No Danger Of No Man’s Sky Delay Despite Office Flood

By Nathan Grayson on January 16th, 2014 at 9:00 am.

No Man’s Sky is easily one of the most intriguing game prospects in development right now, what with its claims of atomic-level procedural generation and galaxies of planets to fly between – sea to land to sea of stars – at your leisure. It’s about as “next-gen” as anything I’ve heard about, and I want nothing more than to get lost in the crevices of its titanic toes. Unfortunately, developer Hello Games isn’t doing so hot these days. Over the holiday break, the Joe Danger creator’s entire office flooded, and the total monetary value of PCs, laptops, dev-kits, and equipment lost would’ve apparently been enough to “fund a small game.” Procedurally generated props to the four-person studio, though: they’re not slowing down. Not for a second. Heck, they’re even ruling out Kickstarter for now.

Managing director Sean Murray discussed the ramifications of this total bullshit move on Life’s part in a blog post:

“Everyone assembled over Christmas and we’ve been working super hard since. Right now we have set ourselves up at a new temporary (cramped) location. Some of us are working from home. We’ve filled a couple of dumpsters with our old stuff, and built ourselves a make-shift post-apocalyptic set of workstations – but we’re back, full speed!”

“We won’t let [a delay] happen! At times recently I’ve wanted to be depressed, to wallow, but it’s impossible surrounded by this team. They are literally unstoppable. If we’ve lost some work, we’ll make up the time. We’ll steal dev-kits. We’ll work on a boat. Whatever it takes (not actual stealing… maybe).”

And hey, there’s always Kickstarter, right? Apparently not in this case. Murray acknowledged that crowdfunding a little solid ground to stand on would probably be a good solution, but he just can’t get on board with the idea. “I just don’t think it’s the right thing for No Man’s Sky right now,” he wrote, “and we’d probably rather not eat than do the wrong thing for this game.”

All of which is basically insane. Hello Games, you are probably not right in the head, but I applaud you for it. Be well, all of you. Keep on fighting the good fight – unless it’s against Poseidon, in which case I think I figured out your problem.

No Man’s Sky still doesn’t have a release date, which I suppose makes it easier to avoid delaying it. But Hello Games is still flying, and at the end of the day, that’s what really matters.

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29 Comments »

  1. karthink says:

    Can someone point me to a quote or website where Hello Games confirms this is releasing on PC?

    • Kein says:

      It doesn’t. Such kind of silence on means only one thing, as usual in such cases.

      • TheVGamer says:

        Sony probably bought some exclusivity to it which is fine because they’re
        quite fair when it comes to releasing the games on PC as well at relatively the same time. Now if this was Microsoft we were talking about…

        • Viroso says:

          I dunno man, when it’s a game that’s exclusive to Sony consoles, it tends to stay there, unlike with Microsoft. Not that this has to do with which company is nicer than the other, but if it is Sony buying an exclusive deal then maybe it’ll stay there permanently.

          But I think I read? maybe? somewhere? that this game will be on PC too?

          • welverin says:

            There’s a difference between Sony games, and games Sony nab some exclusivity on.

            You’ll never see any Sony games on PC (God of War, Uncharted, LBP, and the like), but games that started out only on a Sony system have migrated (Joe Danger, Guacamelee!).

        • Hauskamies says:

          Sony is so fair, that’s why they took a pc game like Everybody’s Gone to Rapture and turned it into a PS4 exclusive.

    • Low Life says:

      Nope, they haven’t named any platforms yet.

    • Rich says:

      Until they do, it doesn’t exist in our world and isn’t news.

      • staberas says:

        yep and since he says its not the right thing to do means either
        1. the game sucks and they try to keep it in secret.
        2. its not a pc game.

      • Stardreamer says:

        If people had thought that way about Dark Souls…

        Of course it’s news. If this doesn’t look like it’s coming to PC then the campaign to have it brought to our machines starts right here!

      • Universal Quitter says:

        It’s a good thing the good folks at RPS don’t agree with you. PC fanboyism is not part of their official policy, afaik. There’s no reason to be an elitist dick about it.

        • dE says:

          Exhibit A:
          The console game “The Last of US” and the End of the Year Calendar Tearpocalypse in certain forums, because it wasn’t included. No console games at all, for that matter.

          Exhibit B:

          RPS is about PC gaming – all of PC gaming [...] please remember that we are a PC-only site. That’s PC only. P.C. O.N.L.Y. Which format? … That’s right, PC!

          .
          From here: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/about/

          So why is this article on RPS? Because they felt like it. Simple and best possible answer.

  2. Gap Gen says:

    I imagine Kickstarter is the kind of thing where if you can get away without it, it’s probably for the best. Once you add in the time and expense in fulfilling physical rewards, constraining yourself with your promises and whatever pledges allow backers to get their grubby fingers on your narrative and in general giving players more of a reason to have a sense of entitlement, it barely seems worth it. Of course, not everyone will have the luxury of being able to get away without a Kickstarter, but then it seems like the most successful ones have been from people who are already established and have companies with cashflows, like Tim Schafer or David Braben.

    • Blackcompany says:

      I would be perfectly ok with a Kickstarter that pledges to make a game if they meet their goal, and make it better if they go over.

