Can No Man’s Sky Players See Each Other Or Not?

There's a man in this screenshot but you can't see him

Update: It seems No Man’s Sky Limited Edition boxes have a PEGI sticker on them which obscures a previously included ‘Online play’ icon.

Two spacefarers met each other yesterday in the vast 18 quintillion-planet universe of No Man’s Sky. Except they couldn’t see each other or interact in any meaningful way. They moved around, set off explosives and neither of them saw any effect of the other. While this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, it is at least one aspect of the game that seems to totally contradict what the developers have previously promised.

The players, Psytokat and Thesadcactus, bumped into each other (figuratively) after Thesadcactus landed on a planet and realised it had already been named by another player. He got in touch with this player – Psytokat – and they arranged to meet up in the same place at the same time for a joint Twitch stream. But when they did, they saw nothing. After trying other locations they concluded that nothing they did was directly affecting their counterpart’s world.

It is possible that the two players were just victims of unlucky instancing – being placed in different “worlds” despite their proximity. Or server problems may also be at fault. But it may also mean that seeing other players is simply not a feature of the game. The problem with this? Well, the developers said it would be.

Sean Murray of Hello Games has previously said in interviews that it would be possible to run into other players, even if it was extremely unlikely. On the Late Show With Stephen Colbert he was particularly explicit about the possibility. Click here to watch the relevant part of the interview.

Murray was asked if you could see your own character in the game. He said no.

“The only way for you to know what you look like is for, you know, for somebody else to see you.”

“Can you run into other people,” asked Colbert, “other players on the game?”

“Yes, but the chances of that are incredibly rare just because the size of what we’re building.”

But now it looks like this may not be the case. Murray heard about the meeting between the two pilots and tweeted about how surprising it was , but he didn’t clarify why they weren’t able to see one another.

“Two players finding each other on a stream in the first day – that has blown my mind,” he said. “We added a ‘scan for other players’ in the Galactic Map to try to encourage this happening. We wanted it to happen – but the first day?”

Every game box and store listing describes No Man’s Sky as singleplayer – that’s an important point to make. But the previous promotional guff has always emphasised online elements. And that interview with Colbert is a pretty straightforward. The game was always bound to fall victim to over-promising, and it looks like this is a small example of that. Murray has recently been downplaying those elements in the past few days, saying that people shouldn’t be expecting a “multiplayer” game.

“We do have some online features and easter eggs so people can know they are playing in the same universe,” he said in another tweet. “It’s about cool ‘moments’.”

If you’re wondering why all I’m quoting is tweets, it’s because Hello Games haven’t yet responded to us (or anyone) about the meeting of the two players. If and when we do get an answer, we’ll let you know. For now, this is an unsolved mystery. Server problems, instancing or long-lost feature? Place your bets below.

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168 Comments

  1. trjp says:

    It’s the anti-Pokemon Go – a game with loads of gameplay but absolutely no social interaction at all

    I’m guessing no-one will really mind that ;0

    • HeavyStorm says:

      Wait, what? Pokémon has almost zero social features. The only thing I can think of are gyms, which is very, very superficial considering the nature of the game.

      • Okami says:

        While the game itself has no social features, you do run into other people playing it all the time and recognizing each other as fellow Pokémon players can be a great ice breaker. So in a way there’s no game that’s more social than it,since you get to actually meet and interact with real people in the real world.

        • trjp says:

          That

          It’s impossible not to meet people playing this game – there are scores of them, out 24/7 – it’s really quite something…

          Even if it is just some massive data-scraping privacy nightmare, it’s one which makes people more social!!

          • HeavyStorm says:

            OK, that’s true. Still, pokémon itself has no social feature.

            I think, on that aspect, that my old mega drive was very social, because I would always invite friends over to play with me.

  2. causticnl says:

    brendan seems to have an enormous chip on his shoulder about hello games. Sean days ago already said you werent able to interact with each other, but somehow brendan missed it, or he just dont wanna know. “To be super clear – No Man’s Sky is not a multiplayer game. Please don’t go in looking for that experience.” and yet brendan seems to want to have a multiplayer experience, I wonder why.

    • wraithgr says:

      The article is actually pretty clear about this. It’s not a question of a multiplayer game, but the developer apparently explicitly said you would be able to see other players, and that is not possible at the moment.

      • Jeremy says:

        Hey.. nice use of explicitly.

      • jonahcutter says:

        You’re right. This one example of it not happening is clear evidence of it not working period. In fact, it’s ironclad proof it’s not even in the game at all.

        • Jeremy says:

          Excellent job on taking an actual critical question and making it irrational.

        • Ham Solo says:

          You’re right. This one example of passive aggressive ****posting is clear evidence of you being a jerk period. In fact, it’s ironclad proof you’re not even 12 at all.

          • CCopperpot says:

            You’re right. This one example of passive aggressive ****posting is clear evidence of you being a jerk period. In fact, it’s ironclad proof you’re not even 12 at all.

            You’re right. This one example of not responding to a major gaming news outlet is clear evidence that nothing is wrong. In fact, ignoring inquiries from nearly every large gaming news outlet on clear inconsistencies with product capabilities versus promises is no reason to be alarmed at all!

          • jonahcutter says:

            Such venom. People certainly are intent on being upset over this game.

          • syndrome says:

            If someone paid 60 bucks just so he/she could see another player inside a game that has ‘solo’ written all over it, than you’ve attributed the term ‘alarming’ to the wrong behaviour.

        • geldonyetich says:

          I remember something about the developers saying each player has a “Lobby” and other players join up in it when they meet each other. Seems to me that this could be a lobby joining malfunction instead of a straight-up omission of multiplayer gameplay.

