C&C Labs News Wire

— Tuesday, April 28, 2009 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 8:22:14 PM ET

In-Game Images from The Red Alert

On C&C Labs, we've got some in-game images to show off from "The Red Alert," our mod that recreates the very unique Red Alert 1. They show off not only the models and textures in-game, but also our utilization of the structure damage system in Red Alert 3. Here are four of the images. See the rest on C&C Labs.

— Wednesday, April 15, 2009 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 8:58:02 PM ET

New Update at "The Red Alert"

At C&C Labs, we've got a new update at "The Red Alert," a mod for Red Alert 3 that recreates the original Red Alert in stunning 3D graphics. The goal of the mod very much is to bring back the atmosphere of the original game. To this end, we've got a nice new picture to show off that highlights how we've recreated the original housecolors. You can see the Medium Tank in-game in varying housecolors below. Click for full-size, or see more about the mod here

— Monday, April 13, 2009 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 4:23:09 PM ET

More on C&C Arena, Rumors of C&C 4

Rumors continue to fly regarding the next C&C game and the existence of an "Arena" C&C. We've done a bit of looking, and we have turned up three specific names of people who were involved. By analyzing each, we might get a fuller picture of what's going on. If this is all new to you, read my last post on The Third Floor and C&C.

Felix Jorge

  • His LinkedIn page indicates that he freelanced for The Third Floor (thanks PlanetCNC).
  • He is also credited on the same page for work on Red Alert 3 and C&C 4.
  • No mentions of C&C 3, Tiberium, or Arena could be found on that or other pages linked to him.

Kendrick Leung

  • His resume reveals that he worked on Tiberium, Uprising, and C&C 4.
  • He indicates on the resume that Tiberium was canceled, but does not say this about C&C 4.
  • He's posted lots of Tiberium concept art, which I'm not sure anyone has seen before.
  • He says in a blog post that he worked "near LAX" in July 2008. EALA is near LAX airport in Los Angeles. I suspect he was likely working on Uprising or C&C 4, probably the former.

Barry Howell

  • Currently employed by The Third Floor, according to a website bio (thanks Kodaemon).
  • The bio states the following
    Barry has since provided previs for such movies as Eragon, James Cameron's Avatar, and J.J. Abrams' Cloverfield. He recently supervised the cinematics team for EA’s Command & Conquer 3: Arena as well as CAPCOM's Resident Evil 5. (emphasis mine)
  • This is different from all other listings of the title, which do not include the "3" in the title, leading me to speculate that Arena was a code-name for Tiberium, the cancelled C&C FPS.
  • If we wanted to get a sense of the time frame of his projects, to speculate on when Arena was in development, we can check the release dates of the credited works:
    -Eragon: Dec. 2006 (film)
    -Cloverfield: Jan. 2008 (film)
    -Resident Evil 5: March 2009 (game)
    -Avatar: Dec 2009 (film)

    What can we conclude from this? From the 2005 or so (when the pre-vis on Eragon would have been done)  to the middle of 2008 (assuming pre-vis for Resident Evil was done in mid-2008 for release in 2009) he only had one listed credit (Cloverfield), plus possibly C&C Arena. Wikipedia states that Cloverfield was first shot in June 2007, with green-lighting on other tasks, possibly including pre-vis, happening Feb. 2007. C&C 3, released March 2007 likely had its pre-vis done well before then, so it's possible "Arena" could be C&C 3, as that fits the gap. However, it could still be Tiberium, as we don't know exactly when those pre-vis scenes were done, given that it was in pre-production for so long. All this, of course, assumes that the bio is accurate.

Summed together, I think this is probably more evidence that Arena was a code-name for a past game, either Tiberium or C&C 3. The new material is that it appears quite likely that development on C&C 4, presumably set in the Tiberian universe, has begun. This likely puts to rest any possibility of Generals 2 for quite some time. I do not expect C&C 4 to be announced until later in 2009, as I don't think it's going to make a holiday release.

Last edited by Blbpaws on Monday, April 13, 2009 at 8:26:05 PM.

— Wednesday, April 8, 2009 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 6:17:24 PM ET

Red Alert 3 Mod SDK Released

The Red Alert 3 Mod SDK has (finally) been released. It enables players to mod the game to better suit their own or others' tastes, and includs a new graphical interface. For an introductory interview to the Mod SDK, read an interview with EALA SDK coder Justin Moe. You can get more details on the SDK here and download it from EALA here (130MB).

If you want to use the SDK for single player missions or anything else involving Worldbuilder, you'll need a custom version of Worldbuilder, downloadable here (600MB). For those modding the User Interface of Red Alert 3, use these UI reference files.

