While Mod progress has been slow due to having real life demand more and more of our attention, the C&C Tiberian Dawn Redux Lead Developer sgtmyers88 was interviewed by AnNo1935 for the German C&C Websites CnCSaga.de, CnCHQ.de, & CnC-Inside.de. The published interview is posted HERE (note that it is translated into German) These wonderful Mod fans of the C&C Community have helped with keeping the spirit of this Mod alive!
HERE IS THE ORIGINAL INTERVIEW:
AnNo1935 wrote: Hey, please tell us something about yourself (yourselves)!
sgtmyers88: I am Joshua Myers from Tulsa, Oklahoma USA. I am 21 years old. I currently work full time as a meat market co-manager at a large retail store chain. I have been trying to work out plans to go back to school at a local community college with possibly pursuing graphic design & animation and/or computer programming. I have been playing C&C games for 13 years and if you can guess it, you can bet my first C&C game was of course C&C 1 (Tiberian Dawn). I was new to RTS games at the time and it took me a while to warm up to this new style of gaming. Once I figured out the system, I became... err shall I say... "addicted".
The rest is history as I have followed the C&C Series all the way up to C&C 4.
I had also started my modding career through the C&C Red Alert 1 Map Editor making user made Skirmish/Multiplayer maps for a few years. I had also become addicted to Starcraft during this time and quickly picked up on its Campaign Map Editor as I managed to complete several maps and singleplayer missions with two whole ten mission campaigns of my own design. Then, once I got C&C Generals and its Zero Hour Expansion Pack shortly after their releases, I definitely became interested in the Worldbuilder almost immediately. Knowing that the missions and the in-game cinematics were all done and made available through the maps themselves, I was given access to a wealth of information and assets that allowed me to make several singleplayer missions and over 30 detailed Skirmish/Multiplayer Maps. As I later figured out how to extract the surprisingly simplistic .ini code files and the texture files, I began to edit and experiment with them. I had eventually made a mini mod that was called Realistic Weapon Mod where I had also used some public assets which proved to help me get familiar with the SAGE Engine of C&C Generals Zero Hour and all the modding possibilities that could come from it. Assets from this Mod would serve as my base platform for all the things I had always wanted to do. I would use my extensive mapping and scripting skills to totally recreate that one C&C game that I had fell in love with so many years ago... the original Command & Conquer and place it in the 3D Game Engine of what was the latest game at the time which had also become my new favorite, C&C Generals Zero Hour. I knew that there was one thing many C&C Generals Mods did not have which was a dynamic singleplayer campaign mode. With the extensive knowledge I had acquired with scripting and map making and the straightforward design of the missions in the original Command & Conquer, I felt it would be a great idea to attempt to use my skills to recreate the missions using authentic assets to complete the feeling of replaying the original Command & Conquer as if Westwood Studios had rebuilt it on a 3D game engine 10 years later. As I learned 3D modeling, skinning, and animation from a buddy named Carnage17 that I knew from ModDB, the progress and possibility for the Mod project as I had originally envisioned soon became a reality, but yet this project would later exceeded my expectations totally as the months and years went by.
As for my hobbies and interests outside of Command & Conquer, I am a huge Star Trek fan as I grew up on it as well. I am also an avid military history and paintball junkie. While I was rejected from the
armed services for "Medical Liabilities" I have often considered getting that ruling disputed as I had spent 12 years of my life preparing for that career. However, I often participate in paintball events and war reenactments to honor our veterans and servicemen and to make use of my skills and knowledge as I even participate in the worlds largest paintball game that is a World War Two Reenactment called Oklahoma D-Day in Wyandotte, Oklahoma USA. I usually make personal documentary videos of these events and you can view them at my YouTube Channel where you
can also find many of my videos from the C&C Tiberian Dawn Redux Mod.
