FEATURES: Roundtable Discussion #23 – August 2009

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Edition number 23 of the CNCNZ.com Roundtable is covering month of August, and we have varied selection of topics disucssed by a our panel.

Question 1) Tiberian Twilight is the subtitle name for Command & Conquer 4. Are you happy with this name?

Sonic: More than pleased with this name. Especially after the see the list of name that will also in the running. Picking Tiberian Twilight as the name not only sounds good, people already know it because its been floating around the community for 10 years or there abouts.

Nmenth: It’s ok. When the news arose that the fans would be picking the subtitle, Tiberian Twilight was my first instinctual answer, however, as time went on and the legacy of Westwood seemed to be the sole predominant reasoning behind this choice, it tended to lose me. Meanings behind names like game titles or characters within a story are very important to me, though valid supporting factors, sounding cool and tributes are not good enough alone. I was slightly surprised that EA used Tiberian Twilight simply because it seemed pointless to even have the contest if they were going to go with this title that was obviously already a majority-preferred label. I made my approved suggestion quite plain here on CNCNZ.com, but I am not disappointed by Tiberian Twilight.

Lion: Very happy! Tiberian Twilight was the name Brett Sperry (Westwood co-founder & father of C&C) stated was the working title of the next game after Tiberian Sun. So us ‘old skool’ fans always assumed that sub-title would eventually be used for one of the sequels. In fact, back in 1998, Westwood aquired the domain name tiberiantwilight.com.

Banshee: I was excited with the name. It’s not basic and lame like Tiberium Wars was. And it was something that the community wanted for ages.

Chickendippers: Yup, no complaints here. It’s what we as the community have been asking for years, and then suddently when they finally use it, some people have decided it’s unoriginal. Personally I think it’s a nice homage to the storyline and reflects the fact that this will be the conclusion to the story arc.

Ryan: Yeah, I must say I’ve always had a soft spot for that old name. I remember the old C&C3 rumours and debates, so that name has as much “sentimental value” as a subtitle possibly could have. Glad to see it finally attached to a C&C game.

Mighty BOB!: I was actually pretty surprised when I read that EA had chosen this as the subtitle. I mean, it was obvious from the beginning that many people would submit this name, but I never thought EA would actually use it. That being said, I’m pretty neutral about it. I’m just mainly glad they didn’t pick something worse like “Tiberium Wars 2, The End of Tiberium” or “What’s Under Kane’s Goatee?” I’d be interested to hear their thought processes they used for selecting the subtitle.

TheGunRun: Eh, I’m alright with it. It’s just that the word ‘Twilight’ has been tainted by that book about the Emo Vampire. Hey it could have been worse – C&C4: Tiberium Wars 2, anyone? πŸ˜›

NODSOLDIERGIRL: Yes and No. Let me explain I do like the name and it sounds good, but I thought EALA was going to pick the one that was the most original. I see why they picked it though, trying to show tribute to Westwood and the old school C&C fans. The Devs really had us fooled we thought they would not pick that name because almost everyone picked it. Well we were all wrong. I wasn’t really when this name was picked but, I’m happy with it now.

Question 2) Overall, what did you think of CommandCom?

Sonic: Would have been great to be there but sadly it was not meant to be. But thanks to Koen, we were all kept well informed of all the goings on. And judging from all the reports, feedback and photos CommandCom was raging success. Sounds like all the attendees had a real blast!

Nmenth: It seemed like a lot of promotion for not a lot of substance. Although I think a lot of these things are, and that does not necessarily mean they are a total waste of time, just over-promoted. I hope that in its aftermath, some important information and answers can come to the surface. Quite honestly, I have little interest in these type of things.

Lion: I wasn’t present at CommandCom (was invited but had to attend a wedding), but from the reports I’ve read from C&C fans who were, it was a huge success. If anything good came out of it, that would be that the C&C4 devs can use feedback from the fans who played the game and perhaps initiate some changes, like some alternative way for resource gathering, and more base building other than building a couple defensive turrets, etc. In a feedback session the C&C4 devs had with those 100 fans that attended CommandCom, they asked them ‘who was unhappy with the Crawler system and would rather have base building’. The majority of fans present raised their hands in favor of base building…interesting, huh?

Banshee: I wish I could have attended the event. The impression that I get from it is that it was another community summit, but this time, they were less talking with devs due to the higher amount of invited people and the games convention conjuncture, more gaming and the finals of the ladder season.