          I figured some problems would likely croup up, including crappy netcode, because clearly this game is not built for players to meet often, so getting it to work right fell very low on their priority list.

      • tiberiousr says:

        Sean also clarified some time ago the seeing other players was based on a lobby system akin to Journey so even if two players are in the same area there’s a good chance they won’t see each other. Add to that the servers were massively overloaded when these two players found the same spot and frankly I think people are making mountains of a molehill with this story.

        • aepervius says:

          And what sort of server loadwould that be ? Player dont have to exhange much with the server, as name of places , planet and süecies are procedurally generated. Only if a player change it it need to be changed. So basically look up in a db, register /unregister player in lobby, mark timextamps and location of player. There is almost certainly nothing else to exvhangeunless player meets. Having worker on both hard iron and java based server, such lookup does not ned much. And they probably have a cloud of them. Plus a lot of that you can work asynch, ack the planet name changeor similar stuff,so that the player seamslessly play, but queue it on an mqs or similar system on a coud backend for the real work.as they themselves said it is not amultiplayer game so exchange datawith server dont need real time unless player meet which should be extremly rare. If their server are overloaded then they must be making a real mess.

          • tiberiousr says:

            Uh, you know they had over 10,000,000 discoveries registered by players in the first day right? That’s a heavy server load and we don’t know what their backend is using or how powerful their hardware is. Speaking as a web and systems developer I can understand perfectly that they’re under a heavy load.

          • HeavyStorm says:

            @tiberiousr 10.000.000 writes on a db along a day isn’t that much. If caching is working, read times should be negligible.

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            modzero says:

            Having worker on both hard iron and java based server,

            …you have no idea what you’re talking about, proven just by the fact that you think those are relevant credentials, but don’t let that stop you.

    • Jeremy says:

      It’s very explicitly at odds with what the designer has said was possible with the game. If this was any other game, or perhaps even an EA game, not living up to the promises of it’s developer, it would be a totally acceptable critique.

    • Hyena Grin says:

      There’s a difference between saying that it’s not built to be a multiplayer game, and advising people not to go into it for a multiplayer experience (because there are no tools for multiplayer play and meeting up is extremely hard thanks to the nature of the game), and directly refuting earlier statements that you would be able to ‘meet’ other players but only by ‘seeing them’ in the game world.

      Brendan is doing his job managing the expectations of players in the absence of responses from the developers. That’s part of what being a game critic is about. I don’t think he has a chip on his shoulder just because he’s not actively engaged in the hype-machine.

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      HothMonster says:

      You seem to have an enormous chip in your pants for hello games. They said a thing would happen, that thing didn’t happen and they seem reluctant to say whether that thing really can happen or if it was just a day one technical error.

      • causticnl says:

        sweetie, let me explain it one more time for you. sean said one time something about multiplayer, something that he already clarified and corrected months ago. and yet some people seem so obsessed about this one remark. they write article after article about it, now who has the biggest chip? ;)

        • Orillion says:

          Ah, the ol’ “don’t have anything to properly refute with so I’ll just act condescending and hope it makes me look like I won the argument.” 20% of the time, it works every time.

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            Nauallis says:

            What, like you just did?

          • Arcturan Megadonkey says:

            I guess I find it a little odd too that RPS keeps harping on a feature that was promised and under-delivered given that previously they tacitly approved of (and encouraged!) this exact same marketing strategy from Indie developers as a way to successfully promote their game. And now they’re being flogged for doing just that?

            Meh. Maybe RPS’s stance has shifted now that Indie developers are more mainstream.

        • Valgua says:

          Sean Murray never retracted the statement made on national tv about you being able to see other players. Saying that one should not approach NMS expecting a good multiplayer (because of the galaxy’s dimension) is not the same thing as saying that players would not be able to see each other. A clear statement made in a very public forum must be retracted with an equally unambigous statement. The criticism against HG is thus more than justified.

    • ryanrybot says:

      “We added a ‘scan for other players’ in the Galactic Map to try to encourage this happening. We wanted it to happen – but the first day?”
      They wanted what to happen, exactly? You to not have a multiplayer experience by adding a mechanic to scan for other players, but not actually see them…?
      It’s pretty obvious they wanted players to find each other. Just imagine the feeling if you could run into another player. It would be like finding someone while you’ve been shipwrecked on a deserted island.

  3. Tacroy says:

    I thought Sean was pretty clear that the server load was keeping them from seeing each other.

    • HeavyStorm says:

      And I think that’s a little lie.

      • notcurry says:

        I don’t think so, really. I think it’s entirely likely that HG did not actually stop to properly estimate the actual likelihood of this happening, and they might have paid less attention to the stability of that feature as a result.

        The servers have undoubtedly experienced a crazy load since yesterday, and the system that supports encounters might have fallen victim to that because it was just not robust enough. I don’t see why that’s so hard to believe.

      • Mokinokaro says:

        Such a lie that they’re promising to patch in the ability to locate nearby players?

    • TheMightyEthan says:

      I thought he kind of implied that without actually being clear about anything at all.

    • Tikigod says:

      No, they mentioned in a completely unrelated capacity that the games activity was putting a load on their servers and that their network techs would look into it when they found them… followed by a picture of someone in a chair hiding under a jacket.

      That it has anything to do with people not encountering each other as they should do is just the explanation apologists have applied because the idea that Hello Games have in some ways pulled a Molyneux over the game and what is possible isn’t something they want to consider.

  4. C0llic says:

    If this was an instancing error, they would have said as much already. Its for sale DRM free on GOG from what I’ve seen, so that immediately says to me that there isn’t any kind of persistent multiplayer.

