Tagged: Wolfire Games

Wolfire Games have announced the freeing of Lugaru’s source code under the GPLv2.
They have also announced that other “Humble Indie Bundle” games : Aquaria, Gish, and Penumbra Overture will also free their sources soon !

Those are a great news indeed as we recently seen that that MMORPG Ryzom had also freed his sources (and art, which will stay closed for Lugaru).

Humble update: open source extension (5/11/10)
The Humble Indie Bundle experiment has been a massive success beyond our craziest expectations. So far, in just over 7 days, 121,591 generous contributors have put down an incredible $1,109,296. Of this, contributors chose to allocate 30.96% to charity: $343,396 for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Child’s Play Charity. I have made a page for the full breakdown including credit card fees in a JSON format here (json).

Now it’s our turn to give back. As of 5/11/10, Aquaria, Gish, Lugaru HD, and Penumbra Overture pledge to go open source. We are preparing the sources right now and will be releasing them ASAP. We spent last night preparing Lugaru and it is available now. The code is still a little rough (no Visual Studio project yet, for instance) but hopefully with the help of the community we can rapidly make it more accessible to everyone.

Note, the games will be “free as in ‘free speech’, not as in ‘free beer’”: see each license for the full, finalized details as they come out very hopefully this week — stay tuned. It is the underlying code that will be made available to everyone.
Feel free to continue donating to charity, to the developers, or any combination thereof below. We will still be distributing humble bundles to anyone who contributes.

Lugaru goes open-source
By David on May 11th, 2010

In the spirit of the Humble Indie Bundle, we have decided to release the source code to Lugaru! Our community has already made some great mods by editing the levels and graphics, but source code access will allow for much deeper modifications. The coding style is what you might expect from a self-taught high school student, so it could be a challenge to understand, but feel free to give it a shot!
The Mercurial repository is hosted at icculus.org — if you’d rather just have a simple download, we have a snapshot of the initial source code release here. We are releasing the source code under the General Public License(GPL), which means you can distribute modified versions of the Lugaru code, but they must also be open-source under the GPL. The game assets are included in the snapshot, and can be redistributed for free, but cannot be resold without our permission.

Details from Ryan Gordon
The source code is based on Ryan C. Gordon’s branch, which took David Rosen’s original Windows and Carbonized Mac OS code and ported it to Linux and Mac OS X, using SDL and OpenAL. It should compile as-is on those platforms from the command-line. On Mac you can type “sh makemac.sh” to build (or use the Xcode project!), and on Linux you can just type “make”. The code is compatible with Windows, but the included Visual Studio project is not completely up-to-date. We should have that sorted out soon, especially with your help!

We have included enough of the game data to run the demo version. Please note that the game data is not under the GPL, and forbids commercial redistribution.
The code is licensed under the GPL2. Please see COPYING.txt for details.

Getting the source:
The source code for Lugaru is stored in a Mercurial repository. This might be a little different than other revision control systems you’ve used. There is a place where you can download the source code, and pull in the latest, bleeding edge changes, like you’d expect, but there isn’t an authoritative source. Everyone gets a complete copy of the repository, and can pass changes around between each other without having to get permission to commit from Wolfire. This brings lots of benefits you never knew you needed before you had them.

Everything you need to know about Mercurial can be found at mercurial.selenic.com .
The Lugaru source code can be browsed online here, and you can use this command to grab it with Mercurial:

hg clone http://hg.icculus.org/icculus/lugaru

How to contribute:
Clone the repository and work on it. Optionally, publish your repository somewhere (bitbucket.org and Google Code will both provide free hosting). This will let others pull your changes directly and see your work.
You can also just email patches like you’ve always done (use “hg export”). You don’t need to have write access to someone’s repository, because you own the repository. If they import your patch, it’ll still have your name on it.

Some things you can do:
* Get the game building on Windows again. Some Linux dork came along and broke it! Mostly the project files need to be updated to use the new dependencies (OpenAL, zlib, png, jpeg) and not the old ones (fmod, DevIL).
* Improve the Xcode project. Right now, it builds the game, but isn’t as nicely automated as it could be.
* Restore Mac OS X 10.2 support (we’re linking against the 10.6 SDK for all CPUs at the moment).
* Add new combat moves, bad guys, weapons.
* Port it to a new platform. Why stop at Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X?
* Write a software renderer, a Direct3D renderer, or an OpenGL ES renderer.
* Make it more Linux-friendly (use system zlib, etc).
* Make it run in a web browser.
* Restore FMOD support.
* Do something cool.

