Summon up every great space-exploration fantasy of the past century — from mining exotic planets in uncharted space to watching attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion — and convert that compendium of awesome into a game of unprecedented size and scale. That, in rough terms, is the motivation behind No Man’s Sky. This game doesn’t just aim for the moon or the stars; it wants to deliver an infinite universe filled with all types of celestial bodies and an endless variety of possible adventures. It’s one of the most ambitious projects in gaming today and it’s being created by a 10-person team working next door to a taxi company.

Founded in 2008 by a group of four friends leaving big game companies, Hello Games enjoyed success with its first title, 2010’s Joe Danger, before being thrust into the E3 spotlight this year with a gameplay demo of the refreshingly original No Man’s Sky. In a show overrun by predictable sequels and violent antics, its more peaceful exploration stirred up widespread acclaim and anticipation. This past week, fresh off his appearance on gaming’s biggest stage, Hello Games founder Sean Murray sat down with me to discuss the unique universe his company is trying to build and the challenge of doing so with a team small enough to fit into a single room. Plus, he let me try it out for myself.