Unknown Worlds Starts Subnautica While Modders Add to NS2
As Unknown Worlds begins making something new, Jeremy said it’s also looking to create partnerships with some of these modders to support their work on NS2. In fact, those partnerships are already happening.
At the Unknown Worlds booth at PAX East, players could try Natural Selection 2: Combat, a standalone game based on a mod of the same name for Unknown Worlds’ game. Combat is a more streamlined version of the original take on NS2, Thomas Loupe of Faultline Games explained at PAX.
The original Natural Selection 2 include two parts: a straight-up first-person deathmatch and a real-time strategy component, in which one player takes on the role of “commander” and can coordinate strikes, build structures and upgrade troops’ capabilities. Where NS2 has players setting up nodes that gather resources for the commander, which are then used to expand a team’s capabilities throughout a match, Combat is more along the lines of Quake-style deathmatches, Loupe said. Whether you can upgrade your character classes or access some of match’s the better perks, like the powerful mech exosuit or the tank-like onos alien, depends on experience points earned and your performance in the match.
The idea, Loupe said, was the bring the asymmetrical battles of NS2 to a wider audience by decreasing the learning curve associated with the original.
Faultline only recently became a full-fledged company — before that, it was a handful of NS2 modders working on a passion project, much like Natural Selection 2 itself. It was through the partnership with Unknown Worlds that the team became something more, and is now adding another person to bring its crew up to eight developers. Unknown Worlds is working to help bring Combat to Steam and acting as its publisher, while Faultline makes use of the company’s proprietary SPARK engine and NS2 assets.
“We hope Combat will be the tip of the iceberg,” Jeremy said.
Jeremy said Unknown Worlds is looking into how it can support NS2 players who are creating value for other players. It’s a situation in which the developer hopes to incentivize people who are already passionate enough to work on the game by providing them with a way to make money from their efforts, as with Combat, while also continually adding to NS2 for the community that already enjoys playing.
Combat is set to go into beta testing in mid-2014, Loupe said. Right now, the Faultline team is working hard on things like matchmaking that will help make sure players are put into games with others who have comparable skill levels.
Faultline also isn’t the only group of people currently working on Natural Selection 2, Jeremy said.
“There are people working on NS2 every day, but they don’t always work for Unknown Worlds,” he said.