My First “Tiny Home” Base and a New Twist on Exploration

My First “Tiny Home” Base and a New Twist on Exploration

No Man’s Sky got base building as a play mechanic with the November 2016 release of the Foundation (1.1) update. While exploring the unknown is the thing I most enjoy doing in the game, I immediately took to base building, as it allowed you to inhabit one of the worlds you discovered — a world that really stood out, to you.

Basebuilding got even better with the arrival of the NEXT (1.5) update. NEXT provided a great many new building materials, allowing for completely new types of bases to be built, and it allowed players to build not just a single base, but many. I presently have around 15 bases between my Euclid and Eissentam galaxy saves. Some are pretty rough, some are quite nice. Some I’ve more or less abandoned.

I have shared several base walk-throughs on this blog — a few of the stand outs. But, here I am sharing the first of what I think will be many “tiny house” bases or encampments.

Oftentimes, I will discover a world that I find interesting and unique, but I’m unsure as to whether I want to put the time into actually building up a proper base on the world, though I might like to revisit it occasionally. When this happens, I usually end up jotting down a description and the coordinates in my NMS travel notebook, and moving on. (And, I rarely make it back.)

Small notebook with Atlas logo on front

Well, a short while ago on the subreddit I noticed a post by u/TempTheTempster that really stood out to me. This user shared a few photos of his “Ultra Tiny Home” base that I found clever and very well done. Cozy. Seeing this, I recalled the recent efforts of another Redditor that I had been enjoying, u/NewGodOfWar84, who has been doing a sort of one-base-a-day build series and sharing them in the sub for the past few weeks. These two things came together in my mind and it occurred to me that it would be a lot of fun to (as always) explore and, upon finding one of the aforementioned worlds that has something about it that stands out to me, build a tiny base, varying them as I can along the way. This will actually serve as a driver for deeper exploration, I think.

The base I am sharing here is located in the on an extremely violent, lush, purple world in the Eissentam galaxy, in Normal mode on PC (coordinates can be seen in one of the photos). As is plain to see, I have borrowed the base design quite heavily from u/TempTheTempster in this first build, but it will be fun to work through finding my own particular approaches to so small a planetary dwelling. I am currently building my second tiny base and will share it, or one of the next few, as my effort progresses. I hope you enjoy.

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. 🙂

Community Event #25: A Craving for Cubes

Community Event #25: A Craving for Cubes

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.

A Tour of My “Sky Island Cottage” Base

A Tour of My “Sky Island Cottage” Base

During the summer leading up to the release of the Beyond update (No Man’s Sky 2.0) in August of 2019, I travelled to a small community hub known as Neo Wanderers (and later as The Masters Association). It is the third player community in the Euclid galaxy that I joined, after the Galactic Hub [ base photo ] and the Korvax Ascendancy [ base photo ]. What I didn’t realize before I set out was just how small a community it was — in fact, on my platform (PC), I was then and am now the only resident in the system.

No matter, however. After arriving at my destination, I explored the planets of the core system and, as I was flying over an orange and blue ocean world, I spotted a small pair of floating rock islands that struck me as the perfect place for a cozy little base. I touched down, wandered through the small patch of trees atop the main floating formation, and began construction of what has become perhaps my favorite of the bases I have created so far in the No Man’s Sky universe.

The floating rock island on which sits the Sky Island Cottage

One of the hallmarks of the base is an extensive use of lighting — both inside and outside the cottage, on the ground, in the trees — extensive. Sadly, when Beyond arrived, the base went dark, and seeing its power and wiring requirements (which is a mechanic I’m glad Hello Games added, actually), I knew the aesthetic of the base would be destroyed if I were to wire it up. And, so, I left the base behind and moved on to other things.

Happily here, nine months later, the recent arrival of the Exo Mech update (No Man’s Sky 2.4) brought with it the Electrical Cloaking Unit that allows the wires that power various base components to be hidden! Noting that, I returned to my Sky Island Cottage, located and tapped into an Electromagnetic Power Hotspot, and went crazy crazy with the wires. And, a few hours later things were as good as new — better, in fact, with some tweaks and additions I’ve added along the way.

I made a walk-through video to have a record this base, in the event that the Beyond update reset the universe. (I didn’t see the wiring thing coming…) That video is shown here, along with a few photos, old and new. I hope you enjoy my build. If you’d like to visit, the base can be found in the Euclid galaxy on PC, in Normal play mode at coordinates 09DC:0082:0DDE:0079. Find a portal and stop in for a visit, why don’t you?

