C&C Generals: Chat Logs: 12/12/2002 GameSpy Chat

The following C&C Generals chat was held with community manager Chris Rubyor (Delphi) and producer Harvard Bonin (Harvard) on December 12th, 2002.  The chat was hosted by GameSpy.

<[GSI]Spiff>: Good evening everyone!
<Delphi-EA>: Hey guys
<[GSI]Spiff>: Thanks for waiting so patiently, and for tunring our for today's Arcade Developer Chat!
<[GSI]Spiff>: Some of you have been here for a *long* time ...
<[GSI]Spiff>: so I'll go ahead an introduce our special guests
<[GSI]Spiff>: and get right into the chat
<[GSI]Spiff>: At this time, I'd like to welcome Producer Harvard Bonin and Chris Rubyor ...
<[GSI]Spiff>: They'll be answering your questions about C&C Generals ...
<[Admin]Cobby>: To ask a guestion, please type /msg Cobby question and we will post on your behalf (time permitting)
<[GSI]Spiff>: ... and handing out a few prized slots in the current beta!
<Delphi-EA>: Hey gus I'm Delphi/chris Rubyor
<Delphi-EA>: err guys
<Delphi-EA>: =)
<Delphi-EA>: Hold on Harvard is umm, typing
<Harvard>: Hi All, sorry for the delay
<Harvard>: Thanks to everyone for taking the time to spend talking about Generals
<Harvard>: Its been pretty busy here lately
<Delphi-EA>: As you know MP Test slots will also be given away today.
<Harvard>: Hope everyone is enjoying the MP Test
<Harvard>: All your hard work finding bugs is really paying off over here. Thanks a lot for participating
<Harvard>: ...and please excuse present and future typos
<Harvard>: =)
<Delphi-EA>: All right lets get started with the questions.
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Aceblade* What as a debeloper is your fav. feature in this game and why?
<Harvard>: hmmm...tough one
<Harvard>: Since I ama faithful RA2 online player to this day I'd have to say many of the features that have gone into Generals online
<Harvard>: The feature set in the MP Test is just a small subset of the final game
<Harvard>: We've got battlehonors, ranking, the Communicator to easily find buddies, etc
<Harvard>: The game feels a lot like RA2 to me in a lot of ways so I'm really looking forward to playing this one for the next few years
<Harvard>: Next?
<[Admin]Cobby>: *MegamanX2K* In the earlier chat session someone asked you if planes could kamikaze. You said no, but indicated you might add it. Did you?
<Harvard>: nope, we didn't
<Harvard>: sorry'
<Harvard>: got distracted for a second
<[Admin]Cobby>: *empty* How will controling the paritcle cannon work?
<Harvard>: anyway, we wanted to make sure the features we had played really well rather than throw in everything we can think of
<Harvard>: I think we've got a nice tight game and it feels right
<Harvard>: ok cobby
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *empty* How will controling the paritcle cannon work?
<Harvard>: You fire it on a target and then move it as you would a unit
<Delphi-EA>: Congrats to randomhero he is the first winner of a MP Test CD.
<Harvard>: set a spot on the map and the particle cannon will follow your lead
<Harvard>: next
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Syfer* what do you think is the most exiting future of generals and what seperates it from previos c&c games and 3d rts games at the moment
<Harvard>: I think thats exciting feature, correct? Hmmm...I'd have to say the fun factor right now
<Harvard>: I know its not really a feature but I'm having a blast just playing the missions, skirmish, multiplay, etc
<Harvard>: The internal version we have is significantly different from the MP test when it comes to modes, etc
<Harvard>: I guess the next thing is the enhanced UI...its is a definate improvement over RA2 for me
<Harvard>: of course, the Sage engine really pumps out some sweet effects :)
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Heavy_Metal_Boy* The music in the Command & Conquer games has been Metal/Rock. Will it be the same in Command & Conquer: Generals?
<Delphi-EA>: Congrats to Ray9x! He just won a MP test CD
<Harvard>: nope, we've moved away a bit for this one toward a more symphonic sound. Each side has its own distinctive flavor since they're from around the globe
<Harvard>: US sounds a bit like "The Rock", China and the GLA both have interesting strings, etc. The GLA has heavy percussion. I really like it a lot
<Harvard>: We felt this style would fit the game a bit more than our past tunes.
