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Tom Snipes 2016-12-16
img

No Man s Sky released to a decidedly lukewarm reception earlier this year, with critics pointing out the game s repetitiveness, lack of content, and somewhat homogeneous procedurally generated worlds.

Boundless, produced by developer Wonderstruck, coming soon to PC and PlayStation 4, looks like it could deliver much of what fans were expecting when No Man s Sky released in August.

Unlike the solo adventures of No Man s Sky, Boundless takes place in a single, online universe described by developer Wonderstruck as a huge graph.

Worlds begin as unsettled regions that must be developed by individual players.

Then gather together in a guild to claim enough land to construct a city, said director James Austin on the PlayStation Blog.

If your city is the most prestigious on the planet then you claim the title of its capital and rule the world.

collect
0
David Bierman 2016-08-17
img

In case you ve been living under a rock on Mars the last few years, No Man s Sky is a procedurally generated sci-fi space exploration game with a near-infinite universe and 18 quintillion planets to explore, created by a tiny developmental team of 15 people called Hello Games.

And yet, there it sits on my hard drive, occupying a mere 5 GB of space.

For a game that huge in size, you d imagine for there to be many bugs, glitches and issues.

My unreasonable dislike for this genre has kept me from playing massively successful titles like Rocket League, Wildstar, Rachet and Clank and even Overwatch.

Exploration is obviously the primary part of the game, finding precedence before storyline and gameplay, but that doesn t mean it is any less on those fronts either.

You re not asked to follow a scripted path that takes you over and over through the same crowded corridors.

collect
0
Raymond Maxwell 2016-08-10
img

No Man s Sky is a triumph of ambition.

The space exploration simulator has the most expansive world of any game ever created.

It has an unending supply of planets to explore, solar systems to visit, and aliens to make first contact with, largely thanks to its sophisticated procedural generation algorithms.

Skyrim, eat your heart out.

Although critical reception has been fairly mixed, with some complaints about gameplay being repetitive, general enthusiasm for the game is seemingly unquenchable.

In the first day, the game s servers nearly buckled under the pressure of those trying to play it, leading Hello Games founder Sean Murray to post on Twitter .. too many of you are playing right now.

collect
0
Thomas Jones 2017-09-07
img

Songbringer is an action role-playing game that’s hoping to clear the name of procedural generation.

Nathanael Weiss, who developed the game under his studio name Wizard Fu, teamed up with publisher Double Eleven, and it’s available now for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

Weiss thinks that procedural generation has gotten a bad rap when, alongside more bespoke elements, it can help create a world that’s fully realized and not just random.

He created Songbringer to evoke the same feel as classics like The Legend of Zelda and Secret of Mana, games that he says feel like “everything is just in the right place.”

“At this point I’m almost trying to downplay the procedural aspect and just let people experience that as they play it,” said Weiss in a phone call with GamesBeat.

“If anything, I’m hyping the bespokeness of the world, and the hand-crafted design of it all, and downplaying the procedural aspects, just so people don’t come into it with any expectations about it being a procedural game.”

collect
0
Filiberto Lahey 2016-08-17
img

It s full of perplexing design decisions and half-realized ideas.

It starts with a straightforward crafting grind—break ten rocks to make four metal sheets to craft one shield upgrade, etc.— and sets it against an endless, procedurally generated universe full of procedurally generated planets.

Players are given two directives from the outset: Heed the call of a mysterious entity known as the Atlas, or proceed along a charted path toward the galactic center.

You ll discover some goofy animals and share screenshots of the funniest ones on social media.

Each planet and animal you discover can be named and uploaded to the game s servers, and while you ll never see another player in your game, you may come across one of their discoveries.

It seemed as good a destination as any, so I headed toward it.

collect
0
James Flachs 2016-07-29
img

Sure, Pokémon Go is the only game people want to play right now.

But come August 9, the world will have another incredible title to obsess over.

