Sean Murray: Making No Man’s Sky Was Like “Being Fired into the Sun”
Ashley Allen / 8 months ago
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.”