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Dante* "What type of modding support will there be, gmax, GenX, what?"
<Delphi-EA>: Congrats to Avatar, the next big winner of a MP Test CD.
<Harvard>: We're looking into this closely right now and I'm working with and pinging the community regularly
<Harvard>: Can't go into specifics right now as I'd rather underpromise and overdeliver.
<Harvard>: Suffice to say we take it very seriously.
<Harvard>: We still plan on releasing the editor in the near future and this will help modding a whole lot. No specific date yet though.
<Harvard>: We're concetrating on making the game great and then we'll make sure the editor is up to snuff
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *[[StEALth_HaVoC]]* what are the system requirments?
<Harvard>: Min spec 1 gig, 128, GeForce 2 is the current min spec. We are deep in the middle of optimizations and we've made huge strides on our end.
<Harvard>: We will not retro these into the MP Test however I can say that the game is running better each day
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Dogbert* if you failed in a mission, will it be the end of the game?
<Harvard>: nope, you just restart the mission
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *DamoclesX* What is the average polycount for the units at their highest detail level?
<Harvard>: hmmm, heh got me! :)
<Harvard>: When you mod the game let me know!
<[Admin]Cobby>: lol
<Harvard>: actually I'd have to go get an artist but they're all in a review session going over the game art and polishing up the cobwebs
<Harvard>: sorry
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Thyhammerr[GI]* what are the changes in the final retail version prior to the beta?
<Harvard>: gosh, not sure where to start
<Harvard>: I guess this is info folks want to know so let me see if I can get it straight
<Harvard>: Missions, of course
<Harvard>: Skirmish
<Harvard>: LAN
<Harvard>: Direct Connect
<Harvard>: Generals Online
<Harvard>: Battlehonors that can be earned in MP or in Skirmish
<Harvard>: All sorts of stat tracking so you know how you're doing over the lifetime of the game
<Harvard>: game engine cutscenes are fun
<Delphi-EA>: Congrats to runout, our next big MP test winner.
<Harvard>: The Communicator which is sort of like instant messaging in Generals Online
<Cypher[PCNC]>: Don't forget Easter Eggs ;)
<Harvard>: hrmmm
<Harvard>: credits! :)
<Harvard>: All in all, players should be really be pleased with the content. It feels like a good value to me. I hope everyone agrees.
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Cypher[PCNC]* Have you thought of releasing the Ladder Kit to the fan sites for the duration of the GMPT? So we can test it as well as get a head start on getting used to it in preperations for a unified Generals ladder, ran by Fan Sites.
<Harvard>: Yes, we've thought about it - but we're focusing on closing the product strong first. The ladder kit will be done later this month
<Harvard>: We might have some fansites give it a try but we'll see
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: Dogbert* how does the player effects the storyline in the single player? is the player the only commander left(RA2)? is he high on the command chain? is he personally envolve?will there be a number of endings?
<Harvard>: In Generals you are the General. You get to make all the tactical choices and spend your Generals points as you see fit.
<Harvard>: The Generals points accumulate across missions but you can respend them everytime to start a mission. We think this will add to the variety for the missions
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *[--D]Silent_Sniper* When did you start developing Generals?
<Harvard>: We started about 18 months ago.
<Harvard>: It went through various incarnations- even a Romans vs. Egyptians game.
<Harvard>: Once the fiction got worked out it just felt more and more "right"
<Harvard>: The (more) real world setting than RA2 has really attracted some new fans, I think
<Harvard>: It seems more accessible to average gamers and I hope everyone likes it
<Harvard>: ready
<Harvard>: currently 25
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Dogbert* will there be a demo?
<Harvard>: heh, that's what the multiplayer test was :)
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Talith* Is advancement thru the Generals system defined by exact numbers? IE- 25 units killed to advance to 2 star, 50 to 3 so on so forth
<Harvard>: yes, there is a precise system
<Harvard>: its based on the same system as our veterency
<Harvard>: Its based on the value of the unit killed
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *alex{7}* are u planning on adding more units to the game? are the current units in the game going to be in the retail?
