Insurgency Documentary – Sandstorm & The Future | Gameumentary

Insurgency Documentary – Sandstorm & The Future | Gameumentary

Content was dwindling with Insurgency this was two to three years after Insurgency had released and we already released a tremendous amount of content for free but at this point in time sales kind of were winding down and we started to see that there was not an unlimited runway you know with this previous game that we had released and at some point we’re going to need to bring in more money to keep the company going and keep our projects going and so we started to brainstorm what could we do about that and one of the things that we actually discussed at that time which was feedback that we actually received from a lot of people which is that Insurgency would be great on console we actually agree with that we felt that there was a space in the console market for Insurgency’s type of gameplay so what we decided to do was to work on a port of Insurgency to console, not with Source engine because that was just not possible, but with Unreal Engine we would be recreating the maps that already existed in the source version of Insurgency in unreal as sort of a quick way to get a playable you know re-creation of Insurgency and then maybe it would also end up on PC as like a free update if it was like you know good enough to satisfy that I can’t remember the exact time we went through like a couple phases at first we were like hey we should make Insurgency for a consoles oh won’t people from the original Insurgency want to play that like would it be free, like could we really afford that? oh maybe we should make more content for it and we would like think about vehicles, and we had these already bigger environments that we were making and it was just so hard to not go bigger scope creep is a thing, man But we realized very quickly that trying to port all the content from the Source Engine game was about as much work as just working on something new and out of those two options, it’s just better to work on something new And eventually we settled on basically like well we don’t really feel like we totally finished with Insurgency and this new engine is so powerful so yes, let’s let’s put it on consoles, but yes, let’s make it its own game Let’s not just make it a remake or a console release let’s do all the stuff that we couldn’t do before and implement all the lessons learned And reach a whole new audience both with PC and with consoles we already like ported a bunch of assets into unreal and already recreated like the sort of setting from Insurgency in unreal and you know, we realized that doing a proper sequel and keeping the scope you know appropriate to what Insurgency fans expect that fell to us like something that was not just manageable but made a lot of sense because it was also more iterative and it allowed us to evolve the whole experience even further and we started putting a lot of our time and attention into your what is Sandstorm going to be okay, what is Sandstorm? Is it an Insurgency remake? Is it Insurgency 2.0? What is it? the theme of our game was one that was a modern contemporary insurgency it wasn’t like former games for it was just an Insurgency in 2006 or whatever and so in order to do that, in order to properly represent that kind of conflict we had to make sure that we did our research and we properly represented the setting we got to see a lot of interesting stuff like some interesting GoPro footage that you can imagine and photos of stuff, of people who actually fought their recently, very recently so we reached out and we talked to a lot of people that fought in those areas in Syria and in Iraq and talked to them about like, oh what were your experiences like over there what kind of people did you meet, how did people dress as far as uniforms go and what weapons were used, and all that kind of thing And it was really interesting because it was more flexible than we thought Like ‘cause when we were doing our customization system, we thought would it look weird if everybody is dressed in like different camouflages and using different weapons and all this kind of thing and there’s all these different characters and voices from different places fighting together and the answer is really no, like the way that those conflicts are, the way that these wars are going is there’s a lot of diversity to as far as weapons and characters and the people participating and everybody’s just kind of thrown into the mix, and it was cool because we wanted to make a realistic game, but we also wanted to flesh things out as far as customization goes And we had an opportunity to do that, and that was very interesting for us and helped bridge the gap from what was different from Insurgency stand alone and Insurgency Sandstorm in a way that made sense as far as design and setting goes we still wanted to maintain the feel of the first game, a lot of the gun play just the feeling of Insurgency is something we really tried really hard to bring over to the new game especially with a new engine, you know, source engine has a very particular feel, so how do you mimic that? there was a lot of time where we would just go back to Insurgency Source play a round, make a video, and then compare it with Sandstorm, like how it felt, and then that’s the thing, like, it’s sometimes difficult to show how it feels but there were some things like the grenade throwing and the way that it arches, or the lean, how far does it lean like the free aim, like, how much is the deadzone around the thing, like the recoil patterns, where the bullet hits, how long it takes the bullets to hit Originally the recoil system for Insurgen cy was very basic, it was similar to the recoil system in Day of Infamy where it would kick the aim up a little bit and that was about it We overhauled the recoil system so that it would have more of a punchy feel to it and it would make the weapons feel a bit more weighted we’re obviously trying to evolve our feel of our weapons as much as possible so for example in Sandstorm, we implemented this hybrid ballistic system where we have this brief window where a bullet is pre-simulated so as soon as you pull the trigger, it simulates the bullet’s travel for a tenth of a second in some games which use physical bullets, sometimes hitting a target can feel delayed but we didn’t want it to feel delayed from the player’s perspective, It doesn’t really matter the distance at which you’re firing, it’s more for feel, so it’s more snappy if you hit someone where the time of the shot wouldn’t matter at all, it’s just immediate and it just feels better but after you pass that range, then it actually physically simulates the round but the bullet drop is still simulated in that little hitscan range so it doesn’t change anything, it’s still physically accurate if I fire now, you can sort of see the bullets if you look up close, like, you can actually see the bullet travel in real time at a distance the little pink square represents where the game switches