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No Man’s Sky has neither missions nor collectibles

No Man’s Sky is a big game, what with 18 quintillion planets that would take 600 billion hours for players to explore, according to Kill Screen. The website recently talked with the game’s managing director Sean Murray, and the resulting interview is a lengthy one, though it probably won’t take you 600 billion hours to read.

There’s little in the way of gameplay information or reveals, as the piece focuses on what it’s like to be a struggling indie game dev and picks Murray’s brain regarding the genesis of the project. Murray does offer an interesting nugget on why the game lacks traditional busywork, though. “Somebody said, ‘Aren’t you worried about the fact that the game doesn’t have missions or quests or collectibles, and would you consider putting those in?’ And I had a kind of little breakdown. I was just saying, like, because I have this argument with myself all the time, because it would be really easy to put those things in. And we think that, fundamentally, there are enough games that have those concepts.”

The game has a new PSX video, which we’ve included below.

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The Stream Team: Stepping into Space Engineers

It has been a long, long time since MassivelyOP’s MJ has ventured into Space Engineers. It wasn’t that she didn’t like the game (she does!), but rather that she had a hard time fitting it into her schedule. However, with the introduction of planets, her interest is renewed exponentially! The private server she played on is gone, so now she needs to find a new home. Tune in live at 12:00 p.m. to boldly start over where no MJ has started before.

What: Space Engineers
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Friday, December 4th, 2015

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Vendetta gets prettier on the Oculus Rift

Did you know that Vendetta Online was the first MMO to support the Oculus Rift virtual reality device? And did you know that Vendetta supported the Oculus Rift way back in 2013? If you answered yes to both of those questions, good for you and have a gold star along with this delicious cup of spaghetti squash!

Vendetta has also released an update for the latest Oculus SDK (0.8). Guild Software still considers its VR implementation to be in a “beta test state,” but the firm has nonetheless added new configurable options, VR-specific interfaces, and enhanced controller support to its sci-fi sandbox. Guild has also updated its DX11 renderer with enhanced shadows, glow effects, and various other features, according to the announcement post.

Source: Announcement

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Spatium is a space sandbox survival MMO on Kickstarter

Spatium is a new MMO thing on Kickstarter, and while MMO Kickstarters are a dime a dozen these days, this one might just stand out from the crowd. As the game’s backstory makes clear, this isn’t a quest to save the world, or the galaxy, or the human race, but rather yourself.

Instead of killing, looting, and questing from zone to zone, the goal of Spatium is to collect materials, craft items, and “upgrade your space suit to be able to reach other, richer, planets.” It’s a voxel-based game, and it’s also the product of a one-man development team, so expect it take a little time. Developer Dominique Ramin Hummel is asking for approximately $17,000 USD, and expects to “start working on Spatium in January 2016.”

Source: Kickstarter

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The Daily Grind: How do you manage your MMO inventory?

I have said in the past that I have an issue with inventory space on a whole. Games like Final Fantasy XIV only compound this issue; when everything in the game is useful somewhere, I wind up with banks stuffed to the brim with armor, scales, leather, blood, and meat from four years ago. But even that wouldn’t be so bad if I just made a point of cleaning up my inventories on a semi-regular basis, which I do not.

Some of my friends have perfectly sorted and ordered inventories that have everything lined up just right at all times; others actually make my haphazard sorting look good. And it’s important in several games – no one wants to wait for the final confrontation in Star Wars: The Old Republic stories because two party members need to clear some inventory space. So how do you handle cleaning up your inventory? Do you do so on a regular basis, as it gets full, or only when absolutely necessary?

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PSA: Space Engineers is half price through Sunday

If you don’t own Space Engineers yet, well, you should because it’s really fun! Especially since the devs added ginormous destructible planets to their Minecraft-with-better-visuals-in-space extravaganza. You’re also running out of excuses, since the sci-fi sandbox is currently half off via Steam.

You can pick up the game for $12.49 from now through November 23rd.

