Posts Tagged ‘Unknown Worlds’

Sealab 2015: Subnautica’s Habitat Update

I’ve had Subnautica [official site] for a while now, but only got around to installing it this weekend. As it continues to ascend out of Steam Early Access, the undersea explore ‘em up has spat out a big update with a few things that made me want to dive in. For starters, undersea bases can now have all the cool glass corridors and viewing domes that really set off a seahome look. On top of that, it’s got an eerie new reef biome hundreds of metres down, and I do dig unearthly dark waters.

Best of all: you can put a little fish tank in your base to keep pet fish.

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Now Docking: Subnautica Adds Submarine Mothership

'Get away from my bins!' hollers the octopus.

Explore-o-survive ‘em up Subnautica [official site] might not have yet left Early Access, but it has now entered my cool books. Docking ships in video games is pretty great in general, a small moment hinting at the grand scale of a world, and even better is docking inside a larger vessel you can also control. Subnautica has that now. An update yesterday added a big new multi-level submarine you can dock smaller subs with and clamber around inside of.

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Premature Evaluation: Subnautica

Snorkel is not only fun to say, but it’s a relatively new word, too, appearing in its Anglicised form as recently as 1949. It comes from “schnorchel”, the German navy slang for a U-boat’s airshaft, though “schnorchel” actually means nose or snout. It’s thought that a lot of our similar-sounding words related to this protuberance, like snort or snore, all share the same onomatopoeic origin, intended to capture the sound of a sharp inhalation. Snork!

Each week Marsh Davies dips a toe into the unknown waters of Early Access and returns with any stories he can find and/or decompression sickness. This week he slaps on a snorkel and dives into alien aquatic survival game Subnautica. Snorkel is a great word. Snork snork!

2014 was the year of the indie survival game. 2015 looks very much like it might be the year of the indie survival game as well. 2016 is the year that the secret cabal of indie survival game developers finally steps from the shadows to unleash its terrible global coup. Within minutes of the first shot, indie game genres fall, devoured by the unstoppable tide of survival mechanics. Early Access devs planning coherent end-games are forced to fight each other to the death in a bleak, under-resourced wilderness with guns improvised from baked-bean tins. In sick mimicry of the cabal’s evil creed, games can now only conclude with the player’s own expiration from starvation or hypothermia. “To play is to die! To play is to die!” the regime’s fanatical adherents shriek from loudhailers as the speedrunners, twin-stick shootists and visual-novelists are forced into the re-education pens. No one misses the Dota players. It’s only the devastating invasion of the Sokobeasts, a hyperintelligent alien race fixated on abstruse block-pushing puzzles, that forces the regime to see its terrible error. Only then does it regret marooning Jon Blow and Stephen Lavelle on a spit of sand in the Pacific with only a snooker cue and a single sausage-roll between them. How the regime had laughed at that. Well, they’re not laughing now. Because they’re dead.

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Future Perfect Is A Multiplayer Real-Time Game-Maker

Neon megablocks? Poss. my perfect future.

Creation and collaboration are the focus of oodles of games in the wake of Minecraft, but mostly they have us plopping down blocks in our desired configuration. Having spent my formative gaming years cooing over mods, it’s seemed a shame to me that The Future hasn’t brought more games helping us create our own games. Roblox, Second Life, Garry’s Mod, and others dabble in it to varying degrees, but mostly we’re making blockforts. Blocks are nice and all, but I had such high hopes for The Future.

Subnautica and Natural Selection developers Unknown Worlds have announced they’re having a crack at this too with Future Perfect, a game about creating games collaboratively.

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Subnautica Enters Earliest Access, Offers Prototypes

Much like the above “screenshot” the first of Subnautica‘s released builds are not going to be representative. The second project from Natural Selection devs Unknown Worlds will enter what they’re calling “Earliest Access” on October 31st. It’s called that because they feel the game “isn’t ready” for Early Access – far too much unfinished and in flux. They’re leaving it up to you whether you’re desperate enough for underwater survivalising to support development. Those who go for it will also be given code for a few of the team’s prototype builds, released over the next few days. More details below.

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Marina, Aqua Marina: Unknown Worlds’ Subnautica

No-one in their right mind would have put down money on ‘sandbox submarine adventure‘ being the next project from the creators of human vs alien FPS/RTS crossbreed Natural Selection. I did, however, and as a result I became a billionaire. Unfortunately I then put down a billion quid on Destiny turning out to be Frog Fractions 2 in disguise, and now I am poor again. Swings, roundabouts.