from hitscan to actually simulating, physically simulating the bullet so the pink square is about the range that the bullet is instant first we wanted to make the first person mechanics feel, like, solid and crisp just like the original, what appealed to me as a gamer as for the game modes, we knew with stats from the first game which ones were the most popular we knew we needed Checkpoint, that was a given, that’s why I joined the team, was for co-op we knew we wanted Push because it was the most popular versus mode and we knew we wanted Firefight, which was our more competetive and our more special game mode based around, you know, capturing objectives, responding to your team, etc. and you only have one life And then there was other aspects where we wanted to just grow and explore things that we couldn’t do before a big thing that we always wanted to do for the first Insurgency was like a convoy mode with vehicles So vehicles was a thing that we really wanted to try but at the time it just technically was not going to be able to be done we knew we wanted to try vehicles, but we also didn’t really want to have them counter the already existing gameplay We knew that it would not work for firefight, we knew they might not work for co-op because there’s 8 players and only 1 vehicle we knew that it might work for push pretty well, but we also didn’t want to give either team the advantage so for Push we left the vehicles at the first spawn like, the attackers get a vehicle at the first spawn and they go over to the vehicle and use the mounted gun, and that’s really cool and then they don’t have it anymore, unless they take care of it like they can actually have a vehicle, and if they protect it, take it through the entire match but usually it gets blown up I think it works, I think it’s complimentary I like the idea of having a mounted turret that’s like- that just tears through walls, man it just goes through all the walls thanks to our advanced ballistics and bullet penetration and you see the tracers in the walls and going in, everybody hits the ground, and your friend gets shot, and all those kind of moments, uh, it’s good I think that was why I wanted, like, vehicles with mounted weapons was to like re-enact the Rambo scene from Rambo- you know, the John Rambo movie where he just gets on the dushka and fucking mows down everybody we actually have an achievement in the game called J.R. .50, which is a direct homage to that J.R. stands for John Rambo, and the .50 is the .50 cal and the achievement is about getting in the back of a truck, using its own mounted gun to kill the driver just like he does in that movie, just- just kill the driver, because it’s actually doable with the angle of the gun Creating a level in Insurgency Sandstorm, one of the first things we do is get inspiration, so we go on the internet, and we talk with eachother, like, you know, even Google Street View sometimes you can find a really cool street, like, oh yeah, I want to make a level of that we kind of collect, like, photos, and like, even books, movies, everything you can find, like, to get the resources to get started next step is to do a paper layout so we start to draw, like, simple ideas, and make sketches of what you have in mind, it doesn’t have to be, like, finished, or maybe it even changes at some point later in development now after that step, you’re gonna start with the greyboxing which is like a very simple, basic level with only, like, grey boxes, that’s why it’s called greyboxing and one of the things I always do, is I start with the center of the map because the center of the map is eventually the most important area of the map, because all the players are there coming together, and you know, having big firefights so I’m always trying to work on that first, and then work my way out to one of the spawns and also that way you can, like, check the timings and then it’s a lot easier to add, like, additional objectives once that it’s done, we kind of start, like, testing it that’s really important, that’s so important to start testing your map as soon as possible when you’re testing, it’s important to ask, like, do you like playing this? what are your best moments, what are your bad moments? it’s important that you can filter what’s, like, relevent for your design and also what stays true to your vision like, if someone says to you, like, oh yeah, I want, like, an elephant in the map you’re like, yeah, but you know, that’s not what I’m trying to build here It’s impossible not to have something to fix, unfortunately, but that’s the nature of our work the characters that we make, they are- they’re usually made by parts and it works in a way that we don’t have the final result right away, it’s very iterative usually I find reference online, I discuss with my colleagues, what about this design, what about that one? I bring it to some software, I make some sketches, then I work in 3D, in ZBrush, in 3ds Max after that, I make the textures, send it to the animator, I get it sent back, gotta fix some things The challenge of making high-quality assets with a small team, basically is you have to prioritize your work, like you have to find ways to do more with less so animations that are very similar but just have small differences, you can reuse them, so for every, you know, minute of animation data you have, you get a lot more out of it for all of our, like, poses, they’re all, like, from military reference so when you see the characters standing in certain poses, it’s all referenced from what somebody in a modern military situation would do when you see the characters using their weapons and stuff they’re not using them in a- I guess a sloppy way so it all helps to tie together what you’re seeing as all, like, part of the experience so it doesn’t feel out of place there’s a lot of games that you play, first-person shooters, and they’re so frenetic, they’re so crazy and wild that you don’t really feel like anything matters you die and you’re like, okay well I’ll be back in a few seconds, so what does it matter? in our games when you die, you’re dead and you gotta wait until you come back there is loss and there’s risk to that when you want to go to upgrade your weapon, you have a finite amount of points to do that and everything that you do, there’s an opportunity cost just because you’re getting this one thing means you can’t get this other thing so when you create those kinds of decisions for the player to make whether it’s, like, in the loadout screen or when they’re actually, you know, playing and they’re hiding behind cover and they’re thinking do I move up there or there? do I throw a smoke grenade there or there? all that plays into our experience of making the players life be meaningful And their actions be meaningful to the success, to winning the match, winning the round My favorite moments in Insurgency is when you’re in a room, and you hear a round crack by your ear and then you duck, but somebody shoots through the walls because he knows you’re there but he doesn’t know if he got you, so he just keeps shooting and emptying his mag but then he has very limited ammunition, so he has to stop at some point, and then you crawl away and it’s like, okay I don’t know where he is, he knows I’m here. What do I do? like, there’s so many things, you can use smokes, you can wait for someone, you can look at the map you don’t have too much UI help, you just gotta like figure it out with what you have and yeah, it is absolutely really tense that sort of ideology of very minimalistic user feedback was there from the get go, it was there from the inception but everybody on the team loves that about it, and everybody I think on the team want to continue to do that I think moving forward when we keep making games, we’ll always have that mindset that less is more sometimes providing user feedback for what they’re doing can be important when it’s hard to understand, but killing someone is so binary in Sandstorm, if you see blood, chances are he’s dead, and if not, you don’t know When you strip away the stuff that makes people comfortable and you force them to adapt and survive it’s all the more satisfying to survive because they accomplished something, and that’s that’s a game because the hud’s minimal and like, oh is there a guy there I don’t know bang bang I think I got him, I’m not sure, I think I heard a scream maybe that means he’s dead and you go over and you find a body and you’re like phew okay I got it when you don’t know what’s going on and you discover what’s going on and then you act and then you succeed, then you get the reward and on top of that the sound has to be very realistic, it has to be even scary to the point where, like, aw crap, like, I might die like if this happens because we strip away so much stuff with the HUD people welcome to the audio, like, they don’t mind all the sounds coming out and they appreciate the pretty much every gunshot that you here in a level is somebody shooting a gun and it has its own sound signature, whether it’s the distance, or whether it’s secluded or obstructed by different materials or whether it’s a different kind of caliber, or up high, or down below, or indoors, or Outdoors all these factors come together so every sound you hear is information I’ve actuall never shot a weapon in my life before, which is something people might find a bit crazy like, all of my influence comes from other FPS games, especially, like, movies as well, I mean, obviously Heat, like, is a classic example of loaded sound design like, when it comes to, like, shootouts and weapon sounds like, I don’t have a unique process, really, like, especially for Sandstorm what we identified was that to push the audio forwards, we had to break down everything into components For Insurgency and Day of Infamy, like, each weapon uses about 3 different weapon sounds like, there’s a first person sound, there’s a third person sound, and there’s a distant sound and there’s one asset for each of those but for Insurgency Sandstorm, there’s close to 200 assets for a single weapon Being compared to DICE and that kind of side of things, it’s, it’s kind of hard to comprehend personally like, they’re one of the best audio teams in the world when it comes to FPS sound design, and, like, I have nothing but, like, a ton of respect for those guys there and they’ve really heavily influenced, like, the work that I do personally, like, every single Battlefield game that comes out is always some kind of, like, fresh innovation on the way that they’re treating, like, audio, especially for weapons as well, they’ve really pushed the kind of field in that aspect yeah, I don’t know how to really deal with being compared to it but, like, I’m really really happy that people feel like we’re up to that kind of standard like, it’s a huge thing to hear, and it makes me very happy I gotta give credit, like, most of that just came from Mark’s head I remember when he was still here in the other room, like, I’d be working on my headset, and he’d tap my shoulders, hey, come here and he’s just like, put the head phones on, put the head phones on and he just hit play and something awesome would happen, I’d be like, that’s awesome, he was like, yeah? It’s okay and he’s just be so humble, like, I dunno how I feel about it, and just like, do it again, like, I dunno actually New Year 2017, he came to my house for a New Year party, and Amsterdam was crazy New Years, there’s fireworks everywhere, and he brought his microphone, his boomstick and he was on the balcony recording firework audio, and it was New Years, so we wanted to be like, yay! but he was like, shhh shut the fuck up, just, I want my firework sound and to this day when I hear explosions in the distance in Sandstorm, I can hear the firework sound from my balcony that I know so well I think as I started introducing the audio for, like, various weapons, and we started playing with them in-game and sort of feeling them all together, I do remember one point where Minh Le, like, the creator of Counter-Strike, like, actually came to test with us one time, and he was, like, “oh the weapons sound really cool.” and I think maybe that was, like, the point where everybody felt, well maybe if he likes them, then they’re pretty good The sound is very realistic we have all our cracks from the bullets and when when stuff hits you and people scream and all of that, it’s pretty high fidelity there was one guy who is actually a big fan of ours, and he said he was playing recently he called in artillery or somebody called in artillery, and the shells that were landing on the ground They had this very distinct sound to them that he’s never heard in a game before I think he called it a “wet thwap,” just the way the shell impact with the ground itself and that was so intense he started tearing up just right then and there and we told me that I felt bad I felt like ah geez, like, we’re getting these other reports of combat vets, and of having their symptoms triggered and getting these emotional responses and when I told him that, he said no dude it’s good like, I like feeling that way, I like that release, and it just proves that the game is as immersive as it is that’s been really interesting for us to know that we’re hitting the audio and just the experience ‘cause it’s all wrapped together in such a way that it’s getting people those emotional responses even though those are negative Our game doesn’t give people PTSD, like that’s the joke and everybody jokes about that but what what are game does do sometimes is it triggers symptoms of PTSD in combat veterans or people who just had those traumatic experiences that’s very surprising to us and I guess kind of meaningful in a way There’s some people that say there’s some therapeutic value to that I haven’t done much research and I don’t know much about that, but if there is, then hey, this guy’s getting some kind of release out of it right if he’s tearing up playing we didn’t really run into too many specific technical issues with Sandstorm you know, obviously