No Man s Sky, developed by indie studio Hello Games, is a procedurally generated survival adventure set in space, that will see players explore 18 quintillion planets in an attempt to reach the center of the galaxy.

The game has a brand new trailer that gives you a glimpse of some of the alien lands, poisonous plants and massive dinosaur-like creatures you ll encounter and – and hopefully, live to tell the tale.

Personally, I can t wait to try it on PC – but it appears that Hello Games is aiming for an August 12 release date for Windows.

The game is now available to pre-order for PS4 and PC.

collect
0
Billy Clark 2016-08-09
img

The vast majority of its 18 quintillion planets were designed by an algorithm, not people.

Rather than try to make some music to fit into a world and the scenarios players will get themselves into as they explore the cosmos, sight unseen, Hello Games has extended its procedural design tactics to its soundtrack.

65daysofstatic, an electronic band based in Sheffield, U.K. teamed up with Paul Weir, the game studio s audio director, to create a vast library of sounds and musical elements.

The goal of all this extra effort — and according to both Weir and 65daysofstatic guitarist Joe Shrewsbury, it is much more work than just recording tunes — is that the music of No Man s Sky feels more closely connected to the game than a traditional soundtrack ever could.

No matter how well it fits, a single song generally pairs best with a specific moment.

Players rarely experience gaming moments, even scripted ones, exactly the same way.

collect
0
Rickey Cameron 2016-08-17
img

It s full of perplexing design decisions and half-realized ideas.

It starts with a straightforward crafting grind—break ten rocks to make four metal sheets to craft one shield upgrade, etc.— and sets it against an endless, procedurally generated universe full of procedurally generated planets.

Players are given two directives from the outset: Heed the call of a mysterious entity known as the Atlas, or proceed along a charted path toward the galactic center.

You ll discover some goofy animals and share screenshots of the funniest ones on social media.

Each planet and animal you discover can be named and uploaded to the game s servers, and while you ll never see another player in your game, you may come across one of their discoveries.

It seemed as good a destination as any, so I headed toward it.

collect
0
Alexander Ruper 2016-09-16
img

Hello Games No Man s Sky is an enormous experiment in game scale and procedural generation, and it s especially impressive given the small size of the development team.

After its launch in August, however, some were disappointed with its relatively shallow gameplay and lack of focus, and Sony Worldwide Studios head Shuhei Yoshida places most of the blame for this on the small British developer.

Speaking to Eurogamer at TGS, Yoshida said that he could appreciate why others may have been let down by No Man s Sky given the promises Hello Games made in the years leading up to its release.

I understand some of the criticism especially creative director is getting, because he sounded like he was promising more features in the game from day one, Yoshida said.

It wasn t a great PR strategy, because he didn t have a PR person helping him, and in the end he is an indie developer.

But he says their plan is to continue to develop No Man s Sky features and such, and I m looking forward to continuing to play the game.

collect
0
Michael Nicewander 2016-08-23
img

It s packed with alien worlds — 18 quintillion planets, by the developer s count — for players to explore on foot, and fly between in their personal spaceship.

In this case, however, it has created the game s primary selling point, a persistent universe so large that few players will ever visit the same planets.

Technically, No Man s Sky delivers the idea Hello Games promised — a massive sci-fi playground for you to explore.

Over steep mountain ranges, giant underground caverns, and large oceans, there is a real sense of space, of wilderness — presumably because most of these areas weren t made as part of a level.

I swam in lakes and oceans, but never found a river or creek.

The lack of resources off which the game shaped its seemingly infinite variations becomes more apparent when you encounter buildings, sentient beings, and other markings of civilization.

collect
0
John Ruybal 2016-08-15
img

I'm sad to say that my experience with No Man's Sky so far aligns closely with the one Sam Machkovech recounted in our full review.

Faced with the need to give players something to do in an expansive, enchanting galaxy, developer Hello Games seems to have fallen back on creating very limited versions of the familiar types of gameplay we tend to see in much smaller, more hand-crafted games.

