Today we're releasing the Spark level editor to everyone who pre-ordered Natural Selection 2. This is a tool we've designed and built from the ground up, melding some of the tried-and-true concepts from level building tools, with some new features we're really excited about.
This is a pre-alpha release of the editor, which means we still have lots of features to add and bugs to fix. Releasing something that is in this stage of development is pretty daunting – especially when we know it will be compared to more mature tools that have had many man-years of development – but we expect that most of you would rather get an early build than wait for something perfect. So much for "when it's done!"
The editor has a built-in updater which checks for patches when you start it up. Doing a pre-alpha with this many people is a new experience for us, but our hope is to release new patches a few times a month, all the way up until we ship Natural Selection 2. In addition to bug fixes and features in the editor, patches will also include new artwork, other tools we've developed, and ultimately the alpha and betas for Natural Selection 2.
For the installer, some editor screenshots and some simple video tutorials, go here.
You'll need your NS2 pre-order game key to use the editor. If you haven't pre-ordered it and would like to, you can still do so here.
We also want to say thank you to everyone who pre-ordered. When we released the first screenshots a month ago, Charlie did an interview with Gamasutra explaining how the pre-orders have helped us. To summarize, they've made a huge difference for our company and you really do have our eternal gratitude.