It’s been a while since I wrote a blog so I thought this would be a good time to do so. Many of you are longtime supporters of this game. Some since the day you first heard a new Insurgency was in the works and others of you since before we decided to make the new Insurgency, your desire to see a fresh new iteration of it serving as inspiration for us to start the project in the first place. Having been the project lead on the Insurgency project for a very long time (started in 2005 or so when we were just a mod) it’s safe to say that it has been a very challenging and also rewarding process getting to where we are now.
I know some of you are reading this thinking “well, you still have a long way to go” and while we certainly recognize this, let me explain why I feel the way I do. This project has been a very personal one for me, as it’s absorbed a great deal of my time and interest for six years or so. There have been lots of ups and downs, and even a few moments where the future for Insurgency looked very bleak.
It’s tough being an independent developer with not a whole lot of funding trying to make a project that comes off as professionally built. There is also a common misconception where people feel as though we used the mod as a base and simply built off of it, and that we should have progressed a lot further a lot faster. The reality of this is that in order for this project to be legally possible we had to strip out a lot of content we didn’t have permission for, and in order to make this game compete on the market amongst all the next-gen stuff coming out we had to upgrade engines and exclude content that did not meet our new art standards. We ended up basically starting over, but with the Insurgency Beta 1 code at our disposal.
Unlike many games out there, it’s the community that brought this game to life. Many developers approach community development with a hands-off approach. I've heard many developers, occasionally highly prestigious in the industry, make comments to the extent of “the average player is dumb.” In my opinion this philosophy is developed as a coping mechanism to being unable to deal with the constant harsh feedback encountered on a day to day basis. It’s not that we don’t get this feedback, or that we take all feedback extremely seriously, but we have adapted a way of accepting feedback on a case by case basis and considering whether each bit of feedback has value or not. Those who express opinions with logic and conciseness are heard over those who get emotional or make no clear point.
I’m not saying we’re the only developers that listen to their community in this matter – far from it – I’m just pointing it out so you understand a lot of the design redirection the game has underwent. It seems like everyone wants something different. Some people want new maps and game modes, some people want us to refine the existing ones. Some people want more realism features, some people want more persistent progression. Some people want more weapons and upgrades, others would prefer us re-rethink the way our supply and gear systems work.
What do we want? We want it all, and more. To us it’s more of a matter of prioritizing, and eventually getting there, whether it’s by Beta, official release, or DLC. We hope that the update we’ve put out today serves as a demonstration to you all that we are listening.
Some feel this game needs to be perfect before we release it, without recognizing our financial constraints. These are the trials and tribulations of a startup independent game developer, not to mention it’s our first game. Occasionally we will do things simply because we have to, not necessarily because we want to, and we will have to make the most of it.
So this brings me to our upcoming Beta. We don’t have an official date, but will provide it to you guys when we get a little closer. We are however, nearing it, and are about to go “black” on official updates as we integrate the following:
- New theater system that will allow theater-specific weapons, characters, classes, squad structures, etc.
- New squad system utilizing fire-teams for Security and cells for Insurgents, including leadership roles within these squads and voice communication options for better team coordination.
- 4 new weapons (including Light Machine Guns).
- Improved coop – updated bots, new Checkpoint features, bot chatter, support for each map.
- Tactical overhead maps.
- Revised class preset and supply system – class presets allocate your starting supply accordingly, however these supply tokens are fully refundable allowing players to reconfigure their outfit and earn more supply as the game goes on. Players will all have a max supply, which in the future will grow as you gain more persistent experience.
- New user interfaces for team selection, squad selection, equipment selection, end game, etc.
- Significant improvements to many of the existing levels.
- Game modes and levels as consistent and cohesive as possible, demonstrating only the best gameplay experiences for each map, with game modes as evenly distributed as possible.
Here is a little sneak peak of our progress on the light machine guns:
Over the next few weeks as we get closer to Beta, we will be testing some of these new features on our internal Beta branch. We welcome any of you who are interested in helping us shape the game for this big milestone to join us on our NWI Beta Branch Testbed server for some internal testing. We will post testing times on our official game group so you guys know when the events take place. Feel free to suggest some times in this thread.
After having practically started from scratch 2 years ago, undergoing a failed Kickstarter campaign that greatly challenged our resolve, and having since rebounded and brought the game to where we are now, I really think there is a lot to be grateful for. Personally I am thankful to my great team, and to all of you guys for making this game what it is.
We are extremely excited to enter the Beta phase. We feel like it will offer a more cohesive Insurgency experience than ever before, and will demonstrate to you that we in fact do have a clear direction where we want to take this game and that it is not very far off from what you all want to see. Although Beta represents a significant milestone for us, let’s not forget that we will have a ways to go and will continue to improve and add to the game as we get closer to release, and thereafter. We are in this for the long haul.