Tiberian Dawn is one of the most promising mods currently in development, the mod will take Command and Conquer 3 back in time fourteen years and bring back the classic original Command and Conquer.
Therefore it was a great honour to get to chat to some of the chaps working on the mod, we have thoughts from project lead Duuude007, Lazy6pro texturer, modeler and animator, Nyerguds research and Q&A and finally Testudinidae on animation and high quality textures and models. As an added bonus the chaps have managed to rustle up some new and exclusive screens from the mod. Onto the interview:
The Reticule – Tiberian Dawn then, a total remake of the original Command and Conquer. For those who don’t know much about you, can you briefly explain what the mod is all about and what you intend to have in the finished product.
Lazy6Pro – Tiberian Dawn is a total-conversion mod for Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. It is not only a re-creation of the original Command and Conquer from 1995, but also a slight re-imagining. We want to keep a very classic look and feel that took so many RTS fans by storm (myself included), but we also want to bring that look and feel closer to reality. We take the concepts and ideas from Westwood and say, “Hey! How can we keep the same overall look but make it function in a real battlefield?”
Duuude007 – Aye, we also go to great lengths to define whether various assets in our mod are entirely fiction based, or existing technology from the early 1990’s, or even a blend of both, and are very careful in how we walk the line between “canon” and “reality”. We are also trying to develop alternate methods so that models on the ground are still easily identifiable by faction or team, but also have reduced evidence of the “neon ribbons” that some other SAGE-based games and mods like to use.
TR – What are you focusing your development time to, the single- or multiplayer modes?
Nyerguds – At the moment, definitely multiplayer. Some plans have been made for a Classic single player mode, in which the original missions would be recreated, but at the moment we lack map makers and scripters to do this.
Duuude007 – Yes, and not to say we don’t have mappers, but the people who have the most impressive skills also wear many hats on the team, which makes that progress slow for now. Waraddict for example, is a beast at mapping, but is also our coding manager, and we are always needing help when it comes to updating our code.
TR – How far along in development are you? You often go long periods of time without any news, only to turn around and shock us with a massive gameplay video, can we expect news to start appearing at a faster rate soon?
Lazy6Pro – Being in development for over two years, we have accomplished quite a bit. We are definitely on the downhill stretch right now. The issue here is how far do you want to dive into the rabbit hole? The further you get into such a grand project like a total conversion, the deeper and deeper the hole gets. It is no surprise that many of the total-conversion mods started will not even reach half of what we have developed, because there is just so much work that must be done and done well. For that I consider myself lucky to be a part of such a skilled and dedicated team; I can honestly say that if you eliminate any two members of our team, this mod would be only a shell of its former self.
Personally, I really like how we have some time between media releases. It allows us the fly under the radar so to speak, so we can concentrate on the work. Rest assured, we take great pride in the quality of the media we release. We do quite a bit of internal bickering and critiquing on every asset at each of the major states; everything released has been approved by nearly every member of the dev team. If we released things right as we finished them, we can’t really make a grand spectacle out of it. When Tiberian Dawn releases updates, people will take notice and be amazed; we will make each update worth your while.
TR – Are you planning on including the old expansion packs to the original game in your mod?
Nyerguds – If we ever get around to making the campaign, I think the original missions will have priority.
TR – What has it been like creating the FMV trailers for Tiberian Dawn? Can we expect to see any live action sequences?
Lazy6Pro – As far as live action sequences, we have the capability and access to the technology to do so (I personally have a 1080p cam-corder with blue-screen material); it all comes down to the cost vs. benefit of doing so. We do, though, have agreements with several currently-enlisted soldiers to help us out when they can, whether it would be for mechanics and logistics of the military, models for cameos, or guides in the mannerisms of solders.
Testudinidae – It usually goes something like this: Either I pick something I would like to do or a FMV is assigned to me. I start by making a draft of the video, a basic preview that shows an outline of the animation. If the guys like what they see I continue. From there on it’s a team effort, I show the guys my progress as I make it and they give me input on what needs changing. Then slowly but steadily we move forward until we’re done. If I got paid it would be the most awesome job in the world.
Duuude007 – We’re also looking into possible minor editorials on existing live action videos to get them up to speed with the SAGE engine, but as people could imagine, believable video editing can become a fairly complex process. Still all of the attention to detail is a major skill the TD team proves to have with every new release.
TR – Have you been recreating the original soundtrack, or are we going to hear completely new material?
Lazy6Pro – I would say option C: both of the above would be the best description of Tiberian Dawn’s music. NeptuneUK has done a wonderful job with all of the audio. All of the tracks are original compositions or heavy remixes; they are new and fresh, but somehow Neptune makes them feel so familiar.
Nyerguds – I guess most of the music was already released in blogs and such. There might be some remakes, but we’re mostly going for completely new material in the original music style of the game.
TR – Do you have any idea when a demo of the mod will appear and do you have any plans for a final release date?
Lazy6Pro – All I can say is that we will cross that bridge when we get there. I have never personally been a big fan of setting release dates, especially given the very unpredictable nature of modding. I would much rather release when we are ready then to announce a date that if we don’t hit, we run the risk of disappointing many of our loyal fans. One thing I would like to point out, though, is that in whatever we release (be it a beta, demo, or just a full version), we will not sacrifice quality. We owe it to ourselves and to our fans to make sure that we put our best effort.
Duuude007 – Pyro is right. We want to keep our answer under wraps because frankly, even we don’t know what is next around the corner. If we suddenly had an influx of capable, committed volunteers for things like maps, rigging/texturing and models for example, it could drastically change our timetables.