You imagination is the limit. Scratch your itch. Dream big.

Also, we’ll remind you that if you need more Wolfire Open Source Action, Black Shades is also available!

Links
Lugaru
Wolfire Games
Wolfire Announcement
Humble Indie Bundle
Humble Indie Bundle Stats

Wolfire Games sometimes posts very interesting and insightful GNU/Linux gaming related blog posts.
A few days ago David posted about The state of Mac and Linux gaming which shows a great future for GNU/Linux.
The present is also much better then 5 years ago and we see constant improvement each year.
I very much agree with David’s post, specially about the fact that most GNU/Linux ports came way after the original Windows release, which harms the sales and in many cases lowers the game “worth” (if the port is made several years after the Windows release for example, and yeah it did happen many times).

The state of Mac and Linux gaming
By David on May 8th, 2010

It’s ‘common knowledge’ that Mac and Linux gaming are so unimportant that they might as well not exist. Everyone ‘knows’ that Mac games sell a tiny fraction of the amount that Windows games sell, and that Linux games simply don’t exist.
But are these ideas based on reality? Where did these figures come from? Anyone who has ever worked with statistics knows that it’s unwise to trust ‘common knowledge’ without data to back it up. I decided to ask some developers about their sales distribution, and get some real data about Mac and Linux game sales.

Blockbuster game sales
When we talk about the games industry, we usually think of blockbuster games. With such high volume, surely they would be indicative of the state of Mac gaming, right? Aspyr Media publishes Mac ports of big releases like Modern Warfare and Civilization 4, and they reported that their Mac ports sell 3-6% as many copies as the Windows versions. This is well above the common 1% idea, but still not very much. Why is it so low? Do Mac users just not play games?

Do Mac users play games?
Since online Flash games are free and cross-platform, I thought they could help us determine if Mac users play games or not. I asked Kongregate (a popular Flash game site) what operating system the players were using. Kongregate reported that 90% of world-wide players use Windows, 9% use Mac, and 1% use Linux. Since Macs have only a 6% market share world-wide, this is surprising — it suggests that Mac users may actually be more likely to play games than Windows users!

Indie game sales
So blockbuster games don’t find their audience on Mac, but what about independent downloadable games? To find out, I asked a number of independent developers about their sales distributions, including the authors of Machinarium, Gish, World of Goo, Grappling Hook, DROD, and Penumbra. Surprisingly, the average sales distribution was 72% Windows, 22% Mac and 6% Linux!

Is this just true for obscure indie games? What about large-scale casual releases like Plants vs. Zombies or Bejeweled? I asked Popcap games about their sales distribution, and they reported a similar figure: 20-25% of sales are for Mac.
This is a very different picture than the one we got from blockbuster games. 6% compared to 25%? How is this possible? Here is one possible explanation.

Effective market share
According to browser statistics, Apple’s worldwide market share is about 6%, and Linux market share is about 1%. This gives us the following market share (users per platform): 93% Windows, 6% Mac, and 1% Linux.

However, what we really want to know is how well a game would sell on each platform — the effective market share. The NPD survey shows that Mac users make twice as many electronics purchases. It’s not much of a stretch to speculate that they also spend twice as much on small entertainment purchases like games. Let’s suppose that there are also half as many Mac games as there are Windows games. That means that the average Mac user spends twice as much on half as many games, which means they are four times as likely to buy any given game. I don’t have hard data about Linux users, but I’ll go out on a limb and say that they tend to be tech enthusiasts, and have to choose from an even smaller selection of games, so let’s say their multiplier is 50% higher than Mac users.
If we multiply the initial market share for each platform by their increased spending (4x for Mac and 6x for Linux), and adjust to add up to 100%, we get this effective market share: 75% Windows, 20% Mac, 5% Linux

This is much more in line with the figures we see from indie and casual game sales. While the methodology for my explanation is purely speculative, the resulting graph closely matches the sales data reported by developers. Given these effective market shares, this raises a new question about blockbuster games. Why do they only sell 3-6% of their copies on Mac, instead of 20%?

