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.