C&C Generals: Chat Logs: 3/10/2002 GameSpy Chat

The following C&C Generals chat was held with community manager Chris Rubyor (Delphi) and producer Harvard Bonin (H_Bomb) on March 10th, 2002.  The chat was hosted by GameSpy.

<[Admin]Cobby>: I'd like to thanks Delphi-EA and H_Bomb for coming in to chat with us tonight :)
<[Admin]Cobby>: To ask a guestion, please type /msg Cobby question and we will post on your behalf (time permitting)
<Delphi-EA>: Hey guys!
<[GSI]Spiff>: Welcome, gents.
<[GSI]Spiff>: So, at this time, I'd like to introduce Chris Rubyor, and Harvard Bonin, Producer -- they've kindly agreed to drop by and chat with you about their upcoming game, Generals :)
<H_Bomb>: Hi All, thanks very much for everyone joining the chat! Looks like it'll be fun!
<Delphi-EA>: Hola
<H_Bomb>: Props to all the C&C fans out there!
<Delphi-EA>: Before we begin, I would like to thank everyone in our time zone and around the world for stopping by to chat with us.
<H_Bomb>: I'm here to answer questions about all things Generals today.
<Delphi-EA>: As you all know the Generals team is hard at work prepping and fine tunning the code for our upcoming multiplayer test (visit http://generals.ea.com for more info).
<H_Bomb>: A BIG hello to all our friends in Korea and Germany. I've been visiting lately and the game is much better for it
<Delphi-EA>: Not sure if everyone knows, but we will be giving away three slots at random today for the multiplayer test. That means if your nickname is broadcast out into the channel by me, you have won.
<H_Bomb>: Sweet, can I get one?
<H_Bomb>: Thanks to Cobby for helping us out here.
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:06] *SgtLny* Will there be deployable units like in Yuri's Revenge, like the guardian GI and Siege Chopper?
<H_Bomb>: Let's see...deployable units...sort of
<H_Bomb>: Most (if not all) the units have alternate powers and can be accessed through our new style command bar
<H_Bomb>: Multiple functions for units was one of the big reasons we went to the horizontal command bar. Vertical bars don't offer the room we need
<H_Bomb>: Next plz Cobby
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:06] *chezzyman* is generals like all the other cnc games in terms of gameplay?
<H_Bomb>: Heh, oddly enough...yes! Dustin, the lead designer and I were talking about how surprised we were at how much it plays like C&Cs of old.
<H_Bomb>: Particularly, of course, RA2.
<H_Bomb>: We made a lot of changes so that has been a real eye opener. Hopefully we've been able to learn from our past titles and will be able to apply these learnings to Generals
<H_Bomb>: I know we already have
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:06] *theb0tt0mline* Have you (and if so what) gained any ideas from other non-C&C RTS games for Generals?
<H_Bomb>: Absolutely.
<H_Bomb>: We have some great competitors out there and we try to learn from their mistakes & successes - as I'm sure they do us.
<H_Bomb>: Either way, there's plenty of room for us all to be successful. Each RTS for the "BIG 3" has its own flavor and emphasis..which is great for gamers!
<H_Bomb>: Specifics and ideas we've gained include multiplayer polish, GUI enhancements, etc
<H_Bomb>: I think we learned the most from just playing RA2
<H_Bomb>: next
<H_Bomb>: After release
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:06] *LuckieGeneralsWorld* _Is there anything special about the garrisoned buildings in the game?
<Delphi-EA>: Congrats to gimpy! He just won the first slot in our multiplayer test! WTG Bud!
<H_Bomb>: Right now they're pretty much like RA2 except you can put anyone inside
<H_Bomb>: With our new command bar style you can click on a building to deploy who you want rather than having them all pop out
<H_Bomb>: That means you can have anti air, anti infantry, anti tank combos which make them even more strategic
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:06] *[2nd]Steggy* What would you suggest be the recommended requirements for C&C generals?
<H_Bomb>: a gameboy!
<H_Bomb>: :)
<H_Bomb>: Actually, rec specs are always fun. The easy answer is "get the top PC you can" and this applies to ANY game.
<H_Bomb>: But the min spec is 1 gig GeForce 2 w/ 128 ram. Do the math from there
<H_Bomb>: The card will be the big kicker. Make sure you get a nice vid card to get the most bang for your buck
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:06] *Bandit_[GenX]* How will air to air combat work ? Will the units "float" like in other RTS games ?
