Kane's Wrath producer Jim Vessella talks to us about reinventing the wheel on a console. And a console controller.
With it's arrival on Xbox 360 later on this month, Jim Vessella told us about the changes needed to get the RTS up and running on console.
C&C is a loved franchise and people would kill you if it strayed too far, but you can't just make a ten year old game again. How do you deal with that?
Jim Vessella: It's really tough. With Command and Conquer 3 we had a huge responsibility to bring it back after a decade and we heard it from the fans. They were holding it with very high expectations.
We did probably play it pretty safe. We stuck with the old school formula, building up the base, and bringing out these tank type units. With Kane's Wrath being a follow-up, we did want to follow that same convention so we wouldn't alienate our fans from Tiberium Wars.
Moving forward, with Red Alert 3 in particular, we think we'll be able to try some new things. Red Alert 3 has a co-op campaign, which is really cool. I think now we've brought back that fanbase, we can start to experiment with some new twists.
Tell us about the exclusive content for 360.
Vessella: Yeah, it's got some cool stuff. It's got a new game mode called Kane's Challenge, where you assume the role of one of our new factions and play through a gauntlet against all the other factions. So it's a great way to train up.
As you go, they'll also be achievement points and we also have exclusive new videos of Kane, who'll taunt and encourages you to go through the game.
Online we have exclusive game modes, like Capture the Flag and a new mode called Siege, which the PC doesn't have.
Can PC players expect to see that at any point in the future?
Vessella: Probably not. We're focusing on exclusive features on the 360 for now and so the 360 players will just get the exclusives for probably a bit of time.
Were there any thoughts on bringing it on to PS3?
Vessella: PS3 was not in consideration. We weren't planning on PS3 for Tiberium Wars or Kane's Wrath. We really wanted to focus in on Xbox 360 and master that platform before diving into another one.
We're definitely considering the PS3 for future versions of our games and future versions of Command and Conquer, although we don't have specifics just yet on when that's going to happen. But the PS3 is definitely successful and we really want to give that platform love in the future.
Will Global Conquest be part of the 360 version?
Vessella: When we were focus testing that feature for the Xbox version, we found that it wasn't getting as good a response as it had on PC. We found that it was a bit more niche type of gameplay, the turn-based gameplay wasn't gelling as much with the 360 fan base.
Nor were the controls working as well as the precision with the mouse on that particular mode. So Global Conquest actually won't be on the 360 version which is why we added in Kane's Challenge mode which is more catering to 360 players.
We did actually wonder if the mode would be slower than what console fans are used to...
Vessella: We found that it was a great mode for PC and we got a lot of great feedback and acclaim for that mode. I think that's because the PC players are used to the turn-based mode. There are other games out there that have trained them up on it.
On 360 it wasn't gelling as much and we didn't want to put that feature out there where players weren't going to have fun with it. Kane's Challenge was a much better fit for console audience.