New No Man’s Sky Trailer Explores Trading

No Man’s Sky [official site] is a big game set in a massive universe. As release approaches, we’re learning about all of the things we can do in that universe, and they’re all of the things we’ve been doing in big space games since Elite arrived in 1984. Exploring, fighting and trading. The latter is covered in the video below, which shows the actual swapsies interface. That’s new to me, as is the actual footage of hunting and gathering.

This is both reassuring, because I want to find cool stuff and swap it for even cooler stuff, and slightly alarming. The alarm is triggered by the thought of shooting rocks for hours on end, or picking every plant on a planet just to get enough resources to swap for a neato gun or engine.

But that image at the top of the screen is something entirely new to me, in the context of No Man’s Sky. It isn’t a variation on the same old flora and fauna, and it’s not the only thing that’s new. There’s a case with a gun in it in what might be a shop, a boulder being blasted to pieces one shot at a time, and actual inventory systems. I want to explore all of that, the actual doing of things, just as much as I want to take a million screenshots of a pink dinosaur.


  1. Wisq says:

    Yeah, No Man’s Sky is starting to worry me somewhat.

    I’m hoping that either they really do have a lot on offer and they’re just not that great at trailer-izing it, but so far, it’s seeming to me like a very pretty game with very shallow gameplay, where its Spore-like “gotta do it all” hinders its ability to do anything very deeply.

    If there’s good mod support, it might turn into one of those games like Minecraft, X3, Bethesda games, etc., where it’s an okay experience and a decent core engine that just gets 100x better once the community gets their hands on it. At that point, the existing gameplay just becomes a framework and example for modders.

    But, who knows? Maybe it’ll surprise me.

    • xcession says:

      I’m actually quite relieved by this new trailer. Trade and Combat have been the least explained parts of the game and the previous combat trailer was a bit underwhelming. This trailer however at least shows that while not exactly Eve, there is a numeracy-based side of the game which might offer some longevity of play – I’ve been a bit concerned with the “Race to the centre” narrative which seems to have been used as a catch-all excuse for any perceived shallowness.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      I’m not sure if modding will be possible with the weird semi-multiplayer thing it’s doing.

    • Generico says:

      There won’t be mods for this game. Everyone shares the same universe, so it’s basically an MMO where you’ll probably never see any other players. That architecture basically prohibits anything but perhaps UI mods (ala WoW).

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      ooshp says:

      As a 65daysofstatic fan I am happily purchasing this game for the soundtrack alone. Any quality gaming experience that comes with it is just cocaine on the cake.

    • DThor says:

      I’ve never been anything other than highly suspicious of it – what exactly makes a “good game”? For me, absolutely number one is a good story – the distillation of our existence into fables, adventures, emotions holds more for me than any other aspect of craft in games. Well, obviously that’s virtually nonexistent here, despite” every trade tells a story”, that story is as trivial as pointing out the fact you’re drinking a grande non-fat latte means you’ve been to Starbucks.
      That’s OK – plenty of good games have virtually nonexistent or clich├ęd stories – perhaps excellent, visceral combat? Nope. How about brain exercises like complex strategic sims? Not unless you count travelling across endless vistas collecting stuff a “sim”. Perhaps something I personally have no interest in but certainly has captured a lot of gamers – meticulously building things a la Minecraft? Doesn’t seem to be so.
      I would absolutely be ecstatic to be proven wrong – I like sandboxes that are fascinating (Universe 2), but honestly, this appears devoid of character. We’ll see…

  2. DailyFrankPeter says:

    I realise by this point Hello Games can get away with anything, even murder… but these characters remind me in slightly worrying way of X: Rebirth’s station characters (especially the hands).

    • Mokinokaro says:

      I can see the resemblance, but NMS characters are procedural instead of just bad models.

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      ooshp says:

      A paid good money to have X: Afterbirth removed from my memory. You’ve just undone many dollars’ worth of expensive psychotherapy.

