Title: Red Alert? What's that? Description:
6th Feb 96
Do you want to meet some of the designers behind Red Alert? Well, this was one chance missed... Great Info About Red Alert!

Westwood Studios had their WebCamera on as well, so this was great fun.
Time: 6:00-8:00 pm
Type: Special event
Who: WS-Adam, and Other people
 ©Copyright TibCom 1997

C&C: Red Alert Designer's chat, 6/2/96


This is a transcript of the C&C: Red Alert Designer's chat that took place Tues. Feb. 6th,1996 on the Westwood Chat server from 6-8pm PST. For the sake of clarity, I've gone though it and edited out all the "?" lines and some comments that had nothing to do with Red Alert. If you aren't happy that this isn't the "pure" text, there is another version available that has all of the text. but also all of the redundant text that our capture program generated, and all of the ? lines. Also, you don't get any other comments from me, as you do in this one.

Either way, enjoy!
-WS Adam
Note: The beginning was cut off of the meeting, so to re-cap..

WSAdam: My name is Adam, I'm 24, and I've been a game designer for over three years. I've been with Westwood for about six months now, and have been working on Red Alert since I got here.

I've been around computers since the Atari 400 (and its high-speed tape
drive! Ooh!), and have played just about every game on every system. I love `em all.
The first question was : Multiplayer? What's new? How many people? Answer: 6 Player IPX play, better chat functions (and more room to type), controllable intelligence on the computer opponents (and they're REALLY good now!) and other features that we're experimenting with..
We now join the chat already in progress..

Commander : What is the story for Red Alert? When does it take place?
WSAdam : Red Alert is a PREQUEL to C&C -- it happens before C&C. Thus, there are no mech units, but that doesn't mean that there are going to be non-cool units in the game! We've got tons of neat, fantastic units and structures!
WSAdam : done!
kane : how will you earn your credits?
<Westwood> Okay. Next is Hoagie
Hoagie : What major difference in-game graphics has RA compared to C&C and do u like donuts??
WSAdam : We've got new terrain sets, all new structures and units. he interface is the same, with improvements to take new abilities in RA into account. The Arctic terrain set is really cool!
WSAdam : Done!
Hoagie : donuts?
WSAdam : Donuts -- Only if they are Jelly Raspberry, and not that often.!
WSBrett : All Channels are full. This is true. Seems we have broken a Record here tonight!
<Westwood> Thanks Adam. Next is Magnum.
Magnum : Will there be a built in scenario editor like in Warcraft 2, and in it will you be able to change unit attributes?
WSAdam : Here's a question that I want to ask -- how many of you want a terrain editor? Use an "!" to vote

Note: Just about everyone in the conference (50+ people) voted for this
feature. there were two pages of "!" messages! -WSAdam

AJ: All of us
Kraig: We have to use hack programs
Todd: How's that for an answer??
Bargle: Hack program suck1
Night: C&C rox
Andrew: No hack programs
VENOM: all of us want it !
Paladin: we all want it
Andrew: No fog-of-war also
AlexKidd: I didn't put a ! 8-)
Phantom2: come on give it to us!
Andrew: No fog-of-war also
Bargle: have all the hack programs built in like War 2...
WSAdam: Cool! We are currently considering releasing a Terrain editor with RA, so you can make your own Multiplay Maps.

Paladin: Yesssss!
Dregoth: that awesome
Andrew: TErrain
Andrew: Terrain!
Magnum: excellent!
Phantom2: YES!
Andrew: Terrain!
Magnum: thanks!
AJ: Do it please
Effe: we're good huh?!!
lothar: COOL
PaulB: what about single player?
Jamie: cool !