    Except player interaction in a spore-like ‘look at this planet full of penis creatures’ kind of way.

    • C0llic says:

      Except? I meant expect. Why can we not edit ?! I’ll never stop wanting that feature.

    • GenialityOfEvil says:

      Dying Light has multiplayer, that’s on GOG too. They have 9 pages of multiplayer games.
      link to gog.com

      • C0llic says:

        I stand corrected on that then. I still think if this was a wholly unexpected outcome after testing this kind of player interaction, we’d have a firm answer. Staying silent says ‘NO, YOU CAN’T DIRECTLY INTERACT WITH OR SEE OTHER PLAYERS!’ in block caps and flashing neon (I don’t have any neon).

        Still staying with the Spore analogy myself.

  5. Suits says:

    I guess he’s thinking hard on how to give a spin on this one

  6. ResonanceCascade says:

    If the answer were good news, he’d give it to us straight. Hemming and hawing pretty much always means “no.”

  7. HeavyStorm says:

    I’m sorry, but this smelled fishy from the start. Just yesterday I was researching the multi-player aspects of the game (I’m just caught up in the hype), and I read a few of Sean’s statements. They were strange; see, he kept saying, yeah, players can interact, but that’s highly unlikely. Well, think about it, either he’s right and so hello games spend a very considerable amount of time into making something that wouldn’t be used, or (and that’s where I’d put my chips) he was considering it so unlikely that we wouldn’t know the difference.

    In that case, he’d be straight up lying, but maybe he was just buying time. Could be their working on it right now, right?

    My main argument towards this is simple: multi-player code is very complex and hard. MMO code is even harder. If they invested resources into making it possible, where’s the trailer or whatever showing it to us?

    • C0llic says:

      There’ also this:

      link to pcgamesn.com

      Some editions of the PS4 hard copies have stickers over a symbol for multiplayer. At the time of the Colbert promotion they were probably on course for players to see each other, and more interaction besides, but it looks like that has changed.

      In light of the fact they went as far as to print multiplayer on game cases, i’d say it’s a half-molyneux.

      • Orillion says:

        At least it’s not a full molyneux. You never go full molyneux.

      • RobF says:

        The sticker thing is fairly straightforward – if it goes out as multiplayer, then anyone using it will have to use PS+ for the online features. If it goes out as a single player game with online connectivity – it doesn’t.

        The box art for the SE clearly had more of a lead in than the main box art so better to hedge your bets than not have it there. When things changed around the release – sticker-me-do.

        Not everything is a conspiracy.

      • Xiyng says:

        Considering how big the day-one patch is, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were planning to add this too later. Impossible to say what the deal is at this point though when all we know is that it didn’t work this one time. I’m kind of thinking it might be in the game even now since they’re trying to encourage it, but this is pretty curious.

    • fish99 says:

      ” he was considering it so unlikely that we wouldn’t know the difference.”

      Bingo.

  8. baseless_drivel says:

    I figured this would be the case, and I figured they were deliberately being vague and dodgy about it because… well, why lie when there’s money to be made? At one moment they’re saying it’s “not a multiplayer game,” then at other moments they seem to suggest that it’s possible while not actually being explicitly clear about it.

    My logic was basically this: Multiplayer is not a free feature to implement; it takes time and money. Why would they go through all the effort, when they fully admit the chances of meeting another player are “essentially zero”?

    My conclusion? They didn’t. My guess is they were hoping nobody would find out until it was too late, or perhaps they were going to silently patch it in at a later date (if ever).

    Given the sheer number of planets possible, I actually would’ve bet that the “discovered planet” feature was a sham too, because with 18 quintillion planets, nobody would ever find out until it was too late.

    And why are people starting so close to each other in such a huge universe? Why are players even spawning on already-discovered planets? Is this really a bug, or were they somehow being deceptive with the universe size too?

    And most of all, why the hell would they be so evasive about any of this? Even without these features, it still looks like a solid game.

    Oh right, money.

    I’d very much like to be wrong, and hope this is just some game bug, but I don’t really hold much faith. At least I didn’t pre-order this.

    “And as they go, they’re upgrading their ship, they’re upgrading their weapons, they’re upgrading their suit. And they need to do that because they’re very vulnerable, they will be attacked by AI, potentially – very rarely – other players, things like that, if they cross paths with them.”
    link to eurogamer.net

    • baseless_drivel says:

      Here’s another video. Again, I hope to be wrong, but these statements are pretty damning if not.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      Players have found eachother’s discoveries according to reddit so that part isn’t a lie.

      There are also unconfirmed reports of players meeting in game without issue so it might have just been a connection or server problem.

    • Flatley says:

      Keep on clutching you pearls at the thought that video game developers might actually want to make money off of their work. Heavens!

      • fish99 says:

        Would you like to find out after a crash that your car manufacturer decided not to put in that airbag you thought you were getting?

        • horrorgasm says:

          Even with how comically overdramatic that is aside, that is a truly awful analogy. Why not just go all the way and compare it to rape while you’re at it?

          • phelix says:

            Hey man, it’s not a true internet discussion until someone goes full Godwin and equates a game developer’s vague words with the atrocities of Hitler.

          • fish99 says:

            How is it a poor analogy? They widely advertised a feature, then removed it late in the product cycle and never told anyone.

      • Distec says:

        I don’t object to developers making money. But I do when it involves lying to my face.

        I’ve actually been warming up to NMS in the last few weeks (after a very long period of skepticism) and considered purchasing the PC version on the day of release, but this has given me some pause. Given that it just came out on PS4, I’m willing to entertain that this “invisible player” problem might have been a technical hiccup. But should discoveries like this become a pattern, I’ll be fairly disappointed.

