Posted 27 June

The incredible story of No Man’s Sky – exclusive video

How a small UK studio stormed the biggest stage in gaming and won E3

One of the undisputed highlights of our E3 2014 media briefing was the moment a visibly nervous Sean Murray clambered on stage to show off No Man’s Sky, Hello Games’ remarkable open-universe science fiction epic which will debut on PlayStation 4. As you’ll hopefully have ascertained in the press coverage since (and in Sean’s blog post), there’s extraordinary ambition on display here, especially given the size of the Hello team, and it was no surprise that it was arguably the buzz game of the show.

48 hours after his moment under the E3 spotlight, we were lucky enough to sit down with Sean and learn the story behind Hello’s journey from its humble beginnings in Guildford, UK, to the biggest stage in gaming, surviving natural disasters along the way. Not only that but he also laid bare his mind-boggling vision for what No Man’s Sky will be. Trust me, this one is well worth a watch…

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Archacus 27 June, 2014 @ 2:26 pm   1

It was definitely one of the best games on E3

I would love it if all indie studios were making games like this instead of retro-bit look like games. Don’t get me wrong those were great… we were able to see cool games similar to those we played when we were much much younger… but personally… enough is enough.

And No Man’s Sky looks fabulous! I’m kinda wondering how good it will be… maybe I’m a bit worried that it is single player games with multiplayer features.. I mean it would be great to see second player, right? But maybe it is my personal opinion.

Mr. Fred is there any way to contact you or anyone at playstation via email? I’d like to say something regarding vita… I want to be heard… I don’t care if I won’t get reply or anything… I just want to write something and know it was heard.

     
    thekillingspree 27 June, 2014 @ 3:03 pm    

    “I would love it if all indie studios were making games like this instead of retro-bit look like games. Don’t get me wrong those were great… we were able to see cool games similar to those we played when we were much much younger… but personally… enough is enough.”

    Ditto. I enjoyed playing Master System, NES, Mega Drive and SNES games back in the day, and I still do every now and then (thank you, emulators!), but I am starting to feel that this whole “8-bit art” thing is becoming more of a lazy excuse from indie game developers than an actual game developing style. Sure, graphics aren’t everything (hey, I bought a Wii and had loads of fun with it at a time when hardcore gamers were pointing fingers at it, laughing, and bragging about their PS3/Xbox 360), but, just like money (“money isn’t everything”), they also help a lot. I’d rather see indie developers pushing all sorts of game developing boundaries, instead of insisting on getting us stuck in the early nineties (OK, it actually doesn’t sound that bad when I put it that way).

    On topic: of all the already available and announced PS4 games, this is one of the very few that actually makes me want to buy a PS4; everything looks so promising and exciting, from the graphical style to its concept (also hoping for some sort of solid multiplayer interaction), I sure hope Hello Games can live up to the hype!

     
    Harrisown 27 June, 2014 @ 3:25 pm    

    If they wanted too they would.
    Nothing Wrong with retro style art or gameplay .
    You should just be asking for great games and that’s what we get. Imagine if console quality was only equal to mobile quality ewwwwww

     
    WearingFin 27 June, 2014 @ 4:24 pm    

    You regularly advocate the destruction of SCEE, label their members of staff as incompetent and continuously use this space as your soapbox to berate anything and everything. Yet now you think you’ll get a private audience with those you have called inept? Deftly played sir, I’m unable to see how this plan can fail…

     
    johnnycide 27 June, 2014 @ 5:00 pm    

    @Wearingfin. Completely agree with you.

