Two years after I visited Valve at GDC, Jeremy returned to San Francisco with a prototype of INS 2.
Following my visit, I started a campaign against the leadership who brought stagnation to Insurgency. I can safely declare victory for our cause. However, it was the continual efforts of Jeremy and his team at New World who have set up shop in Denver that brought this victory. I simply acted as a catalyst to initiate the campaign so they could reclaim their rightful intellectual property. They deserve full credit for waging a successful strategy to pursue their passion for Insurgency and game development. Victory stems from their work.
This proves how the former leadership was an absolute failure. If they had a game and competence, as they claimed, it would have been continued to be developed and subsequently released by now.
The community and past developers have demonstrated their frustration. It incited a wake-up call amongst the current team.
However, we all face the same situation we were in before this uprising. What have we accomplished other than being vocal?
There remains a peaceful resolution – and that is where we must now concentrate our efforts. I extended an olive branch prior to the recent events, and seeking to resume these talks. This is occurring behind the scenes and behind the revolutionary rhetoric – a place where we are humans, rather than avatars.
A new dawn for Insurgency is cresting on the horizon.
The seeds of revolution were planted more than two years ago – incited by the leadership’s neglect, lack of passion, naive vision, or respect for the project and its community. Their actions finally caught up to them.
I have watered these seeds. What choice did I have? I am likely the biggest fan of this game, and will fight to ensure of its survival and growth. The movement has clearly grown.
The initiative by the community of Insurgency with their No Confidence group is a testament to the state of affairs. It doesn’t matter what I think or say, or what the current developers think or say. The community clearly stated that it’s time to harvest the revolutionary crop.
Jeremy arrived for the harvest. Spiel resigned. Endless is in charge. I heard a rumour that Jaboo has also resigned.
Spiel’s parting advice to the team:
The truth is that the current dev team should do something to prevent a catastrophe, which would be Argyll and Jeremy gaining ownership of this mod’s assets for their own purposes. Doing nothing will not fix it.
I would support the idea of closing down the website, the forums, the mod, taking it off Steam and keeping a backup exclusively for portfolio reasons managed by someone we all can trust.
And say goodbye 2.x. Forever.
Then, whoever is left and want to work on something completely different, like Beta 3 or rather INS 2 could create a new community and team from scratch (I suggest no public forums for a long time) and start working in peace. It’s impossible to work with the amount of noise that these forums and 2.X generate, and the ridicculous propaganda of Mr. Argyll, President of INS and his new sidekick.
This would allow people to benefit from the mod, as everyone that has contributed would have it on its CV and the assets would be backed up in case someone needs something for portfolio reasons. But this would also prevent anyone from profiting from the work of all the contributors.
If then someone wants to register the name, and go commercial with something totally new, well, I’ll enjoy the fireworks, and I won’t give a damn because I would know that they’re not making money with our work. Face it, if those two get their hands on this they would never pay or compensate or even credit anyone. They would simply milk the INS cow until exhaustion. I don’t think you guys should let them have their way.
Rather than create a situation where everyone benefits from (what I have been fighting for all along), he believes the best course of action is a situation where everyone loses. But what does he care? It’s not his responsibility anymore. He obviously doesn’t care about any damage done because he already reaped the benefits of his time with the mod.
One of his above points I actually agree with: “Doing nothing will not fix it.”
Finally, Spiel, you realize the premise of the entire revolution.
Jeremy and myself did not create this catastrophe. You did. That is our point. The fate of this project was in your hands. It is now in the hands of Endless. Therefore, the responsibility of success or failure comes to that individual.
I held that responsibility for years, and passed it to Jeremy. That is how we recognize the dire situation you have brought the project into. That is why we still feel partially responsible for its fate in the end. We do not want to see it slip away, when it can be great, once again, under the guidance of experience and talent that was responsible for leading down the path of success.
We are willing to accept, once again, the responsibility of the success or failure of this project. We are in a better position than we were in while developing the mod before, and that is why we are so passionate about this.
If Insurgency is going to go anywhere beyond its current form, these issues arise and must be dealt with, and closing down the communication channels is no method of doing so. That is how the regime incited the entire revolution, and continue to fuel it.
While the recent events unfolded, I was on a road trip driving across Canada with a photographer friend of mine who has been to Afghanistan three times. I am catching up to speed with everything, and will definitely have more to say as things unfold further.
Posted by Seth, former INS artist who now works for a AAA studio, on the forums:
Just an FYI, Jeremy has been banned from the forums. Thought you folks might be interested
Also FYI: Talks are initiating between the original developers and current developers. We have proof of our IP ownership (and yes, my name is on it too) that is the cornerstone of functionality for the game and is still being used and distributed over Steam without our permission.
Would you pay the developers? Would you pay for something that would improve development of the mod or community?
How could you improve Insurgency with $1500?
