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No Man's Sky Theory

I've been following this game closely since it was first announced, and I've also been following the reactions of interested gamers who were attracted to the notion of the 'infinite'. I too was interested but also had concerns regarding the idea of a randomly generated universe. Could it end up being chaotic? Could it lead to uninteresting gameplay? What's the point of an endless universe and planets the size of real planets if there was no real underlying narrative? But the one question that always returns is the question that makes every other question feel redundant: What the hell is the game all about?

We know now that it's NOT random as such but rather 'procedural' -- something the developers are keen on stressing at every opportunity. There are algorithms, mathematical equations designed specifically to avoid the pitfalls of randomness. If a planet is close enough to a sun then it could have an ocean, and if it has an ocean then it has an atmosphere, and the colour of the sky is effected by the density of the atmosphere. Everything in this world is generated using similar algorithms such as plants, trees, wildlife, minerals etc.

But what does that tell us about how the game plays and what the game 'is'? I think it tells us quite a lot actually. If I discover a planet, the equation for generating that planet is unique to me and only me, but even if I left that planet or someone visited the planet I'd discovered, everything would be exactly as it was the first time I visited because the maths are set for that planet. In effect, I am playing as God.

The only real piece of information we have is that your aim is to journey to the centre of the universe; although that isn't necessarily what a player will do. We also know that there is something at the centre of the universe but the developers will not say what that is.

So, onto the speculation and possible structure: If we are tasked with travelling to the centre of the universe then it follows we'll begin on the very outskirts of the universe. Imagine ever decreasing circles until we reach the centre, we being on the outer most circle to begin with.

I believe we will begin on a planet well into it's evolutionary stages with typically earthly like creatures and fauna, albeit a stylised view of 'earthly'. After we've gathered the materials to upgrade our ship, we'll then travel to the next ring of evolution. At each jump towards the centre of the universe, the creatures and atmosphere will get ever more prehistoric and the battle to get to the centre will become much harder. Instead of us hunting wildlife for food we'll become the hunted.

But what's at the centre of the universe? I believe we've seen a picture of it. It's the picture I've used for this article.

What is it ... or what do I think it is? Is the answer 42? That joke wasn't entirely meaningless because genetics, just like maths follows general rules and as such can generate predictable outcomes. If there was a God and he could code a universe then perhaps WE would be the result of millions of years of evolving code. What I believe is at the centre of the universe is THE algorithm, THE mathematical equation that lead to us existing.

The irony would be beautiful. Here we are as players (humans) travelling a procedurally generated universe and at the very centre of the universe we discover it is US who are procedurally generated.

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joeorc2500d ago

Great take, I kinda get the feeling of a game like this classic from the likes of this game

It just seems that along those likes, maybe that was one of the influences for this game.

maniacmayhem2500d ago (Edited 2500d ago )

If a planet was close to a sun doesn't it mean it would not have an ocean? I guess it depends on how close the planet actually is to the sun. But if a planet is anywhere in the orbit zone of say Venus or closer than the oceans would probably be evaporated...Sorry to be a stickler.

I was also wondering about this game especially when one of the producer/dev said that people could play this game and never run into each other. As much as I LOVE the way this game is turning out and talked about I think one of the best things would be to actually explore a universe with friends.

And in the trailers we have seen some sort of space battle between ships and mother class ships. I hope there is some kind of unified threat to the whole universe that sooner or later every player must band together and face. Something like a Galactus.

Anyways I am very curious about this game and it has definitely tipped my favor into purchasing a PS4 first.

MikEyG2500d ago

Everytime I read a new preview or watch a new teaser vid of this game I hear about something new that it's implementing. With this game giving you so much freedom along with a seemingly infinite universe,I'm super stoked to have heard that it's gonna have factions and space police along with all the animal/ET lifeforms to tie it all together and give that illusion of a living universe.

I've noticed structures on some of the planets shown off in the demo so I've assumed that some of the planets will have extra terrestrial life we can discover and interact with which would be icing on the cake for me since I'm already hooked.

s45gr322500d ago

I want this game, here take my money

isarai2499d ago

The thing i hate is people WANTING to know every detail about the game. Now don't get me wrong i get why they do, but i just don't think they're fully grasping what the devs are trying to do here. They are being very vague, and not explaining many things on purpose, why? well to instill wonder and a real sense of discovery in the player once they actually start playing the game. I mean seriously, how many times have you felt that a game has shown too much by the time it releases that you get the game and feel that there's really nothing left to surprise you, that it's pretty much exactly like you expected, nothing more , nothing less.

Just imagine that you wake up, in a strange world with a space ship and a multitool and all the means to explore this place and find out just what it has to offer. Now what's more exciting, going out on your own and discovering everything of your own volition? or having someone tell you everything about the world pretty much killing the point of exploring? i'd go with the first option.

Also i think i can add some details you don't seem to have in here, in an interview he clarified some things as to the very core pillars of the game.

It's open for the players to make it what they want with the game revolving around your "multitool" which can be upgraded for many different purposes other than just a weapon, resources which can be mined and gathered then traded for money/equipment/ships/upgrades , space travel via your ship, and of course the planets.

these are the essential pillars of the game but how you play it is open to you and you can upgrade/buy what caters to your style. So if you want to just be an explorer you can get a ship that can travel further and faster and can be easily landed and have a tool that provides navigational support, if you want to be a tradesman you can upgrade you tool for finding and mining resources easier and get a bigger ship that holds more resources, if you want to be a warrior you can get a strong ship with powerful guns and upgrade your tool to be a weapon primarily.

It's up to you how you play

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