So why don’t the blockbuster games sell?
Indie games usually do not have dedicated advertising campaigns, and sell slowly as word spreads through gaming communities. However, Blockbuster games are sold very differently. They often spend more on launch advertising than on actual development — for example, Modern Warfare 2 spent $50 million on development, and $150 million on launch advertising. This leads to an initial spike of inflated customer interest in the game, which falls off dramatically over the course of a month or two. Here is a graph of Modern Warfare sales with data from VGChartz:

As you can see, the Mac version was released a year after the Windows version, as customer interest and awareness was reaching an all-time low. I realized that the Mac percentages are so low not because the Mac versions sell poorly, but because the Windows sales are artificially inflated by the marketing campaign. If these games were released simultaneously for both platforms, I would expect the sales distributions to look more like we would expect from our effective market share chart.

The future of cross-platform gaming
It’s a good time to be a Mac gamer. Valve recently announced Steam for Mac, and that all their future games will be simultaneously released for Mac and Windows, including Portal 2. Also, there are a number of other big games coming up that will be released simultaneously for Mac and Windows, including Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, and Rage. Some of the big developers are starting to realize that there are a lot of Mac gamers, and that porting to Mac is not very hard. If you can put in an extra 1% cost and get 22% more revenue — why not make a Mac version? It would be worth it even if it were only an extra 2% revenue!
However, they haven’t yet taken the next step: once you’ve made a Mac version, indie games show that Linux users represent an additional 6% effective market share. Once you’ve created a Mac port and divorced your code from DirectX and other Windows dependencies, it’s not that difficult to port to Linux. Our most recent promotion, the Humble Indie Bundle, shows even more dramatic statistics for Linux: 52% Windows, 24% Mac, and 24% Linux.

With Overgrowth, we were already planning a simultaneous Mac, Linux, Windows release just out of principle, in order to include everyone. However, it’s nice to see that the numbers are on our side as well!

Links
Original post about The state of Mac and Linux gaming
Humble Indie Bundle
Overgrowth

One of the companies behind The Humble Indie Bundle, Wolfire Games reports that GNU/Linux users contribute twice as much as Windows users !
This is not the first time the GNU/Linux gamers prove that they are excellent customers, a while ago I posted that when 2dboy the developers of World Of Goo which BTW is also a part of the Humble Indie Bundle, made the birthday sales week, GNU/Linux users chose to pay more the the Mac and Windows users.
Koen Witters from Koonsolo the developer of Mystic Mine which I reviewed and interviewed several months ago, also reported that GNU/Linux users buy games, even more then the Windows and MacOS users considering the smaller market share of our beloved OS.

Please keep in mind that The Humble Indie Bundle is not over, and there are 4 days left !

Here is the post from Wolfire Games :

GNU/Linux users contribute twice as much as Windows users
By Jeff on May 7th, 2010

We’ve always advocated cross-platform development — in fact, last year, we wrote a post explaining why you should support Mac OS X and Linux. When organizing the Humble Indie Bundle, we decided to put our money where our mouth is and only select games that support all three major desktop platforms: Mac, Windows, and Linux.

At the moment, we have about 53,500 donations — far more than we expected! But where did they come from? Our breakdown for number of donations per platform is: 65% Windows, 21% Mac, and 14% Linux. However, when we look at the amount donated per platform, we see something different. Our breakdown for total donation size per platform is 52% Windows, 25% Mac, and 23% Linux. Here are these results in pie chart form:

This could only be explained if Mac and Linux users are making much higher contributions than Windows users. So far, the average Mac user is donating 40% more, and the average Linux user is donating 100% more! Here is a bar graph showing the different average donation amounts:

If you’d like to see real-time updates to the average donation per platform, I’ve modified the stats section of the bundle page. Click here to check it out. These averages have stayed rock solid for the last three days, but now that they are visible on the site, it will be interesting to see if they change!

Links
The Humble Indie Bundle
Wolfire Games
GNU/Linux users contribute twice as much as Windows users !
GNU/Linux Users Pay and Buy More !
2dboy
World Of Goo
GNU/Linux users chose to pay more the the Mac and Windows users
GNU/Linux users show their love for indie game – By Koonsolo

Some time ago I’ve wrote about Wolfire Games and Unknown Worlds offering both of their in development games (Overgrowth and Natural Selection 2) for a single price of $40 .
This offer was limited to one week and the preorderes where successful behind their imagination.

“Originally, we had 1100 preorders of Overgrowth, since announcing preorders a little over a year ago. In one week, we sold 1658 packs. That represents almost exactly one year’s worth of preorder revenue, in a single week. “

From Wolfire Blog :

Organic Indie Preorder Pack Postmortem
By Jeff on January 25th, 2010

In addition to John dyeing his beard pink, we promised that we would write a postmortem report on our recent “Organic Indie Preorder Pack” promotion. Here it is!

To recap, a couple of weeks ago, we ran a promotion with fellow San Francisco developer, Unknown Worlds, bundling preorders of our two upcoming games together, Overgrowth and Natural Selection 2, for $39.95.
The promotion was notable because

Neither game is finished yet. This was a preorder pack, not your usual deep-discount bundle of older games. We are humbly funding our development directly with preorders from the community.

All current preorderers of Natural Selection 2 were given a free copy of Overgrowth, and vice versa. This represents several thousand free copies being exchanged and is a huge cross-over between two active communities.

There was no middle-man. Many distributors are well-known for offering “indie bundles” and crazy sales, but they take an NDA-protected cut of each sale. In the Organic Preorder Pack, 100% of the proceeds went to the developers: 50 / 50.

The corollary: there was no marketing team. We sent out some emails to the gaming blogs, but the overwhelming majority of the bundle was fueled by word of mouth and organic buzz on services like Twitter and Facebook.

The promotion greatly exceeded all of our expectations and blew up to be the biggest thing to ever happen to us. We sold more preorders in one week than we had sold in a year, previously.

Without further ado, let’s get to the data.
Sales Numbers :


The breakdown — note the pink beard marker.

There is a lot to cover here, so let’s begin with the relative magnitude of the sale.

Originally, we had 1100 preorders of Overgrowth, since announcing preorders a little over a year ago. In one week, we sold 1658 packs. That represents almost exactly one year’s worth of preorder revenue, in a single week.

We expected the promotion would probably have an explosion when it was first announced but would then quickly taper off. On the contrary, sales were surprisingly steady throughout the entire week. The largest sales burst was, predictably, in the last hours of the promotion (we had a neat countdown timer). In future promotions, it might be a good idea to somehow extend the promotion by an hour or so, because in the last hour, we were doing about one sale per minute. We had 3 sales in the last 30 seconds alone. There clearly were many people who were enticed by last minute chatter (literally). Since our data shows almost no deceleration, I have to wonder what would have happened if we extended it for a week.

Regular Preorders Increased
We expected that the promotion would cannibalize regular preorders for Overgrowth and Natural Selection 2. On the contrary, while the Organic Indie Preorder Pack was live, both Wolfire and Unknown Worlds noticed a significant increase in regular preorders.

To be clear — there was no reason to preorder Natural Selection 2 Special Edition during the promotion, since you could have gotten Overgrowth “for free” by ordering the pack. Certainly some people ordered it by accident, and we obviously refunded them. However, even after accounting for that, preorders were significantly up.

I attribute this to two reasons:

People compensating for cannibalization. We noticed quite a few NS2 preorderers who said “I had my eye on Overgrowth for quite a while, and I feel guilty about getting it for free”, and then preordered it. This was totally unexpected, but the donations were heartwarming.

People hearing about Overgrowth or Natural Selection 2 for the first time due to buzz about the pack, but deciding to preorder regularly. Maybe they liked aliens but not rabbits (or vice versa), or maybe they had money to burn and decided to support both teams fully.

We experienced this last year as well when we offered Lugaru for free temporarily. Even though it was free in the MacHeist Giving Tree promotion, regular Lugaru sales increased because people just wanted to support us.

Breakdown Across Payment Processors

We like to support as many different payment providers as we can. These are the services responsible for actually accepting payments (via credit card, bank account, etc.) We use them directly because they only charge pennies more than the raw credit card merchant fees (2.9% + 30 cents) while middle-man processing services will charge quite a high percentage for simply accepting a credit card payment.

Most people only support PayPal, but this graph shows that having Amazon and Google Checkout was appreciated by over 25% of our customers. I can’t tell you how much this increased the bottom line, because people who used Amazon and Google may also have been willing to use PayPal had the other services been absent. The data might also make PayPal look much more popular than it really is because we had PayPal as the default option, and surely some people simply didn’t care to change it.

Social Media
Like most sites, we have Google Analytics installed so we can see who is linking to us and so on. One really interesting metric we can track is the number of people who purchased the Preorder Pack sorted by their referral source. In other words, how many sales of the pack did a given site generate by linking to us?

I don’t really want to say how many sales one blog drove versus another blog, since that may be kind of personal to the blog owners and not terribly useful to anyone (you don’t have any legitimate control over what blog will cover you). However, one fascinating point is the social media sites.