  9. fearandloathing says:

    wow so he was in colbert report? such pr dude, cannot believe how anyone can still label this game indie.

    • Optimaximal says:

      The game development itself was self-funded and run entirely in-house with no input from Sony, to the best of my knowledge.

      Sony just provided their marketing budget to make it a PS4 console exclusive. If you’ve got those deep pockets, might as well use them.

      • DoubleG says:

        It’s fair to take issue with this game calling itself an indie. Having a huge company cover one of your expenses — like marketing — allows you to spend a lot more on development. It also increases your projected revenue, which allows you to secure even more funding at better terms.

        This company is very far away from a few dreamers working out of garages and coffee shops.

        • The Great Wayne says:

          AAA coverage, AAA pricing and a little Sony tag on the side of the box. Totally legit indie game.

          • Optimaximal says:

            I hate to break it to you, but every PS4 game has a Sony logo on the PS4 box art.

        • Optimaximal says:

          Maybe it does, but the key point is the game was independently developed – it’s creative and technical direction was decided by Hello Games alone.

          The only stipulation was Sony gave them a chunk of cash in order to not launch on the Xbox One. It’s not really much different to Microsoft’s old Xbox Arcade/Indie initiatives where Microsoft would cover the boring stuff provided the game launched first on Xbox Live with a period of exclusivity.

        • Camerooni says:

          They are definitely an ‘independent developer’.. but they are no-where near what anyone would define as ‘indie’ with the distribution/marketing support from Sony.

    • fearandloathing says:

      yep, a nice discussion followed. I should state though, I don’t see any console game as indies. real indies are for pcies beachezz

  10. trjp says:

    Let’s be honest, if the comments here, in most forum threads, especially on the Steam Forums and most everywhere else for-that-matter are anything to go by, NO-ONE would want to meet other NMS players because they appear-to-be some of the most unpleasantly nasty, entitled and outright awful people ever…

    I’ve seen a lot of shit on the Internet, the noise around this game is something else entirely – I really, really cannot figure-it-out – it’s not good in any way at all…

    • causticnl says:

      its actually the loudest people that arent playing the game.

    • Premium User Badge

      Nauallis says:

      Right? It’s like what I’ve come to expect about political commentary. *shrill voice* “Well, you said in 2014 that this game would include features x, y, and j and it’s not 2016 and these features aren’t in the game and that means that you lied. Also your fans and constituents take everything you say literally and as a promise and how dare you!”

      • Premium User Badge

        Nauallis says:

        *now

      • trjp says:

        “TRJP 2016 – making gaming great again”

        I think everyone who likes games should shoot anyone who doesn’t- also shoot anyone who’s a bit foreign looking and ban non WoW players from coming into any country…

        How did I do?

        • Premium User Badge

          Nauallis says:

          You’re on the right track, although maybe a little bit more vitriol and nonsense. See the comment yesterday by the guy who was apparently mad about “post-gold and zero-day updates.” I’m still confused why this would be of any concern at all.

      • Scurra says:

        Yeah, some of us (OK, just me then) actually quite liked Godus. Gah, I’m sorry, I forgot that everyone had agreed not to mention that again. Even though I still liked it.

        • Press X to Gary Busey says:

          It’s a bit of a tangent to the discussion but they don’t want to talk about it either.
          They rebranded to Godus Wars, which they gave to all previous owners with paygates added to the progression.
          It’s still in early access.

        • ooshp says:

          What, you needed something to play when you took a break from X:Afterbirth? I prefer just punching myself in the face while I throw money in the fire.

    • waltC says:

      I really have no interest in multiplayer games at all, so I could care less about that aspect. I’m trying to figure out what this game actually is, though…Is it a space exploration game with a mystery behind it like Starflight? Does it have a plot–goal–story of some kind? If it’s merely a half-baked beta game with the developers promising more–later–I doubt I’ll bite.

  11. aircool says:

    I’d always thought it was a single player game connected to the game server so everyone is in the same galaxy, but in their own instance… or something, I don’t know the correct terminology for what I’m trying to say.

    Put it this way, until yesterday and this story, I didn’t know that meeting other players was/is/supposed to be a thing, I figured that it was singleplayer, but stuff you did was sent to the main server.

    A friend pointed me to this…

    link to cad-comic.com

  12. aircool says:

    I still see it as a Spaceman Spiff simulator.

  13. Jediben says:

    Second only to Chris Roberts!

  14. PancakeWizard says:

    It’s a game you can pause and play offline. It was always safe to say that ‘multiplayer’ was the wrong word for whatever they have in mind.

    Sean has referenced Journey when talking about player contact. So it’s possible that the meeting of other players is handled as specific events when the game decides it’s cool rather than mere proximity, and if the servers were under heavy load they were prioritising the discovery database in favour of it.

    We’ll see though.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      Watch Dogs and Dark Souls can be played offline (heck the former can be paused when you’re not being invaded) so neither is an indicator of the MP not existing.

      Though I do feel it doesn’t. Or at least has kinks to be worked out.

  15. Neurotic says:

    The way some of them have been rage-vomitting all over the place, I really do not want to, thanks. Personally speaking, outside of MMORPGs, multiplayer has never been a pre-requisite for fun, for me. And all the less so in this game.

    • aircool says:

      Yep… with the gf away on holiday to Malta at the weekend, it’s going to be a long week of space exploration for me. Hurrah!

  16. Cederic says:

    I’d have much preferred that they skip the multiplayer at all.

