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No Man's Sky players meet in same spot, but can't see each other

UPDATE: Murray hints there's more to it, but servers currently too busy.

UPDATE 8.40am: No Man's Sky creator Sean Murray has hinted there is more to players meeting in the game - although servers are currently too busy for this to show up.

In a string of Twitter messages posted last night, Murray reacted to the meeting of two players on the game's first day of release. "That has blown my mind," he said.

"We added a 'scan for other players' in the Galactic Map to try to encourage this happening. We wanted it to happen - but the first day?"

Murray continued, suggesting there would be more to player interaction in the future - although currently the game is struggling just to cope with the influx of people simply playing by themselves.

"We want people to be aware they are in a shared universe. We added online features, and some Easter Eggs to create cool moments. We hope to see those happening... but too many of you are playing right now. More than we could have predicted.

"It is a testament to how amazing our network coders are that Discoveries are still working at all. For instance over night we hit 10 million species discovered in NMS... that's more than has been discovered on earth. WHAT IS GOING ON!!!"

ORIGINAL STORY 0.20am: Two players in No Man's Sky managed to go to the exact same place in real-time, but still weren't able to see each other.

The incident began when Redditor TheGalacticCactus (TheSadCactus on Twitch) realised they had landed on a planet recently discovered by a different player, Psytokat. TheSadCactus sent Psytokat a message inciting the fellow explorer to meet up. Four star systems worth of travel and the two actually managed to make it to the exact same location. Only there was one problem: they couldn't see each other.

"We are 100 per cent In the same station same spot and everything and we cannot see each other," TheGalacticCactus wrote.

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Image courtesy of Redditor Widukindl.

Developer Hello Games has been inconsistent in its messaging about the incredibly unlikely event that two players could meet up in a universe of 18 quintillion planets.

Back in October Hello Game's founder Sean Murray said on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that "You can't see yourself, so the only way to know what you look like is for somebody else to see you."

When Colbert asked if you could run into other players, Murray responded "Yes, but the chances of that are incredibly rare because of the size of what we're building."

More recently Murray and company downplayed this idea of meeting up, emphasising that No Man's Sky is a single-player game with a few nifty online features like uploading names.

"To be super clear - No Man's Sky is not a multiplayer game. Please don't go in looking for that experience," Murray said just yesterday on Twitter. "The chances of two players ever crossing paths in a universe this large is pretty much zero."

"We do have some online features and easter eggs so people can know they are playing in the same universe. It's about cool 'moments'", he added.

Another theory was that the players couldn't see each other because one of them didn't have a PlayStation Plus account, though this was said not to be required. Still, as an experiment they signed up for the service just to see if it made a difference. It didn't.

One possible reason these two players couldn't see each other is because of a glitch. Murray recently tweeted that the game's servers were being swarmed.

"There are way too many people playing right now. Maybe some of you can just log out? Decide amongst yourselves plz" he tweeted tonight. "It's been a cool day, and we've all had our fun, but let's just move on now. That's quiet enough."

It's not clear if he was referencing this particular ill-fated meetup or just the game's popularity in general. Hello Games has not yet responded to our request for comment, as it has its hands full stabilising the cosmically ambitious game.

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Image courtesy of Redditor Widukindl.

Also worth noting is that when these players met up it was daytime in one player's game and nighttime in the other. Redditor Ertosi made an astute observation that while these players were geographically in the same place, events around them were different too.

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"I've noticed that the NPC ships they are passing by are even different and not in the same spot," they observed. "While in the hangar on the station, one saw a ship fly out but the other didn't and had a few ships fly past in the distance. Then both saw two ships fly into the hangar together at the same time, but they were different ship designs on each screen."

This idea that people could be in the same place at different times could be a quantum physics thing where time gets distorted due to gravity, black holes and other sciency stuff nobody really understands.

Or, more likely, the game is a single-player adventure. After all, it allows players to pause - a feature that wouldn't make sense were the game running in real-time for everyone.

Redditor Widukindl hypothesised that it's a matter of segmenting players into different lobbies. "Psytokat and Thesadcactus are on two different lobbies, so the time of day is different for them," they theorised.

Inventor and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk believes we're all living inside a computer simulation. So maybe, in a way, we're all just existing in different lobbies, trying to connect. Whoa!

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