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No Man's Sky Launches On Steam and GOG and It's Off To A Rocky Start (arstechnica.com) 157

An anonymous reader writes from a report via Ars Technica: No Man's Sky, an indie "video game that promises 18 quintillion planets" from a "small development team," has launched today for Windows PC gamers via Steam or GOG. Unfortunately, the "worldwide simultaneous launch on all kinds of PCs" is off to a rocky start -- as evidenced by the "mostly negative" Steam reviews. Many gamers have complained about frame rate hitches and total system crashes. Ars Technica reports: "Even users with high-end solutions like the GTX 1080 or two GTX 980Ti cards in SLI mode are reporting major stutters -- on a game that runs on a comparatively so-so PS4 console with a mostly consistent 30 FPS refresh. The game's PC version defaults to a 30 FPS cap, which can be disabled in the normal options menus. But with this setting turned on, the game can't help but hitch down to an apparent 20 FPS on a regular basis, not to mention throw up frequent display hitches of half a second at a time. Removing that frame rate cap can get play up to a smooth 60 frames per second, and we enjoyed more consistent frame rates without the cap. But even those frame rates can bounce down to 30 or less at random intervals. The game also suffers from freezing hitches, even without apparent spikes in visible geometry like creatures or spaceships." Ars also mentions that the on-screen prompts don't update the button remapping accordingly. There's been some frustration among PC gamers who have had to learn the hard way that the game's floating-menu interface was built with joysticks in mind. Mouse scroll wheels don't seem to work to scroll through text and between menus, and players are required to hold-to-confirm every menu interaction in the game. What's more is that alt-tabbing out of the game is a "guaranteed crash." For those looking for more information about the game, The Atlantic has a captivating report describing the game as if it were like reading a book.
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No Man's Sky Launches On Steam and GOG and It's Off To A Rocky Start

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why no Linux version???

    • by Hasaf ( 3744357 )

      I am waiting for the xBox One version. I refuse to purchase a pile of game machines.

    • by guises ( 2423402 )
      Apparently because they can't even get the other platforms working right. I imagine this is why you don't often see big games coming from small teams.
    • Re:Linux (Score:5, Funny)

      by elrous0 ( 869638 ) on Friday August 12, 2016 @11:07PM (#52694985)

      Why no Linux version???

      Because they surveyed the five people who game on Linux and three of them weren't interested in the game at all, and the other two said they would only buy it if they would open source all their code.

      • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
        That's true! I haven't booted back to windows in months and have mostly been mucking around with Factorio and Stellaris lately. There's a pretty decent library of Linux-Compatible games on Steam, a much better situation than a decade ago when Loki was trying to make a business model off porting them. I haven't seen levels of hype like the one in No Man's Sky since Spore, and we all know how THAT turned out. So I was planning to hang out for a bit and watch some gameplay videos before making my mind up about
    • Re:Linux (Score:5, Informative)

      by Arashi256 ( 1804688 ) on Saturday August 13, 2016 @05:15AM (#52695577)
      Works fine under 64-Bit Wine - at least the GOG version does.
  • Fresh launch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AlanBDee ( 2261976 ) on Friday August 12, 2016 @06:05PM (#52693891)
    Who buys a game on release day and expects it to actually work? I mean, seriously, I know it "should" be tested before going out but that doesn't happen anymore. I'll check it out in a month... maybe!
    • Unfortunately, a lot of people pre-order games and make the devs to commit to a certain release date no matter how many confirmed bugs they still have.

      STOP PREORDERING GAMES!

    • Which is why I stick to consoles. Because I can actually play my games guaranteed whenever I want. No OS troubles, driver troubles, compatibility troubles, etc etc.

