The incredible story of ‘No Man’s Sky’

The most exciting game to come out of E3 has a fascinating story.


Dennis Scimeca

Internet Culture

Published Jun 27, 2014   Updated May 31, 2021, 1:26 am CDT

Sony has released an interview with Sean Murray, Managing Director of British game development studio Hello Games, about their current project in development, the space exploration game No Man’s Sky.

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The presentation of No Man’s Sky at Sony’s E3 press conference on June 9 generated some of the loudest buzz at the expo this year. Well, not during the press conference itself. Live reports from Sony’s E3 presser said that a silence hung over the throng of gamers in attendance at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.

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No Man’s Sky is getting so much attention because it’s a vast, procedurally-generated game. Procedural generation is the creation of content based on an algorithm, which is effectively a set of guidelines for how the content is to be created. You feed the algorithm some base data, and then the algorithm creates the content, which has the appearance of randomness.

In the case of No Man’s Sky, that equates to an entire galaxy of star systems with celestial objects and planets and life forms to players to explore, and they literally have no idea what they’re going to find at each new planet they encounter. That a small team of developers who had previously made cartoony motorcycle racing games is trying to pull off this feat is a story in and of itself.

Screenshot via Sony/YouTube

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*First Published: Jun 27, 2014, 1:41 pm CDT