Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky

This video from a 2019 GDC Main Stage session features Sean Murray of Hello Games discussing the initial launch of No Man's Sky (thanks Ant). He addresses the negative reception their space exploration game met with and the challenges they faced in getting things on the right track. The description has a more detailed outline:
A small and unlikely team was behind one of the most ambitious and anticipated games of 2016. In this 2019 GDC Main Stage session, Hello Games' Sean Murray takes us behind the scenes during the intense and dramatic launch of one the biggest selling new IPs in recent years. He demonstrates how his team found the grit to deal with releasing an innovative and polarizing game into an increasingly vocal gaming landscape, and details how through determination and love in 2019 they have built to record player numbers and positivity amongst their most negative detractors. This candid and open discussion will show the power of focusing on what you do, rather than what you say, in the face of adversity.

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1.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 11:05
1.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 11:05
Apr 2, 2019, 11:05
 
Adversity he created. Awww, someone give him the hero cookie he so desperately wants.
"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
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2.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 12:16
2.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 12:16
Apr 2, 2019, 12:16
 
"... in 2019 they have built to record player numbers and positivity amongst their most negative detractors..."

But you'll never convince Kxmode!
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
3.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 12:52
3.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 12:52
Apr 2, 2019, 12:52
 
...releasing an innovative and polarizing game...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vupCgB8H9Og

4.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 13:16
4.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 13:16
Apr 2, 2019, 13:16
 
For all the shit he (deservedly) got back then, I think he's absolutely allowed to now go "Hey, we fixed all of that." I think NMS is probably the poster child for "most improved later on", even taking that crown away from X games.

It's also a stellar example of "Don't be Peter Molyneux and just lie for the sake of sounding interesting", as that shit is going to come back to bite you in the ass.

Be honest and upfront about your game. It's hard to shake a negative stigma, and it's going to follow you for years. Making bald-faced lies about your game right before release is probably the dumbest thing you can do as a dev.

Even so, good on them for fixing it to the point where it now actually looks like a really fun game.


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5.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 13:32
5.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 13:32
Apr 2, 2019, 13:32
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 12:16:
"... in 2019 they have built to record player numbers and positivity amongst their most negative detractors..."

But you'll never convince Kxmode!

WARNING! WATCHING THIS VIDEO COULD BE HAZARDOUS TO HEALTH.

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PLEASE CONSUME WITH EXTREME CAUTION.
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6.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 13:35
6.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 13:35
Apr 2, 2019, 13:35
 
These guys clearly value their company’s good name and have gone to extraordinary lengths to make NMS a game most will end up looking back at fondly.

I bought the game when proper co-op play appeared, and it was fun for a while. The upcoming VR patch looks to be WAY more than the expected bare-bones implementation most games get. They clearly sat down and thought about how to make each interaction FEEL right.

They’ll eventually have to step away from the game and make something else, and I hope they learned from this game.


I know it’s a bad word here, but another game that has improved more than expected is Fortnite STW. It’s all but given up on microtransactions, changed weapons and heroes to be far more customizable in a way you can FEEL, and have made full story missions for almost every holiday event. They silently added another landscape type recently, and there are routinely new mission types that are....weird, and temporary. If you bought STW and abandoned it long ago, it’s worth taking a peek at now. Just accept that it’s going to take a while to get your head around some of the changes.
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7.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 13:51
Kxmode
 
7.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 13:51
Apr 2, 2019, 13:51
 Kxmode
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 12:16:
"... in 2019 they have built to record player numbers and positivity amongst their most negative detractors..."

But you'll never convince Kxmode!

Pay attention.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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8.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 13:54
Kxmode
 
8.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 13:54
Apr 2, 2019, 13:54
 Kxmode
 
Creston wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 13:16:
For all the shit he (deservedly) got back then, I think he's absolutely allowed to now go "Hey, we fixed all of that." I think NMS is probably the poster child for "most improved later on", even taking that crown away from X games.

It's also a stellar example of "Don't be Peter Molyneux and just lie for the sake of sounding interesting", as that shit is going to come back to bite you in the ass.

