C&C Labs News Wire

— Sunday, June 29, 2008 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 3:42:45 PM ET

Community Summit Reports Roundup

As highlighted below, I and about two dozen others, attended the Red Alert 3 Community Summit. In addition to my report, a few other community members have posted their thoughts:

  • Chickendippers: a bulletpoint report that breaks down each presentation in an easy to read format
  • smurfbizkit: an overview as well as a more serious piece on Red Alert 3 modding
  • Wildfire: a short piece about the first day of the summit (more to come)
  • Jamie: a Strategy Informer staffer shares his short reflections
  • Ang3lic: a Game Replay's staffer short piece about Red Alert 3 and the summit, with an eye towards competitive gaming
  • JohnWE: a four page article that breaks the NDA describes a bit about Red Alert 3 gameplay
  • HeXetic: for those who thought my article was long, HeXetic's is three times the size, weighing in at a massive 15,000 words, with details on everything and plenty of tangents (but good ones)
Last edited by Mike on Sunday, June 29, 2008 at 7:43:25 PM.

— Saturday, June 28, 2008 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 3:11:33 PM ET

New RA3 Unit Profiles, BattleCast Primetime

  • First off, there's a new edition of BattleCast Primetime that you can stream from the C&C site. It features a match from the community summit, an interview with Red Alert 3 Executive Producer Chris Corry, and the long awaited Dave-Raj rematch.
  • A new unit profile, this time for the Kirov, is also up at the Red Alert 3 website.
  • And so, too, is there a second new unit profile, this time for the Allies Prospector is up. One of the neat things about the Prospector is that, in addition to being a resource-collector, it can deploy, similar to Surveyers in C&C 3, to give additional build radius--could work for some interesting early-game rushes.
  • There's also a new Red Alert 3 Q&A with some questions about walls, Kirovs, directional armor, and infantry suppression.
  • C&C note: Banshee, coordinator of the Open Map Competition for C&C 3, has been interviewed on C&C.com.

— Thursday, June 26, 2008 —

Posted By: Phe0n1x at 11:47:30 AM ET

June 2008 Community Summit

Since our dear webmaster, Mike, is away on some sort of trip, it falls on me to describe Generals World's very own Blbpaws's excursion to the wonderful world of EALA Studios. During his summit experience, he voiced his opinions on EA's support for Kane's Wrath, promoted Mike's Map Manager, promoted his own projects, including The Forgotten and All-Stars, did an interview with fellow community member Ryan from Moddb, witnessed an only slightly late arrival of Apoc, and played some Red Alert 3 (of which he cannot talk about the gameplay until July--sorry, got your hopes up), among other things. Blbpaws goes into great detail of the happenings during his two days at the June Summit--I would know as I proofed the eight part article :).

Personally, I found his report to be informative and an interesting read. Because of its length, the reader is able to get a better feel for Blbpaws's experience at EALA and the scope of game design. His supreme documentation and depiction is perfect even for the mildly interested as it also describes the reactions of the Red Alert 3 Developerment Team and the status of the Red Alert 3 Worldbuilder, among many other things. Despite his early morning wakeup calls, I believe Blbpaws had an exciting and productive summit trip--along with all of the other individuals who were invited. On behalf of Generals World, I would like to thank Blbpaws and all of the other community members for voicing their opinions and finally for reporting back to us, the fans, on this important June Community Summit.

To make it easier to read, he's broken the report into eight parts, each describing one or two facets of the trip. They are listed below:

Last edited by Mike on Sunday, June 29, 2008 at 7:26:40 PM.

— Sunday, June 22, 2008 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 6:43:15 PM ET

New Poll and Poll Results

After a long wait, I've updated the poll today. Here are the results of the last one:

How would you rate Kane's Wrath so far?
Very Good
Below Average
Very Poor
Total Votes: 402

Thanks to all 402 of you who voted. This poll is very interesting, and I wish we had more data on it. Kane's Wrath, in my opinion, had a good campaign but terrible online support. I wonder, therefore, if those of you who rated it highly played the campaign and those of you who gave it very poor ratings had tried to play the game online. If you estimate numerical values for each vote, though, and do an average of the data, the game gets around an 82 or 83, a C+ or B-. Not bad, but not good.

The new poll is about what you'd like to see follow the Kane's Wrath patch. Would you like a Mod SDK that lets the modders of the community quickly address the flaws in the game and add their own creations? Or would you prefer a new Worldbuilder, which lets other fans create their own maps?

Last edited by Phe0n1x on Monday, June 23, 2008 at 8:45:59 AM.

— Saturday, June 21, 2008 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 8:10:52 PM ET

RA3 Updates

Two new unit profiles are up: the Century Bomber and the V4 Rocket Launcher. Obviously Greg Kasavin has been hard at work.