Thus, No Man's Sky features some perfunctory and unsatisfying space- and ground-based combat.

There's a far-off "finish line" goal to work toward through a series of repetitive hyperdrive jumps.

There's a lot of frustrating inventory management, made all the more frustrating because every second wasted juggling items in a menu is a second not spent looking at the interesting procedural scenery.

The overall effect is to transform these amazing planets into hunks of rock to be destroyed, threats to be survived, or collections of resources to be bartered rather than mathematical works of art to be admired from inside.

collect
0
Michael Lofton 2017-08-14
img

Indie action role-playing game Songbringer is on-trend with its pixel art, procedural generation, and a protagonist with a mysterious past.

It’s a sci-fi adventure with swords and robots, and it’ll be available on Xbox and PC on September 1 and on PlayStation 4 on September 5.

Nathanael Weiss designed, wrote, and developed Songbringer under his studio name, Wizard Fu.

He draws inspiration from classic RPGs like The Legend of Zelda, but hopes to provide a modern twist.

The main character, Roq, crash-lands on a strange planet and accidentally awakens an ancient evil.

In order to defeat it and save the universe, he battles his way through dungeons and discover secrets and hidden items.

collect
0
Lucas Castillo 2016-08-09
img

Warping towards a new planet in No Man's Sky.

No Man's Sky has given PS4 and PC players an entire universe to discover, filled with procedurally generated planets, plant life and animals of all sizes.

Despite the universe being one shared among the game's millions of players, they're unlikely to come across each other, but may come across what each has found and discovered.

For the most part however, players will be discovering planets untouched by others – exploring them for materials and secrets.

The data from these charted worlds are then uploaded to The Atlas, and can then be viewed in the galactic map.

As the game takes up residency in the disc drives and hard drives of players around the world, IBTimes UK has decided to put together a gallery showing off some of our own discoveries.

collect
0
Kenneth Mulcahy 2016-07-22
img

But this indie title, with its shared DNA of Sir, You Are Being Hunted and Bioshock, could end up being one of the most talked about horror titles of the year.

With its unmistakable visual style and alternate history dystopian version of the swinging sixties, We Happy Few is already winning fans, but having played the game for myself now, the experience is something of a mixed bag.

We Happy Few is a procedurally generated roguelike, albeit with different characters having their own separate stories.

The build I played didn't seem to be procedurally generated though, merely populated with random loot, and it seems likely that it was a handcrafted slice for people ahead of its launch on Early Access on July 26.

Bear that in mind as you read on.

There's something about We Happy Few that's deeply unnerving in that 1970s horror kind of way - everyone in the population seems to be hooked on Joy, a pill that makes people ridiculously happy.

collect
0
Charles Pete 2017-03-03
img

No Man's Sky developer Hello Games has announced a new funding initiative called Hello Labs to support other smaller developers who are "experimental focussed" or are working on games that use procedural generation.

Creative director and studio founder Sean Murray made the announcement at GDC 2017 during his talk "Building Worlds Using Math(s)."

Murray said the initiative will fund and support one or two projects at the time, noting that one is currently in development.

He said more details about Hello Labs will be shared in the future.

Since the release of No Man's Sky in August last year, the developer faced criticism from fans over lack of features, supposed misleading marketing and sparse communication from the development team after the game's release.

The game also underwent an investigation by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority following complaints from underwhelmed fans citing missing features and false advertising prior to the game's release.

collect
0
Ralph Philbrick 2016-09-06
img

Whether or not No Man s Sky is the best game of 2016 really depends on who you ask.

It s hype even resulted in an indie title so popular that it actually landed on Nintendo s radar and on its lawyers plates.

And so the game formerly known as No Mario s Sky has been taken down by the all powerful DMCA notice.

And in its stead is a very similar game, just with different characters, called, what else, DMCA s Sky.

No Mario s Sky was described as that mashup you ve always dreamed of.

