Video Game Tuesday: Open Letter to Hello Games


This week for Video Game Tuesday I’ve got a message for the makers of No Man’s Sky. It’s an Open Letter to Hello Games

To Sean Murray and Hello Games,

First things first, congratulations on launching No Man’s Sky. I don’t think anyone can say that it’s not an impressive feat to launch such a game with a huge amount of content with such a small team of developers. Now that the niceties are out of the way, let’s get down to business. Mainly the lack of communication that you have had since the game has launched. I understand that the community had a large backlash towards you and that can be a scary thing. Honestly I truly get it, and I understand the desire to hole up and ignore the world, better than 99% of the world’s population understands frankly. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that you didn’t have proper communication leading up to the games launch and essentially none after the launch. You guys tweeted that you were super excited about the amount of people playing that first day, which is great.

But you never explained why things you said would be in the game weren’t in it. Why can’t we see other players? I can understand if the feature was cut, I do, but you have to say why in order for people to understand. You haven’t done so, and in fact you haven’t said why to any of the numerous questions sent to you from the community. The No Man’s Sky subreddit is a wasteland full of angry people who wanted nothing more than to love the game you made, but you didn’t give any explanations why it’s so different from the promotional material we saw leading up to the launch. This makes people angry, and frankly they are completely justified with that reaction. Your lack of communication is unacceptable, even Bungie a developer who has been a laughing stock in the community for the last couple of years has a nearly weekly post saying at least something, even if most of the time it’s nothing of substance.

So if you ever want to earn back the respect, you’ll need to break this silence. It’s been months coming and frankly every minute that goes by without anything said from you is going to cause you to become more and more hated. So my advice is to just speak up. Be honest, be frank, we’ll understand, but we can’t do that if you don’t talk to us, the gamers who wanted to love your game.

Michael Blaker

Video Game Tuesday: No Man’s Sky is Great


This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m here to tell you something that other’s have said, vehemently at times, isn’t true. It’s that No Man’s Sky is Great!

Really?: Yes if you weren’t expecting it to be everything you wanted and it to be done perfectly. That’s a fairly large caveat, but given the massive size of the game I wasn’t expecting stuff to be perfect, the programming is exquisite, but even still I knew it would have occasional flaws.

Like what?: Stuff like building’s floating in the air over a cliff’s edge (happened to me on my starter planet on my third visit back to my starter system and when I went exploring on my starter planet again). Despite that I was still able to get into said building just fine, I just had to maneuver to the door a bit more than I normally would.

What about crashes?: Well I’ve crashed about 15 times in the 48 hours I’ve played about. It’s not a great number, but given that I habitually open my options menu and then close it quickly when I mean to check my inventories I’m not too upset. That is a known bug, though I think it was patched last week. I can’t confirm that it’s still an issue or not, we’ve been having a fairly bad heat wave the last two weeks and I haven’t been playing as much as I’d like. I also crashed due to being in the same solar system as someone else, we were both following an Atlas path and no I never got to see him as we were racing to name the systems after stopping to grab the next location’s coordinates. He wasn’t even bothering to name them, and I was trying to be helpful and name my systems with the word Atlas in it, he beat me twice as much as I beat him. So when I reconnected back to the servers, it would disconnect occasionally and I’d think I’d gotten ahead and named my system, I’d crash after submitting the name. Since he had actually named the system before me that is the most likely reason I crashed.

What about supposedly missing “feature”?: Well I can personally confirm that there are butterflies, water areas that are more than lakes (I’ve found at least a few dozen water planets with a few islands here and there), and giant creatures. My very first planet has a giant T-Rex looking like monstrosity with a Lobster head. It scared the living bejeezus out of me as I had just climbed up a very large cliff and it whacked me off as it was an aggressive creature. I fell to my death due to lack of jetpack charge, it was my first time. Needless to say I kill any of those things I see now out of sheer spite whenever I visit my starter planet (which I do frequently). As for Sandworms on Sand Planets I haven’t even tried to get towards the center yet, which supposedly increases the weird creature generation quite a bit, so I’m not sure they exist. They probably do, somewhere out there.

Atlas?: Yes I followed it and yes I went to the end, and I had 10 stones. I didn’t choose the option however, and I left the system after naming every planet. Now I’m trying to find the system again, a fairly annoying venture as I had once again traveled back to my starter system to explore the other planets in the system.

What about destroying space stations?: Well I can confirm that if you continue to shoot the space stations it will send out three fighters to kick your butt, and if you keep firing it will send an additional six out. It’s a very fast way to die, if you wanted to be a cheater and duplicate your items. Hey don’t look at me like that, I was testing that method out for science purposes only, not repeatedly dying to duplicate Atlas Stones to make ridiculous amounts of money. Nope! Not at all.

All in all, I’ve loved No Man’s Sky, it’s been fun to name creatures that will stay there for essentially eternity, or as long as the servers are up, whichever comes first. That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!



Video Game Tuesday: Two Anticipated 2016 Games


This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m taking a look at this year’s games I’m personally looking forward to. It’s my most anticipated 2016 Games!

Tales of Berseria: Long time readers will know that I absolutely love the Tales of Series, and this game is the first game to feature a female protagonist. Yes Milla was a co-lead with Jude, but that doesn’t really count. Velvet looks to be a badass in her own right and I’m seriously looking forward to playing this game on my PS4 this year. Hopefully Bandai Namco doesn’t disappoint and delays the game for western release.

No Man’s Sky: I had hoped to be already playing this game by now this time last year, but I don’t mind it too much. This game looks like it’ll be great fun, if only because it’ll have nearly infinite adventures for me to have. That being said I’m hoping it fills the void left by Rogue Squadron and gives me a great dogfighting game as well.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! What games are you looking forward to releasing this year? Leave a comment below!

Video Game Tuesday: Randomized Content and Replayability


This week I’m going to talk about a content that is very contentious in the gaming industry for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! It’s all about Randomized Content and Replayability!

What is Randomized Content: Randomized Content is content that is not actually random, it just has a set of outcomes that vary each time the operation is run, usually meaning each time the player enters the content’s area. What does this mean for replayablity? In the best cast scenario it means that after about 5 times the number of outcomes (5 x Y where Y is the total number of outcomes) before it becomes no longer “Random” and it loses all sense of being random to the user. I’ve talked about this before, but it’s worth bringing up with the soon™ to be released No Man’s Sky and it’s Procedurally Generated Content engine.

What is Procedurally Generated Content?: Procedurally Generated Content, or PGC for short or incredibly lazy types like myself, is essentially a system of equations that produce a pretty much random variation infinitely. Minecraft is a good example of PGC as each seed world is different if you choose to have it be random, no two worlds are exactly alike, sure there may be a Temple near a Village always but that’s part of the equations.

What does this have to do with Replayability?: Recently Bungie released Destiny’s second expansion The House of Wolves with the highlight being the Prison of Elders which is randomized each time a player enters. It’s really not, as I state above, and after a short amount of time everything will go back to the same grind. If they really wanted it to be random they’d have to do something like Diablo 3’s Rift System where it’s a random dungeon every time you enter and even then after a few thousand times through the rifts you’ll start seeing the patterns. Given how fast people played through Destiny’s content I’m disappointed in the lack of foresight on Bungie’s part, but that’s a story for another day.

So what it boils down to is if you want to really play a randomized game you need to play something like Minecraft and hopefully soon No Man’s Sky, don’t take the marketing bullcrap about randomized content at face value.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!