optimizing was was a struggle with unreal and doing the larger scale that we chose was definitely not helpful for that there was a lot of, I guess you can say, disappointment that we wouldn’t be able to pursue something as ambitious as we wanted to especially when it came to storytelling and narrative, so one of the ways that we kind of, I guess, offset that disappointment was to try to find a way to actually have story Incorporated in some way into Sandstorm we had some narrative ideas that were floating around I’ve been working on narrative and story mode with Underhell, the previous project that I worked on, so I’ve always been interested in narratives it was pre-production, and we were started on some production things, we already had some of the environments for the campaign the way we would work on the environments, is we’re essentially trying to scope out the story beats of where the campaign was going to take place, and we knew we wanted an oil field, we knew we wanted a citadel level, which actually didn’t make it into the game we knew we wanted, like, a town, we knew we wanted, like, a little farmhouse, which ended up in the game, so we had all these environments, that at the same time, we were making them for the multiplayer so we were trying to do both at the same time, we were like, okay, here’s all these locations that we intend to use in the story but at the same time they have to fit for the game modes that we want to make and it was actually challenging to make a multiplayer level that would also work for a narrative We wanted to do a lot with it, we wanted it to be Co-op we wanted to tell a very interesting story that was inspired by some of the stuff that’s going on in Iraq and Syria and in these different conflict zones and we wrote out we talked about a bunch of stuff we did want to tell a different kind of story, and we were excited we’re going to do a new perspective that’s not really covered that much in gaming and we thought that was very interesting too, and that kind of upset some people not just from a sex perspective, but also from a race perspective too because you know people don’t want to play the brown girl, as- I know that sounds, like, silly to put it like that but it’s true, like, some people really didn’t like that and of course that’s not what we didn’t do it or anything but unfortunately just kind of with the realities of game development, like, we bit off more than we could chew So 2017 comes around we’ve just shipped DOI in march and now we’re around April And we had enough of an idea for the Sandstorm story, and we were like, okay, we want to announce it we want to put something out so this idea of making a little bit of a story teaser comes about and by the time we get it sort of approved by Focus, our publisher, we’re now mid-April and E3 is like a month away and we have to give the trailer at, like, the beginning of June so, like, we had essentially one month to put together a teaser trailer on an engine we’ve never worked on before okay, let’s do it I put together this little teaser concept, that’s like, okay, here’s what we’re trying to do, and essentially what we were trying to do, is we’re trying to get familiar with the tools, get familiar with the narrative process, gauge community interest for the story, see, like, hey do people want this? and also try to find a process for the whole thing so I put that teaser document, I put a little shitty storyboard that had some screenshots of, like, angles and stuff Michael Tsarouhas, “Mikee,” pitched in for the script, he was like, he had a cool idea for a little exchange between characters that fit with the story that we had in mind and then very quickly we just had to put all the shots together, it was a skeleton crew of, I think, 8 people and that was my first E3 trailer. kind of put together in one month It’s not often you get a chance to bring back the dead But I guess we just gotta make sure we don’t die, though, right? our publisher was very much like what’s going on, like, where is everything and we had some pressure to put something out this is what our team, you know, felt like we could do, you know, for E3 and in hindsight, you know, that obviously was a mistake like we should have done something a bit more multiplayer focused there was already I think a little bit of, like, uncertainty around the story around that time but it wasn’t formally put off at that point It was well recieved, a lot of views on a lot of different channels you could see that they were more interested in the multiplayer aspect of the game some people did show interest for the story, but you could feel that they were afraid that if we put too much emphasis on the story, that we’d neglect the multiplayer We wanted to move on to new engine we wanted to establish ourselves in a physical studio, or multiple physical studios we wanted to create an all-out story mode that was going to feel like it was very compelling from a narrative perspective and wanted to do adversarial multiplayer and wanted to do cooperative multiplayer and we wanted to do competitive multiplayer- and you see where I’m going with this right? it was just too much shit none of us were professional writers all of us thought, you know, that we were really good at what we were doing I think that our story was like okay, it wasn’t maybe fantastic by working on the story a lot we were taking our focus away from the things that we felt our core audience was going to care the most about and we had to kind of be realistic at some point we had to day, look, like, this is a cool compelling thing, but what are our strengths and what are we passionate about and what do players want we realized like no, it’s just not the time for this, as excited as we were and also admittedly like it was a bit of a sensitive subject those conflicts aren’t over, right? that are going on in those areas, and we felt like, oh well it’s not necessarily about those areas like we’re just taking them as inspiration but like what kind of story we trying to tell? how much inspiration are we taking and who are these characters? is it going to feel relatable if we do that? there were just a lot of questions there but the main thing was just the production, it just wasn’t realistic We put out our community announcement, decided to delay the campaign we were gonna give people what they’ve been asking, focus on the multiplayer on PC, and deliver that, and then we’ll focus on consoles, and then maybe we’ll redo the story later, and yeah, when we released that, people were like, oh they canceled the story, it was like, no no, later, but all the titles, the headlines were like, “canceled” and I was like, okay we still have some ideas in the back of our minds for the story, so it’s not fully canceled I dunno. Who knows? It was kind of cool to release that trailer even though there was a bit of uncertainty around it but it also, you know, sort of reminded us in the end, like, you know, when it actually came out and we actually saw the feedback on it and stuff, like, you