People make incredible things in No Man’s Sky: civilizations, bases, and even the face of developer Sean Murray. One fan has now made a fan film set in the universe of the game, with a little help from his daughter, Kinda Funny’s Greg Miller, and Austin Creed, which is the stage name of professional wrestler and video game YouTuber Xavier Woods.
Matt Silverman, a professional podcaster and video producer, has been following No Man’s Sky since launch. Although he knows the game had “some hiccups” along the way, he loves it.
“It has such a clear aesthetic point of view,” Silverman told Kotaku over email. “Even if it’s not your kind of game, you have to admit it’s a stunning work of art, visually, sound-wise, and musically.”
Though Silverman loves No Man’s Sky, he said he was bothered by the characters’ lack of interior lives. His short fan film, called Nomad Squadron, is inspired by the kinds of stories he wishes he could actually tell in the game.
“[The alien civilizations in No Man’s Sky] are co-existing, but they’re all just standing around. Shouldn’t they be vying for territory? Squabbling for resources? Participating in an abusive economy? So that’s what our story is about,” Silverman said. “Not an ‘epic quest’ to the center of the galaxy, but a bunch of drifters who pick up a dubious contract to score some cash. And it ends up going very wrong. Adventure ensues!”
“I guess you could say I like my sci-fi more Han Solo than Jean-Luc Picard.”
Silverman was able to make the film using a neat trick No Man’s Sky players discovered after the Next update, which introduced multiplayer. If you open photo mode while playing with other players, you get all the cinematic angles and options, but the game won’t freeze time. You could effectively remove all the UI from the game and set a particular scene, allowing you to make your own videos in space, or on whatever planet you’ve landed on. Silverman described it as a “galactic film studio.”
“A few really wonderful cinematic fan films started coming out of the community, notably this one by EvilDr.Porkchop,” Silverman said. “It’s absolutely stunning, and shows off this beautiful, stylish universe in a cinematic way that gameplay alone could not.”
Silverman’s movie also uses green-screened in footage of his 5-year-old daughter Amelia, Greg Miller and Austin Creed.
Silverman knew Miller from Twitter, and after Hello Games’ Sean Murray retweeted an animation of Miller talking about how pumped he was for Next, Silverman reached out to Miller to play a wisecracking wingman to his daughter’s character. Miller then introduced Silverman to Creed, who plays a more “analytical and straight-laced” character. Amelia plays a hardboiled, though adorable, starship pilot, and these two are her partners in crime.
The short will release in late January on YouTube. If you want to see any more adorable videos of Silverman and his daughter right now, they’re on his YouTube channel, Free Dad Videos.