Hope the new year has been treating you guys well thus far. Here is an interview we had with CNCSaga.de, a German gaming website. Hopefully, this answers a lot of questions you guys have about this mod!
You can view the German version of the interview here
Hello and thank you for taking your time to do this interview. First off, tell us something about yourself and your team.
My name is Jan-Vincent, a.k.a. Jack Hammersmith (better don't ask me how I got this nickname ^^), I am currently working as a coder/scripter and the CryEngine2 advisor for Tiberian Genesis. My skills include scripting, coding, figuring out the inner workings of the CryEngine2 and teaching it to other members of the mod. I started modding as a Level Designer in 2000 with the "HL1 Natural-Selection Technology" release and later moved to Operation Flashpoint as a scripter for "ConquerTheIsland." Since then, I´ve learned a lot about game mechanics and how to modify stuff to fit my needs. After getting into "Armed Assault's SQF scripting," I decided to learn the basics of C++ and, finally with more experience, I was given the leadership for Tiberian Genesis by Sentry - the founder of the Tiberian Genesis project.
The Tiberian Genesis team is composed of extremely talented members from all over the world located in countries such as the United States, Germany, Brazil, Switzerland, Australia, Russia, Britain, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, India, Pakistan and South Africa. More than fellow co-workers, many of the team members have become good friends with each other and the team environment is very warm and friendly. Most members of the team have some sort of nostalgic attachment to the Command and Conquer series and especially with that of Tiberian Sun. Because of this, each member is pouring the utmost effort into his/her work and is ensuring that the community would love what he/she has developed. However, due to this, one can imagine that things can take quite some time to develop! Unfortunately, over the years, many members have left as Tiberian Genesis has helped them secure a spot in the gaming industry.
Your mod is based on the Crysis Wars Engine, why did you choose this particular game/engine?
We chose the CryEngine2 due to several reasons. One cannot deny that the graphics in Crysis look spectacular - even by today's standards. The other reason we chose this engine is that it's relatively easy to modify and we have people who are quite experienced with that particular engine. Therefore, we are lucky to be able to exploit the engine's beautiful visuals as well as its capabilities.
Where did you get the idea to create this special mod, why didn't you want to make one based on the normal RTS?
I think you may be a bit mistaken here because Tiberian Sun is an RTS game. Since Crysis Wars is an FPS with extremely powerful graphical capabilities and is also easily modifiable, it would make sense that we would use such an engine to create a hybrid game that utilizes the styles of an FPS and an RTS. Indeed, with the incredible graphical capabilities of the engine, why not observe a vehicle up close and peruse it for threatening scratches ? All jokes aside, Command and Conquer Renegade was extremely successful and had a first person perspective. Therefore, why not create a similar style of gameplay?
What is special about your mod, what information can you give us about it?
Well, apart from the fact that you'll have high quality, high definition units from the 1998's Tiberian Sun, it is definitely the gameplay into which we've been putting much thought into. The ability to play as the commander while at the same time having real soldiers on your side who want to destroy the enemy on their own! You share the lust for victory yet you're viewing it from two completely different perspectives - once as the Commander, who will be responsible for base building, economy, team organization as well as intelligence. On the other hand we have the good old soldiers who will have their own budget (and a shared one) and will be able to buy vehicles, weapons and even maybe minor upgrades. Of course, team play will play a big role - not only between you and your commander, but also between you and your teammates, like in Renegade. So this all might seem a bit foggy right now, but I'm sure we will have a demonstration video coming out soon enough!
What are the things you are most proud of? What took the most effort to create?
As of now, we're definitely proud of our members who have been working hard to make things happen - from the Harvester, the Dynamic Tiberium System over to our own C&C tracks which will just pull you back into the days when you were playing the original Sun! We're also proud of the community who has been holding together during all these years and giving us support and pushing us to move forward, although it wasn't always as easy.
To be really honest, the toughest part was the organization as well as the recruiting - at a certain moment we were low on members and it seemed as if everyone left on holidays! It was quite scary, but thanks to our prime members as well as our great PR Desi8389, we managed to get back on track. So it would definitely be the organizational part of the mod.