know, we are sort of like amateurs at this, you know, and maybe we’re in a little bit over our heads with this I remember the first time we showed Insurgency Sandstorm at E3 the queues for people playing the game were absolutely massive we had a really good spot at the front of the Focus home booth and I remember at one point, the venue security came around and had to break up the queue because it was going so long that it was blocking the fire lanes and fire exits we were completely shocked by the huge amount of pre-orders we got at E3 I beleive we came close to a quarter million copies of a game before the game was even out I don’t think we were that concerned You know, we were monitoring the marketplace, and we didn’t see any games that are really comparable to Sandstorm you have plenty of games out there that are really good some of which are modern setting and things like that but none have the specific scale in the specific balance between realism and gameplay we knew going into the release of this game that not only was there a place for our game in this crowded market, but Insurgency fans would also be very happy internally we set an aggressive deadline for, I think it was the summer 2018, for like, June 2018 we didn’t tell anyone, because we knew that we were probably not gonna hit it, but it kept us focused on a date and as it got closer, we actually weren’t too far off, so we set ourselves a deadline that we announced to the community, which was September 2018 we made it to that date, and we hit the closed beta and people I think realized that the game wasn’t ready and needed to be in the oven a little longer I mean we could have released it in Septmeber, but that would have been a bad move, I think, so I think it was a good move to move it back Frankly we had a bit of a tough beta period We put the game out and you can pre-order it, you could play in the beta for Sandstorm and we got a lot of honest good feedback about how the game was not running well and how there were other mechanics and imbalanced things that were just not playing very well people even saying like this doesn’t feel like Insurgency that was tough for us to hear, but that was legitimate feedback, and we acted on it we optimized the game, we improved performance, we balanced the game, we made the tweaks that we needed to do, we improved the UI to make things clearer and made a tutorial level and all these different things and then to release and see the ratings were as good as they were that was really meaningful and that was great to see all that positive response It was pretty well recieved, I think we got an 80% player reviews on Steam, 79 Metacritic score, we hit the top seller on Steam, number 1, after a few hours and we’ve been there, like, consistently for about a full week and then in the weeks after that, we’ve been in the top 20, and we’re still there in January 2019 I think it went pretty well, we made a good game, that’s what it looks like Sandstorm’s launch has been incredible I think we had like four times the amount of success that we had from Insurgency’s launch from a financial standpoint we made way more money from a player count standpoint, I think we peaked at 8000 players concurrent at launch and Insurgency launch peaked at 2500 I think the biggest mistake about the launch of Sandstorm maybe was the timing, or at least that I think hurt us the most because the holidays were right after that and the team had been working extremely hard up until the release and it became really difficult for us to quickly, like, patch out a lot of the issues we did a patch like 2 weeks after the release where we fixed, like, the majority of the major issues but there was still a lot of like medium and smaller issues that that remained and then our team is on vacation and some people were still on vacation like when we got back and they had requested that time, you know, a long time in advance we were kind of short-handed on the production side in January and the result of that was sort of a less-than-ideal post release patching even though yes we let the game kind of be released and you know, be in a slightly buggy place for a bit longer than maybe we should have we know that we’re going to fix those issues, we know we’re going to optimize the game more we know we’re going to add a lot of great new content and weapons and we know that the game is going to go on sale a lot this year and a lot of people who otherwise wouldn’t have tried it are going to give it a try so I think we have like the the formula there to, you know, to keep people coming back and to, you know, to build the game up a lot from here When you’re making a game, especially a first person shooter with a very large scope you have to be thinking 2, 3, even 5 years in advance the game you start concepting and creating now won’t be playable by fans until several years later, so it’s not just about following the trend and making a game that is popular because that’s what everyone’s doing now you need to really think several steps ahead, and make sure you’re continuing to innovate and push the genre and do something unique and different that people have never experienced before because that’s the best way to sell games every project we’ve had as a team before me, like Insurgency modern infantry combat the mod which released 2007 then Insurgency standalone, 2014 Day of Infamy the World War II shooter in 2016 We’ve only been growing so I think my proudest accomplishment and our proudest accomplishment is probably Sandstorm because we really- we really did a lot with that game whenever we put out an update and you see people they just- they love the game and they want to just keep playing and they like that we just threw a couple new things in there and, you know, why we do what we do? we want to put the fun into other people’s lives We’re not doctors, right? We’re not first responders we’re not saving lives, but we’re putting fun into other people’s lives and and I think that’s something to be proud of, so anytime when a community member said to me, hey this is really awesome or said to us or left a good comment I think that really shows you that you’re doing something nice and doing something right you know I think about that time before Early Access Insurgency where we were about to run out of money, the company was about to go out of business you know, there wasn’t a very clear sense that we were going to be successful you know, at that time, those of us that remained on the team, like, we persevered through that and we put everything that we had into that game and overcoming the challenges that were thrown at us overcoming that and eventually releasing Insurgency to the success that it had for where we had come from was your truly meaningful to us and then Sandstorm was kind of similar in the sense that we had different problems, different sized team, different ambitions like this game was double the price of what Insurgency was, so the expectations were double as a result we didn’t execute Sandstorm