July 11, 2009 - This
is an interview with Blbpaws, mod team leader with
The Forgotten, a mod for C&C3: Tiberium Wars. Included
with the interview is some exclusive never before seen in-game
screenshots and art from the mod.
Please introduce yourself to the fans, tell us of your past
achievements in the C&C modding community, and what role you
play in the development of C&C3: The Forgotten.
I'm Blbpaws, a senior staff member at
CNCGeneralsWorld. I've been playing C&C since 1998, and
modding it since 2003. I've led two mods prior to this one, a
small one entitled Real Threat which aimed to make Generals more
realistic, and a much larger one called
Stars, which brought together the best units and
structures from all the C&C games. That mod was our true
success, as it was downloaded more than 70,000 timesóa great
reward after four years of hard work by the team. I've also
written a number of articles on modding and game development.
3: The Forgotten, my main job is the design of the
gameplay, the coordination and recruitment of all the team
members, and the development of certain aspects of the mod, such
as the AI and some mission scripting. In addition, since this
mod is so story-intensive, I've also been principally
responsible for designing and writing the story, which has been
a lot of fun and a true learning experience.
Approximately how many people are currently active in the
development of the mod, and how long has the mod been in
We've got a great team with twenty folks contributing. CommieDog
is an excellent XML coder and Tsumetai handles a lot of art and
is our other SDK magician. Phe0n1x and CaptNeo do a great job
creating missions. Kane Nash has done all our concept art and
some texturing with Nick and Nielsen. Andy, SchindlerJon, and
paimail help out with modeling, while stygs and chronosheep
helped us with the Tiberium Fiends model and animations. Nick,
Rick, Alex, Steve and Matt are all helping us get the story
right. Jeff is an excellent musician who's creating some great
tracks that we think you'll love. Bhones provides Worldbuilder
advice. Mike helps keep me sane and makes sure the server works.
I've already discussed my role above, but I can't emphasize
enough how I happy I am to be doing this and to be working with
people with such extraordinary talent. The mod has been in
development since August 2007, though we didn't announce the
project until the following May. We spent a lot of time getting
the story right, working on faction composition, and assembling
a team that was capable of getting the job done.
What was the motivation behind choosing The Forgotten as a new
faction for your mod, and how challenging is it to come up with
new units and structures for this faction?
After C&C All Stars we wanted to do a mod
that told a story, since that was the one thing All Stars didn't
have. Most of the C&C story has been told in a lot of detail,
from the megalomania of Kane to the invasion of the Scrin, but
no one really has focused on the true losers in the conflict,
The Forgotten. They're the ones who suffer through all the wars,
who have sometimes fought for one side or the other but have
never been rewarded.
Another thing we wanted to do was create a character that fit
well into the world of The Forgotten. The result was Salvador
Trogan, a politically-savvy former Nod spy who--with the help of
the player, of course--works to first unite and then lead the
disparate Forgotten groups into a rebellion against the three
superpowers. In crafting his character, I spent a lot of time
trying to think about what it is that lets leaders, good and
evil, inspire and unify. I can't say I know what the secret is,
but I think in Trogan, if you look carefully, you will see a lot
of elements of great leaders from history, as well as some
attributes that are unique to him.
Most of the units and structures came pretty easily out of this
fiction. For example, some old Nod and GDI units return or are
modified because many of The Forgotten fought in the Second
Tiberium War. Other units are directly tied to the campaign. The
player's actions in the missions explain how these units came to
be a part of The Forgotten's arsenal. Our goal is to create a
gameplay experience in which the player feels he's had a hand in
building the faction. Even when playing skirmish, we hope you'll
remember how your actions in the missions led to the acquisition
of a certain unit for The Forgotten.
Iíll reveal one of these units that youíll help steal the
technology to develop: the Impact Drone. You can see some
exclusive art, a render and three screenshots below, created by
the very talented Nielsen. The Impact Drone is based off a
stolen version of GDIís old Hunter-Seeker drone, except The
Forgotten have refined it with relay communications, so that
itís controllable once in the air. Itís unmanned - unlike other
pseudo-guerilla groups, The Forgotten donít believe in suicide
bombings - and laden with explosives that pack a serious punch.
I understand this mod will include a single player campaign in
order to tell the story of The Forgotten, and I'm looking
forward to the campaign. I have no doubt it's quite a difficult
undertaking involving much intense work. How far along are you
in the development of the single player campaign, and how many
missions do you have planned?
It's absolutely a tremendous challenge,
but it's one we wanted to undertake and one we're meeting. We
have five very long missions planned, each with three difficulty
levels. We have maps pretty nearly done for two of them, and a
draft started for two more. Scripting is about 75% done for one
mission, 60% for another, and maybe 10% for a third. The
missions were the last thing to be developed, so they lag behind
the rest of the mod, but we're doing well. CaptNeo and Pheonix
are doing a good job in crafting the missions, and Nick, Rick,
Alex, Steve, and Matt are almost done with their work in making
the story truly come to life within them.
You can see some of the art from CaptNeo's
mission with four new screenshots below.
Are there any special features that your mod will have that will
make it stand out against other mods in the C&C community?
In addition to the unique faction and
story, we've introduced a lot of new gameplay mechanics that we
think people will enjoy. There are quite a few of these, but
I'll give three examples here. First, Tiberium Fiends are back,
but as part of a neat unit, the Beastmaster. Essentially, even
though Tiberium life rages wildly, certain members of The
Forgotten have a special connection to them. These wise
community members, known as Beastmasters, have spent years
working with Tiberium life. When the time comes to fight on the
battlefield, they'll guide their Fiends into battle with you.