AnNo1935 wrote: Please tell us something about your Mods! How did you get the idea to make this Mod? How did it all start?
sgtmyers88: As you already know, I am the creator and lead developer of the C&C Tiberian Dawn Redux Mod which is a recreation of the original Command & Conquer that was made over a decade ago that launched the whole C&C game franchise! We are using EA's Strategy Action Game Engine (SAGE) from C&C Generals Zero Hour. In the Mod we have successfully recreated all of the original units and themes with several new additions and innovations. We have also successfully recreated 18 of the story campaign missions with incredible detail, currently there are 9 missions available for both GDI and Nod and we are still working on recreating the rest of the missions featured in the original game along with a few new missions of our own design. However, I have been placing mission development on a lower priority until the Mod's visual appearance and gameplay meets the quality standards that coincide with what my vision has been for the completed project. (e.g. debugging various in-game assets) Please visit our C&C Comm Center Website and register at the Forums for additional details in regards to the ongoing progress with developing C&C Tiberian Dawn Redux. We would love to have our fans join the discussion as everyone loves to tell war stories about their experiences playing C&C Tiberian Dawn Redux! In case all of you were wondering about how and when this project idea started, I will come out and say that along with the details mentioned in my background story above, this Mod was somewhat inspired and launched by the rumors of C&C 3 Tiberium Wars being officially under development, but in all truth it was mostly inspired by C&C The First Decade and of course, the 10th Anniversary of the Original Command & Conquer which was released back on August, 31st 1995!
Here is our Mod Release Trailer for Mod Version 1.3 that was launched at Christmas back in 2009:
AnNo1935 wrote: What makes your Mod so special? What is the difference to other Mods?
sgtmyers88: There are still some very innovative and unique features to this Mod that continues to establish new levels of possibility for the 8 year old Zero Hour SAGE Engine and for the C&C Generals Zero Hour Modding Community. This is due to the fact that we have successfully managed to recreate some of the singleplayer missions from the original Command & Conquer in a level of detail that has left many players leaving me messages about how much they were totally stunned about the atmosphere and accuracy of the details implemented in both visual layout and with the scripting of each and every map and mission included in the Mod. Shortly after C&C Tiberian Dawn Redux was announced and a v1.1 Public Beta was launched, I had made a bold announcement to begin working on two Sub-Factions that would tell the background story between GDI and Nod after the First Tiberian War ended that would eventually lead up to the events known in C&C Tiberian Sun. During this time, I had also received assistance from Blbpaws who leads the development of C&C All Stars and now the C&C 3 The Forgotten Mod. If you may remember, C&C All Stars rocked the C&C Community with their unique idea to bring all the factions from previous C&C games into one Mod along with creating the first ever known Construction Yard System to compete against the Dozer System that dominates the C&C Generals base building format. With their permission and credit, that same Construction Yard system was improved and successfully implemented into C&C Tiberian Dawn Redux v1.2 along with keeping the MCV Dozer System intact as a secondary option or for using as a base expansion unit like the Surveyors are used in C&C 3.
Last year, I had began to study a book for 3D art and programming for video games while I had also established contact with some friends from China who have been working on some advanced modification projects Take One's Courage in Both Hands and Modern Wars for C&C Generals Zero
Hour that have transformed the graphics and atmosphere for the game into something that more closely resembles C&C 3 Tiberium Wars. With some assistance from the book and with the insight provided by these two developers, I managed to transform the appearance and atmosphere of
C&C Tiberian Dawn Redux to where it could hold its own with C&C 3 Tiberium Wars and its associated Mods. Accomplishing this had brought the Mod well beyond my original vision and expectations, especially knowing that I was using the outdated C&C Generals Zero Hour SAGE
Engine. This is when I had invented my quote: "You can indeed teach an old game engine new tricks!"
AnNo1935 wrote: How long did the development take? How long will it take until it’s released?
sgtmyers88: If you count all the previous work that I have done, then you could say that C&C Tiberian Dawn Redux was nearly 10 years in the making! But the truth is that C&C Tiberian Dawn Redux has been in an actual state of development since May 2007 which makes it 3 years old!