<Harvard>: We've made some tweaks to the units from the MP Test but its more or less the same
<Harvard>: Strong players will note a few differences
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *hardice2000* Do you believe there will be a Generals Series or at least a expansion pack?
<Harvard>: It all depends on how the fans take to the new game
<Harvard>: You just never know but I think if the game does well you'll see future incarnations
<[Admin]Cobby>: *sgtjohnson[PCNC]* question Who is doing the story and what have they done before?
<Harvard>: The story has been created internally by our design staff...the same guys who did the RA2 story
<Delphi-EA>: Congrats to Horus! The next big MP Test winner.
<Harvard>: In this one we've emphasized the gameplay. We spent a lot of time on the story but the real focus is definately the gameplay
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *DJG* I liked the atmosphere (graphics colors) in the first videos. You don't think there is too much colors in the game right now ? (Like in Warcraft 3)
<Harvard>: I guess that comes down to taste
<Harvard>: I personally think our art director (Richard) has done a wonderful job. He and the art staff are very talented and I'm thrilled to work with them
<Harvard>: but, no, I like the colors
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Atreides{1}* Will you able to "sell" Buildings like in the rest of CNC games?
<Harvard>: yes, you can sell buildings
<Harvard>: you can capture them too
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *[WNR]bomb* I have heard alot about trains in Generals and seen some screen shots, does the train play a role in the game or is it just there for fun?
<Harvard>: heh, its mostly there for fun
<Delphi-EA>: Congrats to Naico! Another big Winner! Congrats on the MP TEST CD.
<Harvard>: We realize that not everyone is deeply competitive so we wanted a few "novelty" type maps
<Harvard>: ones that are looser and for fun with a buddy
<Harvard>: the train is in the missions and even crashes in one of the in game cut scenes - right off a bridge and into a gorge
<Harvard>: in some missions it brings you new troops
<Harvard>: and in others the enemy uses it to drop of their own near your base
<Harvard>: stay out of its way though!
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *hardice2000* Will you create games for consoles in the near future?
<Delphi-EA>: Congrats Kalo You just won a MP Test CD!
<Harvard>: Right now we're concentrated on the PC (as we do that the best) but I suppose there's always the possibility
<Harvard>: Our team wants to concentrate only on RTS games for now and they don't always translate well to controllers
<Harvard>: We figure we're half way decent at making RTS games so we're going to stick with that and try to get better
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Morrtin* Will there be weather effects like rain and snow in the full release? and if yes will they effect units in any way ?
<Harvard>: We are looking at right now. It won't effect the units...purely visual.
<Harvard>: Haven't confirmed that it'll make it but we're shooting for it
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Maddog23* how is the development coming along, are you still going to be releasing on the 13th of FEB
<Harvard>: I believe in North America we're on Feb 11 Yes, we're holding to that
<Harvard>: We're in bug fix mode and tweaking a few features
<Harvard>: We're also polishing missions to make sure they're all fun
<Harvard>: Stay on target!
<Harvard>: So far so good
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Da_Scout* Will the number of Rangers put in a Garrisoned building have an effect on how many come out of the building?and if so will this also happen for China and GLA
<Harvard>: Dustin, the lead designer just walked in. He sez "Hey"
<Harvard>: Anyone want to ask him a question?
<Harvard>: and no, only the US gets the rangers popping out
<Harvard>: one for Dustin!
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *dev* Dustin what is actually ur main job as a lead designer?
<Harvard>: good one
<Harvard>: Dustin?
<Harvard>: He is the Brad Pitt of game development :)
<Harvard>: Actually he handles unit design, game balance, conceptual work, mission building, etc
<Harvard>: And generally serving as a great example to the other designers
<[Admin]Cobby>: what nickname so I can VIP him? :)
<Harvard>: heh, he's standing next to me
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Kopatch* hey, is Generals story line is anyhow affected by real life events?
<Harvard>: The storyline is inspired by all the cool toys you may read about on the net, etc.
<Harvard>: We wanted a game that let players enjoy all the exciting weaponry in today's army
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *DH__G-NOPA8N* Just how realistic and action packed is it going to be?
<Harvard>: we're more realistic than our past games but never at the expense of fun.
