Tag Archives: space engine

No Man’s Sky NEXT is Slightly Less Sci-Fi. That’s Good.

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Most people seem to agree No Man’s Sky is good now, after the massive “NEXT” update that added multiplayer and more or less rebooted everything else. I’ve only had a few hours with it post-update and messed around on a handful of planets, but there’s one changed element I’d like to point out, and it deals with how the game generates planets now. Continue reading

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All Open-World Games Need “Discovery Tour” Modes

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Assassin’s Creed: Origins is going to have a “Discovery Tour” mode that will strip out the story and combat and let players simply explore the game’s open world with some commentary from historians. People are already lauding this as an excellent use of all the historical research that goes into the Creed games. I think similar functionality should be expanded to virtually all open-world games.

It’s really just another step in the conversation surrounding “story mode” difficulty levels. I don’t see “discovery tour” as an actual difficulty mode though, but just another way to get use out of the art assets developers spend so much time and money putting into games. Maybe it’s not for everyone but it could offer some people yet another reason to buy a game. Continue reading

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No Man’s Sky: Plans For Survival And Enjoyment

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Photo by “NickatNite”

I pre-ordered No Man’s Sky on PC so I won’t be able to play it at least until Friday and possibly not even until Sunday or Monday. I wanted to write something timely but all I can really put down about it right now are my plants for how to approach the game. Continue reading

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What Actually Matters In Procedurally Generated Games

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As we enter the final week before the launch of No Man’s Sky, online chatter around it get’s increasingly heated. The posts from supposedly the sole person on Earth outside Hello Games playing a retail copy haven’t dampened things in the slightest. One source of all the skepticism is the fact that the game uses procedural generation and how it doesn’t force players to an end goal. This new trend of never-ending procedurally generated games seems to be getting some pushback from those who prefer static level design and endings. What actually matters when you’re playing the former type of game? Continue reading

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Space Engine Exploration Journal Part Two

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I think I found something else in Space Engine that’s worth showing off right away. It’s not one object, but one of the neatest systems I’ve seen so far. It contains an object with probably the highest Earth Similarity Index I’ve seen so far in this procedural generated universe. Continue reading

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Space Engine Exploration Journal

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I’ve been messing around with Space Engine again. Over the last few days I’ve managed to find a handful of planets with pretty interesting features that I guess I could share. If I keep messing around with this game maybe this could turn into a bit of a series.

If you haven’t read my previous posts on this “game,” Space Engine is a sort of interactive planetarium where you can explore an entire virtual universe from the smallest hill to the biggest galactic cluster. It’s being built by Russian astronomer and programmer Vladimir Romanyuk, who’s using procedural generation (similar to Elite and No Man’s Sky) to create virtual representations of known space objects as well as plausibly realistic educated guesses at what might all be out there. Thus, the planets I’m going to talk about here are things that could plausibly exist according to our current knowledge of science. Continue reading

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Space Games Part 4: Elite Dangerous

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The fall Steam deal convinced me (along with probably a lot of other people) to finally check out Elite Dangerous, sort of ending my trek through the series all the way from the 1984 original. I haven’t accomplished a whole lot in this game yet so this is probably gonna be part one of some kind of chronicle. I have to say though, this game is pulling me in probably more than Fallout 4. Continue reading

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Planet-Searching In Space Engine

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Despite not really being a “game” at this stage, Space Engine has become probably one of my “most played games” of 2015 since installing it earlier this year. It’s taken me a while, but I’ve been slowly learning to use its interface to navigate its star systems, and having a lot of fun while doing so. It’s also probably the first time I’ve gotten truly involved with anything resembling those sandbox games without objectives, which are all the rage today. Continue reading

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Space Engine: The Importance Of Interactive Simulation In Visualizing Space

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After glancing at it for a while I finally decided to download Space Engine. It along with some other games has affirmed my belief that 3D simulation might be the only way to meaningfully convey the scale of space and the universe in general to the layman. This post isn’t really about games in the sense of playing video games for fun, but it is about something I think the video game medium is uniquely suited to doing. That is, informing and educating people about space. Continue reading

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