WSAdam: Done! Thank you all for your votes!
Bargle: Bravo...
Andrew: Hale to terrain
BGates: will that work with C&C and C&C two
FalcoN: Yes!!!
Phantom2: How about one for C&C
Kraig: WSAdam: If you guys don't, we will have to use those darn hack programs again
Commando: please!!!
Todd: Yes, a terrain editor, would rather not see an attribute editor.
<Westwood> Okay. Great. Thanks for the votes. Next is Venom.
VENOM: what's the story behind RA and in what time and technology level will it be on ?
<Westwood> Good question!
AlexKidd: they haven't a clue themselves. 8-)
WSAdam: Okay -- Here's the scoop: World War II never happened the way that we think of it. Hitler never came to power, and there was no WWII... for a while. We're spinning European history in a new direction, with Joseph Stalin and the USSR coming to power as the big heavy in the game. The player can play the Allies or the USSR as they strive for conquest of Europe. The technology ranges from 1940's to 1980's, but that doesn't mean that you're going to be commanding Pintos! We've also spun the technology up a bit, so there's plenty of cool stuff for you to use.. like attack dogs!
WSAdam: Whew! Done!
Commbot: will I am able to use parallel ports for direct link games?
Bargle: Finally, a game that supports a FAST direct interface..... ;)
Effe: u need a Hitler-actor?? I have a mustache.
Night: kewl
<Westwood> Okay. (whew!).. Paladin is next.
Paladin: How much bigger and complex are the new maps going to be? ( In comparison to C&C1)
WSAdam: The maps in C&C were big, but RA is going to go to at least twice the size, and there's plenty of space for you to expand your base. C&C2 will be even larger! But that is in he future!
WSAdam: Done!
Twist: I must leave now, where can I get the transcript from ?
<Westwood> I'll make the transcript available via the Westwood chat page!
AlexKidd: BTW: Who's behind Westwood??
AlexKidd: (the nick)
MrPasword: Westwood, just the regular WWW page?
Skyman: They need to make a command and Conquer With missions all around the world and in space
Dregoth: yeah space would cool
AlexKidd: bargle: 8-)
Dregoth: parachute men would be awesome
RaGe: ?
<Westwood> Next is Dregoth
WSAdam: BTW Dregoth, Paratroopers ARE in the game... there are several things that can be dropped from planes now!
Dregoth: will there be multifunctional units?
MrPasword: Westwood: will the transcript be on the regular WWW page?
AlexKidd: KOOL! Crates filled with explosives. 8-P
BGates: cliff climbers!!
Effe: bungee jumpers!
<Westwood> Yes. I'll make the transcript available on the regular Westwood chat page..
WSAdam: This is one of the areas that we've always tried to keep to one side of the fence. Units always have one purpose, but the combinations are where the fun comes in. There are some units in RA that do have more than one feature. Thieves are a good example. They can steal vehicles, or steal money. They don't have multiple modes, but several abilities.
WSAdam: done!
AlexKidd: neato. like engineers for vehicles
Bubba: how do you steal a vehicle?
WSAdam: Exactly! Engineers for units! Really scary!
Kraig: Can you buy "Clubs" for your vehicles?
<Westwood> Okay. Thanks Dregoth. Next is Cupcake.
(Cupcake never showed..)
<Westwood> Okay. Dragoon is next.
Skyman: Hey Westwood What going to be the biggest advance in the new C&C
WSAdam: Going once, going twice... Dragoon?
WSAdam: We move on!
<Westwood> Okay. No Dragoon either. Next is AJ
AJ: Will we be able to build building away from each other, or will they have to touch?
Phantom2: good question
AlexKidd: I agree. good question. (the spider tactic, etc.)
WSAdam: Turrets and land-mines and some structures have already had a range increase, so you can place them away from others, and we're thinking about doing it for all the structures. We'll see! Walls are changed, so you can only build walls off of walls, so no more of that turrets into your opponent's base!
WSAdam: done!
Jamie: really good question
Effe: yeah... it's very irritating when u cant put a sam site in front of your base
Magnum: Landmines! yes!
Bubba: landmines? what game are you talking about?
Jamie: you should have to buy power lines
AlexKidd: adam: Great!
WSAdam: Side note -- we considered power lines, but they were problematic for the computer and made the game a lot more of a sim than we want it to be.
WSAdam : done again!
AlexKidd: jamie: Screw that.
<Westwood> Okay. Next is Commbot. You're up!
Commbot : will I am able to use parallel ports for direct link games?
AlexKidd : adam: I agree it's a game, not a sim
WSAdam : You can use Serial ports, but not Parallel ports. Maybe through Win 95? I'm not into the tech side of the multiplayer play -- sorry!
WSAdam : done!
<Westwood> Okay. Next is Andrew
Andrew: HI
WSAdam: HI!
WSAdam: What's the question, Andrew?
Andrew: What kind of weapons are there in C&C like since the tech is 1940 to 1980 then will their be no ion cannon and such like technology? And nothing much high tech?
WSAdam: Two Words: Philadelphia Experiment

