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1. Evo of cncnation.net Interviews the Tiberian Dawn Mod Crew a Second Time: November 23, 2007
1. Evo of cncnation.net Interviews Kushan, Leader of the Tiberian Dawn Mod Crew: September 14, 2007
3. Evo of cncnation.net Interviews Aaron Kauffman, Official EA C&C Community Manager: June 29, 2007
4. CnC Source Interviews Lion from CNCDEN
Evo of cncnation.net Interviews the Tiberian Dawn Mod Crew a Second Time: November 23, 2007
Evo: Hey guys, it has been a while since we last spoke, how is life treating you all?
Soviet_Deso: Life is good, a lot more busier then it was during the summer of course.
Nyerguds: The combination of School and my girlfriend have left me with almost no time for myself, but well, I manage :P
Tocsin: Life for me, the blog artist, is brilliant as always. The problem is that life and reality aren't mutually exclusive and the latter has an annoying tendency to catch up with the former. Life is fun, reality is a drag.
Dimitri: Very very well, frickin' busy though, new job and stuff, also I'm not gonna be around from 19th-28th December.
Duuude007: Everything on the most part is going well for me, just moving right along balancing work, mod, marriage, and. something called sleep, when I get the chance.
Evo: First things first, you have just completed your big move over to cnc-source. Why did you take the decision to make this move?
Duuude007: Well, we had been deliberating on new ways to improve the site and forum capabilities, as well as improve our visibility. One part of that was switching to a reliable forum like IPB. We had several acquaintances over in CNC-Source who had offered us an option to partner with them, due to their interest in our popularity, and the cooperation that we could provide each other. In the end, it will hopefully give both us and Source a nice boost in visibility. ^^
Evo: What new opportunities has the move presented for you all involved in the mod?
Nyerguds: The website hosting is free now, I believe. But the main advantage is that we get the help and input of the loads of skilled mod makers that are already part of the CNC-Source community, including the team that worked on the First Tiberium War mod for C&C Generals.
Duuude007: Aye, Assassin and his cohorts have been quite welcoming to the community, and we have been sharing models and techniques along the way. I am hoping that we can assist them as well, in their efforts on TS: Rising.
Evo: I take it everyone and everything moved over ok, you didn't leave any members behind did ya?
Soviet_Deso: Hehe well not that I know of.
Nyerguds: I helped the TFTW team earlier, so I was already a registered at the CNC Source forums. Some staff members were a little late realizing they should go here, but I think everyone's here now.
Tocsin: I'm not sure but I think everyone forgot to tell DamageINC that we moved, so for the first two weeks - before the move was made public - he just kept going to the old forums and wondering why no one was posting. <_< Whoops.
Evo: For any one who hasn't heard of you lot yet, can you give us a quick low-down on what you are doing and why?
Nyerguds: We are recreating the first Command & Conquer game (aka Tiberian Dawn) on the engine of C&C3. Because we love C&C1, and we like C&C3's engine features.
Tocsin: I'd tell them to go read the blogs, announcements and what have you on the forums. =P But yeah, what the crazy Dutch bloke (Who CLAIMS to be Belgian. I don't buy it though, there's something very Dutch about him.) said is essentially it.
Duuude007: We hope to bring back all of the best features of Tiberian Dawn, beginning with a fully functional Multiplayer, and moving on into enhanced features such as Westwood archived units, abilities, and eventually, campaign missions.
Evo: You have had the SDK to play with for quite a while now, is it up to scratch, or do you wish there was more you could do with it?
Duuude007: The SDK has a great deal of useful tools that we are still tearing apart and putting back together, but yes, there are some limitations hardcoded into the C&C3 source, that make some changes near impossible to make happen. (like giving a transport vehicle 5 spots to store units). We also have some ideas on how to improve upon existing features, but I'd rather wait to reveal too much on that subject ;)
Evo: The latest models have been primarily transportation based, (APC and Chinook) what can we expect to see in the coming weeks?
Nyerguds: Hmm... possibly some structures, I'd say.
Duuude007: Most definitely, we are in fact in the middle of 2 major structures being built, the Refinery and the Weapons Factory. The details being added are pretty significant, as we wanted these to feel like active elements of the base, not just static warehouses. Even something as simple as a door opening has had a lot of thought put into its method.