  • by Iamthecheese ( 1264298 ) on Friday August 12, 2016 @06:06PM (#52693893)
    It's your fault. You, the gamers. Yes, this one is in your lap. It's your fault because you persist in preordering games without looking into the stability of past releases. Your fault for putting features ahead of stability. Your fault for letting "ooh shiny" distract you from bugs. Your fault for believing reviewers who keep lying to you. Stop it! Start stopping it by not buying this game until it's rock solid.
    • Partially agree... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Archfeld ( 6757 ) <treboreel@live.com> on Friday August 12, 2016 @06:21PM (#52693957) Journal

      If we as avid gamers don't buy things expecting them to be rocky at the start and get better we'll never get anything worth having. What we need to do is make sure that we support the companies that DO make things right, and fail to support the companies that have a track record of failing to address issues. Another thing users need to do is take over the data gathering about bugs and features that need fixing by utilizing 3rd party forums and making links into the company support forums. Often less than responsible companies try and control 'official' support structures as if they were PR sources. By utilizing more open sources we can ensure that things don't get swept under the carpet or covered up. We as the end users need to be vocal in our support of said fixes and those companies that are most proactive, emphasizing responsive customer service and highlighting those that fail. The cost and procedures of making games these days has ensured that small companies will go under before they have a chance to fix things, or big companies will drop production houses if too much bad press comes out too early. You sort of have to grow a decent brand or it will wither and die on the vine and then everyone loses.

      • I have been watching on Twitch. Nvidia drivers will release next week. Anyone tried the game on AMD cards? AMD just released a new driver today. Is it the game or the Drivers?

        • by chihowa ( 366380 )

          Didn't they bother to test it before it released? If the game relies on yet unreleased drivers to function properly, then it's the game.

      • If we as avid gamers don't buy things expecting them to be rocky at the start and get better we'll never get anything worth having.

        Back in my day, you got your games on read only memory, with no required downloaded updates. Oh wait - that's still how I play games.

        • Back in my day, you either dialed into a BBS and downloaded the next shareware title for hours at a time, or you picked them up at the store on a floppy disk!

          • picked them up at the store on a floppy disk

            Usually locked to read-only mode, unless you worked around it.

            • Now that you repeat it, I remember. The notch in the 5 1/4" disks that made it read only, and using scotch tape to cover the notch would give you a working disk.

              Wow, I should break out the Commodore 64 and play some Gauntlet!

              • But I was mostly a console gamer - NES through Wii U and first gen PSX all read-only with no patches ever needed.

      • What we need to do is make sure that we support the companies that DO make things right, and fail to support the companies that have a track record of failing to address issues.

        ROFLMAO.

        I mean, that'd be nice, yes. Too bad that doesn't actually happen. Otherwise companies like EA would have gone out of business a long time ago.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      In order for the game to become rock solid, it needs a large base of actual players playing it and reporting the bugs.

      So, the people you are blaming are actually the ones that make the game rock-solid for late-adopters like you (and me).

      Incidentally, I think I am going to pass on this one...holding out for the full release of Star Citizen.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, preordering is often a bad idea. More so with the larger publishers who are more intent on pumping out games than about making good games, prioritizing hype over quality. By shifting the income timeline forward to before the point of release, you reward studios for the marketing of a game rather than for the game itself, encouraging them to focus more on the big name games than on trying to be innovative with new franchises.

      Of course, this is Slashdot: most of us here are skeptical, cynical bastards an

      • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

        > I'm totally confident that Hello Games will fix the stability problems, totally confident they will fix the stuttering problems, and very confident they will address the using-a-console-UI-on-a-PC problem.

        What makes you so sure? I mean these are pretty large issues to release the software with. What makes you think that their clearly compromise-type/saless-driven judgment will magically change to a quality-based one now?

        • Looks like they already have fixed them all.
          I wouldn't know how the bad performance was; I was at work and came home about 6 hours post-release, downloaded the game via GOG updater, started it and played until now on a 4690K paired with 16 gigs of RAM and a GTX 970, so not a beast gaming machine.

