Posts Tagged ‘natural selection’

Have You Played… Natural Selection?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I’m sorry if you haven’t already played Natural Selection [official site]. I’m sorry that you missed out. You’ll never know some of the greatest multiplayer gaming I’ve known. Natural Selection is a sci-fi FPS-RTS released for Half-Life as a free mod first in 2002, which plays out a bit like StarCraft in terms of real-time strategising – but every unit on the map is controlled by a player.

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Darwinning: Species: Artificial Life, Real Evolution

Day 145, and the creatures have still not realised I am Johnny 5
I think if this footage of Species: Artificial Life, Real Evolution shows anything, it’s that gamers should not be allowed anywhere near a first-contact situation. What happens in this sandbox natural selection sim, where you watch species evolve rapidly as they deal with the changes in the climate and food chain, is just a little bit genocidey. Everything is going fine: the creatures crawl from the ooze that they once called home, they scamper over the world, they get a bit too numerous so an ice-age is set in motion for a little bit of population control, then the developer sets a deathbot loose. The selection gets a little bit unnatural at that point.
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The Year Ahead, Part Three

Once we get past early summer things get a little hazy. We enter a nether-realm of shifting dates and unclear prophecies. By then we’ll also have a whole bunch of games I haven’t previously mentioned show up in the intervening months, stuff that we didn’t have release dates for to place them in our line-up. This final post in our preview attempts to survey them all. To the future! (And check out part one and two if you haven’t seen them already.)
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The Making Of Natural Selection


Seven years ago to this very day, uber-Half-Life mod Natural Selection was released. Man! Aliens! Man vs aliens, in a real-time-strategy-in-an-FPS-perspective kinda way! In that time, it’s become something of a landmark in terms of just how far you can stray from the source technology (pun not necessarily intended), just how successful a group of a have-a-go home designers can be, and quite how much prescribed concepts of first-person-shootage can be pushed. Developers Unknown Worlds Entertainment are gearing up for the insanely-anticipated release of the standalone sequel (of which the first and second super-shiny images of this post come from – click to embiggen), whose birth depends hugely on how much pre-order interest they can drum up. In other words, if you’re excited about NS2, you should totally pre-order it. It’s going to be a fine and splendid day in PC land when it finally walks our way.

Right now though, given it’s NS1’s anniversary day, we poked Unknown Worlds’ Game Director Charlie Cleveland into providing a little insight into how this milestone mod came to be…
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