Joe Bostic (C&C Remastered) – Interview

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Way back in August 2018 we had the pleasure of interviewing Westwood Studios legend Joe Bostic. Guess what? He’s back! Command & Conquer Remastered was mooted at the time and it’s finally here! Adrian sent a few more questions to Joe for your reading pleasure. He also gives a quick review of the new title.

 

What influenced the key storyline between GDI and Nod? Were there specific filmatic references or influences to cartoons (such as G.I. Joe)?

GDI is roughly based on having sane nations band together to defeat a common ruthless terrorist enemy. Not quite like the UN since GDI isn’t centered around petty country politics. Nod was based on ubiquitous fables of secret societies with hidden agendas for world domination.

 

When was the idea first discussed and how easy was it to create this new version of the game?

EA approached us with the idea to create C&C Remastered. The fans had been requesting this for quite a while and there was a good opportunity for EA to show fans that they really do care about the C&C community. Of course we jumped at the opportunity since C&C is close to our hearts.

 

When you first started work on C&C Remastered, what were the key areas of the game you looked to improve and evolve and which areas did you aim to maintain from the classic games?

We wanted to improve the game with some QoL (quality of life) features, but the main factor driving those decisions was that we were making a “remaster”, not a “remake”. Players should be able to play the same experience they did when the games were originally released. The biggest changes were in the rendering and network code which, naturally, needed complete overhaul to bring the remasters to the present day.

 

Can you describe the feeling of working again on this classic after 25 or so years. Did it feel a bit surreal or was it really easy to get back into the C&C universe?

It was nice to see the old code still hold up pretty well considering the C++ standard hadn’t even been finalized when we wrote the original game. We didn’t have to do much alteration of the original code except to replace the rendering and networking layers. It was fun to see comments in the code written 25 years ago and still remembering the thought process behind the internal game design. It was kind of like stepping back in time.

 

Was working on C&C Remastered very different form working on a brand new title, and if so, can you explain how?

It was quite different since we didn’t have to create a new game and didn’t have to solve all the issues that creating a new game requires. It felt more like a port to a new platform than creating a new game.

 

 

Will we be seeing the full C&C collection fully remastered including Red Alert 2 and Generals in the future?

Only EA can answer that question.

 

How does it feel that C&C is still loved to today and does this add extra pressure when working on the hugely anticipated C&C Remastered?

It is quite humbling to see that there is still a large fan base for the original C&C games. We wanted to give them a remaster that stayed true to their memory of playing the game, but with as many of the rough edges polished up as we could.

 

Would you class yourself as team Nod or team GDI?

Team GDI normally, but I do love the Nod Stealth Tank. 😊

 

Did you or your team manage to add in a few Easter eggs or surprises within the game, and if so, can you share one with us?

We didn’t add any surprises. We did however, make sure the surprises from the original games were preserved such as the Dinosaur and Ant missions as well as the hidden civilian and structure names you can see when tool-tipping over them.

 

Are there any plans to release C&C Remastered on consoles in the future?

Only EA can answer that question.

 

Do you feel there is any renewed chance of seeing Red Alert 4 being released in the future?

Future products are controlled by EA, so they will have to make those decisions.

 

My friend Chris wanted me to ask you; “Does he feel bad that I failed my GCSE’s because of these games and didn’t become the rocket scientist that I always wanted to be?”

Lol! Well, you had fun playing at least. If it is any consolation, I dropped out of college to pursue game development and it worked out pretty well. Education has value, but it isn’t everything.

 

What new games and projects can we expect to see from Petroglyph Games in the near future?

Petroglyph is always trying new things and experimenting with game ideas. That is one advantage of being a small indie studio – we don’t have to always create “safe” games and can take more design risks.

 

 

And what does our interviewer make of C&C Remastered?

Adrian: Dune 2 was my first glimpse of the RTS genre, and I was hooked from day one. I knew Westwood Studios was a developer to keep a close eye on, and boy was I right!

I remember feeling huge excitement when Command & Conquer was announced and I tracked the progress of that game with as much excitement as a sandworm in a spice field. The game blew me away and I spent hours upon hours of making bases and destroying my enemies with clever tactical assaults. Westwood had refined the controls and gameplay from the Dune universe and applied it to a lovely modern warfare setting! It was love at first sight. So when I heard that Command & Conquer Remastered was on the horizon I was excited and a tad sceptical. You see, I haven’t played a decent RTS game in years, I had slowly fallen out of love with this genre – mainly because it all got a little too frantic and advanced for me! C&C Remastered would be the perfect antidote to get hooked all over again – a package that includes all Command & Conquer, Red Alert and all the additional expansion packs.

The love and care in this game is astounding! The game’s updated graphics give the whole experience a lovely new look, something not all remasters can boast (I’m looking at you Guybrush!) The gameplay is smooth and responsive but the original feel and essence of the game has been masterfully respected and left pretty much alone. The enhanced soundtrack is worth your money alone! I have had so much fun taking on the Nod forces and cannot wait to get cracking on many more missions. Overall I will Nod my head in approval and cannot wait to see what comes next.

 

Adrian

 

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