    Archacus 27 June, 2014 @ 5:22 pm    

    @WearingFin
    Uhm yes… because I do think that some employees in some fields are incompetent… I didn’t change my mind I still think it is true. I’m type of person who prefers seeing result rather than effort… and that’s a problem cause I don’t see it at all. And of course I don’t want to contact them to say how great job they are doing… it would be silly and rather pointless thing to do, don’t you think? It is rather obvious that I want to contact them to say that they are doing something wrong… plus I already said the topic would be “vita”… and there are no good things to be said regarding SCE(E) and Vita. So… I want to give suggestions… just that…that’s all. They probably won’t listen but I won’t feel bad about not doing anything at all… so yeah it is my selfish and egoistic side…

    And also I do think that SCEE should be dissolved and recreated from the scratch. Sometimes it really seems that whole structure of SCEE is not fit to reality of unified market of EU.

    So why would they want it… well because emails have its own rules, after all it is form of letter and not some tavern brawl like discussion on blog. I won’t be anonymous “Archacus” or “Phelan” I will be person with real name… and of course it will also mean that I would have to avoid using informal language… oh… btw…. I prefer formal language.

    But of course I can just post everything on usual weekly thread … but I’d rather send it to just 1 person and end this whole topic… Also as a person who loves rather long forms of expression that blog’s word limit is rather… annoying. By know probably I’m close to hitting limit so… that’s it.

    Oh… and I wouldn’t call it private audience… rather normal form of contacting company.

    Archacus 27 June, 2014 @ 5:23 pm    

    *by now

     
    WearingFin 27 June, 2014 @ 5:39 pm    

    If you truly want your opinion valued then you are going about it in entirely the wrong way, it’s just sad to see you try to get your way into a system you have so often chastised. No one with power will take anything you say seriously because of your past conduct, the things you’ve said, how you’ve said them and the temperament you have displayed. I’m surprised you don’t feel embarassed by yourself. But good luck on your quest of perpetual counterproductivity, it will at least provide us all with slight amusement whilst others try to enact change in a more mature manner.

    Archacus 27 June, 2014 @ 8:45 pm    

    @WearingFin
    Hmm… than it seems I won’t be alone who is not taken seriously. Because lickspittle just like you usually are treated exactly the same way. I’m fan of SONY but I’m not fanatical about it, I will praise them if they will do something right… but I don’t see anything wrong in criticizing them when they are doing something wrong.

    That’s the small difference between us… because I’m fan of SONY’s brand and not employees. Get it? I’m capable of seeing the difference, do you? SONY and PlayStation existed long before some people started working in SCE… and it will exist much longer than some of them will be working there.

    But if you think you will have better results than me be my guest… I won’t have anything against, quite the opposite. I will be grateful to.

    Also just a side note… if you want to be treated like an adult… than try not act in exactly the same way as a person who you are trying to belittle, mkay? That way you are just insulting yourself in the most silly way. It is kinda amusing when you are trying to show that there is something wrong in labeling other people when you are doing exactly the same thing… huh… hypocrisy at its finest. And yeah I have courage to admit that I’m self-confident and arrogant, do you?

    Sadly as they didn’t care to even reply I will have to post it as a post in weekly thread.

     
    WearingFin 27 June, 2014 @ 9:33 pm    

    Shock horror….

     
    nulenvoid 28 June, 2014 @ 12:36 am    

    I tend to see the glut of retro development as being similar to the Hipster thing, those that offer something new are great no matter the styling sure, but a lot of them are just carbon copies of a current trend which apparently makes them different, different by doing what everyone else is doing.

     
    Project2insanity 28 June, 2014 @ 9:34 pm    

    @Archacus; “I’m type of person who prefers seeing result rather than effort… and that’s a problem cause I don’t see it at all.” With all due respect., for all your efforts on the blog, what results exactly have you produced?

    Face facts, business goes where the money is. Your opinion alone is not enough to change that. Your ego has got the better of you and that leads people to believe your words are hollow. If you really are serious about what you are chasing, you need to think bigger than just speaking to a guy in another position.

    If you think posting indefinitely about a subject helps, ask Podyman how he’s getting on.

HomessaHomem 27 June, 2014 @ 2:30 pm   2

I WANT THIS!

