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Natural Selection 2 dev announces Subnautica

An open-world underwater exploration and construction game.

Unknown Worlds, the developer of first-person shooter Natural Selection 2, has announced its next game: Subnautica.

It's described as an open world underwater exploration and construction game that combines role-playing and sandbox elements. An unusual mix, one that combines to form a genre "of which we do not believe has yet been invented", the developer said.

Currently a small team is working on prototyping gameplay. "Subnautica is not in 'alpha,' it is an idea that is just starting to be moulded into its first playable incarnations," the studio wrote in a blog post.

"We are not ready to announce it and try to 'build buzz' or 'attract attention' - but we are ready, and excited, to share our work with you."

The game aims to "elicit a feeling of experiencing the unknown: a sense that you are exploring an untouched world, not knowing how far, or how deep you can go". You construct submarines and develop equipment. "Decisions you make about vessel layout, capabilities and structure will affect your ability to navigate hazards and enter the domains of creatures; the likes of which your imagination has never conceived of."

There's no word on platforms or a release date yet, but the studio did address concern that development of Subnautica would affect ongoing work on Natural Selection 2.

"Sometimes siblings get along, sometimes they do not," the studio said in a separate blog post.

"NS2 is the bigger brother in the Unknown Worlds family, and it understandable that some might be concerned that the younger, newer game might steal love and attention from the older one. The last thing anyone wants is a nasty sibling rivalry that hurts NS2.

"What does Subnautica mean for NS2? Does it mean that NS2 will stop getting love and attention? Is Unknown Worlds abandoning NS2? Absolutely not! Subnautica will have no effect on NS2, and all planned NS2 work will continue untouched.

"Subnautica has been cooking away in secret for quite some time. During that time, multiple NS2 updates have been released. Nothing changed today in development terms at Unknown Worlds, we simply revealed our work on Subnautica."

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