Power nodes are a new feature in Natural Selection 2. They control the lighting for rooms and power for marine structures. Their use is a prime example of the Spark engine's dynamic lighting capabilities.

Posted by _Xero_ on Nov 8th, 2010

Power nodes are a new feature in Natural Selection 2. They control the lighting for rooms and power for marine structures. Their use is a prime example of the Spark engine's dynamic lighting capabilities.

When a power node is damaged, the lights in a room are dimmed. Also, marine structures cannot receive the crucial energy they need to power their many structures. This means infantry portals cannot spawn reinforcements, armories cannot dispense ammo, etc. Marines end up literally fighting for their lives.

In order to repower their structures, the marines must weld any damaged power nodes. This can be done by commander-controlled builder bots called MAC's. Once a power node is repaired, lights in the room turn back on and structures come back to life.

This new concept increases strategy and forces both teams to fight constantly over territory, since controlling power nodes effectively means control of the room. To demonstrate this concept more clearly, NS2HD has posted a very nice video.

Post comment Comments
dsi1 Nov 8 2010, 11:11pm says:

Is the flamethrower itself going to throw dynamic lights later on?

+16 votes     reply to comment
Theon Nov 9 2010, 1:22pm replied:

Yesh, light/shadow effects look amazing, but the flameparticles..., well.

+6 votes     reply to comment
idontfriday Nov 8 2010, 11:35pm says:

This is looking good. But your flame thrower and flash light dont make shadows and the guns muzzle flash doesnt create light :(
Will this be implemented later on?

+9 votes     reply to comment
Xendrid Nov 8 2010, 11:35pm buried:


Suck it, Source!

-16 votes     reply to comment
Mkilbride Nov 9 2010, 3:37am replied:

Bad comment is bad.

+5 votes     reply to comment
RedTiki Nov 9 2010, 1:32pm replied:

but painfully true.

-4 votes     reply to comment
Mkilbride Nov 9 2010, 3:15pm replied:

How is it true?

+3 votes     reply to comment
Otter. Nov 9 2010, 3:21pm replied:


+3 votes     reply to comment
[Tesla] Nov 9 2010, 3:18pm replied:

Source possess Dynamic Lighting now. It came with Alien Swarm.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Guessmyname Nov 9 2010, 6:59pm replied:

Actually, technically speaking, it always had a dynamic light *option* (and by that I mean, you could have a few dynamic lights - namely light_dynamic and later env_projectedtexture; the player's flashlight also counts), which improved over time. It's still primarily lightmap based though; even AS only uses the dynamic ones where they count.

So yes, Source may be a very good engine, but it's still showing it's age and this *is* still an improvement over it.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Mkilbride Nov 10 2010, 1:08am replied:

Yeah, but Source is modular also, it's gotten alot of upgrades, have you seen Dear Esther? It's amazing, realistic foliage.


+1 vote     reply to comment
xalener Nov 17 2010, 11:32am replied:

Ith's not the engine's prolem. It's Valve making sub par looking games in order to be widely playable. Modders using valve made content for their games, or not being very good at making their own. There are a few source engine mods that look great. DE is one of them.

+2 votes     reply to comment
xalener Nov 17 2010, 7:38pm replied:

Also there's Blade symphony, Ivan's secrets, lost hope, Tales from the Galactopticon, Sabotage (for it's particle effects), and Debauchery. Just to name a few.

Source is still a damn good engine. It just needs good artists to make it show.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Icedecknight Nov 9 2010, 12:42am says:

You Must Build Additional Power Nodes. Lol

+5 votes     reply to comment
Verendus Nov 9 2010, 12:44am says:

These graphics are amazing!
Same thing as the first 2 comments though, I hope dynamic lighting is implemented for the flames.
I will definitely purchase this game. :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
DeltaForce95 Nov 9 2010, 12:53am says:

that flame looked so weird
biut thislooks awesome

+3 votes     reply to comment
Deremix Nov 9 2010, 3:38am says:

Wow, that is EXTREMELY atmospheric! Great job guys.

+1 vote     reply to comment
raymix Nov 9 2010, 4:35am says:

skulk, ambush, rogue, nerf!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Guessmyname Nov 9 2010, 5:06am says:

Looks like the flame is just an on-screen sprite rather than a particle effect; and yeah, it's not casting light. Also, when the power goes out, the self-illuminating light models / textures are still fully lit, which looks a little odd.

Still, an excellent technical demonstration nonetheless!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Dr.Worm Nov 9 2010, 2:19pm replied:

it's only in alpha :P don't worry at the rate there going it's gonna get awesome fast!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Guessmyname Nov 9 2010, 6:57pm replied:

xD I know, just making sure points were raised!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Mars_3K Nov 9 2010, 5:43am says:

The Cameronesque red emergency lightning was must, really. :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
RancidRandy Nov 9 2010, 6:18am says:

I dunno if that's a problem for Source, the whole power node thing.
Someone made a pinball game using Hammer's I/O system mainly, so a couple of blinking lights w/ timed events isn't much of a challenge for Source.

But I do agree with Spark being a lot better choice if you're to make any profit with NH2.

+3 votes     reply to comment
shaftling Nov 9 2010, 6:28am says:

looking nice

+1 vote     reply to comment
_dhk_ Nov 9 2010, 6:54am says:

Impressive work you've got your own engine! I have no idea whether Unreal3 really can't do what you show here, but I think it's also good to see that game engines CAN be powerful without a 'hype' about them ;) *ducking and running*

+2 votes     reply to comment
lethal_vortex Nov 9 2010, 7:27am replied:

ofcourse it can. but if u can make own engine thats always a + coz u can later sell the engine to other indie developers!

0 votes     reply to comment
Torabi Nov 9 2010, 11:16am says:

Wow that looks a lot better than I imagined it.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Bluedrake42 Nov 9 2010, 1:32pm says:

I hate natural selection gameplay, like I ******* HATE twitch shooters. everything just moves way too damn fast. everything else looks amazing as balls tho

0 votes     reply to comment
Tzaechireon Nov 13 2010, 8:57am says:

As it is, the power node system seems pretty annoying, as it breaks so fast.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Vcc2cc Nov 13 2010, 10:52am says:

"the turrets still work but they can't aim"
-What? so they'll just shoot at a fixed angle? As in not sweep?

BTW keep the female commander voice, I like it. MAY THE POOP BY WITH YOU!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Undying_Zombie Nov 24 2010, 8:20am says:

More I see of it, the more I want to pick this up I have to say.. Keep up the good work.

( Would point out the flamethrower stuff but its been done to death already, same with some of the lights lol )

+1 vote     reply to comment
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