As regular readers are aware, I spend a considerable amount of time exploring the early No Man’s Sky universe. And it seems I’m not alone.
I recently ran across a video captured by YouTuber Unholy_Mr_Brown during his live-streamed session of exploring several worlds in the Foundation (v1.1, circa 2016) version of the game, which happens to be my go-to for “time travelling” / historical exploration. During the hour and a half livestream, the fellow traveller explains the reasoning behind his preference for the older versions of No Man’s Sky to the new. His sentiments, full of emotion, echo many of my own and I found watching him explore and listening to his commentary very much to my liking, and so I share it here with readers. (His channel is full of other exploration videos of past versions of No Man’s Sky, for those wanting to see more.)
While on the topic of video explorations of worlds of olde, I will take the opportunity to share another video that I spotted a while back on Reddit in the NMS_Foundations sub (the focus of which is “to share the old-school sci-fi vibes of No Man’s Sky“). It’s called This is No Man’s Sky and was created in late 2019 by YouTuber J. Twittenhoff using the Press Kit version 1.0 of the game on a PS4 Pro. It’s something of a fan trailer of the early game with a lovely ’80s synthwave vibe. (The creator posted part II of his project a short while later.) Thanks to u/jenga67 , author of the lovely Back to Foundations game mod, for submitting the video to the subreddit.
The previous post made to this blog covers my exploration of a mountainous desert world from No Man’s Sky Foundation v1.1 (circa 2016), with photos and a somewhat lengthy video. Soon after exploring that planet, I set down on another world in the same system that turned out to be one of the most desolate I have ever encountered in my four years in the game.
The world is devoid of all flora and fauna and is nearly silent but for a subtle and woeful drone sung by the wind. It is a striking, high-contrast pink-purple world with a dark and purple sky. The landscape is full of rocky crags with stone arches and water lakes here and there. It is rather unlike anything one might encounter in more recent versions of the game.
Here I present several photos and a short video account of a portion of my exploration of this desolate place. I have rarely felt more solitude on a world in the No Man’s Sky universe than that which this planet presents.
As regular readers of this blog and my NMS-focused followers on Twitter are likely aware, I am currently enjoying No Man’s Sky Foundation 1.1 (circa 2016) alongside the current version of the game, which at the time of this writing, is Next Generation. I got this setup on my PC early last year and have had a lot of fun being able to go back and explore the universe of olde, harboring worlds with wilder and more chaotic terrain generation. In a recent session in Foundation, I decided to record my exploration of a mountainous desert world and share it, here, with readers.
Craggy desert worlds of this sort appeal to me, and I could see from high above the surface that it would be enjoyable to explore. After setting down beside a small lake as the sun was setting, I set out on foot to see what I might find. After, perhaps, 10 minutes of walking it occurred to me to start recording my screen as I explored.
The ability to be anywhere on a planet and summon your starship from afar had (happily) not yet been added to the game in the 1.1 release. Several types of Habitable Structures feature landing pads or ship summoning terminals that can be access by way of a Bypass Chip (dropped from the game in NEXT) in order to call your ship to those limited locations. As a driver for my exploration in Foundation, I often land and set out in a certain direction and not stop going forth — no turning back — until I locate such a facility from which I can summon my ship. On this adventure, it took 3 hours and 30 minutes to locate such a building, and it was a glorious little walk.
On September 23rd, No Man’s Sky Origins (v3.0) was released to much fanfare. This year’s biggest update to Hello Games’ space exploration / survival tile originally released in 2016, Origins is on the scale of previous major updates such as Beyond, NEXT, and Atlas Rises. And, as has been the case with every No Man’s Sky update (13 major updates in all), the Origins update is available to players free of charge.
What I, and many other players that have been in the game’s universe since day one, wanted most from Hello Games was an update to the game’s variation and diversity. With Origins, this is what we received.
In an IGN interview video, Hello Games chief Sean Murray explains what Origins is all about, and what it means to the studio.
The fundamental thing is that we have this universe that we built, like, four years ago and we released it and we said that thing of, “even we don’t know what’s out there.” But it was true to an extent, right? We didn’t know the kind of planets people were going to start up on and — and then actually that hasn’t been true for the last four years for us. We have a ever evolving game but that universe has been reasonably static, right? The same terrains and biomes and worlds out there to explore. We’ve kind-of calmed them down, actually. We’ve removed some of the craziness [in Atlas Rises and, to a much larger extent, NEXT]. And Origins is kind-of — yes it’s another update — but it’s kind-of a new start for us in some ways. And we wanted to get that across. That this isn’t just — this isn’t an end, it isn’t just, “here is an update with some more content in.” It’s something quite fundamental for us. … We’re adding more diversity, more variation to that universe, which is something we haven’t really done that much. But also, we’re adding, like, literal new planets and bursting them into the universe… … Technically what’s possible now, kind-of wasn’t possible for us before before. So you have really tall mountains, multiple-kilometer tall mountains, chasms, deeper oceans, deeper caves, crazier terrain — things that we wanted people to have that feeling of freshness in the universe.
