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It has been 15 years since a small Las Vegas Development Studio known as "Westwood Studios" released the Original Command & Conquer PC Game to the public. This article features a couple links featuring interviews with the developers behind the longest lived and most popular Real Time Strategy video game series that we all know as "Command & Conquer". What are they doing now? And where were you on August 31st 1995?

Posted by sgtmyers88 on Sep 1st, 2010

It has been 15 years since a small Las Vegas Development Studio known as "Westwood Studios" released the Original Command & Conquer PC Game to the public.

Command & Conquer Box Art & Jewel Case Image

This article features a couple links featuring interviews with the developers behind the longest lived and most popular Real Time Strategy video game series that we all know as "Command & Conquer". What are they doing now? And where were you on August 31st 1995?

VIEW RECENT INTERVIEW WITH WESTWOOD STUDIOS CO-FOUNDER LOUIS CASTLE
VIEW ARTICLE REGARDING THE MEN WHO CHANGED THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY

PREMISE:
Taken from the recent interview by Louis Castle. (see link above)

"The basic premise of C&C as a story was a backstory that would create these battles. Since we wanted to make a very structured and ordered group of people battling against a decentralized organization, it made a lot of sense to have established governments fighting against terrorism. Of course, we put out C&C in 1995, many years before our current world situation. But every back then, Joe Bostic, Brett Sperry, and Eydie Laramore, they really saw that the world was going to a place where the next war was not going to be  between nations, but was really going to be more of a war of ideology. A war between those who feel like they’re representing the under-class and those who represent the establishment, and the fight against those two. So that was the underpinnings of C&C as a story and it felt like it would resonate with not just today’s world, but anytime in past. You can go back to almost any time in history and have some similar analogies going on."

Random images from C&C Tiberian Dawn (original)

THE REAL TIME STRATEGY REVOLUTION:
"A game that defined and re-defined a genre." -video game reviewers

(Again, taken from the recent interview with Louis Castle.) "Yeah, sure was. C&C, after Dune II, was originally a swords and sorcery game. It was going to be wizards and fighters and fantasy. It hadn’t been called C&C yet. Brett decided that it should be contemporary because it would be more accessible for people. So once we decided to go contemporary, the decision was to make it feel like you were logging into a terminal, almost like war games-style, and becoming a real commander of real troops. Once we made that decision to go for a realistic fantasy – there were no 3D graphic cards – 2D graphic images were just not going to come across as being real. So we had this big CD that had lots of space, why don’t we fill it with video? And once we knew we were going to fill it with video, we had already done some games where we were shooting in the studio, we said: “Let’s just start filming and build a studio.” The very first sequences that Aaron Powell, one of the lead artists, did, he literally walked back-and-forth in front of a sheet, then chroma keyed out the white, and used his silhouette for the guys on the deck of the aircraft carrier, and that started our whole studio experience.

Wallpapers & Logos

We hired Joe Kucan who became the director of the film pieces and, of course, played Kane. That was interesting, because we were auditioning for the role of Kane. We were talking to very well known actors – C&C has a rich history of hiring well known actors – and as we were interviewing, Joe kept saying: “No, say it like this…” They would go back-and-forth, and we were watching the tapes, and Brett called Joe and he goes: “I got to tell you, we know who the best Kane is, but it’s you.” He was a little taken aback because he wasn’t sure that it would be good for him to be directing and acting – he’s a training actor and very talent guy. Ultimately, he decided, “Yeah, I’ll give it shot.” Ironically, he’s become one of the best known villains in any media. [Laughs] He’s really well recognised. The guy doesn’t age.

I think it’s very difficult to take anything as complex as a hit franchise and take out one element. People would say: “It wasn’t a success, except for (blank).” But I think you could say it might not have been a success if it didn’t have everything. So, I don’t know that C&C would have been what it was without Joe. Probably not, and maybe without the full motion video stuff it wouldn’t even have been successful as a game. Who knows? It’s very difficult to say. Clearly, it added something to it that I thought was very valuable. Based on what we saw with Generals as a franchise and Red Alert and C&C, the FMVs, the actors, they brought something to the game and to the story that I think was quite enchanting. Until such time that we can do games that look as good as Benjamin Button… and even then you’ll still need actors, but maybe you could go to full CG. But CG characters still feel pretty obviously non-human. So, yeah, I think he had a huge contribution and without him it wouldn’t be the same."