          Game runs flawlessly at 1920x1200 with its default graphical settings. The only thing I changed was frame cap from 30 to 60. I'm sure many people had issues at launch, but I was lucky to avoid them. Watched ratings

          • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

            > Count of concurrent players peaked at about 212K at game start, so pretty sure this was one of the reasons for performance issues

            Dunno, it doesn't sound like there's really much of a mulltiplayer thing going on at all (I mean pretty much no interation or anything) so I doubt there would really be much net traffic, at least compared to most multiplayer games.

      • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Friday August 12, 2016 @08:40PM (#52694469)

        It's not like they're Bethesda, shipping a game that's 95% done and expecting modders to fix the rest.

        Bethesda tends to get a pass because their games (specifically their Elder Scrolls games) are so ridiculously big, complex, and ambitious, that gamers tend to be somewhat forgiving when the inevitable bugs are found - so long as they're not too persistent and/or game-breaking. Hello Games *may* get the same sort of treatment if they respond to these issues promptly, because this is a pretty ambitious game for an indie studio.

        I've been developing professional games for quite a while now, and even pros can struggle with optimization issues. There's a bit of a black art to getting games running fast and smoothly, and if there are systemic issues in their code that don't follow good real-time coding practices, it's going to be hard for them to deal with after the fact.

        BTW, if you guys at Hello Studios are reading this, get a copy of RAD Game Tools' Telemetry NOW. You should have been using it all through development (it's especially important with your own engine), but better late than never. It's fantastic at finding those real-time hotspots in code.

        Oh, also, I'll also be giving them money at some point I'm sure, because I'm an 'explorer archetype' gamer. This is definitely my type of game, no doubt. But I'll probably either wait until it's released on Xbox One or I eventually get a PS4, as I don't have a very good PC gaming rig right now. For some reason, as I get older, I seem to be migrating more towards console gaming.

    • by Hasaf ( 3744357 )

      I was looking forward to it; however, I wanted a little more player interaction. I am a bit split on how much though. I prefer trading, yep, cargo hauling. However, I like the cargo to actually be meaningful to other players. At th esame time, I don't like games with a bunch of kids who think the best part of a game is to make it . . . un fun. . . for others.

      Frankly,I realize that I am looking for an improved version of pardus.

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) on Friday August 12, 2016 @11:39PM (#52695065)

      No, the harsh reality is that it's almost impossible to release a modern triple-A uber-complex game WITHOUT bugs and glitches. And even if it were possible, it wouldn't be anywhere close to practical, especially for an indie dev.

      People always talk about the glory days of the NES when game released without major bugs. But they forget that those games had a few KB of code, were simple as fuck, and often were developed by a "team" of 1 or 2 people. There are several orders of magnitude difference between bug-testing Super Mario Brothers and some modern massive open world game. Today's games are simply far too complex to catch every bug, or even most of them, before launch. Until it's in the wild, with millions of play-testers, there is simply no way to catch every glitch. Add to this the almost infinite number of modern PC configurations possible, and it's an even more difficult task to bug-test for PC vs. a console.

      Add to all that the realities of studios working on a strict timeline and budget, and well, all I can say is you had better get used to it. The alternatives are:

      1) Delay every game several years and charge $120 for them instead of $60, so devs have the time and money to test for every bug.

      -or-

      2) Go back to the days when every game was as simple as an NES title.

      It still amazes me how entitled modern gamers really are. You get massive incredible games that we could have only dreamed of 30 years ago, and for CHEAPER that the shit games we used to play, and all you can do is bitch about it. In the early 80's, we paid $35 for shit games like Pitfall (over $90 in today's money). And today you can buy a huge game like Fallout 4 for a mere $50-$60, and all you can do is BITCH about it!? You lucky pricks don't even know how great you have it.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Coming from the automotive industry, this is a bit of a cop-out. We have razor thin margins and enormous complexity. And, while modern automobile electronics like infotainment and navigation systems are somewhat poorly designed from a UI/UX perspective (a problem the industry seems to be working on from my time in Ford's research division), the vehicle as a whole cannot suffer massive problems on launch.

