Also be sure to check out our friends at Game Dev's Quest, a podcast about the game development process: http://airpodcast.com/category/gamedevsquest/
The big news from that rumor was a new mode. Here's what the source said at the time:
When starting up X 10 Run for the first time, players are told that Princess Daisy is in trouble, and it’s up to the player to rescue her. X 10 Run asks for Toad Rally Tickets to allow you to play, and consists of 10 quick, 10-second levels where the player collects three rainbow coins before reaching the Goal Pole. The more rainbow coins collected, the closer the player gets to a chance to hit a giant Rainbow ? Block that gives bigger items to be used in Kingdom Builder, such as Toad Houses. As far as our source could tell, there was no penalty for not collecting all three coins — you were rewarded just for completing the levels.
Up until now, this was just rumor, and I didn't want to write about it and get people's hopes up. But now, let me proceed to get your hopes up! It appears that the rumors were true. Apple dropped some news today about the new update, coming September 29.
Amongst the new features:
- A new game mode (Remix 10) in which you go through quick mini-levels in order to save Daisy.
- Daisy as a playable character, once you save her in the aforementioned mode.
- A new world with nine more levels to explore.
- New items to build in your world.
- Other neat stuff.
Since the news is only available on the App Store in iOS 11, someone was kind enough to screencap the full announcement:
And since that rumor is confirmed, here's the original report about what the one player who has played it experienced. Since this was released earlier than planned, things may be different from what this person experienced, but it should give you a good idea:
Also, if you've been holding off on unlocking the full game, wait until September 29. There's a 50% off sale starting then, and lasting for two weeks!
The game had lukewarm reviews at launch, and the timing was all wrong. Competing with Blizzard is almost always a bad idea. After an attempt to bring in new players with a free-to-play option failed to generate new interest, Gearbox has decided to cease active development and enter maintenance mode.
The game isn't shutting down, but it's entering it's last days, with a skeleton crew remaining to keep things working properly.
As a thank you to the players, Gearbox is giving out the skin pictured above with this SHiFT code:
Full announcement: https://forums.gearboxsoftware.com/t/a-message-from-randy-varnell/1637649
And they've reached a major milestone: over $100,000,000 in charity donations. They've helped provide water to those who need it, protected people's civil liberties, fought cancer, helped gamers with disabilities, and much more.
This is a huge accomplishment. I bet back with the first Humble Bundle these folks never imagined where they'd end up.
The game is coming in a few weeks on September 29 to Xbox One and PC.
After the third major update, Atlas Rises, No Man's Sky is what it was meant to be.
A common criticism of the game was that it's as wide as the ocean and as deep as a puddle. I never thought it was that dire, but the depth has improved dramatically. A game with "Mostly Negative" reviews on Steam has achieved "Very Positive" recent reviews for the first time.
So what makes things different now?
First, there's a new main story, separate from the Atlas Path (which has also been tweaked). The fourth race is revealed, and you learn more about the mystery of the simulation you're in. Interestingly, there's a story reason for why multiplayer is appearing now (more on that later), and why it's only "glitches" of other players. The ends of the Atlas Path and actually traveling to the center of the galaxy still do the same things they did before, but you now have another option for how to proceed.
Second, there's just more variety in everything. There are more plant and animal types (including those giant animals from the E3 trailer), and more planet biomes. Many more blueprints to have focused and varied builds for your ship and multitool. Each ship type (including the new, rare exotic ship type) handles differently now, and comes with a set of bonuses for different types of gameplay. Different star systems have a conflict rating and economy rating to determine the danger and trade in that system.
Portals now allow you to easily share coordinates to anywhere in the galaxy and go check out other people's amazing creations or interesting planets.
Mission boards in space stations let you build up faction standing and get rewards for doing things you'd probably already be doing anyway.
Crashed freighters on planets add to the landscape and offer a way to get some loot. Mostly, for me, they make the galaxy feel more alive.
And yes, multiplayer has been added, in a limited fashion. You can see other players as a glowing orb, and you can hear voice chat within a certain radius. There's no other interaction possible, with the exception of making a lasting monument that you and this other player met. Imagine Journey with voice. The plot reason for this (as explained in the release announcement) is that the simulation is experiencing issues, so other subjects in the same area are starting to bleed through. I took a trip to the former Galactic Hub, a project started by players even before the portals were activated, on the day the hub was moving to a new location (the new update significantly changed some planets, leaving the Galactic Hub capital a bit on the cold side). There was a party in the old capital to celebrate the move, and there were tons of orbs in a cacophony at first. But after a few minutes I saw what this limited multiplayer could offer: emergent gameplay. Someone set up an exocraft race, and I watched what may have been the first real-time exocraft race.