Random images from C&C Tiberian Dawn (original)

GAMEPLAY DEVELOPMENT AND BALANCING:
Knowing that, when you’re getting close to the end of a game, and everybody in the office is playing it all the time, you know that you’ve got something pretty good, right? -Louis Castle

(Again, taken from the recent interview with Louis Castle.) "At the very beginning we talked about the game in much the same way as a sport, we wanted it to be fair. The original C&C had multiplayer over LAN cable, but not over the internet. In that game, many of the units were very similar, so the balance was a little bit easier because the sides were subtly different, but they weren’t dramatically different. The superweapons were more different than the base units, but the base units; you both had troopers, you both had tanks. Really, Red Alert was the first game where we tried very hard to make those sides as different as possible. I would say it reached its climax with Red Alert 2 and Yuri’s Revenge. With Yuri’s Revenge you actually had three completely different sides, each of which had to be played completely differently to be successful, each of which had very equal balance. When we put it out in the world you could see it was almost equal in the people that were successful in the rankings of which side they chose.

Random images from C&C Tiberian Dawn (original)

The way we balanced that was we just test the crap out of it. The testers usually figure out all the exploits and they figure out how to maximize each side. So you keep balancing it till you get roughly the same number of people passionate for each one of the sides that they believe is going to be successful. It’s very difficult to do. One of the things that C&C always had were these hordes of units. Putting unit caps makes it a lot easier to balance, but it always felt artificial to us. It was just hard work. It was one of the reasons that the first C&C was so later, it took us well over a year longer than we thought."

C&C Gold    C&C Gold  C&C Gold    C&C Gold  C&C Gold  C&C Gold

These are just summarized bits and bytes from the interviews, but I strongly suggest you check out the links above and read the full interviews and the opinions regarding C&C 4 and Electronic Arts.

HAPPY 15TH BIRTHDAY TO COMMAND & CONQUER!

Post comment Comments
BlackSan
BlackSan Sep 2 2010, 2:25am says:

Long Life WestWood

+21 votes     reply to comment
C&C-Pickled
C&C-Pickled Sep 2 2010, 2:44am replied:

they're already dead but somehow they may be reborn!

+13 votes     reply to comment
ℒuna-tic™
ℒuna-tic™ Sep 2 2010, 2:51am replied:

They have been!

They are called Petroglyph and make the comming game called End Of Nations, can't wait for that because there can be upto 100+ people in a single game, It is like World Of Warcraft(I don't play it), One big map and you just join.

I have ranted on long enough about that game, but you can check their site for info :)

+12 votes     reply to comment
cronos35
cronos35 Sep 2 2010, 6:03am replied:

i'm tracking that game and i gotta tell ya, it's gonna be phenomenal when it releases some time soon. graphics, units, gameplay, environment, everything is amazing! i have always dreamed of an online RTS game and petroglyph answers my prayers without even hearing them.

*sigh* i wish C&C4 ran on the End of Nations game engine..

+3 votes     reply to comment
ℒuna-tic™
ℒuna-tic™ Sep 2 2010, 7:00am replied:

....Can't always get what we want :)

EON will be out soon.

But is run on the basis of pay-by-month, like World Of warcraft, and that was a bit of a putoff, still might get it though :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Daemonkiller117
Daemonkiller117 Oct 12 2012, 10:08am replied:

*facepalm* It's F2P smart one and NOT pay to win. I should know... I tested the thing

+1 vote     reply to comment
AtlasTasume
AtlasTasume Sep 2 2010, 3:30am says:

Long live Command and Conquer! EA can go an hang themselves! Mod teams will keep it alive! No matter what EA does to it!

+15 votes     reply to comment
JonnyBoy0719
JonnyBoy0719 Sep 2 2010, 3:44am replied:

C&C ROCK! WESTWOOD ROCKS! EA SUX!

