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
We'll be closing the application forms to join the team on Monday. Far more applications than we anticipated were received, so it may take a little time to look through them all, but we hope to start contacting people by the end of next week.
I've been around this site for a hot minute. I like to think I generally know what I'm doing when it comes to skin designing, among other things that have to do with GTA modding. In my time here, I've released exactly 81 files in just over a year of membership. That's more than most members here. I'm not saying I'm better, more qualified, or more talented than anyone else here, but I will say I have worked very hard to bring this community quality work the entire time I've been here. As of November 7th, 2018, the entirety of my file library will no longer be available on LCPDFR.
Why I'm no longer sharing my files here:
Rude & disrespectful members:
Since starting this adventure about a year ago, I've met quite a few great people. Helpful people who give constructive feedback on my work. I've also come across people who have no regard for my intense effort to make high quality work. I've had people rip my designs, screenshots and abuse the LCPDFR review system because they didn't like my response to their rude comments, reviews, etc. For example, humans are not perfect, we all miss a few errors. If one of my screenshots has a bit too much saturation, I probably missed it, there's no need to leave a one star paragraph long essay on how much that one picture sucks. Then when I reply with something you don't like, you go and one star all of my other files, which is real mature. This is why we all can't get along, and it's annoying because if we could just learn to give constructive feedback, this wouldn't be an issue.
Staff have treated members poorly:
In the instance I heard about, a modeler I know of was treated unreasonably poorly by a member of the LCPDFR staff. I'm not here to stir more stuff up, but come on! I'm not getting into the specifics, because that's between the member and staff, but what I will say, being on the staff of a pretty large website, you should hold yourself to a higher standard. Don't curse people out because they let you know about something of concern on the site, instead, look at it in a professional manner - and deal with it in a professional manner. This isn't all of the staff, by the way. I have had many positive encounters with site staff, and they are great people!
Lack of substantial new things:
Yes, I understand that 0.4 is in development, near release and all. That being said, we've had the same general call-outs, scripts and such for a pretty extended amount of time. 0.3 brought many new and exiting things to this community when it was released in July 2016. Since then, we've seen the same tactics, maneuvers, and bugs over and over again. From the players' side, this should be understandable - as we all want new things to put in our game. From the developers' side, the prolonged wait is also understandable, adding many new things to the update that look like big mechanical changes. Adding ambient crimes, additional player/ped customization, menu options, etc. While this is all very cool, I personally don't think it takes 2 years to develop this. I've seen mods like "Stop The Ped" and "Interaction +" come out and be updated in a much shorter amount of time, and those plugins are considerably similar to the previewed content of the LSPDFR 0.4 release. I also understand the developers are making this in their own time, with little to no financial support. I know I'm not the only member who feels this way about the updates, or lack thereof.
Stolen & misused content:
I'm a pretty generous person. I don't charge you for me to design a skin going to a public release or to help develop something to better the community. But, when I'm generous enough to make you textures or something of the sort, I expect you to ask me before modifying the file I made you, I also expect credit for my work as well. I've had multiple occasions on this site where I make something for someone else, and they have either posted it without my permission, modified it without my permission, or sold it without my permission. Yeah, yeah - the site admin doesn't condone any form of financial transactions.... All I'm saying is, it's really not that hard to ask to do something with my work. Most of the time I'll let you post it, modify it, whatever, I just want to know you're doing so. But, when you don't credit me, and ignore my requests for credit for my own work - it makes me pretty angry.
Members are just ugly to each other:
I've been involved in, seen and heard of so much "drama" within this community. Why? We all literally make stuff for a $60 video game. What happens is one person gets too confident about their work, then other people get upset with that person, and arguments arise. It happens in intervals, too. It's a different set of people every time. When this happens, people just leave because they get fed up with this crap. It's like a country's revolution. In this case, it keeps happening over and over again. I'm sure i'm not the first one to point these problems out, but seriously, we all need to see that we have a common goal, and drop all of the pre-existing grudges - AND WORK TOGETHER!
Finishing, I'm really not going after anybody, I don't want to start any drama. I wrote this and cleared my files because I want to see some positive change here. We're all getting tired of this toxic crap, and quite frankly, I don't think I'll be the only one to leave because of this. I think we would all like to see an improvement in how we treat each other. I'll be honest, there have been a few instances where I was somewhat rude to other members, but from those instances, I learned that it's only counter-productive to act that way. This will 110% be mis-understood, but just to be safe and repeat myself for the third time - I'm not targeting any single person in this post, I'm making this post because I want people to realize we need a positive change here, and hopefully this will help make people realize that.
Closing: Thank you to all the people who helped me get where I am today. I'm not going offline, I'm just leaving this site. I'll still be on Discord and such. Again, thanks to the following people for their support, kind words and such, it doesn't go unnoticed.
If you want to join my Discord, PM me since it's against guidelines to post it here. My Discord username is T. Jennings#1056