one week to go

Great Scott! Natural Selection 2 releases 7 days from today!  It’s been a long, hard road, but we are finally here.  This year is shaping up to be the best Hallowe’en since 2002.

Version1.0 will have my map, ns2_refinery in it, which is part of why I am so excited.  I’m hoping to be able to put some more info on Refinery up here very soon.

In the meantime, let us all bask in the warm glow of the slowly decreasing countdown timer.

Tick, tock.

even more nano-gridlocked

Nanogrid now allows you to connect to NS2 games straight from your browser!

satellites in Every Home

Still not used to writing my thoughts down every week.

And honestly not much has happened that I can write about. We playtested ns2_refining a lot last week, so it’s really coming together. Can’t wait to show it off.

decade

Yeah, so I said I’d post every week two weeks ago. And then I didn’t. Blah blah blah.

But I felt like writing something today because in some ways it’s quite an important date for me. Ten years ago today I joined the Natural Selection forums. In that time a lot has changed and the truth is that I owe much of it to being a part of that community.

When I joined the NS community I was interested in art, and in making games, but I’d never really found anything to focus on. But I was so inspired by what Charlie Cleveland and his team were doing with NS that I felt like I wanted to be a part of it, and found myself amongst a group of people that helped to push me forward as a designer, many of whom I still consider friends. NS made it clear to me how interested I was in level design, which definitely pushed me towards Architecture. When that fell through (although not without learning a great deal in the process), there was still that passion for making games to come back to, and I soon realised that it was always what I really wanted to do.

Ten years later and I’ve been working on the sequel to NS for two and a half years. As a happy coincidence I’ll be working full-time on NS2 for the next month, starting tomorrow. For various reasons I can usually only work on the game part-time, but I am really looking forward to making it my highest priority for a little while.

And that’s great because I feel like Natural Selection has given me so much over the last ten years that it’s a privilege to be able to put something of myself back into it. With the game in a transitional, incomplete beta format at the moment, it’s easy for some people to lose faith in it; and I do understand why. But the truth is that there hasn’t been a single moment while I’ve been working on NS2 when I’ve thought we wouldn’t release something fantastic. The biggest reason for that is that I’ve been lucky enough to see the intelligence, creativity and passion that’s being put into the game, every day, for the last two and a half years.

Seeing that has given me complete confidence in NS2, and I’m sure the players will agree with me when we release this summer. It has been, and will continue to be, a blast.

I promise to write something less self-indulgent next week.

nano-gridlocked

So here’s what I was talking about earlier today.

Nanogrid – The NS2 Web-Based Server Browser.

I’ve decided to call this v1.0 and just put it up, although there are still a few issues with it, and things I want to add. First of all, there will soon be “Join” buttons next to each server for quick access. At the moment those don’t work – Max, NS2′s Technical Director, suggested there might be an issue with the way NS2 is set up with the Steam API, so this may or may not get resolved soon. Secondly, some of the country flags are incorrect. I’ll need to see what can be done to fix those.

so build that wall and build it strong

I’ve made a resolution – it can be too hard to write something on this blog once a week, right? If I do that, I might even keep my portfolio up to date as well. So I’m going to try to do both of those things, starting this week. I have a project I’ve been working on that I’m going to post here as soon as it’s ready, probably tonight or tomorrow.

Update

Added some new content to the web section. Don’t know why it took this long but I’m mostly up to date now. I’m pretty sure there’s some new artwork and illustrations too, so I’ll work out what I did with them and put them up too.

I wish I could put up some of the Natural Selection 2 I’ve been doing but it’s not ready to go public yet. When it does I’ll certainly put a whole load of it up.

more inspiration

I enjoy abstract photography, and I enjoy geometric shapes. Here’s something that has both.

Flavio Samelo

Beginners’ Guide to SEO

I stumbled across this whilst looking for something else on SEOmoz.org:

The Beginners’ Guide to SEO.

A handy resource, and really nicely designed and illustrated, too.

Scraps and Influences

A friend of mine, who is currently studying for his RIBA Part II qualification in Architecture, runs an excellent Tumblr of interesting or inspiring images he’s found around the web. He initially started this collection for his own sake, but now he’s got it up on the web so that others can be inspired too.

Check it out: Scraps & Influences

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