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  • Real-time, in-place editing with no waiting or compilation
  • All tools let you work with final results in front of you. All tools hot-load into the game as well so if you save your work while the game is running, you can see your changes in-game.
  • Lua script based for the same reasons - add new weapons or game elements while the game is running.
  • Keep dependencies between systems to a minimum to allow them to be used independently and in novel ways
  • Allow content creators to work the way they want to work - don't impose a specific pipeline or workflow

Spark includes:

  • A simple, powerful level editor
  • Cinematic editor (used to build our teaser)
  • Art builder tool (no more command-line, just save in 3DS Max, Maya, Photoshop, etc.)
  • Decoda (Lua script IDE)
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Computer Core

Something must be in the air at Unknown Worlds. Not only are we announcing new games, we’ve also started hitting deadlines! We promised you Eclipse at the end of 2013, and with 11 days to spare we are proud to announce that is has been released!

Eleven years ago, Eclipse was one of the original Natural Selection battlefields. Tight corridors, multiple Hive spawns, iconic rooms, Eclipse was one of the greatest maps ever made for the original Half-Life mod.

Marine Start

Now, we can all return to Eclipse. Painstakingly recreated, the map is faithful to the original while allowing for the evolution of Natural Selection 2 gameplay. By taking advantage of Spark’s modern rendering techniques and UWE’s art resources, the mapping team has been able to remake every corner of Eclipse in exquisite detail.


The team that built Eclipse was led by Jake ‘Jonacrab’ Smith. Under the artistic direction of Cory, Jake drew together work from mappers Oliver ‘Dux’ Hobbs, Michael ‘Olmy’ Schouten, Andrew ‘Insane’ Jones, Marc ‘Sgt Barlow’ Newton, and art from Sergey, Dmitry, Yuri and others from Fox3D.

Looking towards East Foyer

Eclipse is included as part of Build 262, which was just released on Steam. Build 262 is free for all existing players of Natural Selection 2, and includes a bunch of other improvements to the game. Here is the full change log:


  • Fixed players sometimes being stuck in command station at round start
  • Fixed Infestation blobs blocking commander view
  • Server Browser now highlights player count yellow if the server is semi-full due to reserved slots.
  • Removed texture streaming option from main menu since it wasn’t doing anything
  • Fixed all structures being outlined blue when on overhead mode as spectator
  • Fixed projectiles colliding with invisible movement collision group
  • Fixed ECHO_HARVESTER tooltip missing when echoing an Harvester
  • Fixed accidental use of voice order keys while ESC menu is open
  • Fixed bug where marine buy menu did not close when player was Stomped
  • Fixed Stab not having a custom icon
  • Fixed round start music not playing due to incorrect path
  • Fixed WhipBomb showing killed with BileBomb in console
  • Fixed loading screens using the wrong art sometimes
  • Fixed commander bindings reverting to default if a player joins a server before opening the options menu


  • Added new map: Eclipse
  • Added new main menu background
  • Added egg counter for Alien Commander in the top of the commander interface
  • Added Hive skill and level stats under name in main menu
  • Added support for new structures in ScenarioHandler. Added one other check path that works.
  • Added link to forums by clicking logo
  • Added remixed NS1/NS2 main menu theme


  • Ammo packs now refill all weapons instead of only the active one


  • Limit hit effect messages to 100 per second
  • Correctly limit max resources network field to 100 per player
  • Reduced network traffic generated by static structures
  • Implemented extra precaching to reduce incidence of hitching at the start of rounds
  • Optimized network traffic produced by Insight spectator system
  • Minor optimizations for skulk movement (optimized wall traces and removed predict wall walking)


  • Insight spectator system now outlines players in overhead view by default
  • Replaced “request enzyme” with “request drifter” in the Alien ‘commo-rose’
  • Servers with cheats enabled no longer send data to the Hive stat tracking system


  • Revert auto-generation of overviews by Builder due to Overview.exe crashes
  • Fixed crash in editor related to file type properties
  • Allow mappers to define custom round start music in ns2_gamerules entity
  • Added console command playmusic. Usage: sound/NS2.fev/pathtosound

Refinery (Thanks SamusDroid)

  • Fixed pathing in Lava Falls
  • Fixed some textures and gaps
  • Fixed some stuck spots
  • Adjusted some death trigger scales


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Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 23)
Milanium Dec 27 2012 says:

Is this easy-on-the-fly modding of the game code in LUA the reason for the poor performance? It is impressive how fast you can develop using this, anyway.

+3 votes     reply to comment
joqqy Nov 14 2012 says:

This is an awesome engine, and the editor truly an ease to work with. Would be great to see real time radiosity implemented. Keep up the great work.

+3 votes     reply to comment
ArKanGelMaRk5 Oct 31 2012 says:

For anyone who wanted to know it is made in Lua

+2 votes     reply to comment
LizardGamer May 8 2011 says:

Is this engine made with XNA with C# or was it made with with C++ because I've seen multiple videos of people saying it's made (one of the 2 above)?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Milanium Dec 27 2012 replied:

It's coded in C++. Unknownworlds.com

+2 votes     reply to comment
TehGuy Feb 11 2011 says:

Man, I hope this engine gets released soon :p

+4 votes     reply to comment
WarlockSyno Dec 21 2010 says:

You guys should update this page. It'd be cool to have the Natural Selection 2 Beta Trailer on here. :)

+3 votes     reply to comment
FredDurscht Aug 21 2010 says:

when licencing the engine, what do you get?

- the full c++ source code?
- if so, is everything well documented?
- are shaders gonna be supported? if so, will there be a visual shader editor or something like that?

we are really interested in the engine, but i couldnt find any information about the mentioned points :(

+5 votes     reply to comment
SgtBarlow Creator
SgtBarlow Nov 16 2010 replied:

Spark is still in development so its currently not got an licencing plans in place yet nor would the be much documentation written. The main focus is Natural Selection 2. untill that project is compleated you may have to hang on for a short while.

Shaders are supported, they can be dropped in to a mods shader folder.
There maybe some limitations but something like --Post Bloom-- I was told would be very easy to add.
There is currently no shader editor that i have seen, Not taken an interest in it just yet but they have a shader compiler as well as a number of other mini tools that are currently automated by their Builder.

+3 votes   reply to comment
navyarms Jun 20 2010 says:

the most awesome thing ever

+3 votes     reply to comment
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