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jeffnz

Letter to Chris Bruzzo August 2016

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jeffnz    23

Piece of **** uploader doesn't work so I will use my fabulous web host. Things are going okay for me at the moment so I got Libre Office installed (had to move it via flash drive) and here's what I've got. It just needs a proof read for spelling etc. I'll run another check before I post.

 

If anyone has thoughts that they'd like to reach Chris Bruzzo's desk, then post them here and I can do a quick postscript on page 2 if you like (Sonic?) and anyone with too many ideas is welcome to write their own letter :P

 

As mentioned previously, I think the storylines in C&C have been reused enough times already so I advocate a new universe, one which can be loosely based on reality. Obviously I wouldn't want a C&C to feature a naval battle in the South China Sea or a guerilla war in Donbas, but a very small dose of reality is always good :D

 

I encourage other people with ideas to write letters or comment on forums too. Earlier this year I was quite active on Kalypso Media Forums, discussing what Tropico 6 should include and developers there actually read the forums, believe it or not! Small company.

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jeffnz    23

Even MS Word can open .odt so who the heck makes this forum software lol

thread_backfire.gif

Edited by Sonic
Insult removed, warning given
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Plokite_Wolf    144

Jeffnz, you might want to cut the butthurt if you want anyone to take you seriously (so far, you're failing).

 

You call Sonic a "fascist capitalist pig" just because a proprietary forum structure (which he didn't even make) doesn't support a format nobody ever uses?

Edited by Plokite_Wolf

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jeffnz    23

I don't feel like downloading it. Copy n paste it in here.

 

I just tried to, but doing so kills all the paragraphs and makes the document unreadable.

 

Jeffnz, you might want to cut the butthurt if you want anyone to take you seriously (so far, you're failing).

 

You call Sonic a "fascist capitalist pig" just because a proprietary forum structure (which he didn't even make) doesn't support a format nobody ever uses?

 

Relax, it's called boredom ^_^ it isn't even a matter of supporting the format, merely allowing the upload of a file that has a .odt extension. I could probably fake the extension and call it a jpg for all I know. Since when was this a matter of you guys taking me seriously? I'm just going to go ahead and mail it regardless of what you think. I post it here just for the hell of it ;)

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Sonic    287

Even MS Word can open .odt so who the heck makes this forum software lol

 

Truth be told, I've never even heard of .odt files until today.

 

I just tried to, but doing so kills all the paragraphs and makes the document unreadable.

 

Oh for ****s sake, how damn hard is it to copy and paste something :rolleyes:

 

Mr. Chris Bruzzo

Electronic Arts Inc.

209 Redwood Shores Parkway

Redwood City, CA 94065

 

August 1st 2016

 

Dear Mr. Bruzzo,

 

A new Command & Conquer for 2017

 

I was disappointed to learn that Generals 2 was cancelled due to company politics, and I’m interested in what C&C will become from 2017 and beyond. The main appeal to gamers these days seems to be multiplayer games and advanced graphics. For me the appeal is the storyline, characters and creativity – things that don’t cost tens-of-thousands of dollars, but which make a game stand out, if done correctly.

 

When I look back to the original Command & Conquer (1995) the thing that impresses me the most, is that the game reflects the geopolitical reality of the time. My suggestion for a future Command & Conquer is to have it set in a dystopia world – but unlike Tiberian Sun, there would be political deterioration as well as environmental deterioration. What if America couldn’t save the world, because America itself was the problem? This scenario would be the perfect dystopia – and judging by current events we are already half-way there. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain portrays the world in an ugly fashion – topics covered include child soldiers, conflict diamonds, CIA proxy wars and corrupt government agencies. When playing Metal Gear earlier this year I was impressed by the real life references and “grittiness” of certain elements. Metal Gear 5 feels very sincere (though it also has absurd fiction and many plot twists).

 

Although Generals: Zero Hour was pretty cool for storyline, I feel that it was too rosy and cartoony for my liking. There was no blood in Generals, and the game never revealed the religion that the GLA follow, ha-ha! I think that infiltrating campus “safe spaces” and getting people “triggered” is the best publicity available – but everything from EA Games has to be sanitised and vetted by the Pentagon. The making of Generals did have some Pentagon assistance, surely? How else would you know the range of the Active Denial System! Okay, enough jokes...

 

The C&C community would be most interested to hear how EA plans to reinvent C&C. Personally I think it’s time for a new storyline. Tiberian Sun and Red Alert have been reused enough already, and Generals seems too bland and happy.

 

Yours sincerely,

Jeff Mitchell (send replies to [note to self add email address in final version])

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TaxOwlbear    13

Did you actually play Generals, Jeff? The game that ends with the United States failing and China becoming the new superpower? Whose cancelled sequel didn't even feature the USA as a faction anymore?

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Sonic    287

Did you actually play Generals, Jeff? The game that ends with the United States failing and China becoming the new superpower? Whose cancelled sequel didn't even feature the USA as a faction anymore?

 

Actually, The US faction was going to be added. It just never got to that stage of course ;)

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jeffnz    23

Did you actually play Generals, Jeff? The game that ends with the United States failing and China becoming the new superpower? Whose cancelled sequel didn't even feature the USA as a faction anymore?

 

Yes I played generals heaps. The love story with China saving America and Europe is a bit crazy though... it becomes cartoony in my opinion. In real life, there is a disagreement on how to fight ISIS. It's not so much "everyone versus ISIS" but rather, everyone using ISIS to gain political street cred, while secretly, each nation has its own agenda in Syria/Iraq. This is the common theme in geopolitics: nations get into international disputes and claim cooperation, while really it's about self-interest. I laugh at the cynicism! Generals really ought to be more gritty and realistic. The Generals games as they exist, are extremely sanitised, and the GLA unit voices sound like they're dripping with evil. It's cartoony stuff, villains versus heroes. In my opinion, the ideal Generals game would involve a conflict with NATO against Russia and China (though, Russia and China wouldn't be in a happy loving alliance either). It just needs a fictional story, like a rouge part of the CIA stingers a plane or blows something up, inciting a retaliation from China or Russia.

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Nmenth    231

He would need to know what reality is before he can really expect it from any game.

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jeffnz    23

You expect realism from a non-sports game?

 

Ha-ha nice jab at EA there :)

 

Generals is not too far off from realism. It's just too cheesy and it has simplified ethics. Many Generals units are real though, including Active Denial System.

 

Gritty and realistic? I think we already have enough games where brown is the only colour used with a sepia-grain filter and a moody protagonist.

 

I agree with you on games being too desolate. I recall friends of mine getting an Xbox 360 shooter where you crawl through sewers and kill aliens. Gears Of War? I was complaining about the dull graphical themes non-stop! It was a waste of hardware to render those sewers. By gritty and realistic, I mean a feel, more than an appearance. CnC3 does a good job of it - the landscapes are desolate, but there's pretty greens and blues mixed into it ;) CnC 3 does good sci-fi, because they combine geo-political paranoia with dangerous technology - a "what if" scenario. You could compare the ion cannon strike on Temple Prime with the testing of nuclear weapons - scientists knew that the atmosphere might evaporate and kill everything on earth, but they went ahead anyway. Mr. Boyle is totally the fictional equivalent World War II nuclear scientists ;)

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Plokite_Wolf    144

Ha-ha nice jab at EA there :)

 

No, it was a jab at your expectations of realism. They are completely misplaced unless you're playing a sports game or a flight/military simulator (Jane's Combat Simulations line, MS Flight Simulator etc.), and even there you can see some compromises made to make the games more appealing and compatible with contemporary systems.

 

Generals is not too far off from realism. It's just too cheesy and it has simplified ethics. Many Generals units are real though, including Active Denial System.

 

It's only realistic in the self-righteous USA unit quotes and their perception of any Arab holding a gun.

 

I agree with you on games being too desolate. I recall friends of mine getting an Xbox 360 shooter where you crawl through sewers and kill aliens. Gears Of War? I was complaining about the dull graphical themes non-stop! It was a waste of hardware to render those sewers. By gritty and realistic, I mean a feel, more than an appearance.

