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Saturday, August 13, 2016

No Man's Sky - "It Was a Possibility"

Full disclosure, I haven't played or even touched the game at all. My PC is barely struggling to play ten year old games so its on its last legs at this point and I don't own a PS4... also I'm broke but that's pretty much par for the course when it comes to me. This post is addressing the backlash people have had since the game was released, but just mostly the multiplayer aspect.
So I want to say first off that this is a pretty common occurrence, however it wouldn't have happened with a triple A developer. What I mean to say is that games get changed all the time during production. Less frequent is when a game is changed when certain features have already been announced and even less frequently do these changes go unannounced when the game releases. Though usually these aren't the core mechanic features of the game. It'd be like they promised all these worlds but in reality they only programmed in about five hundred and kept updating the game with more planets as the game went along and disguised them as patches.
While I will admit the idea that the MMO aspect of the game was eventually scrapped the idea that a small indie team could make a game of this scope was in itself a large leap. I know there are some talented programmers out there, some venturing on god like levels, but ultimately a game of this size and scope would have been done in about four or five years with a larger developer and probably an extra year to iron out the multiplayer bugs for release, if they weren't scummy. Ultimately what was received is a pretty significant leap considering what small teams can do with a game.
That's not to say I'm fully condoning what they did rather giving context as to why it happened. What you're really getting is a balancing act. Either some aspects of the game would be scrapped in order to fit in the time they promised to release the game or the game would have been put on the shelf for this one and, if I'm being completely honest, unnecessary feature. Though that's not to say that the idea of meeting my friends in some vast cosmos out there wouldn't be cool. Basically if you want that same feeling you might as well just download the free Star Trek MMO. You'd probably get the same experience.
I sort of treat every game I come across like I'm a member of the CDC handling some hazardous material. I've been burned on games before and bought into games that ended up being complete garbage way too often. Most of my time in any game store is just me looking at something that's interesting, checking on my phone about it and eventually moving on. I'm a person with pretty niche tastes so a lot of games really fail to grab my attention and when they do I eventually end up being disappointed. I really love space and space games are great but the goals and ideas that No Man's Sky put forward really sounded too good to be true, and in some ways it seems I was right.
Personally I'd say not to give the company too much flak. Like I said the scope was extreme and even a larger team would have come across many problems that would have postponed the game perhaps even indefinitely. Also I'm not saying don't give them a free pass. Understand this happens and move on with your life.

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