San Francisco, California. October 31st, 2006 – Unknown Worlds Entertainment, Inc. today announced plans for Natural Selection 2, a sequel to its Natural Selection game for Half-life.
Natural Selection 2 is the next wave in the war for survival between humankind and the Kharaa. Natural Selection 2 is the next evolution in multiplayer action/strategy gameplay and will be targeted for both competitive and public play. New features include dynamically changing environments, a new resource model, flexible game scripting and modes, and new weapons, abilities and upgrades. Natural Selection 2 will be a stand-alone commercial game for release on VALVe software’s digital distribution service called Steam (http://www.steampowered.com).
Natural Selection was released on October 31st of 2002 and since then has been played by 300,000 players for over a billion player-minutes. It won Gamespy’s Mod of the Year and became the most popular independent "mod" for Half-life. Natural Selection v3.1 is available for download free from the Natural Selection site (http://www.unknownworlds.com/ns). Unknown Worlds Entertainment, Inc. (http://www.unknownworlds.com) is a self-funded independent game company based in San Francisco, CA.
We’ll be releasing lots more information on the game, the features and the technology via our site news and frequent updates to our new game development blog.
Also, as you have now noticed, the site is baaack! Not only is it back but it’s been completely redone. After well over a year and half a dozen programmers, it’s finally operational. It’s not perfect, but is completely functional. Please let us know if you find a problem with the site so we can fix it. Don’t spread it around to your buddies so they can have their way with us and put us out of commission for another year. It was a huge amount of work, but you’ll see every message from the past 4 years is still here. We just couldn’t bear to let 1.5 million posts get flushed down the drain. There are new YouTube trailers, mailing lists and much better admin tools to keep the riff-raff out. Let’s hope it was worth the wait.
As promised, we are going to start testing NS v3.2 with Constellation members later today. You will receive an e-mail today or tomorrow with full instructions. Remember to try to withhold judgment on changes until you’ve played a few games! The Constellation system isn’t functional yet so if you haven’t donated previously I’m afraid you’re out of luck and you’ll have to wait until the public release.
One of the big problems that we had when the site went down was funding. Primary funding for future NS development came from the Constellation program and when the site went away so did that. I had to put future NS work on hold to pay the bills. I also wrote a small game called Zen of Sudoku to bring in some money more quickly. Zen is feature complete and will go live on some big portals (including Steam) shortly. Between Zen and some other funding we’ve secured, we can safely announce our next game! It’s taken a long time, but it’s great to be in a position to self-fund our own games instead of relying on publisher or investor interests. We’ll be able to make the game we want to make and won’t have to compromise for anyone.
It’s also my pleasure to announce the new Technical Director for Unknown Worlds! Max McGuire helped out on NS in v2.0 days, but his day job was writing the engine, tools and technology for Titan Quest. Max has been writing game engines since his early days in high school and was the Lead Engine programmer on Titan Quest. He was also the first employee at Iron Lore. Max will now apply his formidable talents to Natural Selection 2 and our future games. Welcome, Max!
We are also planning on releasing a technology demo (like we did with NS) as soon as possible so level designers can start making maps for official inclusion in the game. We know that you die-hard players will download that and probably figure out some way to play it as well (Skulk racing, anyone)?
At long last, we’re excited and optimistic about the future…again!