Perhaps more important, though, is the announcement that Frank Klepacki will be doing some of the music for Red Alert 3, including a new version of his famous "Hell March" song, titled "Hell March 3." The announcemnet was made by Frank himself via video. I saw the original a few days ago, and now we have been authorized to share it.

Here's the video in WMV format and AVI (Xvid).

Last edited by Phe0n1x on Sunday, June 22, 2008 at 10:31:41 PM.

— Tuesday, June 17, 2008 —

Posted By: Mike at 1:55:10 PM ET

Kane's Wrath Patch on the Horizon

Nearly 3 months after Kane's Wrath was shipped, it appears we almost have a first patch available for the C&C 3 expansion. APOC has posted an update about the patch on the Official Forums, detailing a number of exploit fixes and balance changes. If all goes as planned, we might be fortunate enough to see it released the week of June 23rd (next week).

In particular, I want to highlight the sheer number of desync bugs that the development team has fixed:

  • Fixed a desync that occurs when a Nod ally attempts to create a Decoy army of a Mechapede.
  • Fixed a desync that occurs when creating a free-for-all 8 player game with 6 brutal AI.
  • Fixed a desync that occurs when playing a 6 player game with 4 AIs after both human players have been eliminated and are spectating the match.
  • Fixed a desync that occurs when playing against a brutal AI with 2 players on level Unfair Advantage.
  • Fixed a desync that occurs when playing with 2 players against a Brutal Black Hand AI on the map Unfair Advantage.
  • Fixed a desync when 2 players use Black Hand vs GDI on the map Tournament Arena.
  • Fixed a desync that occurs when engaging Firehawks with Seekers
  • Fixed a desync when Venoms attack a Plasma Missile Battery that is detecting an invisible unit

It is fairly clear why this patch has taken so long. These desyncs occur under fairly obscure scenarios, which makes them tough to track down. On the one hand, I wish to laud the developers for their diligence -- 8 unique desync scenarios have been fixed!

But on the other hand, Command & Conquer fans should demand better than this. Kane's Wrath should have never been released with this many crippling bugs. These desyncs don't just cripple online play -- I've had them happen on LAN matches as well. This begs the question: did anyone test the game?

And with the desyncs being so widespread, online players be warned: the developers have probably missed a scenario or two.  I doubt that this patch will be the final nail in the desyncs' coffin.

As a C&C fan, I would have much prefered for this game to have been delayed these 3 months, rather than suffer with a broken product for all that time. Decision makers at EA: take notice.

Last edited by Mike on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 6:01:51 PM.

— Wednesday, June 11, 2008 —

Posted By: Phe0n1x at 6:29:46 AM ET

Sage Advice Part 2

It seems HeXetic over at Planet CnC has released his second article in his Sage Advice series. This article focuses on one, if not the largest, problem with the sage engine. Psychovisuals.

Psychovisual. It means the perception of sight. If that doesn't seem to make too much sense, it's okay. It's a modern hackjob of ancient Greek. You may be more familiar with its audio counterpart, Psychoacoustics, which is the study of how our brain interprets sounds.

He focuses on the "clipping" made by units in every sage engine based game ever made, from Command and Conquer: Renegade all the way to Kane's Wrath. He also notes that these visual flaws impact the quality of the game making it less believable. For example, you wouldn't see a jeep partially inside of a tank in real life.

When I see some of the graphical flaws in C&C3 during a match, it really pulls me out of the reality of the game and reminds me that I'm just playing a game -- that I'm not actually immersed in a rich fictional world. This article is about the flaws I think contribute most to that unfortunate, and undesirable, reality check.

HeXetic also mentions that  he will be presenting his articles to the Red Alert 3 Development Team later this week.

— Tuesday, June 10, 2008 —

Posted By: Mike at 2:19:44 PM ET

Red Alert 3 Community Summit

The green light has been given for us to reveal that EA is holding a Red Alert 3 Community Summit in Los Angeles Thursday and Friday of this week.  Individuals from many well-known community fansites will be flying into LA tomorrow to meet up with APOC and the development team for an inside peek into Red Alert 3.

Our very own Blbpaws (of CnC: All Stars, and newly, The Forgotten) will be joining the crew at EALA Thursday.

We'll be providing you with details as soon as we're able to.  In the meantime, if you want to get a preview of some of the things Blbpaws may encounter (that big Generals poster, the emergency exit that is an entrance, and some oversized utensils), you can rewind to my writeup about the March Community Summit for C&C 3, which I was fortunate enough to have attended last year.

Last edited by Mike on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 6:20:46 PM.

— Sunday, June 8, 2008 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 9:29:59 AM ET

More RA3 Updates

In traditional bulletpoint form:

  • More Q and A's answered by Apoc's. Nothing terribly notable, but confirmation of things like hotkeys and formations. Also, no mind control in RA3, though something similar.
  • Two new unit profiles: the Soviet Sickle and the Allied Peacekeeper (which is a neat concept).
  • The RA3 game for the PS3 has been put on hold.