+7 votes     reply to comment
Wasper
Wasper Sep 2 2010, 3:45am says:

"And where were you on August 31st 1995"

Probably at school, 2nd grade :D

Can't tell how often I played the original CnC on my old 486 computer (DOS ftw) with no sound (had no sound-card back then). The game was so hard, always had problems with the missions where you have no base, just a bunch of units.
Damn, I'm really wishing me back the good old times where awesome games were created and great companies existed - just like Westwood.

+7 votes     reply to comment
supjay
supjay Sep 2 2010, 5:02am replied:

Same setup for me except i had the sound :). Gosh it was fun. True, some missions were damn difficult. I can still remember the last GDI mission where you land the MCV from a hovercraft. There's a nod welcome party of Flame tanks and rocket soldiers. We only have a medium tank to defend the MCV. Its so much fun :D

+4 votes     reply to comment
anas101
anas101 Sep 2 2010, 3:58am says: Online

a minute of silence for the great game westwood had made

+7 votes     reply to comment
Mad(rus)
Mad(rus) Sep 2 2010, 4:45am says:

EA - sux! it's true! C&C and Westwood 4ever!!!

+3 votes     reply to comment
TeamWolf
TeamWolf Sep 2 2010, 4:50am says:

Such a shame EA thought they could make C&C games like WestWood.

Long live WestWood.

+5 votes     reply to comment
TimeDefender
TimeDefender Sep 2 2010, 5:46am says:

Long live WestWood.

+5 votes     reply to comment
cronos35
cronos35 Sep 2 2010, 5:59am says:

louis castle said in the interview:
Q: EA released C&C4 earlier this year as the final chapter to the Tiberium arc. How do you feel about the ending to C&C4?
A: think that the team they had doing it was a very talented team, they worked on a lot of the other C&C products. They were seriously resource constrained when it came to trying to make the product they wanted to make. I’m a little disappointed by the product at the end of the day. Not because the team didn’t do a good job with what they had, I just think it was under resourced to be the finale.

time master's Opinion:
so true.. EA had all the resources they needed, they had some of westwood's men, they had the best version of the sage which was the heart of tiberium wars. why can they not make the game more like an improvement of TW just like what QSN made with the modern warfare mod for generals zero hour than make a whole new version of the sage, hire men from cartoon network, and make it crap? it makes no sense! they didn't even consult Louis Castle when he was a co-founder of westwood studios and the command and conquer games.

+6 votes     reply to comment
C&C-Pickled
C&C-Pickled Sep 2 2010, 6:19am says:

I still lol@people saying long live westwood, if what i'm hearing is correct then it's now long live petroglyph (new name not as good)

+3 votes     reply to comment
crill
crill Sep 2 2010, 6:42am says:

The game kept me amused for many years:D

+4 votes     reply to comment
ℒuna-tic™
ℒuna-tic™ Sep 2 2010, 7:03am says:

@C&C-Pickled

Lol, E-Mail link....

+5 votes     reply to comment
CnC_Fin
CnC_Fin Sep 2 2010, 8:24am says:

Happy B-Day C&C. Even though Westwood died in 2003 (reborned as Petroglyph Games later), it will one day rise again and create the best C&C games. Like AtlasTasume said, mods keep C&C alive, if game companies won't.

+5 votes     reply to comment
freredarme
freredarme Sep 2 2010, 8:29am says:

15 years.. Wow.. C&C is a epic game !

+6 votes     reply to comment
playmsbk
playmsbk Sep 2 2010, 9:57am says:

these guys who thought of C&C are real geniuses. who could think of a game so fun, so addictive, a game which combined gameplay and 3D videos and real acting in one and so well done, with such a complex and alternative gameplay and era (as far as i remember, RTS games have always been about alien races killing each other or games with humns who had swords) the story is so well done and scientifically explained, that they even gave scientific explanation to how tiberium works! its also how well the story ws done, that u felt that it could happen anytime in real life. the story was so well done that a basic fact it had turned true some years later (in another way but ok) i mean, C&C is something that cannot be repeated ever again.

+5 votes     reply to comment
mpe3us
mpe3us Sep 2 2010, 10:00am says:

They should release a new Command and Conquer decade, with all C&C games including C&C4.