You're one of the very few who want to create a mod for CnC which is not based on any RTS, are there any technical issues or problems within your team?
We are, infact, creating a mod that IS based on a RTS CnC game. Tiberian Genesis will be based upon the Tiberian Sun universe (an RTS game) and will incorporate elements from CnC Renegade as well to create a game that is based upon units from Tiberian Sun but will be played like CnC Renegade - in an FPS fashion. Of course, there is much more and there are fundamental differences between our gameplay style and Renegade's. To understand that, refer to the question about what is special about our mod! We really haven't had any problems in our team because of that but there was initial confusion as to what style of gameplay we are trying to develop.
What are your very own highlights? Will the game be fully balanced?
Whenever we see a finished, textured model - that becomes our highlight! Right now it would have to be the models made as well as the tracks from our sound-guru, Desi8389. We do, indeed, plan to keep the game fully balanced. However, right now, we have to make do with whatever units we have created for both sides. Since some units are more complete than other units, there may be instances where there may be a more powerful unit existing on one side than on the other side. In cases like that, we have to wait until we simply finish that unit.
Will you support this mod after its release?
This mod means a lot to us, and we hope it will have the effect on the community we've intended. Our goal is to release all of the tech levels as well as have the game polished and well balanced.
This is quite an undertaking that will take time to develop, but once it is finished, we SURELY won't simply drop it. We might continue working on the maps, assets... Single player is an option as well - for both the FPS as well as the RTS fans out there Of course, maintenance for the game will definitely be something we will continue to do after release - such as taking care of bugs within the game, fixing gameplay issues, tweaking balance issues that may come up, etc.
Do you listen to the community's feedback? Are you trying to fit in into your mod?
We are actively working with the community and we were inspired multiple times by their great minds! Their ideas ranged from gameplay mechanics and general thoughts to model modifications and soundtrack tweaks. To us, the community is a great source full of creativity, inspiration, and knowledge - so it's definitely something we value as being extremely precious! On the other hand, we obviously can't take everything the community wants and implement it since everybody wants their ideas implemented and it would be chaotic to implement all the ideas since there may be a conflict. Due to this, our approach right now is to combine the general idea of the community with our own artistic vision to create the environment and the units of the game.
How many fractions / races will be available? Where will be their differences?
Right now, we will only include the Global Defense Initiative and the Brotherhood of NOD since that is what the original Tiberian Sun was all about. The difference will be as fundamental as the two opposing factions - the main one being the art style, identity, as well as Gameplay mechanics. A question perhaps to clarify:
Who do you think would win - a heavily armored pair of GDI Titans or a squadron of fast and agile Attack bikes?
We will do our best to portray the factions as they are and design their sides accordingly.
What are your ideals concerning sound and models?
We think that the sounds and models have to be extremely well detailed and original to Tiberian Sun. Because we're using the CryEngine2, we need to ensure that we use it to its maximum potential and use as much detail as possible on the models. Concerning the sounds, we want to create an original soundtrack that is reminiscent of the original Tiberian Sun soundtrack. This means that we would like to use similar production techniques and give the music the feel of the 90's. However, we are also playing with the idea of incorporating a 21st century style within the music to give it a more modern feel. As for the sound effects, we want to redesign them from ground up since the original sounds of Tiberian Sun are quite low quality and can't really be manipulated with. However, we do intend to synthesize sounds that sound very similar to the original sound effects of Tiberian Sun.
Are you going to include a campaign, if yes what are the thing you'll focus on?
We did think about a single player campaign but, at this stage, we're focusing on creating assets for the Multiplayer so you can hop into the Titan, Stealth Tank or Harvester (if you really want to) and start blowing things up! So you will have to ask that question again sometime soon
Finally, do you want to say something?
We just want to say that we have some very exciting stuff lined up for you guys and we are hoping to release an infantry beta soon! We urge all of you to check out our Facebook and YouTube pages for new updates! Also, definitely check us out on ModDB!