Which practically meant taking Super Mario s side-scrolling platform game play with the procedurally generated content and exploration style of No Man s land.

collect
0
Tom Snipes 2016-12-16
img

No Man s Sky released to a decidedly lukewarm reception earlier this year, with critics pointing out the game s repetitiveness, lack of content, and somewhat homogeneous procedurally generated worlds.

Boundless, produced by developer Wonderstruck, coming soon to PC and PlayStation 4, looks like it could deliver much of what fans were expecting when No Man s Sky released in August.

Unlike the solo adventures of No Man s Sky, Boundless takes place in a single, online universe described by developer Wonderstruck as a huge graph.

Worlds begin as unsettled regions that must be developed by individual players.

Then gather together in a guild to claim enough land to construct a city, said director James Austin on the PlayStation Blog.

If your city is the most prestigious on the planet then you claim the title of its capital and rule the world.

Raymond Maxwell 2016-08-10
img

No Man s Sky is a triumph of ambition.

The space exploration simulator has the most expansive world of any game ever created.

It has an unending supply of planets to explore, solar systems to visit, and aliens to make first contact with, largely thanks to its sophisticated procedural generation algorithms.

Skyrim, eat your heart out.

Although critical reception has been fairly mixed, with some complaints about gameplay being repetitive, general enthusiasm for the game is seemingly unquenchable.

In the first day, the game s servers nearly buckled under the pressure of those trying to play it, leading Hello Games founder Sean Murray to post on Twitter .. too many of you are playing right now.

Filiberto Lahey 2016-08-17
img

It s full of perplexing design decisions and half-realized ideas.

It starts with a straightforward crafting grind—break ten rocks to make four metal sheets to craft one shield upgrade, etc.— and sets it against an endless, procedurally generated universe full of procedurally generated planets.

Players are given two directives from the outset: Heed the call of a mysterious entity known as the Atlas, or proceed along a charted path toward the galactic center.

You ll discover some goofy animals and share screenshots of the funniest ones on social media.

Each planet and animal you discover can be named and uploaded to the game s servers, and while you ll never see another player in your game, you may come across one of their discoveries.

It seemed as good a destination as any, so I headed toward it.

Billy Clark 2016-08-09
img

The vast majority of its 18 quintillion planets were designed by an algorithm, not people.

Rather than try to make some music to fit into a world and the scenarios players will get themselves into as they explore the cosmos, sight unseen, Hello Games has extended its procedural design tactics to its soundtrack.

65daysofstatic, an electronic band based in Sheffield, U.K. teamed up with Paul Weir, the game studio s audio director, to create a vast library of sounds and musical elements.

The goal of all this extra effort — and according to both Weir and 65daysofstatic guitarist Joe Shrewsbury, it is much more work than just recording tunes — is that the music of No Man s Sky feels more closely connected to the game than a traditional soundtrack ever could.

No matter how well it fits, a single song generally pairs best with a specific moment.

Players rarely experience gaming moments, even scripted ones, exactly the same way.

Alexander Ruper 2016-09-16
img

Hello Games No Man s Sky is an enormous experiment in game scale and procedural generation, and it s especially impressive given the small size of the development team.

After its launch in August, however, some were disappointed with its relatively shallow gameplay and lack of focus, and Sony Worldwide Studios head Shuhei Yoshida places most of the blame for this on the small British developer.

Speaking to Eurogamer at TGS, Yoshida said that he could appreciate why others may have been let down by No Man s Sky given the promises Hello Games made in the years leading up to its release.

I understand some of the criticism especially creative director is getting, because he sounded like he was promising more features in the game from day one, Yoshida said.

It wasn t a great PR strategy, because he didn t have a PR person helping him, and in the end he is an indie developer.

But he says their plan is to continue to develop No Man s Sky features and such, and I m looking forward to continuing to play the game.

John Ruybal 2016-08-15
img

I'm sad to say that my experience with No Man's Sky so far aligns closely with the one Sam Machkovech recounted in our full review.