Be honest and upfront about your game. It's hard to shake a negative stigma, and it's going to follow you for years. Making bald-faced lies about your game right before release is probably the dumbest thing you can do as a dev.

Even so, good on them for fixing it to the point where it now actually looks like a really fun game.

It's not "a fixing" but "a missing" that needs to be addressed. Noted more than few outstanding items that need to be added. Items that Murray repeatedly promised would be available at launch.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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9.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 14:05
9.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 14:05
Apr 2, 2019, 14:05
 
Kxmode wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 13:51:
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 12:16:
"... in 2019 they have built to record player numbers and positivity amongst their most negative detractors..."

But you'll never convince Kxmode!
Pay attention.
Uh, how is your post (which you linked) not totally in line with my comment?
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
10.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 14:10
Kxmode
 
10.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 14:10
Apr 2, 2019, 14:10
 Kxmode
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 14:05:
Kxmode wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 13:51:
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 12:16:
"... in 2019 they have built to record player numbers and positivity amongst their most negative detractors..."

But you'll never convince Kxmode!
Pay attention.
Uh, how is your post (which you linked) not totally in line with my comment?

"When Sean Murray and HG adds this, all will be forgiven." != But you'll never convince Kxmode!
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
Avatar 18786
11.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 14:16
11.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 14:16
Apr 2, 2019, 14:16
 
I think I'll stick with my prediction. Oh, and for the record it is "Goldilocks".
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
12.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 14:20
12.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 14:20
Apr 2, 2019, 14:20
 
Sean Murray has been a literal blessing to the gaming community in that he has continued to improve No Man's Sky. Anyone can see that the man is a true saint. No one among use can throw a stone at him.
88 Ludicrous 7:19
- I refer to it as BC, Before Corona, and AD, After Disaster. -
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13.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 14:40
Kxmode
 
13.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 14:40
Apr 2, 2019, 14:40
 Kxmode
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 14:16:
I think I'll stick with my prediction. Oh, and for the record it is "Goldilocks".

It's not a prediction, but a statement and one that I'm correcting.

Thanks for the spell correct.

RedEye9 wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 14:20:
Sean Murray has been a literal blessing to the gaming community in that he has continued to improve No Man's Sky.

Sean Murray is a known liar and liars can not be trusted. That's a known fact.

The rest of your comment is pure trash that I won't repeat.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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14.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 15:03
14.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 15:03
Apr 2, 2019, 15:03
 
Kxmode wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 13:51:
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 12:16:
"... in 2019 they have built to record player numbers and positivity amongst their most negative detractors..."

But you'll never convince Kxmode!

Pay attention.

Yeah but those things aren't needed for the game to be fun...
#1 is a game needs to be fun. Realism usually is a slog..


I picked this up back in June and played ~70 hours on it. It a good relaxing experience. There's a lot of things still missing out of the game but overall it's a pretty good "exploration" type game.

You meet really weird creatures, really weird planets.. what you don't get is realism but that's not needed.

Things that are overall bad about the game:
-Combat
-Every single building is the same cookie cutter
-every star port is the same
-Missions are fundamentally boring
-Dialect is just another grind, wish they did this system better.

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15.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 15:21
Kxmode
 
15.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 15:21
Apr 2, 2019, 15:21
 Kxmode
 
Tipsy McStagger wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 15:03:
Yeah but those things aren't needed for the game to be fun...
#1 is a game needs to be fun. Realism usually is a slog..

It doesn't matter if they're needed or not. What matters is Murray repeatedly promised them as core gameplay features that would be available at launch. In terms of "realism usually is a slog," I agree. However, in this case, they remain outstanding launch items. Once added all would be forgiven because with them No Man's Sky will finally be the game that Murray pitched.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
Avatar 18786
16.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 16:17
16.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 16:17
Apr 2, 2019, 16:17
 
Kxmode wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 15:21:
Tipsy McStagger wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 15:03:
Yeah but those things aren't needed for the game to be fun...
#1 is a game needs to be fun. Realism usually is a slog..

It doesn't matter if they're needed or not. What matters is Murray repeatedly promised them as core gameplay features that would be available at launch. In terms of "realism usually is a slog," I agree. However, in this case, they remain outstanding launch items. Once added all would be forgiven because with them No Man's Sky will finally be the game that Murray pitched.

