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Alex06

CommandCom 2013 Report by Alex06

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Last month, gamescom, one of the biggest gaming conventions of the year, took place and with it, CommandCom. I, Alex06 of CNCNZ.com, was lucky enough to have EA fly me to Germany to participate in this massive community event. During said event, we met and talked with developers and our fellow community leaders (Official C&C and C&C fansite admins, staff and forum moderators), played the latest build of the upcoming free to play Command & Conquer game, took part in feedback sessions with the developers and went on a boat cruise, notably. As a result, I have produced a report to share my experience with you. But that's not all - This report not only contains details about my 3 and a half days in Cologne, Germany, but also new and exclusive information about the next C&C game and its development, which you won't be able to find anywhere else! More after the break.


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Here's a short snippet:

 

The famous yearly gaming convention, gamescom, was celebrating its 5th year in this 2013 edition. This event is a great opportunity for gamers all over the world to try out the latest upcoming games before their release. This year was no different. With EA having a massive presence at the event, it was no surprise that Command & Conquer, EA’s upcoming AAA RTS, would feature[...]


Click this link to read the entire report.

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Two notes:

  • There are 2 broken images at the place where you got the Titanfall mech photo... and a bunch more on the boat gallery. The big image of the PS4 controller photo is also a broken link.
  • You really need to learn to use paragraphs, to split such blocks up into readable chunks :o


And now, I'm off to read it properly :P

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I watched 2 movies (One of them was, fittingly, Wreck-it-Ralph, an animated CGI movie about video games) before arriving at Frankfurt at 6:30 AM on Thursday.

You saw Wreck-it-Ralph! Agh. I still haven't had the time to watch that one.

 

So I leave my luggage at the reception, get on the hotel’s wi-fi internet connection and try to redeem the tickets, but to no avail. The free internet at the hotel is slow and the gamescom website is overloaded. Cue me running around the city trying to find an internet café whose wi-fi isn’t overloaded – Success, the nearest Starbucks has fast, free wi-fi.

Huh. Alex, the hotel had a small internet room near the reception, right across the elevators... with a printer :P

 

at the end of which I met none other than Melonie Mac, famous YouTuber and a very positive and energetic gal.

Melonie is an awesome, awesome person to hang out with :D

 

Asking around at the information desk, I am told where to find the EA Lounge: at the very back of the Convention Center. Not so hard to find, after all, huh.

Heh. The fact the map we were given failed to mention that the indicated place had several floors, and we were supposed to be two stories up, kinda threw me off.

 

Bryan Farina admitted how he had been waiting to meet the fans, feeling burned out due to having to explain to press who aren’t familiar with RTS games and the C&C franchise what this game is all about.

I remember him talking about that. Seriously, reporters who didn't have a clue what RTS was, or how the basic construction and unit controls even worked. Terrible! :D

 

(while also creating a small baffle around the Command Center, which prevents players from casting their support powers inside this circular area, although it does not apply to superweapons, which we are now also limited to 1 per player)

...that explains SO MUCH. I had no idea why some support powers failed to work on the enemy base :o

 

A lot of that kind of mechanics, like the scouting and the command center blocking it, were really quite unclear from casual playthrough. Y'know, I don't think many people still do that, but I'm really a manual booklet kinda guy. Gimme a PDF to read through so I know all these things, instead of hiding it on ingame tooltips which I have no time to read while trying to get my base up and the enemy's base down!

(yeah, yeah, I know, it's an alpha in development, I can hardly expect documentation. My point, however, still stands :P)

 

We were told and could tell the developers are absolutely committed to bringing back the “C&C feel” of the first Generals.

This is definitely true. They're an enthusiastic bunch, very committed to simply "making a fun C&C game". I was also pleased to find out their C&C gaming experience seemed to go back all the way to the first game :)

 

As a result, things such as tech buildings, late-game economy, capturing buildings and 360-degree building rotation are all planned.

The 360-degree rotation thing was still "to be decided", from what I could tell (at least, back then, I haven't been on the alpha forums much). Personally I wouldn't mind the grid system; it allows much more precise and compact base planning, and ensures your units can get through were you expect them to get through.

 

Fourth, infantry crushing had not been implemented due to bugs with infantry ‘teleporting’ across the map and not appearing properly at the place where they are being squished, which looks awkward when a tank drives by and the infantry next to the tank gets crushed without touching it visually (the unit clipping and pathfinding issues are still present in this game, but are being worked on).