There was a time that the mod received this amount of money, for winning an award, and it obviously went into somebody’s undeserving pockets since it was not invested back into improving the mod or community.
Insurgency is about winning the little moments. That split second it takes to aim your weapon – essentially drawing weapons with one another in a duel – it is that moment you need to beat the most. It is the moment defining your survival. Do you risk shooting from the hip in an attempt to temporarily blind and hopefully giving you time to land the shot? Or do you aim by instinct to land the accurate shot, provided you are quicker on the draw and getting on target?
There are several factors that need to come into place in order to have success. Combat is complex. It is confusing. It is defined by the leadership, communication, and ultimately intelligence of the victorious force. Guerrillas are highly intelligent. There are battles and there are wars.
While I remain ‘Senior Advisor’ of the mod, those channels of communication were cut.
Here is my parting words of advice in regards to improving Insurgency. They must be public in order for them to find you.
1. Abandon Beta 3, it is a waste of time to just explore the technology while you could be working on improving the current Source version of the mod.
2. Release what you have so far in the patch, even if it’s only cosmetic. Give the community something – you make them suffer far too much for a released game that only needs improvement. I took it through the toughest times to get it started and off the ground running. I envy you can lead the development on the released product. Yet, you do nothing.
3. Understand your audience, but more importantly understand your topic. What separated us from everyone else was we seemed to know what we were talking about when it came to representation of contemporary war. You easily could market the mod that way, but do not have the vision in that area.
4. Recognize talent. It stares you in the face. More importantly, recognize the lack of talent. Jeremy was my Art Director. Who is yours? What is their contribution?
That’s all big picture stuff. Do you want me to go into more detail?
I know Insurgency inside and out. I have the benefit of seeing it from all perspectives: founder, designer, developer, producer, director, and fan.
I am now writing a series of articles outlining my final thoughts on Insurgency. It is time to move on. There is so much potential for INS, yet those who currently control decisions for the mod do not recognize its potential. I did everything in my power (see article below) to save the project and the vision from the clutches that now hold it.
Their loss. The next project’s gain.
My day job currently is a Graphic Designer – which I am self-taught as a result of making websites for Insurgency over the years (in fact the current design was originally designed by me, and still uses tables, ugh!).
I have also worked as a freelance photojournalist – taking photographs and shooting/editing/producing videos – for the largest newspapers in Canada (and the occasional international publication).
I even produced a 12-part series on Leadership, filming and editing interviews of 12 CEO’s and leaders in major Canadian organizations. This was for The Globe and Mail, and for the same department that just won an Emmy (no, I did not work on the project that won, but I know who did).
As Insurgency was released in July 2007, I was beginning a two-month trip to Europe in between my fast-track summer program (instead of doing a whole first year, since I taught myself news photography while at my university’s student newspaper) and second year of Photojournalism at college.
By the end of July 2007, I was sitting in an internet cafe in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. It was before Kosovo declared independence. I could walk out the door of that cafe and look to my right, and see the UN Headquarters. Swedish military vehicles patrolled the streets.
In the town of Kosovska Mitrovica, I crossed a bridge under watch of French snipers and patrols. Signs warned against any assembly of crowds. That bridge divided the Serbs from the Albanians in the town, and is a reflection of the division of the country. I still have 710 Serbian dinar in my wallet that I can’t get exchanged anywhere.
Oh, back to the cafe. I wrote a proposal while sitting in that cafe. I had always thought that Insurgency should expand beyond the over-exposed desert settings (but they keep things contemporary), and move to a European setting. Originally, it was going to depict the 1990’s conflict in the Balkans, notably Croatia and Bosnia. To get to Kosovo, I was in the city of Mostar to get on a bus to Sarajevo while en route.
I walked the streets of where we were going to depict the war in the game. I had a camera the whole time. Not only did I walk the streets. I met, interviewed, and photographed, Albin Kurti the leading activist for VETËVENDOSJE! (Albanian meaning: Self-Determination) at his apartment where he is under house arrest. I still get their newsletter sent to my e-mail.
The current plans for Insurgency ‘Beta 3’ remain as the depiction of Kosovo (which was voted by the team members in 2007 over depicting North Korea). Yet, the same people developing that idea still don’t recognize the value of my experience in Kosovo.
Nor do they value the experience or talent of Iraq war veteran and level designer of ins_Buhriz – Mike Majoris. In the depiction of the Iraq War setting for a game, what better resource to have but someone who has been there engaged in the very war you are depicting?
Another INS Alumni level designer now working for Crytek volunteered to help Insurgency… until he was driven from the team by the current ‘leadership’.
The original creators of Insurgency matured quicker than the mod itself, especially their talent.
Those whom are left over carry a legacy greater than the ‘Insurgency’ project itself. INS is only the beginning of a look at the representation of war in reality-based games.