Yes, there are other new features. Redesigned UI, tech and cargo inventory slots, lower flight capability, crafting improvements, and so on. Those are nice quality of life improvements, but for me, it's all about depth. The game now has deeper gameplay, deeper story, deeper mystery. No Man's Sky, even at launch, scratched an itch I never knew I had. But the magic did eventually wear off. Even with base building and freighters and exocraft, there was only so much you could do before it got a little boring. Those beautiful planets that were pieced together procedurally used the same set of components, and once you'd seen them all, the newness wore off a bit. Now it's so much better in every imaginable way, and the replay value has skyrocketed.
If you were interested in this game before, but were holding off to see if there were any massive improvements, this is what you were waiting for.
Image credit: Noderpsy on reddit
Here's a brief rundown:
- A new story. the lore of Atlas continues and the path has been reworked some. The NPCs you could have in your home have changed dialogue to fit the new story. Apparently, there's 30 hours worth of story content here. The long-rumored fourth race is here!
- The galaxy has been redone again. Your home planet may look completely different now. The variety has been significantly increased.
- They've added economy, wealth, and conflict ratings to each system, and those ratings affect what you can find.
- You can now find crashed freighters on planets and loot them.
- You can manipulate terrain with a multitool upgrade.
- There's a mission board in every galaxy with procedural missions.
- The amount of items you can craft and find have increased dramatically.
- The visor looks very different, and scanning can help you find rare items.
- The menu UI has been overhauled, to accommodate a new ship inventory system (you now have separate areas for equipment and cargo) and a more in-depth reputation system.
- Portals are now functional! You can input the coordinates of planets to transport to them. Which helps with...
- Multiplayer! In a sense. "Glitches in the simulation" are causing fragments of other participants to show through, and voip works within a certain radius. Basically, it's the Fable 2 take on multiplayer where everyone else is a floating orb. BUT it's the start of more to come, and still neat.
- You now have the ability to fly low to the ground instead of hitting an invisible barrier far above the surface.
- There are new ship models, some of which are only available in high-wealth systems.
- Tons, tons more. But those are the big ones.
Full patch notes with screenshots here: http://nomanssky.com/atlas-rises-update/
And just a reminder, No Man's Sky is $25 on PSN, GOG, Steam, and Humble right now so if you don't have it, now's a good time to get it!
The one above shows a portal-- a structure present in the game already, but one that had no apparent use. Apparently that's going to change soon! The control panel thing pictured isn't currently in the game, so it looks like we're getting some interactivity.
In addition, this beauty dropped showing a new ship class! It's parked next to an observatory, so those may be an important part of the update, or maybe just a neat thing to put in a picture.
A few places have No Man's Sky for around $25 right now, possibly in preparation for an update. If you're interested, now's a good time to grab it for cheap!
UPDATED: The man himself, Sean Murray, sent out an email today with more information about the update. It's called Atlas Rises (which I hope is a reference to a Metallica song) and will focus on new lore and making portals do fun things. The full text of the email follows:
Hello Citizen Scientists,
It’s been a year since No Man’s Sky first released, and it’s been an exciting, intense and emotional year for us at Hello Games. We have been quiet, but we have been listening intently.
We've spent that year working hard on free updates for this game our team cares about so much.
Update 1.3 will release this week and will be available for free to all No Man’s Sky players. We're calling it Atlas Rises. It focuses on improving the central story of No Man’s Sky and adds the ability to quick travel between locations using portals. Patch notes will be made available shortly before the update goes live.
What we do is much more important than what we say, but since launch we have sometimes focused too much on that.
We wanted to reach out and celebrate the devoted community that means so much to us. We launched Waking Titan to try to do that.
When we posted those cassettes we didn't know what to expect. In the last eight weeks a quarter of a million players from across the globe (174 countries, to be precise!) have come together - united by a shared love of mystery and science fiction - to form the Citizen Science Division. You’ve travelled great distances both real and virtual, undertaken complex tasks, and explored the depths of simulation theory. New friendships have been forged, and a tight-knit community has been created. Most importantly a cute hamster has a new home.
You've become part of the No Man's Sky origin story.
It's been an honour to watch, but this is just the beginning. Whether you’ve followed Waking Titan or not, we welcome anyone to sign up to the Citizen Science Division, and to join us on the official CSD forums.
Our journey continues.
Thank you for this year. We hope you enjoy what comes next.
Since then, the Waking Titan project site has launched, with the promise of 10,000 random entrants receiving a physical Atlas Pass v4, a questionnaire, a secret decoder wheel to get you into a website with Titan commands, PDFs with what may be coordinates to planets in-game, and other strange things.
I do worry that this is building hype for something that may not deliver what people expect, but I'm having fun tuning in to see what's new. I'm hoping for that shiny Atlas pass too.
Gamespot has a good breakdown of what's happening:
And the NMS subreddit has some more history: