Jeff Minter Names “No Man’s Sky” as His “Game Of A Generation”

Jeff Minter Names “No Man’s Sky” as His “Game Of A Generation”

“On the eve of the next generation” of game consoles (the new Sony PS5 and Microsoft Xbox Series X), Edge magazine, in issue #352 (Christmas 2020 issue), is running an article entitled “Games Of The Generation.” The piece includes a variety of industry notables sharing their pick of a game released since the arrival of the PS4 and Xbox One worthy to receive this title.

The list is comprised of 20 games, their advocates describing their reasons for bestowing such singular note upon them. Some are extremely well known — Red Dead Redemption 2, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Ico — while others are less so. And among them is Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky.

“…our Games Of The Generation awards go to the crème de la crème — those Edge has judged to represent the pinnacle of game design as we know it today.”

Within, legendary developer and founder of Llamasoft, Jeff Minter, has named No Man’s Sky his Game Of The Generation. With a development career that began in 1981 with titles for the Sinclair ZX80 micro, Minter is known for a great many (and frequently psychedelic) titles across many platforms, including 8 and 16-bit Ataris, C64, Amiga, Nuon, PC, iOS, Xbox 360, and PS4. Some of his most notable titles include Gridrunner; Hover Bovver; Attack of the Mutant Camels; the Virtual Light Machine/Neon; Space Giraffe; Tempest 2000, 3000, 4000; TxK, the iOS Minotaur Project; and Polybius. Additionally, he has long been one of this writers’ true industry heroes.

Jeff Minter explains why No Man's Sky is his game of a generation.

Soon after the launch of No Man’s Sky back in 2016, Minter began tweeting his enjoyment exploring the wild and alien, procedurally generated worlds that Hello Games had brought into being. A post on his blog from September 2106 (don’t let the title fool you) expresses the degree to which the game had impressed him. (His post was included in a list of articles reacting to No Man’s Sky on the first post made from this blog, “A Few Words About the Best Game I’ve Ever Played: ‘No Man’s Sky’”, on September 1, 2016.)

A brief excerpt from Minter’s assessment of No Man’s Sky (shown in full, above), follows.

Regarding a ‘game of the generation’, I think for me it’d have to be No Man’s Sky. Even back at the very start when there wasn’t a great deal of complex gameplay in it (and the developers were taking a right kicking for that), nonetheless I thought the style was fantastic (recreating almost perfectly the style of 1970s sci-fi book covers) and remarkably creating an explorable universe in that style was quite an amazing achievement. …

This nod from industry veteran Jeff Minter is mighty kudos, indeed, for Hello Games and the universe they have created with No Man’s Sky. And, thinking about it, this seems a rather apt post to have put together on Thanksgiving Day!

A Glimpse of a Traveller’s First Encounters in the No Man’s Sky Origins Universe

A Glimpse of a Traveller’s First Encounters in the No Man’s Sky Origins Universe

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.

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A New Traveller Describes His Enchantment With the “No Man’s Sky” Universe

A New Traveller Describes His Enchantment With the “No Man’s Sky” 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…

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“Hell’s Front Porch” : No Man’s Sky “Tiny Home” Base IX – in Origins

“Hell’s Front Porch” : No Man’s Sky “Tiny Home” Base IX – in Origins

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 — 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.

Community Event (Sept. 18) – Or Where Not To Park a Derelict Freighter

Community Event (Sept. 18) – Or Where Not To Park a Derelict Freighter

I don’t post about every weekend community event, but this past weekend’s was so out of hand that I thought I would share a video.

As I emerged from the portal on the event world, I found myself in the middle of a lot of action, with boltcaster rounds whizzing all about. Sunday, it seems, was a busy day on the event world.

Player bases peppered the planet’s surface, and after making my way to the Anomalous Disturbance to find out what was needed to quell the disturbance (Albumen Perls), I explored several. Among them was a large canon-shaped base that I investigated, failing to realize that it was actually capable of firing players far above the surface and into space. I learned this after-the-fact from a video by Jason Plays who demonstrated The Cosmic Cannon, as created earlier on a different planet by player Commander Keen, who apparently constructed it on the community event planet as well to give folks something rather unique to play with (portal coordinates to the original location can be found in the video).

After visiting several other bases and gathering Albumen Eggs, I headed back towards the site of the Anomalous Disturbance, noticing a massive freighter half-embedded in the ground. It was not there moments earlier. As I approached the landing pad of a large base next to the Disturbance, I noticed the landing rings were set at an angle. This observation betokened what was to come when I stepped out of my ship and onto the pad. I was — tilted. Leaning. I could walk, but as if in a stupor of some sort, with controls skewed along with my orientation with respect to the ground. I then noticed my jetpack had been disabled. And that’s when I realized just what was going on.

Someone managed to glitch a derelict freighter (which arrived with the Desolation update) into the event planet and in close enough proximity to the event site that “gravity” was obeying the floor angle of the freighter and jetpacks were disabled, as they are in a derelict freighter, because the game thought I was inside the freighter. It was quite difficult negotiating the base where I landed in order to get to a clearing where I could summon my ship, which was the only way I could think to get out of that bind. And, indeed, once I lifted off, things were back to normal.

I love the creative player bases and various other clever player creations on community event worlds, but this one seemed to actually have put players at risk of having to restore from their older save, which could be costly to players that hadn’t made a manual save in a while (or who don’t backup their saves frequently). And, as can be seen in the embedded video, I wasn’t the only one affected. It wasn’t such a fun experience.

At any rate, I quelled the anomaly and it was revealed that Ariadne is no murderer — an unknown imposter has taken on his/her appearance and stands in their place…

Community Event (Sept. 4) Brought a Sator Square and Other Sights

Community Event (Sept. 4) Brought a Sator Square and Other Sights

It has been a few months since I covered one of the weekend Quicksilver community events — the last one I covered was the odd “event that wasn’t” — but a few of the sights I encountered this past weekend prompted me to share another video.

The mission took place on a “Cabled” Exotic world (the sort that always send my mind in an equestrian direction, somehow) where a gathering of cable pods were needed to quell the disturbance at hand. Locating 16 cable pods on the surface of such a planet takes some times, to be sure, but that gave me the opportunity to observe some of the player-made bases that cropped up on the world. These are, for me, the highpoint of these events, and I wanted to share some of what I encountered.

The most notable base presented a massive, floating rendering of the ancient Sator Square. Have a look and hats off, player Aceacin, for the striking build.

“Tiny Home” Base VIII: A Desert Cliffside Dwelling

“Tiny Home” Base VIII: A Desert Cliffside Dwelling

Exploring a recent desert world, I was flying high, skimming the mountain peaks and deep canyons that formed the planet’s horizon when I spotted a small outcropping of rock halfway up the wall of a deep canyon. It struck me that it would be the perfect spot for my next “tiny home” base. It provided and excellent vantage point to observe the world’s profusion of flying serpents, and the frequent firestorms that besiege the landscape promised to make a small, cliffside dwelling all the more cozy.

The wood-slatted base is comprised of three rooms, somewhat partitioned by beams and rafters. Entering the dwelling, one finds themself in the computing and communications area. Proceeding further into the base, a living area with a couch, meal table, and large-screen display can be found. Beyond this lies a sleeping area with storage lockers and closets and a doorway leading out onto a platform that leans out over the cliff edge and features a small sitting area as well as a Base Teleport Module. The entire dwelling is generously arrayed with flora of various sorts, in the interest of augmenting the oxygen levels of the world’s thin atmosphere.

In the interest of space savings, the Nutrient Processor and various additional storage tanks and containers are located out of doors, but in close proximity to the base. A small patch of Curious Corn has been planted along the cliff to provide additional foodstocks.

The short walk-through video that follows conveys the overall feel of the habitation.

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“Tiny Home” Base VII: Rock And A Hard Place

“Tiny Home” Base VII: Rock And A Hard Place

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 Look at the “Epreeto I” System and Its Majestic Diplos

A Look at the “Epreeto I” System and Its Majestic Diplos

A few months back, I dusted off the No Man’s Sky save file that I started in August 2016 when moving from PS4 to PC for the game. I set it aside when NEXT landed in 2018, thinking that it might be a good time to start over, anew. In that original save, shortly after the Atlas Rises update, I left Euclid behind and jumped to the Eissentam galaxy (the 10th galaxy). So, for most of the past two years, I’ve been playing the more recent save, in the Euclid galaxy.

This past week I entered a yellow star system and set down on a violently toxic world swept with frequent Extreme Radiation storms resulting from a nuclear catastrophe that took place at some point in the distant past. As I was running about, making a quick exploration of the surface, I spotted a diplo off in the distance, only a greenish-yellow silhouette in the howling toxic maelstrom that was underway. On closer inspection I found that it was a pair of diplos — mother and daughter. They travelled together, never wandering away from one another. Well, not until I threw down some Enzyme Fluid bait and let the momma take me for a little joyride.

The pair I found are of the species Z. Musikereum. They are of gender: “rational.” Additional notes on the species follow.

Encountered on Erithor II, where they have adapted to the nuclear catastrophe that enveloped the planet. Possessed of a tremendous natural strength, they fear no other creature that walks upon this world. Their diet consists of fallen fruit that has begun to rot. This fermented, bacteria-enriched mush appears to have a vital place in their digestive system. Additional observations: Born on meteors

I took some photos and captured some video of these majestic diplos, and recorded bits of my exploration of the other three planets in the system. The system definitely holds some impressive sites. In my experience, the Eissentam galaxy definitely delivers, but more on that later (and soon)…

Have a look and portal in for a visit, if you’re in Eissentam.

UPDATE (Feb. 18, 2021): I went back to this planet after No Man’s Sky Companions dropped, in order to tame one of these majestic diplos, only to find that all of the fauna on the planet has been changed; this is one of the converted worlds that went full-exotic when Origins landed.

“Tiny Home” Base VI Floating High Above a Crowned Moon

“Tiny Home” Base VI Floating High Above a Crowned Moon

Here I present my sixth “tiny home” base build since striking off on the effort. This is the first “tiny” orbital base I have built and, as such, it’s not quite as tiny as those that came before it, what with the practical need for a landing pad and my desire to space the small rooms out a bit to provide an outdoor area to walk around and take in the sights. And, unique sites they are.

The base floats high above the surface of an Irri Shell moon (the sort of exotic world described as Finned, Bladed, or Shell-Strewn). The moon’s host planet is ringed, and the ring system intersects the moon — which is rare enough — but the point of intersection is such that only a small “cap” of the moon sits “above” the ring system; the moon is crowned by its host planet’s rings. Having never seen a world like this in my 2,500 hours in the game, I immediately set out to locate the center point of the crowned area and build a base above it.

The orbital base resides in the cloud layer of the moon and is built at nearly the highest point allowed by the game, far above the base computer down on the ground. The complex consists of a small, central outdoor area under the shade of a tree, with three structures leading off from it: a landing pad, a bedroom/office, and a den area. The entire intersection disc of the ring system can be seen from the base, and the shallow angle of the ring systems leading off and around the host planet makes for quite a vista.

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