Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight Interview

Epic, five page marathon chat with EA producer on appeasing the hardcore, obligatory logins, dumping Gamespy, the joy of Halo Wars and where the RTS will go next.

By Adam Doree, February 18, 2010

We had a big community event at Cologne, at Gamescom, where we had 100 of the community members from around the world come and play through the beta, and really talk through a lot of the features of the game, how the multiplayer played for them, took a lot of their feedback and incorporated it into the beta that we have going on right now. They were really upset that there was no Tiberium harvesting – we pulled Tiberium out because we had a mobile base, we didn’t want to just leave the harvester off in the middle of nowhere, in a Tiberium field.

You and what army? Oh, that one.

You and what army? Oh, that one.

So we got rid of that, also making it more accessible for the newer player. They clamoured for some kind of Tiberium harvesting, so we came up with this crystal mechanic where you capture these Tiberium crystals, take them back to your spawn zone, and that gives you your upgrade points to then tech up and get new upgrades.

We got some community members over to the studio for a week, and just did a lot of concentrated focus tests, really worked on the balance of the game, and some of the core mechanics. So taking their input from map layout, a lot of feedback on unit balance, user interface, really trying to pour that back in. Because you can think that you have a great game, but it’s really when it gets into the hands of its core players that you start to see where you want to tear it up a bit.

VGD: In terms of the Tiberium Saga, where are you looking to take the universe from here?

Joshi: One of the things that I really notice in modern media is that you have some really great stories and they have to be concluded. You can’t necessarily drag them a series on too long. So we’re trying to wrap up all the loose ends, but it does leave a lot of room for exploring Command and Conquer. The core story between GDI and Kane, that story did seem like it needed to be wrapped up and given a solid conclusion. As far as the Command and Conquer universe goes, it’ll keep living on.

VGD: So perhaps the fifth game will open up a new narrative?

Joshi: I think a lot of that stuff is yet to be figured out really. The main focus is on getting this game solid, making sure that it’s appropriately representative of Command and Conquer, and to give people the chance to continue to explore online.

VGD: What’s behind the decision to provide your own servers this time, rather than using GameSpy?

Joshi: We really wanted to be independent on match-making, and to be completely in control of how many servers are set up specifically dedicated to our game. The infrastructure and the way we set it up and the way that we actually host our matches, the way we do it now is far more limited, the possibility of desynching or disconnecting is far more limited. And also we’re able to send the data and keep everything up on the server.

In the grim darkness of the far future, everything has robot legs.

Air units: never as tough as they look.

So we’re no longer dependent on any one of the people playing the game. The data packets that are getting passed back and forth are small, but if somebody has a slower connection it’s not dragging the rest of the game down. We just kind of wanted to break away and be more impatient, be more in control of it, and also ensure our future support for the game.

VGD: Do you think more developers will own their own servers in future?

Joshi: Yeah – I mean, Gamespy provides a good service that we’ve obviously used for years. The main thing is that when you are dependent on anybody outside of your core team, there’s more potential elements of failure, there’s more opportunities for miscommunication and difficulty.

Posted in Interviews, Spotlight, and tagged with , , , , , .

8 Responses to “Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight Interview”

  1. Kim Kaze says:

    …it’s an Obelisk of Light, not a tower of Nod :)
    My fellow players and i used to call them Nobelisks of Light, or just nobs for short.

    • Do you know, I was absolutely confident somebody would pick me up on that when I edited the screencaps for this puppy… :D Didn’t get into C&C till Red Alert, so I’m not really hip to NOD tech.

  2. Joe says:

    Im sorry to say this, but instead of making the game more complex, more interesting, more fun, using tactics in multiplayer and giving the average player a challenge, and playing a sandbox style gaming with freedom of choice.

    Your decision in making this type of gameply killed the C&C Franchise. Its like EA merged Dawn Of War into C&C.
    No building? No large armies? No Epic battles ? No Big maps, No Tiberium Harvesting. the average rating of this release is 1 in 35 reviews.

    Im sorry but this game is “A Game for Dummies”, and i regret spending money on this game.
    Even the Model Textures aren’t detailed.

  3. Jack says:

    Command and Conquer 4 is so limited, it sucks. Im not going to buy it.
    Red alert 3 also sucks.
    what are you guys thinking!

  4. Julian says:

    Why do we have to go online to play our games. I didnt like CC4 … Not even Red alert 3 and other games too.

    Why????? :(

  5. Terry Smith says:

    USED to be a fan of C & C. Last Game I liked was Kane’s Wrath. Red Alert 3 was OK. I am a big skirmisher. I like building bases and armies. Research into weapons and equipment important part of game. Being able to play on my laptop away from home real important, which means no internet connection. There is no good reason anyone can offer that having a net connection should be required. I installed this, went to start, found I had to create an account online, and took it off again. Never will I buy from EA again!

  6. Paul Eski says:

    I always was a fan of C&C. I standard bought EVERY sequal.
    After Generals I started to doubt, and NOW I am sure…after buying Tiberian Twilight….I am so frustrated about the darkness of the game, the bad gameplay , the utmost less graphics, the loss of the original gameplay, that I wil NOT buy ANY sequal again UNTIL its rated as very good again.

    My God EA how could you let a golden egg, slip through your fingers!

    Sad but reality!!

  7. Simply wanna input that you have a very decent site, I love the design and style it actually stands out.


Kikizo Classic: