C&C Labs News Wire

— Sunday, July 30, 2006 —

Posted By: Phe0n1x at 1:52:06 PM ET

New Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars Concept Art

A few days ago, two new concept art drawings unveiled to the public by Planet CnC:
GDI Trooper Concept Art #1GDI Trooper Concept Art #2

Both depict the GDI Zone Trooper with Mammoth Tanks and Orca Fighters in the background; however, the one on the left seems to resemble an excellent render of the Zone Trooper model.

(Thanks Planet CnC, you can read their article here.)
Last edited by Blbpaws on Sunday, July 30, 2006 at 10:19:51 PM.

— Saturday, July 29, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 7:56:49 AM ET

C&C 3 July Podcast

The July edition of the C&C 3 podcast is available at the official C&C 3 site. HeXetic, from Planet CNC has a good bulletpoint summary of some of the key items mentioned:
* Silos are IN, and you can steal enemy money out of them.
* 80% of the world's population lives in Yellow Zones
* Zone Troopers (possibly among other infantry units) aren't vulnerable to Tiberium fields, but others are.
* Red Zones have a lot of Tiberium, so expect higher-money battles with faster powering-up.
* Even totally farmed-out fields of Tiberium will eventually grow back, but you can't just expect to nurse your "starter" field through a whole match. Tiberium harvesting is faster in the begining of the match when there's a lot of it on the map.
* Nod plays the "good guys" (sorta) in the Yellow Zones, where they bring food etc. to the neglected poor folk who live there. Champions of the oppressed and all that, yadda yadda.
* EA is trying to make C&C3 a "fast-paced" game
* Multiple refineries and harvesters are absolutely back in, and GDI has "familiar tactics still available".
* Fan feedback (that's YOU) about the initial Tiberium shots showing "big crystals" has been heard and Mike Verdu said they made the (harvestable) crystals smaller.
* Mike Verdu says he "comes across as GDI", but he's "subversive at heart". Jason Bender says, "Peace Through Power - Nod has style".
* At Leipzig, EA will be showcasing the first real-time multiplayer GDI versus Nod match, and there will be a "big announcement" that Mike Verdu thinks "will mean a *lot* to Command & Conquer fans"
* One of the factions will have an "interesting, unique" and "tactical" use of Tiberium - that you'll want to be "very close to Tiberium when you're using their units"
There's also mention of a big announcement coming at the Leipzig convention in Germany at the end of August. The smart money says that Kane will be featured there. Head to www.commandandconquer.com for the download.
Last edited by Mike on Monday, July 31, 2006 at 10:38:41 AM.

— Wednesday, July 26, 2006 —

Posted By: Mike at 8:16:04 PM ET

IGN: Living with Tiberium

Community manager Aaron "APOC" Kaufman sends word that IGN is currently running a feature story called Living with Tiberium.  The story features a number of new screens and vivid descriptions of a Tiberium-infested world.
If you were to stand in the middle of a Red Zone, you would see a landscape straight out of hell. The ground is a blasted and barren plateau of rock laced with veins of Tiberium that shine through with a malevolent green radiance. On the horizon are massive formations of pure Tiberium that have welled up through the surrounding earth. These frozen crystalline glaciers cast a sickly emerald glow on the surrounding terrain. Tilt your head and you'll contemplate a cloudy, tortured sky alive with twisting patterns of shimmering light and flickers of lightning. If you wait long enough, you'll see an Ion Storm begin to form, the lightning overhead intensifying until the entire environment is lit with rapid strobing flashes. Eventually the vast and terrible energy overhead will begin arcing to the ground around you in a terrifying display of destructive force. These fireworks are accompanied by a howling toxic whirlwind that scours the deserted ground and drives shards of Tiberium before it at insane speeds.
To read the rest of the article, be sure to pay a visit to IGN.

Also, remember that EA's next Command & Conquer podcast will be available this Friday the 28th!  Stay tuned to www.commandandconquer.com for details.

— Tuesday, July 25, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 5:17:42 PM ET

C&C 3 Building Scans

In this topic at our affiliate GameReplays, some clips of scans from a article about C&C 3 (in German) have been posted. Luckily, for those who buy into the a-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-words theory (or kann nicht Deutsch sprechen), some pictures of the buildings have been briefly annotated, as you can see below (click for a larger image):

— Tuesday, July 25, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 5:11:49 PM ET

BFME II Expansion Confirmed

Community Manager Aaron 'Apoc' Kaufman visited our affiliate GameReplays.org and posted a reply indicating that EA will indeed be creating an expansion to Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth, titled 'Rise of the Witch-King' and expected to come out after C&C 3. Just interesting to note that C&C 3 is indeed not the only RTS in development at EALA, and Aaron's going to be spending time in his role for both games as they develop.

