Spark SDK (Build 133) Released
Once again, this Friday we have another update to the Spark SDK for everyone who has pre-ordered Natural Selection 2. The Spark SDK is the package which includes the level editor, viewer, and model and texture creation tools for Natural Selection 2.
This patch includes a fix for the "black textures" issue that users with older Radeon series cards are experiencing. All of the rendering in our engine is carried out in a high-dynamic range; unfortunately these older cards don’t support the types of buffers necessary for our HDR pipeline. We’ve addressed this by using lower precision buffers on those cards, but that results in lower quality graphics. We’re going to fix that, but it will take a little bit longer.
A cool new feature that’s included in this patch is color grading in the Editor. Color grading (some times called color correction) allows you to adjust the brightness, contrast and color balance of the scene when it’s rendered in the game. These effects also appear in real-time in the editor, so have fun experimenting with them.
Here’s the complete list of changes in this patch:
- Added color grading entities in the Editor
- Added a check box to enable or disable physics simulation in the Viewer
- Added the ability to select "none" as the current mod in the Launch Pad
- Added support for exporting Reactor point-to-point constraints from 3D Studio MAX
- Added lower-quality fallback rendering for graphics cards that lack HDR support
- Added generic_bench_02_floor_left model
- Added generic_bench_02_floor_right model
- Added generic_bench_02_mid model
- Added generic_bench_02_wall_left model
- Added generic_bench_02_wall_right model
- Added refinery_floor_tubes_01_corner_left model
- Added refinery_floor_tubes_01_corner_right model
- Added refinery_floor_tubes_02_corner_left model
- Added refinery_floor_tubes_02_corner_right model
- Added refinery_tramlift_platform model
- Add3d refinery_tramlift_stand_left model
- Added refinery_tramlift_stand_right model
- Added refinery_wall16_mesh_01 model
- Added refinery_wall16_mesh_02 model
- Added refinery_wall16_mesh_03 model
- Added refinery_wall16_mesh_04 model
- Added refinery_wallprop_03_pipe_bend model
- Added refinery_wallprop_03_pipe_clamp model
- Added refinery/refinery_wallprop_03_pipe_straight1 model
- Added refinery_wallprop_03_pipe_straight2 model
- Fixed bug where color fields in the Select Tool did not preview the proper color
- Fixed bug where alpha tested textures on models did not cast proper shadows
If you’ve already installed the Spark SDK, it will automatically detect the update and give you the option to install when the editor is launched. If you haven’t installed the Spark SDK before, use the link below to download the installer.
Note that in order to run the tools in the SDK you will need your game key.
Download ns2_setup.exe (360.3M)
This video shows a simple mod we created for Natural Selection 2 to fine tune some features of the engine, like animation blending and physics. It also gave us a great opportunity to test out our content pipeline and modding infrastructure. This simple rifle range game was created from scratch (it’s only about 500 lines of Lua code) and took very little time using the Spark toolset. This mod doesn’t use any of the Natural Selection 2 game code, so the actual NS2 rifle behaves a bit differently. We thought you’d enjoy a peek!