The recent UK floods have caused misery for many, wreaking major damage to homes and workplaces across Southern and Western Britain. Hello Games, the tiny Guildford-based studio behind Joe Danger and tremendously exciting explore 'em up No Man's Sky, woke on Christmas Day to discover that their entire office was underwater, destroying everything they owned from dev kits to concept artwork.
You might expect them to throw in the towel (perhaps to start drying up?), but instead, Hello Games have vowed to redouble their efforts and do "whatever it takes" to develop No Man's Sky without any significant delays. All without the help of a Kickstarter campaign.
Outstanding. Full story below.
"So… our office flooded late on Christmas Eve," Hello Games' Sean Murray wrote in their first blog post of the year. "It was just one of those unlucky things, but it wiped out pretty much everything in there. There were exceptional storms which meant a large part of Guildford flooded one way or other. For us, an underground car park next door filled with water, then burst, so it all happened real sudden."
"We lost all our PCs, laptops, equipment, furniture, dev-kits, work in the blink of an eye, and our insurer (and those of those around us) seem like we won’t be covered, or at least responsibility is unclear. I don’t want to say out loud the value of what we lost, it’s horrible. It would probably fund a small game."
Far from falling into despair and giving up their current projects, however, Hello Games have already cobbled together some semblance of order after piling their ruined hardware into a couple of skips, with the intention of hitting it doubly hard despite now working from different locations around the world.
"Over the next few months we expect to be in a nice new office, or to rebuild our old one better than ever," Murray continued. "At times recently I’ve wanted to be depressed, to wallow, but it’s impossible surrounded by this team. They are literally unstoppable. If we’ve lost some work, we’ll make up the time. We’ll steal dev-kits. We’ll work on a boat. Whatever it takes (not actual stealing… maybe)."
Hello Games are currently occupied with No Man's Sky: the staggeringly ambitious universe exploration game announced at this year's VGX Awards. An entire universe is procedurally generated on an atomic level, providing players with an infinite new frontier to discover. Seriously, be sure to watch the reveal trailer.
Though release platforms and launch window are yet unannounced, Hello Games are apparently working on an internal timeframe, and are hell-bent on delivering on schedule; damage be damned. More impressively, they've also confirmed that they'll steer clear of Kickstarter even though they now inadvertently star in a perfect human interest story to kick off a pitch. "Financially I guess it’d probably be a really good time for us to do one, and so many people have suggested it," Murray elaborated. "I just don’t think it’s the right thing for No Man’s Sky right now though, and we’d probably rather not eat than do the wrong thing for this game."
"What’s happened sucks," he concluded. "It sucks to see years of concept art floating in muddy water, it sucks to lose so much so quickly (Christmas or not). When we moved into this office it was a wrecked warehouse, and we did it up real nice. It isn’t some anonymous building to us, and it literally broke my heart to watch what happened. If you’ve been robbed (or flooded), you probably know how it feels. From the outside it might make us seem fragile as a company, but I promise we’re strong and I hope we’ll come out of this stronger."
Legends. We wish the best of luck to the plucky four-man team, and await new details on No Man's Sky very soon. Sony's indie champion Shahid Amad has been making some interesting noises...