C&C Labs News Wire

— Friday, April 28, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 5:29:49 PM ET

CNC3 Interview Translated

An anonymous boardguest over at the PCNC Forums has translated a C&C 3 interview with Mike Verdu and Jason Bender from Dutch magazine PCGameplay. Here's his translation:
Why did you guys wait so long with making a new CC?
Mike Verdu: CC3 has been in development for a long time, but it took a while before everyone was at the same line and for the technology to become better. One thing is for sure: everything that is working on the project is very happy that we are going to make GDI and NOD come back to live.

To avoid possible misunderstandings: does this new CC3 still have anything to do with CC3: Tiberian Twilight that was dropped off several years ago?
Mike Verdu: For a while we worked on a new CC, but the development didn´t go as we expected so the game was put on hold for a while.

Who is developing this new CC?
Mike Verdu: CC3 is developed by EALA which helped with the development of Red Alert 2, CC: Generals and Battle For Middle Earth 1 and 2. At this time about 60 programmers and artists in Los Angeles work on the game.

What can we expect of the graphics?
Jason Bender: CC3 uses the latest 3D RTS-engine of EALA, a much more improved version of the engine that was used for Battle for Middle Earth 2. CC3 has an incredible detail, great light- and Bloom-effects and advanced features like Normal Maps. The water also looks amazing, but in particular it will be the explosions that are going to steal the show!

The CC-universe is known for it´s great FMV (Full Motion Video) sequences and animations. What can we expect of this new title?
Mike Verdu: A classic CC-game has to have a spectacular FMV-presentation, so the FMV-sequences will return in all their glory and will look better.

Will Joseph Kucan again take the role of Kane?
Mike Verdu: At the moment we can´t say that with certainty because we just started with the casting. But we already can say with certainty that EVA will return.

What can we expect of the multiplayer options?
Jason Bender: CC3 will of course feature the classic options and will have integrated clan-options and feature Voice-over-internet-Protocol. Currently we are working hard on the AI Style of Play-options. With this you can give the AI certain game styles which than can be chosen by the player. Do you want to practice in attacking with a rush, than give the AI Player Rush. If you want to build your base slowly and destroy a well defended enemy slowly but good than set the AI to Turtle. And so there will be a lot of game styles that are inspired by the AI of Generals and Zero Hour but that will be a lot more advanced if it´s about AI.

That all sounds very good. One last question: when can we expect CC3: Tiberium Wars in stores?
Mike Verdu: That will be somewhere in 2007. We can´t say when exactly at this time.

May I thank you for this interview?
Mike and Jason: It was a pleasure.
Last edited by Blbpaws on Friday, April 28, 2006 at 9:30:09 PM.

— Thursday, April 27, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 4:23:40 PM ET

EA Settles Overtime Suit

As widely mentioned, Electronic Arts has settled a lawsuit brought against them by developers of their games, alleging unpaid overtime. The total of the settlement is $14.9 million (just less than the $15 million the graphics artists of EA got for the same claim last year). As we mentioned last year, a clear indication of the issues at hand was a post on the 'EA_Spouse' blog, making evident many of the complaints. That blogger has been revealed to be Erin Hoffmann, wife of Leander Hasty, a former EA programmer who filed the suit after suffering extreme "crunch-time" workloads while developing Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth, an RTS built on the same engine as BFME II, C&C Generals and Zero Hour, and C&C 3.

— Tuesday, April 25, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 6:01:23 PM ET

C&C 3 Confirmed for E3

According to an article over at CNN Money, C&C 3 will be shown by EA at the annual E3 show, the industry's premier event:
Electronic Arts, beyond its usual showcase of its sports franchises, will highlight a mix of old franchises (such as the latest installment of "Madden" and the "Command & Conquer" franchises) and new ("Crysis," a shooter from the team behind "Far Cry" and at least one as yet unrevealed title).

— Monday, April 24, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 2:07:00 PM ET

Subtle Comments from Apoc

Over in this thread on the EA forums, Apoc had the following quote about the build system in C&C 3:
I'd keep your hopes very high for this return of the MCV (hint hint) :o)
And, later, on the role of Kane:
APOC: I can't speak on our plans with Kane right now, but...that's all I can say right now :o)
Let the old build system and a good actor not lead EA into forgetting about gameplay....

— Saturday, April 22, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 3:35:43 PM ET

Community Roundup

  • CNC DEN has three new Generals (not ZH) maps, a few new C&C 3 wallpapers, a updated ZH mod, a bunch of ZH replays, and a ZH Art of Defense map.
  • The Rise of Apocalypse mod has a bunch of new renders up.
  • The C&C Hall of Fame winners for Week 10 of the contest have been announced. You can view them here. Contest ends the 30th.
  • At Generals World, we've created a new C&C 3 section for you. We'll be covering the game all the way through its development.
Last edited by Blbpaws on Saturday, April 22, 2006 at 7:39:54 PM.

— Thursday, April 20, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 5:29:35 PM ET

APOC's C&C 3 Comments

APOC, the community manager for C&C 3, passed along the following news to us today:
Hey guys,

Well, I can finally post in this thread now that the official message is out. Basically, I would just like to say that I am extremely excited to be the Community Manager for this franchise and especially this title. I don't think I ever imagined i'd be filling these shoes when I first played C&C 95 and Red Alert 1. I've got some massive community battle plans that I cannot reveal yet, but we have an epic journey ahead of us friends.

So, you'll come to learn that I (we) the development team really take your opinions seriously and constructively. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but at the end of the day, its great to see the insane amount of excitement for the simple fact that C&C is back in its truest form!

Welcome back Commander.

BTW, i've read some 2000+ posts across many boards.

— Thursday, April 20, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 9:33:23 AM ET

C&C 3 Art

EA has released the following piece of C&C 3 artwork (click for full screen):

Looks nice, but it's clearly more concept art than in-game picture.
Last edited by Blbpaws on Thursday, April 20, 2006 at 1:33:45 PM.

— Thursday, April 20, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 6:50:52 AM ET

C&C 3 Official Press Release

EA has officially given the press release for C&C 3.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 20, 2006--The epic struggle between the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) and The Brotherhood of NOD continues ... and the third Tiberium War is about to begin. Welcome back, Commander. Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS - News) today announced that Command & Conquer(TM), the groundbreaking series that put the Real-time Strategy (RTS) genre on the map, is returning in full force with Command & Conquer(TM) 3 Tiberium Wars(1). This highly-anticipated next chapter takes the popular series back to its roots in the Tiberium universe and features the fast, fluid gameplay that Command & Conquer is known for and a gripping story that will redefine storytelling in RTS games.

It is 2047 and the stakes could not be higher. Tiberium -- a self-replicating alien substance that has infected the Earth -- is spreading like a radioactive ice age. The GDI, a high-tech alliance of the world's most advanced nations, is fighting to contain Tiberium, but Kane, the megalomaniacal leader of The Brotherhood of NOD has other plans for Earth. Kane's secret society turned superpower is bent on using Tiberium to take control and transform humanity into his twisted vision of the future. All-out war rages over Tiberium and the fate of the planet rests in the balance.

"Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars combines fast-paced gameplay with new ways to tell a story in an RTS game," said Mike Verdu, Executive Producer at EA Los Angeles (EALA). "We're building a next generation Command & Conquer game that is true to the spirit of this classic franchise, but is updated with state-of-the-art visuals, added strategic depth, and gameplay innovations that will move the genre forward. I am very excited to be working on this amazing game."

"We have been waiting to reveal this game for quite some time and are thrilled to bring the series back to where it all began," said Louis Castle, VP of Creative Development at EA Los Angeles (EALA) and co-founder of Westwood Studios, creator of the Command & Conquer series. "The Tiberium universe is a personal favorite of mine, and this saga's new direction will prove to be a worthy addition to one of the most celebrated RTS franchises."

Experience a revolution in RTS gaming with a breakthrough single player campaign that rewards you for your gameplay style. Add layers of strategy to your gaming experience by building mobile bases, wielding the power of terrifying Ion Storms on the battlefield, or customizing your armies by combining units. Battle it out online with native voice-over IP, integrated clan support, and new spectator modes that let you play RTS games like a sport.

Currently in development at EALA, Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars will ship in 2007 for Windows PC. This product is not yet rated by the ESRB. For more information about Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars or the Command & Conquer series, please visit CommandAndConquer.EA.com.
Last edited by Mike on Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 4:24:45 PM.

— Wednesday, April 19, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 7:22:30 PM ET

TFD 1.02 Patch

APOC also just announced that the second patch for The First Decade is live:
Today we are officially releasing Patch 1.02 for Command & Conquer The First Decade through direct download on our official site. This patch addresses the missing music from Command & Conquer Covert Operations and Red Alert Expansion packs, as well as a fix to the registry, and a short tutorial on how to access the “Fun Park” missions. Head to our official site to download the patch now!

EA certainly is trying to follow up the C&C announcement with some community news. In fact, they seem to be trying their absolute best to change their image. Of course, those things take a long time to change, but perhaps this is a step in the right direction.

— Wednesday, April 19, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 4:48:55 PM ET

C&C 3 Facts

Lion from CNC DEN has put together a list of facts he compiled for C&C 3 that have been confirmed:
-C&C 3 to ship sometime 2007.
-Mike Verdu will be the Executive Producer.
-Jason Bender will be the Lead Designer.
-C&C 3 begins in the year 2047.
-FMV cut scenes return.
-Kane will return from the dead. But was he ever truly dead?
-Game will use an updated version of the Sage engine.
-Sides are GDI, Nod, and a yet un-named third side.
-Smarter AI (remains to be seen)
-Voice over IP support, Clan support, Observer and spectator modes.
-Single player missions/AI Skirmish
-Multiplayer: Skirmish, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, World Domination
-Also, EA will be holding several 'player summits' during the development of C&C 3 so they can get feedback and ideas from C&C players.

It's not clear to me how Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch differ from free for all and team games currently see all the time in Generals and ZH. My guess is that they're just names for them, so I'm not sure how excited I'd get over that. World Domination, VOIP, and the player summits all look interesting, if only because the last is a good design (as well as marketing) tool.

— Wednesday, April 19, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 3:02:59 PM ET

C&C HOF Week 9 Winners; Extended Deadline

APOC sent an e-mail around notifying us that the results from week nine have been posted in the C&C Hall of Fame. There were a nice collection of shots this week, as APOC's comments alluded to:
We are getting close to end of the first iteration of the Command & Conquer Hall of Fame! This week some rather creative and humorous screenshots finally made their way to C&C history. The C&C "motor race" screenshot is pure brilliance while the Zero Hour destruction screen below could find itself in a gaming magazine any day. We like GDI circus acts; some gamers still think the ION cannon is an alien teleportation device; and who doesn't like being surrouned and outnumbered in Red Alert 2! Congratulations to all the winners of week 9, well deserved.

Again, you can see all of the here. In addition, the deadline for the contest has been extended to April 30th, which should gives you some more chances to enter. Winner of the overall contest gets a custom C&C skinned GeForce 7800GT graphics card!

— Tuesday, April 18, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 6:21:47 PM ET

New Poll and Poll Results

The new poll ties in a bit with the news of C&C 3. It essentially asks if you think EA is able to restore C&C to its throne as king of the hill in the RTS genre.

The results of the last poll are below:
How does EA's decision to outsource The First Decade affect your view of the company?
Positively. It shows they won't try to do what they can't do well.
It doesn't. I don't care how the game gets made, as long as it's good.
Negatively. EA claimed they had a team working on it. Why should we trust them in the future?
My view of EA couldn't get any worse, so this had no impact.

Total Votes: 71

I can't say I disagree with those of you who can't lose any more faith in EA, but I don't see what is, at best, hiding facts, can help opinion of EA.
Last edited by Blbpaws on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 at 10:22:56 PM.

— Tuesday, April 18, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 4:02:06 PM ET

Command and Conquer 3

As we noted last month, the June issue of PC Gamer was said to feature a new RTS. That RTS is, indeed, Command and Conquer 3. This image has been taken of the cover by an anonymous source, and is posted around the web.

The June issue of PC Gamer has not yet come out, and we don't know exactly what the game will be about, but everything seems to be pointing to a Tiberian-universe game similar to TS. HeXetic, who seems to be one person EA is trying to make an authority on C&C, has stated here (where you can also see the image) that it will be a more 'serious atmosphere,' unlike RA2. It seems that this is where the TS similarity is, but FMV will be very expensive, and hasn't been done in a while (though sources state they will do it again for C&C 3).

I'll be picking up the June issue of PC Gamer when it hits stores around here, and I'm sure more info will leak out over the next few days. It's also possible we will see an announcement--perhaps via e-mail--from EA.

Cue the standard phrases of excitement, that, hopefully, won't be blanketed by disappointment. It's been a long few years since a true C&C...could this end that drought?

Edit: This site (not English) seems to have pinned the title as C&C 3: Tiberium Wars.
Last edited by Blbpaws on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 at 10:28:38 AM.

— Sunday, April 16, 2006 —

Posted By: Luckie at 6:55:48 PM ET

Shake it, baby!

In Command and Conquer news, Red Alert 2's own Kari Wurher made the top 10 best In-Game Quotes from armchairempire.com. The C&C tidbit from the article goes a little something like this:
Number 8: Red Alert II (PC) “Shake it, baby!” - Agent Tanya To this very day, hearing Kari Wurher, playing Agent Tanya, shout, “Shake it, baby!” still puts a shiver of delight through my cerebral cortex. There’s something about the way it seems to roll off her tongue, like the role of Agent Tanya could only have been played by Kari (though I suppose the tank top helps, too). Imagine Sharon Stone shouting it. What about Keira Knightly, Scarlett Johanson, or Carmen Electra? It just wouldn’t work. It’s quite possibly the single greatest three words that have ever been uttered in a game and they could not have been said by anyone else.
Of course, there are other notable quotes. For me, "Shake it, baby!" is just as memorable as the Shenmue line: "Excuse me. Do you know where I can find some sailors?" (Number 3). Number one is from "World's Scariest Police Chases (PlayStation)". Has anyone even played that game? Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't people have to play a game in order for it to have some sort of memorable moment?
In anycase, check out the article here.
Last edited by Blbpaws on Sunday, April 16, 2006 at 11:49:57 PM.

— Saturday, April 15, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 3:51:08 PM ET

New All-Stars Screenshot

I know it's been absolutely forever since we've actually shared some of our progress on All-Stars with you guys. We've made a ton of progress on All-Stars, and we have a working beta version that's quite fun to play. ;) Once we get a few more things worked out, redo some of the graphics, and get the AI done, we'll be closer to letting you all get your hands on it. Until then, however, I'd like to share with you Jaymioz's Spy Plane, from Red Alert 2 and Yuri's Revenge.

If you haven't heard of All-Stars, it's Generals World in-house mod that's been in development for over two years now. It brings the best units from all the C&C games together for a grand fight in the 3D Zero Hour universe. You can see the rest of our All-Stars screenshots here.
Last edited by Blbpaws on Saturday, April 15, 2006 at 8:00:56 PM.

— Friday, April 14, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 7:02:17 PM ET

GR Tournament

Our affilate, Game Replays has announced a ZH tourney:
GameReplays is holding a 2v2 tournament for Europeans only, as part of the selection process for a championship in Perm, Russia. The top 3 teams in our tournament will recieve entry into the Computer Sports Championships, as well as transport and accomodation costs paid for by the tournament organisers.

The prize money for the tournament in Perm is as follows:

«C & C Generals : Zero Hour» winners (2 person team)
- 1 place - $4444
- 2 place - $2666
- 3 place - $1777
Sadly, it's only limited to Europe. But, if you're eligible, there are details here.

— Thursday, April 13, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 6:21:30 PM ET

Modding Article

There's a pretty good article on modding over at CNC Inside, a German site, discussing creativity in modding.
Modders, try to be a little bit more creative! The variety and the feeling, you have really created something yourself, couldn’t rankle the community so quickly, because the community would prefer less mods to equate and to be stopped, too. And if you want to start a mod: Take a look around, and see, if there isn’t a mod with the same scenario and apply! A mod, which is completed and offers a good quality, is much better than five, that are cancelled, isn’t it? Three years after the release of Generals it should be too late, to start a new project, but a new C&C WILL come, and then mods should be more, than just something, to keep community alive
The article is good, but I think it's off in some areas. Anyone who believes that creating a mod--even if it involves old C&C units--for Generals doesn't take creativity is wrong. Not many people are interested in simply recreating what was; to gather staff members for the mod, you have to come up with an interesting concept, as he aptly states. Coming up with something, that, on the surface is easy to pick up yet still is deep and fun, is challenging, which is why many fail to do it. It's important for many mod makers to realize that an easier way to do this is to build off other work--past C&C games for instance--and mold that. This is very much what we're doing with All-Stars, and it's what, in my view, makes modding fun and interesting. Still, the article is good, and you can read it all here.

— Monday, April 10, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 5:25:53 PM ET

WW Remembered Over at CNCW

Westwood Remembered is the title of a new section over at CNC World. It recreates a lot of Westwood Studio's website from 1997, and has a ton of old C&C utilities and fixes for download. Nice work guys!