        Just because cars are expensive, don't think that automakers make a lot on each car. You need volume to m

    • I haven't read any reviews, hardly followed the development of this game at all. The premise of the game seemed very interesting. So I bought it a few days before launch and played it yesterday evening for 5 hours straight without a single hitch.
      So I think that if you do no participate in the hype you will get a working game.

    • Well don't know what people are moaning about played for about 4 hours last night. Not a single fps drop, no alt tab crashes (I alt tabbed alot as I was streaming the session at the same time!) no weird geometry issues it all just worked perfectly. Its not like my PC is even on a latest gen gfx card its only a 970 card and a i7 4790k. Perhaps if people stopped insisting on running 20 million tsr's and program helpers and taskbar tools they'd have less issues with conflicts between programs. Don't believe

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So, is this just a remake of Elite or what?

    afaict pretty much every game type was created by the late '90s and now it's just a matter of adding fancier graphics and voice acting, so I don't really see the appeal in new games.

    • So, is this just a remake of Elite or what?

      Yes. Yes it is.

      And to be more specific, not a remake, but a clone of Elite: Dangerous.

      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        No, this is far more Elite than Elite: Dangerous.
        It isn't an MMO, but instead it has consistent pseudo-random generated worlds, that are the same for every player.

        That the planets are rendered in 3D instead of a two line text description is just eye candy - the underlying principle is far more like Elite than Elite: Dangerous.

    • More like Star flight [wikipedia.org]

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Friday August 12, 2016 @06:41PM (#52694017)

    How annoying, I've been following NMS and had it on pre-order forever and was looking forward to finally playing this tonight.Rather than do it right, It sounds like they developed this primarily for PS4 then did a very weak PC port.
    I've already decided I'm not going to play along with the "buy it before its finished" model anymore.
      I've been caught out several times lately now, mostly by buying VR games still in development when I got my Vive. E.g Vanishing Realms was full price, looked great but only had enough content for about 60 minutes of gameplay. The dev promised "moar levels soon!!!!" yet absolutely nothing has been done other than a few tiny bugfixes/tweaks in 6 months since I bought it).

    It sounds like No Mans Sky is yet another game to riff on the same "income through marketing high expectations" model. At least with Steam you can get a refund if you try for no longer than 2 hours, and I shall probably be doing just that.

    • I've only pre-purchased one game in recent memory, and that's only because I was able to play it in open beta before release. The game was about as rock solid as you could get for a new release, barring a few balance issues. More publishers need to offer public betas or demos, if only to assure potential players that they won't regret their purchase.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      > It sounds like No Mans Sky is yet another game to riff on the same "income through marketing high expectations" model.

      It's funny... If you ignore the breathless (and clueless) noise generated by clickbait media and just listen to what the game's creator said and demoed, you come to the conclusion that what was delivered today is (modulo crashes and console-centric menus) exactly what we were lead to believe would be delivered: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/06/this-mans-sky-hello-games-sean-murray-

    • If you think the price is going to be steady for a while, and you'd like to play the game sooner rather than later, pre-ordering is fine. I "pre-ordered" it last night because it offered an extra ship at the start (is it good? I don't know). Then I spent today forgetting I had even done that until I saw this story. I might try to fire it up, or I might wait for an update or two. Either way, I plan on playing it before the price drops to $30.

      The only reason to not pre-order a game that you intend to pla

      • by dills ( 102733 )

        No offense, but that's absolutely terrible logic.

        The reason you don't pre-order the game is the chance that it's over-hyped garbage. In other words, there's no way for you to know before it's released if you truly want to play it.

        It's simple cognitive dissonance, what you're describing.

        • That's what the Steam refund policy is for. I bought the game for the free ship. If I didn't like it, I would return the game. If I did like it, I get a free ship. Big deal? Some games I end up playing for hundreds of hours, and the preorder bonuses helped a bit.

          I did end up refunding this particular game because I was tired of shitty console ports. Might try it again later if they patch it well enough. We'll see.

