INS Legacy

Why custom content matters

Posted in insurgency by Argyll on November 8, 2008

It would be unfair to criticize the developers of Insurgency without offering better solutions to the problems that they create.

Custom content for a mod has a much more positive influence than negative, but its influence will shift depending on how developers view it and treat it.  Right now, the developers of Insurgency view custom content in a negative light.

Without the ability to customize games, mods would not exist, and therefore, Insurgency would not exist.  Game developers realize and promote the potential of mods, and mod developers should do the same with their own creation.  This was the mentality that Insurgency was founded upon and I hoped that it would see far more support for its custom content community than it has received.  During my time as ‘Project Director’ (spanning from 2002 – 2007) of Insurgency, I outlined plans for a network of websites that would promote customization of the mod, have a clan database, and an official tactical gameplay league.  Unfortunately, none of these plans were picked up by the developers and there is no official support for any of the above.

Custom content is essential for the long-term survival of a mod, especially in Insurgency’s case.

The active development team of today’s Insurgency is composed of a fraction of what it once was.  Currently, the developers have stated that they would rather divert most of their time and talent towards rebuilding the mod from scratch on the Orange Box engine.  The Source version of the mod, that players are populating the servers of today, took over five years of development to reach where it is.

With so few active developers, the best place to find and recruit developers from is their own custom content community.  With full support of custom content, the mod will likely attract more developers with a higher level of talent.  Therefore, offering the perfect pool of resources to further develop the mod.

The development of custom content does not solely benefit the development of the mod.  It also benefits the community, which benefits the mod in the longer-term.

Mods should be developed for their community, not for their development team.  It is the community who will continue to play the mod and keep it alive.

If the community wants custom content, then by all means, let them have it.  As a developer, you can’t let a few perceived exploitative players ruin the experience for the majority.  There are far more complaints about not having custom content than there are about people exploiting custom content.


One Response

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  1. [DBD] Thomson85 said, on November 10, 2008 at 14:36

    I would like to see maybe simularities to what I see on Call of Duty 4. Where if you can have custom content/mods running server side, so if someone joins my server, they automatically start downloading the custom content (or are prompted to do so in order to join).

    But on COD4 if you go on any regular server, you are using the default settings, and if you join the servers with custom content/mods, you will be running the custom content/mods. I would like to see this encorperated into INS. I’m not sure if this is even possible, but I see plenty of servers that when you join you have to download sound files because of admin music/voices/etc.

    Just a thought in my mind! This would ensure that all who joined a custom content server like [DBD]’s would be using the same custom content, ensuring a “fair” playing field.

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