AnNo1935 wrote: Will the AI be able to handle this Mod? Will there be any problems?
sgtmyers88: I have managed to script out the singleplayer missions in a incredible level of detail to make them as accurate as possible to the ones seen in the original Command & Conquer. I have also spent many long hours building and enhancing the Skirmish AI. While there have been some issues with certian AI players on certain maps not working to full capacity, I have managed to make a decent enough Skirmish AI to leave players surprised in a few instances. You may actually find your most interesting battle experiences with the Skirmish AI through the Easy or Medium Skirmish AI. While we have had some issues in the latest release with the Hard Skirmish AI not functioning properly, I am steadily working hard to get these issues resolved for the upcoming patch version 1.31 with some visual changes and fixes are also being included.
AnNo1935 wrote: Do you have any future plans for your Mods or your real life? What’s about to be next?
sgtmyers88: I do intend to do my best to make sure the Mod gets completed even if it takes 5 or 10 more years. I will not suspend development unless my life responsibilities are too great or if my health is at risk. In other words, for as far as I am concerned... this Mod will live on until it is completed! As for my real life situation, I will hopefully be getting into college soon for some graphic design & animation and/or computer programming studies, and perhaps, (if I am fortunate enough) I could possibly make my own computer graphics and game development studio one day!
AnNo1935 wrote: How important is the community for you?
sgtmyers88:First of all, I know there are several previous Mods that have been themed with recreating the elements of the original Command & Conquer. It has never been my intention or desire to compete with the other projects. I deeply respect and admire all the other talented and hard working Mod Development Teams that are out there! I know some of the projects had died or were in a long state of suspended development causing the Development Teams to break up. It is quite unfortunate as I know and understand that these developers are usually not commercial companies, but individual fans such as myself and that their personal lives get in the way as I face that issue all the time myself. I know life can get in the way, but yet I felt it should be my responsibility to try to do what the others were unable to do. I must strongly admit that while I have assembled much of the C&C Tiberian Dawn Redux Mod by myself, I cannot take all the credit as many of its assets were indeed donated or borrowed for using as placeholders or were even modified for permanent in-game assets from over 20 other C&C fans and Modders from all around the C&C Community. Some of us began to keep in contact to share assets and information and it resulted in us creating a Development Group with the creation of our current Mod Website to complement the ModDB profile that I had started the Mod out on in 2008. I have taken great passion towards getting this Mod to where it is today as to where it could be something that would be comparable to an actual standalone game that was made by an actual Game Development Company like Westwood Studios or Electronic Arts. I had always strived for this project to be an open door community project and so this Mod has gained an unofficial slogan "The original Command & Conquer recreated and updated completely by the Fans, for the Fans!" because of this unique approach I have chosen. It is in my opinion that the success with any of these Mods seen on the internet depends on dedicated and passionate individuals and full community participation and support! That is also another reason why I have taken this unique approach with developing C&C Tiberian Dawn Redux, because I refuse to let this Mod fail and be forgotten like so many other potentially epic Mods that have come and gone in the C&C Community!
As for the commercial developers who interact with the community, I first wish to say that I do feel that the commercial game developers have taken a good step in the right direction by involving their fans in the gaming communities to help with interacting with current games and also with the developers of the games that are still under development. However, I just hope and wish developers will listen more to the fans who are also their paying customers who do have Rights! The game development companies should always provide a product (in this case a game) that is of acceptable quality and stability right out of the box! Do not rush a game's development and then have to release 5 or 10 patches afterward! Loyal fans will be glad to wait for an excellent game that they know will be of excellent performance and quality right out of the box... even if it takes 5 or 10 years of waiting for it to be completed!
