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 Forum index » Miscellaneous Forums » Game Chat » Command & Conquer Chat
Spiritual Successor to Tiberian Dawn and Sun
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zeroone
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:39 am    Post subject:  Spiritual Successor to Tiberian Dawn and Sun
Subject description: It's coming back!
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Hi PPM.

I prefer to be anonymous in relation to this project in order to avoid the press for now.

I'm the CEO and Producer at AAA Game Development Studio.
We're currently working on a range of titles some of you might be looking forward to.

On the sideline we have our "Dream" projects. Some which are less likely to be picked up by the publisher.

One of these is an idea we've been working on for a while.
We're all huge C&C fans, and still often play Dawn/Sun at lunch-brakes or company LANs. We're heavily invested in the community as well, and have been for nearly 20 years.

I'm currently working on a design of a spiritual successor to Tiberian Dawn/Sun. An RTS based on the roots of C&C. An RTS that brings back the feeling you had the first time you saw the infamous first screenshots of Sun (Mammoths in the Snow). Deep storyline, Gritty universe, specialized units, classic C&C gameplay.

In order to get something like this through internally, we need to set up an external team to work on a prototype. We want to do this differently than we use to.

We want to involve the community, and make a prototype with the community. The goal is to get a great prototype put together, with either a publisher presentation or kickstarter in mind.

I will bring a few of my core people on board, to help direct the project, and take the lead on animation, art, coding, etc.

If you manage to get on board, what's in it for you?
If the prototype is successfully funded, a full time position on the team is guaranteed.

In other words - You get the chance to help shape the future of Real Time Strategy games.

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OrangeNero
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Joined: 11 Jan 2012

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With Microsoft having such huge sucess with its Age of Empire HD remakes I wondered why EA didn't think of a HD remake for their C&C titels. If this is true then I very much support this. That you ain't EA makes it even better.

Only bad thing I spot is that good old C&C gameplay is antiquated. I never ever want to see a MLRS unit firing at choppers for example which was just done because of DOS limitations.
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zeroone
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We see classic C&C gameplay a bit differently.
My personal definition would be based on two types on RTS foundations.

1. Blizzard
Using "Gather" units to harvest credits.
Using "Build" units to create structures
Each Structure has it's own buildcue of units
Structures can be placed whever you want to build them, or within a "powergrid".

2. Westwood
Using "Gather" units to harvest credits.
Using a sidebar to cue structures
Each structure unlocks new units and additional structures.
Unified unit and vehicle build system from the sidebar.
Buildings construct instantly after the sidebar construction timer is over.
Buildings can only be placed closer to other buildings.


Unfortunately the C&C way disappeared years ago.

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OmegaBolt
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Joined: 21 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sounds very interesting! Is there any more information on your studio?

I think the downside to the classic C&C method was lack of unit abilities which really reduces micro. I think RA3 really did quite well in that regard, with the secondary functions and TW had unit abilities in the bottom right of the sidebar. Also looking at Petrogylph's Grey Goo they seem to have merged the 'command bar' on the bottom and the sidebar by having structure / unit / infantry tabs along the top so you can keep constructing anywhere on the battlefield without having to hotkey structures or select them individually. Bringing back the sidebar and construction methods of old would be very nice to see but there should be room made for more modern (or completely new) ideas such as unit abilities or perhaps multiple factory production.

Also TD is fantastic online IMO because of the small and tight maps which often means you are close to your opponant so every unit counts. Base crawling in a particular direction is important and even infantry are still useful because of the short distance. Later C&Cs tended to open up the maps which resulted in a lot of tank spam and infantry becoming fairly useless. Having a mixture of map styles or even mixing the designs together with both open and closed spaces would be interesting.

Classic C&C also worked because no unit was completely useless in its attack. Even basic infantry could take down a structure. That kind of soft countering feels really good IMO, it sucks building up an army and finding you have the wrong unit and so you lose everything however at the same time having the right counter should be rewarded so mixing the two methods should be good IMO.

Just some thoughts. As for the story it's good to be not too indulgent with plot IMO. An easy to understand story or world but which has ambiguities to keep the player hooked works well I think. C&C is full of this... it just jumps straight in, explains the basics and then rolls. Contemporary vs sci-fi. People are still arguing about elements of the plot which never had answers. I'd love to see the return of live action in games too, it seems to me it would be a lot cheaper than CGI nowadays. But that's much further down the line...
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^Rampastein
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This indeed sounds interesting.

