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Natural Selection 2's Lua-based IDE released as open source, use it to make your own game

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The very cool tones of Blues News (opens in new tab) bring word that Natural Selection 2 (opens in new tab) developers Unknown Worlds have released their 'Decoder' IDE - their Integrated Development Environment, or Thing Wot They Used To Program The Game - for free, taking the exciting decision to make it open source as well. The team created Decoder in 2007 using the programming language Lua, and until now they've been licensing it out to other developers, using the money to fund the company. Now that NS2 is out, Unknown Worlds have decided to not only remove the licensing fee but to open its innards to the public, with the intention of making it "the best IDE out there!"

Here's a big chunk of text explaining why they done it, courtesy of the Unknown Worlds blog (opens in new tab) . "After the successful launch of Natural Selection 2, we have the opportunity to re-evaluate our business strategy. As a tool, Decoda is just as important for us as it was when we wrote the first line of code — our programmers use it every day in the continuing development of the game. In fact, it's so important to us that we want it to improve faster than ever. We intend to keep on developing Decoda, but we are most excited about what *you* can do to help make it the best IDE out there!"

Will you use it to make Natural Selection 3? Unknown Worlds would probably rather you didn't, but the program should provide a nice foundation for your game, if you know your way around Lua. First, however, you'll need to download Decoder, which can be done over here (opens in new tab) .

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.