      And not one thing more.

      I don’t want a small team of developers to have to spend time contracting someone to make physical toys, t-shirts, etc. Just make a good game. That’s why you asked for money; that’s why I gave you money.

      I truly wish the ideas of physical rewards and most especially “stretch goals” had never begun. All it does is take the focus away from the main reason for the crowd funding.

      Just make a good game.

      • Gap Gen says:

        Even then, you’re going to have cases where games can’t be made or where companies decide to shelve a project and do something else if it turns out not to work once the prototyping or testing is done. Asking the public for investment is a commitment that limits you, although granted the limitation of having no money is a harsher one.

  3. mukuste says:

    Every time I hear about this game, I get that vibe of “this can’t possibly be as good as people hype it up to be.” Everything about it seems way to ambitious, especially for a four-man team. But I’m still thrilled to see just how close they can get to that mythical game-beast they’ve conjured up, and their determination in the face of recent events certainly speaks in their favour.

    • Gap Gen says:

      The biggest challenge I see is making the procedural worlds interesting after repeat exploration. One of the problems with procedural stuff is that humans are good at picking up what has information and what is randomly repeated patterns, and you have to work carefully to ensure that the player doesn’t just go “oh, another planet with red trees” and leaves*. That, and knowing what makes a fun game and what doesn’t is a dark art and takes time and effort. Still, it looks really nice, and I wish them the best with it.

      * Retrospectively intended.

      • Danley says:

        But how much replay value does it need? If the game can make exploration interesting for even 20 hours, it’s comparable to an ‘AAA’ game with a 20-hour storyline. I love Proteus, and bought the mystical physical copy that Mr. Key has yet to finish/ship, but I’ve played it less than 5 hours total. That said, it’s perpetually installed on my computer because the ability to explore a procedural world with any atmospheric novelty is its own kind of software. I have to imagine Oculus Rift will only make things better, but still only for awhile.

        I consider Minecraft my favorite game, but I still only go back to it now and then to see an update (or test Sonic Ether’s shaders) or explore a new server I’ve heard about. I still find incredible and amazing things at random, but because the act of exploration can be mundane in and of itself, it limits replay value for sanity’s sake. But I don’t see how that’s different than other genres. And at least there’s the prospect of seeing something new.

  4. Kadayi says:

    Good to hear. Still a shit about their office getting wiped out, and even more so that their insurer won’t pay out. Dude sounds quite posirive about everything, and that in itself is no bad thing.

  5. best_jeppe says:

    I am thinking of just going to Steam and buying their games as a way to support them. Best way to support them I believe.

  6. Felixader says:

    I bought the latest Humble Bundle mainly to support them. I gave a fair share to the rest of the games (that i hadn’t already bought elsewhere), but mainly to them.

  7. DantronLesotho says:

    That’s good to hear. I wish they would announce the platforms already so we can pre-order it to help give them a boost.

  8. Syphus says:

    You know, I thought the level of procedural generation and variety was crazy, and then I played Space Engine for about 400 hours straight. So if this game is even half of what Space Engine does, plus an actual game, it’ll be amazing.

  9. Uncompetative says:

    “See that hill over there? You can go there. Oh, and the ecosystem is dynamic so all but small changes to it are persistent for others. So, if you kill all the predators you’ll get a population explosion of buffalo. This then affects the chemistry of the atmosphere trapping more sunlight and melting polar ice caps which will lead in time to rising sea levels and increased precipitation in shorter time intervals from climate change. All of which lead to local flooding.”

    I can’t help thinking that it is ironic that these developers could put so much work into simulating all of these factors and ignore that they lived in next to the River Wey. I mean, seriously… Hello Games is based in Guildford which is so named because it was created at a ‘ford’ (i.e. low crossing point) in a river.

    • tormos says:

      the last time Guildford flooded was 1968. The astute among you may recognize that date as 55 years ago (probably before any to the developers of this game were born). As such, it hardly seems fair to fault the devs for not expecting this occurrence. and doing so kind of makes you look like a dick.

      • Uncompetative says:

        I live in a town with a Flood Lane. It has ducks which occassionally float down it. As a result I live on a hill. All of my computer and gaming hardware is upstairs. I don’t have separate flood insurance, but unlike Hello Games I am not yards from a river. I am also just a hobbyist whose livelihood does not depend on the health of my systems. Whilst it is unfortunate that Hello Games has suffered this calamity, it should be noted that Peter Molyneux lost the code to Populous and had to write it from scratch with better results in his opinion (incidentally, 22cans is based the other side of the railway distant from the River Wey). Also, not to nitpick but 2014 – 1968 = 46.

  10. Darth Grabass says:

    Could their No Kickstarter rule be something imposed by Sony? It seems like a given that their “next gen systems” announcement means that this is going to be a PS4 release. If Sony is throwing money at them, then maybe they’ve been asked to keep it off Kickstarter? Just a thought, I don’t really know how these deals work.

  11. crinkles esq. says:

    I never heard whether they had data loss from the flooding, or whether they had offsite backups. From the statement, it sounds almost as if they don’t actually know how much they’ve lost yet.

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