Hello Games' ambitious space exploration game No Man's Sky has been a hot topic in the gaming community for some time, but its multiplayer component has never really been explained in detail.
The company's managing director Sean Murray sat downto clarify some things, and reiterated; "we just want to be really clear with people that it is not an MMO."
Rather than having a traditional multiplayer suite, the game seems to treat online play more like Dark Souls or perhaps the PS3's Journey - players will see each other and notice each other's presence in the universe, but they won't be able to team up directly to complete missions.
"People keep asking us about multiplayer and I think when people see this they are going to fully realize what it means to be that far away from somebody else who's playing," said Murray. "And I know that that's a bit weird for people, but it's what's different about our game. And we want to embrace that. We don't want people just scouting off beside their friends. I actually want people to boot up the game and just think, “Isn't the universe huge? Who are we? What are we all doing here?”
Players will project a kind of open lobby 'bubble' around them as they play, which will draw in other players to their world. Your friends won't get priority in this lobby, however. Once again, No Man's Sky isn't that kind of game.
"Just to be really clear," explained Murray, "the reason that I'm saying this is we just want to be really clear with people that it is not an MMO. All of those questions are leading toward that. There are loads of MMOs out there. People can play those. We want people to be able to get a sense of playing with other people and to see other people and feel like this is a real, live universe."
Despite this distant and generally disconnected form of multiplayer, Murray says that players will be able to communicate with each other. By the sound of itwill be adding something similiar to Dark Souls' written messages, which players can edit themselves.
If Hello Games can capture that sense of galactic scale, that there are other beings out there in the galaxy in the far, far distance, then No Man's Sky's multiplayer could actually be pretty interesting. I mean, it would be kind of nice to fly around scaring dinosaurs with your mates, but I cc