Note: This is a reference to an event that occurred in the 1940s when the government was working with radar & trying to make ships invisible to it. Let's just say that it didn't work the way that they wanted it to. It's pretty neat to read all about it, and there was a film of the same name made about it. -WSAdam

Andrew: What does that mean
Bargle: Ohh, boy.... ;)
NightFL: rent the movie
Commbot: cool
Todd: Ye, Haw.
AlexKidd: me is not familiar with that one. 8-(
Supernaut: hehe Can't wait!!!
Cool_Man: what's that?
WSAdam: Also, there's plenty of high-tech stuff. We've got stuff that make C&C look like old-tech! We took a more fantastic approach to the game, so there's all kinds of new abilities that you'll have to play with. Time plays an important role in the game and the story... hint, hint.
MrPasword: ohh boy, gotta get this game
Andrew: I thought the tech was from 1940 to 1980 then how come we have tech that is better than C&C
Bargle: Sounds like in other words, the game progresses over a series of "Years" right WSAdam...?
AlexKidd: I will definitely rent that movie to check this out.
WSAdam: Remember this game is an ALTERNATE time line from the one we know, so other technologies have been developed.
WSAdam: done!
<Westwood> Great. NightFL is next up.
WSAdam: Going once... twice... NightFL, you have a question?
NightFL: when will it be out?
WSAdam: RA will be out April / May
WSAdam: Done!
Effe: what year?
<Westwood> Okay. Thanks NightFL. Next up is Prsnorcal
Temujin: hehehe
NightFL: :)
WSAdam: Effe: I was waiting for someone to say that... THIS YEAR, of course!
prsnorcal: I thought this game had a more global theme
WSAdam: Please elaborate -- global theme? We decided to leave the US out of this -- the game story centers around the rise of GDI and the emergence of NOD (towards the end, that is!). We picked Europe because of the proximity of countries that we could use as allies and enemies.
WSAdam: done!
prsnorcal: instead of moving small units, I thought it would be more in the line of division/air arms etc

Note: We're keeping the same scale as C&C - we like small unit tactics
- more up close and personal!