<H_Bomb>: Comanches hover but jets don't
<H_Bomb>: Jets don't stop and they aren't VTOLS
<H_Bomb>: We have Raptors, B-52, etc in the game and they all fly like planes, though slower and lower for gameplay reasons
<H_Bomb>: We're creating a special cursor to easily target the faster planes. Its bigger
<H_Bomb>: Planes, etc can target each other
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:06] *Morphious* What's the deal with hidden missions? Any plans for something neat, like how TD had the Dino's, and RA had the ants?
<H_Bomb>: Right now we're focusing on making sure the core exp is great.
<H_Bomb>: I love Easter Eggs as much as anyone but if you sacrifice ANY polish on the main game that 99% of people experience then that's the wrong decision - err, me thinx!
<H_Bomb>: Anyway, we'll see
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:06] *Pyramid_Head* Will players be able to donate money to theyre teammates?
<H_Bomb>: not now
<H_Bomb>: we're keeping the core experience simple
<H_Bomb>: In RA2 we offered a lot of options and modes that about 2 people played
<H_Bomb>: Our philosphy this time around has been to define the core game, present that and make it great.
<H_Bomb>: Some of our competitors have had this philosophy in the past and we think its the right way to go
<H_Bomb>: At this point :)
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:06] *Seth2k* Will Generals have any type of custom-scripting languge(redifende C++/C)?
<H_Bomb>: hold on
<H_Bomb>: checking
<H_Bomb>: here comes our amazing tech director
<H_Bomb>: That's Mr. Jeff Brown and he says its a visual scripting language
<H_Bomb>: and he knows all things Generals
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:06] *DthSyth17* question will you be able to just put troops in planes and have them parachute out?
<H_Bomb>: No but you can put them in Chinooks and they can rapell into buildings. Forgot that earlier re: the garrisoned buiuldings
<H_Bomb>: typo!
<H_Bomb>: They flash bang the occupents out
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:07] *N_A_V_Y_rab38_SECURI* question is generals going to be as good as many people say it is?
<[Admin]Cobby>: :)
<H_Bomb>: I hope so!
<H_Bomb>: We've been playing and have some reference points and its stacking up pretty good
<H_Bomb>: You'll be able to see the reaction from the MP test
<H_Bomb>: Either way, we just want to give all you guys a really good RTS - period.
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:07] *Shocker01* Will there be good classical music similar to Red Alert and Tiberian Dawn?
<H_Bomb>: There was classical music in those?
<H_Bomb>: We have Bill Brown doing the score
<H_Bomb>: Should be a departure from past games
<H_Bomb>: Its very orchestral
<H_Bomb>: Bill's got a web site if you'd like to hear more of his stuff. Not sure of the exact URL but shouldn'
<H_Bomb>: t be hard to find
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:07] *Kaymaster* What makes C&C: Generals such a great online experience compared to other games of the genre?
<H_Bomb>: Wow!
<H_Bomb>: Let's see…
<[Admin]_crt>: FYI (http://billbrownmusic.com/)
<H_Bomb>: We learned a WHOLE lot from doing RA2
<H_Bomb>: Not sure where to start
<H_Bomb>: One focus has been to make it better for the power users
<H_Bomb>: Originally we wanted it to be really friendly to the newbies. That's fine but the reality its the hardcore (y'all) that really play it seriously online
<H_Bomb>: We've got - battle honors for acheivements, the Communicator so your buddies are ALWAYS accessible everywhere, personal ladders…
<H_Bomb>: refined QuickMatch, new Custom Match
<H_Bomb>: PS hey, we're beating Spades! :)
<H_Bomb>: next
<H_Bomb>: PPS I'm not slow - plz forgive the typos
<H_Bomb>: We hit our alpha on Sept 15
<H_Bomb>: That means all the stuff was in and we're fixing bugs and polishing
<H_Bomb>: We're still adding a bit of stuff and wrapping missions but we're in the close it out part now.
<H_Bomb>: We're also reworking our shell/GUI to make it more enjoyable and polished. Other than that, we're in better shape than any game we've done before here at EAP
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:07] *LavaBeing* To what extent will a civilian AI be implemented? ..eg Will they just stand around in the middle of the street while tanks are rolling in, or will they take realistic actions like taking cover in buildings, taking up arms, or turning into angry mobs?
<H_Bomb>: They run away from threats. We learned alot from the Maxis guys on Sim CIty 4 (which looks amazing, by the way).