We have long since been advocating social media, and this really drives the point home:

Facebook [420 shares] and Twitter [459 retweets] along with ModDB, Reddit, and YouTube generated maybe one third of our sales. Each source dwarfed even the largest gaming news sites that posted about us, which then dwarfed the long tail of small forums and personal blogs that mentioned the pack.

Granted, they all work together. For instance, someone might hear about the pack from TIGSource and then share it on Facebook, which would count as a Facebook referral. Google can’t provide this kind of data [yet].

It is hard to quantify, but we were hoping that people who received a free copy of the pack (by previously preordering Overgrowth or Natural Selection 2) would tell their friends, and I suspect that is where many of the Facebook shares and tweets came from.

The Digg Effect
Also of note, right in the middle of the promotion, one of our daily blog posts blew up. I wish we could take credit and say we masterminded a super viral blog post to spread around the internet and land people on the site, but sadly, it was pretty random. We did, however, put extra effort into writing quality blog posts in order to impress the new Natural Selection 2 community (it is hard to compete with the awesome Unknown Worlds team!) Little did we know that David’s OpenGL vs. DirectX piece would turn into the #1 Digg article of the day.

I want to write a blog post about that, because that was quite an event alone, however, I will summarize it here.

David posted his OpenGL blog post in the evening, as usual. When I went to bed, I noticed that it was receiving some attention on Reddit (not that unusual — RSS readers are on the ball!) When I woke up, it was the #1 story on at least three sub-reddits and had even hit the Digg front page. Long story short, we received about 200,000 visits from Digg, Slashdot, Reddit, Hacker News, StumbleUpon and many other sites.

Untargeted, burst traffic like this is famous for its short attention span — from what I’ve read, they will typically skim the article in question and then bounce. However, when looking at the analytics for this postmortem, I was surprised to find that I can attribute roughly 100 sales of the pack directly to Digg, Slashdot, Hacker News, and other links to David’s OpenGL article. Granted 100 is less than half of one percent of 200,000, but it is quite a large number as far as I am concerned, especially because the pack was not even part of the article in question.

Luckily we use Google App Engine as a host. This kind of traffic means nothing to App Engine (although Wolfire finally exceeded the free quota and Google did bill us 11 cents for the traffic).

What’s more important than what happened, is what didn’t happen. App Engine didn’t falter, and the site stayed as responsive as ever. One of my pet peeves is when sites go down during their big moment. Imagine if the Preorder Pack page died because an unrelated OpenGL manifesto was passed around the internet. That would be devastating and this postmortem would likely read as a tragedy not a triumph.

Thanks for the Support!
Finally, I’d just like to say thanks. This was a really important promotion and is a small taste of “you know, this just might actually work” which is really inspiring when you’ve been working non-stop on a project for 1.5 years. Morale is high, and we are already making plans on how we can use this new influx of cash to help with development (in addition to upgrading our Subway sandwiches to have extra cheese from time to time). More on this later!

I’d also like to thank everyone in the IRC channel and forums for helping all of the newcomers with Overgrowth and bearing much of the increased support burden. Because of the community help, John was able to manage our live chat service and maintain an empty inbox for almost all of the promotion! We got a lot of compliments on our fast support even though we are a miniscule indie game company.

Misc notes
Here’s some random trivia that I’d like to mention, but might not be worth its own subsection.

The Preorder Pack was conceived at a monthly San Francisco game developer meetup with Unknown Worlds called the Post Mortem. In the span of about 15 minutes, we decided “hey, it would be awesome to bundle our games together!” We took longer to flesh out the details at another meetup, but it was a breeze since we are independent. The site took maybe 4 days of serious work to create. Within a couple of days of the end of the promotion, we gave Unknown Worlds a check for their half plus official reports from PayPal, Amazon, and Google. This doesn’t sound too remarkable, but we sometimes have to wait several months for payments on Lugaru from professional distributors, and have to take their word for it that the amount is right.

Since it was such a low hanging fruit, I added a gift option to the Preorder Pack. About 5% of the packs were bought as gifts. It would be interesting to have run it through the holiday season and see how much this number would change.

We knew we could count on awesome sites like these to cover the pack. However, one idea we had to attract the giant gaming sites was to give them several gift copies of the pack so they could do a reader contest [we gave these to all sites]. Sadly, we still have yet to get a mention by the larger sites.

We decided to make the YouTube video announcing the Preorder Pack public about an hour before the planned launch so that blogs would have time to embed it. Within a few minutes of making the video public, some savvy YouTube subscribers purchased the pack.

