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Community update & post-release content survey.

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Hi all, Jon Higgins here from New World Interactive.

We’ve seen a lot of discussions recently asking what our team has been working on and we’d like to take this opportunity to fill you in on some of the things that have been going on behind the scenes at NWI.

First of all, our development team has continued to focus on improving the PC version of Insurgency: Sandstorm and that remains our top priority right now. As previously announced, our programming team dedicated the entire month of March to bug fixes and optimisation to try and address some of the important feedback gained from your posts and reviews. While we have released 4 patches in the span of roughly 30 days, we acknowledge there is still room for improvement. Our team is currently working on some more significant longer-term changes. We are glad however to see reports of performance increases and general satisfaction improving overall for the community since the March push.

We’ve been working hard to increase frame rates and improve memory management. However, with thousands of different PC hardware and software configurations, it is really important that our team gathers as much information as possible. If you are having issues, please submit a support ticket with as many details as possible by following our community feedback guidelines.

While the bulk of our efforts have been focused on optimisation and bug fixes, our artists and designers have also been hard at work on new maps, weapons, game modes and character cosmetics.

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Our upcoming map: Compound - set in an abandoned construction site.

You can also see a teaser of one of the new weapons in our recent interview with NoFrag[nofrag.com]. Below, you can see them in full: the M82 and M99 anti-materiel rifles.

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We have also been working on a few new features, including an improved server browser which you can see below, XP gain for community servers with normal game rules, AI improvements, a custom map editor, matchmaking improvements, and a new Arcade mode. We’re also working on a new official game mode that is a “hardcore” version of Checkpoint. This mode introduces some unique mechanics and a different pace of gameplay geared towards our hardcore audience, and it’s been really fun already in playtesting. We’ll be revealing more information about all of these additions in the coming weeks.

https://youtu.be/XcCo5DSqyGo

As mentioned above, our management and community teams have been at several industry events recently. At the start of the month we were at the Game Developer Conferencee in San Francisco, learning about the latest industry trends and new technologies, along with meeting many of our partners such as Steam, Epic, Sony and Microsoft to discuss the road ahead.

We were also present at the Unreal Engine booth, recruiting potential UE4 developers for our new Calgary office[www.gamesindustry.biz], which will be opening in the summer. You may have read that our team was having a few visa issues, however, we are confident these will be resolved. We are looking forward to having more of our team members on-site as well as continued team growth, allowing for better communication, improved knowledge/skillsets, and ultimately better products for you our fans.

If you have at least 3 years of UE4 experience and are interested in working with us, please email your CV to http://mailto:Jobs@NewWorldInteractive.com

Earlier today our Project Lead Jeremy Faucomprez gave a talk at UnrealFest Europe regarding ‘Design, Production, Cosmetics and Ballistics for Insurgency: Sandstorm’, during the event he will be attending talks and workshops about the latest innovations and techniques in UE4 development to bring back to our team.

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Also this week Sandstorm’s Lead Game Designer Michael Tsarouhas (also known as Mikee) and I will be attending our publisher Focus Home Interactive's “What's Next?” event in Paris on Wednesday and Thursday. There we will be meeting with journalists, retail distributors, and industry partners to give an update on our plans for Insurgency: Sandstorm this year. Be sure to follow @InsurgencyGame and watch out for the #WhatsNext hashtag!

What happened to your developer live streams/forum interaction?

Our Community Manager Alex Blonski has taken some time off recently after the birth of his first child, and our community team has been tied up with some of the events mentioned above. Our social and community output has slowed a bit accordingly, and we’re sorry for the lack of updates. We know that it can be frustrating to not hear anything, and that you can feel as though your voices are not heard. Rest assured, they are. We plan to get back into the swing of regular communication shortly, and it is an area in which we plan to improve. Livestreams will likely become more event focused, hosted when we have new content to show or exciting things to talk about rather than being a weekly event. We are exploring more of a focus on written blog post style communication as well as more activity on our social media. However, we would love to hear your feedback about the best ways to communicate in the survey at the end of this post.

What about consoles?

One of the most common questions we get is about the console release of Insurgency: Sandstorm. Although PC is our primary focus at this time, we are still targeting a PS4 and Xbox One version for 2019. Right now we can’t give a specific time frame or release window. However, we will give updates later in the year as we get further into console development.

What about? Community server XP, modtools, night maps, Mac/Linux, [insert feature here] etc..

We have a lot planned for the life cycle of Insurgency: Sandstorm, and we hope to emulate the type of post-release support we provided for the original Insurgency. Insurgency was a living product that grew in content, features, and players for over three years after its 2014 release. With the Insurgency series, we have always had a philosophy where the launch is just the start of the content and feature development cycle. From there, we continue to build and expand over time through regular, free content updates. We are applying the same mindset to Sandstorm.

We have some great new content in the works, and lots more planned for the future. However, we would also like the community to help shape the future of Insurgency: Sandstorm. As previously announced, we will be taking a more community-focused approach to post-release development. We invite all players to take part in our upcoming Insurgency: Sandstorm post-release content survey to help guide our team in our development over the coming years.

You can find the link to the survey below:
Insurgency: Sandstorm Post-release Content Survey[www.surveymonkey.com]

I hope this brief update sheds a bit of light on what our team has been doing and our goals for the future. We will continue to monitor your feedback and adjust accordingly. In light of recent feedback, we will make a greater effort to put out updates on a semi-regular basis rather than more sporadic major content updates. If you wish to contribute your voice, we encourage you to please fill out the survey, talk to us on the forums, Reddit, our social channels, and let us know what excites you the most!

Best,

Jon

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