    “Ooh, this is a pretty planet. I shall name it.. Oh, it’s called XXImbecileXX-FDaffodil-Entendre”

    No, do not go polluting my single player games with nonsense from other players. No.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      While it is still a stupid move for “shhhh, secrets, you’ll be surprised” (Surprise parties are the worse!) it is probably that.

      Only way to “meet” other players would be see their grave/tombstone/ship marker or some other strange event that is either not yet activated by players, or the server just did not update in time.

      Though part of me does expect to to be nothing more than Hubris, and Sean to have gone full MollyDues Just quickly enough for release, bug thankfully slowly enough to release a working game (looks at Godus in the corner of the RPS article pile).

    • Neurotic says:

      Absolutely.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      There’s a possibility that other players’ discoveries can be avoided with the PC version by just blocking NMS.exe from fethcing data with a firewall rule after a fresh install.
      If it isn’t already toggleable in the options.
      Although I wonder if you could still get currency for uploading your own discoveries if walling off the program.

      • Cederic says:

        An options toggle would probably be enough for me. I hate games unnecessarily connecting to servers, but I can cope with it; I just want to do my own exploration :(

  17. Zenicetus says:

    It does raise some questions, like why are people running into player-named planets this fast? If they’re right about how the procedural generation works, that just shouldn’t happen. Unless… (donning conspiratorial tin hat)… unless they’re seeding everyone together intentionally, to generate this kind of interaction.

    Sure hope not, because if it’s not a singleplayer game where I don’t have to see silly planet names or interact with other players, then I have zero interest in it.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      You can play completely offline.

      Everyone gets seeded a certain distance from galactic center. Given the game has record setting preorder numbers a few starting close by isn’t that unprecedented.

      • Zenicetus says:

        If they’re seeding players at random, and if there really are 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 planets, they yeah… it’s just a wee bit unlikely.

        So if I play offline I won’t see player-named planets? That’s good.

        • mcirish3 says:

          If you do a little math and some rather rudimentary calculation and some big assumptions you can get an estimate on how many planets on average will be between each player’s seed point. SO lest say No man’s sky is build on a single two dimensional plane. Then let’s also say the planets are evenly distributed and that the players spawn some place near the edge of the galaxy. If I use the 170000 copies of the PC version already sold as an estimate for number of PS4 players you get about 90,000 planets apart as an average seed distance assuming random seed location. But this could easily drop to a much smaller number with more players or a smaller radius or a spherical universe approximation.

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        Also this thing when bunching tons of people into statistics: link to en.wikipedia.org

    • kromeboy says:

      AFAIK everyone starts in the same galaxy (Euclid) so i think that collision in the early game (firts galaxy exploration) are more common.

  18. Zenicetus says:

    Also, this player meeting (or non-meeting?) reminds me of something that happened in the last months of Beta for Elite:D.

    The Elite Galaxy was touted as being so huge that it would take years for anyone to reach the center. That might have been true for one early design where players had to discover and map hyperlinks on their own. Instead, Frontier just exposed all the hyperlinks. One player made it to the center of the Galaxy during Beta, a few months before the game was even released.

    That was a letdown, for those of us who wanted exploration to be more of a challenge. It may happen again with NMS, if they’ve underestimated what happens when actual players meet their code.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      People who got the game before the day 1 patch already made it to the center using exploits.

      • Lanessar says:

        By “exploit”, I’m guessing you mean the resources the developers specifically left lying on the ground at certain stations every 100 or so light years?

        Calling that an “exploit” seems a bit disingenous.

  19. The Great Wayne says:

    The simple paradox in the opposition of the theory “it’s not a multiplayer game” some fans are bent on and “we’ll put a scanner to find other players in the game” should be causing earthquakes from raising eyebrows.

    It’s almost the same as “we want people to move and not settle, so no mechanic to allow that” and “let’s put bases into the game”.

    Good article Brendan. Getting a little tired of reading about NMS but hey, you live on audience and it seems to attract a lot of people these days – so no hard feelings.

  20. int says:

    Can you see yourself?

  21. Rumpelstiltskin says:

    I’m guessing the “persistent MMO” aspect of it is just that you can occasionally see planets named by other players, and other superficial stuff like that. Full MP experience is a mammoth thing to implement, and if the chances of meeting someone are minuscule, wasting resources on it would be monumentally stupid.

    That said, isn’t “the center of the universe” the exact same spot for all players, and thus many people will arrive there sooner or later? Unless it’s interpreted in a New Age sense, as being “your inner spiritual center” blah-blah.

  22. spliffrider says:

    I think a lot of people don’t really “get” how this kind of game universe really works. You see; there aren’t really a gazillion planets in the game at all times. They don’t “exist” outside of an algorithm. It is a little bit like ‘the library of babel’ (link to libraryofbabel.info ). A website that “stores” ALL possible pieces of text of a certain length. (including the stuff I just typed & the sentence you’re just thinking of -> go look it up). Ofc there is not actually some server that has a database of every possible text that can be made; instead it just gets generated. Same thing probably goes for this game. Worlds don’t really “exist” untill they get generated by a player visiting them. Then they can actually go into a (much more managable) database. Brilliant trick to do what is pretty much computationally impossible.

    But imo that has some consequences on the possibility/probability of real time multiplayer encounters with other players. It’s one thing to generate worlds locally, and upload their parameters to a database; so other players can add those worlds (by downloading & running the parameters trough the same algorithm, again locally).

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      Everything is generated procedurally so there should be no need for uploading and downloading planets outside what the player themselves affect on them.
      Any given location in the universe is generated by the exact same formula no matter if it has been visited or not and is created exactly the same way every time – a red planet with green oceans will always be red with green for every player even if all of them play offline.

