Archive for the ‘westwood’ Category

Video: How Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun punished the computers of the day

February 26th, 2019

Video directed by Sean Dacanay, edited by Paul Isackson. Click here for transcript.

When I was working at Babbage's in the mid-'90s, I recall there being three specific PC games that sat in the "coming soon" column seemingly forever—like, for years—and generated ridiculous amounts of pre-orders and buzz: Mechwarrior 2, the original Diablo, and the original Command & Conquer. As fate would have it, I worked the launches of all three of those games, and although they all were special, Command & Conquer was to me the most surprising to play.

I wasn't really big into the nascent real-time strategy genre at the time—perhaps unsurprising, since the "genre" prior to C&C's release consisted basically of Dune 2 and Warcraft, but C&C blew me away. I was never any good at it, but I was fascinated by it—the strategy game genre was undergoing somewhat of a renaissance in the early-to-mid-'90s, and adding real-time decision-making into the mix was a wild twist on what had become an established formula.

The original C&C was successful, but the sequels established a bona fide gaming dynasty. For this episode of War Stories, we've arranged a nicely technical chat with Westwood co-founder Louis Castle (who also worked on the studio's noir Blade Runner adventure) to dish on the challenges and issues the studio faced with developing Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, the direct sequel to C&C and one of the most well-regarded games in the entire series.

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Posted in Ars Technica Videos, Command and Conquer, Features, Gaming & Culture, louis castle, real time strategy, rts, tiberian sun, video, war stories, westwood | Comments (0)

Video: To make 1997’s Blade Runner, Westwood first had to create the universe

February 12th, 2019

Shot by Sean Dacanay and edited by Justin Wolfson. VFX by John Cappello. Click here for transcript. And if you want a close-up peek at the awesome Ladd-style logo Aurich cooked up for this video, you can get that right here.

Welcome back to "War Stories," an ongoing video series where we get game designers to open up about development challenges that almost—but not quite—derailed their games. In this edition, we focus on a genre particularly near and dear to my dead, black Gen-X heart: the adventure game.

And not just any adventure game—we were lucky enough to be able to sit down with Louis Castle, co-founder of legendary game developer Westwood Studios. Castle's hands were on some of the most famous titles of the 1990s, including Dune II, the Legend of Kyrandia series, and, most famously, the Command & Conquer franchise. But as wonderful as those games are—and as many hours as I spent lost in the woods of Kyrandia as a teenager—none of those mean as much to me as Westwood's 1997 cinematic adventure game, Blade Runner.

You know the score, pal

Adventure games were one of the two ur-genres of true computer games (with the other being the arcade-style shooter), and as a child of the '80s, adventure games were what got me into gaming. The genre reached its peak in the early to mid 1990s, with some of the best-remembered LucasArts and Sierra titles making their appearance thereabouts. But by the end of the decade the wheels had come off the cart, and it was clear that the genre was being eclipsed by the rise of the first-person shooter.

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Posted in adventure gaming, Ars Technica Videos, Blade Runner, Gaming & Culture, PC gaming, retrogaming, video, war stories, westwood, westwood studios | Comments (0)