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C&C Remasters - Update on Multiplayer

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After a good while, we have another update on the C&C remasters. The project has since reached the Content Alpha milestone, meaning all assets have been remastered to at least some degree. EA producer Jim Vessella touched on the topic of multiplayer in the latest update:

Fellow Command & Conquer fans,

We hope everyone had a great holiday season and their New Year is off to a positive start. For those of us on the Remaster project, we’ve been hard at work over the past two months since our last update. In terms of development progress, we just completed our Content Alpha milestone. This is a huge moment for the project, as it means there are no longer any legacy / placeholder pieces of content in the game. Every frame of animation, every tile of terrain, every second of audio, and every piece of UI has received a remastered pass. This allows us to play both games in a completely remastered fashion, and identify areas we’d like to continue polishing based on feedback from the team, colleagues, and the community.

Now, since the announcement of the project, many of you have been asking how Multiplayer will function in the Remaster. So for this update, we wanted to take a deep dive into the components of Multiplayer and describe how we’re approaching this beloved part of the game.

At a high level, Multiplayer has effectively been rebuilt for the Remaster. Starting with the backend, Multiplayer now runs on dedicated servers based on Petroglyph’s architecture, with a goal of providing reliable connections and prevent misbehavior. We’ve been playing multiplayer games for several months with our QA teams around the world, and feeling confident about the stability the architecture is providing. Now let’s jump into the actual modes and features.

When navigating to the Online portion of the menus, players will first have the ability to host or join custom multiplayer games. Once players join a game lobby, they can choose their team setup, select maps, and set game rules. In terms of rules, we’re aiming to support the most relevant multiplayer options, from starting resources and units to flagging Crates or Visceroids. (Yes, the Visceroid has also been remastered and is as weird as ever) We’re then looking into some additional options based on guidance from the Community Council. You can also chat with other players in the game lobby, and ensure you get the perfect setup for your custom game.

Alongside custom games is the introduction of 1v1 Quickmatch for Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert™. Quickmatch will focus on competitive play and utilize an Elo-based matchmaking algorithm. Games will pull from a filtered map pool with set game rules to reduce luck and randomness (For example, no Crates in Quickmatch). To highlight the results, 1v1 Quickmatch will be supported by an in-game leaderboard to track a player’s wins, losses, and points. We’re looking forward to watching the most competitive players go head-to-head and see who can become the top ranking commander in each game. I fondly remember being one of the best C&C3 players in the world for about 2 hours when the game launched, only to be quickly humiliated when competitive players began to learn the game, haha.

In a further effort to help modernize the online play experience, we’re also introducing replays into the Remaster. Players will be able to watch replays from their custom and quickmatch games, and we’re currently iterating on the available controls within the replay system itself. In conjunction with the replay system is the addition of Observer mode into both games. Through the Observer mode, players can spectate on live games in-progress (with a small time delay), which we hope will be a valuable tool for shoutcasters and viewers alike.

There are then several other multiplayer oriented features which have been requested by the community over the past year. We’re in the process of evaluating these features and will aim to share more in the months ahead. As always, please continue to provide your comments in the thread below.

As you all know, 2020 is the 25th year anniversary of Command & Conquer. We expect this to be an exciting year for C&C, and we’re looking forward to celebrating this anniversary with all of you.

Cheers,

Jim Vessella

Jimtern

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