August 16, 2016
My gaming nowadays is usually limited to a few hours here and there. My Steam playtime for this year has been 20 hours of NBK2k17 and 10 hours of Metal Gear. My machine is an Alienware “Steam Machine” just in case performance becomes an issue.
According to Wikipedia, “No Man’s Sky’s gameplay is built on four pillars — exploration, survival, combat and trading. Players are free to perform within the entirety of a procedurally generated deterministic open universe, which includes over 18 quintillion (1.8×1019) planets”
I really don’t know much about the game, gameplay, or story line. I didn’t really know the story behind it or who even makes it. The visuals just pulled me in and made me watch the release date and the progress. I still don’t know if I understand the whole thing.
This game felt like the start of something new, the start of the next wave of gaming. This “procedurally generated” universe sounds like something that could only be achieved with some true firepower. I have been missing around with Google Cardboard a lot and have been researching a lot about the Vive and Octus. Both are just too expensive for me to try out right now. But, I think that we need to start rethinking games and their experiences.
I finally got the game running. I installed it, and it booted and loaded well. It was nice that the game was a minimal download, coming in at around 3 gigs. But, I wasn’t really sure what to do. I was just dumped on the inside of a planet. I was given a mining laser and told to fix my ship. I had to figure out most of the other stuff on my own.
The game starts off by not showing most of the story and right away. I stumbled across some engaging elements, but I really didn’t know if they would turn into anything or mean anything.
The world is massive and I have been able to visit and explore some various different planets and environments. As I was on the lookout for some rare minerals to power up my blaster and my spaceship, I couldn’t help but wonder if this is the kind of experience I would want to consume with a VR headset. It is slow and a mythical game with a lot of walking and exploring, and I found myself looking overhead a lot, watching planets and what is going on inside of them.
There are plenty of things you can find wrong with the game, but there are many things that are just enjoyable. I had an audio book on while exploring this new planet and it was a relaxing and enjoyable experience. I would be very curious to see if there is a way to get this running on one of the VR headsets. I am not sure of the technological challenges, but this is something that I want to dive in with.
If you want a first person action game, this is not it. This just feels different and I am glad that I am on this journey, wherever it might go and whatever we might end up seeing along the way.
Written by John Siwicki who lives and works building interesting things. You should follow him on Twitter