<H_Bomb>: They use something called "synchs & sources" which is just a fancy name to describe how the civvies move around the battlefield
<H_Bomb>: They don't go in buildings though
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:24] *Calefaction* How will the environment contribute to gameplay in Generals?
<H_Bomb>: That was one area we really wanted to hit home
<H_Bomb>: No C&C has had more interactive terrain. You can run over trees, props, cars…
<Delphi-EA>: Lets scan the list for our next winner
<H_Bomb>: blow up buildings and on and on
<H_Bomb>: Don't forget barrels! They explode nicely
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:24] *FBI_Agent* Will you have a Random Map generator like in RA2 / YR?
<H_Bomb>: nope maybe in the future
<H_Bomb>: we are releasing the World Builder though
<H_Bomb>: Mission makers will be able to do anything we do
<H_Bomb>: Probably more as you guys tend to be very creative!
<Delphi-EA>: Congrats to Delphi-EA! Oops ;)
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:24] *kussie* Are we still able to control (kind of control) the directions buildings fall to allow us to sqaush tanks and guys who get in the way
<H_Bomb>: yup especially those big towers
<H_Bomb>: some structs explode, some sink and collapse, etc.
<H_Bomb>: Depends on the building
<H_Bomb>: We even have a fireworks factory we're hoping to blow up in really cool ways
<H_Bomb>: its polish time so we're doing things like this
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:27] *Heywood* question How many maps will be offered in the MP test?
<H_Bomb>: right now we're slating 5
<H_Bomb>: 2 2 player
<H_Bomb>: 2 4 player
<H_Bomb>: 1 8 player
<H_Bomb>: might change but shouldn't
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:28] *paranoidmac* can we be expecting an expansion that brings another level of fun like what yuri's revenge did for red alert 2?
<H_Bomb>: Depending on how Generals does, we'll probably do an expansion
<H_Bomb>: With YR it was important for us to really make sure players got their $$$ worth. That's why we made it like that with the 3rd side
<H_Bomb>: Not sure what Generals will be yet. Send Delphi ideas! :) He loves email!
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:28] *Vladimir_Putin* will we have characters in C&C generals like Premier romanov,Lt Carville for example?
<H_Bomb>: We have Col Burton, Black Lotus and Jarmen Kell. They are the hero type characters - like Tanya in RA2
<H_Bomb>: In Generals YOU are the General, not someone else.
<H_Bomb>: You'll be treated as such by your XO
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:29] *thyhammerr{1}* how much power will be given to the hero units ?
<Delphi-EA>: Congrats to RcaMumba! He's the bigger winner of our second multiplayer test slot!
<H_Bomb>: Depends on the mission
<H_Bomb>: They are really about the solo missions
<H_Bomb>: You can gain EXP though and apply this to modify your army
<H_Bomb>: Sort of like "choose your own tech tree"
<H_Bomb>: Some tracks will give Super Weapons, some units some veterency
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:30] *ShadowDemon39* Will the units be able to prone and if they can can they use this for cover?
<H_Bomb>: not right now
<H_Bomb>: don't expect they will unless something pops up in the MP test
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:30] *Viru1ence* Are we going to see any Naval units?
<H_Bomb>: that this time around
<H_Bomb>: That was a tuff one for us to choose
<H_Bomb>: We figured we'd rather concentrate on land battles and make that experience great
<H_Bomb>: Naval units come with another host of problems. Maybe in the future?
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:30] *LavaBeing* will voice support like ROGER WILCO be supported for alied play?
<H_Bomb>: We had planned on it. Not sure if we've implemented yet
<H_Bomb>: More on this later
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:31] *Skint* Will modders be able to add new 3d models to the game?
<H_Bomb>: we want to make sure that modders have easy access to everything
<H_Bomb>: Past C&Cs (RA2 included) weren't all that friendly to the modding community. Expect an about face on this issue
<H_Bomb>: We'll only really care if some mod screws up the regular exp in online play
<H_Bomb>: Or they sell them :)
<H_Bomb>: Other than that, go to it. I expect models won't be any trouble
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:31] *Wanton* Can you reveal some more information about the US Special Forces? Are they the same delta force guys that come out of the helicopter to clear building? What weapons do they have , what are they effective against, and what will be their primary use?
<H_Bomb>: they are Rangers and can rapell into civvie structs
<H_Bomb>: Col Burton is the enforcer and can climb cliffs
<H_Bomb>: Rangers will be good at clearing buildings. They also capture structs - but its not like the engineer in past C&Cs. Works differernt
<H_Bomb>: Capturing structs takes a bit and isn't instant anymore. We felt that was too painful for the losing player
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: *ThePowerOfADream* How much work is being done on the net coding? Can we count on some good online playability?