 
TokyoMek 27 June, 2014 @ 2:47 pm   3

Great video, thanks for this! Answered some of my lingering questions about it!

Day 1 purchase for me. Watching this on the E3 Livestream, it was the first game to give me goosebumps, when you’re in your ship and the chorus kicks in! Amazing!

I can’t decide which is better, the incredible art or the soundtrack!

CanaryIsles 27 June, 2014 @ 2:52 pm   4

Pretty sad huge Sony with all their many employees, moneys and gamestudio power cannot create something as great as these 4 people. Something is very, very wrong here. Its time to bring us new, innovative, fun open world games. With dinos, sony. Do it.

    CanaryIsles 27 June, 2014 @ 10:20 pm    

    And nothing like Minecraft either.

    (Tho this also goes for MS and all the big companies)

 
medenko1975 27 June, 2014 @ 3:15 pm   5

price and ETA?

 

I’m still curious if NMS will turn out to justify the hype. I get the appeal of an infinite world, but my experience with procedural and randomized content results rather in considering this a warning, than a promise. Burn your fingers once etc. etc. ;)

Let’s just compare it with some other games:
Minecraft – let’s you create stuff, that’s its appeal. NMS allows exploring and …?
EVE – Similar in some aspects, just that it offers a brilliant and deep economy. A foundation for a rich universe and social interaction. NMS has …?

All that I know about NMS is that I can explore anything … and then decide to fight it. Will there be anything else? How do players communicate? Won’t that be problematic on a console? What tools will the game offer to players?

So far NMS is to me really just that interesting tech demo. About a tech that I doubt that it can deliver the necessary quality.
We have often enough seen games that promised earth shattering new experiences, I’ll just mention 2 of them with Spore or Black & White. Almost never such ambitious projects resulted in great games and none managed to justify early hysteria. Au contraire, they are perfect examples that we should be wary if something seems to breathtakingly new and different … to believe it.

So yeah, I’m very interested but nothing less I’m also suspicious. And I don’t get why the industry can’t get their act together just because we witnessed an engine that improved procedural processes. This might change a lot about the production of huge games in the years to come.
But neither have we seen if the results are as diverse as everyone hopes for, nor have we any idea if it’ll do the game any good. Everyone just expects infinite + open universe + players doing the rest on their own = huge success. That premature reaction is at least questionable – if not even insane.
Or simply said: We got a hype! Long time no see, old friend!

 
salvogdaze 27 June, 2014 @ 3:28 pm   7

I also think this game’s way over-hyped in terms of content we’ve seen so far. No one really knows much about what kind of interaction is available with most elements of the planet(s). The studio says they don’t want this to be a sightseeing experience, but they just won’t tell how deep of a combat or customization will be available. Sure the game looks pretty, but I’m holding off the hype until I see real content. I hope it turns out as good as most people expect.

 
Paquete89 27 June, 2014 @ 3:28 pm   8

Awesome video! Seeing this guy’s reaction at this E3, his nervous pride as he saw how much the audience cared for his dream game that he was working so hard on, that was the best moment of E3 for me. I love watching people who are passionate about games like that.

I agree with those who say that the game may not live up to the hype, there’s a huge possibility. But I couldn’t care less. What they’ve done so far, the buzz they created with this little project, the stuff they had to go through, that’s already one hell of an achievement in my eyes. I’m getting this game, there’s nothing that could change my mind. I hope it ends up being near as good as it looks and I wish this team all the success in their future projects.

 
locus2k1 27 June, 2014 @ 3:31 pm   9

It truly blows my mind every time I see No Man’s Sky! It already stands as an incredible achievement – both from an artistic and technical perspective – for such a small, yet talented development team. Massive kudos guys, I look forward to its release :D

No longer are the sky’s the limit!