      • hpoonis says:

        I fail to understand why there is such negativity lobbied at X:Rebirth as all they are doing is comparing it to every other ‘X’ title. It is NOT the same but shares some similarities. I have more than 500 hours in Rebirth (numerous hours in the other X3 titles) and yes, if it were all it was at release date, I would not have 5 hours in it but the Egosoft and user-delivered mods make it highly enjoyable and vastly more expansive.

        However, life is full of individuals and all this is subjective – one man’s treasure, etc. but it is akin to comparing home-printed plastic stuff with more refined business practices (injection-moulding): similar but not the same.

  3. RaoulDuke says:

    Pausing the video and going through it frame by frame to see what the inventory/upgrade/trading screens say does NOT assuage my worries that its shallow/grindy.

    Collect 20 of this, 20 of *this* and 25 of THIS, then you can upgrade your mining laser to… mine slightly faster/have less of a cool-down (?????).

    I have a feeling the depth of the economy in this game will be akin to The Phantom Pain’s economy.

    • notcurry says:

      I’m not that worried about that, actually. There’s a point to improving your gear, in that you’re supposed to get to the center of the galaxy eventually. And the closer you are the more interesting and dangerous things get, allegedly.

      So, if they managed to pull it off correctly, you’ll probably feel compelled to keep going because you’ll want to see what lies ahead, but in order to do that you’ll have to improve your suit, weapons, etc.

      If it really feels satisfying to approach the center, I think I’ll be happy with the mine/trade/progress loop, as there will be a purpose to upgrading other than simply improving your ability to grind faster so that you can upgrade in order to improve your ability to grind faster so that you can upgrade in order to…

      • bl4ckrider says:

        My fear is that it ends up being like one of those mobile games where you grind and grind and grind to get a new character (Galaxy of Heroes) or a new floor (Tiny Tower) but you never really achieve anything. You just repeat everything over and over for a small goal (a new upgrade, a new ship, a better gun) only to realise that it doesn’t really change anything and doesn’t get you anywhere.

        I fear that those 18 unobtainmillion planets they advertise should have better been sacked for 180 planets and some sort of a story with a progression.

        But we’ll see. I am still very interested.

  4. dangermouse76 says:

    What I am interested to know is will the universe be a lonely place ?

    • Mokinokaro says:

      Seeing other players is supposed to be extremely rare, but there seems to be a decent amount of NPC traffic in populated areas.

      • Epicedion says:

        Wait, this is always-online? I thought it was single player. What’s the point of making it multiplayer if there’s like a tiny chance of ever running into anyone?

        • Mokinokaro says:

          The game keeps track of other player’s discoveries and yours.

          It’s not actually always-online though. You can play offline, though the devs recommend connecting every so often to update the database.

      • Turkey says:

        Seems like a bad decision if they want they’re going for the audience who usually play survival/crafting games.

  5. int says:

    That guy is a jerk to rocks!

  6. rommel102 says:

    I’m still waiting for the trailer that explains what the point of the game is.

    • Legion1183 says:

      Explore. Fight. Trade. Survive.

    • Epicedion says:

      I’ve been trying to figure that out for awhile.

    • DailyFrankPeter says:

      Maybe they’ll sell the engine on or make a Ludum-Dare-style best story brainstorming competition. Having seen Elite fail to fill the space of their own game, I’m very skeptical.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      I’ll never understand these kind of comments.

      • Napalm Sushi says:

        Tell me about it. At this point they just sound like Zoolander’s “But why male models?” scene.

        • Numerical says:

          What’s the point of any game, really, other than entertainment? Is it going to fulfill your dream of jacking permanently into a space opera life simulation where you basically live your life through the game?

          NO, people. It’s a space shooter RPG. A GAME.

        • hagglunds says:

          Damn I wish I could give you upvotes or likes or something. That comment is spot on

        • PancakeWizard says:

          Ha! That’s it exactly!

    • Shazbut says:

      I would have thought it obvious that if your game has no actual game in it, the correct thing to do is release it on early access, add a new type of plant every month for a decade, and then retire.

