Command and Conquer 3 Interview (con't)
FiringSquad: What sort of new RTS gameplay wrinkles can fans expect from C&C3 that differ from the normal RTS title?
Mike Verdu and Michael Glosecki: Engineers can actually capture the hulks of destroyed mega-units like the 40 foot tall Nod Avatar walker, the hulking GDI Juggernaut artillery platform, or the Scrin Annihilator Tripod. This introduces a cool dynamic: You assume a degree of risk when you deploy these massively powerful units. If you lose the battle, your enemy might capture the hulks, repair them, and you may well face your own units in combat.
Another cool new game mechanic is information warfare. Nod can deploy decoy armies, jam radar, and create fake radar returns. The Scrin have an interesting relationship with Tiberium that allows some of their units to draw on the crystal directly, powering up certain weapons.
Also, we have a degree of customization that is quite powerful but doesn’t get in the way of our fast gameplay. For example, you can customize your Avatar walker by cannibalizing weapons and systems from other Nod units. Add a flame thrower, stealth generator, particle beam weapon, and stealth detector, and you have a very high end, highly customized battle robot. Also, some Scrin units can combine together to give you a “Best of Both Worlds” unit. GDI has the APC which takes on the abilities of the units it carries.
Finally, the sheer variety of superweapons and powers is a joy on the battlefield. You have classic superweapons like nukes and the Ion Cannon, but there are also cool new toys like the Rift Generator (which creates a black hole over your enemy’s base), a Catalyst missile you can use to detonate any Tiberium field, a summonable Ion Storm, orbital artillery, a force field that shifts your units partly into another dimension, and many other powers – not to mention wormholes, mind control, and teleportation.
FiringSquad: What are some of the team's favorite new units to use in C&C 3?
Mike Verdu and Michael Glosecki: A few of the team favorites: GDI’s Juggernaut is a large walking artillery platform that can bombard structures from a distance. Alone it’s powerful, but combine it with the spotter in a sniper team and you can call in artillery strikes anywhere on the map. Nod’s Avatar Warmech is awesome with its ability to pick up weapons from other units and use them as its own. And the Scrin Annihilator Tripod is cool – it’s great to watch it engage three targets at the same time with three different beam weapons.
FiringSquad: The game returns to using live actors for the title's cut scenes and boasts an impressive cast list. How hard was it to film these scenes and then make them seem fairly seemless when incorporated into the game?
Mike Verdu and Michael Glosecki: The cast in Command & Conquer is amazing – featuring Josh Holloway, Tricia Helfer, Grace Park, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Ironside, the return of Joe Kucan as Kane, and more. The actors truly add a depth and dimension to the story.
The mix of live action and CG to tell the story in the game is a hallmark of the Command & Conquer franchise. I’m a Command & Conquer fan at heart and I know that I really wanted to see the FMV sequences make a return appearance in Command & Conquer 3. We knew we had to do the movies… and we had to do them right. I believe these video sequences seamlessly tie the epic story together and offer a way for players to become immersed in the game.
FiringSquad: What can you tell us about the game's graphical features and are there any plans to release a DirectX10 patch for the game at some point?
Mike Verdu and Michael Glosecki: We’re very excited about the improvements we’ve made in the graphics for Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars. In particular, our graphics engine has specularity for terrain and units, a new shadow system, new water, upgraded lighting, a real-time post FX system that allows us to create a mood and sense of place for each environment, and other major graphics features. We recently implemented a new terrain system that makes the game environments look incredible. We also have a new particle system that lets us create amazing pyrotechnics, smoke and haze on the battlefield, and weather effects. Finally, over the course of the project we have made several efforts in optimization to ensure that the game looks awesome while staying at a high frame rate. All of these improvements apply to both the Xbox 360 version and the PC version. As for DX10, we’ve thought about releasing a patch but in order to give players some incremental benefit but we really feel developers have to build for DX10 from the ground up.