AnNo1935 wrote: What do you think about the situation now after the release of CnC 4?
sgtmyers88: I will speak what I think for I do not believe in political correctness as I could rant and rave about this for hours, I have played the C&C 4 Beta and seen the final in-game FMV's on YouTube. I will just have to summarize and say that while C&C 4 Tiberian Twilight sounds good in the name. I am afraid that C&C 4 does not live up to compare with any of its predecessors at all. The radical changes to the game design and the addition of the C&C Red Alert 3 cartoon styled graphics that make everything look like toys is a real turn off to me as it does not fit the apocalyptic atmosphere that "Tiberian Twilight" was supposed to depict. And the FMV's from what I have seen are ridiculous in their story and were cheaply designed and conducted. I also feel that the radical experimentation and changes was quite inappropriate for EA to conduct on a major C&C title that is supposed to be the conclusion of the Tiberian C&C Saga. I believe EA should have done their experimenting with adding the pop caps, no harvesting, and the crawler system for another expansion pack or for launching another C&C game series in an alternate universe as they had done with launching the C&C Generals games, not for a game with a such a high profile as C&C 4 Tiberian Twilight which is also the conclusion to the original C&C series of all things! This final game in the Tiberian Series does not do us justice AT ALL! I am open to changes and for something new, but too much change is not always good in these situations, there is a saying, "If it ain't broke... don't fix it!"
But the issues that burn me the most is how EA is now forcing players to submit to adding DRM's into their PC's Hard Drive's such as in C&C Red Alert 3 or the "Always Online" feature in C&C 4 that persists even during the singleplayer campaign mode that should naturally not require players to connect to the internet! I have boycotted C&C 4 because of it! And what is the true reasoning behind removing LAN gameplay? Whats is the big deal that left EA resorting to do that? Its blasphemy I tell ya!
Yes, I know piracy is a growing issue, but I am sorry to say that it is here to stay. Just as we cannot totally catch and control thieves all around in the physical world, the same goes for online piracy. I do not encourage or support piracy, nor do I dismiss it as a concerning issue in our society, it is just that I feel that the current methods being used to deter piracy is a very wrong direction to take for the gaming industry as it is discouraging hardcore fans and casual gamers alike who are usually honest paying individuals of the products (games) in question. That is like a store clerk holding a gun to each and every customer who enters the store because of fear that the customer may actually be there to rob the store! The only real solution is to destroy the internet if they truly wish to stop online piracy, but of course, that is not a reasonable measure to take as you would be destroying everything else that is irrelevant to this concerning issue. The same goes with thieves in our physical world, we would have to destroy the human race because each of us is capable of being a thief, what decides whether we are or not is a matter of our own ability to honor moral values and self control!
This is of course all expressed in my personal opinion. Whether or not other individuals will agree with me on these issues is fine, I will of course, have to respect others perspectives. If you wish, you may view my Blog on ModDB regarding my entire feelings about EA, C&C4, and the rise of these controlling game DRM's and "Always Online" requirements HERE. I have not bought a single PC Game in almost a year because of the increased usage of such "anti piracy" devices and gimmicks that are being embedded in the copies of the games that I BOUGHT and OWN!
AnNo1935 wrote: What do you think about the support of EA and the Community?
sgtmyers88: I think I mostly summarized this in my two previous answers. And I do hope EA will realize their mistakes and make a changes for the better to support and honor their customers! The customer is always right! Without them, you have no business! I hope all the other commercial video game developers will heed this warning as well!
AnNo1935 wrote: Is there anything you want to tell the community?
sgtmyers88: Go for your dreams and ambitions and never give up! We the passionate fans of Command & Conquer is what keeps the spirit of this amazing game series running strong and how it has done so for 15 years and counting!
AnNo1935 wrote: How many releases are planned for Tiberian Dawn Redux? Will there be the
next release with a preview of Tiberian Sun Redux?
sgtmyers88: I know many fans are anticipating the completion of these incredible Mods and I am humbled by this. However, I cannot say anything about any future releases right now, all I can say is: "When it's done."
However, you can check out our latest Screenshots along with the Latest Mod Video which provides a brief demonstration of the completed updates along with some useful battlefield tactics.
C&C FANS UNITE!
-Joshua Myers (sgtmyers88)