      As an example: A sequence seeded with 3 and 6, add them and you get 9, now the sequence is 3 6 9. Keep adding the last with the previous number (and throw away the 10:s) and you get:
      3 6 9 5 4 9 … and so on.
      It generates the same sequence every time, even if you need a million numbers it will always be the same sequence no matter who runs it.

      The programmers then shove the sequence through their universe generator algorithm in the game engine and it gives a seemingly random and varied result but it will generate the same universe for every player.

      • fish99 says:

        Yes the planets don’t ‘go into a database’ after someone discovers them, apart from the planets name and the species on it, and then only if the player changes them. Every PS4 running the game can generate the exact same planet just as quickly. Every planet in the NMS universe is already seeded and set in stone, even if no one has visited it yet, or ever visits it.

      • mcirish3 says:

        This coment section needs a like button. Good job!

      • spliffrider says:

        That is exactly what I meant. The possible outcome of the seeded algorithm doesn’t exist untill you run it. Only the variables are necesairy. Imo that will make it impossible to do any “real” multiplayer. 1 players client can’t see another player digging a hole, or killing an animal for instance -> that would mean that every animal/rock/tree on every discovered planet would have variables that get exchanged with a server.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          Not in the slightest. It just means that players have to be put into a shared instance when they get nearby, in this case same system or planet. Then all actions are transmitted to all players as with any other multiplayer peer-to-peer game. Indeed, this is exactly what they’re saying they’re doing.

          Terrain deformation can be handled using differential storage so it takes very little space, and they can probably just throw away all modifications when all players leave the system since nobody’d really care to find them later anyway.

  23. Frank says:

    I like that Colbert, off the top of his head, brings up the “local group” and “ablative” features of a spacecraft.

  24. Babymech says:

    I can see them. I can literally see all of them. All of the time. It’s all I see. There’s nothing they can do that is hidden from me. There is nothing I can do to blind myself to them.

  25. Ericusson says:

    Bah, the metacritic rating of he PS4 version shows the game is a dud.

    Once more somebody claimed a universe full of variety and possibility.
    Once more they lied.

    • Thurgret says:

      They did a Molyneux, perhaps. It’s lying with a typically well-meaning but misguided twist.

    • Creeping Death says:

      Well it’s a relatively niche game that has someone gotten massive marketing behind it to expose it to the masses. This was never going to be a game that would appeal to everyone (or even most mainstream gamers) so I’m willing to take launch day console site reviews with a massive pinch of salt for now.

      • Creeping Death says:

        *somehow

        I still dont know how RPS doesnt have an edit comment feature…

        • ChipDipson says:

          This seems like the most productive place to complain about how when i click “log in” to comment on the story, after logging in i am taken to my profile for some reason, not to the comment field and after backing to the story page I am no longer logged in. Not to worry, I can simply click to “Reply” to someone else’s comment, nip right up to the address bar and conveniently delete the last part of the url which takes me back to the story, logged in and ready to comment in a jif! Top-notch foruming all-around, RPS.

          • ooshp says:

            Netscape needs updating?

          • Kefren says:

            It is a faff. After clicking back to the page press F5 to refresh, then you are logged in.

          • Distec says:

            As Kefren said, you can hit Back on your browser and just refresh the page to pick up where you left off.

            But RPS’ comments section is well and truly busted a lot of the time. And I’m pretty sure I recall a time when it wasn’t junk, so I dunno what happened.

  26. aircool says:

    I think one reason for the over reaction is the fact that console gamers aren’t really used to the whole ‘But what do you do? Whatever you want’ type of gameplay.

    I mean, I play Ark: Survival single player… but what do you do? Well, survive. That’s how exploration and survival games work; if you find some extremely valuable resources or something, and it just happens to be in an area stuffed full of badass killer monsters, then you run away and come back once you’ve increased your stats and improved your gear.

    Remember years ago, all the crap about monsters levelling in line with you in Elder Scrolls: Oblivion? People weren’t keen on the idea because they were used to the ES games where you could take a wrong turn or enter the wrong cave and get totally floored in the first encounter.

    I’m guessing that, these days, particularly with console games, players are used to the challenge increasing in line with the character level, not to mention the fact that, whilst your mate has spawned on a lush, friendly and resource rich planet, your sorry arse is getting irradiated on a barren rock.

    • UncleLou says:

      I don’t think this has much to do with consoles per se, more that the marketing/hype reached a bigger possible audience than such a game normally would, on the PC as well as the PS4.

      Generally speaking, many non-handholding (or “hardcore”) games I’ve played in recent years were console games or had console origins, like the Souls series, or Monster Hunter.

  27. racccoon says:

    I’ve been trying hard to ignore all this NMS banter & it is kind of sickening to see the crappy headlines. It seems media & players are intent on destruction and not construction of the game & the developers talent. What people are not understanding is a small group of people used a massive amount their time and effort put into this game. With the finalization of game comes people who basically just love to undermine or be the one who is nothing but a spoiler.
    The only thing I feel sad about this is hello games did not release this in unison with all the game systems for equal game release experience.
    This way maybe the people who are always intent on being destructive about games would be over taken by people who are in absolute ore of its masterful & amazing work & achievement. Which is a milestone in gaming.

  28. vahnn says:

    My theory: They blew smoke up our asses with “Yeah, sure, you can see other players! But… it’s not likely given the size of the universe!” Secretly they didn’t even program multiplayer capability. You CAN’T see other players. They just crossed their fingers and dicks and hoped thousands of players would never run into each other in a universe of hundreds of billions of stars.