Quote:
I think the downside to the classic C&C method was lack of unit abilities which really reduces micro. I think RA3 really did quite well in that regard, with the secondary functions and TW had unit abilities in the bottom right of the sidebar. Also looking at Petrogylph's Grey Goo they seem to have merged the 'command bar' on the bottom and the sidebar by having structure / unit / infantry tabs along the top so you can keep constructing anywhere on the battlefield without having to hotkey structures or select them individually. Bringing back the sidebar and construction methods of old would be very nice to see but there should be room made for more modern (or completely new) ideas such as unit abilities or perhaps multiple factory production.

Yeah, after playing TW, I miss the unit abilities (and the micromanagement options they add) in classic C&C. A spiritual successor, while mostly relying on the classic gameplay mechanisms, should modernize and improve some mechanisms and remove limitations; for example unit abilities should definitely be utilized more than in TS (where EMP / deploying are pretty much the only unit abilities). The multiple factory production system of C&C3 is also good, although I don't see anything necessarily wrong with the classic system of fastening build speed either. They're different ways of bringing bonuses with multiple factories.

Quote:
Later C&Cs tended to open up the maps which resulted in a lot of tank spam and infantry becoming fairly useless. Having a mixture of map styles or even mixing the designs together with both open and closed spaces would be interesting.

Yeah, the usefulness of infantry in C&C is generally heavily map dependent, which should be avoided. While infantry generally deal good damage in the later C&Cs, they often just get crushed under an army of tanks. I think Emperor: Battle for Dune had an interesting idea for solving this - providing small spots on the map which vehicles can't enter, and where infantry can go so they're protected from crushing. Another way of solving it would be a mechanism making it possible to protect the infantry somehow - for example giving infantry long range so you can put tanks on front of them, leaving the infantry firing from behind a line of tanks which are preventing enemy tanks from crushing the infantry (or adding in weapons that slow down tanks when hitting them - like a weakened EMP). Removing the crush mechanic is of course also a possibility, but it's always been a part of C&C so I think it would need to stay in a spiritual successor.

Quote:
Classic C&C also worked because no unit was completely useless in its attack. Even basic infantry could take down a structure. That kind of soft countering feels really good IMO, it sucks building up an army and finding you have the wrong unit and so you lose everything however at the same time having the right counter should be rewarded so mixing the two methods should be good IMO.

I also like how every unit can deal notable damage to anything - you actually have to quickly take care of those few grenadiers firing at your refinery. However, the "soft countering" of classic C&C is also one thing that lead to tank spam - the counters to tanks weren't strong enough for there to be a reason for building anything else than tanks. I think the counters should be stronger than in classic C&C, but not to the point of units being entirely useless against their counters.
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blubb
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

3 words, fixed-isometric-perspective and not the generals perspective pls.
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zeroone
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the feedback is invaluable.

The first step for us is to assemble a team besides the core group of leads here at the studio.

If any of you know 3D artists, programmers, etc. let them know, and have them post in this thread.

We're exclusively using Unreal Engine 4.

Everything from portfolios, demo reels, etc. are welcome Smile

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Bittah Commander
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Joined: 21 May 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sounds like an interesting project; I like grittiness in RTS games, which is also something that seemed to be reducing more and more in the later C&C games.

Depending on the writers, I do think a deep story line would be nice, as long as it remains consistent and has a satisfying ending (neither Westwood or EA had a satisfying ending for the C&C series in mind after all).

Do you already know what sort of engine you will be using by the way?

Edit: It seems I was ninja'd.
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zeroone
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little "mockup" treat Smile


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zeroone
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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zeroone
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

blubb wrote:
3 words, fixed-isometric-perspective and not the generals perspective pls.


Completely agree Smile

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CCHyper
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Joined: 07 Apr 2005

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Loving the artwork!

Would I be correct in saying that you are from Interceptor Entertainment?

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Steve_1993
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed,nice artwork!!!
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OrangeNero
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zeroone wrote:


couldn't that get you sued? I doubt that EA is gonna let you sell your game or even create your game if you are so similar to their ip. Loving the artwork too btw. Nowadays even a jeans company would do that http://nintendoeverything.com/diesel-raises-claim-against-dieselstormers-trademark/
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Aro
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will be looking forward to hearing and seeing more from you!

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Palkia323
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm interested in hearing more about this.
Do you have anything other than that to show?
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Lin Kuei Ominae
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sounds really good and i love the way companies now take more and more input from the players and modding fans.