YouTuber Ben Is Bread recently posted a video entitled Why I Needed No Man’s Sky, in which he shares his experiences playing the game after downloading it for the first time several weeks ago. Being a gamer who has run an active YouTube game channel for several years, Ben was well aware of No Man’s Sky and the travails of its launch, but had never stepped into its universe until recently. (And it’s worth noting that the video was published a week before the Origins v3.0 update landed, notably enhancing variation within the game.)
I don’t feel like I’m just playing or going through No Man’s Sky, I feel like I’m actively engaging and experiencing it … At the end of the day I feel something playing this game.
The video spoke deeply to me and certainly resonated with my own feelings surrounding the game. That you are reading this post on my No Man’s Sky blog, you probably have some idea of the regard I have for the game.
And, so, I wanted to share this video with those who feel likewise, as well as those who have not yet had the chance to see how they feel about No Man’s Sky.
What kept me constantly fascinated with this game was the joy and satisfaction I found in discovering and exploring the crazy hostile and beautiful worlds this game creates… There were just so many points in my journey where I would stop exploring, stop mining, stop looking for materials and — just take in the experience. No one else had ever been here. No one else had ever stepped on this planet and seen what I’d seen.
For right now, in a stressful and confusing time, where so often we can feel trapped and helpless, it’s incredible to be able to explore, to discover, to have curiosity and wonder what lies just over the horizon…
The update of the year, No Man’s Sky Origins 3.0, has landed and we’ve finally gotten a healthy helping of what many of us were hoping for: improved variation. I a have a lot to say about this update as a whole, and intend to do so in posts soon to come, but early in my exploration of the game’s new universe I discovered the most inhospitable hellscape of a planet I have ever encountered in 2,700 hours in the game. It is an “Erupting Planet” with frenzied Sentinels and “Colossal Firestorms” that I was quick to experience upon landing, after my suit AI warned me of an approaching “Wall of Flame.” It is a terrible place.
I was in love.
Where better a place for another cozy little “Tiny Home” base (my ninth, in fact)? So, I began scouting out locations from the air, when finally I found the place — a spot near the wall of a sooty canyon at the base of three active volcanoes, with sparse flame-ravaged trees bespeckling the dark lava rock surface. There I built a metal base, raised on a pedestal to avoid the frequent flame spurts that characterize the world, with water and fuel storage tanks (obviously) situated on the safety of the roof. (At least there are no R.O.U.S.es — well, actually…)
The base is situated in the Eissentam galaxy in Normal mode on PC (Steam). I didn’t expect my first post since Origins launched to be another base build post, but the situation was too perfect. More from me on Origins soon, and I hope you enjoyed a look at this little patch of paradise. Stop in for a visit…if you’re up for it.
Here we go with the seventh installment of my mission to build quaint little bases all across the galaxy(/ies). This appropriately named “tiny home” base is suspended between two massive rock plateaus on the desolate fungal moon Eslingto IV in the Goride VIII system within the Eissentam galaxy.
Since No Man’s Sky NEXT landed, I started seeing a rare sort of world that is defined by clusters of large, flat-topped plateaus separated by great distances. It occurred to me that it might be interesting to build a dwelling in the very small gap that is sometimes all that separates neighboring plateaus. I kept an eye out for this type of world and finally, quite recently, encountered one.
The base’s location affords a clear view of the planet to which the moon is in orbital lock, as well as other distant groupings of elevated plateaus. The local fauna seem friendly enough and the sentinels are generally unobtrusive, though Dangerously Toxic Rain sweeps through with some frequency.
Dial in the glyphs and stop in for a visit!
And, it seems I’ve chosen No Man’s Sky‘s fourth birthday to publish this post. As such, I know it’s Spiced “Apple” Cakes, Appalling Jam Sponges, Briney Delights, and Haunted Chocolate Dreams all around, today, for readers and myself in celebration of the the journey that flutters behind us as well as the undiscovered road ahead. Happy Birthday, No Man’s Sky. At 2,600 hours in, for myself, it’s been an eventful four years!
A Day-One Player’s Opinion on the Procedural Generation of “No Man’s Sky” in 2020
Scanning my YouTube feed just a short while ago, I spotted a video that grabbed my attention. The video in question is entitled “My Honest Opinion On No Man’s Sky Current Procedural Generation: A Review In 2020“. Regular readers are surely aware that I have rather strong opinions on the procedural generation in No Man’s Sky and how it has changed over time. As such, I began watching to see what the video’s creator, Thunder (THTDI Inc), had to say about it.
This video spoke to me.
Fifteen minutes later, I sat down to make this post and share a wonderfully succinct take on the current state of proc gen in No Man’s Sky, its effects on exploration (as compared to that of the early days of the game), and how things could be made better for those of us that are interested primarily in exploration, above all of the other gameplay aspects that No Man’s Sky has on offer.
As a day-one player with 2,500 hours in-game, I have shared my wish, on this blog and through various other outlets, that Hello Games let the proc gen engine “off the leash” a bit in order to bring to the universe new worlds that are truly shocking, wildly alien, and, as such, extremely engaging to explore at length. In the pre-NEXT days, such worlds abounded but, as I’ve expressed previously, perhaps to a fault.
While I, personally, find many more stunning vistas in Foundation [v1.1 circa November 2016], I can’t deny that sometimes the terrain is difficult or even downright troublesome. And, the non-stunning worlds can be rather similar and fairly monotonous to encounter. This adds to the intrigue of approaching an unexplored world and wondering just is waiting on the surface as you descend through the atmosphere, because it could be something quite strange and unusual. But, then, it might just look like this.
In order to get back to that wild, no man’s land (…or sky, as it were), I have been playing Foundation 1.1 alongside the current game for the past year or so. (Tips, for anyone interested in doing so). In a post providing an update on that effort, A Progress Update From a “No Man’s Sky” Time Traveler, I concluded that, while the wild, unbounded terrain of olde makes for extremely engaging exploration, the direction that Hello Games went in the NEXT release, where worlds were made more approachable perhaps, was likely a good one for the majority of gamers out there.
Thunder, the creator of the presented video, points out that a few new biomes would indeed add variety, but unless the proc gen is allowed to vary the worlds with a wilder, more random hand, that variety will be limited. I think the ideal would be a combination of the sorts of worlds that we presently enjoy in Beyond, along with new, wilder worlds that are truly aberrant, even eerie.
Recent rumors, alongside an expiration of the patent of the Superformula, have lead to speculation that a proc gen overhaul may be in the works. Time will tell, on that front. Whatever the case, I was eager to share this video with readers and would love to hear the thoughts of others as regards the worlds of No Man’s Sky.
Community Event #27 : A Pearl of a Weekend Quicksilver Quest
No Man’s Sky Community Event #27 took place this past weekend on a lush world with skies and grass of blue. The event was centered at the site of a crashed starship. Upon arrival, players found the wrecked hull of the downed ship aglitter with a strange static energy. The sickly smell of scorched hair and flesh emanated through the waves of static. A demand was heard — and a threat. The hunt for Albumen Pearls commenced.
I participated in the event in the early afternoon of Sunday the 3rd and saw much activity on the ground and in the skies as other interlopers labored to quell the demands of the static anomaly. As well, a more than usual number of player bases had been constructed across the surface of the event planet, and other planets in the system. Some of those I visited were quite impressive in their design and construction. And some were well-stocked with a certain, particular type of flora that made things a little easier for those accepting the assistance… (And this weekend, that was me.)
The accompanying video shows some of the highlights of the weekend event, as I experienced it.
It’s great to rake in that Quicksilver, as a player who recently resurrected a two-year-running Eissentam galaxy save file that sat dormant since NEXT landed in 2018, and is trying to secure all the base adornments. But, the real fun of these events, for me, is seeing other players doing their thing, along with the wild bases they inevitably create within the event system.
This past weekend saw No Man’s Sky Community Event #25. I participated in the early afternoon of Saturday the 18th and was pleased to see a good many other interlopers in the event system, laboring to assuage the hunger of the event planet which, it was revealed, required an offering of Vortex Cubes. This, it seems, was the disturbance detected by Nada and Polo and conveyed by Hesperus.
The event took place on a megaflora planet featuring forests of behemoth, leek-like life forms. Locating Vortex Cubes on this world meant descending into subterranean caves or boring through the very bedrock with the Terrain Manipulator. The task was simple enough and the cravings of the planet were satisfied in fairly short order. During such events, though, it’s seeing other members of the No Man’s Sky community running about the world and, also, visiting the bases that some of them leave behind, that provides the most enjoyment for me.
The accompanying event video shows some of the action during the event and highlights a few of the bases found on the event world and on others in the system that I happened to have visited. I hope readers enjoy the glimpse of the weekend’s activity.