 

Please define "realistic" in the context of Gears of War.

 

Mr. Boyle is totally the fictional equivalent World War II nuclear scientists ;)

 

Boyle isn't a scientist and he definitely doesn't share their post-nuclear remorse. He's the GDI treasurer and he sure thinks like a childish corporate CEO.

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Nmenth    231

the testing of nuclear weapons - scientists knew that the atmosphere might evaporate and kill everything on earth, but they went ahead anyway.

The burning of the atmosphere fear was a concern in early development. By the time of the Trinity test, the scientists considered it a near-impossibility. Kenneth Bainbridge, the man behind the test, was even infuriated when, on the day of the test, the physicist Enrico Fermi suggested a wager on whether the atmosphere would destroy the world, scaring the less-educated soldiers present. The scientists were more afraid that the bomb wouldn't work at all.

 

Positing that the atmosphere could have ignited and destroyed the world is similar to saying the Large Hadron Collider could have created a black hole and destroyed the world. While not strictly impossible, so unlikely that only an ignorant person considers it a valid deterrent to the advancement of science and technology.

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jeffnz    23

Please define "realistic" in the context of Gears of War.

 

Read taxowlbear's post again. He was talking about graphical styles and that is what I was responding to. Gears Of War was gritty alright, and the sewers were realistic. That graphical theme was a waste of graphics power - there was too much brown and grey. The ugly colours came to dominate. Wolfenstein and Half Life have some depressing industrial environments, but they also have cool sci-fi places, like the citadel tower in Half Life, and Deathhead's lab on the final Wolfenstein mission (for The New Order, not The Old Blood). Again, refer to taxowlbear's post.

 

Boyle isn't a scientist and he definitely doesn't share their post-nuclear remorse. He's the GDI treasurer and he sure thinks like a childish corporate CEO.

 

Either way he's arguably out-of-touch and he doesn't care how many millions he kills. That's why he's a great character - he's like a childish corporate CEO, more concerned with his reputation than ethics :)

 

"You're not seriously suggesting we use the ion cannon are you?"

 

"I am not merely... suggesting, I am ordering use of the ion cannon!"

 

The burning of the atmosphere fear was a concern in early development. By the time of the Trinity test, the scientists considered it a near-impossibility. Kenneth Bainbridge, the man behind the test, was even infuriated when, on the day of the test, the physicist Enrico Fermi suggested a wager on whether the atmosphere would destroy the world, scaring the less-educated soldiers present. The scientists were more afraid that the bomb wouldn't work at all.

 

Positing that the atmosphere could have ignited and destroyed the world is similar to saying the Large Hadron Collider could have created a black hole and destroyed the world. While not strictly impossible, so unlikely that only an ignorant person considers it a valid deterrent to the advancement of science and technology.

 

The collider is a stupid idea in my opinion. If it can't solve poverty or unemployment or end wars, I say don't bother with it. Thanks for the nuke history though!

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Plokite_Wolf    144

Read taxowlbear's post again. He was talking about graphical styles and that is what I was responding to.

 

You read other people's posts in peculiar ways.

 

Gears Of War was gritty alright, and the sewers were realistic. That graphical theme was a waste of graphics power - there was too much brown and grey.

 

Brown isn't realistic (unless you have some strange ocular disorder that lets you only see that colour). It's stylized sci-fi at best.

 

Either way he's arguably out-of-touch and he doesn't care how many millions he kills.

 

Then don't equate him with WWII nuclear scientists, who genuinely regretted what their work unleashed.

 

The collider is a stupid idea in my opinion. If it can't solve poverty or unemployment or end wars, I say don't bother with it. Thanks for the nuke history though!

 

This mentality would've left us in the Stone Age still. Only through scientific research do we get new technologies, discoveries and, more often than not, outlook on life.

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Nmenth    231

The collider is a stupid idea in my opinion. If it can't solve poverty or unemployment or end wars, I say don't bother with it.

The point of scientific research is not to solve the world's problems. Many, if not most, of our greatest technologies were not invented to serve the purpose familiar to us now. Technology is invented first, and applicated later.