Things that defined for me the classic C&C
  • interactive environment and ressources. No fixed single spot on which you get money, but the tiberium fields could grow or be completely depleted (except of course if there is a blossom tree, a very valuable terrain object).
    Concerning interactive terrain, i liked where TS moved.
    -Different ground types causing different unit types to move in different speeds.
    -Ice on water giving temporary new paths to the enemy, destroyable bridges
    What i would like to see more
    -lighting (day/night) influencing scouts and other units sight ranges (scouts become more useful, high tech units with sensor can target more precise during night than simple minigunner infantry)
    -weather effects (e.g. cold weather improving weapon efficiency of things that can run hot like laser or other energy based weapons; hot weather improving flame based weapons like napalm, so flames last longer and do more damage)

  • classic construction yard way to build buildings
  • a well balanced stone-scissor-paper principle of units, with not many units having overlapping roles. But then again having the units not that strong follow the principle to have completely useless ones (in extreme masses everything should work, even a tiny infantry)
  • tiberium: this ressource with it's pros and cons, defines C&C for me. It gives money, but can be also dangerous (growing too much to reduce build space, damage infantry, full harvester explode like a bomb, fields of tiberium explode and damage units inside them, tiberium mutates infantry and causes other strange creatures to appear on the map)
  • a simple control over the battlefield. Not many difficult menus and stuff, everything easy accessible right away via sidemenu (though this could be indeed improved more and brought to 21st century gaming, like fast keyboard shortcuts, personalized menu layout etc)
  • the good story and campaign also carried the good atmosphere of C&C (an RTS with only multiplayer and no singleplayer is no C&C). The atmosphere that a good, even cheesy, movie can give is not to underestimate. Especially when you see the FMV objects ingame as playable objects and this way get more connected to them (e.g. tiberian dawn videos about tiberium and dr. moebius explaining them, introduction videos of flame tanks and stealth tanks etc)


Things that a modern version of C&C should include are some innovative new features that work together with the old classic features.
C&C was always quite innovative, like the massive unlimited armies in tiberian dawn (before many games had unit limits), easy control, cool music/video and ingame graphics, the changing resource, actions on one mission could lead to a different campaign progress (alternate campaign missions like in TD and RA1).

Some ideas for innovative new features
a) a good AI. All C&C suffered from a pretty bad artificial intelligence. This was often countered by simple masses of AI units to counter the stupidity.
Something i would like to see here is a system like in Bitmap Brothers game Z, where different robots had a different intelligence. The most intelligent ones, calculated paths considering ground type and unit speed, they calculated paths faster than dumb units, they shot more precise and they dodge slow projectiles better than dumb units.
With such an intelligence system, someone could still bring back the classic stupid harvester driver than likes to drive through enemy bases.

b) interactive terrain and environment as described above, so a game isn't only the simple player vs player, but you have to take care of how the map is made and how the current environment/weather changes.
This also includes changing and new neutral enemies like tiberium monsters. For example, 2 player let one tiberium field unharmed and untouched and after a while this field mutated lots of the flora and fauna into deadly mutants, which then might pose even a bigger threat than the 2 players. Attacking visceroids in TD and TS where only a beginning of such a system.
Such an untouched tiberium field could also grow and mutate into such sizes, that conventional harvesting isn't able to remove it anymore and the field itself grows with such a force that it poses a threat to the bases. e.g. tiberium veins in TS which could destroy a base if not harvested away or veinhole monster is killed early enough.

c) customizable units ingame: it could be cool to equip tanks and units ingame with different weaponry (dangerous could be, if this distracts a player too much from the battlefield)

d) since it will be probably in 3D, a first person camera and control over a unit could be cool. Like a button that lets you jump right into C&C Renegade control over one of your units in your army. This would bring the player a lot closer to the actual battle and not only a far away observer with unit control. But this requires a good AI, so units don't stand dumb around once the player controls only one unit and can't control the rest of his army anymore. A good interface so the unit controlling player still has a decent battlefield overview is required too. (e.g. using the radar as a small battlefield in bird/isometric perspective)


OK, these are my 2 cents (or better, wall of cents)
I wish good luck with your project and if you need some 3D-Models for units or buildings, let me know Smile

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Graion Dilach
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's see. A single albeit well-made image and a casual filler text without anything concrete... and the community is jumping for joy?

What a shame. And if this would have been posted into the Private Mod Discussion, this same community would simply tell the guest stop living in daydreams.

