Imagine yourself a game developer in the era of Twitch, the livestreaming platform on which hundreds of thousands of viewers at a time, sometimes millions, gather to watch other people play games. For you, the developer, it’s been two years or more of extreme effort and/or self-recrimination. Now, finally, the game is available; the streamers are live; and you are granted a rare experience.
It was my friend Patrick Ewing who alerted me to existence of this experience. He worked on the acclaimed game Firewatch and earlier this year, on the day of its release, he sent me a message. “The gates opening and the sudden flood of thousands of live-streamers experiencing your game in real time,” he wrote, “commenting on it and making new media on top of it that they are sharing with THEIR audience in realtime. This feels like a New Thing.”
The rest of the text about No Man’s Sky is just beautiful.