in sort of a perfect way, I guess you could say it was a little bit rough in how we underwent development for Sandstorm we certainly did have to crunch a bit towards the end and I think that Sandstorm in those last few months leading up to the release was extremely challenging for our team and I think that some people in our team, like, you know, may have almost lost their minds you know, like, in that sort of stage of the development You know, the fact that we were able to overcome that in the end and get this game out the door and that we got the front page take over on Steam and that we got so much initial positive feedback and sales success that to me was also very awe inspiring the feeling is hard to describe it’s very- it’s very inspiring and very very rewarding even when it’s not pretty I remember through all of this struggling with how what we did and in particular have Jeremy wanted to do things defied business rules there are business rules they may not be written down in a book, but there are certain ways you do certain things And the funny thing is, I had this weird epiphany one day that you know it was four or five years in and we’d arrived whatever arrived means, we’d sold a bunch of games, we had money, we had a great company, people were calling us, and I said we did that despite breaking the rules like basic traditional things like this is how you pay people, this is how you make deals this is what has to be in contracts, you know, things like- all the things I’ve done for many many years And I decided I’m going to write a book called “The Making of a 50-Something Millennial: How Breaking All the Rules Actually Works” I haven’t written it, but I do think back on what the feeling was to recognize that and for my own personal growth and development I would say it was a reinforcement that being righteous is wrong And you know, I got to thank Jeremy to a big extent because you know he has given me some insight into, yeah you know, there are some different ways you can do things I think the hardest thing for a traditional business guy/finance guy to deal with in our industry is that you can say when you’re going to have it done doesn’t matter you can forecast when you’re going to launch doesn’t matter you can say how many people are going to buy it doesn’t matter, it’s all guesswork because when we say we’re going to launch even an update in three months you don’t know that something you’re going to do is going to break your ability update now everybody’s trying to fix what you broke and that requires something that most business people can’t stomach and that is dealing with the unknown Launching games is luck it’s a crescendo of activities that people don’t really comprehend it’s an art, it’s a science, and it’s a miracle so the future for New World it’s looking optimistic, it’s looking pretty good we’re opening an office in Calgary in Canada we’re trying to centralize more of our team on site, that’s been a struggle for us just because of the nature of our team being from all over the world yeah we’re going to have a lot of people on site in Calgary I don’t know what the number is going to be it really depends on how our appetite continues, and I think it will grow we’re not going to build a campaign with 400 people, damn I wanna build a campaign but I will not be surprised if we get to 50 or 60 on site people in Calgary Denver will win the game, that’s the plan, and Amsterdam will will slowly be migrated away from I’m excited that we are growing, that Sandstorm has done well and that there’s so many new people in our audience that are going to want to play Not just Insurgency Sandstorm, but that like our experience and want to check out our future games too Yeah, I’m just very happy with the way the game has gone and The future- there’s a lot of opportunities I guess, you know, because we’ve established ourselves and there’s a lot of room to grow Now we’re experienced with Unreal engine, now we got our FPS platform that’s pretty solid we got our processes ironed out, we got a little bit of a structure that’s manageable because we’re managing it and we’re in a so much better place now than we were just last year or 2 years ago whatever we do moving forward, we’ll spend more time doing that tinkering It’s kind of this thing where you’re building the bridge as you’re on the bridge, kind of, and yeah, now we finally have time to pause, plan, and think ahead I mean we’ll always tinker a little bit, because we’re modders, that’s what we do, but we’ll spend more time doing than tinkering Essentially what our focus is for 2019, we’re working on making Sandstorm even better as you know from our history was Insurgency, like, that the release is not the end for us with Sandstorm we’re going to be, you know, adding new maps, adding mod support, adding more weapons, fixing issues, improving quality of life, adding retention features and then on top of that we have the console version of Sandstorm which we’re also working on we’re also hoping to get a sort of a patch out for Day of Infamy to leave the game in a slightly better place because we’re not thrilled with the state that it’s currently in We left, you know, some bugs in there that are problematic and the only reason why we haven’t been able to get to it is just because you know, Sandstorm has just completely absorbed all of our time and energy we are going to make a new shooter, like, we know that this is an area that we excel For our next shooter, though, we’re actually in the process now of having our team pitch ideas and actually vote on ideas as well, so we’re going to try a bit of a different approach than we have in the past so I can’t say specifically how we’re going to innovate or what we’re going to do that’s exciting on the shooter front, but what I can say is that we are going to continue to excel in the areas that players expect from us and we are going to be doing something that our team is very excited about and that we feel that the community will also be very excited about and I’m sure they’ll be more information that we share in the future looking back at like how I ended up here to begin with I think it all begins back in childhood with what I would refer to as an obsession with games and then when I discovered modding and, you know, tools to modify video games, like, it was almost like this epiphany that I had when I was young back then, it was kind of about this sort of unknown of like what can games become, and also the fact that as modders we could actually be pioneers in forging that path as well the experience that I had with modding sort of enabled me in my own mind to to pursue creating a game company more seriously so if I didn’t have that modding experience there’s no way I would have had the confidence to start a game company at that point in my life So modding led me to the creation of New World and the creation of New World led to the commercialization of Insurgency the opening of our office in Amsterdam, meeting my wife It led to where I am today, sitting here

