No Man's Sky

Thank you, Hello Games

This isn't going to be your typical thank you post. It's actually a bit bittersweet. My dad died on the morning of January 23rd this year. We had known it was coming. He was already late stage Alzheimer's when the Lymphoma diagnosis came in, so our already short window got shorter. He only made it three of the six months he was projected to have left.

When I found out he was going to die soon, likely before his 75th birthday, I decided I'd honor his life by finding a suitable planet and building a monument for him. Give him a new home in the afterlife amongst the stars. After all, it's because of him I got interested in computers. It's because of him that I love playing video games. So what better way to memorialize him than to build a monument to him in a game I love?

My dad grew up along the coast. He spent a lot of time at the beach. But for the majority of my life, during the time I knew him, we lived in and loved the mountains. We used to say there was never a back road he didn't like. While he used to work 12 hour days 5 days a week, with a 2 hour commute (one way), I rarely ever saw him during the week. But during the weekends, he'd spend what little time he had with me. We'd work out in the garden, we'd go biking, hiking, fishing, cross-country skiing… we spent a lot of time outside doing stuff, together. It's because of him that I love nature as much as I do.

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Naturally with all that in mind, I set out to find a planet that would be worthy of him. And I found it. It's this beautiful mountainous planet with green bubble grass (that glows blue at night) and really diverse wildlife. From giant flying beetles to diplos and dinos, this planet has dramatic, massive slopes and deep valleys (with lakes and ponds in them. Some even with sprawling underwater cavern systems). This planet captured the sense of wonder he had instilled in me as a child doing all the outdoorsy stuff we used to do.

Sadly, he passed away before I could finish the monument. I'm still working on it, and plan to do a post with pictures when it's done. Even if I had finished it, he wouldn't have remembered it a minute later. But for me, it's enough that I'm processing my grief by building it. Even if he wouldn't remember it, I'm doing this to honor him.

So thank you, Hello Games. You managed to make a game that captures my explorers heart, and you managed to give me a way to pay tribute to him in a way I don't think I could otherwise.


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