Should they get killed on the battlefield, though, their Fiends
will no longer obey your orders.
Another new mechanic is a bulldozing system. Very much unlike
the Bulldozers from Generals, these Bulldozers are simply
armored lumbering behemoths that smash everything in their way.
Just because it's postmodern war doesn't mean old-fashioned
force doesn't work. But for those of you who like postmodern
novelties, you can upgrade your Bulldozers with electric spikes
on the outside, so that they'll electrocute as well as pulverize
anything that gets in their way.
As another new trick, we've given the Forgotten commando a
special ability: to dress another infantry unit up as a body
double. This way, for a low fee, you can create an army of
"commandos" and your enemy will have no idea which is the real
Commandoóuntil of course he blows up the Conyard.
biggest innovation comes in the story. I'm not quite ready to
talk about the details of it too much yet (we'll show you a lot
throughout the summer), but I think we're pushing the envelope
of what mods can do, and pushing it a lot farther than any other
mod has pushed it. We have spent hours and hours on the
story--we have seven people who primarily handle bringing the
missions and plot to life, plus my contributions--and I'm
confident that it will be something very special in the end. In
fact, hereís something that maybe will give you a hint of where
weíre going, mood-wise. Itís a piece of promo art created by
Kane Nash (click pic to your left), and it shows the scene of a
key battleground in the modís story. Of course, I can't tell you
or show you the details or even how we use this art, but when we
do, you'll see what I mean when I say we're pushing the
What challenges are you currently facing with the mod?
It's always a long process, and keeping
folks engaged for that long is always difficult. This is why I'm
always looking for talented people to add to the team. There
were many technical challenges along the way, particularly with
Worldbuilder and the SDK, but the technical wizardry of
CommieDog, Tsumetai, and CaptNeo eventually surmounted all of
those. The biggest thing now is churning out the remaining
artwork, finishing up the story, and completing the remaining
missions. Things are rarely easy in a project of this magnitude,
but despite our nonexistent salaries, it will get done, and it
will be worth it when it is.
Anything special you can tell us about The Forgotten mod that
you've been keeping secret up until now?
Well now, I guess I should reveal
something, shouldn't I, especially after that mean ole' teaser
up above there. Very well in addition to showing off a new unit
above, how about I tell you the superweapon used by The
The Forgotten employ a truly nasty superweapon, one that shows
off their ingenuity and their connection to Tiberium. It's the
Tiberium Veinhole Monster. Even though Tiberium Veins are mostly
gone from the Earth by the time of the Third Tiberium War, the
Forgotten know how to grow and care for the monster that creates
them. They hatch this monster inside a protective dome so it
can't escape, and nurse it until it gets large and powerful.
When the time is right, they pack the monster into a large
delivery vehicle, which they fire into the air at the enemy
position. Upon impact, the monster smashes deep into the ground
and Tiberium Veins quickly envelop and destroy much of what's in
the area. No, it's not an Ion Cannon strike or nuclear warhead,
but you won't mock it after they fire it at your base.
In terms of
revealing other new things, you can see an in-game shot of the
Fissure Tank (see below), which we haven't shown previously.
It's a tank that fires a large shell, which, upon impact creates
a huge destructive concussion by its target.
won't ask when we can expect the completion of the mod, as most
modders with tell ya..."when it's done", and we all do have
lives off the net as well. Generally most fan created mods can
take up to several years to complete, and many never see the
light of day. You've already proved yourself in the C&C modding
community as a finisher. What steps are you taking to keep this
mod on track, and how hard is it to keep mod team members
I fully expect the mod to be done this year, and hopefully with
time to spare, but we'll see. We will hold a private beta before
release, so some of you (particularly the good voice actors out
there ;)) will have a chance to give us your feedback and play
the mod in advance.
It's true that I've led a mod of substantial size to completion
before (and much of this team was part of C&C All Stars), so I'm
confident we'll be able to do it again. In terms of keeping
people motivated, I'm always trying to bring in new talented
staffers so that we do our work faster and better. Most of all
though, I think that people stay motivated when they buy into
the project and feel that they are contributing to something
that matters and is well-done, and that they are getting a
chance to shape the project's direction. I'm not going to try to
speak for the team, but whatever success I have in coordinating
the project I'll attribute to those two things. When people have
a chance to contribute and shape a project that is fun to play
and that others enjoy, they enjoy working on it and everyone is
Thank you Blbpaws for taking the time out of your busy schedule
for this interview. Any parting thoughts for the fans?
Other than thanks to you for doing this
interview, Lion, and for the fans for following us--you can
learn more at our site--there's one other message that I think
is important: I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do this at
such a level. I think one is very fortunate to do something like
this once, as with C&C All Stars, but to get a chance to do it
again, with an even better and more talented team is something
for which Iím very grateful. The experience of bringing our
ideas to life, and to work with a great group of people in doing
so, isn't something well-captured in words. I firmly believe
that the fans in this community are capable of tremendous
amounts, and that it isnít the Hollywood glitz or glamour that
makes C&C, but the love fans and developers have for the games
and the characters. Anyone who thinks that fans like ourselves
are incapable of creating a meaningful, fun, and immersive C&C
experience is someone we hope to prove wrong.
I encourage all fans to give modding and mapping a look. Part of
the reason we created C&C Labs was to lessen the learning curve.
Bringing your vision to life has never been so possible or so
much fun. Come on in. The water's fine.
C&C3: The Forgotten
website for more info on this C&C3
mod in development!