Edits only contain spelling fixes - because I still fail at proofreading.
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Lin Kuei Ominae
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, why not. at least he has no virus or advertise link about shoes or condoms in his signature. Smile
If he is a CEO or not, discussing wishes about how a new C&C could/should look like is always fun. Wink That's the way nearly all our mods here started.
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zeroone
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for all the great feedback. The more the better Smile

Graion, I'm sorry you feel it's a shame - We're asking the community for feedback and collaboration on a title like this. We could have chosen another approach.

Lin - Let us know if you are interested in joining.
Drop a link to your portfolio, as well as a resume, and our Art Director will reach out to you if you fit the profile Smile

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RatsInTheWalls
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Joined: 14 Jul 2014
Location: Where the fields are green

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graion Dilach wrote:
Let's see. A single albeit well-made image and a casual filler text without anything concrete... and the community is jumping for joy?

What a shame. And if this would have been posted into the Private Mod Discussion, this same community would simply tell the guest stop living in daydreams.


I agree. While it's fun to think of a return of ye olde C&C on the commerial market... In the modern indie-saturated market, I was expecting a bit more - especially in regard to making a spiritual successor to one of the two bricks of RTS gaming. (The other being Total Annihilation - Blizzturd can get crushed under a pile of WoW-money for all I care)

But I have to say... what makes TibDawn and TibSun such great games are the adult fears and the horror elements done with a bit of seriousness.

TibDawn was all about bushwars, civil wars, terrorism and ecological damage, during the fall of the Soviet Union, the Yugoslavia war, the genocides in Rwanda etc. People were worried about acid rain. It all grabbed things that were in the news, and gave it a scifi spin - while keeping it (relatively) serious. (Unlike Generals.)

And TibSun, TibSun grabbed all that, and took inspiration from Dune's Sandworms - creating what I'd like to think of as a horror RTS.
Fiends, floaters, visceroids, meteor showers, blue tiberium field explosions, forest fires and vein fields. I still remember expecting enemy tank rushes in the early game, only to hear explosions, visceroid attacks and dying infantry coming from the shroud. That what TibSun is to me.

Edit: and let's not forget the lighting. The lighting in TS/RA2... mmmmmm. The only game that stands out on that level in my opinion is SunAge. And SunAge is cheating because that game is very recent.
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Gangster
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been linked to this topic. But I don't really know why. I am merely 2d designer and never participated in developing 3d rts. Smile also a foreigner thus no idea how would I able to join.

However. http://ppmsite.com/forum/index.php?f=163
Kinda what we do here.

If I am allowed to add 5 cent to what already been said. Pls take care about pathfinding and unit's collision. Generals, Tiberium wars all suffered of issues making game much less fun. Starcraft 2 did a much better job here.
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RatsInTheWalls
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gangster wrote:
If I am allowed to add 5 cent to what already been said. Pls take care about pathfinding and unit's collision. Generals, Tiberium wars all suffered of issues making game much less fun. Starcraft 2 did a much better job here.


Well, to be honest Starcraft 2 takes place in a dead sterile arena that pretends it's an environment.
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Agent Z
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally always liked to have many units to choose from, even if they had slightly overlapping roles. For example, if Im under attack by a specific unit(basic tank), I like to have many options to counter them, rather than just being able to build direct counters to them(missile infantry, aircraft).

And one thing I dislike in the new C&C games, are destructive special powers. There were lots of them in Generals, many in RA3 and some in C&C3 too, but there they were much less destructive(and one had to pay to use them, which was even better). The one thing I disliked in all of Generals was how much advantage the special powers like A10s, Carpet Bombing or Artillery Barrage gave, but the other ones like repair or cash bounty were all fine to me(boost one's own forces, rather than exterminate the enemy with a Carpet Bomb).

Also it seems that some of the C&C games after RA2 had less of the tank-spam that was everywhere in RA, RA2 and maybe TD(didn't play that one any much). It feels like using different things in Generals or C&C3 was much more usefull than for example in RA2, where the almost only thing worth building for a fight is a Heavy tank(or mirage tank for Allies)
Those are just my opinions.

