The Gaming Corner w/ Shaun Surplus 2018-09-05

On this edition of The Gaming Corner, Shaun discusses:

  • Elite Dangerous and the grind fest that it is
  • No Mans Sky and how it has come leaps and bounds
  • Evochron Mercenary and Legacy – A one man wonder
  • Freelancer – A game that seems to last forever
  • Rockstar and how they need to get off their high horse
  • Subnautica – A game that is not recognised enough
  • Minecraft servers and the risks for children
  • Transformers Devastation for us oldies
  • Dungeons 2 & 3 Vs the oh so nostalgic Dungeon Keeper
  • Euro Truck Simulator 2 & American Truck Simulator



No Patience? No Man’s Sky…

I know that there are quite a number of people that listen to the broadcast that are also gamers, as they write to me all the time.  This is dedicated to them.

First off if you’re a person that does not want to go into the deep and nitty-gritty of why it is that society today does not have patience for games such as No Man’s Sky then this is not the article for you. There is going to be somewhat a psychology discussed.

Today’s world is full of hustle and bustle. We go left we, go right we have three jobs. We have to get the kids to school after having made their lunches, then we have to rush off to work to make perfectly sure that we make ends meet. Paying the electricity bill, paying for the fuel for cars, paying the rent and/or the mortgage.

When life gets on top of you, it’s very easy to become impatient. Not just that however, we also have to look at the fact that when we’ve been impatient so often, we become trained to be impatient. Just as learning to drive a car is repetition and practice, so is becoming permanently impatient.

We rush to work, we rush to school, we drive at 55 miles or 100 km an hour to get where are we going as fast as possible, because we are living in the fast lane.

On the way home from work, we’re stuck at traffic lights from half an hour to sometimes two or three hours depending on traffic. We become anxious, frustrated and angry, but most of all impatient. Is there really any wonder that we have been trained so well to be impatient?

Recently I’ve been playing the new game known as No Man’s Sky. I purchased the game from Steam. After a few days and already many hours of game time I decided to take a look at the reviews on Steam. I was astounded to notice that there have been a hell of a lot of thumbs down on the game.

No Man’s Sky consists of exploration. You can be flying through space and see many planets surrounding you. For example you might see five planets and decide to land on one of them. So you face the planet you hit your warp button and head directly for the planet. As you approach the planet your ship starts to slow down and break atmosphere. As your ship starts to feel atmospheric forces, it begins to heat up and catches fire, just as you would see in a space film when a ship is rejoining Earth. The atmospheric forces against your ship is very overwhelming and fantastic, especially if you have your volume really loud.


That is just one instance out of 18 quintillion. Yes you heard that right, 18 quintillion. The game consists of multiple galaxies and billions and billions of star systems each containing their own planets that you can land on. How on earth could this be accomplished you ask?

That is a good question. You and I could never ever visit every star system within one galaxy let alone all the other galaxies and let alone 18 quintillion star systems. So how on earth is it that the creator is able to breathe life into so many star systems if we could not even visit all star systems in one lifetime? No, sorry, in a billion lifetimes!

The way that the creators wrote this game was so that the computer would procedurally create what you see in No Man’s Sky. This means that the creators did not create planet by planet, star system by star system, galaxy by galaxy, but rather your computer created it as it goes based on a mathematical seed and almost fractal mathematics. If you don’t know what these are then type them into your local search engine.

When you leave space and land on the planet your computer is procedurally creating that planet based on the mathematical seed in the fractal math. It creates the size of the planet all the way down to how many hills and mountains the planet will have. It creates how many creatures are going to be on that planet and what the creatures will look like, using body parts that have been pre-created by the authors of the game.

This means that if you land on the planet, the likelihood of anybody else having visited that planet because there are so many, is very low. You will more than likely have seen a planet with mountains, hills, animals, even plants that nobody else has ever seen before, unique to itself. The detail and demographics of this game runs so deep that I couldn’t explain it all to you in just one article.

Bearing in mind that some plant parts will look the same between different plants, the plant is still very different from another especially when it comes to its DNA. Or in this case it fractal mathematics. So whilst the differences are not always visible the make up of the plant or the creature very much is. This is where a little imagination comes into play. But I digress.

So with all that said how on earth could anybody frown upon No Man’s Sky given its uniqueness and individuality that designates its sheer brilliance, that sets it apart from other games? That’s easy to answer, and I think we’ve answered that from the beginning paragraphs.