 
TIMETRAVEL1966 27 June, 2014 @ 3:52 pm   10

Fantastic game ,well done . Look forward to play this game

 

It does look AMAZING :P Always wanted a game were you can fly to other planets without any loading screens etc etc. The only other game was one of the R&C games that came close with it’s space missions(but you couldn’t fly off the planets seamlessly tho to space then to another planet) + I wish SONY would snap-up talented studios like this to :(

 

It looks beautiful, it’s pretty much how I always wanted Elite to look like when I started playing that on the Acorn Electron and again much later on the Amiga. Really hope this will have significant legs without being overly complicated. I could end up spending an incredible amount of time on this. I can’t wait :-D

 
Rabid_Si 27 June, 2014 @ 4:55 pm   13

@AFKAN: I hope you’re aware that Elite: Dangerous is currently in premium beta and not to far on the horizon, complete with VR support, procedurally generated galaxy of billions of systems with planetary landing in the pipeline for future expansions and returning from the second and third games.

     
    McDaymo 28 June, 2014 @ 1:49 pm    

    @rabid_si elite dangerous is also way overpriced at the moment plus you will probably need a kick ass PC to run it….

 
johnnycide 27 June, 2014 @ 4:58 pm   14

Since E3, in the back of my mind there has been a voice repeating “please don’t suck, please don’t suck, please don’t suck…..”.
I don’t think it will, and I have not been this excited for any game, indie or otherwise, since The Last Of Us. I can not wait to play this, day one is a given. This is what the indie scene is about, and it’s possibly the best example anywhere at the moment.

Finally, Debutante by 65DaysOfStatic? Well played, sirs.

European_Gamer 27 June, 2014 @ 7:04 pm   15

Next year is an extraordinary good year to own a PS4.

 
kuhlmanne 27 June, 2014 @ 7:21 pm   16

This is the game Ive been wanting for 30 years. Every second of both trailers connects to the soul of my inner child. I’ve watched them obsessively 100+ times so far easy and it just never gets old. I keep telling myself, how can a procedural game have something that seems hand crafted or scripted happen nearly every second? The footage is real time!

Everything from the colors, the movement, the flora and fauna, the engine glow of the ships, the art direction, the sounds, the music, everything just speaks to me. When i first saw the ship descend on soleth prime seamlessly I got goose bumps. I absolutely cannot wait for this. This really is a killer app for morpheus. Id pay 1000$ or more for a morpheus/no mans sky bundle.

 
TidyAddictdan 27 June, 2014 @ 8:16 pm   17

@johnnycide: I can’t tell if I’m more excited by the no man’s sky video or the fact they used 65daysofstatic for the music.

 
Wooouter 27 June, 2014 @ 8:59 pm   18

My personal favourite game of the e3 ! I was absolutly blown away! Can’t wait!

destryerjhaeid 27 June, 2014 @ 9:42 pm   20

Oi

 
TrueMurton 27 June, 2014 @ 10:16 pm   21

Really stoked for this but it needs coop. What’s the point of a near infinite universe if I’m all alone in it? Let me and my brother team up and explore together, let me and my friends form a squadron and go raiding or bust up some pirates.

Even if this isn’t done I’ll buy it anyway, but coop will make the difference between a game I love and play for a week and then forget about and a game I’ll play every week for a long time to come.

    Mekzilla 30 June, 2014 @ 5:15 pm    

    have u been following/watching anything about this game?…. u can run into players they stated but will b very rare due to how big it is , hence u could co-op

     
    Cimera00 20 July, 2014 @ 10:51 am    

    Im with you 100% on this. But even if there is no co-op what Mekzilla said is right. Yet if they have a Navigation system with X,Y, and Z positions, you would be able to tell a friend where your located and play the game together. It what me and some friends did on Starbound. Last this I want to do is play in a massive universe all alone. So even when the Multiplayer DLC comes out and you get invite others to join you and its some other kind of traditional multiplayer, you give someone the right position via XYZ and you should be good. Just make their numbers along with your are right lol. they might FTL Jump into a star.