<H_Bomb>: I hope so...that's why we're doing the the MP test
<H_Bomb>: We're rewriting it from the ground up
<H_Bomb>: I think between our exp from RA2/YR and our crack engineering team we should be good.
<H_Bomb>: You be the judge in the MP test
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:31] *THP_Death* How long have you been making C&C: Generals?
<H_Bomb>: originally it started in Feb 2000
<H_Bomb>: We spent a long time building tech and concepting
<H_Bomb>: We didn't know what it was in the beginning
<H_Bomb>: We were considering RA3, the Tib series - even a Roman game
<H_Bomb>: In the end we figured modern warfare is what we're pretty decent at so we went that way
<H_Bomb>: On the news there are all these toys that we want to play with - like the Raptors, etc
<H_Bomb>: So we want with modern war - just a bit in the future
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:32] *Dark_doordo* Will we be able to do kamikaze with planes?
<H_Bomb>: ahh, no - but not a bad though - joitting down
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: [19:32] *Brownsound279* what type of missions will there be, like search and resue, search and destroy, defending positions?
<H_Bomb>: thougth
<H_Bomb>: thought! typos ahhh!
<H_Bomb>: all those
<H_Bomb>: but we're pretty heavily into production type missions
<H_Bomb>: Make an army, etc
<H_Bomb>: We tend to steer away from maze missions as they aren't fun to us for the most part
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: Viru1ence* Are the individual units going to have realistic combat dialogue? ex. "Bravo 5, pull out, enemies on our left flank!" "Roger that Bravo lead"
<H_Bomb>: The chatter...
<H_Bomb>: Who's next on the list!
<H_Bomb>: That was one of the biggies we pulled out of E3 this year
<H_Bomb>: Hmm
<H_Bomb>: People loved the unit chatter
<H_Bomb>: Yes, we're taking pains in the solo campaign to make sure this flavor is there
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: *[-WL-]Idan* what is your favorite side in the game?
<H_Bomb>: I like the Chinese right now
<H_Bomb>: They have fire breathing units
<H_Bomb>: The Overlord, which I love
<H_Bomb>: Its a really really big tank and you can build defenses on its back
<H_Bomb>: It also crushes all other tanks
<H_Bomb>: We have 4 levels of crushing
<H_Bomb>: No crush trees, props but only people - Technicals,e tc
<H_Bomb>: Crush all props, cars - Tansk
<H_Bomb>: Crush all other tanks - Overlord
<H_Bomb>: Crush all and can't be crushed - the train!
<H_Bomb>: We just put in the choo-choo a few weeks aga
<H_Bomb>: What is it about trains that are just som ^#^%# cool? :)
<[Admin]Cobby>: lol
<H_Bomb>: We even have it plummetting into a ravine in one of the solo missions
<H_Bomb>: and don't forget the avalanche
<H_Bomb>: and dam bust
<H_Bomb>: :)
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Fleft* When your general leaves the command center, he loses all his special abilities, does this apply for negative attributes of each general?
<H_Bomb>: Nope, that's changed.
<H_Bomb>: There is no General on the ground
<H_Bomb>: YOU are the General and are making all the command decisions - even modifying your army
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: *[XG]_TigerHeart* question are there civilians in the game? if so how will they react around gun fire?
<H_Bomb>: They run away
<H_Bomb>: Answered this a bit ago but its still a good question
<H_Bomb>: They don't like guns :) or getting run over by tanks
<[Admin]Cobby>: oopps - sorry :)
<H_Bomb>: The GLA has the Angry Mob which is a bunch or ruffians running around with molatove cocktails
<H_Bomb>: They are a single buildable unit and act like a swarm.
<H_Bomb>: They can also be upgraded to AK 47w
<H_Bomb>: s
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: *megahertzfreq* in the generals screenshots the graphics look great. what was done differantly in generals as to any other c&c game in terms of graphics design?
<H_Bomb>: Well, for a fantastic art director joined us - and we have some fantastic artists. They deserve all the props
<H_Bomb>: Richard, our AD, worked on Contact (painted the beach scene at the end)
<H_Bomb>: What Dreams May Come
<H_Bomb>: Was the art director for Star Trek Insurrection
<H_Bomb>: on and on
<H_Bomb>: Of course, the engineering team are the guys that have enabled the artists to really show off
<H_Bomb>: And the designers create the worlds
<H_Bomb>: Its a team effort all around
<H_Bomb>: And Delphi and I take the shots! :)
<H_Bomb>: next
<H_Bomb>: thanks
<[Admin]Cobby>: *_-_[AFK]_-TheLoneKro* Whats the most time comsuming project in making CnC Generals?