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Dutchygamer
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm joining with Graion on this one. I'm a bit sceptical about the fact that a completely new person jumps in, claims he's from an unnamed triple A studio who will be (re)making a classic C&C. Sorry to say, but everyone can claim that. Especially the part where you ask for 2D/3D artists to join in makes me have serious doubts about this.
Not meaning to offend you if you are serious about this, but I've been disappointed too many times the past couple of years when it comes to games to be enthusiastic right away.
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Regulus
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No AAA company comes to modding boards looking for 2d/3d artists. It is an employers market right now in the video game industry and there is no way in hell they can't legitimately find enough people to hire on new talent if they have the budget to be a AAA company. Unless we see something concrete I'm calling troll or hoax. I completely agree with
Graion Dilach and Dutchygamer.
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OrangeNero
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regulus wrote:
No AAA company comes to modding boards looking for 2d/3d artists. It is an employers market right now in the video game industry and there is no way in hell they can't legitimately find enough people to hire on new talent if they have the budget to be a AAA company. Unless we see something concrete I'm calling troll or hoax. I completely agree with
Graion Dilach and Dutchygamer.


side project... "workers" taken from here would do it for free...
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^Rampastein
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with LKO regarding this discussion:
Lin Kuei Ominae wrote:
If he is a CEO or not, discussing wishes about how a new C&C could/should look like is always fun.

I'm not getting my hopes up nor am I expecting that anything will come out of this, but if that happens (even if the chance is low), I'll be very interested in it. I'd actually be willing to help if I just could help somehow, although I doubt my years of C# programming experience would be useful enough since they're using UE4. Nor do they have use for map designers etc. in such an early stage.
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blubb
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey zeroone, is there space for concept artists on any matter? i'm not pro, i'm learning and currently i am working with another team on a kickstarter title so i'm bascially experiencing a real work pipeline already, just asking if there's space left over for someone to grow on with a passion for RTS stuff with semi-realistic militarism/sci fi/cyberpunk-esque stuff. Smile
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Orac
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is all very interesting.  UDK is a solid engine, and while I haven't been involved in anything RTS-y on it, I can totally see it working out.

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^Rampastein
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orac wrote:
UDK is a solid engine, and while I haven't been involved in anything RTS-y on it, I can totally see it working out.

UE4 isn't the same thing as UDK #Tongue Although it's also looking solid.
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OrangeNero
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is UE4 actually capable to suit an RTS game like C&C? I remember the talking about the devs of Generals 2 having huge problems with vehicles crushing infantry in the frostbyte engine. Plenty of such problems could arise with UE4 as well.

But hey best case zoorone is up to making a new C&C like game. worst case there's nothing which we now already have so nothing to lose.
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Orac
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^Rampastein wrote:
Orac wrote:
UDK is a solid engine, and while I haven't been involved in anything RTS-y on it, I can totally see it working out.

UE4 isn't the same thing as UDK #Tongue Although it's also looking solid.

Yeah, but as far as I can see UE4 is basically the same workflow #Tongue

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0warfighter0
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Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Location: Belgium, Haasdonk

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting, somehow missed the topic. Though I'm skeptic about it as well. Plus I'd rather try my own spin on C&C in the near future so...

Good luck with it though, looking forward to it when you show off some content.

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4StarGeneral
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Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Location: Constant Flux

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orac wrote:
^Rampastein wrote:
Orac wrote:
UDK is a solid engine, and while I haven't been involved in anything RTS-y on it, I can totally see it working out.

UE4 isn't the same thing as UDK #Tongue Although it's also looking solid.

Yeah, but as far as I can see UE4 is basically the same workflow #Tongue


I've dabbled around in UE4, the actor system is much simpler to make an RTS with than the previous UDK's, and the bones system has changed, you can now build and attach your bones to your models INSIDE UE4 in an intuitive UI similar, but not as limiting as, Mixamo's Auto-Rigger tool. UE4 is quite different from UE3's workflow, especially now that you can only use .FBX models (which lets us use alot more info, and include textures pre-attached to 3D models). I would assist as a 3D modeller, but I'm afraid I need more experience and am under a large workload already, unless money is involved, then by all means. #Tongue
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Team Black
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Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Location: Georgia, USA Posts: Over 9000

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tl;dr

zeroone wrote:
(picture)

wow, he's in the Marines AND the Air Force #Tongue

One of the things I give credit to the old C&C series is that it isn't necessarily about pumping a frillion-unit army. You never had to worry about "population cap" in C&C the way you had to worry about it in Starcraft and Age of Empires. In the old C&Cs it was slower to build an army, so you could be more picky and choosey - pretty easy to lose an army, too, if you didn't do your rock-scissors-paper right. Allowed for cleaner action and reaction.

That's the thing we lost when EA adopted the "one unit per factory" idea which is prominent in other RTS. It led to some gameplay issues, such as uber base expansion (which they tried to fix in KW and RA3 using a conyard radious, and IMO failed HARD)
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