Natural Selection 2 is the sequel to the popular Half-Life mod Natural Selection. It is built on our own engine and will be distributed through Valve's Steam platform.

Report article RSS Feed Spark SDK (Build 133) Released

Once again, this Friday we have another update to the Spark SDK for everyone who has pre-ordered Natural Selection 2. The Spark SDK is the package which includes the level editor, viewer, and model and texture creation tools for Natural Selection 2.

Posted by TychoCelchuuu on Jan 23rd, 2010

This patch includes a fix for the "black textures" issue that users with older Radeon series cards are experiencing. All of the rendering in our engine is carried out in a high-dynamic range; unfortunately these older cards don't support the types of buffers necessary for our HDR pipeline. We've addressed this by using lower precision buffers on those cards, but that results in lower quality graphics. We're going to fix that, but it will take a little bit longer.

A cool new feature that's included in this patch is color grading in the Editor. Color grading (some times called color correction) allows you to adjust the brightness, contrast and color balance of the scene when it's rendered in the game. These effects also appear in real-time in the editor, so have fun experimenting with them.

Here's the complete list of changes in this patch:

  • Added color grading entities in the Editor
  • Added a check box to enable or disable physics simulation in the Viewer
  • Added the ability to select "none" as the current mod in the Launch Pad
  • Added support for exporting Reactor point-to-point constraints from 3D Studio MAX
  • Added lower-quality fallback rendering for graphics cards that lack HDR support
  • Added generic_bench_02_floor_left model
  • Added generic_bench_02_floor_right model
  • Added generic_bench_02_mid model
  • Added generic_bench_02_wall_left model
  • Added generic_bench_02_wall_right model
  • Added refinery_floor_tubes_01_corner_left model
  • Added refinery_floor_tubes_01_corner_right model
  • Added refinery_floor_tubes_02_corner_left model
  • Added refinery_floor_tubes_02_corner_right model
  • Added refinery_tramlift_platform model
  • Add3d refinery_tramlift_stand_left model
  • Added refinery_tramlift_stand_right model
  • Added refinery_wall16_mesh_01 model
  • Added refinery_wall16_mesh_02 model
  • Added refinery_wall16_mesh_03 model
  • Added refinery_wall16_mesh_04 model
  • Added refinery_wallprop_03_pipe_bend model
  • Added refinery_wallprop_03_pipe_clamp model
  • Added refinery/refinery_wallprop_03_pipe_straight1 model
  • Added refinery_wallprop_03_pipe_straight2 model
  • Fixed bug where color fields in the Select Tool did not preview the proper color
  • Fixed bug where alpha tested textures on models did not cast proper shadows

If you've already installed the Spark SDK, it will automatically detect the update and give you the option to install when the editor is launched. If you haven't installed the Spark SDK before, use the link below to download the installer.

Note that in order to run the tools in the SDK you will need your game key.

Download ns2_setup.exe (350.3M)

This video shows a simple mod we created for Natural Selection 2 to fine tune some features of the engine, like animation blending and physics. It also gave us a great opportunity to test out our content pipeline and modding infrastructure. This simple rifle range game was created from scratch (it's only about 500 lines of Lua code) and took very little time using the Spark toolset. This mod doesn't use any of the Natural Selection 2 game code, so the actual NS2 rifle behaves a bit differently. We thought you'd enjoy a peek!
Comment on this.

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Armageddon104 Jan 24 2010, 12:55am says:

lol. That firing range was awesome!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Frozencloud Jan 24 2010, 12:58am says:


+1 vote     reply to comment
NullSoldier Jan 24 2010, 1:25am says:

So NS2 is also focusing on moddability. Neat.

+1 vote     reply to comment
pone Jan 24 2010, 4:47am replied:

so that someone can change aliens with zombies...

+3 votes     reply to comment
Torabi Jan 24 2010, 6:10am says:

Awesome! I wish we could get to try that firing range.

+1 vote     reply to comment
moci Jan 24 2010, 6:12am says:

You said the rifle behaved different in NS2. So this is perhaps a stupid comment:

Can you have different 'fire' sprites? Because now with the huge cross 'fire' sprite it's obvious that it's always repeating itself. In real life it wouldn't be the same every time. Maybe not different sprites but rotate them randomly.

That aside it's looking great!

+3 votes     reply to comment
tiny_man_54 Jan 24 2010, 10:44am says:

why would people take pre-orders when there is no set release date as of yet?

-3 votes     reply to comment
johnfran1977 Jan 24 2010, 11:40am buried:


why do you need to preorder a mod

-8 votes     reply to comment
Kasplatt Jan 24 2010, 12:00pm replied:

Because IT IS NOT A MOD, and if you pre-order it the developers get more money to develop the game with. You also get alpha access to their tools, right now the map editor is available for people that pre-purchased and is extremely awesome.

+1 vote     reply to comment
madgernader Jan 24 2010, 12:56pm replied:

its not a mod, NS2 is a retail product.

+1 vote     reply to comment
moci Jan 24 2010, 4:19pm replied:

Just to support them.

I've bought it during the overgrowth+ns2 pack.
Usually I don't do this, but these guys (and wolfire team) have shown dedication and just good PR.

In comparison with this other game that just openly said 'hey we need your money just to finish this' with not much to show for it... well I'm not going to give them money.

It's a gamble, but not a big one.

oops! this was for the other guy;
tiny_man_54 5hours 34mins ago says:
why would people take pre-orders when there is no set release date as of yet?

+1 vote     reply to comment
iopzx Jan 24 2010, 12:23pm says:


+1 vote     reply to comment
Radu_IceMan Jan 24 2010, 4:13pm says:

You know what this means? They upgraded/updated the SDK, they tested the engine's modability ... I think that NS2 will come in about 2 months.

0 votes     reply to comment
ultimate Feb 3 2010, 5:47am replied:

They haven't even announced the alpha version yet, why would the game be released in two months?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dra6o0n Jan 24 2010, 9:50pm says:

Maybe I should've pre-ordered NS2 over Overgrowth... Oh well...

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Natural Selection 2
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Released Oct 2012
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