    And it was a fine idea, too. Until two players ran into each other and tested it out less than 30 hours after release. Ha!

    Cynical of me, I know. Maybe it’s really just server issues. The game was hyped to incredible levels, I’m sure there are insane numbers of people all hopping in at once.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      Okay, this conspiracy theory has come up a couple of times now, and all I can say is that you folks need to take a few minutes to think about what you’re writing before you post it. This theory is just embarrassing.

      What rational developer, fully aware of the number of eyes on their game (clearly communicated to them through pre-order numbers, pre-release features on sites like this one, comments and forum usage, trailer views, etc.) would try to trick literally everyone into believing that their game includes multiplayer if it does not? In what universe would even the most capable liar think they could get away with that? That would be like lying about your gender on a dating website.

      And, I mean, why? What possible benefit would the devs derive from that? And before you say, “money”, bear in mind that we live in the age of Steam refunds, and that game devs’ careers are completely dependent on their reputations. Two young devs in their 20s-30s aren’t going to through away their futures on a lie they’ll definitely be caught in.

      I don’t particularly care about NMS or Hello Games, but these “they’re trying to fool us all!” theories are spiteful and feel like a clumsy attempt at propaganda.

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        *throw

        Clearly I was too annoyed to spellcheck.

      • horrorgasm says:

        “That would be like lying about your gender on a dating website.”

        but…people do do that…

        It’s hardly unheard of for a dev to promise features that never end up appearing in the final product either. Peter Molyneux ring a bell?

        No one’s saying they do these things just out of spite. They do it because they meant it when they first claimed it, but things happen and not everything makes it into the final cut and not everyone wants to admit that they couldn’t actually follow through on their intentions, but they have publishers to answer to and their paychecks on the line so they release anyway.

        I mean really, we see unfinished games released all the time these days. Some get finished later if they’re able, some can’t and/or don’t. It’s common practice nowadays.

      • vahnn says:

        Of course I don’t actually believe this. I 100% lost interest in this game as soon as I discovered it was intended to be a PS4 game, so I have no horse in this race. I’m just saying it’s not inconceivable that they’d do this. It’s more likely that it was intended to have multiplayer interaction but it’s just not working, and they were hoping they could work out the kinks before any players ran into one another.

        Either way, the whole thing is laughable. Just another reason that overhyping a product a good way to ensure everyone is super let down on release day.

  29. Flatley says:

    Wow, no multiplayer? Game-breaker.

    • hpoonis says:

      For whom? For every individual stating that they want multiplyer, there will be another quite content with single-play and any non-interactive recognition that may (or may not) appear would only be gravy to them.

      Now, if you are of the type whose primary existence for playing games is to be online in some ‘social’ form: whether that is engaging in EVE, World or Fartcraft, Division, Second Call of Counterstrike-life, or some other activity which would probably involve taking things far too seriously for what is, decidedly, unsocial interaction, then there is, I feel, something amiss in your psyche.

      I have played, and enjoyed pissing about with computer games since 1980, and the ZX81 but, in all those years, nothing comes close to getting out with friends and looking poeple in the face when you talk with them, as opposed to sitting on a computer at 2am with a headset on screaming, “PISTOL DEATH!” down the line to some other sad-sack…and yes, I did see and hear it with my own eyes some years ago while I was trying to send some emails from an internet cafe whilst travelling about.

      My (limited) experience of online gaming steers me away because, like life, there is a small-minded bunch of peons who claim a great deal of satisfaction by making others’ experience a chore at best; a reason to stay offline at worst. It is a false elitism. Most of them will have been lingering about their favourite floaty-weapon shooter for several years and see themselves as the ruling class – of whatever clique whose spoor they have been following. I subscribed to EVE for 18 months but in all that time I played maybe 30-40 hours. Within my first 5 minutes in Hi-Sec space I was twice offed by the same character who took great delight in podding me but even greater delight in bragging about it over a chat he opened to me.

      Football (the real kind, not the padded kind) is probably the prime example for online gaming. It is JUST a game but one has to account for the nature of idiots.

      For those who online a LOT, a question could be: do you purchase a game early so you can enjoy the experience, or do you leap in first so that, by the time the rest catch up, you are in a position to shit all over the new players?

  30. oddant1 says:

    Have you guys checked his Twitter “We hope to see those (meetings between players) happening… but too many of you are playing right now. More than we could have predicted” he has made it pretty clear that they couldn’t see each other because the server was overloaded and not synced. The fact that they added a scan for other players feature should make it pretty clear that you will be able to meet. . . Come on guys do a little thinking about what he said instead of just complaining that he hasn’t responded with a direct answer. He tweeted a couple of times 20 hours ago then probably went to sleep and is forcibly avoiding looking at anything related to the game. Man needs and deserves a break.

    • milligna says:

      That doesn’t seem pretty clear at all. That’s the kind of parsing that got us into this mess to begin with!

      • oddant1 says:

        Well no he isn’t specific but what’s wrong with him expecting us to think for ourselves? If he is saying they want players to be able to meet and has talked about it being possible in the past and is now saying it didn’t happen because of server issues we can either believe him because he seems fairly trustworthy (whatever 4chan thinks he really didn’t lie about the game) or be cynical and just assume he is lying even though we have no reason to.

  31. ChipDipson says:

    This is a “small example” of over-promising? Well, it’s having the commensurately small effect of my 4 friends and I not buying the game. But that’s probably not indicative of any larger trend or anything.

  32. Leafcutter says:

    Why is it that no one ever questions those that report the interaction?

