NS is three!

NS is three years old! On this day, three years ago, NS v1.0 was unveiled to the public. With a high server CPU load (we tested on nice machines…oops) with some questionable balance and totally unexplored gameplay, it was an exciting night and ensuing few weeks. So to celebrate how far we’ve come and where we hope to go in the future, NSRadio, in conjunction with RichNet.tv, are sponsoring the first NS Birthday Bash / Halloween Monster Mash tonight starting at 8pm EST (go now!). There will be interviews with various community members and developers (including myself, although I’m sick as a dog right now) as well as skits from your favorite NS comedians.

We thought that after releasing the game we could finally take a break. Fools! Instead it forced us to work harder, or lack of updates would threaten the community. It’s a bit of a vicious circle. So we released four more patches as fast as we could and then set to work with trying to improve the bigger stuff. What started as NS v1.1 morphed into a huge rework which eventually became v2.0. The list of changes was actually too long to create, at least for us at that point.

Then we started on NS v3.0, with more reworking and inclusion of NS:Combat. During this time I’ve been working on NS full-time and more recently, been trying to do enough business development to figure out a way to get our company funded and off the ground. I’ve been living off Constellation donations for these past three years, and for that I’m extremely grateful. It’s been a sparse living and not for everyone but I want to see new games in the NS universe and this is the most likely way it’s going to happen.

So now at this landmark, we’re faced with what some call impending doom. That is, the web site is down, and all the other big mods have moved to Half-life II (though CS and DOD got access to Half-life II before release and have full teams working on them!). We have a lot of work to do. While this may not be the high point in our community morale, I do believe that we are finally on the brink of making the big leap forward (pun intended) with NS popularity that I’ve been hoping to acheive with all the previous NS versions. I believe we’re making some critical gameplay changes that will make the game much better as well as being more atmospheric and easier to play than ever before. It’s not going to be available tomorrow, but I think it will be worth the wait. We will be making a couple key announcements soon about our plans for NS:Source and will be using the mailing lists on the new site much more often to keep you informed. NS v3.1 is also ready for release and we will do so shortly after the site is online so we can keep our mirrors updated and get feedback.

So, we do appreciate your concerned e-mails, but please always remember that even when you see nothing happening on the surface, there are faces lit up by their LCDs working away so you can play. We’ve been working on NS over four years now and we’re not about to give it all up because we got hacked.

We’re glad to have you with us and look to the future rife with possibility and optimism.

Happy Birthday NS and Happy Halloween everyone!