Units did that too, to a certain degree, but that was actually because the programmers kinda jumped the gun on wanting to show off a new feature they were working on. This feature was units revving up and braking when they started and stopped moving, meaning their speed wasn't constant from start to end. however, since the feature was only implemented client-side, and not on the server actually controlling the game, the server kept updating the units to their actual expected position, meaning they jumped back or forward on their path as calculated with constant speed. Looked a bit buggy, but they did it as sneak peek :)

 

The USA and Russia are indeed the most popular choices for a 4th faction.

While they're at it, let them add RA2-style generals for those :P

 

Ninth, Eric told me how they’re looking into potentially reopening the C&C store.

God, I hope they'll sell the Dr. Thrax T-shirts we missed there!

 

I networked for a while, took some photos and talked with almost everyone.

I envy your networking ability. I'm just this big shy dude, heh.

 

We CommandCom attendees were even supposed to get some with our names on them, but it turns out that it would not be possible due to the political sensitivity of this issue.

Really? With our names on them? I didn't even know that! What a shame :(

 

I wake up again early and head out for breakfast. Meeting with Koen, NodSoldierGirl and some of the GameReplays staff, I eventually head out for gamescom with Cypher, Sybert, DJ_Chill.

Can't have been that early, then, since Koen explicitly wanted to sleep in :P

Banshee and I left a lot earlier, with some of the Russian delegation, I believe.

 

but almost fell asleep several times over the course of 20 minutes during the 2nd match, due to my lack of sleep (Luckily, I was playing APA)

APA = Absurdly Powerful Asians? :P

 

Arriving just in the nick of time, I sit down and Jason Kokal, the new assistant Community Manager that will help Eric Krause, begins discussing about our feedback on the game.

He told me his first C&C game was C&C1. He gets the Nyerguds Seal of Approval :P

 

The main resource will no longer be called “Gold”, but rather “Credits”, as with past C&C games, even though we all thought it was too petty to be worth the amount of focus it had gotten from the developers.

Everyone agreed calling it "Gold" was utterly silly, though. I can't imagine why they ever came up with that idea, really.

 

and others might become normal features, available for every player, such as choosing your map and player color in a custom game lobby.

Boy, that colour thing caused a ****storm on pretty much every forum I've seen...

 

AnNo1935, SanAndreasP, Koen, Nyerguds, TRON, DenFrizer, Banshee and the CNCSaga.de team found a box with lanyards and C&C VIP passes at the beach club – Memorabilia that Victory Games distributed to us.

Actually, memorabilia that Victory Games had forgotten to distribute to us.

 

As Eric is leaving, NodSoldierGirl dares me to give Eric a hug. Not being able to back down from a challenge, I run towards Eric, nearly tackle him as I wrap my arms around his torso and start shaking him furiously. Thus is born the CIRE hug.

Which was caught on camera, too :D

 

We dance, talk, have a little fun and realize how an amazing job the cleanup crew is going to have to do for next morning.

They were actually constantly going around with giant containers on wheels, getting empty bottles off the floor.

 

Talking with Zephyr, Xen Doka, Odd, Moody, Vodka and Eomer from CNCSaga, I lose Koen, Banshee and Nyerguds, who are at the same hotel as I. I decide to catch the train alone, waiting 27 minutes only to realize after 1 station that I’ve taken the train in the wrong direction, so I head back outside. I wait another 21 minutes for the next train, and arrive at nearly 5 AM at the hotel.

We lost sight of you for a minute, and assumed you went with the cncsaga guys. Then we met up with the cncsaga guys again on the train platform, and, surprisingly, you weren't with them. We all wondered what the hell happened to you, really...

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1. Huh. Alex, the hotel had a small internet room near the reception, right across the elevators... with a printer :P

 

 

2. ...that explains SO MUCH. I had no idea why some support powers failed to work on the enemy base :o

 

A lot of that kind of mechanics, like the scouting and the command center blocking it, were really quite unclear from casual playthrough. Y'know, I don't think many people still do that, but I'm really a manual booklet kinda guy. Gimme a PDF to read through so I know all these things, instead of hiding it on ingame tooltips which I have no time to read while trying to get my base up and the enemy's base down!