We live in such an impatient world that everybody wants to see results straight away. In a game such as No Man’s Sky however, this just simply is not possible on a grand scale. Whilst you might see some instant results on a small level, the rewarding results very much come later in the game after you have worked hard to earn them.

It takes nothing more nor less than a glance at the review section or the comment forums over at Steam to understand that people want everything now now and now. Some people had already completed the game in three maybe four hours, (even though you really cannot complete No Man’s Sky because after the storyline is finished you can continue to explore the galaxies) which says to me that they have not even bothered to go for a nice long walk around one of the planets. This is where a lot of the enjoyment and fun comes from within No Man’s Sky unless of course you are either one, not an explorer type or two, have zero patience. Or both.

If you happen to be walking around the planet you not only get to see the creatures, but you get to understand all the different plant types on each and every different planet. While some plants may resemble the same as other plants on different planets, they are quite often different but can be within the same species.

Many people would say, “well I don’t want to see plants, creatures, mountains or hills.” Well then I ask these people, what are they doing in No Man’s Sky given that it is an exploration platform? Whilst you can battle in space against other spacecraft, this is not Freelancer, Elite Dangerous or the yet to be released Star Citizen. This is No Man’s Sky. You explore space, you explore planets whilst harvesting things from those planets, (minerals, plants and even materials from some animals should you go down that road) to get further and further toward your goal, unless of course you just decide to free roam at which point you can visit any planet any galaxy any star system at any time.


If you are looking for continuous battles and endless laser fire because exploration bores the crap out of you, then No Man’s Sky is not for you. If you’re a person that has patience in amongst all the hustle and bustle of your life, then this is definitely the game for you.

There are no large immediate results in No Man’s Sky. You have to take the time to earn it. I’ve literally walked thousands and thousands of units on different planets within the game and it has become very rewarding. Not only because of the different sceneries, not only because of the diverse range of creatures seen on each and every planet, but more for the fact that I have been able to harvest many different minerals and such, that many of those people will never have seen after having finished the game in just three hours.

There are some shields within the game, not just for your ship, but for your protection suit as well. Many people did not know this, because they were not willing to have the patience and take the time to get to know just how deep this rabbit hole goes.

Not only had I noticed that some people were not aware of the different shield levels and/or the different weapon levels, but they were also not aware of how fun the game becomes when your ship feels almost indestructible due to that technology and they had no clue that when you collect as many words as possible, from the monoliths, it becomes easier to talk with many of the different aliens around the galaxy which rewards you even further.

I couldn’t even begin to list all of the things that make this game so deep, but even if I could I wouldn’t dare. Because first and foremost, people would first have to relearn how to have patience and I don’t see them doing that any time soon.

I think people of age have more of an advantage when it comes to a game like No Man’s Sky. The reason being is because after having had our children and seen what we have seen in life, patience is forced into you. When Little Jimmy grabs that cookie from the cookie jar, before dinner time, and you tell him not to do so but he does it again and again and again, you soon learn to have patience so that you can teach little Jimmy right from wrong rather than throttling him.

I don’t totally blame those people who are not happy with No Man’s Sky because of the fact that a level of impatience has been thrusted upon them in today’s day and age, but I can say this: If you cannot have patience and you just want to rush through the game, you are not going to enjoy it. Unless you can absolutely, immerse yourself in this game, not just with patience, but imagination in a way where you feel that it is you in that craft and it is you walking on that planet and it is you seeing those animals and plants and sky, then you will never like this game and I suggest to you instead Freelancer. To this day Freelancer is still a great game for space battle.

To finish up, I am a hard-core gamer and I’ve been buying games for years now and literally have hundreds to choose from but I could never find one that took my interest since Freelancer. (Not even Elite Dangerous could quell the thirst I had after Freelancer) That search however has come to a halt and a new journey has begun!

For those of you that have had hardware trouble when it comes to the game, my heart goes out to you and please learn a little patience so that the authors of the game (Hello Games) can do their job and cater the game to your hardware. No game is ever perfect when it is first released. When I played elite dangerous for the first time it was the biggest nightmare I had ever come across and then it neatened itself out somewhat. This isn’t to say that the game has improved any when it comes to content on many levels, but it is a hell of a lot less bug riddled than what it was when it was first released. And don’t even get me started on X-Rebirth.

As a note, I personally have had no big problems with No Man’s Sky. There was a little stuttering when I first played it, but nothing that ever come close to making the game unplayable and it never crashed for me. Then I applied the experimental branch patch and this made it even smoother still.

Patience is a virtue.

Have a good day/night.