100 thoughts on “Insurgency Documentary – Sandstorm & The Future | Gameumentary

  1. Is there still any plans to bring this to consoles? Wreckfest was talking about doing that with their game, and they took forever to do it, but they still best out these devs…


  2. The single player was interesting but it's easy to see how it can be too much. Long time mod player, backer of the failed original kickstarter, was an easy choice to pick up Sandstorm. Rough times but it's been a blast, and I love the modding and player friendly mentality of NWI. Thanks for the awesome doc Escapist.

  3. I originally bought the game in hopes for a single player campaign. Still love the multiplayer but would be great to see a campaign one day

  4. I feel the single player would be very important for this game. We also need progression— something to take with us between matches.

  5. Thanks for tuning into our Insurgency documentary series everyone. We hope you enjoyed it! We're out in Vancouver this week filming our next documentary as I type this! Check the community tab later today for the announcement of what our next project is about.

    – Nick Calandra
    Editor in Chief

  6. Thanks for releasing Insurgency: Sandstorm in 2018!
    We're playing it for days and months!
    Keep working, Focus Home Interactive and New World Interactive!

  7. Last night I was holding (I believe) D on precinct security checkpoint – killed 8 bad guys in one staircase and I stood and stared at the PILE of bodies just tumbling slowly down the steps – that's something that sandstorm low key does really well (ragdolls)

  8. You can be proud of you and your team, your minds, your targets with your Baby insurgency hold it and make it good, i love your game. Its still in my minds for ever. Thx for the funny time with it.

  9. 39:12 Looks like one of the developers are a Kingdom Hearts fan.

    I really do hope that they do go back to the story. I was genuinely interested in the premise and where they could have taken it; an anti-war/anti power fantasy narrative sort of like some of the older Call of Duty campaigns but more grounded and nuanced.

  10. "We were starting to run out of money."

    Yeah that's obvious when almost a year after release there's still THIS many bugs. Should've stayed in Early Access.

  11. The future is super exciting for New World, with Sandstorm becoming such a success, a dedicated and motivated team with their perfect skills, they have capabilities to make it all better. Though i’m hoping Exiles would make a return, maybe as a free DLC for Sandstorm or just a stand alone game!

    Thank you Escapists for this amazing documentary, and thank you New World and the supporting companies for making Insurgency possible!

  12. I actually really like Sandstorm though im not sble to play it cause my laptop isnt strong enough but when i get better hardware im definitely getting it

  13. LOVE SANDSTORM!!! my most played game on steam til this day lol. Been playing since early access never had the frames drop under 130fps so I dont get why everyone was saying it ran like crap when my experience was damn near perfect 100%. Keep it up NWI P.S. release EXILES as sandstorm DLC!!!!! PLZZZZZZZZZZ lol

  14. Sandstorm has good press and good opinions. I think, ignorant as I am, it's good time to finish off Day of Infamy. And after that get back to the Sandstorm.