-3 votes     reply to comment
AtlasTasume
AtlasTasume Sep 2 2010, 11:03am replied:

No! Anything but that! Just NO!

+8 votes     reply to comment
DrunkenAnimes
DrunkenAnimes Sep 2 2010, 2:51pm replied:

C&C Second decade excluding C&C4 please.. Really who wants that abomination..

+7 votes     reply to comment
MadMonkey119
MadMonkey119 Sep 2 2010, 12:12pm says:

Ugh Westwood will have always made my favorite C&C game, Command and Conquer Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge!

+6 votes     reply to comment
Dutchygamer
Dutchygamer Sep 2 2010, 1:39pm says:

Aye, Happy Birthday C&C =)

+5 votes     reply to comment
TMtrue
TMtrue Sep 2 2010, 1:39pm says:

Happy B-day C&C
LONG LOVE C&C
LONG LIVE PETROGLYPH
R.I.P. WESTWOOD
I HEARD EA'S BUDGET IS GOING LOW!! (i'm not sure about this though)

+5 votes     reply to comment
nukeu
nukeu Dec 26 2010, 1:45am replied:

ya i wonder why :P

+2 votes     reply to comment
AtlasTasume
AtlasTasume Sep 2 2010, 1:53pm says:

That could almost be a song! XD

+3 votes     reply to comment
Bobes
Bobes Sep 2 2010, 2:39pm says:

I still remember playing the first C&C x) It was great especially those missions with that one (some sniper I guess) guy.. x) and Flame tank had a pretty good in-game video :D C&C FTW! ;D

+4 votes     reply to comment
hotrods20
hotrods20 Sep 2 2010, 3:03pm says:

Why did EA have to kill it?!? If only Petroglyph bought the game and fixed EA's mistakes.

+6 votes     reply to comment
ℒuna-tic™
ℒuna-tic™ Sep 3 2010, 12:10am replied:

Westwood did not want to continue with the C&C saga so they gave it to EA to continue, a bad choice I know but there is no un-doing what has happened now.

R.I.P
Westwood

+2 votes     reply to comment
AtlasTasume
AtlasTasume Sep 3 2010, 2:37am replied:

If it doesnt become so worthless that just any PERSON could buy it without spending a ton of money on it. Now that would be interesting..

+2 votes     reply to comment
Hijacker
Hijacker Sep 3 2010, 4:08pm replied:

If there was a time machine.. I go back to 1997 and warn Westwood about EA to prevent this from happening.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Theo667
Theo667 Sep 20 2010, 11:36pm replied:

And unintentionally kill them all just like Westwood's epic RA plots...

+3 votes     reply to comment
reeboker
reeboker Sep 2 2010, 7:03pm says:

He who controls the past commands the future, He who commands the future, conquers the past. -Kane C&C :)

+5 votes     reply to comment
C&C-Pickled
C&C-Pickled Sep 2 2010, 11:41pm says:

woops/lol email link xD

+2 votes     reply to comment
Hijacker
Hijacker Sep 3 2010, 4:06pm says:

C&C.. The best there was, the best it will ever be!
Happy birthday!

+4 votes     reply to comment
PedobearNED
PedobearNED Nov 5 2010, 11:47am says:

BOMB EA ^^ WestWood made the real games and what you think what those gay *** EA ******** do on the first decade disc? there logo is all over the box even when you try create a account only in the games itself it still says a little bit: WestWood >.> those **** even ruined the first decade... they made NOTHING in the CnC serie except for the ******: tiberIUM wars (for me this piece of **** doesn't belong to the serie)

i still map for CnC red alert 2 :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
PsychoticLoner
PsychoticLoner Mar 10 2011, 2:02am says:

Interesting enough article, though a bit misty eyed for a sub-par company. Wish I could hear from EA developers; that's where the series became good.

-1 votes     reply to comment
Twisty123456789
Twisty123456789 Feb 8 2013, 3:56am replied:

:/ Umm, just no.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Twisty123456789
Twisty123456789 Feb 8 2013, 3:55am says:

Go C&C, my best long running game of all time! Sad to see westwood vanish into a puff of nothingness though. It's a shame. :/

+1 vote     reply to comment
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