Faced with the need to give players something to do in an expansive, enchanting galaxy, developer Hello Games seems to have fallen back on creating very limited versions of the familiar types of gameplay we tend to see in much smaller, more hand-crafted games.

Thus, No Man's Sky features some perfunctory and unsatisfying space- and ground-based combat.

There's a far-off "finish line" goal to work toward through a series of repetitive hyperdrive jumps.

There's a lot of frustrating inventory management, made all the more frustrating because every second wasted juggling items in a menu is a second not spent looking at the interesting procedural scenery.

The overall effect is to transform these amazing planets into hunks of rock to be destroyed, threats to be survived, or collections of resources to be bartered rather than mathematical works of art to be admired from inside.

Lucas Castillo 2016-08-09
img

Warping towards a new planet in No Man's Sky.

No Man's Sky has given PS4 and PC players an entire universe to discover, filled with procedurally generated planets, plant life and animals of all sizes.

Despite the universe being one shared among the game's millions of players, they're unlikely to come across each other, but may come across what each has found and discovered.

For the most part however, players will be discovering planets untouched by others – exploring them for materials and secrets.

The data from these charted worlds are then uploaded to The Atlas, and can then be viewed in the galactic map.

As the game takes up residency in the disc drives and hard drives of players around the world, IBTimes UK has decided to put together a gallery showing off some of our own discoveries.

Charles Pete 2017-03-03
img

No Man's Sky developer Hello Games has announced a new funding initiative called Hello Labs to support other smaller developers who are "experimental focussed" or are working on games that use procedural generation.

Creative director and studio founder Sean Murray made the announcement at GDC 2017 during his talk "Building Worlds Using Math(s)."

Murray said the initiative will fund and support one or two projects at the time, noting that one is currently in development.

He said more details about Hello Labs will be shared in the future.

Since the release of No Man's Sky in August last year, the developer faced criticism from fans over lack of features, supposed misleading marketing and sparse communication from the development team after the game's release.

The game also underwent an investigation by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority following complaints from underwhelmed fans citing missing features and false advertising prior to the game's release.

David Bierman 2016-08-17
img

In case you ve been living under a rock on Mars the last few years, No Man s Sky is a procedurally generated sci-fi space exploration game with a near-infinite universe and 18 quintillion planets to explore, created by a tiny developmental team of 15 people called Hello Games.

And yet, there it sits on my hard drive, occupying a mere 5 GB of space.

For a game that huge in size, you d imagine for there to be many bugs, glitches and issues.

My unreasonable dislike for this genre has kept me from playing massively successful titles like Rocket League, Wildstar, Rachet and Clank and even Overwatch.

Exploration is obviously the primary part of the game, finding precedence before storyline and gameplay, but that doesn t mean it is any less on those fronts either.

You re not asked to follow a scripted path that takes you over and over through the same crowded corridors.

Thomas Jones 2017-09-07
img

Songbringer is an action role-playing game that’s hoping to clear the name of procedural generation.

Nathanael Weiss, who developed the game under his studio name Wizard Fu, teamed up with publisher Double Eleven, and it’s available now for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

Weiss thinks that procedural generation has gotten a bad rap when, alongside more bespoke elements, it can help create a world that’s fully realized and not just random.

He created Songbringer to evoke the same feel as classics like The Legend of Zelda and Secret of Mana, games that he says feel like “everything is just in the right place.”

“At this point I’m almost trying to downplay the procedural aspect and just let people experience that as they play it,” said Weiss in a phone call with GamesBeat.

“If anything, I’m hyping the bespokeness of the world, and the hand-crafted design of it all, and downplaying the procedural aspects, just so people don’t come into it with any expectations about it being a procedural game.”

James Flachs 2016-07-29
img

Sure, Pokémon Go is the only game people want to play right now.

But come August 9, the world will have another incredible title to obsess over.