 

Research done at the LHC may lead to new things that reduce poverty or end wars, we don't know yet.

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GeneralJist    6

ok,

Since I'm not around here enough to engage with forum politics, I say this from both this stand point, and someone who's talked to this guy at Pax South 2016.

 

Chris will not read your letter, nor will he do anything positive for C&C if he does.

 

I'm sorry, really i am, I don't mean to be that bubble bursting guy, but you send any other game company high exec a letter like this for their products, and they'd likely be just as apathetic.

 

Dude this guy RUNS PR for EA, you know what kind of issues they deal with on that level. we hear it in news, "worst company 2 years in a row" Stuff like that.

 

The fate of any specific franchise is neither his concern, or in his power to make happen. It's not his job to develop or decide on what is developed, it's his job to come up with big picture strategies to sell and improve existing profitable brands.

 

Not to mention, your letter has no actual solutions to the issue, it's just your personal opinion on C&C, and what it kinda meant to you, and the obvious reason that C&C hit on geo societal politics of the day, asking him or anyone to go make something that does that again is no simple task.

 

Did you really think after you pointed this out, he would run to his colleagues, to tell them that they need a game that hit on modern geo societal political issues, tho he had little idea what it could be, all cuz this letter jogged the creative geo societal political part of his brain?

 

This requires depth across the board, and are any of EA’s current games even trying to go after a fraction of the depth?

 

.At a certain point in business you start caring about the aggregate, over the individual. Unless they know that person, or that person has a name for themselves that they would recognize, or you mention a name brand competitor they should be on top of.

 

I would like to also note, I thoroughly respectfully disagree with your notion that the Tiberium universe has no new potential story arcs thet can be engagingly explored.

 

When I talked to him at PAX South, this is how our conversation went, after we finished the panel he was in: These are not exact quotes, but the gist. (This was February of this year)

 

Me: So I've been applying to EA's PR positions, I know you had just said yall need PR people real bad, but I haven’t been getting any response.

 

Chris: Ahh, Indeed, thanks for your Applications, where's your experience from?

 

Me: Well I've been managing PR and a C&C mod team for about 5 years now, and I'm really wondering.....

 

Chris: oh, ya, Command &Conquer..... “That's probably why you’re not getting in” (direct quote I'll remember forever), Ya, there's not much going on there, we may be looking into it a bit in our Germany office..... referring to (Tib Alliances)... Ya, To be honest, if you really want to work on something like C&C, you should apply to Blizzard. They recruit all the time on their Facebook.

 

And this was after he gave a speech on how EA wants passion, and how that is the most important thing to them....

 

He straight out did what big brand PR does best, tell the masses what they want to hear in public, but in person, maybe tell you a bit of the truth.

 

As said, I asked him this in February of this year, I don't care who you are, or what company you are, things as big as starting ore developing a big budget AAA game don't change that quickly.

 

And if they were working on anything like C&C, a good marketer would point you to another product they're making or have, to sell you and hook you on that, to keep your business.

He didn't do that.

 

If there was any solid talk on the subject, he would know about it.

 

all this strongly suggests EA has no plans at all, or no near future plans for C&C what so ever.

 

I don't like it any better than any of you, I ofc wish it was not the case.

 

But it's clear from the background of the CEO, he's a sports game person. And sports games and RTS games don't usually mix, not to mention the other long list of issues EA and C&C has.

 

Sorry dude, your wasting your time and energy thinking this guy would do anything for C&C....

 

As I said in the last time in the EA leak thread, EA doesn't know how to make C&C anymore.

Edited by GeneralJist

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HOPE1134    23

Ya, there's not much going on there, we may be looking into it a bit in our Germany office..... referring to (Tib Alliances)...

 

I laughed a little

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GeneralJist    6

Just remembered,

 

Mental Omega and Rise of the Reds made #2 respectively in mod of the year 2015, mentioning that fact would show There is still a demand for this style of content.

 

EA wants cold hard #s,sales oriented ones, Lou Castle himself said EA's market driven. meaning they react to market trends, to see what is selling, and make more of those.

