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Lt. Col. Vandeleur

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  1. Thank you very much for this hint. I think it's a very good step in the right direction, but as I mentioned before, all those games are moving around the target without hitting it. To me this looks like Battlefield on steroids with a twist of base building. Still a Rambo game mostly. News are Petroglyph suspended Earthbreakers to build a new big game. Maybe they will hit our target. Their 2006 game Star Wars Empire at War is still blooming mods nowadays. Can't wait to see what they're developing. They're top notch. Sorry for being away so long. Keep faith... I'm always thinking about this dream coming true.
  2. Looks like ArmA 3 almost did it, but you know, it looks like a simulation rather than a game. Still missing the magic. RTS is extremely limited to camp facilities so in the end it's kind of a RTT experience. An extremely slow one. Somebody who played Close Combat like me may find this "real life slowness" quite frustrating... just like I do. I'm still studying for seeking the right mix between all the elements.
  3. You raise very good thoughts that I was actually keeping for myself. If we ever meet to build up this game you'll see the almighty secret. The funny thing is that it's all in the past.
  4. Dear fellows, I made some more research and I think it's practically impossible for EA to ever sell a single ip. They never sold a single one ever. Seems like their existence is rather devoted to cross out any newcoming software house by buying 'n' burning it out 'n burying down deep its ip. I'm sure somebody in the business already tried to purchase C&C ip from them but the short answer has been no. EA's top managers earn hundred millions a year and they really have no interest in running the company properly. This is basic theory of the firm's agency cost (Jensen-Meckling). They're surviving right now thanks to disney's outsourcing of star wars games, but it won't last. They even started to wipe out their own native cash cow franchises like sports games. Their bureaucracy and outrageous business vision is making themselves doomed to bankruptcy. The only way to purchase ips from EA would be to wait for its slow death and open corpse's belly with a sword to free all the little games it ravenously ingurgitated in past decades. But at that time there will be plenty of already existing corporations ready to buy everything out, say Blizzard. In my opinion the unique workaround - and also the smartest move - would be to simply forget about the ip and start something brand new out of C&C inheritance. We may respectfully propose again C&C dynamics, pathfinder etc. under a similar brand new name. This means a completely new storyline. But I wonder if we may retain all main aspects of USA and Russia like prism weapons or tesla coils, or even GIs and conscripts. After all those units/buildings have been created off real life elements like Archimedes' burning mirrors or actual Nikola Tesla's coils. The point with copyright infringement is that you must not create confusion about already existing trademarks, that's all. For example, I don't think EA could actually annoy if somebody builds up a new Dune game. And guess - Dune has always been the pioneer of Westwood games development. Dune II was the first RTS ever and Emperor the first 3D endeavor. We may even think about starting up with a new Dune game rather than a world war game, but I don't know how the market would welcome a new Dune game. Do you have any numbers to state if Dune actually has less appeal than regular C&C ? Anyway the point is another: in my humble opinion it's priority to beat the market with a new game bringing back C&C dynamics AND the new elements we just explored in previous messages. As an example: Starcraft was much worse than C&C but it managed to be the winner because of timing and customer care. Once we established ourselves as market leaders, it's game over for anyone else. When EA dies we will already be haying in the farmhouse the latent demand for a first-ever strong RTS+FPS game and nobody would be interested in buying C&C ip anymore.
  5. Yeah exactly. That's why I talked aboud a RPG-style career. You may simply earn points with which buy stuff or ranks. This may even open possibilities towards microtransactions incomes only for those who wanna play it cool, but of course this mode should be SEPARATED from normal mode because I hate it. It could just make your wages sustainable and also help retaining casual gamers. Hardcore gamers would rather take a chance at real army career in which you earn your ranks in field and by taking off enemy territories. The fun thing to me is that C&C may already have a commander evaluation system since after every single-player mission you get a Leadership and Efficiency grade.