  7. Legion1183 says:

    These trailers are worrying me. Very short, snappy, not very informative clips slapped together. I completely understand that some people do enjoy the sandbox experience and roleplay in creating your own “point” or “story” but this really is looking very bland.

    So much to see and do, but after a short while, nothing to see or do.

    • Epicedion says:

      I think by this point we may have discovered a few fundamental truths about gaming. The relevant one here is that in a Go-Anywhere Do-Anything environment, you either need to make the game end absurdly fast (ie, Roguelikes) so that it requires many subsequent runthroughs to experience all of the content, or you need to go the EVE psychopath/violent-psychopath route and throw a bunch of real players into a persistent blender so that they’re constantly bouncing off each other and generating their own content. On a graph of player interest, a pure sandbox maximizes interest at the outset but as things fall into boxes it diminishes (as finding new things is the goal) — throwing a twist in the middle might get a jump in interest. A ‘regular’ game should work to increase the interest of the player over time, or at least map to some sort of narrative interest curve.

      • mukuste says:


        • Hmm-Hmm. says:

          Skyrim has the benefit of having a specifically crafted world, though. That makes it feel less empty and gives it more purpose/direction.

          No Man’s Sky doesn’t have that.

    • Shadow says:

      There’s no sandbox experience to be had when you can’t build anything anywhere, nor leave any mark whatsoever on the universe.

      • KastaRules says:


      • Legion1183 says:

        Oh but you CAN leave you mark; you can name things! :)

        I personally hate naming things though, it’s like when a game gives me the most intricate character modelling tool, I spend far too long not being able to make up my mind.

  8. ironman Tetsuo says:

    One man’s shallow and grindy is another man’s infinite playground of wonders. I understand people’s fears about this game but I can tell I’m going to love it

  9. geldonyetich says:

    This is a pretty good trailer. Can I re-order my existing pre-order?

    • geldonyetich says:

      That said, I’m sort of expecting it to be a bit Omikron: Nomad Soulish, too.

      Low expectations. Key to satisfaction in gaming.

  10. Ben King says:

    I haven’t had a lot of experience with games where trading is a supplement to combat and exploration, but what springs to mind are Galaxy on Fire 2 which I played on iOS, and Skyrim. In Both trading felt great in the earlier levels and I was driven to sell treasure and resources- to mine, murder steal and loot then seek out good shops to resell for profit. But at a certain point money lost value in skyrim and it was far more worthwhile to craft or loot high end items than to buy them, while in GOF2 eventually high end items became locked away behind super inflated currency walls that necessitated grinding or investing in micro transactions for in game currency or ships. Either way I felt trading started as a strong game mechanic then got misbalanced and lost a lot of what made it fun to begin with. I suspect some of this is just inherent to how trading mechanics work- eventually you reach the top of the trade ladder. A players acquires all the high end attributes and cash/resources lose value. Are there other neat games that maintain a good incentive for trading and upgRading from start to finish?

    • aepervius says:

      possibly those based on trading. Like X2. By the end you were still trading, but you partially automated it, set up factories etc…

  11. Stone_Crow says:

    I’d quite like to see some PC footage now please HG.

  12. Hobbes says:

    It can be played offline. That alone means it’s going to fare better than Elite Dangerous with the PC crowd. No more skin scamming and charging actual monies for “Beta access” for you Braben, you can bet a big slice of E:D’s audience will bugger off elsewhere whilst the few desperate hopefuls keep trawling audio files in the hope some gameplay will appear.

  13. KastaRules says:

    I hope it doesn’t turn into an endless GRINDING SIMULATOR like Elite Dangerous did.

  14. Captain Narol says:

    I was quite hooked on the exploration aspect of the game (like someone said one day in the comments, it’s gonna be like a procedural Proteus with a quasi-infinity of different worlds to walk around), but if the trading side of it proves itself interesting, I can already see myself playing that game for years without getting tired of it…

    But No Preoder, No Preoder, No Preorder ! (well, at least until we get a RPS hands-on review of the final product)