— Saturday, April 4, 2009 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 11:15:58 PM ET

C&C Arena Speculation

Evidence uncovered indicates that it is quite likely that there is, or was, a game entitled or code-named Command and Conquer: Arena in development at EALA. There's a lot of speculation going around, but it's important to ground that in facts. I've done some investigation, and here's what I have found.

The game probably would have had or has Full Motion Videos or in-game cinematics, possibly computer-generated. The Third Floor, an LA-based previsualization company, worked on the game, as did Shadowplay Studios, also based in LA. Both companies also worked on Red Alert 3 and Need for Speed, also published by EA. Shadowplay Studio and The Third Floor have a long history of working together on a variety of projects.

The game was likely in development dating back to at least early 2008. Chat records reveal that a Blockbuster survey that dated to at least January 2008 included a question about C&C Arena. Additionally, it is likely that C&C Arena predated Red Alert 3, suggesting that the game is the cancelled quasi-C&C shooter Tiberium. When describing their work for Red Alert 3, The Third Floor writes:

Because of our success on C&C Area [sic], Electronic Arts came back to us with a project that was even more epic. As the much-anticipated next installment of C&C, Red Alert 3 already had a very strong fan base, so the expectations were running high. But utilizing the strengths of both Shadow Play and The Third Floor, we rose to the challenge.
Working closely with world-renowned director Richard Taylor, the cinematics were developed in accordance with his vision. Over 3 minutes of final cinematics were created for in-game cutscenes and marketing materials.

When listing his credits, The Third Floor CEO Chris Edwards lists C&C Arena before C&C Red Alert 3. Finally, when C&C Arena was mentioned on The Third Floor's website, this order was also used.

The following posting was on The Third Floor's website until recently--it has since been taken down. It was uploaded to Photobucket by an anonymous user. In it, you can clearly see the promotional material for C&C Arena used by The Third Floor. The written text reads as follows:

The Third Floor teamed with Shadowplay Studio to take Electronic Arts’ concept of an epic robot battle from previs all the way to final cinematics. The highly detailed world was fleshed out from scratch by The Third Floor and Shadowplay teams.

Parse this carefully. Many are reading this as saying that C&C Arena will be all robots. I do not believe this is accurate. I believe it merely refers to a single cutscene done by The Third Floor and Shadowplay, which perhaps has mostly or only robots. The "from scratch" part only means, I think, that they worked on the scene from nothing, not that it's a whole new universe, as some speculators have suggested. 

There is a lot of speculation about the game being made available for free and supported through micropayments. I do not think this is the case. The best I can tell, this rumor dates to a comment by "thisguyinhere" on February 5th, 2008. I can find no corroborating evidence, and lots of evidence that points against it.

Now for my own speculation: I believe this title is a reference to Tiberium, the canceled C&C shooter. The title, content, and timeframe all fit ("Arena" is added to shooter titles on occasion, such as Quake 3: Arena). I believe these two companies did previsualization work for the game before it was canceled.

I believe that we'll see a non-RTS C&C at some point, maybe even with this name, but what we have seen here isn't it.

— Thursday, April 2, 2009 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 2:11:08 PM ET

New Map Packs

I wanted to take a moment to draw your attention to the many maps we've been adding recently to Generals World and our sister site, C&C Labs. In addition to the already large collection of C&C 3 maps, Kane's Wrath maps, and Red Alert 3 maps, we've added several new map packs by great authors. For Red Alert 3, gren has submitted a map pack with seven high quality maps that we think you'll love. Likewise, for C&C 3, Predatore has submitted his second great map pack with four maps, including some that have some neat unique environments on which to fight.

Remember, we want to host your creative C&C works so that others can enjoy them. Sign up and submit a map today!



— Wednesday, April 1, 2009 —

Posted By: Mike at 11:40:48 AM ET

Mammoth Tank Coming to RA3

EA has announced that a new unit will be added to Red Alert 3 in a future patch -- the Mammoth Tank!

Battlefield reconnaissance has revealed at least these facts about the Mammoth Tank:

  • Train local, act global -- Since the control of the portal was returned to the various Allied groups, training of the mammoths has been brought to the animal training facility at Omsk. There, mammoths can be trained in a closed environment before being released into the past to continue the battle.
  • Charge! -- The mammoth gains incredible momentum when moving in a straight line. If it gains enough speed, it can knock back small- and medium-sized units and even crush small buildings.
  • Up close and personal -- The mammoth's powerful tusks are outfitted with serrated spines, allowing a quick shake of the creature's head to slice through any nearby units -- friend or foe.
  • Used to do it -- The mammoth's thick coat makes it completely immune to all Allied cryo technology, while its long trunk allows it to snatch cryocopters and other aircraft right out of the air. Note the mammoth is unable to attack aircraft while swimming.

You can read the Mammoth Tank's unit profile here.