Sky Island Cottage portal glyphs
A Pixel Art Doodle on a 35 Year Old Graphics Machine

A Pixel Art Doodle on a 35 Year Old Graphics Machine

I am now into the second week of teleworking (I prefer “working from home”) in response to the pandemic sweeping the world, presently. As such, when work winds down I try to find something to engage in down in the basement Byte Cellar (so named due to the associated blog).

Yesterday, after work, I decided to fire up my Amiga 1000, which I often use for BBSing these days, and started to play around a bit in Deluxe Paint III. I spent hundreds of hours drawing pixel art in DPaint III in the late ’80s, and an initial scribble turned into a couple of hours of working on a No Man’s Sky space theme piece. I posted it to Reddit and it was rather well received, so I thought I would share it here. It’s certainly not my strongest work (well, “strong” isn’t the word for anything I’ve done in this arena, to be sure) but it’s the first thing I’ve drawn on the Amiga in many years.

Closeup of Amiga 1000 screen showing No Man's Sky pixel art drawing

I did an earlier No Man’s Sky thing on this Amiga a year or so ago and it also was well received. Sean liked it, at any rate. 🙂

The Keyboard With “No Man’s Sky” on Its Mind

The Keyboard With “No Man’s Sky” on Its Mind

I started playing No Man’s Sky on launch day on the PS4, and a few weeks later I decided to build a gaming PC in order to play at a higher resolution and framerate. Among the parts I ordered for the build was a Corsair keyboard with Cherry MX Red linear keyswitches. Cherry Reds are ideal for gaming, but make any sort of actual typing a rather unpleasant affair. For quite a while I had been wanting to switch over to a board with a somewhat more tactile feel.

The other day, I ran across a reddit post showing a keyboard with an uncommon feature: a small OLED display. The display works in conjunction with driver software to provide status information from supported apps, but it also can be used to display a static image or animated GIF*. The user that made the post is an Elite:Dangerous fan and showed an animated GIF of the wireframe Cobra Mark III ship from the 1984 original Elite on his keyboard display. I quickly realized it would be fun to use that display for some sort of No Man’s Sky image or animation. So, I finally replaced the PC’s keyboard with a Steelseries Apex 7 TKL board with Brown switches, providing a subtle tactile feel. (I am something of a keyboard hound, actually.)

The new keyboard has quite a nice feel and its little 128×40-pixel OLED display is a fun little feature.

After the board arrived, I sat down and made a little pixel-art No Man’s Sky-inspired scrolling GIF and loaded it onto the keyboard. It’s definitely fun to glance down from the screen and see my ever-scrolling homage to the game, there on the board’s little display. I’ll soon put a few other graphics together for the display, in time, to add to what’s already out there.

I felt readers might enjoy this little exercise.

* GIF is pronounced with a soft “g”.

I’ve Seen Things…In the Living Ship Universe

I’ve Seen Things…In the Living Ship Universe

Since the Living Ship update landed a few weeks back, new living ships and the pulse-driving space encounters have been the hot topic in the No Man’s Sky community. As mentioned in my last post, I eagerly ran through the Starbirth mission and successfully hatched my own living ship. Since then, I’ve spent most of my in-game time warping through a great many different systems, exploring what’s out there in the way of space encounters, and upgrading my living ships as opportunity has permitted.

That’s “ships,” plural; after a few days I decided I wanted to seek out a living ship of a different design, so I purchased a second Void Egg from the Quicksilver merchant and, upon pulsing out of the Anomaly, was contacted by the alien Host who sent me coordinates to a spot on the surface of one of the system’s planets. Upon landing, I found my new living ship gently quivering at its crash site, waiting for me. (The entire Starbirth mission does not repeat when a new Void Egg is acquired, happily).

I passed up the first few ships presented to me, but in just the third or fourth, I found real keeper with which I am very pleased. I have been upgrading it and exploring with it, seeking out new, as yet unseen, phenomenon waiting to be discovered.

Some of these moments of discovery I have put together in a short video, presented here. But be warned — it will be a spoiler if you’ve not yet experienced some of the strange encounters shown within (and I’ve certainly not yet seen all that’s out there to be found in this update).

It’s an eerie place out there, travellers…

Community Event #17: Living Ship Edition

Community Event #17: Living Ship Edition

No Man’s Sky Community Event #17 was the first weekend event to follow the release of the Living Ships update and, as such, we saw some sights on the event planet that no previous event had delivered.