— Sunday, April 9, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 1:56:32 PM ET

RTS Article at IGN

There's a pretty good (but long--7 pages) article on the history and development of Real Time Strategy games over at IGN. Here's a snip:
But of all of the granddaddies of the RTS genre, the biggest and most influential in the genre is undoubtedly Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty. While there have been a ton of titles released after Westwood dropped this big bomb, they're all basically more advanced derivatives of Dune II's basic game mechanics. Resources were harvested via collectors, bases were built, units were produced, battles were fought, and victory was achieved. Dune II is undoubtedly the single most influential title in RTS history and will live in the hearts of RTS gamers for all time for that simple fact. At least, those who were old enough to remember it.

The mania of real-time strategy spread and developers began expanding the basic model to create some truly entertaining titles. Warcraft and Command & Conquer further cemented the popularity of the genre and became influential in their own rights. "Warcraft was a real inspiration for us," remembers Ensemble Studio's Bruce Shelley. "Command & Conquer came out not long after that. We had a simple idea of making a historical game and borrowed ideas from these other games." Soon, games like Age of Empires, Total Annihilation and Starcraft brought the genre to new heights of success with deeper content and popular settings.

Head here for the whole piece.

— Sunday, April 9, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 1:47:37 PM ET

C&C HOF Winners 7 & 8 Announced

Over at the C&C Hall of Fame, Aaron Kaufman has announced the winners from weeks 7 and 8. There are only two weeks left in the contest, so if you want to enter, do so soon! After the contest is over, the entire community will vote on the best screenshot, and the submitter will win a GeForce 7800GT graphics card with a special C&C skin.

— Thursday, April 6, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 5:18:29 PM ET

New Article at CNCNZ

C&C King, over at CNCNZ, has posted a new article on RTSs. Here's his summary of it:
After just a couple of hours typing, I have produced my second article of the year. Possibly controversially named RTS - Real Trashy S***, I attack the whole RTS Genre and say why I'm not entirely happy with it.
To be honest, I wasn't that impressed with the article, but I think the issues he raised, while not unheard of before, and not well articulated, are ones that need to be addressed at some point in the future. Head here for the piece.

— Thursday, April 6, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 5:09:13 PM ET

MidEast Crisis Tourney

On the MidEast Crisis--a popular mod for Zero Hour--they have details on an upcoming tournament for the mod. They also have scans and a translation of a write-up they got in a German game magazine.

— Wednesday, April 5, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 3:07:25 PM ET

TFD Fixes

  • Hipsu-Kun has a little program that he postedthat removes the splash screen for C&C The First Decade, saving those precious seconds.
  • PlanetCNC has posted a small piece on preventing crashes with the original C&C's GDI missions in the First Decade pack, by disabling Advanced Text Services.
  • Just a reminder: EA supposedly has a 1.02 patch for TFD coming out soon that will hopefully fix more issues.

— Saturday, April 1, 2006 —

Posted By: Phe0n1x at 5:45:27 PM ET

The Power of High-Tech Warfare: Apocalypse

According to DetoNato, the founder and one-man team of The Power of High-Tech Warfare: Apocalypse:
I know I'm realy late with the Navy War Demo, but I take time to make this Demo to a great game. I adding some new units and generals abilities. I guess that I can release the Demo this month.
If you are good at making AI enabled maps for Generals Zero Hour, please upload you map and place the ftp site in a post here or send your map to DetoNato via email.

Specifications for the Navay War Demo:
1. Could someone make some pretty naval maps for my Navy War Demo of TPoHW. These maps only should have lots of water, some islands, maybe a bit city and what else you would like...
2. Make sure that the player start is in water. Thats important for Navy War gametype, please.
Last edited by Phe0n1x on Saturday, April 1, 2006 at 10:48:07 PM.

— Saturday, April 1, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 6:34:49 AM ET

April Fool's at PCNC

Today is April Fool's Day, so I assume that's where this piece of news falls. Over at Planet CNC, they have a new dating service for C&C fans, C&C Matchmaker. Certainly is a unique joke....

Edit: Or maybe not so unique, since Google just 'launched' their own new service, Google Romance. Love is in the air, apparently on this day of pranks.
Last edited by Blbpaws on Saturday, April 1, 2006 at 11:40:29 AM.