Chickendippers: I think it was epicness on a scale we haven’t seen before. While it essentially boiled down to a community summit that happened to be in the same building as a games conference with a lot more Germans than usual, it’s always exciting meeting with people you’ve only chatted with online before. Getting an exclusive hands on with the game always gives me a buzz, but due the the sheer scale of the event I really didn’t get as much time as I would have liked. Some of the feedback from the firing squad session wasn’t as useful as it could be; but a lot of more casual conversations took place across the weekend which I think will provide more valuable and useful to the developers.

Ryan: Very frustrated that I missed it – I fell ill at the last moment. But it sounds like Tiberian Twilight is still too early in development and they couldn’t show off that much. Sounds like it was a good event though.

Mighty BOB!: It sounded like a great event. It sounds like there were many more community representatives attending than have attended the community summits for Tiberium Wars and Red Alert 3, and it took place at a public games convention with lots of people which is a different atmosphere than EALA. I almost had the chance to attend but it was outside of EA’s budget to fly me out and I couldn’t pay out of pocket. I would have enjoyed the chance to give feedback directly to the devs.

TheGunRun: Incredibly awesome. Beautiful setting, excellent people, and one hell of a video game convention, all make up for an epic event. I had tons of fun the entire time, checking out C&C4, seeing all the sights, and casting the ladder season finals at the EA Sports Bar. It was a trip that I’ll never forget! πŸ˜€

NODSOLDIERGIRL: CommandCom was the most epic event. I did not attend but I wish I could have. I really wanted to meet all the guys I have been talking to on the internet. Looks like everyone who went had a blast. APOC even rocked it with “Livin’ On a Prayer” Kudos to APOC. Hopefully I will be there next year!

Question 3) What would you like to see in the next trailer for Command & Conquer 4. More cinematic type stuff like the first trailer or some actual gameplay?

Sonic: I’m not overly fussed when it comes to trailers to be honest. I’m sure what ever EA chose to feature will be fine. I know a lot of fans want to see some gameplay, I do as well, but I don’t think they are quite ready to show that to everyone just yet.

Nmenth: What I want and what I think we should get are not synonymous. My instant gratification side wants the cinematics, but the more story they give away now, the less there will be to impress me when the game is released. Therefore, my practical side expects some gameplay footage.

Lion: Can we have a little bit of both? If I had to choose one, it would be actual gameplay, and not from another pre-alpha build of the game.

Banshee: I wish I could see more cinematic work, but they’ll do a couple of gameplay trailers before any cinematic trailer gets released. I think that the next cinematic trailer will only go live after the cast is announced.

Chickendippers: Some gameplay footage is really needed here so people can see how the new mechanics actually work. I think releasing the demonstration the guys were giving at GamesCOM will really give people the chance to understand it. I’m glad they showed us it before letting us lose on a mission because I wouldn’t have had a clue otherwise!

Ryan: Gameplay, but they should only show it once it’s ready to be shown.

Mighty BOB!: At this point I think it would be nice to see some gameplay. However, I hear that the build that was shown-off at CommandCom was a barebones alpha that wasn’t even feature-complete yet, so it could still be a while before the general public sees any gameplay footage. So until then, maybe another cinematic teaser that hints at the plot (like the crazy sci-fi/action movie previews you get at the theater)(the long versions, not the short edited ones you see on TV).

TheGunRun: I’d like to see some actual gameplay, The fans need to see how beautiful this game looks.

NODSOLDIERGIRL: For the next C&C 4 trailer I would love to see some gameplay. All the cinematics we will see in game anyways, so show us some gameplay. Although I do love watching the cinematics, everyone wants to see gameplay so come on EALA!!

Question 4) With all the Command & Conquer 4 news we have had these past few weeks, do you get the impression that Red Alert 3 has had its run?

Sonic: It certainly seems that way but it happens each time a new game is announced. Its totally understandable that the Command & Conquer 4 is taking over the spotlight now. I still think there will probably be another patch for Red Alert 3 on the horizon.

Nmenth: Red Alert 3 is still quite significant in the community I think, but not to me. Its replayability lacked severely, and since C&C4 news started building up, I basically forgot Red Alert 3 ever existed. Even with C&C4’s questionable divergence from the C&C way, it has completely stolen the spotlight from Red Alert 3. Now would be the opportune time to slip something sinister into the next Red Alert 3 patch, because nobody is looking.

Lion: Short and to the point, yes…it’s time in the limelight has come and gone. There’s still a few mods in the works for Red Alert 3, still waiting on a new patch from EA, and the occasional new maps will arrive, but for the most part the attention will remain on C&C4. But that’s business as usual. In with the new, and out with the old.

Banshee: I had the impression that C&C4 is a different type of game than RA3 and previous C&C games (excluding Sole Survivor, Renegade and Generals), even if it is still a RTS game. The crawler concept with the online progression mode, tiberium not being harvestable, population cap, among other things really transformed the game into something quite different from what we are used to play. It’s like moving from C&C to Warcraft 3 or Age Of Empires. The gameplay mechanics changed a lot. If it is good or bad, we’ll see when we play it.

Chickendippers: I do think Red Alert 3 news will probably take second place in the coming months, but there is a large RTS team at EALA so I think it will still get some love. I don’t think anyone thought to ask about Red Alert 3’s future at CommandCOM, I do think the game could have been given longer to mature…but we’re still a while away from TT’s launch.

Ryan: Yeah, it feels a bit quiet on the RA3 front. I think it will receive a few more patches before EALA call it a day.

Mighty BOB!: It does feel like Red Alert 3 has entered its waning days, but I think it still has at least another ladder season or two left in it. Kane’s Wrath is still in ladder season 3 after all. I do hope that the “Live Team” doesn’t forget about Tiberium Wars/Kane’s Wrath or Red Alert 3. We haven’t heard any big news about the Live Team in a while.

TheGunRun: I guess, but I still think Red Alert 3 has a lot more to offer.

NODSOLDIERGIRL: Yes I do, I really don’t think C&C 4 is going to make it, Don’t get me wrong I love C&C but C&C 4 is just not C&C. Only a few things make it C&C and those are Kane, GDI, Nod and the fact that it has C&C in its name. In my opinion Tiberium was more of a C&C game and it didn’t even have C&C in its name if you remember. I think C&C 4 is going in the wrong direction but I guess all we can do now is wait for the beta and hope that EALA has listened to what the Community leaders had to say at CommandCom.

Question 5) Early in August, the Renegade X team showed of their latest trailer. How impressed were you?

Sonic: Very impressed, I must of had that trailer playing on a loop for ages. It was just so damn cool. I’m so pumped about Renegade X. And with the beta announcement I’m even more excited. Looking forward to putting that copy of Unreal Tournament 3, that I purchased months ago, to good use. The Renegade X team are on to a real winner here. And its great to see so many fans in the C&C community right behind behind them and supporting their efforts 100%. All of us here at CNCNZ.com are big fans of Renegade X.

Nmenth: Renegade X is one of the few mods I actually pay attention to. The trailer was not without its imperfections, but I liked it. If it can deliver as well as it looks like it will, I would definitely want to acquire it. They are indeed doing a good job on this one.

Lion: I was very impressed with their latest trailer. Renegade X will be like playing C&C Renegade on steroids. Looking forward to playing this mod as I’m a huge Renegade fan!

Banshee: I’m not interested on mods for other games, even if they emulate C&C in their engines. So, I haven’t seen these trailers yet, but from the material I’ve happened to see about this mod in a couple of Battlecast Primetime episodes (old stuff, I know), this mod looks promising for FPS fans.

Chickendippers: Oh yes, I plan on buying Unreal Tournament just to play this mod! It looks beautiful and seems to play well judging by the videos. Dare I say it, this is what Renegade should have been, although credit to Westwood for creating it 7 years ago.

Ryan: The trailer was sweet. The podcast was sweet. The whole summer update was sweet! I really think Renegade’s multiplayer is brilliant (except for those annoying ramjets) so I’m eager for the first release. I think it looks a little jumpy/floaty at the moment though.

Mighty BOB!: I’m pretty impressed if I do say so myself, but then again I’m on the team. I am quite proud to see what this great group of people has accomplished, and to be a part of it. You can expect great things to come. πŸ˜‰

TheGunRun: Very. I am a HUGE fan of Renegade, and when I saw how much effort they put into recreating that atmosphere I was blown away. Can’t wait to play it, big fan of the mod and its team πŸ™‚

NODSOLDIERGIRL: Very impressed I can’t wait for Renegade X. I have been wanting this since it was announced. I loved Renegade so this will be awesome!

Disclaimer: The views expressed by each individual in the Roundtable Discussion are their own, and do not reflect the official view of CNCNZ.com, unless otherwise stated.

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