No Man's Sky
Feature

The apocalyptic fandom of No Man’s Sky

According to American evangelist Harold Camping, the Rapture was supposed to have occurred on May 21, 2011—the date was moved back five months to October when nothing happened. Apocalyptic preacher Ronald Weinland predicted that the world would end on September 30, 2008. This date was also revised to May 27, 2012, and then May 19, 2013. In a similar vein, No Man’s Sky was supposed to have been released on June 21, 2016—that particular rapture was pushed back to August 9. Though the fact of fandom is hardly unique to No Man’s Sky, the degree of devotion the game’s fans…

No Man's Sky
Feature

The making of No Man’s Sky soundtrack

Post-rock has long been intertwined with film and television. That’s why there’s a big chance you’ve heard it before, possibly without even knowing it. Explosions In The Sky (one of the genre’s most well-known acts) blew up into mainstream consciousness after scoring the American football drama Friday Night Lights (2006-2011). Their fellow Austin residents This Will Destroy You have been heard in popular movies as well, including Moneyball (2011), World War Z (2013), and at least one ad campaign without their permission. Long-running Scottish act Mogwai (named after the furry creatures from Gremlins) most recently scored the 2015 BBC 4…

No Man's Sky
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Watch the man who creates No Man’s Sky’s creature sounds at work

No Man’s Sky feels like the game that keeps on giving. Before even reaching its long-awaited release date it has managed to capture imaginations with both its improbable construction and the mind-bending problem solving of its creators at Hello Games. Perhaps it has been because its talented team, in particular art director Grant Duncan and programmer Innes McKendrick, as well as figurehead Sean Murray, have been so eager to share their solutions with the world in a series of talks that all deal with the same issue: how do you maintain artistic control in a near-infinite game world? First there was…

No Man's Sky
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Phew, No Man’s Sky has been delayed to August

It’s been tense leading up to the arrival of No Man’s Sky, especially if you follow the game’s lead programmer Sean Murray as he occasionally lifts his head from the milieu of computer code to make appearances around the net. “Anyone been to sleep yet?” asks one of his latest tweets. You can see the sleep deprivation and stress in his eyes as he appears in promotional videos, staring blankly at a TV screen with the game he’s been making for the past few years playing on it; the thousand-yard stare becoming more and more prominent with each video. His beard…

No Man's Sky
Feature

The future of archaeology starts with No Man’s Sky

This is a preview of an article you can read on our new website dedicated to virtual reality, Versions. /// Destructive treasure hunters like Nathan Drake and Lara Croft tumble through decadent crypts, dismantling rare artifacts in their wake. Their scrabbling work, however incidental, is the antithesis to the careful field of archaeology. Yet, in marketing materials they’re labeled both as explorers and, yes, archaeologists. It’s for reasons like this that I’ve found myself, as a student of archaeology, increasingly disillusioned with the way videogames treat artifacts and history. The problem is that these types of games tend to disregard…

Everything
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Everything, an open-universe game about the nature of being

Everything is coming exclusively to PlayStation 4 in the near-ish future. Er, that is, Everything, the next game by David O’Reilly. Not, you know, everything. It’s a simple idea with a huge scope: you can embody and play as everything that you see in the game’s universe. Damien DiFede, the game’s programmer, has had to come up with a new way to create and design levels to accommodate this ambition, treating objects more like ecosystems. When O’Reilly says “you [can] be anything you want” he means it. While this promise of being able to become anything does seem to be a…

moonbasealpha2
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The videogames preparing us for space

“There is only one essential question: What’s the next thing that could kill me? Focusing on that thing, whatever it is, is how you stay alive.” Ground Control, this is Commander Chris Hadfield describing his experiences as an astronaut and career as a pilot for the Canadian Forces, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School (TPS) and U.S. Navy. To get the full story, just read An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth (2013). It’s incredible. In order to successfully complete three space missions, two space walks, and live aboard the International Space Station (ISS)…

Desert Golfing
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Desert Golfing’s first unbeatable level has finally been discovered

Chris Adam played a lot of golf in 2012, and that’s putting it mildly. He must have been quite good, because one could not play as many holes as Adam did while triple-bogeying left, right, and center. But how many holes did he play that year, you ask? Well, according to the world record certified by Guinness World Record: 14,625. That is a lot of golf for a lifetime, let alone one year. “809 full rounds of golf and seven 9-hole rounds,” as Golf Digest helpfully explains. All that golf adds up to 4,866 fewer holes than the point at…

Nomanssky2
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No Man’s Sky finally revealing its mysteries when it launches this June

It’s been a little over two years since ambitious space exploration game No Man’s Sky, with its “planet-sized planets” and “universe-sized universe,” was first announced back in December of 2013. Since then, the game’s trailers and various press showings have been great at capturing the imagination, but haven’t exactly shown us too much of just what this game is about. What’s there to do in this massive universe? What sort of creatures and people live in it? What’s this all leading up to? As with J.J. Abrams and his mystery box, part of the excitement of No Man’s Sky comes…