How much time do you sink into gaming a week? Don’t tell me, I’m going to go ahead and say that no matter how much you game a week it just won’t be enough. No Man’s Sky already sounded too ambitious to work, and we found out at Gamescom that things have gotten even crazier.
At this point you’re probably wondering how No Man’s Sky could get any wider in scope. How does the game that has a starting planet for EVERY player get larger? By adding more planets, of course! Sean Murray (co-founder of Hello Games) went into detail at Gamescom on what they’ve been doing to make No Man’s Sky’s world even more daunting to explore.
In the beginning, Hello Games planned to have a number of planets amounting to an equation. Said equation was 2^32. If you don’t think that sounds like a lot, the actual number looks something like 4,294,967,296. Yeah, that’s four trillion (and some number I’m not gonna spell out) planets that you would have been faced with exploring (if you wanted) in the beginning. According to Murray “… with that 32-bit number it would take you four or five thousand years to see every planet if you spent only a second on each one.”
Let’s pause there for a moment, just to give your jaws a moment to get back in place and off the floor.
Apparently, that massive number didn’t please Hello Games, and with the push of some forums who cried foul due to technology’s limitations (which disproved Hello Games’ claims of an infinite universe) they decided to think bigger. One can never say that Hello Games is a developer to be outdone with how they handled this one.
Hello Games admitted that the universe couldn’t be infinite, but it can be ridiculously big. Instead of a 32-bit number, they’ve cranked it up to 64-bit. Again, if you want an actual number, it looks something like 18,446,744,073,709,551,616. I don’t even know how to put a name to that. That amount of planets would take a player five billion years to explore, and that’s if you only spent one second on each planet and took absolutely no breaks in between. Scary, right?
What? That’s the first thought that came to mind when I saw the amount of time it would take to explore the whole of No Man’s Sky’s universe. My brow rose even further when I saw the number of planets. That’s monstrous, ridiculous, and so very awesome! The concept that players will likely never have seen everything that Hello Games is bringing us by the time our existence ends is exciting, and humbling. I can’t help but wonder how many people will try to see it all, if people might gather teams just to explore the worlds. I also wonder how long it would take if you didn’t spend time landing and just did fly-bys. Regardless, all of the hype aside I still can’t help but worry about No Man’s Sky and this didn’t dissuade my fears. I want this game to be successful, I want it to thrive and make Hello Games famous… but is it too much? I just wonder about all of the things that could possibly go wrong. Only time will tell, but things are still looking good and hopefully they’ll stay that way.
Myles K Farrington is one of the MONG Senior Editors sailing the seven internet seas to find all the news you’re jonesin’ for. Keep up with him over on IGN, Twitch, and Twitter as well! Yarr, son!