced me is a comment in this talk from GDC last year. Art Director Grant Duncan talks about trying to make the look of the game emulate the science fiction art of the 70s and earlier… pretty much pre-Star Wars… the amazing art of Chris Foss and others. The kind of thing that was on vintage book and magazine covers of the science fiction stories I read when I was younger. (And yes, this was AFTER Star Wars, but I was reading older books).

NoMansSky_MonolithLooking at some of the screenshots, I’d say they succeeded. If the usual game experience is anything like this, it will be a visual treat even if it plays like crap. I know, that sentence makes the hardcore designer in me cringe. But one of my childhood influences was a fantastic art book by Stewart Cowley – the Terran Trade Authority Handbook of Spacecraft from 2000 to 2100. The art was so evocative and transporting. Seriously, seriously amazing stuff. I couldn’t help but be transported and become a sci-fi geek. To this day, I still wonder about those weird alien cities that would move from giant pedestal to giant pedestal on… was it Alpha Centauri?

NMS_Becron5So maybe there’s part of me hoping this game will help transport me back to my childhood frame of reference. It certainly looks like it. From the videos, its a practically infinite (18 quintillion planet – millions of players will eventually put a dent in that but will still never fully explore it) procedural galaxy teeming with life and ancient artifacts and colorful space. It’s the fantastic space exploration of imagination from the early to mid 20th century. The kind that Star Wars¬†originally tapped into and drew inspiration from.

It’s a game where you can planet-hop within minutes (seconds?), land your ship almost anywhere, hop out, and explore. Find resources. I don’t know about ‘crafting,’ but there’s definitely a trading element. There’s space combat. There’s a form of leveling up, at least so far as improving your space ship and your space suit (very important, with some toxic environments!).

I know I may be setting myself up for disappointment. The hype has been strong for this little indie-made game for a long time, and I don’t know that there’s anything that could live up to all that. Nothing can be that good. But it may prove to be good enough. I want to believe.

I’m crossing my fingers here, ladies and gents. I guess we’ll find out for sure in a little over three months.


Filed Under: Game Announcements - Comments: 2 Comments to Read

  • Maklak said,

    Nice to know, this is moving forward. I knew trees could be made with fractals, while Shamus Young made a city with procedural buildings and procedural maps were done forever, but previous approach at randomised creatures (Spore) was a failure.

    This talk would be better if they had a programmer / mathematician explain things this guy failed to understand.

  • lakerz said,

    This game also captured my interest early on. With each new look, it continues to sound impressive.