No Man s Sky, developed by indie studio Hello Games, is a procedurally generated survival adventure set in space, that will see players explore 18 quintillion planets in an attempt to reach the center of the galaxy.

The game has a brand new trailer that gives you a glimpse of some of the alien lands, poisonous plants and massive dinosaur-like creatures you ll encounter and – and hopefully, live to tell the tale.

Personally, I can t wait to try it on PC – but it appears that Hello Games is aiming for an August 12 release date for Windows.

The game is now available to pre-order for PS4 and PC.

Rickey Cameron 2016-08-17
img

It s full of perplexing design decisions and half-realized ideas.

It starts with a straightforward crafting grind—break ten rocks to make four metal sheets to craft one shield upgrade, etc.— and sets it against an endless, procedurally generated universe full of procedurally generated planets.

Players are given two directives from the outset: Heed the call of a mysterious entity known as the Atlas, or proceed along a charted path toward the galactic center.

You ll discover some goofy animals and share screenshots of the funniest ones on social media.

Each planet and animal you discover can be named and uploaded to the game s servers, and while you ll never see another player in your game, you may come across one of their discoveries.

It seemed as good a destination as any, so I headed toward it.

Michael Nicewander 2016-08-23
img

It s packed with alien worlds — 18 quintillion planets, by the developer s count — for players to explore on foot, and fly between in their personal spaceship.

In this case, however, it has created the game s primary selling point, a persistent universe so large that few players will ever visit the same planets.

Technically, No Man s Sky delivers the idea Hello Games promised — a massive sci-fi playground for you to explore.

Over steep mountain ranges, giant underground caverns, and large oceans, there is a real sense of space, of wilderness — presumably because most of these areas weren t made as part of a level.

I swam in lakes and oceans, but never found a river or creek.

The lack of resources off which the game shaped its seemingly infinite variations becomes more apparent when you encounter buildings, sentient beings, and other markings of civilization.

Michael Lofton 2017-08-14
img

Indie action role-playing game Songbringer is on-trend with its pixel art, procedural generation, and a protagonist with a mysterious past.

It’s a sci-fi adventure with swords and robots, and it’ll be available on Xbox and PC on September 1 and on PlayStation 4 on September 5.

Nathanael Weiss designed, wrote, and developed Songbringer under his studio name, Wizard Fu.

He draws inspiration from classic RPGs like The Legend of Zelda, but hopes to provide a modern twist.

The main character, Roq, crash-lands on a strange planet and accidentally awakens an ancient evil.

In order to defeat it and save the universe, he battles his way through dungeons and discover secrets and hidden items.

Kenneth Mulcahy 2016-07-22
img

But this indie title, with its shared DNA of Sir, You Are Being Hunted and Bioshock, could end up being one of the most talked about horror titles of the year.

With its unmistakable visual style and alternate history dystopian version of the swinging sixties, We Happy Few is already winning fans, but having played the game for myself now, the experience is something of a mixed bag.

We Happy Few is a procedurally generated roguelike, albeit with different characters having their own separate stories.

The build I played didn't seem to be procedurally generated though, merely populated with random loot, and it seems likely that it was a handcrafted slice for people ahead of its launch on Early Access on July 26.

Bear that in mind as you read on.

There's something about We Happy Few that's deeply unnerving in that 1970s horror kind of way - everyone in the population seems to be hooked on Joy, a pill that makes people ridiculously happy.

Ralph Philbrick 2016-09-06
img

Whether or not No Man s Sky is the best game of 2016 really depends on who you ask.

It s hype even resulted in an indie title so popular that it actually landed on Nintendo s radar and on its lawyers plates.

And so the game formerly known as No Mario s Sky has been taken down by the all powerful DMCA notice.

And in its stead is a very similar game, just with different characters, called, what else, DMCA s Sky.

No Mario s Sky was described as that mashup you ve always dreamed of.

Which practically meant taking Super Mario s side-scrolling platform game play with the procedurally generated content and exploration style of No Man s land.