C&C 4 can't even be considered in this discussion it didn't have traditional resourcing or base building
RA3 would have been a much better game had it not been so complicated. I actually loved RA3 but the barrier to entry for PVP was very high, the online experience was deep and required commitment to even at the entry level. I think most people quit when they got drone rushed once.
Generals however worked really well because the units were simple and intuitive yet the game play was surprisingly deep at the higher levels of play.
Generals 2 needs to work toward being Generals more and COH less imo
If anything, RA3 was the best EALA-era C&C, aswell as IMO the best "Classic C&C", with the un-classic being Generals and T_T. The gameplay rewarded fast thinking and using the correct units and unit powers. While it was closed off in it's own oldschool C&C mechanics niche, it was best what this niche ever had to offer. And required a minimal amount of tactics, which is odd for a C&C.
If you want not-so-complicated games, then look at TW and TT, those two were a mess, probably one of the most epic spammy nonsensical games out there.
I do not think adding cover and any other deeper amount of gameplay other than "send unit x on y in order not to die" (a.k.a. "counter system") will make the game more "CoH", same like adding replenishing health and seeking cover from CoD and GoW didn't make all shooters become CoD and GoW - Adding the mechanics developed by those two games was simply the matter of moving the genre of action games forward.
The problem with strategy games is that, as stated by the lead Generals 2 designer, they have stagnated since the 90's, not many new things were discovered, and if anything, there was very little communication between games, so instead of a linear evolution of a genre we get game x with mechanic 1, game y with mechanic 2, and so forth, all digging their own style, while all base on the same principles that were developed in the 90's.
So we get C&C with support powers, SupCom with strategic zoom, CoH/DoW with advanced squad mechanics and cover system and so forth. Somehow we didn't see a single game that took all the best of those games and thus moved the genre forward as a whole.
Last edited by Alaskan_Viking; 03-27-2012 at 11:22 PM.
"Not with our current Economical Budget We aint. :P Lets just stick to what we have now alright?"
Commander32, in response to talk of future US 6th generation fighter aircraft.
I partly agree, RA3 was a great game, but it never got a following. I would argue it never really caught on for a myriad of reasons and a lot have to do with the oversauturation of the brand and the lack of quality of previous titles of EA RTS games, the user base was beaten down over the years. EA must not have realized this and when they should have backed off and made a more accessible game to get the core built back up they actually pushed on with a more innovative complex title by their standards, they made the same mistake with C&C 4 too. innovation not needed here, a very high polished easy to get into title would have probably served them better to try to re-establish their foothold.
You can't keep pushing out titles for a brand as rapidly as EA did unless *maybe* the games are all of super high quality. I think some titles were of very good quality and some were not. C&C 3 PVP at release was an economy boom mess and I personally had a ton of problems getting even 2v2 matches to connect, yet COH 4v4s played silky smooth for me. RA3 dropped 4v4 support altogether. I'm sure some consumers balked at buying C&C 3 for instance, when they still played and loved Zero Hour. Look at Starcraft and Blizzards approach, super high quality product releases with continual support with iterations very well spaced. No one didn't buy SC2 because they had SC; the 12 year gap was reason enough for players to *have* to have the game. Two approaches at total opposite ends of the spectrum.
Victory-Bio is basically starting fresh here in a lot of ways. Their brand has been really damaged; their only real option is to start from scratch and build a terrific game and not necessarily count on brand recognition to bail them out. I don't think anyone will NOT buy the game because it's a C&C title but to say the opposite is true might be taking a lot for granted especially after what they did with C&C 4. I think their approach is right though, Generals is the last really beloved title and it's been 8 years since the last release. If they simply reskinned the old Generals game in a brand new beautiful engine it would mimick the Blizzard approach with SC2. That could be a winning formula. if they decide to do something drastic like what they did with C&C 4 they might as well just create a new IP and go for it - the C&C 4 experiment showed at least for how it was done that users aren't looking for innovation with this brand and in fact it disappoints them greatly when the game strays to far from it's roots.
The failures or at least sales disappointments with the traditional titles since Generals probably has more to do with brand fatigue and lack of polish than any gaming convention change or lack therof.
here is my personal recipe for success plx try not to facepalm over it
1. keep the gameplay accessible. Due to the weakening of the brand this is probably the best direction to go. Chess is accessible but rewarding and challenging when played at a high level. You don't need loads of toggle abilities, tons of unit variations, new mechanics like cover and/or persist unlocks, or a an overly complex tech tree to achieve a deep experience.
2. Stick as close as possible to the original Generals game play. Look at two recent case studies in this: SC2 and C&C4 - choose wisely.
3. deliver a true AAA title. This means great single player, great skirmish and sandbox modes, most importantly a highly polished feature rich PVP online/multiplayer experience (with continued support), and terrific mod and map making support
Last edited by stephanovich; 03-28-2012 at 01:06 AM.
Screw bloody complex cover systems and directional armor. That was a stupid gimmick in C&C3 simply to try and leech off Company of Heroes' and Dawn of War II's audience group. Plenty of other RTS games have done just fine without it and it introduced little of value outside CoH's and DoWII's own style of gameplay (even then some consider DoWII a step down from DoW). A more refined garrison system for infantry and perhaps the ability to use building ruins and trees as "infantry rock" would be just fine without making the game micro-intensive shenanigans like CoH.
C&C's unique thing is (was/should be) simplicity and accessibility. That's what defined the series from the start. No complex controls, no complex pre-set interaction rules. A basic set of simple, easy to grasp elements - which can interact with each other in a gazillion ways. It's the big toolbox of RTS, you get the hang of the tools from the get go but the real task is being creative with what you've got.
Victory Games is Electronic Arts' dedicated Strategy Gaming studio. Formed in 2010 under the leadership of Jon Van Caneghem, Victory Games has offices in Los Angeles, CA; Austin, TX; and Shanghai, China and is currently focused on the Command & Conquer franchise.