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

So I kind of see it living in that way. I think traditional box products are getting more difficult, with the way they have to be pushed to market and supported. I think you’ll see genres like RTS probably go more the online route.

In the grim darkness of the far future, all the neat gear will have legs.

In the grim darkness of the far future, all the neat gear will have legs.

VGD: Do you think there’s a presentational issue? Even the most accessible of real-time strategy games can seem very fiddly, very intent on fine detail, perhaps a little clinical. Is there a way to glam that up for the consumer who sets more store by visual overkill?

Joshi: We definitely did a lot of refining – improving our renderer, improving a lot of little bits of the game engine, the effect system is all brand new. But you have to draw so many units and effects on the screen at any one time, versus one character not even being rendered on the screen, just drawing the environment, that you’re limited.

VGD: Sorry, I meant ‘presentation’ in terms of cinematic technique. Maybe you could put in some cutaway close-ups when buildings explode, or something in that vein.

Joshi: There are times when you want to break the camera away, and there are definitely usability concerns that we worry about when you actually wrestle the camera back from the user. But yes, I would like some of those moments, because the cool thing about videogames is that you as the player are the main character. You are not passive, just watching.

Now in real-time strategy you are obviously making every single decision, but your level of immersion is definitely different from that of a first-person shooter. I would like to see more of that, I think there’s definitely room for that in single player presentation. I personally would like to see RTS have fewer units, and be able to get right up into the action, and blend in a little bit of first-person shooter and RTS style.

So it’s different – and the draw of new users to real-time strategy, I think that’s definitely a question a lot of people are wrestling with right now. We want to open up the genre to people who are not used to playing it, but it’s definitely very different, you’re obviously a little more separated from the gameplay.

The dreaded Obelisk of Light makes a comeback.

The dreaded Obelisk of Light makes a comeback.

VGD: And obviously you don’t want to water it down for the core users.

Joshi: Yes, because we’ve made a lot of decisions to make it more accessible, but it’s not the Sims. It’s more accessible, but there’s definitely the hardcore contingent who are like “hey, we want to micromanage, we want to harvest Tiberium, we want to build a base and just hang out at the base”. Whereas we want to get people into the game, get the game moving a little bit faster. It’s a tough one.

I really think other genres are kind of splitting – though they aren’t really calling it out so much – and I think RTS should split too. You should have more of a casual vein, and more of a hardcore vein. There’s no way to satisfy both groups, and I think there’s interest from both sides.

VGD: Raj, thanks for your time.

Tiberian Twilight is out for PC on 16th March in North America and 19th March in Europe.

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!!

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