A new computer game created by a team of 15 people in a shed in southern England made its highly anticipated debut this week after creating buzz for conjuring a mind-bogglingly large universe of 18 quintillion planets for players to explore. Julian Satterthwaite reports
Welcome to your new universe. This is No Man's Sky - the most eagerly anticipated computer game in years, and it's big. Really big. 18 quintillion planets for gamers to explore. There's 18 zeroes in that number, in case you're wondering. If you looked at one world every second, it would take 580 billion years to see the lot. But British game creator Sean Murray says there's no army of people behind it: (SOUNDBITE) (English) SEAN MURRAY, CREATOR OF NO MAN'S SKY, SAYING: "So what we've actually built with the game is a set of rules for the computer or the Playstation Four, to understand, and it uses those rules to create whole planets, basically. So the things you see in No Man's Sky weren't actually built by us. Hello Games that makes it, that I'm a part of, is actually a really small team. Normally video games are made by hundreds of people and there's like fifteen of us. No Man's Sky launching worldwide this week. Players set to find out if it merits all the hype. JULIAN PTC What is immediately apparent is that the game offers a kind of thrill of discovery. You can visit planets that no one else has seen, or ever will. You can also name plants, animals and even planets. I shall call this one Reuters reporter Julian Satterthwaite Within 24 hours of going live, players had already named over ten million new species, more than exist on Earth. PSOT JS - are there certain filters on what people can call things? SM - yes, we have profanity filters to keep everything reasonably clean but people find creative ways to be humorous or get personality across, and I quite like that. Those names live on for others to discover. Or not. The game is so big that no more than a tiny fraction of it will ever be seen. And since No Man's Sky was crafted by computers... Even the plucky band of programmers behind it, aren't sure what's out there.