— Friday, July 21, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 3:43:47 PM ET

New C&C 3 Info, Screenshots Released

Aaron 'Apoc' Kaufman, community manager for C&C, sent out an edition of the C&C newsletter today. It reads, in part:
An anonymous source recently sent a video communication (see right) our way from an unknown Yellow Zone. According to the source, something MAJOR will be revealed at the Leipzig Games Convention in Germany that is going to shake the very foundation of the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) and rattle the spines of every human on the planet. The source ended with the quote below.
In addition, it states the the July edition of the C&C podcast will be available on July 28th (just fitting it in before the end of the month). It will feature bits from Mike Verdu, of LOTR fame, who is now Executive Producer for C&C 3, and Lead Game Designer Jason Bender. Those not subscribed to the newsletter can view it on this page, where you'll find an updated version of the classic NOD logo.

They've also released some details about the Orca, GDI's fast attack craft seen in past C&Cs:
In 2047, the Orca has retained the rockets while gaining enhanced scouting capabilities. The air frame is heavier than that of the first generation Orca, granting increased survivability and the ability to carry a more powerful sensor suite. In response to Nod's penchant for fielding stealth technology, the Orca can activate its radar to scan the immediate area for stealthed units. This allows groups of Orcas to secure flanks and seek out Stealth Tanks and other hidden enemies. Upgraded Orcas carry a sensor probe that fires into the ground to provide detection in a fixed area. Although the technology is new to the field, some pilots have already been reported firing these probes into enemy armored vehicle hulls. This allowed GDI to track the movements of those Nod vehicles until the sensors were disabled by Nod technicians.
They also have some comments on another famed GDI unit, the Mammoth Tank:
The Mammoth Tank is the Global Defense Initiative's heavy hitting, thick-armored war-machine. When it was developed, it was so immediately intimidating to Nod that Kane specifically targeted their production facilities to keep them off the battlefield. The two giant tank cannons are its most obvious threat, but it is also armed with rocket pods to deal with smaller targets. The most important aspect of the Mammoth is the extremely heavy armor which provides a level of battlefield resiliency unrivaled by anything seen in the Tiberium Wars.
More details on EA's C&C 3 page. There's some new concept art and renders available on that page.  It's good to see that they are at work, and will be showing more as the summer goes on. It does look, however, as if the community summits have been pushed back a bit.
Last edited by Mike on Saturday, July 22, 2006 at 12:28:41 AM.

— Thursday, July 20, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 6:25:12 PM ET

Atlantis: Tides of War Announced

Noted community member James Ward has announced a new mod Atlantis: Tides of War. As he writes:
Atlantis: Tides of War is the first Generals Total Conversion to attempt to change the game in to something besides land combat. This project will, over time, convert Generals in its entirety to a game of submarine warfare - and I'll assure now, it's not what you're expecting! Combat in the world of Atlantis: Tides of War takes place many thousands of feet beneath the surface of the ocean in the year 2041 amongst the many underwater colonies and cities of the world's major powers. Subfighters rule the world of high-speed combat while lumbering submersible battlecruisers and carriers exchange salvos of torpedo fire at a level never previously imagined. The new UN - the United Earth Oceans - is a nation in itself; a massive alliance of European and American powers (along with Japan) who have banded together their military strength to fight the growing threat of the Macronesian Alliance - a union of Pacific nations from Australia to Tonga and beyond - who gained much wealth by exploiting the massive deposits of natural resources scattered across the abyssal plains of the Pacific.
Sounds interesting and unique. I wonder if it eventually will be released for C&C 3 and not Zero Hour. More details about the mod here.

— Monday, July 17, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 8:41:47 AM ET

New Poll and Poll Results

It's been a while since I updated the poll. The results from the last one overwhelmingly favored C&C as the best way to abbreviate Command and Conquer. Here they are:
What is your favorite way to abbreviate Command and Conquer?
Aren't they all the same?

Total Votes: 538

In our next poll, I'm asking for your suggestions for improvement. What should we be working on? Do we need expanded news coverage (something we've tried to address in the past) or should we focus on getting more maps and mods reviewed or completed so that you can download and enjoy them, or are there other things, like contests or a new layout that you'd rather see? I'm interested in seeing the results of this poll, and the staff is always willing to listen to specific suggestions posted in the forums or sent to MicScoTho or me.

— Sunday, July 16, 2006 —

Posted By: Mike at 2:39:14 PM ET

Single-Player Mission Maps Added

I added 3 new single-player mission maps to Generals World today: Guantanamo Bay: Operation Cuban Freedom and Bushehr: Operation Partisans' Challenge by beng for Zero Hour, and Mission Dambreaker by Mapmaker for the original Generals.

Bushehr: Operation Partisans' Challenge Version 1.5 (Zero Hour)
Scenario: The Americans have invaded Iran and have captured the coastal city of Bushehr. The GLA only have a few buildings left in a small base and no room to build more, but they have some new secret weapons up their sleeve.

Author: beng

Download The Mission
Guantanamo Bay: Operation Cuban Freedom (Zero Hour)
Scenario: The map is set in between Zero Hour GLA missions 3 (On the Waterfront) and mission 4 (Jarmen Kell and the Forty Thieves). Intro map provides mission background information.
Briefing: My General, we have dealt a fatal blow to the US Mediterranean fleet by sinking their aircraft carrier, USS Reagan, off Matala, Crete. However, Jarmen Kell and some of our operatives were captured by the enemy in that operation, and they are being taken via CIA plane to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Author: beng

Download The Mission

Mission Dambreaker (Generals Only)
This is a Single Player mission set in day conditions. You are the GLA and must build up your troops to destroy a dam and release a wave to destroy the Chinese forces. No one has yet made a wave like this so enjoy this rare treat. NOTE: read special instructions included.

Author: Mapmaker

Download The Mission

For more maps for Generals and Zero Hour, be sure to check out the Generals World Maps Section. And if you have a single player mission or other map you wish to submit to the downloads section, just visit the Submit a Map page!

Last edited by Mike on Monday, July 17, 2006 at 2:26:03 PM.

— Saturday, July 15, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 2:40:23 PM ET

Further Apoc Comments

Aaron 'Apoc' Kaufman, community manager for C&C, posted the following over at CNC Den:
Command & Conquer 3 will continue to cater to modders, and I will continue driving towards releasing more tools like a particle editor down the road. I've seen a lot of what EAW offered in modding thru XML and have taken that feedback to the development team a long time ago, so rest assured, this Mod SDK is the 1st step.

My goal is to give this RTS community the best modding tools in the RTS scene and then attempt to make those FPS boys know who we are. You guys make some amazing mods and deserve more recognition by the PC community.

I'm personally exhausted of seeing FPS mods steal the show all the time when there are some incredible mods out there for Zero Hour for example. Don't get me wrong, all due respect to FPS modders, they deserve the attention they get for sure, I would just like to see some more open eyes on the RTS mod scene, there definitely is one, and quite frankly, Zero Hour is the most modded RTS game in my opinion :-)

As for Renegade, unfortunately, thats a whole nother bag of marbles and modding tools. Certainly, I have no intention of dropping support, i'll do the best I possibly can with the resources I have, but with this 1st Mod SDK, the focus is on our RTS modding community. Renegade has a very properous modding community, and anyone is welcome to e-mail me requests that would help that modding scene out.
For the Renegade modders he mentioned, the SDK released yesterday has been modified by Saberhawk to work for Renegade; more details on the Renegade forums.

— Friday, July 14, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 5:46:09 PM ET

GR.org Tourney

Our affiliate, GameReplays.org is hosting a tournament Sunday to test their new community-created patch for Zero Hour. You can sign up here. You must have the patch to play.

— Thursday, July 13, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 5:36:58 PM ET

Mod Software Development Kit Released for C&C and BFME

We got this exciting and important news report from Community Manager Aaron 'Apoc' Kaufman today:
Hey everyone,

Today I bring you some of the most exciting news I’ve ever had since becoming Community Manager for our two biggest RTS franchises, Command & Conquer and The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth. As many of you know, the prospect of releasing an official Mod SDK has been one of my personal goals and milestones for this community for a very long time. >From gathering feedback at various community summits to many long e-mail chains with modders in the community, it’s been an epic and worthwhile adventure bringing this Mod SDK to you today!

Behold! The one RTS Mod SDK to rule them all is here! This Mod SDK contains much more power than meets the eye. For all aspiring ‘modders’ out there, it will provide you with some extremely useful developer tools to greatly enhance the production of your mod projects for the original The Battle for Middle-earth, The Battle for Middle-earth II, Command & Conquer Generals, and Command & Conquer Generals Zero Hour.

The Mod SDK includes:

  • 3DS Max 7 Autodesk plug-in (will work with 3DS Max 8)
  • W3D Viewer
  • Asset Cache Builder
  • Extensive Support Documentation for various parts of the 3DS Max plug-in and our W3D viewer
  • Tutorials on our in-house art creation processes and rules for models and maps

For me, today marks a major milestone for EALA and our development team’s commitment to supporting the community and modding community at large for our RTS games. Unleashing these tools to the community will help create fantastic mod projects, maps, models, and more. Supporting our mod community is very important to us.

Please share this exciting news with your communities. I would appreciate and love to hear any feedback or comments you have on this Mod SDK, the release, the tools, and documentation it contains as well as any tools you would like to see in potential future Mods.
Community Manager

More details and the download here.
Last edited by Mike on Friday, July 14, 2006 at 1:15:18 PM.

— Thursday, July 13, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 7:06:55 AM ET

C&C 3 'Info'

Lion of CNC Den, has posted the following:
I received the following info concerning C&C3. My source wishes to remain anonymous. There's actually nothing new in the info...perhaps just a confirmation of things we already know. And because this is NOT 'official' news from EA, I'll still have to label this as rumor I suppose.

-The sidebar will return, but with changes. It is being described as a mix of C&C and Warcraft.
-C&C3 will be released on consoles, and most likely the XBox 360.
-The World Domination mode (Like War for the Ring in BFME2) will NOT be included, because of 'time issues'.
Take it for what it's worth.

— Tuesday, July 11, 2006 —

Posted By: Mike at 11:42:50 AM ET

Article: The Origins of Red Alert

Our Origins and History of Command and Conquer article series now continues as we delve into the Origins of Red Alert. Blbpaws investigates the game's numerous sources of inspiration that stemmed from real-life persons and events, ranging from Einstein, Nikola Tesla and the Philadelphia Experiment to theories of time travel. Here's a snippet from the article:
The premise of Red Alert hinges on Albert Einstein’s secret belief that World War II could be prevented, and many the many lives lost could be saved. While working with Nikola Tesla on a Navy Project to achieve invisibility in naval warfare an event known as the Philadelphia Experiment occurred. In Red Alert, this event is caused by an attempt gone horribly wrong to make the USS Eldridge utterly invisible to light and radar, by bending the space-time continuum around it. In the game, the ship vanishes for seven to ten minutes, and, when it reappears, the results are terrible; crew members suffer numerous ailments, and some are supposedly embedded in the hull. In actuality, this part of the backstory is almost certainly based off the real Philadelphia Experiment conspiracy. The conspiracy is based off a similar event that supposedly happened to the USS Eldridge, an actual ship, in 1943, where, in an attempt to induce invisibility, the ship disappeared, and, according to various versions of the story, crew members suffered severe injuries, including some regarding contact with or embedding in the hull...
You can read the article in its entirety here. It's a great read for those seeking insight into Westwood Studios' inspirations in creating the first Red Alert Command & Conquer title.
Last edited by Mike on Tuesday, July 11, 2006 at 3:43:38 PM.

— Monday, July 10, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 6:42:11 PM ET

Community Roundup

Here we go:
  • PlanetCNC has some updates. including a new feature--Help Pages, a good support reference for C&C--and a new edition of their old feature, the Mailbag.
  • Our affiliate, Game Replays is working on a community patch:
    A small contingent of GameReplays members and staff have been working on a community patch aimed at improving the balance of ZH. The patch is now available for public testing and we will require a community effort to help test the patch and report any balance concerns or other issues with our balance patch. You can now download the patch from Gamereplays and report on any concerns in the Patch Discussion Forums.
    Full change list here.
  • Cold War Crisis has a render of the Green Beret.

— Friday, July 7, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 5:06:28 PM ET

Nope, it's not us...

It really isn't, I promise. There's just not much news to report. EA is awfully silent (hopefully before the storm of PR) about what's going on with C&C 3. Odds are, that's because Apoc is spending his time now on BFME II for Xbox 360, which was just released. Hopefully soon he'll return and share some C&C 3 news.

In Generals World related news, we're working on some new stuff for All-Stars, and we hope to give you a chance later on this month to hear some more about the mod.

In addition, a new piece in our Origins and History of Command and Conquer series will come out next week.
Last edited by Blbpaws on Friday, July 7, 2006 at 9:31:56 PM.

— Tuesday, July 4, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 8:34:40 AM ET

Happy 4th of July

On behalf of all the staff at Generals World, I'd like to wish our visitors a very happy fourth of July. On this date in 1776, the founding fathers of America declared their independence from England on their beliefs that all deserve basic rights. While the celebrations today include fireworks and barbeques, let's not forget what this day was first all about, and the people who helped build this country.

Enjoy the day!

— Saturday, July 1, 2006 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 8:14:18 AM ET

Supply Chain Article

HeXetic at Planet CNC has written a interesting piece on supply chains in RTS games. It's certainly true that supply chains are something that has never been well incorporated into any C&C game, but that's probably because the developers felt it would slow down the pace too much. From the article:
I thought I'd take the opportunity to have a little dicussion about support in RTS games - no, not technical support, but the modelling of military support. The current Canadian government has just these past few days announced a bit of a spending spree on military support ships, trucks, and helicopters - not fancy fighter jets or spy drones or heavy tanks, but relatively simple resupply systems. This brings up the interesting point that in real-life military operations, supply is everything. How many times have you read the history of a particular battle where one side lost or had to retreat because they ran out of ammo or food, or just didn't have the parts to keep their equipment in good repair? It happens all the time, and yet it's something we don't often see modelled in RTS games. Support in general, in fact, is a little absent, wouldn't you agree?
Full piece here.