No one will ever actually finish No Man's Sky. With more than 18 quintillion planets to explore, Sean Murray of Hello Games—the studio behind this expansive sci-fi video game—claims that it would take 584 billion years to find them all, even if a new one was discovered every second. The math behind the game is simply mind-boggling, but what's even more impressive is just how hard gamers are already trying to find everything this universe has to offer.
In a tweet sent out less than 24 hours after the game's release, Murray revealed that players had already discovered more than 10 million species of life within No Man's Sky, which is actually more than the amount of species that have been documented on Earth itself so far.
How is this possible? Well, No Man's Sky is a procedurally generated game, meaning the game's internal algorithm creates this world as players move through it, as opposed to it being pre-coded by artists and designers. It's hard to imagine, but none of the planets you explore actually exist on the game's disc; they're all created as you play. This gives each player a completely different experience from anyone else, as the game randomly builds a new world around you. Think of it as a universe created by a computer for you to explore at will. Even Murray doesn't know what's around the corner for gamers.
Players begin their journey on a planet unique to them, so everyone will start at a different spot in this mammoth universe. This makes No Man's Sky an intergalactic scavenger hunt, where players will be constantly finding new planets filled with different species of plants and animals without too many instances of exploring something that someone else has already found (at least in the early life of the game).
While it's possible to be on the same planet at the same time as another user in this shared online world, as of right now, players aren't actually able to see or interact with anyone. However, as the game evolves through updates and patches (and as the servers get upgraded), that can always change.
No Man's Sky is available now on PlayStation 4 and PC.