Source: Steam

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Wisdom of Nym: Analyzing Final Fantasy XIV’s patch 3.1 notes

There are a lot of things that I really like about Final Fantasy XIV, a fact that should come as a surprise to practically no one reading this column. This specific week, however, I’m happy that the game’s developers have a longstanding tradition of making the patch notes for large patches available well in advance of the actual patch. Sure, certain elements are omitted before the full notes, such as the recipes that could otherwise lead to widespread market inflation, but the gist of the notes are available in advance.

Patch 3.1 is no different, and as such I’ve had a couple of days to mull over the notes. The obvious big features like Void Ark and the exploratory missions are things to be discussed as the patch is actually played, and you know that’s going to be the subject of the column over the next few weeks. But some things can be analyzed just from the notes, and so I’m going to examine the notes, consider what we know, and rant about a colossally dumb decision that has been made.

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Leaderboard: Will you play Infinity Battlescape?

Infinity: Battlescape looks to have a little momentum on Kickstarter. I-Novae’s seamless space battler is over two thirds of the way to its $300,000 goal with just under two weeks to go. The title may pick up a few more backers, too, thanks to positive word of mouth and the endorsement of some space sim bigwigs around the industry.

What about you, though, MOP fans? Assuming you like space sims, does Infinity: Battlescape interest you enough to play it? Vote after the cut!

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MMO Burnout plays Rebel Galaxy

I wanted to like Rebel Galaxy more than I do. That’s not to say it’s a bad game at all; on the contrary it fills the mission of this column rather nicely, which is to provide me with a temporary escape from the maddening MMO genre as I continue my neverending and seemingly futile quest for an adequate Star Wars Galaxies replacement.

Rebel Galaxy just isn’t the game that it could be, at least in my opinion.

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Here’s what’s in Star Conflict’s 1.2 Dogs of War patch

Have you played Star Conflict? Me either, but someone has! I know this because the developers have released a three-minute video highlighting the “big and important” features in patch 1.2. And patches with big, important features generally don’t show up in games with no players, right?

In any event, several new ships are now available to “the most experienced pilots,” according to the patch notes. The devs have also tweaked PvP queues to reduce waiting time, and they’ve added new locations and missions for PvE players.

You can see all the rest of the 1.2’s changes via the patch notes and via the video that’s embedded after the cut.

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Colonize the darkest reaches of space in 3001SQ

Outer space is so quiet and lacking in any useful facilities. It’s going to be your job to change that in 3001SQ, an upcoming space colonization simulator from Paris studio Société des Mondes Virtuels.

3001SQ will allow you to flit between planets and other galactic objects to mine, build structures, engage in a player economy, and even wage war. Players will have a programmable computer on their ship that can automate some tasks, even when the player is offline.

The team hopes that 3001SQ will suck you into its virtual universe: “Our vision for the game has a strong emphasis on immersion. Every item in the world will have a purpose, or relay actual game-world data. It will be played entirely from a first-person perspective, allowing you to move seamlessly inside of, and between, vessels and planetary surfaces.”

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Vendetta Online is having a summer sale

Now is probably an ideal time to check out (or return to) indie space sandbox Vendetta Online. Guild Software is gearing up to release version 1.9, and it is also selling 100 premium subscription keys at 33 percent off the usual price. Premium allows unlimited play for a year on any platform (or any combination of platforms, since Vendetta’s single-shard universe spans PCs, Macs, Androids, and iOS devices), and it also comes with “long-term subscriber” status which grants a Corvus Greyhound camo ship to the user.

Vendetta’s most recent newsletter has further details, along with updates on the game’s new rendering engine and a recap of recent gameplay tweaks.

Source: Summer sale

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Ion is a ‘massive open world universe’ from Dean Hall and Improbable

DayZ creator Dean Hall announced his new RocketWerkz studio last winter. This week, we’ve got a better idea of what he’s been up to alongside “simulated worlds” developer Improbable. The two entities revealed Ion, a simulation MMO and a “massive open world universe” inspired by beloved RPG Space Station 13.

Ion looks to be set in space and it may involve disasters and cryosleep. At least that’s what we gleaned from the brief trailer that’s embedded after the cut.

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