<Westwood> Okay. Next is Kalak.
Kalak: How do the units weapons and abilities upgrades work? Can you give me an example of how it works? I heard you can upgrade unit abilities
Dregoth: all right kalk!!!!!
WSAdam: There are upgrades available in the game for multiplay (in crates) and some in solo. These will let you upgrade speed, armor, etc. We're also changing the tech tree a bit, so the upgrades to the units will make a bit more sense for all you out there.
WSAdam: done!
<Westwood> Kane is next.
kane: how will you earn your money to make units? Tiberium?
WSAdam: Ahh- this is something we changed. Since Tiberium isn't around yet, the player has ore to mine (on the board, not in mines) to get money -- there are three types of ore, so which one you go after will determine how much money you get per load. Sure, you can go after the copper, but that Iron deposit is worth more, but closer to the opponent - - it adds a strategic advantage to what you collect.
WSAdam: done!
<Westwood> Thanks. Next is SUperNaught
WSAdam: Supernaught? You there?
Supernaut: umm ok. first..
<Westwood> Only one question SN..... ;)
Supernaut: umm how many player is it capable in network?..
Supernaut: shoot.. ok.. well that's it then :)..
WSAdam: Since we covered this before, you can ask another question, but it is now 6 players in IPX and net. And the other one?
Supernaut: is there going to be crates?.. (if so, what's in `em?.)
WSAdam: Yes! There are all kinds of cool things in crates (we love 'em -- we've even got water ones!) Some of the powers include power ups (ability increases), special abilities, money, units, and other cool things that will enable you to make a comeback if you're down.
WSAdam: done!
<Westwood> RaGE is next. Thanks for waiting Rage
WSAdam: Rage? Okay!
WSAdam: next!
<Westwood> Okay. We'll move on to the next person. MyPasswrd
<Westwood> is next.
MrPasword: Will you be able to actually drive some vehicles(first person) and will the Win95 version require special stuff like VRAM or Pentium and will u control the entire army or just small brigades like C&C.
MrPasword: Will it be closer to panzer general?
<Westwood> Sorry. MRPassword...
WSAdam: Although there's been a big argument on the newsgroups about this, the C&C line is not going to be first person. There are some missions that you'll be in a smaller scale (like in a big underground base, for example) but no 1st person mode. As for special requirements in Win95, hopefully the next chat we have, we can get a programmer in here to help with these more technical questions.
WSAdam: done!
<Westwood> Okay. Next is "name".
Name: My C&C box came with a plastic bag. Will RA come with one? What's it for?
Effe: hahaha
AA: How many sides will there be?
action: AlexKidd slaps his forehead.
WSAdam: Oh! That was to keep the tiberium spores in... you didn't let them out, DID YOU? Uh oh. :)
Jamie: they should have these meetings more often
<Westwood> Okay. FalcoN is next.
WSAdam: Falcon? Are you there?
FalcoN: hey... what type of money will you collect and what will you use to collect it?
WSAdam: there are three ores, Copper, Nickel, and Iron. Each is worth a different amount of $$ per scoop for your ore collector. We've kept the metaphor of harvesting, but now you've got a dump-truck like unit with a scooper, and an Ore Processor.
WSAdam: done!
<Westwood> Future questioners are... K2, Lothar, Coolman, Phystik
<Westwood> Thanks Falcon. Jamie is next.
Jamie: How much will it cost in Canadian dollars (tax incl.) and will there be a "campaign" mode ???
Bargle: Is WSBrett a part of your motley crew? ;)
WSAdam: Campaign mode is an idea that we've been tossing around -- it looks as if it may become a reality. However, we do now have "Skirmish" mode, where you can play just the computer on a multiplayer map, and the computer no longer just sits there -- it is REALLY good at making bases and attacking you!
Magnum: Excellent!
WSAdam: It steals your structures and sells them, builds turrets from them in your base, the works!
NightFL: man get autta here!
WSAdam: Done!
WSAdam: Oh! That's 1 to 5 computer opponents - you choose.
<Westwood> Okay, next is Lothar.
AlexKidd: adam: All I have to say is, he better not be playing with funny money (full every harvesterful)
Jamie: what is the price
<Westwood> Lothar. Do you have a question?
lothar: ok
GIJones: just idiots. and talk about intelligent computers in multiplayer...sounds evil.
WSAdam: Lothar? Question?
lothar: do you know the big cool thing at the end of C&C -- the big guy in the suit. What is it and well will we get it and on kali C&C is very slow will that be fixed
WSAdam: Ahh -- the power suit. That unit is now a joke compared to the stuff that's going to be in C&C2 -- but that's another chat!
Bubba: screw that, what about that HOT reporter chic at the end? more of her!!
NightFL: yea!!!
WSAdam: Bubba -- ROTFL!
WSAdam: done!
Rambo: what will RA's story line be about?
<Westwood> Ha funny..
Bubba: hey WS, why not make an "adventures of the reporter chic" CD? ;)
WSAdam: RA is an alternate time line that takes place in the 70's. WWII in Europe happened in another way, where Stalin and the USSR became the big heavy that threatened Europe.
WSAdam: done!
AlexKidd: more chick! more chick! more chick!
<Westwood> Next, we have AdamD.
<Westwood> Don't worry guys. You're on the list.
lothar: you furgot cool man
lothar: he was after me
<Westwood> No. Didn't forget him. AdamD is next.
Cool_Man: ok...

