Digital Media Concepts/No Man's Sky

No Man’s Sky is an open world action-adventure video game centered around exploration and survival. It is an indie game created and published by Hello Games studio, released in August 2016. Currently it can only be played on PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows computers.

The entire virtual landscape of No Man’s Sky is procedurally generated, allowing for a practically infinite virtual universe. Every new planet as it is first discovered is generated through an algorithmic engine to be a completely unique collection of environments and species Wikipedia:No Man's Sky.

The game had been under development for five years before its release. The project started as just Sean Murray, working at Hello Games, developing a prototype. The project then expanded to four people before its first announcement to the public in 2013. As it developed, the team grew to a size of 17.

No Man's Sky
Developer Hello Games Genre Open World Survival
Publisher Hello Games Mode Single player
PC Distributor iam8bit PC Release date Aug 12, 2016
PS4 Distributor Sony Interactive


PS4 Release date NA: Aug 9, 2016

EU: Aug 10, 2016

Producer Gareth Bourn Platforms Microsoft Windows

PlayStation 4

Directors Ryan Doyle

Grant Duncan

Sean Murray

David Ream

Artists Aaron Andrews

Grant Duncan

Jacob Golding

Beau Lamb

Levi Naess

Designer Will Braham Composer 65daysofstatic

Gameplay edit

The player starts out as a character called “the Traveller.” They quickly encounter a message from a being called “The Atlas” that instructs the player on how to repair their spaceship. Throughout the game, The Atlas continues to guide the player, directing them to the center of the galaxy where The Atlas apparently resides. The player may choose to follow this plot suggestion or go on to explore by themselves, for the game is meant to be open world. [1]

The Traveller comes across a space anomaly while exploring space systems. By investigating, they meet two aliens, Polo and Nada. These two beings help direct the Traveller towards The Atlas and also provide assistance throughout the game. By progressing through the game’s designed plot, the player learns that The Traveller, Polo, and Nada are all unique in that they understand more about the workings of the universe.

Eventually the player discovers that their galaxy is in fact a computer simulation handled by The Atlas. The Traveller was created with the purpose of exploring and documenting the virtual world. The Traveller, Polo, and Nada are the only three beings in the galaxy are self aware.

The game is centered around that purpose. The player can choose to explore and document according to the provided plot or they can wander the near endless galaxy as an open world game.

Production edit

Development edit

Production began with Sean Murray from Hello Games laying the groundwork for the concepts of No Man’s Sky. In 2011, The prototype began development with three other team members joining Murray . Before its release, No Man’s Sky was backed by a team of 17 people, listed in the chart below [2].

Producer Will Braham
Programmers Daniel Armesto

Iain Brown

Simon Carter

Harry Denholm

Ryan Doyle

Innes McKendrick

Sean Murray

David Ream

Charlie Tangora

Artists Aaron Andrews

Grant Duncan

Jake Golding

Beau Lamb

Levi Naess

Designer Gareth Bourn
Comms Matthew Reynolds

Design edit

No Man’s Sky is designed as a procedurally generated world. Every detail and landscape is generated through an algorithmic process that starts with a range of inputted design elements and remixes them into multitudes of unique planets [3]. This allows for updates and expansions to easily be able to add to or change the possible environments by adding different designs into the base code. This also makes for the reported 18 quintillion unique planets in the galaxy of No Man’s Sky.

Although the game engine can produce any and every type of landscape, the game developers set some limitations so as to keep the game playable. For example, there are no gas planets, like our own Jupiter, because those would be unexplorable Wikipedia:Development of No Man's Sky.

Promotion edit

No Man’s Sky was announced to the public at the 2013 VGX Awards. After the game picked up lots of interest and attention, Sony Interactive Entertainment took on the promotional marketing for the game. However No Man’s Sky remained as an independent game since Sony was not asked to be part of the development team.

At Sony’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in 2014, the game was presented in more depth than the teaser the year before. And the year after, in 2015, Sony shared the expected release date, June 2016 [4].

To the dismay of the many that were excited about No Man’s Sky, it was announced May 2016 that the game would be delayed until August 2016. With the expansive resources Sony used for promotion, and the unique concept boasted for the game, anticipation levels for the release were incredible.

Reception edit

No Man's Sky held near record breaking sales in both PC platform and PS4 [5]. However quickly after its release sales and user activity declined greatly [6]. Complaints ran wide concerning the tedious and repetitive nature of the gameplay. While there may be unique and many environments to explore, the game is said to be too expansive to actually enjoy.