“Unknown Worlds is getting back in to Natural Selection development. We have hired a small group of community members to reform an in-house development team. We are going to try some crazy stuff. We want NS2 to be huge.” Hugh, UWE developer
What exciting news! Those might be the first thoughts you have, when you head over to Unknown Worlds’ front page. Not less than 5 articles have been posted: each of them aims to advertise UWE’s brand new old project: NS2. Here is a summary of the big ball of news. Any question can be asked in the comments below. We are going to answer them or relay them towards the folks to UWE to get you the answers.
In a nutshell, Unknown Worlds has started developing Natural Selection 2 again… more or less. As stated by Hugh, UWE has started a couple of months ago to gather ideas. Many NS2 contributors have been questioned about the necessity of a potential UWE return to NS2. The current official announcements have been debated for weeks, so this was not a spur of the moment decision.
While the original UWE team is still focusing on Subnautica, they now aim to hire new members from the Community Development Team (CDT), which worked for free during the last months to maintain NS2 and more important, to keep it alive. A few members have been hired, some, including Obraxisand Hugh were already working for UWE on Subnautica. But why would they do this? How is that even a thing?
“The present NS2 development model, followed by Unknown Worlds and substantially carried on by the CDT, is slow, cumbersome, and unwieldy. Change takes a long time: Months pass between an idea popping up and players passing judgment on it. There is good reason for this: Simply attempting to ‘speed up’ CDT development would introduce a host of unacceptable risks and problems.” – Hugh
Obviously, there’s a difference between getting a fully committed group working on a game and a bunch of volunteer doing it on their free time. Without the CDT, NS2 would be dead, without the work of modders not part of the CDT, the game would be close to death as well. However, UWE, through this new group and team, will be able to get things done faster. People will get paid for what they do, so from a human point of view, individual people tend to work better and faster when there’s some kind of reward (or money) in exchange for their work.
Here’s is the new team that will work on NS2 (note that only McGlaspie will be doing this full time):
*Rantology*: Artistic direction, 2D art production
*BeigeAlert*: Technical Artistic direction, 3D Art, content-tools
*Obraxis*: Animation/CG, QA & community relations
*McGlaspie*: Engineering direction, build & network infrastructure.
*Matso*: Low-level engineering, engine focus.
*Ghoul*: High-level engineering, game-play script focus.
*Wasabi*: Operational direction, game-play direction
*Hugh*: High-level strategy, financial direction, project management.
Does this mean the end of the old CDT as we know it? -Yes, it is. Although, getting a group of employees will be positive regarding NS2 development, this also means the demise of some who used to do it for free. Of course, CDT members or any contributors are free to share their content. But, we are humans after all, and people tend to neglect their free work, when there are people doing the same, but with a paycheck. Mendasp for instance will be stopping working on NS2 (including NS2+). We will dedicate an article to Mendasp (here are his official farewells) in the near future. We couldn’t be more grateful for all the work he has done on NS2. Nonetheless, some CDT members will still contribute and help out. Playtester Leads or Mappers will stick around. Good thing, because the game needs them either way.
Sources (to read the whole articles):
- LET’S TRY SOMETHING NEW (Hugh)
- Q&A ABOUT UWE COMING BACK TO NS2 (Chris, aka IronHorse)
- NS2 DEV TEAM & OUR COMMUNITY (Obraxis)
- BLOGTACULAR CRUNCHIE (OR: THE STATE OF COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTION) (Amanda, aka rantology)
- WHO BUILDS THE BUILDER THAT BUILDS THE BUILDER? (Brock, aka McGlaspie)
Edit: COMMUNITY FOCUSED DEVELOPMENT (Sebastian, aka Ghoul)