Evo: That sneak-peak in-game video is very nice, but what are you hiding from us?
Soviet_Deso: I'm sorry I'm afraid I can't answer that, I can only say that there is a lot of things that you haven't seen yet, but you will get to see them with up coming blogs, its just a matter of time ;)
Nyerguds: Kane's treasure, actually. That's why we need structures, to stash it in.
Duuude007: There is plenty that the video does not show, that is for certain. Although we are still working out some details, one thing that is making all of us very excited is the fact that almost every GDI vehicle is completed, and being added in-game. More on this, soon ^^
Evo: NeptuneUK - you are a very talented music-maker-guy, what is your inspiration?
NeptuneUK: Thanks! I guess my main musical influences would include such artists like Nine Inch Nails, Rob Dougan, Rammstein, Jimi Hendrix and of course Frank Klepacki! But seeing as I have such a wide taste in music I suppose I always end up blending genres together to create a lot of weird sounding stuff - but it seems to be working so far! In addition to the music I've made here, I play in an old-school sounding blues-rock band, I try not to pigeon hole myself musically into only a few genres! I'll try any genre at least once!
Evo: What else you have planned music wise for the mod?
NeptuneUK: Well I've finished making the dark, broody, electro-industrial tracks and the heavy industrial metal tracks for the mod, so I'm moving on to producing classic C&C covers and some Frank K style blends of Electro/Funk/Rock tracks. Eventually we will end up with a HUGE amount of tracks of various qualities and genres; At that point, the challenge will be to choose which ones will cut it for the game, kind of like X-factor but without that a**hole Simon Cowell.
Evo: Dimitri - great concepts, are you basing you work directly from C&C Gold, or are you designing them from scratch?
Dimitri: I like to do an initial sketch that is quite similar to the original C&C, then do a more unique sketch that I design myself, I go abit crazy sometimes though and it always ends up looking really sci fi :S
Evo: Tocsin - how do you manage to complete your PR duties and keep your blood alcohol levels high enough?
Tocsin: It is in fact a delicate balance between too drunk to type and too sober to be interesting. A sweet spot of intoxication where amusing anecdotes flow as free as the content of my bladder after sitting on a rickety bus for three hours after a heavy night out, with creative - slightly disturbing - imagery to boot too. However, fall to either side of that and you either get sober and boring, reads like the manual to your microwave oven or you end up with the garbled drunken mess... a result of rubbing the keyboard all over myself in the vein hope that it'll magically absorb the blog from me by way of osmosis (I swear it'll work one day).
Evo: Is there any further information you can provide on the details surrounding the Classic Mode and other game modes?
Xenon: Now that we have a full team covering near enough all aspects of this mod we can tell you that some major progress is being made in terms of getting all units and structures for both teams model and texture wise completed. There is some major progress being made by the mapping section also. We can't give you full details on what modes to expect in this mod but the multiplayer/skirmish mode is our main focal point at this moment in time. All we can say is expect to see recreations of some old favorites in terms of maps make a return.
Duuude007: We are still striving to make Classic mode as "True to TD" as we can, while giving the existing units and structures some more realism and details, because of the advantages of the SAGE engine. When we delve into enhanced mode, we will be considering archived Westwood vehicle and structure ideas, things that never could make it into the original game, but were of sound design. Furthermore, we will be brainstorming new abilities and variations for several units, which can introduce new powers, and possibly consequences for tapping into these powers.
Evo: What do you think of the work EA have done to help the modding community?
Duuude007: Although we love the updates and guides provided for the SDK, it would have been nice if EA had a more active role in the modding community, as many active modders have been limited to guesswork as to how to operate several aspects of SDK. We have brought it upon ourselves to share techniques that resolve numerous issues, but many gaps still exist. All in all, we are happy with what we have, but we really appreciate it when new techniques can be passed down from the hill (like adding/evacuating 5 passengers to an APC without bugs, making good waterfalls for maps, Snow/Ice, etc)
Evo: Do you think EA should do a competition like Epic did whereby a mod team can win a big cash prize and full access to the C&C3 source code?
DamageINC: At the very least I hope they include community content on a bonus disk with their next C&C compilation or C&C3 + Kane's wrath pack.
Nyerguds: Uhm, EA and source code? You must be joking, right?
Tocsin: Do I think so? Hell yes, that would be amazing. However, there's a snow ball's chance in hell of it happening. However what DamageINC said sounds like a bloody good idea too because there's some very good mods coming along out in the community at large for C&C3, if they were really slick they wouldn't just stop there but throw in some mods for other C&C titles too (*cough* Thinking about a particular standalone first person shooter that's pretty popular).
Duuude007: That is quite a nice idea, it would definitely bring mod competition to a new level. But Nyerguds & Tocsin are right, the chances would be pretty danged slim. I really like DamageINC's option as a bonus to KW or another compilation, however.
Evo: When can we expect the first public release?
Kicken: Well, Tiberian Dawn has already been released, about 12 years ago. I hear that a few people have been playing it.
Duuude007: lol. To be fair, the TD nickname was more of a "codename" for C&C1 back then. It hadn't become official until its sequel, Tiberian Sun, was released 4 years later. With so many team members being students in High School and College, this time of year can be a slow point for many of us. It is still our wish to have the mod's first release around the turn of the year, but I cannot make any promises. One of our biggest slowdowns recently has been the fact that our only blog writer, Tocsin, in his efforts to get drunk for the blog, ended up so sloshed that he face-plants the keyboard before he can even come up with a good title. Yes, this does mean that we are hiring for a 2nd blog writer, if anyone out there feels that they have the skill and the commitment for regular blogs, please contact us ^^
Evo: Thanks all!
Tocsin: No! Thank you. =P
Evo of cncnation.net Interviews Kushan, Leader of the Tiberian Dawn Mod Crew: September 14, 2007
Evo: 1. Hey Kushan, first of all, can you introduce yourself and describe your role in the development of Tiberian Dawn?
Kushan: Hello everyone at cncnation! I’m Kushan and I guess I’m the leader of Tiberian Dawn. But when I say leader, it’s more of a case of I talk slightly more than the rest of the team members than anything else. “Leader” probably isn’t the best term as Duude007 leads as well, but you get the idea =P My main role is to code up the mod, get the XM files ready and implement the rules, put stuff in game, etc. etc.
Evo: 2. Can you tell us all at home how you got involved in this mod? What made you want to get involve in recreating the original C&C?
Kushan: It’s a bit of a funny story actually. One day I was on IRC and I get a PM from Aprime (former leader and creator of Tiberian Dawn) saying “you wanna be lead tester?” and I was like “hmm...sure, why not”. Then over the following weeks, I got promoted to co-producer and after Aprime stepped down, I guess I just fell into the position I am now. I loved the original C&C, it’s by far my favourite of the entire series and I’m proud to be part of such an excellent team to bring it into the modern era. Part of the reason I’m doing this is because I know there’s so many fans out there wanting this mod to succeed and I just don’t want to let them down. Fan support means a lot to us and it’s what drives all of us to keep working.
Evo: 3. How did you come about deciding the name of the mod?
Kushan: This was decided long before I ever became part of the mod but for any hardcore C&C fan, I’m sure it’s pretty obvious =P But for those of you who aren’t aware, “Tiberian Dawn” was the fan name given to the first C&C game. The name appeared in some Westwood documentation (the original DOS readme, for example) and it follows the pattern Tiberian Dawn > Tiberian Sun > Tiberian Twilight. The latter then turned into Tiberium wars thanks to EA’s change of direction for the series.
Evo: 4. Can you tell us whether Single- and Multi-player game modes are in development at the same time? Or are you focusing on one first then the other?
Kushan: Since there were no major differences in the rules between Singeplayer and Multiplayer C&C1, we’re concentrating entirely on the multiplayer at first. We’ve got a few mappers now (but we’re ALWAYS looking for more!) so it’s becoming more and more likely that the singleplayer missions will be redone down the line, but for the moment Multiplayer is our priority, especially since playing C&C1 online is a bit of a hassle these days anyway.
Evo: 5. It seems that your Developer Blogs are an important part of the Mods development, so in what ways do you plan to expand on them and improve them? And can we expect to see a return to the usual rate once you are done playing with the SDK?
Kushan: All I can do is apologise to all you fans for the lack of Blogs recently. The back to school time has hit and a lot of us are busy settling in with new workloads because of it, not to mention the SDK came out and I myself have been busy prepping it for the mod. Essentially this means on the outside, things are going a bit slow, but inside lots is being done, it’s just all boring codery that nobody wants to see screenshots of =P Our Blog writer, Tocsin, has also went on strike due to the removal of his beer rations, but as soon as he’s back, our blogs should become nice and regular again, only with 100% more ingame content than before ;)
Evo: 6. The SDK has very recently been released, how ready were you to pick it up and start working on in-game assets?
Kushan: The SDK is an odd thing. It’s not all that different from the ini-editing days of old, you can still just modify values here and there to create yourself a super unit, but there’s a bit more to it this time. It’s easy enough to pick up, it’s just a tad more time consuming to edit or create a unit than it was before, but once it’s done, it’s just as easy. It only took a couple of days of looking through the files and playing with the samples to figure most of it out, but a lot of things are done by trial and error since EA didn’t document most of the variables and such. None the less, getting content in game was pretty easy, we literally had the mammoth tank in game about 48 hours after I installed the SDK.
Evo: 7. We have seen many vehicle models and textures before the SDK was released, what about the infantry and buildings? Have you been keeping these under wraps?
Kushan: The vast majority of the combat in TD is done mainly with vehicles, so we decided to get them out of the way first. What’s more, most of the vehicles are based on real life counterparts, meaning a quick google gets us all sorts of “concept art” and such. The buildings, on the other hand, are all pretty unique and while we’ve been getting our modellers working on unit assets, we’ve been busy discussing (at great length) the intricate details of all of these and just now we’re beginning to get concept art and modelling done for them, so expect to see more of them in the coming weeks.
Evo: 8. In your first in-game shot we saw the Mammoth Tank, what other work has to be done on it?
Kushan: Mostly I’ve spent the time building up the tech trees for both sides. In that screenshot, you can see I’ve replaced all of the icons with ones from C&C1 (Don’t worry, these are just placeholders) but internally, this means I’ve got the XML file for that unit/building all set up and ready for editing. Rather than wait for a unit to be completed by our asset team, I can start modifying them immediately, get them all set up so that even though they may use a model from TW, they still act like their C&C1 counterpart. Oh and the GDI APC has been in game for a while now as well ;P
Evo: 9. You obviously have a very talented audio-man in NeptuneUK, what else does he have planned for us?
Kushan: NeptuneUK has been an excellent contributor to the mod. We’ve had a couple of audio artists, but his work instantly struck a cord with the fans. I believe Ackart of Red Europe has decided to borrow his talents as well, so expect to see him popping up there.
Evo: 10. FMV’s have and hopefully always will be a key part of the C&C series, are they going to figure in TD?
Kushan: FMV’s are no small feat. Although the technology is there to be able to do them on home computers, it still takes hours and hours and hours to render them, let alone design them, coordinate them, etc. etc. So if we did have FMV’s in the mod, it’d be pretty damn sweet, wouldn’t it?
Evo: 11. You have talked about two different gameplay approaches to be incorporated into TD, can you elaborate these?
Kushan: In a nutshell, there’s two distinct opinions on how this mod should be done. Should it be 100% true to TD in every way? Should it play just like the original classic? Or should it take advantage of all the benefits of the SAGE engine and be revamped to a degree? Most people are on one side or the other and the remainder are on the fence. Not wanting to disappoint anyone, we decided to do both approaches in time. Since balancing and such takes a lot of time and effort to do right, we decided to focus on the “classic” mode first, since really all we have to do is implement the rulesets from C&C1 and the job’s done. Once this has been done and we get most of the assets complete, we’ll then make an entirely new ruleset based on this. This is known internally as “enhanced mode” and will be our interpretation of how C&C1 might have been had it been made in 2007 and not 1995.
Evo: 12. What other features do you have planned and hidden up your sleeves?
Kushan: We would like to make TiberianDawn as close to the original as possible, including the other multiplayer game modes. I don’t want to elaborate too much on this since it’s early days yet and it remains to be seen just how feasible it is, but ultimately, we’d eventually like to polish the mod so well, you’ll consider it a viable alternative to installing C&C Gold for that nostalgia fix.