  15. The game is about kurds this is why no one wanted to play as a female fighter + Add original kurds army badges like YPG – YPJ – Peshmerga

  16. I'm happy that's gaming industry have still decent people, and not following loot boxes trends… Thanks p.s. sound in the game is amazing

  17. I will buy this game if and when they add a campaign. I can't be bothered to try a game if the devs can't be bothered to add a campaign.

  18. Great little documentary. Insurgency is an excellent game that I hope continues to be popular. Cool to see what a small, passionate team was able to create!

  19. I've been a fan since the last Insurgency. This is my most played game this year. The sound and shooting mechanics feel spot on. I would say that it sounds better than battlefield.

  20. I remember back in 2018 I had to make a choice between insurgency sandstorm and world war 3, in the end I decided to pick this up. Thank you devs for bringing me such an amazing game:))

  21. I play this game every day, even played during the beta (it was rough) and I can say that y’all are doing a excellent job in patching up the game. From last year October to this upcoming October is a night a day difference. This is coming from someone who has 700hrs + in sandstorm and played since beta. Keep it up! Only thing I can say is sandstorm needs more maps to keep the game alive.

  22. have they said anything about performance optimizations? is this the best the game will ever run? i've heard it's not too good

  23. All they had to do was clone Insurgency in UE4 so it looked better but they even failed at that. Daily peaks around 2000 worldwide is a failure. Some days more people are playing the previous game.

  24. NWI should add Kurdish voices to security forces! Especially the women, they're supposed to be kurdish not arabic.

    Love the game btw I have more than 500 hours in, keep up the good work!

  25. This series has been fantastic, guys, truly professional quality. I probably wouldn't have watched if it hadn't been about Insurgency and NWI, but if this is the standard of the stuff you're going to be putting out, I'll definitely be looking forward to more, regardless of who it's about.

    P.S. Special shout-out for the music and the opening credits, they're really well done.

  26. This was just awesome to watch. I've been playing the Series from the very first Beta of the Mod on but I didn't really have an Idea about what went on behind it all. Nobody I know remembers the Original Mod these days but I have so many great Memories of it. It just had such a special dynamic to it, especially in Push. The movement, how you progressed throughout the map, how every action felt like it had weight, meaning and consequences behind it. I hope that some day they will remake a bunch of the original maps for Sandstorm but I doubt it. I spent so many hours of my life on Almaden, Ramadi and Baghdad.

  27. They talk about how hard they tried to make sandstorm like the original yet they feel nothing alike. All the things they mentioned are nothing like they were in the original insurgency.

  28. This is an amazing game! but the bullet system is a bit unpredictable. Many times, i've fired my gun at someone and it was like shooting blanks. The bullets would pass through people and not kill them. Pls fix. Other than that, an excellent game! 😀

  29. Me and 13 other guyz from my platoon were the victims of a near ambush in Afghanistan, the PKM fire of this game sends chills down my spine the concussion as your characters vision precieves from the Appachee's auto cannon in danger close is all to real. To be able to relive that feeling and sound of rounds cracking by your ear is horrifyingly therapeutic.

  30. In a world filled with bullcrap battle royale and arcade cock of doody, comes insurgency. Definitely a fresh air, I just hope they further optimize it further for PC.

  31. This is the great story of the great people. Thanks for all of you r work, autor of a video, game devs.. you are ROCK !
    Really appreciate you and your awesome work !

  32. a sad sad sad failure. it fully released but essentially it was just a masked early access game. i dont care what card you have, this game runs like trash

  33. Some of the assets from the Nicaragua project look really nice, you should import them to sandstorm at some point, also mods when

  34. I'm glad NWI tends to be ambitious with their projects. It really keeps their games fresh and ahead of much of the competition. Even if they don't succeed in meeting all of their internal goals, they supersede external expectations in most areas as a result and really seem to learn from their mistakes. Their transparency with their community is commendable and their games are noteworthy entries in an ever-growing and over-crowded catalog of AAA games of often questionable quality and marketing tactics.

    I wish NWI all the best! They are world class developers, engineers, artists, and entrepreneurs. And kudos to Escapist for helping to shed some light on this studio. They deserve the exposure.

  35. Have they fixed the horrible performance across the board and bugs and crashes??? If not who cares about new content fix the game. Look at the steam reviews it runs like shit.

  36. I hope NWI support this for years to come, such a fantastic game, yes it has a few issues, optimization and maps need more variety, but reading their latest post it seems they understand this and I’m extremely excited for the future of the game, it has the potential to be something even greater.

  37. plz promote the amazing community DOI maps like Carentan and Causeway!
    i will not rest until i see a server running PVP community maps!

  38. Because of this Documentary, it made me want to buy Insurgency Sandstorm soon. They earned my respect and I want to support them by playing the game. Soon… 🙂

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