Note: Apparently, we picked up someone that tried to usurp Virtual Ted's role as moderator of this chat (that's a no-no), so I answered the questions that he (Westwoad) told people they could ask anyway, so if it gets a bit confusing, apologies all around. -WSAdam

BTW, Ted crushed them, so no worries. ;)

Westwood: Good one. Next is Mo2.
Mo2: Ok.. you already said about computers in multiplayer
Mo2: that I wanted to know.. but will you be able to play coop
Mo2: in game stages, maybe after you beat it?
WSAdam: The computer players in RA will watch what the players do -- if you start to ally against them, they will ally with themselves! They may even offer to ally with you! As for cooperative Multi scenarios... you never know....
WSAdam: done!
<Westwood> No AdamD. Hang on just a sec.
<Westwood> Next is AdamD.
AdamD: Hi, Is there going to be a 1 player option...?
AdamD: So I don't have to complete missions....
WSAdam: Yes -- this is our "Skirmish" mode, where you can set 1 to 5 computer opponents and battle just against them. You all start with what ever you set, and they all start building and trying to win. Tech level is completely controllable, so if you want to see every unit immediately, you could do that.
WSAdam: done!
<Westwood> Okay. Next is Cool_Mna.
Folcon: Did you get the sea and air idea from War Craft 2?
<Westwood> Oops. Cool_man.
WSAdam: Falcon -- No. We'd been planning this before WC2 came out.
Cool_Man: Ok, how's the kali inet play and what are some of the new structures
Cool_Man: oops structures
Folcon: Will there be oil fields in RA?
WSAdam: Structures.. let's see... Chronosphere, Dog kennels, Airfields, naval yards, sub pens... jeez
Folcon: Submarines?
WSAdam: There are some that we don't have names for yet -- yes, submarines -- and I don't want to give away their features just yet.
Cool_Man: and how's the Internet play
WSAdam: Internet play will be as fast as we can get it. We've played it over the net so far, but it's not at the point we can do Internet without other new features slowing it down... like radar jamming and other cool things.
WSAdam: done!
AlexKidd: are the structures and units the same scale as C&C (Not real, but fun scaled?)
action: BabyBear drools!
<Westwood> Okay. Bargle is next.
Bargle: Uh, sorry...
WSAdam: just in time!
WSAdam: I can only type so fast!
Bargle: Hey WSAdam, do you have the FOG-OF-War sort of feature that War2 Has?
<Westwood> Okay Alex. We still have you on the list.
WSAdam: Nope. Personally, FOW works for Warcraft because of the fantasy setting. We've got something else that we like more than FOW
Folcon: You mean you're not going to copy Fog-Of-War?
AlexKidd: FOW sucks
WSAdam: that will be in RA. It has to do with the shroud, but it will be toggle-able, so if you don't like it you can turn it off.
WSAdam: Falcon -- we don't copy. We innovate.
WSAdam: done!
<Westwood> Okay. Falcon is next. Folcon: Oh...o.k.
Folcon: No questions
Folcon: Pass to Jamie.
WSAdam: Okay -- Jamie?
Jamie: how much will RA be in Canadian
Jamie: dollars ???
WSAdam: Don't know, but will probably be around the same price as C&C was.
WSAdam: That was kinda short, so you got anything else you want to ask?
Jamie: ok now I just have to figure out how much C&C was
WSAdam: okay! Done!
<Westwood> Okay. Next is AlexKidd
WSAdam: AkexKidd -- your question?
AlexKidd: ok: 1) Has Westwood decided to work with TEN or some other Internet gaming architecture?
AlexKidd: 2) Will C&C be updated to include to include this online support as well?
WSAdam: We're chatting with TEN, and we're good friends with them, and yes we're trying to set a deal with them -- keep your fingers crossed!
WSAdam: done!
WSAdam: OOPS! Yes, if it is on TEN, it will of course be updated to support it!
<Westwood> Next is Rambo
AlexKidd: adam: Great!!!!!!!!!
Rambo: What will be the sides and How many will their be?
WSAdam: There are two sides to C&C: Red Alert -- you can play as the Allies, or the Soviets. In multiplay, you pick a country, and there's a whole bunch to choose from. Mainly it's for color, but there may be more to it than that.... The soviets are slow and armored, while the Allies are fast and more cunning.
WSAdam: done!
<Westwood> Next is BabyBear.
Folcon: WSAdam: What part do you play in the design of RA?
DJester: I have to go but if WSAdam could answer a question later in the discussion so I can catch it in the transcript I would appreciate it.
WSAdam: post it and I'll get to it for the transcript
WSAdam: Babybear?
WSAdam: Question?
AlexKidd: adam: I think he's typing it. 8-)
DJester: Thanks, the question is: In C&C when you group units and move them the different types move at different speeds, will there be any way to synchronize their arrival?
WSAdam: DJ -- quickly, there are now groups (as you know them) and FORMATIONS, which all move at the same speed and in whatever place you put them in
BabyBear: well, most questions have been asked.. So will go with When is gonna be released(approx.) and will
BabyBear: it be Multi-cd's again? like 3-4? :')
Folcon: many CDs?
AlexKidd: Formations! Forgot to ask that myself.
WSAdam: Bear: There are two CDs for the game, USSR, and Allies. Unlike C&C, you put the one in that you want to install (but it won't take up any extra to install them both) and the game opens and plays differently depending on the one that you pick.
WSAdam: done!
BabyBear: giving an approx. release date? Still just "April"?
DJester: Great, thanks WSAdam I know a lot of people who'll be glad to hear it!
WSAdam: Countdown begins in April -- the Web page will count down the days till release.
<Westwood> Okay. Next is Loony
Loony: bumped players cannot rejoin monop! will that be fixed? also sincro problems! bug fixes needed!
WSAdam: This is a chat for C&C: Red Alert. Write mail to for info on Monopoly
WSAdam: done!
AlexKidd: how many weeks before we get Covert Ops for C&C?
WSAdam: Covert Ops will be out late this month -- and the missions are hard!
<Westwood> All right. Next is ........Raver!
Raver: Somebody talked about a Cut Scene Viewer Coming With RA Is This True. Because The Anims Where Really COOL(What where they made with 3DS, LightWave?).