          Usually the lack of pre-release demos, betas, and reviews is a huge sign that the game is going

        • I don't see any cognitive dissonance in what I'm describing (my god, maybe it's more pervasive than I think).

          The reason you don't pre-order the game is the chance that it's over-hyped garbage.

          OK, in this case the game was out for several days on PS4 before I "pre-ordered" it. Regardless, even though it might be garbage, it looked interesting enough that I was willing to check it out. I don't put a ton of faith in reviews, especially "professional" reviews (people who get paid to give their opinions). I like to make my own judgment on things like that. That being said, there are very f

  • NMS works great and is quite fun on my PS4. /em ducks and runs from the rabid "PC is the Master Race" crowd

    • NMS works great and is quite fun on my PS4. /em ducks and runs from the rabid "PC is the Master Race" crowd

      It's funny you should say that, because a lot of the reviews/ streams of the game on PS4 I've seen say it crashes not-infrequently, and can even corrupt your savefile in the process.

  • Console Interface? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FunkSoulBrother ( 140893 ) on Friday August 12, 2016 @08:04PM (#52694317)

    That's kind of funny, I picked this up for PS4 and immediately lamented that it was not a proper consolized interface.

    Why do either of us have to hold to confirm? Why am I dragging around a mouse cursor with an analog stick instead of being able to D-pad around the menus?

    Maybe it's just a 'bad' interface.

    Enjoying the game so far but I'm not so sure that the novelty isn't going to wear off soon. It feels like Minecraft which was equally pointless, but at least had group interaction and allowed me to make some impact on the cold infinite world around me.

    • Now you know how we PC players feel in a consolized interface where we have to keep moving the mouse juuuuuuust correctly towards the right in a constant, fluent motion while hitting the mouse button to click on an option.

    • Why do either of us have to hold to confirm? Why am I dragging around a mouse cursor with an analog stick instead of being able to D-pad around the menus?

      That's what I want to know. Though I'm guessing the "hold" to confirm is to prevent players from accidentally confirming decisions they might not want to. It is...weird, for example you don't need to hold to select say the lifesupport to recharge, but you DO have to hold to confirm you're using the Plutonium.

      FPS players are also not liking having sprint on R3 instead of L3.

      You know what keeps tripping me up control wise? Using square to exit the ship instead of say...circle.

      But the thing that bothers me

    • They took the worst of both worlds. Consoles end up with a mouse cursor for no reason, and pc players end up with hold-to-select and bad direct mouse integration(along with key-remapping that isnt even properly shown in game, if you change mappings they arent reflected in any help text and sometimes help text no longer shows) that could speed up alot of the game

  • settings (Score:3, Interesting)

    by meglon ( 1001833 ) on Friday August 12, 2016 @08:47PM (#52694503)
    The big problems seem to be had by those with top of the line systems and who are jacking their settings to max. I have an older machine/graphics card, and i'm not having any problem at all... other than getting really cold when night rolls around (although i actually do think that in this game it's a feature, not a bug... (yes, place obligatory "fuck Sony" here)).

    This is not a fast paced shoot 'em up game. I just spent ~ 2 hours figuring out the controls, how to repair my ship, and gathering the materials to do that. Along the way i found a language stone, an alien artifact plaque (i haven't got too yet), and made friends with 2 animals... one of which ran around digging up some materials that i hadn't found just laying around.

    My only annoyance so far (other than almost freezing my nads off at night), is that you have to exit your ship to save game (apparently). So if you get in, construct a few things, then log out... well... you'll get to practice making things all over again when you log in.

    So my suggestion is: if you're having trouble, turn your settings down a little.
  • Alternative summary: A new game is mediocre. Why is this a news?
  • When I got divorced 8 years ago my gaming box did not survive the move, for whatever reason the power supply took a dump on the 5V rails and took out the motherboard and the graphics card (the initial smoke, then the scorch marks when I opened the case, told the tale). Bought a PS3, got used to gaming sitting in my La-Z-Boy with my cat in my lap. Granted, not as good as a gaming box, then again with a gaming box I'm in an office chair with no room for the cat.

