It's perhaps the biggest quandary of our era: what on Earth do you do in PlayStation 4 indie No Man's Sky? The title - in production at Guildford-based outfit Hello Games - has intrigued at several press conferences now, but beyond the overwhelmed stutters of studio head Sean Murray and some luscious visuals, no one really seems to understand what the title is all about. Fortunately, we have answers.
The aim of the game is to reach the centre of the universe. At this stage, it's unclear what's going on there - we imagine that this will remain a secret right up until release - but the closer that you get to your destination, the more resistance that you'll face. This means that you'll need to upgrade your avatar, decking yourself out with new equipment, weapons, and more.
You'll do this by earning money, which will be accrued by scaling the gigantic universe that's been built as your playground. Travelling to new planets will allow you to uncover unique species of wildlife, which will earn you cash. You'll also be able to trade items with different space stations in an attempt to turn a profit, and harvest minerals using a scanning tool.
Unfortunately, your actions will be monitored by a robotic group of rogues, who won't take too kindly to you upsetting the natural balance of the universe. Looting resources and behaving in an antagonistic manner will prompt your electronic enemies to seek you out, so you'll need to ensure that you're prepared for a battle if you want to hold onto your spoils with your life intact.
There'll be other tasks for you to participate in as well: you'll be able to defend friendly ships from opposing forces, for example, or work as a mercenary in big intergalactic battles. All of this will earn you cash, which can then be invested into your journey to the centre of the universe. Sounds much more like a game now, doesn't it?
While we're merely making assumptions, we suspect that Hello Games is adopting a Minecraft-esque mentality for this release - it wants you to find your purpose organically, rather than hold your hand through every minute of the adventure. Presumably, you'll be able to do as little or as much as you want to, then, which means that you'll be able to simply explore if you prefer.
Space has never looked quite so inviting, has it?