Insurgency 2 is one of our more anticipated upcoming shooters, as we really enjoyed the original Source mod. The game, currently in development at New World Interactive, aims to bring an exciting sense of realism and balance to the FPS scene.
We had a chance to chat with New World Interactive's Jeremy Blum, a man who worked on the original Insurgency mod back in 2007. Blum also worked on the very popular Unreal Tournament mod Red Orchestra.
In the interview, we talk about Insurgency 2 and how it differs from other first-person shooters and how developing a standalone game differs from a total conversion mod. Take a look below!
Hello and thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Before we jump into Insurgency 2, can you give a brief intro and let our readers know who you are and what you do on the game?
I’m Jeremy Blum, the project lead on Insurgency 2. I’m somewhat of a “generalist” when it comes to game development – usually “connecting the dots” whether it’s design, animation, user interfaces, environment art, programming, scripting…
I generally focus my time and energy on what is most important for the project at that given time. My experience goes back about 10 years now when I was first inspired to create the highly realistic eastern front WWII multiplayer experience that was Red Orchestra mod. Although my time on this team was limited, I worked on the project for about 2 years and built the Red Orchestra mod team up from nothing.
Insurgency was my next project after Red Orchestra. On Insurgency, I was the project lead and did all the game’s characters, player animations and HUD. I put a lot more time into Insurgency than Red Orchestra, and when I graduated from school and got the go-ahead from the original lead programmer of Insurgency we decided to create Insurgency 2.
What brought on the decision to form New World Interactive, were the old members of the team enthusiastic about getting back together?
We've all talked about this for a long time and after most of us having worked at one publisher-backed studio or another we’re pretty much convinced that developing games with a smaller team is much more fun – each person having a much larger contribution to the overall project, and a much more relaxed and creative overall atmosphere.
We’re located in Denver which is a great town with a lot to do and a relatively low cost of living, which allows us to attract talent from east and west.
With Insurgency 2, this is no longer a mod but a full standalone game, correct?
Correct. You can currently pre-order the game on Kickstarter for $15.
What was the biggest design challenge between putting together the total-conversion Source mod in Insurgency and designing Insurgency 2 as a standalone title?
I think the biggest design challenge with the first Insurgency was creating large, open environments that were properly optimized and detailed. We were fighting against Source Engine the entire time during development, with a design plan that would have worked much better on a larger scale engine like CryENGINE or Unreal.
With Insurgency 2 we ultimately decided that the most important component of the game was its “feel” and the realistic, highly intense firefight you can’t get anywhere else. Insurgency 2 retains this, while shrinking the scale down slightly to be more suited to what “works” best on the engine we’re using. The game is much more focused now – players will never have a hard time locating objectives.
What sets Insurgency 2 apart from other first-person shooters?
First and foremost, the feel. This is such an underrated component to FPS games that we took quite seriously. We wanted the game to feel familiar, but unique at the same time. What we have now is very easy to learn but is also far more realistic and natural feeling than your typical crosshair-based FPS.
I think the next thing that makes us different is our outfitting system. You can pick from light, heavy and standard outfits that determine your armor, speed and ammo capacity – kind of like Tribes. Your choice of outfit won’t affect what weapons you have access to. Weapons are instead obtained by weapon caches at your team’s spawn and you can upgrade them for your whole team by performing objectives – incentivizing teamwork.
On top of this we are also looking forward to delivering a realism mode that will slow the game down, make weapons even more powerful, increase the free aim area, and disable the HUD. This will be for the elite players and hardcore fans of the original. I will probably play this mode myself to stay clear of all the newbies.
The Kickstarter seems to be coming along nicely. With other games having such success getting funded, was the decision to go crowd-funded a pretty easy one?
It wasn’t a hard decision, but I wouldn’t say it was an easy decision either. We’ve already put a lot of time and money into the game and the unfortunate reality is that we will run out of these resources by September. We would have to sell out to a publisher, somehow raise more money, or merely deliver to the public what we have and hope to make some profit off of it. None of these are ideal for us – we really want to deliver something we’re proud of that fulfills and surpasses peoples’ expectations.
Kickstarter provides a unique opportunity to bring this project to the finish line. We were unsure if the Insurgency community’s pockets were deep enough to fund this project, but we’ve found that the Kickstarter community as a whole appears quite strong and on the prowl for cool projects to fund. We’re hoping that both communities will come together and help drive this thing home.
Will there eventually be singleplayer or cooperative game modes, or is Insurgency 2 exclusively multiplayer?
As of right now it’s multiplayer with bots for offline play. At the very least we will make these bots as smart as possible so that people can play offline against them and have a good time doing so. We do have some cool ideas for a cooperative mode if we’re able to exceed our minimum.
Are you able to share the game modes that will be shipping with Insurgency 2?
Our main two game modes right now are “Push” and “Occupy.” Push is based on an attack-defend game mode from the original Insurgency that allows players to progress through 3 objectives one at a time. The rounds are longer and the maps much larger than Occupy maps. In Occupy, the maps are smaller and all of the gameplay is focused around a single point of interest that generally sits on a high ground or is nested in a strategic location overlooking both sides. We’ve had quite a bit of fun with both game modes so far, and they contrast each other quite nicely.
Thanks for chatting with us! Anything else you’d like to share about Insurgency 2?
Thanks for your interest! For those who haven’t checked out our Kickstarter, be sure to do so: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/newworldinteractive/insurgency-2.
Thank you, once again, to Jeremy Blum and New World Interactive for taking the time to discuss Insurgency 2. We're going to be bringing you a hands-on post with the game after we've spent some time playing so be sure to stay tuned next week for that follow-up story!
If you like what you see, you can fund Insurgency 2 on Kickstarter at http://www.kickstarter.com/!