    I am also interested in their death system. I believe they may have said when you die, you get generated to your ship but you loose all your stuff. What about when you die in space ? Is their a check point at a space station ? and what if you bought a ship with months of work in game. Do you loose that ship ? lol Lots of questions for a game that’s keeping hush hush.

    A large concern I have is Players killing players. Just sitting there in a bunch of ships waiting at a space station and killing you off time and time again. I never played EVE, but I have read a great deal of how this was a issue.

    Non the less Im excited for this game, just have to wait and see what happens. Will they meet their dead line ? Is sony forcing them to meet that dead line and leave out important content that they will have to release later ?

    Just have to hope for the best and not get our hopes up on anything.

     
    Cimera00 20 July, 2014 @ 10:55 am    

    Sorry for sentence errors. Typed up everything on my phone and forgot to check before submitting.

 
nulenvoid 28 June, 2014 @ 12:32 am   22

Out of all the vaguely recent announcements this particular title has my interest the most, old school scifi styling with what sounds like the essence of what has always fascinated my imagination the most – exploration and discovery. It seems to be a game they wanted to make, with passion for it. It’s not wrapped up in the horrible analytics and marketing driven ‘products’ that pass for games and entertainment these days.

Day one for sure.

Btw, blog commenting system seems a lot more solid on iPad of late, thanks for whatever works been done there.

 
residentSteve 28 June, 2014 @ 12:36 am   23

I must be getting old I do not see the what people are getting excited about we don’t even know what type of game this is, just like valiant hearts I don’t get it sorry.

 
bitbydeath 28 June, 2014 @ 2:48 am   24

Sony would be smart to get these devs while the getting is good.

solarwind12 28 June, 2014 @ 10:52 am   25

Love the way a universe changes into a galaxy, that the goal is to reach centre of, why?. the centre that is, is it merely because it’s farthest from start of your experience or is their going to be some profound (monty python) meaning to it all smack bang in centre, ye it’s quaint, ambitious and will go as far as extraordinary, considering the amount of devs, it is Not however the second coming, made mistake of reading comments before checking the vid.. gotta wish them well, and will have fingers crossed they release a decent interpretation of the vision i just watched, if i am honest though i will wish to see the similar upcoming big studio takes on this kind of venture, only a matter of time till us ‘plastic’ gamers get good (maybe better) polish on this type of game c/o EA or others.

     
    nulenvoid 28 June, 2014 @ 1:53 pm    

    A big budget company is unlikely to do something like this unless it were proven hugely successful first, they wouldn’t take the gamble. in a big company there are a ton of desk sitters that have to be gotten through first and they won’t always get the concept and on the off chance a decision maker did they’d no doubt look to make it something they are familiar with that know they can sell. Something like this would be very hard to franchise or diversify into other media with, it’d probably be ruined within a meeting or two… and that’s the beauty of a smaller company doing something they’re passionate about.

    This may not live up to expectation but from what I’ve already seen, it ticks all the right boxes for me personally because it is the scifi I grew up with as a kid, colourful and vibrant, crazy scale and full of imagination. In this case I’d just be happy to play it regardless.

     

    Not being funny but a universe doesn’t change into a galaxy. A galaxy is system within a/the universe. For example the galaxy in our solar system is the Milky Way. The Milky Way along with Earth, Mars, Saturn etc are part of the universe

     

    Just to clarify our solar system is within the Milky Way galaxy. The Milky Way is not within our solar system

 

The best bit of irony is how people always moan about indies and it was an indie that stole the show. An indie game that will show the true power of the PS4 absolutely brilliant. If nothing else it shows the narrow mindedness of people always moaning about not enough AAA games. Gaming should never be about how big budgeted a game is, but whether it offers something new, something different, a good story or experience and most importantly is it fun to play.

I was excited when I saw this as I had an interest in a game like Elite but without the flight sim bit. I loved the fact its going to be an ever expanding universe, that a video game is given life and then begets life ad infinium.

