With all the talk about LSPDFR 0.4, it's been a little while since we've provided a general update on our community. Of course, LSPDFR 0.4 is our main priority at the moment and we'll have more to say about it shortly, but we thought it important to also address and announce a couple of things regarding our community.
What our Community stands for
Before anything else, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on who we are, as people that run this website, and as a community.
LCPDFR was founded, back in 2009, simply because I thought it'd be a fun thing to do. To play as the police in GTA IV. It was an idea, ambitious for its time, and nothing more. I worked on LCPDFR because it was fun, I published it because I thought others might also enjoy it. LCPDFR has come a long way since then, it has evolved from one person's topic on a forum, to its own website, to its own forum, to its own community. We've spanned two games, our reach has grown massively, our community is approaching 300,000 registered members. The amount of work that goes into developing LSPDFR alone is staggering - the time that we've spent on it is measured not in days, weeks or months, but years. Likewise, the effort required to keep our website online is vastly underestimated - in the past month we've served around 30 terabytes of download traffic alone, and have done all of this despite persistent, targeted denial of service and hacking attacks against us. To put this in context, if you were to serve 30 terabytes of data through Amazon Web Services, it'd cost you $3,000 a month - and that's just one month of download traffic.
Why do we do this? Because it's fun. We love developing our community, we love developing our mod, and we love that other people - complete strangers, from all over the world, from countries you've probably never heard of, from all walks of life... we love that they love LSPDFR. Our community has achieved incredible things: we've created an entire gaming phenomenon and we've developed things that nobody ever thought would be possible. Our members have done more than simply play games or make mods: we've fought hand-in-hand against corporate giants (and won), we've transformed peoples' entire lives by sparking new careers and we've been covered everywhere from massive YouTube channels to mainstream media publications. Heck, we've even triggered out of touch government ministers in Australia.
That's not the whole story, though. Sometimes we are the story. Sometimes we make mistakes. We've had catastrophes, like the time where we had a hyped countdown on the website only to reveal a private testing version of LCPDFR that nobody could access. Our first ever livestream had to be rescued by Steve and Jeff after it started with Prophet driving a train around Los Santos and infamously stating "this is not the preview for LSPDFR 0.3" while our community manager could do nothing but watch helplessly after being accidentally disconnected. We've messed up releases, we've announced things too quickly, and sometimes we've not announced things at all.
Yet, despite all of this. Nine years later, we're still here. We're still making mods, we're still developing this community, and we've stuck true to our principles the entire time:
Our community is open to all.
We treat members equally regardless of their status.
Everything is completely free of charge, with no catches.
Why? It's not about fame, it's not about money, it's not about status. It's about love. We love LCPDFR, we love LSPDFR, and we love our community. We don't think that modding should be hidden in private Discord servers. We don't think that modding should be something people pay for. We don't think that modding should be an ego boost.
We just think that modding should be fun. It should be open, and it should be free. That's what we stand for, and that's what we do.
How you can get involved
Last year, we opened up applications to join our Community Team for the first time. This resulted in a couple of new faces joining our moderation team and upon reflection, we think it's a good change in approach from previously handpicking staff members ourselves. We've decided to open these applications again, and would invite anyone who is interested in volunteering some of their free time to moderating our community to apply by following the link below. Our volunteer Community Moderators are a vital part of everything that we do, and it wouldn't be possible to maintain the community without them.
To find out more and to submit an application, please visit: http://lcpd.fr/staffapp
You know, when we first started making LSPDFR, the whole process was pretty much one big roller-coaster that didn't have any brakes: there were the obvious highs when we'd finally add in something cool, but the low points were pretty hard as well - the amount of work that went into simply researching how things worked really took its toll as well. And, of course, while this was all going on there just simply wasn't any stopping, we were a couple of (somewhat) real people who essentially lived in Los Santos for just about all of 2015, spending month after month pushing forward and trying to come up with things that everyone here would like to see.
So, of course, the grind and the pace of everything simply just wasn't sustainable and after 0.3, it's no secret that while the numbers and everything for our site are still on the up, month after month, things did slow down quite substantially for the actual mod itself. But, we can tell you, this wasn't all bad news - it's afforded us the opportunity to take a step back and really look at the mod and figure out where we want to go next with it. While our approach before was all about cramming as much new stuff as we could into a couple of months of development, we've now been able to look back at many of the original ideas and concepts that we had for LSPDFR and build on them. Of course, with that being said, there's still a lot of new stuff crammed into 0.4!
With 0.4, we've taken the time to fix a couple of those "how the hell didn't they add this yet" moments :)
Aside from the cool little additions like this, though, the major theme of 0.4 is Character. Ever since seeing the character system for GTA Online, it was always our goal to implement something similar in LSPDFR. There's just something that much more personal and immersive about playing a game with your own character, and the possibilities that it offers are staggering too. And yes, while mods like EUP are fantastic (and awesomely compatible with 0.4!), they still feel somewhat separate or distant. With 0.4, this separation is gone.
No, these shots aren't taken from GTA Online. This is our own, fully-featured, LSPDFR Character Creator.
Of course, we'll talk more about the new Character features in LSPDFR 0.4 later. The Character Creator menu shown above is obviously only one part of what's new in this regard, although hopefully it emphasizes the effort that we've gone to. Thanks to some of the new additions like this, much of 0.4 actually looks and feels like an entirely new mod altogether.
Officer Ronson and his clones obviously couldn't make it to the flashlight party.