With Sony having no official press conference at Gamescom this year, they’re beginning to trickle out online updates on upcoming games. One of the most anticipated PlayStation 4 (and PC… and eventually Xbox One, but nothing’s been said yet) titles is No Man’s Sky: Hello Games’ inconceivably vast space exploration game.
In a post over on the PlayStation Blog, Hello Games’ Alex has been kind enough to put forward 41 facts about the space simulator that might not be all that clear from just watching gameplay footage. There are some really interesting bits and pieces that come up, such as the fact that there are officially 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 planets in the game’s universe. According to Alex, if you spent 1 second visiting each of those planets, it’d take you 585 billion years to see them all. By that stage, Earth would’ve died, humanity would’ve been enslaved by galaxy-faring space empires, and any hardware still capable of running No Man’s Sky would’ve probably disintegrated billions of years ago anyway. With that in mind, No Man’s Sky’s universe is basically endless.
The size of the universe also means that No Man’s Sky is technically not an MMO. The odds of you stumbling across another player are pretty slim. You’ve probably got a better chance of winning the lotto… twice. Maybe. I don’t know how maths and stats work but that seemed like a suitable grandiose claim to further illustrate my point that this game is enormous.
Sticking with the game’s technical side: the universe isn’t stored on your HDD. It isn’t even stored on a server somewhere on the Internet. Nope, it’s created as you explore it. Only the immediately visible surroundings will “exist” in your game. The moment you leave that area, it’s expunged from your hardware. Obviously you’ll be able to visit it again, but, basically, nothing is stored permanently; it’s all generated and regenerated as it’s needed. That also means that No Man’s Sky can be played offline. Pretty neat, right?
Oh! And you know that strange, diamond-shaped obelisk that hovers over the No Man’s Sky logo in so many of the game’s promotional pictures and videos? That’s the Atlas. It’s the repository that stores all the information on planets and alien life forms that players have discovered. Whenever you find a new species or discover a new planet, you’ll be able to upload that information to THE ATLAS. (I think you’re supposed to say “the atlas” in a booming, authoritative voice for added drama.)
Those were some of the standout points for me, but there are tons of interesting facts in the full post. Information on the game’s ships, animals and ecosystems, space combat, factions, wanted levels… heaps! Go and check it out for yourself.
There is still no release date for the game, but maybe that’ll be some of the news to make it out of Gamescom 2015?