I’m a big fan of dystopian sci-fi and one of my favourite authors is Philip K. Dick. The world shown at E3 reminded me of the covers in the Masterworks series.

 
lamanuwa 29 June, 2014 @ 12:18 pm   27

I wish someone would just hand these guys the IP for Star Trek with a whole bunch of money and let them do whatever they want with it. To boldly go where “No Man” has gone before.

But I’m seriously excited about this game anyway. But not much has got me excited about a narrative. I strongly believe that a great story filled with logic and emotion is what makes a good game, GREAT!

solarwind12 29 June, 2014 @ 6:17 pm   28

^This^ That would be a great idea, as pointed out above the bigger aaa style ‘may’ be undone due to the scale of the devs themselves, but again perhaps that is last gen problem?.. a polished, full game with a whole galaxy worth of exploration, well like star trek even, be nice!..
Anyway reason i said love the way a universe changes to a galaxy was i read the intro and comments before watching vid, so i was being a tad sarcastic, obviously i understand the known concepts of our universe, to even attempt a game giving a universe of choice would be outrageous, just read Fred’s and others words saying it Was a universe of exploration, but i still would like to know point of reaching centre?, IF done oppositely, ie start from centre making way to (known) edge then it would make bit more sense plus the scope for dlc would be, well infinite, then some.

     
    PneumaticVeto 3 July, 2014 @ 2:21 pm    

    Why do you assume that a “game giving a universe of choice would be outrageous”? The technique that is used by No Man’s Sky to create its single explorable Galaxy could be used to create multiple Galaxies just as easily, not all of which need be Spiral. It is even possible to make a game where everyone has a separate parallel Universe so that the Cities that they build can’t be destroyed from orbit by griefers, but could be shared amongst the game’s community so that they automatically populate the parallel reality of the other destructively minded player as a copy that can be ruined without upsetting its creator. This Multiverse would keep everyone happy and could even support cooperative play against the AI mimics of absent players – just as Forza Motorsport 5 gives you naturalistic driving opponents based upon your friends characteristic driving tactics, similar technology could be used to fill the void of space with some other “players” who you could happily destroy from your reality without them being able to respawn as their names had been added to a list of the deceased as you had no doubt been added to other player’s lists in other parallel universes.

    There is really no limit to what can be done with Procedural Generation. You can even coauthor narrative through the simulation of the largely “offstage” machinations of various dramatis personae which start off more interested in each others secret plans than anything you might be doing within their milieu. It could go beyond procedurally generating missions for you to optionally accept to the periodic assertion of an underlying theme, even the funneling of the player through necessary plot points through their entanglement with sympathetic NPCs that they had cultivated a bond with earlier in the narrative to the contrivance of a climactic conclusion at some specified location, or time, but not both for the sake of the convenience of getting the player there and not missing the end because they were late for it, or when it is a countdown scenario the geography isn’t a huge impediment and they have a variety of modes of travel to utilise to get to their destination. Even the protagonist you play as could be generated by the game and as you complete one character arc with the end of the first narrative, you would unlock some other character to role play as.

 
Seishoujyo 29 June, 2014 @ 11:36 pm   29

I always wanted a game like this, exploring the universe, being in space and landing on a planet etc, this will be really awesome, and it’s pretty nice too.

Sean my boy hurry up just release this game and take my money.

 
Callofduty1 30 June, 2014 @ 10:18 am   30

DRAGON QUEST PS2 CLASSIC ON PSN

 
Callofduty1 30 June, 2014 @ 10:20 am   31

DRAGON QUEST VIII JOURNEY OF THE CURSED KING PS2 CLASSIC ON PSN PLEASE SQUARE ENIX

 
medenko1975 30 June, 2014 @ 7:16 pm   32

So want this….hope it won’t be too expensive.

 
xISteeIx 3 July, 2014 @ 2:51 am   33

I literally can’t wait for this game, one of the games i’m most excited about for PS4.