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Category: Just Rambling

The Best Father’s Day Card in the ‘Verse

The Best Father’s Day Card in the ‘Verse

Father's Day card featuring watercolor blobs

My daughter, who is very well aware of my more-than-passing fondness for No Man’s Sky, is quite an artist. She enjoys spending a lot of her free time sketching, painting, and otherwise creating (rather unique, in my not so humble opinion) works of art.

For Father’s Day this year, she really put a smile on my face with a card she made for me featuring a watercolor rendering of a dad and daughter pair of blobs.

Now, I know not everyone is a fan of the blob (I’m looking at you ECDMDragon (Discord)…), but I think they’re pretty cute. And clearly the girl does as well.

I thought I would share the “fan art” here and wish a belated Happy Father’s Day to all the other interloper dads across the universe.

Say Hello to My New Companion, Subpixel

Say Hello to My New Companion, Subpixel

A few weeks back, in mid-February, Hello Games released another (free) No Man’s Sky update: Companions, version 3.2. This time around, Sean Murray and his team have given us the opportunity to explore the vast reaches of the universe with a special fauna friend at our sides.

Upon encountering a creature of their liking, players may engage with it and make that beastie their bestie. In fact, players can have a stable of up to six special sidekicks that can be summoned to any planet’s surface or the Anomaly where these precious pets can be shown off to others. Companions will aid players by scouting ahead and discovering resources as well as doing their best to protect their kind keeper during hostile alien encounters. Additionally, one is able to “induce” an egg from their companion, which can be genetically modified in a new Anomaly station or just allowed to run its natural course in delivering a new, bouncing baby companion.

While I always appreciate a new update from Hello Games, and I thought Companions sounded interesting, I didn’t really picture spending too much time with the added features — they’re just in-game pets… A few days (or hours, really) in, however, I was loving it! It was lots of fun warping from system to system, looking for that perfect new companion while picking up some of the most bizarre creatures out there along the way. I finally settled on a pink robotic fellow that I named “Pixel,” whose wild frolicking had me laughing as I ran about new worlds, exploring. In time, however, Pixel produced an egg which I tried my hand at genetically modifying in hopes of creating a smaller robo-companion. Thus hatched “Subpixel,” son of Pixel. And Subpixel is the companion I feel will share in most of my future explorations. We have a delightful time wandering about new worlds, dodging sentinels, or just watching the sun set upon the distant horizon.

As you can see from the above video, Subpixel is a spritely little fellow and it’s a miracle he hasn’t worn out his batteries.

A Look at My “Forever Starship,” Found Way Back in NMS 1.0

A Look at My “Forever Starship,” Found Way Back in NMS 1.0

On Saturday, October 29, 2016 (at about 9:52am) I found my forever starship. It’s a fighter, of silver and red.

This was in the original release of the game, when crashed ships were everywhere and you could grab one, fly off, find another, and repeat — usually jumping up a notch in slot capacity every time. That dynamic ended a few weeks later, though, when the Foundation update landed.

I present this post as a pictorial of one of the very nicest looking ships I’ve encountered in the game in my nearly 2,500 hours in, but also as a sort-of bug post aid for Hello Games because, as you can see, with the release of Beyond, the wing nacelle color treatment has become anti-symmetric; the color of one wing engine evolved to not match the other over the course of a few updates. I have only seen this in fighters with this particular wing arrangement, known as Wing_K (and quite a few other than mine: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4). I’ve reported the issue to Hello Games via the ticket page, but it is, as yet, unaddressed. [Update: Skel#8634 (Discord) let me know that there is a mod that partially works around this issue, for PC users who want to give it a try.]

It is interesting (this issue aside) to see how the design of a ship’s features has evolved over the nearly four years since No Man’s Sky launched, especially the extraordinary details that have been added in recent updates. With the release of Beyond, the scale of the game’s ships increased significantly, a move necessitated by the addition of VR gameplay. This allowined for greatly more intricate details to be put in place. The ships, today, look incredible and far more refined than they did “at birth.”

No Man’s Sky 1.0x – October 29, 2016
No Man’s Sky 1.0x – November 6, 2016
No Man’s Sky Foundation – January 15, 2017

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Thrilled by the Nod From Hello Games in Their Latest Development Update

Thrilled by the Nod From Hello Games in Their Latest Development Update

Just a brief post to give my appreciation to Hello Games for featuring my Amiga pixelart drawing in the Community Spotlight section of their latest Development Update. I posted about the drawing in question not long ago on this blog, and apparently, through some avenue, it landed in front of the Hello Games team and was met with fondness.

No Man's Sky graphic shown rendered on an Amiga CRT on Hello Games' Community Spotlight website section

Yesterday, Sean Murray tweeted out the Development Updates page, and several Twitter followers were quick to alert me to the inclusion of my fan art in their release. It was a lovely thing to see, for me.

It’s always fun to paint on the 35-year-old Amiga 1000, but this sketch wasn’t the first No Man’s Sky project I’ve carried out on this, my favorite of vintage computers. About two years ago I transformed my favorite NMS travel photos to Amiga format images and created a slideshow that ran on this same Amiga. I made a blog post and video of the project and it seems Sean Murray was impressed.

Now all we need is an Amiga port of the game… Well, I’m not going to hold my breath on that one. 🙂

Welcome to NMSspot!

Welcome to NMSspot!

Welcome to NMSspot, my new place on the web to detail my No Man’s Sky adventures. 

I began playing No Man’s Sky on launch day (on PS4) and after 2,050 hours in-game, I’m still at it (now on PC). I’ve written a number of pieces about the game over the past three and a half years, posting them to my vintage computing blog in a not-so-on-topic fashion, for lack of a better place to publish (though one went out through Polygon). After so long in the game, I figured it was about time I setup a blog dedicated to this deep and abiding interesting mine, so here we are. 

screenshot of a section of the ByteCellar blog showing an older No Man's Sky post on the page

I have migrated the relevant posts I have written up to this point from the other blog to this one, preserving their publication date (if not the existing comments). With a dedicated blog, I expect to write rather more frequently about the game than I have been in the past. I hope you enjoy the site.

Hit me up on twitter ( @blakespot ), on Steam or in-game ( blakespot ), or on the NMS Discord server ( blakespot#0050 ).