No Man's Sky may not contain huge cut scenes or a traditional linear story, but because of the infinite number of planets to explore it was essential the game's universe had its own lore.
Lore in No Man’s Sky ensures everything players find exists for a reason
According Hello Games founder Sean Murray, how the team approached lore in No Man's Sky is "a bit different" than what players "might be used to with some other games."
When creating buildings, for instance, the team tried to think of who might have built it, and why. This assures everything players find in game has a reason for existing.
The team also enlisted the help of Dave Gibbons (Watchmen, Kingsman, 2000 AD) and James Swallow (Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Star Trek) to create their own stories in the universe which will included in the Adventures in No Man’s Sky comic. It's included with the game’s Limited Edition.
Both Swallow and Gibbons helped develop some of the "nitty gritty of the lore" by lending their knowledge to the team.
It's a really interesting development video, which you'll want to watch to the end if you're interested in the PC and PlayStation 4 title.