Evo: 13. Has the recent announcement of the expansion pack for Command and Conquer 3; Kane’s Wrath impacted at all on your work?
Kushan: Not at all. The only thing announced so far that in any way interests me is the “dynamic battle” thing they’ve promised us. Enhanced mode could probably benefit from you being able to rewrite Tiberium history by conquering Africa as GDI or Europe as Nod, for example, but at this point in time we have absolutely no plans to work with the expansion for the simple reason that we don’t need to and would rather give EVERY C&C3 owner the opportunity to play the mod.
Evo: 14. Can we expect to see any other factions like the Forgotten to make an appearance in Skirmish?
Kushan: The forgotten only appeared after Tiberian Dawn and as far as I’m aware, played absolutely no part in the game, so I dare say they won’t be appearing at all. Anything that happened during or before C&C1 has a good chance of making some kind of appearance, though.
Evo: 15. Are you planning to recreate the classic C&C maps, or are you going to make a complete new batch? Or will there be a mix?
Kushan: Again, it depends entirely on the mappers that join us. Ideally, I’d like to have a mix of both remakes and entirely new maps. If you want to see a particular map and/or mission in the mod, feel free to post on our forums about it, we’ll always give priority to what the fans (you) want =)
Evo: 16. There have been several changes at the top of the ‘ladder’ in the mod, have these had an impact on progress?
Kushan: Ultimately? Not really. Everyone’s still doing the same jobs they were doing before, everyone’s encouraged to pass around ideas and the mod team acts more like an independent unit than a hierarchy. Duuude007 and myself make decisions like what units to work on next or who should work on what, but this is only to keep the mod progressing. When it comes to decisions about the design of things, we encourage all of the staff to post ideas, thoughts and feelings. So far this has worked really well for us, as the mod should then appease everyone and not just the admin.
Evo: 17. When can we expect to see some gameplay videos?
Kushan: Sooner than you think ;)
Evo: 18. Do you have any release plans? Will you follow the lead of the Half-Life 2 Mod, ‘Black Mesa’ and wait until you are 100% ready to release? Or will you release public-Betas as soon as you think the game is ready?
Kushan: I don’t know about anyone else, but personally I hate mods that make you wait for years and years and years for a release. But then again, I also hate mods that make buggy releases all the time, so the plan at the moment is to have frequent internal builds for our testers. They’ll then go on to (hopefully) find as many bugs and problems as possible and when they’re all fixed, we’ll make a nice public release. I’d like to get a public build out this year and if things keep on track, that wont be a problem at all =)
Evo: 19. Is there anything else you want to tell us?
Kushan: I want to thank cncnation for their unwavering support for the mod, as well as every fan of C&C1 and TD out there. You guys are all awesome! I’d also like to personally thank the staff of TD, they’ve all stuck together and worked really hard all summer and I’m proud to work with each and every one of them!
Evo: Thanks for your time.
Kushan: No, thank you =D
Evo of cncnation.net Interviews Aaron Kauffman, Official EA C&C Community Manager: June 29, 2007
Evo: 1. Mod teams are starting to announce themselves all over the place for C&C3 but one of the key tools they need is the SDK. When can we expect thiso be released?
APOC: The MOD SDK is currently in progress and nearly complete. It's going to be filled with a ton of tools including updated plugins for 3DS Max versions 7-9 (we like you Vista users!), our full XML library which will give you access to the game balance, AI, and essential game logic code, audio conversion tools, and an array of other pipeline tools that will really allow modders to transform Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars into their own total conversion mod, of course while still retaining the fast and fluid gameplay C&C 3 is known for.
Right now we're tracking towards releasing in the next month or so. Even though the MOD SDK itself is nearly complete, we still need to put it through some rigorous testing. We also plan to privately reach out to some select modders in the community who can help ensure the SDK really packs the necessary punch needed!
Evo: 2. With the recent release of the Worldbuilder can we expect to see some more C&C3 related competitions being run?
APOC: Absolutely! It’s still early in development, but you'll notice a special MAPS section on our official site at www.CommandAndConquer.com where we are putting our developer stamp of approval on the best fan-made maps out there. Feel free to submit any map to firstname.lastname@example.org. We're selecting around 10 maps each month that meet our high quality standards. We base that judgment on artistic polish, balanced design, and the level of fun that the map offers.
As for competitions, after we get our ladder season started we will then look to do official map competitions with prizes. I would love to see some of the best maps get included in a future patch, and it’s absolutely possible considering the quality we have seen so far.
Evo: 3. Is work on a new patch for Command and Conquer: The First Decade due to start any time soon?
APOC: We’re constantly listening to the community and taking notes on all of the various subtleties that are requested and feature enhancements on all of our products. Currently, we’re laser-focused on making Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars the best C&C game to date and trying to stay one-step ahead of all of the C&C masterminds who continue to come up with ways to exploit and “bend” the rules. Once we get to a point where we feel comfortable with C&C 3 and all of the various balancing tweaks are in a stable place, I hope we can go back and deliver on the infamous 1.03 patch to The First Decade that the community has been requesting.
Evo: 4. What are we due to find out in the next podcast? When will it be coming out?
APOC: July...and you can bet it will feature another hilarious romp-stomp of entertaining C&C news, interviews, and other surprises. You can expect a discussion of our current patch plans for the summer, the MOD SDK and exactly what will be in it, our upcoming ladder season, XBOX 360 updates and...well the rest you'll have to find out later when its released.
Evo: 5a. You at EALA have already show us your commitment to the community with the involvement of APOC and Predator, the podcasts and much more. What else can we expect to see in the future for the future of the C&C3 Community?
APOC: My community plans for Command & Conquer change monthly, but one things is always consistent and that is: communication. It's my goal to always be on the message boards giving you guys the latest and greatest support news and keeping our website updated with fresh content. I envision the future having video podcasts, a bustling epic ladder season for C&C 3 with huge prizes, bi-monthly contests, increased blogs from more members of the development team, and without question, more exposure for modders. I hope to really push the envelope on community exposure, I think you guys all deserve a lot more "world-wide" exposure for your dedication and passion. We’ll also be rolling out something in the near future that I know the community will love. More details on that later.
Evo: 5b. Will Mod teams receive support like Epic! did with Unreal Tournament?
APOC: Epic has taken a number of years to get to the point where they are at with the MOD community, and even more so, the developer community. Epic’s decision to license out their Unreal engine definitely plays a major part in their decision to offer up support to all of the modders out there. While there are no plans for us to license out our technology, I think the MOD SDK for Command & Conquer 3 is a huge step in the right direction, and we'll provide as much support as possible. I anticipate the MOD community will take our SDK and develop even more tools to enhance the moddability of the game. I also anticipate you'll see a lot of "modders helping modders" as demonstrated in the past by our active and lively modding community.
Evo: 5c. What more will be done to boost the role of Community Sites within the whole C&C3 Community?
APOC: As I stated above, I think ultimately it’s about more exposure for the sites that are really putting in the weekly passion and keeping the Command & Conquer community afloat with us. Lets be honest, without community leaders like yourselves, my job would be nearly impossible and unfulfilling. It’s you guys that make our community live and breath every day. Of course, you need a community manager to help guide and inspire you! I'd like to see more fan-sites reach out to us with articles they'd want published on our official site or cool projects or contests that could use the exposure bump. Let us combine our powers and help drive traffic to and from your sites! If you are a fan-site or mod leader in this community, then you know how to contact me (wink wink).
Evo: 5d. What has been the highlight for you APOC in your role as C&C3 Community Manager?
APOC: My experience at the Leipzig Games Convention in Germany last summer made me feel like David Hasselhoff in Germany or India. I kid you not, I was getting asked for autographs from all over and it was a very humbling experience to see how many hundreds of thousands of German C&C fans knew about "APOC" , and even our producers Mike Verdu, Amer Ajami, and Jim Vessella. Being known around the gaming community for what we do is a pretty awesome feeling. I'm glad, however, that the paparazzi have not invaded the gaming industry!
In addition, on a less tangible level, it is the feeling I get every time we do something "big" for the community like a game or patch release, exclusive screenshots, videos, MOD SDK, really anything that fulfills a direct community request and always brings that "World Cup style excitement when a goal is scored", is simply an awesome goose-bump inducing feeling. I know more than 90% of the community always appreciates our efforts and knowing that we are enhancing your gameplay experience and generating excitement is a great feeling as well.
Evo: 6a. It must be noted that the multiplayer components in the 360 Version of the game are of a much wider variety, King of Hill, Capture the Flag etc. which are continuations of what was in the 360 version of BFME2. Why have you chosen to put these game types in the 360 version but not the PC version of C&C3?
APOC: For the Xbox 360 version of Command & Conquer 3, we really wanted to make sure that we reached out to as many people as possible. Believe it or not, RTS games in general can have kind of a steep learning curve and be somewhat intimidating to people. While, C&C3 is definitely more on the accessible side compared to other RTS games out there, it’s still something that not everyone on the console side is familiar with. So, for multiplayer, we thought it would be fun and “welcoming” to find a way to bring some of the more popular multiplayer modes that console gamers see in FPS games into Command & Conquer 3. It sort of makes the new players feel more at home.
Evo: 6b. Can we expect these game types to appear on the PC eventually?
APOC: The response from the community about getting these modes over to the PC has been pretty impressive to say the least, and it’s definitely something that is on the table for consideration. I wish I could give you more of a definitive answer, but know that it is something we’re discussing and if it is something that is happening, I’ll make sure you all know ASAP!
Evo: 6c. What Marketplace content will there be for the 360 version of the game?
APOC: Recently, we released our first official map pack for the X360 on Xbox Live Marketplace. This map pack features 5 maps from the exclusive PC Kane Edition. In honor of this release, we also put up a 6th map for anyone and everyone to download provided they have an Xbox Live account. Moving forward, there are definite plans to release other content via Xbox Live Marketplace and I definitely encourage you and everyone else to keep an eye on the official site and the boards for the latest intel on when more content is posted on Xbox Live Marketplace.
To make things a little easier, we’ve also created this website which calls out all of the content currently available for C&C 3 on Xbox Live Marketplace: http://www.ea.com/cncx360/dlpstr.jsp
Evo: 6d. Talking of consoles are there any plans to bring the franchise to the PS3?
APOC: Command & Conquer is one of if not the biggest RTS franchise out there and we’re constantly looking at all the gaming platforms for our games and thinking of the best strategic ways to share them with a wider audience so that everyone can enjoy nuking a Blue Zone or stopping Kane. Perhaps the best example of this is our recently announced re-energized partnership with Apple in bringing Command & Conquer 3 to the MAC. What does this mean for all of the PS3 folks out there? Only time will tell.
Evo: 7a. There has been a novel recently announced based on C&C3 to be written by Keith R. A. DeCandido that looks to be very exciting. Does the novel follow the same story exactly as the game, or does it further explore sub-plots that were raised in the game?
APOC: The novel parallels the main story of Command & Conquer 3. I think i'll take a quote straight from a recent interview from Keith to sum it up best, "The events of the novel occur alongside those in the game, and the events of the game are referenced (and in one or two cases, dramatized). However, while the game commences with you playing the commander of one particular GDI division, the book instead follows a different division, the 22nd Infantry Division of GDI. In addition, there's a subplot involving a W3N reporter. Basically, the novel shows what else was going on at the same time as what happens in the game."
I know there are the ultra-elite cynical fans of Command & Conquer who treasure the canon story like nothing else, but I can assure you that all past and present details were taken in to account when this novel was written. It’s absolutely a must-read for any hardcore fan of Command & Conquer. It's the first novel for the series and is another fantastic opportunity beyond the game to get immersed in the Command & Conquer universe.
Evo: 7b. Is there one lead character in the book? Can we expect to see some familiar names from the past games in the Franchise?
APOC: The novel really takes you through the eyes of multiple characters from GDI and even some from Nod, and gives you a glimpse of life in the year 2047. Hardcore fans may recognize hearing the name "McNeil" and of course there is more to be discovered about our favorite megalomaniac sinister leader Kane...but i'm not going to spoil the rest for you. That right there should be enough to entice fans to open the book.
Evo: 8. A question many people are waiting to hear an answer for, is there going to be an expansion pack to C&C3? (fair question, how do you answer?)
APOC: I answer with my lips sealed tight. Command & Conquer 3 has been a remarkable success thanks to the support and passion from all of you. There are a lot of unanswered questions looming around about Kane and what happened after (and before) the events of C&C3. Will these answers be told in an upcoming expansion pack to C&C3? Only time will tell. (It kills me to leave you all hanging like that)
Evo: 9. Are there any plans for a continuation or rebirth of the Red Alert series? (fair question, how do you answer?)
APOC: We spent a lot of time waiting and making sure that the time was right to bring about the second decade of Command & Conquer to the fans. Now that it’s here, I can’t say whether Red Alert 3 will be part of this rebirth of C&C, but I can tell you that we’re constantly reading the message boards and making sure that we’re delivering on all the C&C fans desires. After all, we’re all major fans of Command & Conquer here at EALA too!
Evo: 10. Finally, who is the best player in the EALA offices in 1v1s in C&C3?
APOC: Without a doubt, Ender, aka Gavin, aka former top community player of Command & Conquer before he became one of our lead AI designers. Being an extremely good gamer can land you a full-time gig in the gaming industry, you just have to keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities and attack them quickly when they arise. Ender can take anyone on the 1v1 ladder any day, but he has a full time job to do, so he doesn't spend a ton of time increasing his rank, but when he does, watch the hell out!
I just wanted to end this interview again by saying thank you to all of our fans for your support of Command & Conquer 3 and I'm looking forward to the long road ahead!
CnC Source Interviews Lion from CNCDEN
CnC Source: Question 1, When did you first arrive in the CNC Community and what was it like then and how does it compare now to those days?
Lion: The year was 1996. It was back in the days of the original Red Alert when I first discovered the C&C Community. Then the community was in its infancy. Those were exciting times as we had the whole future of the C&C Universe ahead of us. C&C Dawn had been released in 1995, and after that came Red Alert in 1996. The community really started to grow in 1997 with rumors of Tiberian Sun, the next C&C game. Lots of websites came on board that year, including my very first website, The Lion's DEN. There have been many ups and downs in the community since then. The low point being the closing of Westwood Studios by EA. Fans identified Westwood with Command & Conquer. It's hard to compare what it was like back then with the community today. We've been through some rocky roads. Many fans of C&C were disappointed with Tiberian Sun. It never lived up to their expectations. There was just too much hype leading up to the release of the game. The community just never recovered from that.
CnC Source: Question 2, What do you think are the strongest and weakest parts of the community? And do you think the community can be improved in any way.
Lion: The strongest part of the community has to be those making the mods and maps and helping to keep the games alive and fun for fans. As for the weakest link, I don't think there really is one you could just simply point out. As far as improvements go, I would say the updating of websites. Lots of people start websites and then after a period of time just don't bother updating them on a regular basis. I suppose its lack of motivation. But it does reflect on the community as a whole. If you're going to have a website, update it or shut it down.
CnC Source: Question 3, In your opinion if EA where to be considering another CNC project at the moment what would you prefer it to be and why?
Lion: I would prefer it to be C&C3 (Tiberian Twilight). If they're going to continue the story of Command & Conquer, then that is the obvious choice. It's been four long years and way over due. As for the reason why, it's not a good idea to keep fans hanging on for too long else EA will be in jeopardy of losing the fine Community support they currently have.
CnC Source: Question 4, Do you think that EA has fulfilled the expectations upon gaining control of the Westwood enterprise, have that lived up to the image and grounding that WW constructed within their fan base?
Lion: No I do not. In my opinion the biggest mistake that EA made was closing down Westwood Studios. At the very least they should have kept the Westwood name. The folks at Westwood Studios knew the value of the C&C Community. EA has yet to see the light.
CnC Source: Question 5, Where do you see the future of CNC DEN, RADEN and the CNC Community as a whole?
Lion: The future of the DENS will depend on what EA chooses to do with Command & Conquer games. I'm not going to hang on forever waiting for them. I've been at this web mastering thing for nearly seven years. I do it because I enjoy it. But times are changing and I take it one day at a time now. As far as the future of the C&C Community goes, the motivation that was once present is gone. Again, it will be up to EA to pick up the pace and give the community the boost it needs in the form of new and exciting games.
CnC Source: Question 6, If you had to do it all over again, would you do it the same way or are you happy with what you have accomplished so far?
Lion: I doubt I would change anything. My goal has always been to have fun and enjoy myself. And I've done that. Anything beyond that is a bonus. -Lion
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