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.

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