    My laptop won't run this game, this is the
  • Crappy, half assed console port is crappy.

    This is news? I always had the impression news should be, well, new. Or at least uncommon.

    • It always was a PS4 centric title so why buy the thing for PC at all, since they're were going to optimize for the PS4's DualShock, fast GDDR5 RAM, fast internal busses, and the fact that it runs a proper Unix-like operating system that isn't that piece-of-crap Windows.

      To me, gaming on PC/Windows is a masochistic annoying experience. I know some people like it, but I am in general opposed to gaming on PC except for titles that are PC-only, even then they should be played on non-windows if at all possible.

      • My favorite genres being FPS and RTS, I could not imagine me trying to torture myself with trying to play them on a console controller. When you can attach keyboard+mouse to a PS4 (and it even gets supported properly by games), we'll talk again.

        • My favorite genres being FPS and RTS,

          Shakes head just a tad. There ARE game genres other than those two "dudebro gamer" genres.

          I've played several RTS with a controller. Basically you move the pointer with the D-pad with an extra acceleration button for faster movement. The RTS's I played were "lasso the group" types, not the "you have to micromanage individual units so only a teenager hopped up on Adderall is fast enough to play" types of recent RTS's.

          Also, every one of those console RTS's has mouse support. Sadly...they're all PSone game

          • I could give that last sentence right back to you, with relevant changes. Sorry, but I cannot imagine a console controller being a suitable input device for RTS or FPS. Yes, there are other genres, and should I ever become a fan of racing sims... I'll probably still consider buying a steering wheel to be a more suitable alternative than getting a console controller. But yes, there are actually genres where console controllers are much more suited. Jump'n'runs, JRPGs (and basically anything that requires you

  • Every game has bugs at launch, but let's be honest: has there been any game recently hyped this much that WASN'T a disappointment?

    Surprise Answer: Yes! Star Citizen, because it hasn't come out yet so it's not YET a disappointment though it CERTAINLY will be. If I could sell short on that, I'd drop $10k on that bet.

  • Fortunately, Steam lets you do that when the hype begins to crumble. The too-high price should have warned me earlier though.

  • That said, kinda of which this had a Minecraft like Mac OS, Windows clients as the universe is stupifyingly vast. And I tend to play similar Minecraft sprawling/wondering around occasionally on whatever machine I happen to have in front of me ... which thought NMS is smooth on PS4, typically is not the machine I have in front of me.

  • 1) I can't justify that amount for one game.

    I mean, I have a good job, disposable funds, and I have an "slush" fund that I just put random things into (e.g. a bit of Bitcoin, spare cash, Paypal refunds, stuff from Steam market sales, etc. - it all adds up and there's several hundred GBP in there a year). But that kind of price for one game when I could get ten smaller ones spread over the course of a year?

    2) Although I was quite intrigued by the "this won't be multiplayer" aspect, which is unusual nowadays

  • People will never learn to refrain from buying games before all the bugs and patches are resolved.

    Yet, they continue to complain when everythings works as expected. ( It doesn't )

    My sympathies for them have long since expired. If you haven't learned patience yet, then you deserve the experience you get as an unpaid beta-tester. Whine about it all you like. As long as you keep buying it on day one, games will always have this problem.

    If I decide to play it, I'll do so six months from now when they have the

  • From the Atlantic article: "If no player EVER finds 49,979,687, the planet won’t ever be grown. The geometry of its trees and lakes, and the length of its quadrupeds’ legs, won’t ever be calculated."

    Somehow that all seems very philosophical and kinda sad. :(

  • It's easy to say "You can't expect a game to be perfect day one" in regards to performance, but I have seen many people reporting that the game shows the initial company logo splash screen and then crash. I don't know the reasons for the crashes - maybe all those people are below the minimum specs, maybe it's something obscure that their testing missed - but having a game that won't even run on a large number of machines seems unacceptable. My experience with the game so far was no issues at launch, exclud

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