INS Legacy

Well said…

Posted in anecdote, commentary, essentials, insurgency, review by Argyll on March 9, 2010

trinith, a long-time forum member has this to say that I think is one of the most fair assessment statements I have seen in a long time. I share his feelings:

I would have paid $50 for a completed insurgency 2-3 years ago. I’d pay $50 for a completed and updated insurgency now. I wouldn’t pay more than $10 for what we currently have. I’m afraid Insurgency has missed the boat.

Don’t get me wrong, what’s there is pretty damn good, but you can tell it’s half-finished and buggy. The game is dated and it shows. I realize there’s a difference between a professionally funded game and a mod people do in their spare time, but there’s also a difference between what we have in INS and pre-retail CS and DoD on the original half-life engine. As far as completeness and polish goes, INS is far, far behind.

I’ve been following this mod for quite a while and I liked it a lot, but after so many years you just start to lose interest. The mod has been in Beta 2 for a loooooong time, and there really hasn’t been a lot in the way of updates. There’s been new maps and some new models, but those really fit into any state of the game and were never really the “problem” with INS anyway. It’s the gameplay bugs really. Sure some have been fixed, but many more have been generated. The mod just feels… stagnant. The first talks of Beta 3.0 were what, a year ago? Beta 3.0 which promises a solution to all the mod’s problems… that’d be nice, if we ever saw it.

Also, before folks get up on their pedestals and talk about how the devs do this in their free time and I can’t complain because they do it for free (as they’re wont to do), I would have happily donated that $10 I mentioned above to the cause in hopes of a better game. It should be an indicator of how much potential this game has that it’s so popular in it’s current state. And you’re right, you don’t have to listen to me and you can slam me and treat me like garbage for expressing my opinion, but such conduct only serves to alienate people from the community and further push INS towards vaporware. Still, I hope that as a “customer” these thoughts don’t fall on deaf ears.

So would I pay $50 for INS 3.0? Absolutely not, but I would happily pay that for INS 1.0 Release. This mod is great, it just needs to be worked on and completed.

This post written from San Francisco, where I am attending the 10th Game Developers Conference.
I will say hello to Gabe for you all.

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2 Responses

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  1. byzantine90 said, on March 9, 2010 at 16:57

    i also have to agree with the topic name. it really was well said. i wish you the best at the gamers conference Argyll. not sure what the future will hold for you whether it be on a professional development team (if your not already there) or in a professional modding team where something like ins mod may surface and hold great things for the developers as well as the public that devotes themselves to it. without a doubt your time with ins mod was a learning curve which will propel you further into the industry. also i have enjoyed reading your posts, so i would like out of personal preference that you didn’t stop posting your thoughts.

  2. Argyll said, on March 9, 2010 at 21:48

    Thank you for your sentiments byzantine.

    I spent today in the Game Design Workshop. Over my shoulder for some of the time working in a good was Ubisoft Montreal’s Creative Director Clint Hocking (Far Cry 2, Splinter Cell), someone who I consider very much in line with my way of thinking. Read his thoughts on games here: http://www.clicknothing.com

    There was an interesting part of the workshop, a talk by Marc LeBlanc (System Shock, Thief) about Mechanics/Dynamics/Aesthetics framework to game design (see more: http://8kindsoffun.com/ ). We watched a video called the Marshmallow Test, where little kids sit in a room in front of a marshmallow and are told by a woman that if they don’t eat it and wait for her to come back they will receive another marshmallow.

    It is a lesson in anticipation and reward. Most kids waited, some picked at it or had a sniff at it, or almost put it in their mouth, but put it down and waited.

    There was nothing but a chair, table, plate and marshmallow in the room. If there were a bunch of toys in the room, maybe the anguish in waiting would not be so bad… they could be distracted by something else. If there were a more tasty treat was there, they might just eat the one marshmallow and eat the better treats.

    When I started Insurgency, it was a marshmallow in the room. The anticipation and temptation was great, and the reward satisfying once it was released. There were not many other games that could be comparable to what INS had to offer.

    Since the time that INS was conceived, BF2 was announced and released. Since the release of INS, COD Modern Warfare came out a few months later; BF:BC and ArmA are released less than a year later; Project Reality BF2 mod was released; more recently: Modern Warfare 2, OFP:DR; ArmA2; BF:BC2………

    Plenty of tasty treats to distract players and take away the appetite for INS that set a precedent for many tactical shooters since at least 2004. My vision for INS predates that, and the aforementioned games haven’t even reached where I think I can take Insurgency.

    So yes, the current devs have missed the boat. I warned them they were sinking over two years ago. I told them thinking about Beta 3 was a waste of valuable time. Then they go and shout from a pedestal at anyone who complains about a lack of updates – further alienating anyone who has tasted many marshmallows, preferred the taste of and want to consume INS, but will go and eat whatever is there because INS isn’t quite done yet.


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