No Man's Sky Never Got Sandworms Because 'People Would Hate Them'

Screenshot: No Man’s Sky, Hello Games

If you’re hoping for giant sandworms and non-stop player-vs.-player space battles in No Man’s Sky, you’re probably going to be disappointed by the new update coming next week. If you’re down to just chill in lonely vacuum of space with a couple of mates, buckle up.

There are still players seeking out some of the things they saw in the hype leading up to No Man’s Sky’s release that weren’t there at launch. Giant sandworms, which made an appearance in a pre-release trailer, are one such thing. If you’re still on the hunt for those, you should probably just give up.

Hello Games founder Sean Murray told Waypoint that while those big ol’ worms were in the game at one point, they just weren’t enjoyable to fight.

“In one of the early videos, we show this giant kind of sandworm, and it turned out, as we went through development, that wasn’t very fun,” he said.

“People would hate them within the game. They would be totally overpowered to the player. It would just come from nowhere, and it just wasn’t very fun. And it didn’t make sense within the scale of the game.”

The long-promised multiplayer is actually for real coming to No Man’s Sky in the new update on Tuesday. Murray said that players shouldn’t expect an all out PVP experience, though, and said that players will be able to opt out of it.

“PVP isn’t the focus of the game, it’s not very… like, this sounds bad but it’s purposeful, it’s not very rewarding. That was a very conscious decision,” he said.

“It actually started with no PVP in, and it felt weird to have a ship and not be able to shoot your friend or whatever, or have a gun and not be able to shoot them.”

Murray said this update will also bring more support for what’s made the game most exciting so far to the people who have stuck with it: The community of players organising their own space faring societies.

“Post launch, we’re going gonna start doing weekly updates with content and community missions and things like that,” he said.

“There’s a website that we’re launching that will show people where hubs and factions are, and how much they’ve explored the game and stuff like that. That’s mainly if you are interested in that side of the game. We’re supporting that loads more.”

No Man’s Sky players have made their own factions, governments and even space police forces without support from Hello Games at this point, so it’ll be exciting to see how this develops with the developers behind them.


    Seems a little weird to point at players for something they created, controlled and ultimately decided was cool enough to show off dramatically.
    I mean, having it just appear out of nowhere wasn't something set in stone.

    What might've been cool is having a few premade planets with boss like monsters.
    (Shit, we know you made an awesome premade planet/demo build anyway)

    Shoulda, woulda, coulda, didn't, I guess.

      I wouldnt mind a boss type mob guarding something. Like the portals for example. Or something equally desirable for the player to look out for. Maybe limit them to certain planet types, like the exotic ones, or ones with aggressive sentinels.

      There would be fairly easy ways to limit where they're going to appear AND made it easy to identify where they're going to appear. Add it in as a hunting mode or something, and make it an ingame challenge.

        "fairly easy ways to limit where they're going to appear AND made it easy to identify where they're going to appear.". A hefty lol at the armchair developer over here.

          Why the lol? Limit the event to planets of certain types, or localise to specific art assets, and it gets the job done. It doesnt need to be a hard process when you can piggyback off specific data to trigger the programming. Its no more than an If Then statement.

          Once its predictable, us as players can figure out where likely locations are, and plan accordingly. Thats not saying they could knock it up in 5 minutes, its saying its a point to start from.

    It still seems like half the fun needs to come from my imagination.
    Ever see that episode of American Dad where the LARP space commerce?
    I want it to feel a bit more like that.

    Without knowing how they implemented the initial gameplay around the sandworm it's tough to know if it was indeed too tough or something that didn't work, but I'm sure there are things they could have done to both improve it and make it fun.

    It definitely seems, though, like Sandworms, and all kinds of mega-fauna enemy would fit better in the multiplayer context where it becomes a boss you and your crew must defeat together, say, for a larger reward or just for the glory.

    Last edited 23/07/18 5:03 pm

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