 

If you, or anyone here had one chance to talk to EA and try and convince them to bring C&C back, the letter written doesn't really inspired or motivate any of that action.

Edited by GeneralJist

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jeffnz    23

Just remembered,

 

Mental Omega and Rise of the Reds made #2 respectively in mod of the year 2015, mentioning that fact would show There is still a demand for this style of content.

 

EA wants cold hard #s,sales oriented ones, Lou Castle himself said EA's market driven. meaning they react to market trends, to see what is selling, and make more of those.

 

If you, or anyone here had one chance to talk to EA and try and convince them to bring C&C back, the letter written doesn't really inspired or motivate any of that action.

 

Too late now. Anyway, Rise Of The Reds seems interesting.

 

I see Need For Speed on the EA Games website - we can assume that the market for racing games is okay.

 

I'm still perplexed at the suggestion that strategy games are in decline. Certainly, there's no more Age Of Empires and generally there may be less RTS, but isn't that laziness on the part of game companies? On a Reddit AMA interview, I recall that a CnC developer mentioned that mobile games were taking over: profit had to be made from tablet and phone games (which then reduces the priority of RTS games). I don't think that's the reason. More likely, EA looks at a graph and sees a gradual decline to the point that it's no longer worth making another title - I'll mention the 007 games as another example. If there is a decline then that should lead to fresh thinking, and eventually, a new title. CnC is not dead forever, and neither is 00. What is the reason for Need For Speed continuation? Are racing games considered to have a broader appeal? If that's the case then EA should make strategy games with a broader appeal. I think Generals 2 may have been that example: Generals series doesn't have aliens or swordsmen, it isn't too futuristic and it isn't historic either. It feels like a middle-of-the-road approach. Generals has the pure "military" feel and by that I mean it isn't a "space game" or strong sci-fi, and it isn't Age Of Empires. Maybe Generals has more appeal than other CnC themes. Years from now we may see Generals come back.

 

Video games are a creative field and the idea of discovering a market and making maximum profit until a decline strikes, is an awful formula for creativity. Someone in Metallica once said that if they found a formula to make perfect music, they wouldn't use it. The same should apply to games. If there was a formula for a perfect strategy game it'd be like CnC 3: It's similar to the older games, but it's faster and the engine is different (3d world instead of voxels and cells). The way forward is through creativity. You can make technical improvements to the point that it doesn't matter. We've hit a point with graphics today, where characters are animated well-enough to rival films. We can make technical improvements to draw distance, graphics cards, and textures but there is little point without improving the creativity. The fact that people still make mods is indeed a good example, one that demonstrates the irrelevance of the engine, and the importance of new ideas.

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GeneralJist    6

Well,

1.The reason why their are less strategy & RTS games across any platform, but mainly PC, is due to a simple cost benefit analysis. RTS games require massive support and huge development costs in terms of resources and time. It's not laziness, it's simple business efficiency in terms of effort in and expected results out.

 

Beyond the asset creation and engine coding, in order to do competitive gaming, there must be significant investment on the back end.

 

When your making a strategy game, your making a problem solving machine, both in terms of designed interactions, and foundations for player exploration. Compare that to shooters,racing, and RPGs, where yyour goal is usually some kind of 1st person experience.

 

2. As to the idea that generals has more appeal than other C&C themes, well, it is more mainstream, but that;s the trade off with depth that usually needs to be made. Mainstream appeal Vs. nitched depth. Sure, it's possible to do both, but it's harder, and sure C&C has the potential, but does EA see it?

 

TBH, I personally consider Generals the universe with the least depth. It provides little intellectual pondering," less depth" in terms of Geo societal political issues, that's classic "modern warfare" marveling at the great new tech, but not bothering to ponder about the actual future or the past where the tech has been, and could go. The way I see it, Generals is just politics & military, with no philosophy and little discussed trends of governance theory.

 

3. Indeed technology and the tools we use to make games rival movies now, and with that will lead to better products eventually, but creativity and innovation isn't jumping to a totally new product no one has seen before, but using existing assets and tech, to do new things that transition into familiar but new products.

Edited by GeneralJist

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