<Harvard>: Units are inspired by real or near future war toys but it's not a sim
<Harvard>: and I think its action packed
<Delphi-EA>: Two more CD's left, who will be the lucky two. hmmmmm
<Harvard>: it is a strategy game and as those go its pretty exciting
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *TheKGBspy* Q for Dustin: Any plan for ra3?
<Harvard>: Dustin?
<Harvard>: He sez that we'll eval that option in the future but I think we'd like to revisit that fiction sometime
<Harvard>: its really wacky and fun to work on
<Harvard>: Allows us to be a bit goofy
<Harvard>: ready
<Delphi-EA>: Bribes are accepted. =)
<[Admin]Cobby>: *misterdan3isme* Was it hard in the beginning designing the game?
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Overlord3k* Who came up with the idea of generals?
<[Admin]Cobby>: *LIBERAT0R* Are there new charasmatic characters, lik
<[Admin]Cobby>: ACK
<[Admin]Cobby>: *misterdan3isme* Was it hard in the beginning designing the game?
<[Admin]Cobby>: that one :)
<Harvard>: Heh, finishing is easy - its the starting that's the hard part
<Harvard>: Yes, bringing it all together early on is a monumental task
<Harvard>: When your finalling a game you pretty much know what you're making
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Overlord3k* Who came up with the idea of generals?
<Harvard>: It evolved through various team members. Dustin & Mark really fleshed it out in the end. I was part of the early process as were some other folks
<Delphi-EA>: Congrats to [BA]TwIsTa! The big MP TEST WINNER!
<Harvard>: We don't develop in a democracy but we do respect the vast game experience around the team
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *[PMOH]Major_Winters* will there be any optional objectives in single player mode?
<Harvard>: There are a few
<Harvard>: We normally like to keep things straight forward so as not to confuse players
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Magnum{3}* Dustin seeing that the LCAC-like hover transport is existent do you think that coding will permit the modding entry of naval units?
<Harvard>: heh, that's a favorite question...I'd say modders are a crafty bunch and can do things we never thought of.
<Harvard>: Can't say for sure but I wouldn't be surprised
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Militant* How does one get into the digital entertainment industry? what kinda degree do u need? how much money is there to be made?
<Delphi-EA>: Two more question and then we gotta wrap up
<Harvard>: I have a Bachelors in Communications and a Masters in Biz
<Harvard>: Many folks have no degrees and have fantastic careers
<Harvard>: I'd recommend trying to get into a QA dept
<Harvard>: remember, they test, not play games
<Harvard>: Do whatever job you're assigned to well and good things will come your way
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *JediKnight* what is your favorite weapon in the game?
<Harvard>: I like the bomb truck
<Harvard>: Especially with all the toxin!
<Harvard>: ready
<[Admin]Cobby>: *AaD-Marine* whats the plot of the game?
<Delphi-EA>: Congrats to TheRaptor! He is the last winner of the MP TEST CD's for Command & Conquer Generals.
<Harvard>: China is attacked byt the GLA in Beijing, GLA is chased back to their homeland, GLA steals a rocket with chem weapons and launches. USA comes in to clean them out. The End :)
<Harvard>: ready
<Harvard>: ok, last question
<Harvard>: gotta get back to the game
<[Admin]Cobby>: *Meinhardt* Will you continue to work with EAP?
<Harvard>: I really appreciate all the questions and interest
<Harvard>: I hope so...its my home!
<Harvard>: I respect my coworkers are great deal. Not sure where else I'd be happy
<Harvard>: ok, that was the last one
<[GSI]Spiff>: Thanks guys!
<Harvard>: Thanks very much to everyone for their time. Remember Feb 11 is G-Day!
<Delphi-EA>: Thanks for stopping by guys and thanks to GameSpy for hosting the chat!
<[Admin]Cobby>: Thanks guys - that was great!
<[Admin]Cobby>: Very informative
<[GSI]Spiff>: You gusy are welcome any time …
<[GSI]Spiff>: guys*
<Harvard>: I really hope you all like the game...keep the buts coming from the test
<Delphi-EA>: Cya you guys online!
<[GSI]Spiff>: thanks very much for taking the time to chat with Arcade's users!
<Harvard>: Thanks Cobby...always a pleasure
<[Admin]Cobby>: *hugs*
<[Admin]Cobby>: :)
<Harvard>: See y'all online!