Note: The Cut-scenes were made using both technologies mentioned.

WSAdam: Yep, this looks likely. You'll be able to see all of the cool scenes.
WSAdam: done!
Raver: And PLEASE! Don't Make a Structure As powerful as OBELISK OF LIGHT, again.
WSAdam: Oh? We've got Tesla Coils now... but there's a balance to them :)
AlexKidd: ROCK!!!
WSAdam: The lightning effect is just TOO COOL!
<Westwood> Mo2 is next.
Mo2: Already had my question answered really.. just wanted to know more about native Internet support
<Westwood>'re up.
Temujin: what kind of air and naval units will there be?
AlexKidd: mo2: If you haven't already, visit Read their info. Adam just told me they're highly considering it!
WSAdam: We've been talking with the guy that wrote KALI, so it looks as if it will be as good as possible,
WSAdam: done!
Mo2: ok thanks..
WSAdam: Air units: MIGs, Yaks, Bombers, Apaches, Orcas, and some others
BGates: orcas?
Temujin: awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WSAdam: Naval Units: Subs, Cruisers, Destroyers, PT Boats, Submarines, and transports
Temujin: awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WSAdam: The Cruisers are EVIL! you can hit targets two screens away!
WSAdam: done!
AlexKidd: MIGS!!!!
<Westwood> Okay. One more. Jos is next and the last for tonight!
action: AlexKidd has slobber hanging all the way to the floor!!!
Jos: 1)Will the french version have patches ?? Because C&C don't have any :(
Jos: 2)In which programming language were coded C&C and RA ?
WSAdam: BTW, there is a patch for C&C coming in a few weeks for the French version


Note: Our chat program ended the transcript here. There wasn't much
more said, except that Rambo (I believe he was who asked it) wanted
me to name 5 infantry types:

So, here's 5 : Saboteur (No, it's not the commando), Thief, Spy, Medic,
and Attack Dog (not really an infantry, but it's in that class of units)

After that the chat broke up. Thank you all for attending, and we'll see
you all at the next one! -WSAdam

Don't forget to check the Westwood web page (
for future chats and information on Red Alert!

NOTE:This is the file "chatconf.txt", that we found on the Westwood Chat page (the off.). We have made it into a HTML document. Please credit us if you are going to use it!

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