Mreh, most of the list literally wouldn’t be noticed or cared about. It’s entirely possible some of the features existed and then failed to matter, gameplay-wise, while ALSO being a resource burden. Planetary rotation, specifically, doesn’t matter but would require the game to keep track of more assets just so visuals lined up for the 3 people who paid attention to it.

Tons of announced features don’t make it into games. Focusing on small, literally inconsequential ones that were cut for whatever reason is absurd. The larger ones that he lied about, like consistent time of day across all instances of the game, or that you might run into other players if you happened to be in the same place/time...THAT affects gameplay.
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17.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 17:16
17.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 17:16
Apr 2, 2019, 17:16
 
Kxmode wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 13:51:
Mr. Tact wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 12:16:
"... in 2019 they have built to record player numbers and positivity amongst their most negative detractors..."

But you'll never convince Kxmode!

Pay attention.

Link for all that promised content?

Also, Star Citizen is implementing all of that stuff. Should be available 2025 or so.
COVID infections: 133M - - - COVID deaths: 3M - - - Death rate: 2%
Vaccines administered: 711M - - - Vaccine deaths: 7 - - - Death rate: 0.00000001%
Your choice is clear.
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18.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 18:34
18.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 18:34
Apr 2, 2019, 18:34
 
This is one of the rare cases when a hyped game goes south on launch, collects a lot of hate, and yet still somehow manages to right the ship and weather the storm and come out sailing (relatively) smoothly in the end. Good on them for sticking with it.
19.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 21:20
Kxmode
 
19.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 21:20
Apr 2, 2019, 21:20
 Kxmode
 
SMITE wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 18:34:
This is one of the rare cases when a hyped game goes south on launch, collects a lot of hate, and yet still somehow manages to right the ship and weather the storm and come out sailing (relatively) smoothly in the end. Good on them for sticking with it.

It's not there, yet.

jdreyer wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 17:16:

Link for all that promised content?

Also, Star Citizen is implementing all of that stuff. Should be available 2025 or so.

I'm not going to do the work for you. Youtube "Sean Murray lie." You'll find videos cataloging a large list of missing promised features. The ones I've noted that will get a forgiveness from me are the most outstanding.

I don't care about Star Citizen in this thread.

HoSpanky wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 16:17:
Mreh, most of the list literally wouldn’t be noticed or cared about.

A promise made should be a promise kept. This isn't about the efforts Sean and his studio put forth to make things right after the fact. This is about giving people who bought the game before and at-launch the game promised.

HoSpanky wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 16:17:
It’s entirely possible some of the features existed and then failed to matter, gameplay-wise, while ALSO being a resource burden. Planetary rotation, specifically, doesn’t matter but would require the game to keep track of more assets just so visuals lined up for the 3 people who paid attention to it.

They had a third-person prototype showing what the avatar looked like (google it; it's disturbing). They also had screenshots of fleet battles on the Steam store page for about a year after launch. Neither were in the game at launch.

HoSpanky wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 16:17:
Tons of announced features don’t make it into games. Focusing on small, literally inconsequential ones that were cut for whatever reason is absurd. The larger ones that he lied about, like consistent time of day across all instances of the game, or that you might run into other players if you happened to be in the same place/time...THAT affects gameplay.

Murray repeatedly stated the items on the list were in the game and he talked about them in matter-of-fact tones. In one video he discussed the orbit of star and how that would affect gravity so that landing on planets closer or further from the star would fundamentally affect gameplay. In retrospect, he never actually showed any of this stuff when presenting a demo so that should have been a red flag. Still you gave him the benefit of the doubt. Until that trust was completely shattered once the truth of the product became known.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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20.
 
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky
Apr 2, 2019, 22:02
20.
Re: Sean Murray on Fixing No Man's Sky Apr 2, 2019, 22:02
Apr 2, 2019, 22:02
 
Kxmode wrote on Apr 2, 2019, 21:20:
A promise made should be a promise kept.
If you have never not fulfilled or broken a promise, you either are a saint or have made very few promises. For your sake, and those you know personally, I hope they were more forgiving.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
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