 

(yeah, yeah, I know, it's an alpha in development, I can hardly expect documentation. My point, however, still stands :P)

 

3. This is definitely true. They're an enthusiastic bunch, very committed to simply "making a fun C&C game". I was also pleased to find out their C&C gaming experience seemed to go back all the way to the first game :)

 

4. The 360-degree rotation thing was still "to be decided", from what I could tell (at least, back then, I haven't been on the alpha forums much). Personally I wouldn't mind the grid system; it allows much more precise and compact base planning, and ensures your units can get through were you expect them to get through.

 

Units did that too, to a certain degree, but that was actually because the programmers kinda jumped the gun on wanting to show off a new feature they were working on. This feature was units revving up and braking when they started and stopped moving, meaning their speed wasn't constant from start to end. however, since the feature was only implemented client-side, and not on the server actually controlling the game, the server kept updating the units to their actual expected position, meaning they jumped back or forward on their path as calculated with constant speed. Looked a bit buggy, but they did it as sneak peek :)

 

5. While they're at it, let them add RA2-style generals for those :P

 

6. God, I hope they'll sell the Dr. Thrax T-shirts we missed there!

 

7. I envy your networking ability. I'm just this big shy dude, heh.

 

8. APA = Absurdly Powerful Asians? :P

 

9. He told me his first C&C game was C&C1. He gets the Nyerguds Seal of Approval :P

 

10. Boy, that colour thing caused a ****storm on pretty much every forum I've seen...

 

11. We lost sight of you for a minute, and assumed you went with the cncsaga guys. Then we met up with the cncsaga guys again on the train platform, and, surprisingly, you weren't with them. We all wondered what the hell happened to you, really...

 

1. It did, but that was not the problem. The problem was I couldn't open the website on their computers from the computer room, neither on mine, and it wasn't easy to transfer files from my laptop. After I bought the ticket from the website through starbucks' wi-fi, it was sent to my e-mail and I downloaded it to my PC. Since I can`t access the printer from my PC and can't access my e-mail from the hotel's wi-fi or computers, I had to use my portable hard drive, copy the file from the PC onto the drive, then connect the drive to one of their PCs. When I tried to access the hard drive through their PCs once it was connected, it loaded the contents very slowly, so it took a while to open the document. Then, I finally printed it. Took me 2 or 3 good hours to get this simple thing done.

 

2. Yeah, some features need much better readability. StarCraft's features have great readability, unlike this games'.

 

3. Yeah, this is a necessity for any franchise developers. Glad to see it was the case for them.

 

4. I...did not know that. Interesting.

 

5. Mr. Nyerguds, why, whatever, do you mean?

 

6. YES. Definitely should do that.

 

7. I'm surprised to hear that, I found you to be a pretty funny, goofy guy. You definitely seemed very sociable.

 

8. Yeah, kind of. Overlords and Warlords are a bit too strong.

 

9. Nyerguds Seal of Approval ahahaha nice!

 

10. Just as I warned them it would haha

 

11. Yeah, I used my secret portable chronosphere.

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Very nice report, Alex :)

 

 

Recognizing the name quickly enough, I realize my roommate is none other than Banshee from Project Perfect Mod. “Sweet!”, I think to myself.

 

It was a great pleasure to meet you, Nyerguds and Koen in person. We had a lot of fun. It was the first time I've met active community members at PPM in person. I can't say the same from CNCNZ members, since I've met Zee Hypnotist before. Anyway, I wish I could do that more often, but I live too far from most community guys.

 

 

He told me his first C&C game was C&C1. He gets the Nyerguds Seal of Approval :P

 

That's a great start for a community assistant. Anyway, Eric has said Jason's name so quickly there that I've only figured his name by reading this topic.

Edited by Banshee

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Very nice report, Alex :)

 

It was a great pleasure to meet you, Nyerguds and Koen in person. We had a lot of fun. It was the first time I've met active community members at PPM in person. I can't say the same from CNCNZ members, since I've met Zee Hypnotist before. Anyway, I wish I could do that more often, but I live too far from most community guys.

Thanks! I feel it's been great to meet everyone, too. Nyerguds, Koen, and you were lots of fun to hang out with, it felt like having a little PPM IRL meeting haha.

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7. I'm surprised to hear that, I found you to be a pretty funny, goofy guy. You definitely seemed very sociable.

I try to be, with varying success. I'm apparently very easy to ignore, or something...

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Catching up on old news - great report Alex. Thanks for the all the hard work - and furious typing.

;)

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