The difference between No Man’s Sky and Star Citizen

no man's sky versus star citizen

I recently noticed I get many visitors looking for a No Man’s Sky alternative space game.
In short you can’t really compare No Man’s Sky to Star Citizen. On top of that I imagine NMS refugees are cautious when it comes to backing another space game. While I can’t really say Star Citizen is No Mans’s sky replacement, I can explain the difference between development.

Star Citizen’s open development is fundamentally different from No Man’s Sky. CIG has been as open as possible about development and actively involve the community. A recent example is Citizencon 2016 where the Squadron 42 demo couldn’t be shown because it wasn’t polished enough. Some of the community were outraged and CIG responded by showing why they couldn’t just demo it yet. There is a short documentary about what was going on inside prior to Citizencon 2016.

What do the games have in common?

Well to be honest they don’t have anything in common really. They are both space games and have a great soundtrack but that’s where the comparison ends. Star Citizen is going to be high fidelity massive online multiplayer game where No Man’s Sky is not. However if you are into space games, Star Citizen will be a great No Man’s Sky alternative!

The biggest concerns regarding Star Citizen

The biggest concern for many people about Star Citizen is the promised release dates and delays. Squadron 42 (single player campaign) was promised in 2016 but it will possibly arrive late 2017. The vocal minority of the backers can be quite unforgiving when it comes to delays. To be honest promising release dates is usually a bad idea in software development. Another concern is the slow release of patches and updates, and they tend to be delayed as well. Fortunately Cloud Imperium Games is maturing and actively addresses the concerns of the community.

Star Citizen is a ridiculously complex game and they are creating tech that hasn’t been done before. They are doing amazing work and communicate about it with shows like Around The Verse, Bug Smashers, Reverse The Verse and Star Citizen lore. If they manage to achieve something they communicate about it and if they can’t they will let us know.

People are concerned about the time it takes to deliver the game and this makes people skeptical about Star Citizen. Usually you don’t hear about a game in development, just look at the bar chart below it’s not that bad at all.

bar chart development time comparison

The difference between Star citizen development and No Man’s Sky

No man’s Sky developers made a lot of promises and were way too ambitious and never delivered. Feature after feature was promised but in the end they never existed. The main developer has been accused of actually faking controlling the game, you can see for yourself and make your own judgement.
If you are a No Man’s Sky refugee you probably know all this so I don’t want to bore you with all this negativity.

Like I said, Star Citizen has been a bit too optimistic about delivery dates. The difference is that eventually they pull it off and show what they achieved to the community. You don’t deliver a AAA game within a few years, that is just unrealistic.
All we need is time and so far CIG is doing what they promised or at least showed the community internal builds. On top of that they let us play the game and help test certain features and use the feedback to further improve these builds. This is a huge difference with No Man’s sky where a lot of the features showed in demos didn’t exist!

So where is Star Citizen now?

In the early days of development Star Citizen was only a dog fighting space game without all the fancy features like we see today. Chris Roberts was aiming for 6 million in crowd funding to deliver a proof of concept but then something amazing happened which resulted in the biggest crowd funded game ever.

First person shooter,  procedurally generated planets, ground exploration and the level of detail we are seeing today were never part of the original game. Some of the stuff we see now was considered to be impossible but their persistence in trying to accomplish the impossible resulted in unprecedented tech.

There is a game but it is very thin at the moment. It can be considered a framework where game features are being tested with an active community. Even though the content is thin it can be quite enjoyable. If you are not convinced you could wait for a free fly week to test the game for free.
The next big update will be 2.6 and after that 3.0 which should have some of the professions and roles implemented.
I leave it up to you if you want to back the game and if you do you can use this referral to get 5000 UEC (worth $5) which is the virtual currency used in Star Citizen.

This code gets you 5000 UEC for free when creating a new account.

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