Post feature RSS Savage 2's Community

An overview of Savage 2's community, covering mapping, player assistance with bug-tracking and troubleshooting, modding, the S2-Sponsored Community Involvement Program, my path to employment at S2Games, and other staff members who had begun as valuable community members.

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Savage 2 has a great community of loyal players who are fun to work with. There have been some cases where players disagreed with some of the changes that went forth in a few of the patches, voiced dissent when there were technical issues/etc., but the community is generally extremely positive. S2Games works closely with the community, providing direct support, assistance with community projects, and even incorporating some of their projects into the game (with the players' permission, of course).

Mapping

For example, Savage 2 initially had just a few maps at its release. Players stepped up and developed a slew of great maps to play on. In fact, most of Savage 2's current set of maps (and some of the best ones) were created by community members. We've made a point of showcasing their work with videos and promotional images, and even have rewarded creators of official Savage 2 maps with custom runes (the highest grade of persistent item). Examples of some of the community-created maps are Mirakar (by Dark_Strider), LostValley (Willow), Morning (SKOPE), and Kunlun Pass (Nevvier).

QA and Troubleshooting

Also, there have been a variety of players who have worked to help us narrow down and troubleshoot various game issues - from exploits, pointing out minor UI mistakes, omissions, etc. Basically, they've helped to greatly extend our QA staff by contributing solid reports that we can use to squash bugs and correct oversights and omissions. Among others (there are WAY too many to list), Allquixotic and Midnight Bomber (MBomber) are great examples of players who have helped us improve Savage 2.

Community Support

The community has also devoted countless hours to helping out players who have had technical issues, making sure that we were aware of player concerns, and even helping new players become familiar with Savage 2 and develop their skills. There's a Savage 2 clan called "New Generation Crew" (initially formed by Younggun) which is wholly dedicated to taking in new players, training them in the intricacies of Savage 2's various gameplay elements, and then setting them free to join and form their own clans. With a game as deep as Savage 2, those kinds of initiatives really help develop a well-trained playerbase who can pull off epic feats that help the game shine for everyone involved.

Modding

Savage 2 has had a variety of mods - including a series of new gameplay modes such as Savage Survival (By Fatalthread and Nevvier), Bomber Savage (Eldatoron), and Stanz's CTF and StrataTD mods, and also a variety of interface mods. In fact, Stanz's interface improvements have been extremely successful and widely used. Wiwiweb has furthered Stanz's work with the introduction of a host of additional features. Both Stanz and Wiwiweb have contributed interface updates that have appeared in official patches, improving the Savage 2 experience for all players. Details on upcoming Savage 2 mods and maps can be found in the Savage 2 Modding Forums.

Community Projects

There's even a community-driven initiative known as the S2-Sponsored Community Involvement Program (S2SCIP) which has put together various projects and improvements such as cleaning up the map editor (Ferratilis played a large part in this), translation projects (for example, Stony's been hard at work translating the Savage 2 Strategy Wiki (in itself, a community project), and there have also been translated UIs in various languages), organizing tournaments (Shikamaru's hard at work there), fan sites (Dewey and Eaxs), and more.

My Employment

My position as a staff member at S2Games started as a community member who had been extremely passionate about the Savage games, starting from Savage: The Battle for Newerth and steadily progressing to being an active and helpful member of the forums, creating maps and mods, and helping track issues and community concerns in Savage 2. Eventually I was approached by S2 and offered a position as one of the staff. I contributed where I could, taking care of various issues, addressing community concerns, and continuing work on maps. Over time I ended up with additional duties such as web programming and database management. I ended up attaining the project lead position for Savage 2 (which, despite the incredible amount of work involved, is a dream come true).

Other Adopted Community Members

As I had grown more familiar with the S2 staff and progressed into being employed by the company, I discovered that other talented Savage players had also been incorporated into the S2Games staff. James Fielding (among other roles he's filled) was the previous project lead for Savage 2. Before joining S2, he had been heavily into the Savage clan scene and had a variety of skills that S2 could make use of, and is now working on the future S2Games title "Heroes of Newerth". Kyle Gray has been has been hard at work programming various features for Savage 2 and Heroes of Newerth. Before being hired, he was one of the premiere modders for Savage, contributing lots of fantastic updates in community patches. Slacker had also performed similar tasks for Savage, and ended up joining S2 as a programmer for the Linux and Mac versions of Savage 2 and Heroes of Newerth.

The Community's Future

S2Games continues to welcome and reward community participation whenever possible, and given the right circumstances may even be able to adopt additional members into its ranks in the future.

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