C&C Labs News Wire

— Wednesday, August 27, 2008 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 7:54:55 AM ET

RA3 Interview, Patch

First, EA has patched Red Alert 3 to version 1.04. The best way to update is to use the auto-updater in game, but if you want to download the patch manually, you can do so here (note that it is about 825MB larger when downloaded manually).

Also, Amir Ajami, a producer on Red Alert 3, granted an interview to 1up about the coop campaign (which has hitherto been kept under wraps). Here's a piece:

1UP: So when you're in the co-op scenario, does the second player control a duplicate force of guys and tanks?

Amer Ajami: It's rarely, if ever, duplicate. They're both tailored to complement each other; for example, the mission we're showing in Leipzig is a Soviet mission that's halfway through the campaign. It's an island-hopping mission where one player has mostly air forces and the other player has mostly ground forces. So you'll have to use the ground forces to knock out the anti-air units on an island to let the air forces come in and clean up the rest of the area or take out any enemies that are strong against your own ground forces. So there are a lot of complementary force situations that you'll play through. In later missions -- the more base-versus-base ones or the last, or second-to-last, mission of any given campaign -- where, at that point, you've unlocked most or all of the technology tree, then you'd be in a situation where you and your buddy both have a Mobile Construction Vehicle and you both can essentially unlock and build whatever you want, and throw whatever you want against the enemy.


You can read the full thing here.

— Sunday, August 24, 2008 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 2:29:10 PM ET

Apoc's "State of the Community" Words

Aaron "Apoc" Kaufman, the community manager for C&C 3, sent the following remarks via email:

Hey guys,

I find myself here again giving a brief "state of the union", because I've seen increasing threads and e-mails about my whereabouts and commitment to the C&C 3/KW community.

I would first like to say that I am as passionate as ever about this spectrum of the community and these two games and will continue fighting daily to see them supported.

I am currently discussing internally about the feasibility and timeline of our next patch for Kane's Wrath. As i said in a previous post, I don't have any further updates at this moment but our recent patch 1.01 has barely been out a few weeks and I would hope gives us some breathing room and reprieve from the high demands.

We're in the midst of finaling Red Alert 3 and I am a huge component of that as a producer and community manager with the commitments I have. 2POC's internship ended last week, but you'll still seem him around plenty once he gets acclamated with his school schedule. I am also in Leipzig, Germany this week for the Games Convention for Red Alert 3 and am typing this message to you at 3AM. It's incredibly intense and busy right now.

But, my heart is still engraved in C&C 3 and Kane's Wrath and I am working equally as hard on the prospect of our next patch and the SDK. I will say very honestly the MOD SDK situation is looking increasingly dire due to technical reasons, but I am exercising every option. I am also working early on our RA3 MOD SDK which I value as critical to the community to have as early on as possible.

And of course we have the Kane's Wrath Ladder Season going on right now, so we're not about to patch in the middle of that and throw the balance off, at least not right now.

So overall, its a very intense time right now and I am working intensely to share focus with Red Alert 3 and C&C3 / KW, the forum mods are working hard to keep peace here, our volunteer cheat-team is working hard to keep the game free of DC'ers, spammers, etc, this is an intense battlefield for APOC's Army at the moment.

I understand the desires of having a new patch soon and the SDK asap, but I want you guys to know neither is forgotten, its simply a busy time these past couple of weeks especially with Red Alert 3, but I assure you I am working on all the above for C&C 3 and KW to the best that I can internally and with my strong army of volunteers.

I appreciate those who understand and understand those who would like to see increased face time, I will absolutely keep you guys posted, especially when I have more concrete information. Unfortunately, I still don't have that but I hope the patch is keeping you busy in the meantime.

I will be around, once I'm back from Germany next week.

Cheers, your community manager (4 years now! =)
A few things of note here: first of all, I don't think that releasing a patch within the last month should lessen the demand for a patch that fully fixes Kane's Wrath. The bottom line is never how often something is patched, but how well it is patched (and how good it is to begin with). Kane's Wrath was very poorly developed to begin with, and the patching has been anemic and slow to address the issues. Secondly, Aaron's honesty on the Kane's Wrath SDK is appreciated--though I think there are personnel concerns as well as technical ones at play. While I think it reflects poorly on EA to leave the KW modding and mapping communities in their current state, being upfront about their actions is a good sign. It certainly beats the EA circa 2003, which stated that products and add-ons were on their way, yet never produced them, or addressed their absence. Aaron deserves credit for this. I hope this policy of honesty continues, and I hope EA makes people like Aaron have an easier time being honest by developing and fully supporting top-flight products.

— Friday, August 15, 2008 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 8:05:46 AM ET

Generals 2 Rumors

In what most definitely qualifies as a unsubstantiated rumor, some other sites are suggesting that EALA may be developing Generals 2. The main reason for this speculation is the fact that in February it appears EALA registered the Generals2.com domain name. In addition, the Red Alert 3: Premier Edition will include a beta key to a future C&C game. We'll have to wait and see on this one, but I don't believe that Generals II is currently in development for a few reasons:

  • EALA also registered every "generals" domain name through www.generals9.com. It's obvious that there won't be nine Generals games (or, at least we should all hope not). So it's unclear how much we should read into this.
  • EALA, I believe, still only has two teams working in the C&C portion of the studio: The C&C 3/RA3 team and the Tiberium team. Prior to the announcement of Tiberium, EA claimed to have two teams working on C&C games, but as we reported, one of those teams was in fact BreakAway Games. It's unlikely, I think, that EA would outsource the development of Generals 2, as it is not an expansion pack.
  • EALA has announced the creation of another team, the "live" team, but this team is far from fully formed and will not be used to develop games, but rather to provide aftermarket support. So it's unlikely that EA would be capable of adding so many people at once to create two new development teams, in addition to the two they already have.
  • It is possible, though, that the Red Alert 3 team will move to Generals 2 after the game is done (and that some parts of the team have already begun working on Generals 2), but I think it highly unlikely. Remember that there is an expansion planned to Red Alert 3 and that, unless EA chooses to outsource it again, the Red Alert 3 team will be developing it. I think it's most likely that the beta key will be used for either this expansion or for Tiberium.
  • Lastly, there isn't much from Generals or Zero Hour to continue, as the games were sans plots. Many liked the games for the good balance system, but if the selling points of the game were not the sides or the characters, why go back to those sides and characters? Marketing-wise, it'd be better to try to take the gameplay elements of Zero Hour and use it in other C&C games, as EA is doing with Red Alert 3.

All in all, don't get your hopes up. I think the Generals era is over.

Last edited by Mike on Sunday, August 17, 2008 at 10:10:11 PM.

— Thursday, August 7, 2008 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 1:06:37 PM ET

Possible RA3 Release Date, Two Actresses Known

According to a forum post quoting a British magazine, Red Alert 3 will be released on the 31st of October. In addition, two Red Alert 3 actresses are revealed in the article: Gemma Atkinson, a British actress, will be playing the traditional Eva character for the Allied side, while Kenny McCarthy will be Tanya. The former is quoted as saying:

I'm shooting in-game scenes for my new role as Lt Eva McKenna in their new game Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3. I communicate mission intelligence on behalf of the allied troops. I also kind of have a crush on the commander! And I have a rival, called Tanya, played by Jenny McCarthy, who also has a crush on the same guy!

The casting of Atkinson was previously confirmed by EALA, on their site.