We originally thought that 1000 sales of the pack was a pipe dream, hence the pink beard “incentive”. John manned up and delivered the promised video, though.

Preorderers seemed really excited to discover that their old purchase had spontaneously entitled them to an extra game. Special perks like this for preorders seem like a great way to combat the negative trend of “if I wait long enough, I can find the game for $0.25 in Walmart’s bargain bin”.

Conclusion
John said it in his talk at GDC Austin and you’ll hear him say it again at the main GDC in San Francisco next month: open development is key, especially when you are small. If we had been in stealth mode for 1.5 years, we simply would not have had the awesome community to have made this possible. The Wolfire experiment is far from over, but hopefully this humble promotion will lend a little more weight to John’s upcoming GDC talk.

While there is no way of telling (yet) how many of those preorders where done by GNU/Linux users, I’m sure that as always we had a much larger share then our estimated 1% desktop market share.

The indie game studios Wolfire Games and Unknown Worlds have just announced that their upcoming games Overgrowth and Natural Selection 2 are available for preorder with alpha access for both games at the price of one ! just for 40USD !
This offer is for a limited time of 6 days – so hurry up !

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwLQRW2YmU8&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

Overgrowth will definitely have a GNU/Linux client and although Natural Selection 2 GNU/Linux client hasn’t yet confirmed there is a high chance – and it will be much higher if you’ll preorder now.
In ANY case you will get the GNU/Linux, MacOS and Windows clients for both games (if NS2 will have one – that is…).
You can always post at NS2 forums and try to make them commit to a GNU/Linux client before preordering (if you do this quick, you only got 6 days) , there is also a huge NS2 GNU/Linux thread, so I would say that the chances are pretty high.

Overgrowth
Wolfire is an independent team of four guys, working non-stop to create the best ninja rabbit game possible: Overgrowth. Instead of licensing someone else’s engine, we’ve built our own from scratch, so that we can custom tailor every feature to support our innovative, combat-based gameplay. Please click on the screenshots to scope out how it looks so far. You can see more in-depth demonstrations of our technology on Wolfire’s YouTube channel.
Desert Fort
Overgrowth takes place in the savage world of Lugaru where rabbits, wolves and other animals are forced to use paws, claws and medieval weaponry to engage each other in battle. Overgrowth will be a seamless integration of brutal close quarters combat and fluid platforming. Powered by our brand new Phoenix Engine, Overgrowth will have cutting edge graphics, brutal physics, realistic AI and intuitive combat controls that will immerse players and tap into their primal survival instincts.
Editor UI
We’ve spent the past year building the core of the Phoenix Engine. We’ve added a lot of slick features like our off-the-grid optimized terrain with normal-mapped detail textures, direct lighting, ambient occlusion, realistic lens flares, volumetric haze, innovative plant shading and rendering techniques. We’ve also thrown in a complete editor suite to go with it. Our integrated map editor, decal editor, sky editor, rigging editor and animation editor make modding a breeze. Combat is coming soon.

Natural Selection 2
Natural Selection 2 is the follow-up to the most popular independent mod for Half-life which won Gamespy’s Mod of the Year. It is a multiplayer first-person shooter with unique real-time strategy elements and is being developed on its own custom engine called Spark.
The game features truly unique sides (Marines vs. Aliens), dynamic environments (including alien “infestation” that grows and deforms environments during the course of the game) and real-time strategy (some players can choose to play from the top-down as Commanders!).
Lighting in-editor
It will also be the most moddable game ever released and will include most of the game’s source code (in Lua script) along with all the programming and art tools we are using to build the game. We expect the mod scene to explode and offer unlimited variations, mods and entirely new games. We will also release many updates to keep the core game fresh with new maps, weapons and abilities.
Alpha environment
Unknown Worlds is a small company dedicated to bringing you the best games possible. We are known for working closely with our community and like to release our tools as soon as they are ready for feedback. We recently released our editor and environment art to all our pre-orderers and are looking forward to releasing our other tools and our alpha to you as well!
Your pre-order of Natural Selection 2 allows us to remain independent and able to release the best game possible. We would not be here today without you and your support so we offer our deeply-felt thanks!

Links
Preorder Pack
Wolfire Games
Overgrowth
Unknown Worlds
Natural Selection 2
NS2 GNU/Linux Thread
Thread about the pack on NS2 forums – post here about your wish to have a GNU/Linux client
Natural Selection 2 – Sci-Fi Online RTS/FPS
LGN interview with Wolfire Games