Sean Murray: Making No Man’s Sky Was Like “Being Fired into the Sun”



/ 4 weeks ago

Sean Murray: Making No Man’s Sky Like “Being Fired into the Sun”

No Man’s Sky, the procedural space explorer developed by Hello Games, was one of the most pilloried games of 2016, with particular criticism aimed at its failure to fulfil promises made by the developers, including lack of multiplayer and lack of planetary activity and variety.

At GDC on Thursday, Sean Murray – lead developer of No Man’s Sky and the focal point of much of the game’s pre-release publicity – revealed how much he enjoyed the early days of development on No Man’s Sky, even after the experience – which, to begin with, he describes as “a hobby” – became akin to “being fired into the sun.”

Murray became a target of much ire following the release of No Man’s Sky, to the point at which he fell completely silent, refusing multiple press requests for interview or comment on his game.

“I just wanted to sit down and write something completely different,” Murray told the GDC audience. “Mainly, selfishly, because I just thought of the things I wanted to learn about, and then I started to write an engine that had those things in, I guess.”

“And that was fun, that was really fun, and a really fun period in my life where every evening and weekend, I was coming home from coding all day and I would write my little engine, and it was really fun,” he explained.

“Then we showed it, we showed the first trailer, and from then on it was like, it was like we were building a rocketship on the way up, like, to the sun, being fired into the sun with the skin burning from our faces, right? It was like, it was a bit of a rollercoaster ride from then on,” Murray added. “But at the start it was genuinely just a hobby and something super enjoyable.”

After his GDC talk, Murray was approached by PC Gamer for an interview. He declined, saying he would speak to press “I’m sure, I’m sure, when there’s something interesting to say.”

“I think loads has been written about the game,” Murray then told PC Gamer’s Christopher Livingston, “so I think in terms of us chatting, when I think there’s something new to add, when the time is right, I think we’ll do a bunch of press then and we’ll make sure to be in touch.”


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  • smartroad

    From what I can tell his issues were more about managing expectations on the run up to release. He started giving specific responses to questions about content rather then vague “we hope to have XYZ” or “it’s something we have thought about later”.

    He didn’t deserve the aggression towards him for possibly being a little to excited and a little to naive when dealing with the hype. I can’t blame him for it, who wouldn’t love having your small ‘hobby’ Indy game the center of the world wide press? In a world where everything is cookie cutter and 6th version of the same game is churned out by massive companies, it was nice to see a small Indy studio getting the attention.

    Hopefully they can iron out the game and get it up to spec. And learn to underpromise and over deliver lol