Don’t get me wrong; I think they are amazing games. Minecraft blew my mind, and I love the idea of SOE’s Landmark. They let people do things we could only dream of. They’re better than Lego, in many ways. (I know, probably sacrilege to say that, but it’s true.) But honestly, even Lego was never really my thing. To me, sandbox games like this are like being a sculptor or a painter; you’re given a blank canvas and allowed to create. But I’ve always been more like an engineer than a painter. I like taking bits and pieces that already exist, given a problem to solve, then find new and interesting ways to solve the problem. I guess that’s why gameplay design fascinates me so much.
No Man’s Sky, though, is a sandbox I can get behind. It’s not so much like Mincraft where you’re given a bunch of things and told, “make something cool;” the game literally is players being given a whole galaxy and told, “go see what’s out there.” That would be a dream come true for me. Even though each player starts off on their own unique planet alone, the fact that the planet itself is relatively unexplored fills me with a sense of adventure, and knowing that getting a ship made spaceworthy then flying off into the vast unknown is only the first step of a greater journey of exploration just… -sigh- I’d be in heaven. It’s a Star Trek fan’s dream.
I’d love to see Cryptic license this tech and find a way to incorporate even just the world creation and sharing tech into either Star Trek Online or into a new Star Trek Online 2. I’m not really sure they’d do that, but imagine being able to explore whole new worlds as a Starfleet Officer that would then be permanently available for any other players to come and explore.
The team at Hello Games is literally revolutionizing the whole gaming industry with the tech they’ve created, and I am very hopeful that they are able to deliver on their promises. They’ve said their game is not an MMO and they don’t plan to have too much in the way of real multiplayer, but I’d love to see this technology brought into the realm of an MMORPG. The possibilities are endless, and I am eagerly awaiting a release date to get my hands on this slice of heaven.