So. We come to it at last. The great release of No Man’s Sky – well, almost
Hello Games release their ridiculously large video game for the PlayStation 4 tomorrow (don’t worry, the PC version will be out 4 days after), and the anticipation for it is very, VERY real.
No Man’s Sky is expected to be a good game by most, and a great game by some, although this close to the release, certain doubts about the game’s longevity have started to crop up in early reviews. Will it be good? Will it be bad?
Honestly, we think there’s a more important issue here.
The humble beginnings
Hello Games was set up by Sean Murray, a former employee of the developer Criterion (you may remember they had a smash hit with a little racing game called Burnout some time ago) who quit his job in order to make indie games.
A professional game developer, jaded and dissatisfied with the industry he works in, quits the corporate life and sets up his own company that, in turn, goes on to develop a truly passionate dream project. I believe that’s what you call a ‘Cinderella story’.
Hello Games now has 15 employees, all of which we imagine have permanently bleeding fingers from the amount of work they’ve no doubt put into the game, because when we say the game is BIG, we really do mean it.
Nobody really knows exactly how many planets are available to explore in No Man’s Sky, but if it’s anywhere near the 18 quintillion total the studio estimated last year, we’d say that constitutes a massive video game.
15 people made those planets. 15 people. 15 people that all work at a small indie game studio in Guildford, with a weird Santa Claus/Inuit cross as their logo.
15 people sat in an office in Guildford clicking on computers have attempted something astonishingly unprecedented for an indie studio, and that’s absolutely amazing.
Innovation above all else
In some ways, it doesn’t really matter if the game is thoroughly enjoyable throughout, or if the planetary exploration gets boring after a number of hours. The important thing is that Hello Games are attempting something different. Original. Innovative.
The very fact that a group of previously unheralded indie developers can come out of nowhere and create something as ambitious and intriguing as No Man’s Sky is the real victory.
Hello Games’ desire to push the boundaries of digital entertainment should be celebrated and encouraged among other indie developers, because, well, frankly the industry is full of studios just looking to churn out more of the same.
And not only is it good to see an indie developer taking a real whack at a unique game, but the hype that followed No Man’s Sky around like a particularly horrible smell has definitely caught the eyes of gaming fans everywhere.
From now on, surely people have no other choice but to take the indie game sphere more seriously, as opposed to treating it like the shoddy DLC of an average game.
Indie games can be more than just arcade games. Let it be heard.
The future looks bright
Imagine being a humble, unassuming indie game developer, and seeing that Hello Games have just released No Man’s Sky. A small-team creation with Triple A scope and credentials.
Would you care what Metacritic score it got?
No, of course you wouldn’t. You’d be straight off into the office trying to make a more audacious game than they did, because that’s what all of this is about: drive, and ambition.
While the AAA guys spend their working hours trying to pump out the next Call of Duty, indie developers can look at No Man’s Sky, and draw inspiration from it.
Hopefully the near future will bring about a gaming industry that focuses more on innovation and pushing boundaries, because let’s face it, it’s that very thing that has made No Man’s Sky such a colossal talking point in the first place.