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This Game Is Bigger Than Anything You've Ever Seen


There’s a new game on the horizon that is so big that, in all likelihood, it will never be fully explored. The game is No Man’s Sky, and it is literally bigger than our galaxy.

No Man’s Sky is an upcoming adventure game about exploration of an uncharted galaxy. The player is tasked with visiting planets and collecting information about local flora and fauna and uploading it to a huge database called The Atlas. You then get paid for your contributions, which you can use to buy fuel for your starship and upgrades to make your exploration easier or more effective.

The Atlas is populated with data from everyone who plays the game. So if you encounter a star system already visited by another player, you’ll see what they named the planets and the alien life found on them. The chances of this are pretty small, though: there are more than 18 quintillion planets in this galaxy. Even if it only took five minutes to explore each planet, it would take nearly 175 million years for a million players to explore every one of them.

The game designers, of course, did not design that many planets. Instead, they gave rules to their universe and then had a computer generate the entire galaxy from scratch. In this way, even the game designers are occasionally surprised with what they find on new planets. The geology, the weather, even the life, was all procedurally generated by mathematic equations given to the computer by the game designers.

The game is visually impressive, and I’m really looking forward to being able to explore an entire galaxy, without limitation. Unfortunately, the developer, Hello Games, has not let us know when the game will be released, but all evidence makes it look like it will be soon. When it does release, it’ll be available on PC and PlayStation 4.

Samuel McConnell is a games enthusiast who has been playing games in one form or another since 1991. He was born in northern Maine but quickly transplanted to Wichita.