    Maybe they have not found each others conquered planet. Maybe, considering we’ve been continually told that individuals start very far from each other that really this is just bull shit. maybe the procedural generation has created an area of a similar planet that looks the same. Maybe, dare I say it, don’t sue me for deformation, those that claim that they have met have cheated in some way.

    My point really being that its always the developer at fault not an exaggerating user.

    -LC-

  33. Sassaroth says:

    they meet up AND saw each other in there reddit update 3

    link to reddit.com

    • Sassaroth says:

      I still doubt though.

      • drinniol says:

        So you believe them when they say they didn’t see each other, but not believe them when they say they did?

        • dahools says:

          They still haven’t seen each other yet.
          If you read that guys other posts by clicking on his name, you will find he and the other guy are following each other round the galaxy in some twisted love affair waiting for the server load to decrease so they can see each other for the first time.

          Or something like that.

          My theory is there are multiple dimensions and once you get to the centre you will be able to travel between them and then you will start seeing other people.
          Remember that of those two that were meeting in one guys game it was day and the other guys was night. Plus when ships were going overhead they were different models.
          I recon the centre of the galaxy is some clever play on time.

  34. batraz says:

    This was supposed to be a game about solitude and contemplation, wasnt it ? So we don’t really care about multiplayer and all that consumer rage is absurd. You want to interact ? Go see your pals, your parents, or just go out… My experience about multiplayer is all about being insulted by 45 yrs old geeks (you noob !), to explain my point of view, but I guess it’s different for kids who can synchronize easily with school buddies. Any kids here ? ;)

    • batraz says:

      Strange post ending, edit needed, since irony is dead in the Twitter-era.. I meant I doubt there are many kids here, which makes all the fuss around multiplayer a bit… childish. Lord I hate my times.

  35. NephilimNexus says:

    As someone all to familiar with the works of Peter Molyneux, none of this surprises me in the least.

  36. hpoonis says:

    Calm down people! Let’s just sit back, take a moment and divert the bile and vitriol to the question of the official release of Star Citizen.

  37. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    It’s weird. Early on, I got the impression that “Hey, the ‘multiplayer’ in this is going to be like Noctis” and then I must’ve kinda subconsciously ignored everything else they might’ve said about multiplayer.

    More people should’ve done that, the average world blood pressure would be lower right now.

  38. Kefren says:

    I’m mildly excited about the game as a solitary, meditative experience to dip in to. But I’ll only buy it if it’s possible to turn off all the online/naming features in the settings. I don’t want other players to have any effect on my experience. I don’t want to do it via firewall because that could break updates; you then allow access for the update then find planets wiyh silly names cobbled in. I want it to be a proper setting, solo permanent offline (or something), so I hope reviews cover that. Also, without that mode, it will one day die when companies change and servers get switched off.

  39. tonicer says:

    I give this game two months maybe three … then it will be forgotten.

    Why? Because no SDK = no mods = no longevity and from what i have seen so far it is very repetitive.

  40. Hallogenic says:

    “Yes, but the chances of that are incredibly rare just because the size of what we’re building.”

    It’s been 2 days!

  41. Love Albatross says:

    “Every game box and store listing describes No Man’s Sky as singleplayer – that’s an important point to make”

    Sort of…but only because they put a sticker over some game boxes to remove the mention of multiplayer: link to i.imgur.com

  42. Unsheep says:

    Another case of blowing a minor issue way out of proportion.

    If people only want multiplayer gaming they should stick to multiplayer-only games.

    • Jediben says:

      If you’re so happy to pay for something you are told you will get but don’t actually receive, Google homeopathy.

      • Premium User Badge

        Harlander says:

        What if the missing feature’s something one doesn’t particularly expect or care about, though?

        • frymaster says:

          Then it depends. No assertions of features made during development should ever be treated as the last word; it’s well-understood that things change, so you should only ever make a decision to buy a game based on the information available at release. If a dev says “sorry, this got cut” then you decide if you care about the feature or not, and move on.

          But… they didn’t say it had been cut. Those assertions still are the latest (if not last) word. This has implication beyond “the feature some people hoped for is not in the game”, and putting a sticker over the multiplayer logo on the game box doesn’t really count

        • Sian says:

          Then one should be considerate and understand that other people do care about it. Those people will be upset. Who is one to say that they shouldn’t be?

          I personally don’t care about multiplayer. In fact, I give most multiplayer modes and multiplayer-only games a pass. But I can understand the people who wanted multiplayer, expected multiplayer due to what the dev had said, and who now may or may not get what they wanted. When Elite:Dangerous was being developed, I was told there would be offline singleplayer. That stance was maintained until, not sure, one week before launch, even though the devs had to know long before that that there would be no such thing. I was upset. Luckily I hadn’t preordered.

        • MrUnimport says:

          Then you can still have fun playing the game. But it doesn’t change the fact that Murray is being elusive and vague about his game’s feature set, post-release. It’s not right to sell people a product based on vague implications of what it can do.

  43. LennyLeonardo says:

    So far for me PS4 NMS is a slightly dull, if relaxing and occasionally surprising mini adventure. Its size is not met by its scope, and that is mildly disappointing but not all that shocking. What is shocking is the overall reaction online. So many people should be ashamed of themselves.

  44. Deadcow says:

    So, Hello Games add a button explicitly to help you to find other players, and then two players meet on the first day and can’t see each other, so clearly HG are lying and this isn’t just some artifact of overloaded servers or a bug?

    Then why did they build the button?

    I’m not saying I care either way, frankly if the other people playing the game are like the people s***posting this article then I don’t want to meet you anyway, but you see what I’m saying, yeah? Why put in a button to explicitly support a feature you know doesn’t exist? Doesn’t make sense, does it?

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