The primary design goal of A Starless Sky is exploration. The player is provided with a large open world to explore that has ancient ruins and crashed starships that are hundreds of years old. Each location contains story/lore (Lore Logs) about the place as well as a special item that the player can use to aid them on their journey. They can also find collectable Mini Statues in ruins as well as in certain story based places (the Maze & Sinkhole), encouraging the player to go back after they complete the narrative. The experience of exploration in the game combined with using the interactive environment to navigate the open world should be what the player enjoys doing the most, and should be an exciting and engaging experience.
An Intriguing Mystery
One of the largest elements of the game is the mystery surrounding the alien world that the player has crashed on. The planet is in near complete darkness, so there will be a great deal in terms of the environment that will be a mystery to the player. The ruins and crashed starships that can be found add to this by providing lore, and the Unseen antagonists are a mystery of their own. The unknown should intrigue the player and inspire them to pursue the story of the game, as well as continue exploring for more clues to unravel the mystery.
An Engaging Storyline
The narrative of the game is there to provide the player with a loose line to follow in the open world experience ( so that they do not get too lost in exploring), as well as being satisfying upon completion. The story is secondary to exploration, but is very important as it adds to the gameplay and provides answers to some of the biggest mysteries in the game.
Difficult Yet Satisfying Gameplay
The antagonists of the game are difficult to see and even more difficult to combat, making some encounters surprising and problematic, and some elements of the exploration and story scary and tough to beat. The game is difficult to make the gameplay more interesting as well as satisfying, for example when the player successfully hides or escapes from an enemy.