Subnautica is an open world underwater exploration and construction game. We are Unknown Worlds, the developers of Natural Selection 2, and Subnautica is our new project. Subnautica will combine elements of role playing, sandbox, exploration and cinematic games to create a unique experience, the genre of which we do not believe has yet been invented.
We have assembled a small team, and are in the early stages of prototyping Subnautica gameplay. The first in-game art assets are being created, soundscapes are being recorded, and animations are starting to slither, turn and swim. We have created a rich library of concept art, and set about designing and iterating on core elements of gameplay. Subnautica is not in ‘alpha,’ it is an idea that is just starting to be mouled into its first playable incarnations. We are not ready to announce it and try to ‘build buzz’ or ‘attract attention’ – But we are ready, and excited, to share our work with you.
Subnautica aims to elicit a feeling of experiencing the unknown: A sense that you are exploring an untouched world, not knowing how far, or how deep you can go. The underwater environment will invite you to construct submarines and develop your equipment in order to reach its far flung and diverse corners. Decisions you make about vessel layout, capabilities and structure will affect your ability to navigate hazards and enter the domains of creatures; the likes of which your imagination has never conceived of.
The creation of Subnautica will be extremely open. We hope everyone in the Unknown Worlds community, and new faces, will be interested in giving feedback, sharing ideas, and participating in development. You can talk to most of the development team on Twitter and on the Subnautica forums. We will be opening up early Subnautica ‘builds’ (versions of the game) to a wider and wider audience over the coming months, and you will be invited to play.
Every week, we will be releasing new Subnautica concept art, screenshots, design proposals, technical details, plans and progress. You can find out all about these releases via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Reddit, and more. Today, we have released three pieces of Cory’s concept art: Close Encounter, Lava Zone, and Control Room.
Close Encounter is one of the first pieces of art Cory created for Subnautica, and is Charlie‘s favourite. It serves as the profile picture for Subnautica across all sorts of social media pages. Close Encounter points to one of the most important aspects of Subnautica play: Interaction with impossibly diverse and fascinating creatures. Some of these creatures will be truly enormous, all of them will be unique. The question is, does this creature intend to harm the diver? Or just say hello?
Subnautica will allow you to design, construct and crew submarine vessels. Control Room is a concept that has served as reference for our first submarine interior prototypes. Steve has spent time ensuring that we can achieve the shiny, high tech look and Charlie has been considering how interior construction systems will work.
Diversity of underwater environments is a key gameplay element of Subnautica. Lava Zone hints at an environement they may not necessarily be entirely friendly towards a player’s submarine! The submarine in the concept is indicative of the design style that some of Subnautica’s vessels will adopt.
Next week, we will reveal a new piece of concept art. Follow Subnautica on Twitter, subscribe to the Subnautica YouTube channel, and like the Subnautica Facebook page to receive updates on new reveals as they come. Subscribe to the Subnautica mailing list to be notified when we are looking for playtesters. Visit the forums to discuss the game!