  6. Good points. It's actually fun how all these games have one great fil-rouge that everyone is missing. To me the key is to not frustrate the player with annoying limits and to do so it's just a matter of how many kinds of experience you offer in game. We are all concerned about RA2: Apocalypse Rising only because it gives us a different experience from the original Ra2. This means that a successful FPS+RTS may be simply switching between the two at will. The big deal about army commandment may be of simple resolution: just another mode of the same game. Give them the opportunity to switch from bird view to fps, or from rambo-like shoot evrything to army career. This means longevity and attractiveness. This also means more realism since, you know, in regular C&C games you destroy buildings by shooting at their walls... it's actually a great idea what Renegade introduced but, again, it was lacklustre in all other aspects. It's fun how tower defense games keep popping out at times. I used to play Age of Empires 2 as a tower defence because I usually built wooden mazes in front of my castles mixed with gates only my troops could pass through. All those games include different aspects of real life military tactics or stategy. Real-life military bases are actually surrounded by wall mazes to avoid terrorist car bomb raids and it takes plenty of time to enter one with humvees. We may simply offer at the same time a fast or slow experience according to selected mode. This means to actually build 2-3 games all in one but also taking the whole market pie. But again, I'm not here for business... maybe it's business calling me back from my vacation spot. A few years ago I used to fight a boring winter by creating my own Risk board game version without dices, including dynamics from Axis&Allies and adding gasoline. I played alone since people not only found it complicated, but were mostly excited by rolling dices. They were better off with a luck-based game. Offering both is key in my opinion.
  7. One last word about finance: this last awful game I don't want to name is earning because it's just a mobile phone game, not because it's marked as (a fake) C&C. I wonder if those revenues are enough to cover operating costs and that's why I talked about free cash flows. Nonetheless your statements are absolutely right. I'll give it a shot but I'll be sincere, the world is changing right now and it's too turbulent to start anything up. Specifically we have to wait for Petroglyph's Earthbreakers first and check their results. This topic has been useful to gather precious informations you just gave me in the best possible way. I thank you from the bottom of my heart especially for the great C&C attitude you possess and are pouring in the mods you're developing. I deeply think there's enough room to overcome all the stakes you recapped, but it will need a whole complete effort to accomplish and of course a remarkable amount of time.
  8. I thank you very much for your replies, fellows. Discussions are the blossom of improvement. I will try to answer step by step. What follows is my strategic idea for a brand new game. I'll write it down straightforward since I think all ideas resemble each other, and what makes the difference is strategic application, i.e. organization management - as you just stated - so I have no issues revealing my ideas. Feel free to steal them at will. The purpose: as you said, almost every attempt to make a FPS+RTS has been disappointing at least. I deeply think it's just a reward system problem. Again, strategic coherence will set the right route for us all. There are plenty of FPS games in which a player can destroy everything in every possible way and get a lot of fun by doing it. That is already existing, and quite sincerely, nobody would ever stand a chance against established giants like Call of duty or Battlefield. This is also in my opinion a good point to bring back C&C rights for a bargain price, since EA basically considered C&C as a Battlefield duplicate to the point they shut it down many years ago. Right now the free cash flows generated by C&C games are zero... but I'll recognize some brand value. Given this, in my opinion the point to a successful RTS+FPS game is OFFERING rewards to execute orders in the paved way. This means it would be a much different kind of FPS or, if you prefer, a role-playing FPS - say FPS+RPG - for field players, while a high rank player may conduct his parallel bird-view RTS match. Remember role coherence? There are plenty of games in which you build your avatar by completing tasks, thus getting powerups or higher ranks. This may make people accept to start as a Private before they can become a Captain thus being able to coordinate a battalion. This may even lead people to accept to play the field medic or even the harvester truck driver to reach some sort of special goal, or maybe to just experience something different from the hackneyed smash-everything-attitude. Then if somebody just wants to shoot at things, they may skip to Call of duty or any different game. Anyway bear in mind, freedom is essential: a player should always be free to insubordinate and play rambo, which may simply translate in a very fast death. Or maybe a fast promotion if it will make the day. My purpose is shaping it as a real army-like organism in which the smartest brain wins, not the