<H_Bomb>: dealing with Delphi!
<H_Bomb>: actually, working with the team is the most challenging
<H_Bomb>: Making sure everyone is satisfied at their job, etc is the hardest (but best) part
<H_Bomb>: and visiting Germany :p
<Delphi-EA>: Ok time to pick
<H_Bomb>: Hopefully we have a pretty happy studio here at EA Pacific
<H_Bomb>: They are great though
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: *MAGNET0* Will Generals have Movie quality cut scenes to tell its storyline. Will there be a collectors edition also that offers it on DVD like in RA2?
<H_Bomb>: Not sure yet on the CE. I like them though.
<H_Bomb>: We're trying to tell the story in game this time
<H_Bomb>: We were looking one day and said "man, our engine seems to look pretty good...why don't we do our movies here?"
<H_Bomb>: So far its working out.
<Delphi-EA>: Drum Roll Please!
<H_Bomb>: This time around we've REALLY concetrated on gameplay over story. While we do have a story, we create the gameplay first and make sure its fun
<H_Bomb>: Its easy to get distracted by story and we've seen other games fall into this trap
<H_Bomb>: Here's the honest take - gameplay first, always
<Delphi-EA>: Congrats to Fubak1! He is the 3rd and final winner for our multiplayer test giveaway!
<H_Bomb>: and did I tell you that trains are just so ^#^#^!@$% neat!
<H_Bomb>: CONGRATS TO Fubak1!
<H_Bomb>: I guess we're wrapping. Time to have dinner.
<H_Bomb>: oh, 2 more? Ok
<H_Bomb>: next
<H_Bomb>: two more questions
<[Admin]Cobby>: *|v-H-g|_Pvt_Detwind* is there any kind of a-bomb or something kinda like that?
<H_Bomb>: What would C&C be without a Nuke? :)
<H_Bomb>: We had a neutron missile but that seemed soft to us
<H_Bomb>: We've also got a Particle Cannon, EMP pulse, carpet bombing, Fuel Air Bomb
<H_Bomb>: How many ways would you like to blow someone up?
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: *megahertzfreq* what is the future outlook & plans for c&c?
<H_Bomb>: heh, who wrote that one? :)
<[Admin]Cobby>: I've been saving it :)
<H_Bomb>: Well, depending on how Generals does, the RTS genre isn't going away soon for us
<H_Bomb>: We want EA Pacific to be a really good at this sort of game but we've got a long way to go
<H_Bomb>: I know with the team we have and the sort of people we've been able to hire that its possible.
<H_Bomb>: We'll see
<H_Bomb>: Anyway, I expect you'll see a lot more to come in the future but honestly my head is deep into our current game
<H_Bomb>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: that was it :)
<Delphi-EA>: All right!
<Delphi-EA>: Thanks for attending everyone and Congrats to our lucky multiplayer test winners! Gimpy, RcaMumba, and Fubak1
<[Admin]Cobby>: you can rest your fingers now :)
<[Admin]Cobby>: Thanks for being here with us H_Bomb & Delphi-EA!
<Delphi-EA>: If you would like more information on Generals please visit http://generals.ea.com or visit our official forums http://messagebrd.westwood.ea.com/cgi-bin/boards/gen/ultimatebb.cgi
<H_Bomb>: Well everyone, Cobby simply rocks. Thanks a lot, that was easy cheesy and a lot of fun. Looking forward to another sometime
<H_Bomb>: Don't forget the MP Test
<[Admin]Cobby>: Thanks !
<Delphi-EA>: Almost forgot in the next week we will be slecting more players at random who have registred for our message board. So go sign-up! http://messagebrd.westwood.ea.com/cgi-bin/boards/gen/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=agree
<H_Bomb>: We're working hard on it right now
<H_Bomb>: And thanks to the Generals team for alltheir hard work
<[Admin]Cobby>: We'll be unmoderating the chat soon - remember you can mute spammers by right clicking their name >:)
<H_Bomb>: and in Generals you can ignore anyone you want! :)
<Delphi-EA>: Cya guys!
<[Admin]Cobby>: Cobby applauds the team!
<H_Bomb>: later
<H_Bomb>: Thanks everyone!