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Imagine being on an alien planet in a science fiction Video Game, gazing out into the Alien Sky above, then hopping into your small fighter and going out to explore the other planets in that bizarre, unknown sky.Got it? Because that's the bare-bones premise of this game.An upcoming game by Hello Games (the same company who developed Joe Danger) revealed at VGX 2013, No Man's Sky is, for lack of a better a better term, a hybrid of Minecraft, Starbound, and FTL: Faster Than Light with heavy emphasis on exploration and discovery where players are able to get into a ship, take off of one planet, and then go and explore other procedurally-generated planets in that system and the Galaxy, seeking to discover strange new life, valuable resources that can be used to upgrade one's ship, tools, and EV Suit, relics of civilizations long gone, and alien Portal Networks on top of the game's goal to get to the center of the Galaxy, where an ominous-looking Black Hole lies. It'll be completely multiplayer, but rather than grouping players all in the same place like most Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games, they'll be scattered throughout the edge of the Galaxy (where they begin the game) with little to no direct interaction between players (though Word of God has confirmed that a more traditional Multiplayer mode will become available after release, and that players will be able to play the game offline); most player interaction coming instead from "uploading" information about a certain planet, lifeform, trade route, resource seam, or other such things to a persistent database (if they so choose) and finding worlds, resource seams, lifeforms, trade routes, and so on discovered by other players.There's also a large emphasis on survival: if you don't upgrade your ship, tools, or suit you could very well end up dead thanks to the fact that everything from interstellar pirates to rampaging wildlife can very well kill you. Up to and including a bunch of planetary preservation robots (called "The Malevolent Force") gone bad.Finally, the game's developers boast that the game has infinitely many procedurally-generated worlds and while that might not be truenote the actual number of planets being 18,445,744,073,709,551,616 (that's eighteen quintillion, four hundred forty-five quadrillion, seven hundred forty-four trillion, seventy-three billion, seven hundred nine million, five hundred fifty-one thousand, six hundred sixteen)it's still pretty dang enormous.The game is slated to come out in 2015, first as a timed exclusive to the PlayStation 4, then as a PC port. On the topic of it being a port, the developers have said that they want the PC port to have a "console-y" (here meaning "high framerate and solid controls") feel to it.Watch the PlayStation eXperience 2014 Trailer here, the Video Game Awards 2014 Trailer here, the E3 2014 trailer here, the "Infinite Worlds" trailer here, and the VGX 2013 Reveal trailer here; and if you don't want to go digging through news stories to get every minute detail about every single feature promised so far, this list contains almost every feature the devteam has touted will be in the game, and if that doesn't suit your fancy, you can keep up to date with the game through its website here or its dedicated sub-Reddithere.
Tropes featured in No Man's Sky:
Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: At least where fuel for a ship's Hyperdrive is concerned. Fuel both takes up cargo space that could also be used to haul resources, and can easily gouge a player of their hard-earned Units.
Alliance Meter: One exists that measures your standing with the Galaxy's innumerably many factions. You don't actually see it, but it's there and it's affected by things such as destroying the ships of one faction's enemy (like, say, Space Pirates for the Space Police and vice-versa) or helping a faction's vessel when it needs assistance. Depending on your standing, these factions will either send wingmates your way should you call for help or attack you on sight.
All Planets Are Earthlike: Averted. Within the planets you can explore, only 10% of them will have life on them, and only 10% of those worlds will be flourishing, earthlike "garden"-type worlds.
Animal Wrongs Group: The Malevolent Force, a group of highly advanced robots meant to defend against ecological damage of the various planets. "Damage" being defined as "anything you do to alter the landscape or hurt an animal, ever."
Arc Symbol: The Atlas, a rhomboid-shaped object with a mysterious red orb in it that serves as the game's logo.
Asteroid Thicket: Many systems have them, and you can blow chunks of them away to create pathways through them.
Continuing Is Painful: Zig-Zagged. If you die while on foot, you respawn in your ship's Lifepod, suit, weapons, upgrades and all. But should your spaceship be destroyed, all that will be left of it will be its Lifepod, which is as bare-bones as a spaceship can get, having only basic weapons and no FTL capabilities, meaning that you now have to buy a new spaceship (which can easily gouge you of your hard-earned Units) to replace the one that got blown up in the first place.
Cool Starship: The game has thousands, each created by Procedural Generation and each with their own stats and shapes. Larger ships are more of the "flying box" variety, while smaller craft like the ones you fly are more streamlined and divided into three different classes:
Traders are large, bulky, and slow but make up for it by having hard-hitting and powerful weapons.
Explorers have weaker weapons, armor, and shields but compensate with higher speed, stealth, and FTL capabilities.
Fighters are the squishiest but have better weapons and combat capabilities.
Conveniently Close Planet: All of the planets in the game's star systems, with very few exceptions, are only a few minutes' distance from each other. Considering that their proximity results in some pretty impressive Alien Skies, it works.
Diegetic Interface: Player ships feature displays that have some importance (for example, one screen displays your current speed and another one serves as your radar) but for the most part information is displayed via a Heads-Up Display in your suit's helmet.
Escape Pod: Lifepod Starter Ships, which every player-ship starts out as and what every player-ship becomes should they be destroyed. They also serve as portable Respawn Points.
Faster-Than-Light Travel: By means of Hyperdrive, allowing ships to "Warp" from system to system; or, if an explorer is especially lucky, by means of alien temples' Portals.
Featureless Protagonist: Zig-Zagged.You, yourself, won't see the character you're playing as, but you can get an idea of what they look like from other players' descriptions of them, and you can help other players you run across figure out what their player-character looks like by giving them descriptons of what they look like.
Floating Continent: Two worlds featuring them are shown in the trailers, one of which (New Arion from the "Infinite Worlds" trailer) is completely comprised of them while the other (Soleth Prime from the E3 Trailer) has these alongside more conventional landmasses. Planets that have them are justifiably rare.
Mecha-Mooks: This is The Malevolent Force's other shtick besides killing anyone who alters the ecosystems of the planets they're on. The entire Force is a robotic army with hovering, bipedal, and quadrupedal variants.
Minovsky Physics: The game uses an alternative periodic table of the elements to help with worldbuilding.
Old-School Dogfight: Most, if not all, of ship-to-ship combat is this, both in space and in atmosphere.
Point-and-Click Map: The game's Galaxy Map serves as this, allowing you to select a star and (using Warp Drive) travel to it.
Portal Network: There are alien temples scattered around the universe that have portals capable of transporting players to other alien temples—sometimes on the other side of the Galaxy from where they entered the portal. Without their ship.
Procedural Generation: A big tenet of the game—everything from planets to flora to fauna to ships to star systems is procedurally-generated.
Quicksand Box: The game is so big that you might just choose to take your small craft, land it on a planet, and stay there.
Respawn Point: Each player ship is equipped with (and starts out as) a Lifepod, which serves as this and an Escape Pod should it be destroyed. If you ever die in the game, you will respawn in your ship's Lifepod.
Roguelike: Some elements of Roguelikes are present here, such as Everything Trying to Kill You, procedurally-generated content, and an increase in difficulty as you get closer to your goal (yes, there is a goal to No Man's Sky: get to the core of the Universe; though you can ignore it in favor of just exploring and discovering) combined with many elements found in the Wide Open Sandbox genre.
Robot War: Players who alter planetary ecosystems, mine resources, or kill wildlife will find themselves waging one against The Malevolent Force.
Rule of Cool: Really, none of the planets you can visit should even be remotely as close as they are in the game, but the fact that they are adds to the Scenery Porn and gives some truly breathtaking Alien Skies; also see Rule of Fun below.
Rule of Fun: Deliberately Invoked by the developers, who put it as a higher priority than scientific accuracy.
Sand Worm: We see a few at the end of the VGX reveal trailer, though they have more in common with snakes than worms.
Scenery Porn: It's positively gorgeous, particularly for a game with only a 4-person production team.
There's also one in the other direction—apparently all of the game's 18 quintillion planets are within the same Galaxy. Assuming that each system has on average three planets in them, that's about six quintillion stars in that Galaxy! For comparison the largest Galaxy found so far, IC 1101, only has 100 trillion stars or one-sixtieth as many as are in the ingame Galaxy.
One of the planets shown in the "Infinite Worlds" trailer is called LV-426.
Single-Biome Planet: All of the in-game planets are these, from snowy Achaia to sandy Usnusven II to arid (and rocky) Soleth Prime to lush Oria V.
Space Pirates: These show up every once in a while, shooting at defenseless transports and freighters. Shooting them down rewards you with Units, though nothing is stopping you from joining the pirates and shooting up the transports and freighters to earn a bigger reward. (Besides the Space Police, anyway.)
Space Police: Firing at the local Space Station or wantonly attacking spaceships is a good way find yourself dealing with them. Shooting them up gets you Units, but doing so means that the police are more likely to fire at you if they see you.
Space Station: Serves as a sort of space-based trading post for players and NPCs; along with being able to buy and sell resources players might find on nearby worlds, players can also buy fuel or upgrades for their Cool Starship and Environmental Suit here.
They can also be shot at, which can decrease their rating and affect the quality of goods found there (though they can't be destroyed—every system must have a station), though doing so will result in the station siccing the Space Police on you.
Speaking Simlish: The only real dialogue that you ever hear in the game is electronic-sounding gibberish that's broadcast from your ship's onboard radio.
Did you wantonly destroy that convoy of harmless freighters and their escort that had done you no harm, or start shooting up the local Space Station? You now have to deal with the local Space Police! Good luck!