Devs Unknown Worlds have been teasing bits and bobs of Subnautica – for that is the submarine game’s name – for a while, but now they have video footage of how badly wrong being full fathom five can be. Here is a fact: a video is like a picture, but it moves and sometimes there is sound too. I hear it’s the future.
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Prey Tell: Community Now In Charge Of Natural Selection 2

Well here’s a thing. Unknown Worlds is (mostly) moving on from excellent humans vs aliens multiplayer FPS Natural Selection 2. It’s a relatively small team, and Subnautica isn’t going to build itself. NS2, however, will. Sort of. A community dev team has been given UW’s official blessing, so expect to be gorging yourself on their creations soon. Details below.

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BioBuilding: Natural Selection 2 Mod GorgeCraft Released

HORK!

Can any of us honestly say we have never dreamed of creating a beautiful garden from flesh and bone, bile and spit? I thought not. That’s the problem with these ‘Craft’ games: they tend to use everyday building materials like stone and metal. Give me great citadels of bone draped in banners of skin, the absurd excesses of heavy metal album covers come to virtual life. Or, failing that, GorgeCraft will do.

The mod turns Natural Selection 2 into a building sandbox, letting us cough up biological lumps and structures wherever we please as architects of oozing monstrosities. It left beta and launched over the weekend, and you can snag it from the Steam Workshop.

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Natural Selection 2’s Combat Mod Going Standalone

Natural Selection 2: Dance-Off

Half-Life begot the mod Natural Selection, which begot standalone sequel Natural Selection 2, which together with NS1’s Combat mode incestuously begot NS2’s Combat mod, which now begets standalone game Natural Selection 2: Combat. It’s all a bit like Chronicles with assault rifles.

Faultline Games are taking their Combat mod standalone, they’ve announced, expanding and polishing it up as one would expect. Combat’s a murder-oriented version of Natural Selection, focusing on the asymmetric humans vs. aliens FPS combat while doing away with RTS-y bits like resource-gathering and commanders. It also splashes in RPG-y levelling, with murder-earned skill points unlocking new weapons, tech, life forms and whatnot.

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First Subnautica Screenshots Surface

Where I'd like to be

I’ll tell you what’s in space: a big load of nothing. Oh I’m sure it’s very pretty and makes you think and all that, but I’ll find my abyssal mirror in the ocean thank you very much. You know what’s down there? Iron snails, radiant deathworms, giant woodlice, immortal jellyfish, and colossal creatures we discover by finding bits of them in other monsters’ stomachs. So naturally I’m pretty jazzed for Unknown Worlds to plumb watery depths in Subnautica.

The Natural Selection 2 devs over the weekend pulled a virtual gold tasselled rope to open digital red velvet curtains and reveal the open-world oceanic build-o-explorer, and it looks quite pleasant.

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Of Life And Depth: Subnautica

Unknown Worlds, the studio behind Natural Selection 2, have announced a new game in a genre that they “do not believe has yet been invented”. Popping players in a customisable submarine, Subnautica will “combine elements of role playing, sandbox, exploration and cinematic games to create a unique experience”. There aren’t many details yet but there’s a superficial (at least) resemblance to Hello Games’ recently announced No Man’s Sky, particularly when it comes to close encounters of the weird kind: “Interaction with impossibly diverse and fascinating creatures. Some of these creatures will be truly enormous, all of them will be unique.” I’ve embedded a video below and Unknown Worlds promise open development, with early access some time next year, and frequent updates at their site.

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Natural Selection 2 Needs Cash, Asks The Crowd


I started writing this story just to point out that Natural Selection 2 is going to have a free weekend over the next few days, and that if you hadn’t yet bought it then you should take a look. It’s a really good indie multiplayer shooter that managed to overshadow Aliens: Colonial Marines in every possible way, and they’ve just updated it with loads of new content. There’s new weapons, female player models, better tutorials, and more. There’s a trailer for that below. But there’s also a trailer for a new crowd-funding scheme as well. Unknown Worlds has released free updates for the game since it’s been launched, but as the game’s returns diminish they need cash to continue working on it full-time. The latest free update cost them $550,000. Their hope? That a tiered donation and reward system will recoup some of that expenditure.

UPDATE: Unknown Worlds have responded to some of my concerns. They’re at PAX and recorded a video. I’ve embedded it below.

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Hoo-rah: Natural Selection 2 Adding Female Marines

'Natural Selection 2 is the struggle for survival between two species – One species just got a whole lot tougher.'

In Natural Selection 2, you can play as just about anything. Gigantic pairs of teeth with tiny feet attached, mutant god elephants, space pterodactyls, scythe-armed devil wraiths, and, you know, men. But not human women. At least, not yet. Thankfully, that’s all about to change, as Unknown Worlds has unveiled a female marine design that’s, well, pretty freaking great. Better late than never, I suppose. So hurrah! Details after the break.

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