fastest finger. Would such a mechanism be suitable? This brings us straight to the core: who is the target gamer. Maybe the biggest question in RTS history is how the heck did Age of Empires manage to stay the leader for so long and by such a large margin. The answer to me is very simple: AoE has always been played not only by the kids, but mostly by the parents. Would a white-haired 70-years-old war veteran enjoy running & shooting? Maybe bird-view strategy would suit him better. Excitement is the key. And this brings us even further: territory ! Why let it be restricted to skirmish maps when it could be a world war campaign? Maybe some of you played Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds, in which you could move your troops to adjacent combat zones, everyone having its own map. This would dramatically improve strategy importance since spawning tanks would no longer be enough, you must also know *where* to deploy them - i.e. in which combat zone in order to defend which supply line. Every C&C single player campaign (especially Tiberian Dawn) already mentioned all the features I'm writing here, but they were only implied or simulated. By making it a MMO we may turn it explicit thus adding a lot of fun. Think about it. World map in sectors (Military strategy) -> bird view of a single sector (RTS) -> first person view on field (FPS) I have many others ideas for a flexible role playing but for now this is enough meat. You know, when creativity is in charge, sky is the limit. Of course developing a game requires a strong organization, project-management skills, man days and - above all - wages. Commitment is great and brings in the magic, but we all have families to raise. When I was a young manager I accepted only full-time workers I was paying and I always refused free help. Two reasons: 1) work must be paid. 2) meeting schedule equals paychecks. Once again: coherence between strategy, objectives, resources, culture. Meanwhile, donating funds to complete Apocalypse Rising would be a nice start.
  9. Hello everyone, I'm a fierce and historic C&C player since the first Tiberian Dawn chapter. I share with you the strong desire to bring back the Westwood magic that EA managed to wipe out in the last decade. The latest boxing-ring-style game for mobile phones speaks for itself. You know, in real life I've been a corporation manager and I know very well how bureaucracy and lust for financial result can bring to a sharp decline. In this case the mistake made by EA was to consider C&C a cash cow rather than a growing star. But there has been a general decline involving almost every artistic aspect of our lives in the past decade or so, and the actual social clash the world is experiencing is dramatically bringing us back to a strong desire for real goodness... no matter how much money is involved in the process. This is a very strong demand... so strong that you are actually developing brand new C&C games for free. Even the actual Westwood developers are trying to bring it back with "Earthbreakers" wich is just trying to sell your FPS+RTS idea. I'm writing here because I have enough of all this. I think that what you created may easily become the best MMO game all-around - including non-RTS games (like RPGs) - just because of the two-folded nature of a RTS+FPS game. Why Renegade bombed? Because it was just a FPS and the C&C strategic thing was absent. There's something very little missing in all RTS+FPS approaches I watched till now - and it's role coherence. I think the final solution would be to make NOT just a hybrid RTSFPS but rather a game that can be played ALTERNATIVELY as a RTS or as a FPS. You know, in every army there are troops and there are generals. You rarely gonna see a General embracing a machine gun and never gonna see a Private ordering a tank delivery. Every task should be assigned to the right rank. Do you remember your position in the online ranking? Why let it be a trivial macho competition when it could be the key to ONLINE army rank unlock? This is my idea and I'm dreaming to make it true. It's very sad to see a great idea like RA2: Apocalypse Rising struggling to be completed because of the typical exponential difficulty to close a project - i.e. make that last 10% to go from 90% to 100% burning triple the resources required by the already fulfilled 90% ... which is typical of every pioneering endeavor. Well, my little dream is to fund developers to realize what I just said. But mind out, I'm not seeking for business since I already have my own source of wealth that makes me live well. No need for problems in my life. And first of all I'm wondering how you're managing to release games whose copyrights are held by EA. Are you simply ignoring it? Is it just "masked" as a fanmade mod? Well I'd like to make it the next C&C release, but of course it may require to buy back the rights from who actually dismantled the franchise. I'm writing this post down because it really is my very simple & sincere will and I really have no idea how else to ask this. Would you join the mission? I'd be glad to fund developers with true wages, buy everything necessary, bring back C&C magic and make it the next step in videogame industry. All the pioneering ideas need unlimited funding without return expectations - until art makes it. Whatcha think about?
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