As Living Ships was released publicly on Wednesday the 23rd, most travellers were still working their way through the new Starbirth mission, which involves several timer blocks of around 24 hours (the time needed for various items gathered along the way to mature). As such, living ships on the event planet did not abound, but were present in small numbers (piloted by those of us who got creative with the system clock and network connection…).

My first living ship and I made our way to the afflicted Holo-Terminus and found that an offering of Pugneum was needed to stabilize the disturbance — and that meant Sentinel hunting. Angry sentinels were everywhere and things got rather intense once the walkers arrived. Happily, we made it out only mildly scathed.

Have a look at a short glimpse of the action which shows scenes from the main event (mid-morning Saturday, on PC), as well as a few of the player bases arrayed about the site.

“No Man’s Sky Living Ship” Brings Organic Ships…And Oddities…To the Universe

“No Man’s Sky Living Ship” Brings Organic Ships…And Oddities…To the Universe

Yesterday, Hello Games unexpectedly released a significant update to No Man’s Sky in the form of “Experimental Branch Update 18/02,” the details of which they posted to the Steam community discussion forum, as per usual with updates on the PC Experimental branch of the game. The list of changes was long, bringing significant quality-of-life improvements as well as performance optimizations for both standard and VR display modes. (Some players have observed changes in certain flora rendering, as well as several worlds that have changed color.) It didn’t take long, however, for the community to realize just how significant an update Hello Games quietly dropped, here…

Bizarre Living Ship in space

As PC Experimental branch players (such as myself) began to land in the Anomaly, they encountered extremely unusual, heretofore unseen organic crafts landing on the pads. What’s more, flying through space, we began being contacted by these strange “living ships” which broadcast to us pure music, to which our void eggs resonated in response, translating the melodies into navigation coordinates… And, so began the update’s new quest line.

It was quite clear that Hello Games, with “Update 18/02,” had stealthily deployed an enormous update to No Man’s Sky. As we began tracking the tonally-conveyed galactic coordinates and following the new quest line, we encountered strange and enormous crafts and structures drifting through space as we flew planet to planet and system to system. The first that I happened to encounter, in a lovely pink-hued system (above), was identified as a “Living Metalloid.” What was the nature of these extraordinary objects? None of these things were mentioned in the patch notes posted to Steam… Just how much was waiting unannounced out there? We continued to explore and share findings on the Discord. It made for a surreal sort of evening.

Things became rather more clear when today, announced in a tweet by Sean Murray, Hello Games officially released No Man’s Sky Living Ship, update v2.3 (presently available on all supported platforms).

Explore space from a different perspective with the Living Ship update. Introducing a new class of biological ship, a new story mission, mysterious space encounters, space NPCs and more.

Like all major updates of the game, Living Ship has a highly-visual release page on the No Man’s Sky website, detailing and illustrating much of what has been added to the game, along with a fascinating trailer video with a Rutger Hauer / Blade Runner-inspired voice over. [ Update: It turns out the voice over is Rutger Hauer, and it was created by him for No Man’s Sky before his passing. ] And “much” is indeed the word.

After following a new series of missions, “Starbirth,” players will be introduced these new procedurally-generated, sentient starships, of which there are dozens. The “Call of the Void Egg” quest line will allow players to grow and, ultimately, fly their own living ships. Traveling through local space will now bring chance encounters with the aforementioned strange, new objects as well as space NPCs hailing for a trade…or possibly something less desirable.

The No Man’s Sky Living Ship page goes into detail on these and many other new aspects of this major update. Hello Games’ chief, Sean Murray, discusses the thoughts behind the Living Ship upgrade and what lies ahead in a recent GamesRadar+ interview.

Community Event #16: A Bean-Feast to Allay the Anomaly

Community Event #16: A Bean-Feast to Allay the Anomaly

The 16th No Man’s Sky Community Event brought us to a lush, mountainous world and sent us on a quest to allay the anomaly by feeding its hunger for materials of the planet, in this case, Impulse Beans. As is always the case for me, seeing the player bases and multiplayer commotion on the event planet’s surface was the real fun of the event.

Here’s a short video highlighting my running of the event on Saturday afternoon.

( Update:

Bean-feast [ been-feest ] noun. Chiefly British slang.
  1. (formerly) an annual dinner or party given by an employer for its employees.
  2. a celebration or festive occasion, especially when a meal is provided.

)