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Here is my overview of the C&C3 Community Summit that tookplace in Los Angeles from December 10th - 13th. I can't go into any specificgame details or details of a lot of things we saw in presentations but I cangive an overview of the events that took place. When the full report is onlinewith full game details in a couple of weeks I'll post a full report of the eventas a whole including what we saw in the presentations and in what order theyhappened.

DAY 1. Sunday
I arrived pretty much last at around 7pm on the same flight as DonCarlo. Afterchecking in and rushing back downstairs I talked to HeXetic, Scott from GameReplays and Jeff from CnCVision for a bit before Aaron arrived. We all took alarge convoy of taxis to the Baja Cantina - a local Mexican restaurant. It was areally nice place.

We talked amongst ourselves for a bit - I talked to TheHypnotist from CNCNZ and Assassin from CNC Source a lot as well as the othersmentioned earlier.

After getting back to the hotel we all went back to our roomsready for the long day ahead of us.

DAY 2. Monday
We all took taxis to the EALA Studios and made our way up into the canteen areafor Breakfast Burritos and leninade (for all our Communist thirst!). We dividedourselves into GDI and NOD teams with our own shirts and everything. Myself,Jeff, Matt, Scott from Game Replays and a few others were on GDI and TheHypnotist, Assassin and others were NOD. This would be a symbol of rivalryduring the summit.

During the day we had various presentations about the FMVs,Multiplayer gameplay (including Assassin and The Hypnotist being lucky enough tobe the first people to test the game) before a meeting to roundup what we sawand give our views. After lunch we were all able to play the game. We could onlyplay as GDI or NOD and not as the third faction but there would be time for thislater.

I can't go into detail about the gameplay, units or anythinglike that but what I can tell you is that I was surprised how well the gameplayed. Sure there were a few problems with everybody's games but they're stillmonths from release so haven't ironed everything out yet. C&C 3 really doesfeel like a C&C game and everybody thought so with the exception of oneperson I can't remember the name of.

I can't go into detail about the FMVs either but it's great tosee them back. They were the symbol of C&C RTS games all the way untilGenerals and they're making a triumphant return with an all-star cast. Billy DeeWilliams (Lando from Star Wars), Michael Ironside (Splinter Cell, StarshipTroopers and a long list of others) and of course Joe Kucan returning as Kaneall add their skills to what will help make the game an unforgetable and top ofthe scale game.

The most interesting event for me wasn't the gameplay itself,even though it was really great. It was a presentation made by Dragon, whocreated a lot of the props in the game including helmets, weapons etc. I don'twant to talk in detail about it - will save that for the full version but wewere able to take some photos of the props, photos with Dragon and he alsoshowed us some of his previous works which include props from Chronicles ofRiddick, The Mask, The Mummy, Star Trek and Xena. He's a really great guy!

After all the gameplay and presentations we took a coach to playlaser tag. It was supposed to be GDI vs NOD but they didn't have enough packsfor all of us to be on 2 teams to after a couple of games of making it up as wewent along we finally divided into 3 teams (Red, Green and Blue instead of GDI,NOD and Scrin). I say Scrin as it's hard to escape that word in the community atthe moment. We weren't told the name of the third faction at all during theevent because they didn't want to reveal any key storyline points before gamerelease and the name is one of them. We all know what they are - just look atthe post from that Spanish site and the screenshots already available around thecommunity of the 3rd faction.

Back to laser tag. After dividing ourselves into 3 teams weplayed probably 6 further games with 6 people from each team playing at once. Iwas in every one because I didn't trust the others HAHA. I was on the same teamas Scott from Game Replays and a guy from EA that played really well in additionto a load of others I genuinely can't remember. At the end we were 2nd place butby a VERY small amount. If we had shot red 2 more times, or if one of ourplayers had hidden better and not got shot down to a negative score we wouldhave won.

So back to the hotel to chat to The Hypnotist and a couple ofothers before going to sleep ready for another early start.

DAY 3. Tuesday
We had another early start today and had a lot more presentations which I can'tdiscuss in detail but one of them was talking about the Xbox 360 release of thegame which is a huge improvement from previous console releases of thefranchise.

During the 360 presentation we were lucky to have a visit byLouis Castle *bows down*. He's a really great guy - nice to talk to and has areally great memory. I talked to him a lot before the consolidation of Westwood/ EA and probably only once since then but when I introduced myself he said itwas great to finally meet me in person not just talk by e-mail. Thanks Lou -means a lot.

We also got some hands on time with the 3rd faction. Iplayed a couple of 3rd faction vs 3rd faction games with Assassin from CnCSourceand after a couple of PC changes we finally ended a game with a VERY impressive airbornebattle after a couple of things happened to my base that I can't talk about.. 

Like I've said before I can't tell you any details about thegame, the units or how the game plays but I had a great time playing it. It'snot just because it's a C&C game - it's a really good game overall. Likemany others I've talked to I was worried it was going to be another Generals andnot feel like a true C&C game but trust me when I say this - it IS a trueC&C game. The only way you will think differently is if you tell yourselfanything else constantly between now and release and then start playing the gamealready being convinced it will be bad. Please don't do this - it'll ruin whatwould otherwise be a great experience of a great game!

The summit ended with some community presentations of ModToaster,a variety of mods but also a really cool one by the person currently seated inthe throne of "Biggest C&C Fan" - John. I've never laughed so muchafter a severe lack of sleep in my life! The entire room were in fits oflaughter during scenes such as the lifetime supply of Renegade Mouse mats, themock 3rd faction video and the Nuclear Night Ninjas!

So a few people had to go their separate ways. The Assassin leftduring the last presentation as did a number of others and Jeff had to leave inthe middle of Tuesday morning to get home in time for finals at college. Goodluck with those dude. The remaining people stayed until Wednesday before goinghome.

DAY 4. Wednesday
I woke up at 6.30 as I was sharing a room with Banshee and he had to leave thehotel early to get his flight. I didn't mind as it gave me a chance to sort afew things, pack and go to venice beach for a bit of shopping.

After getting back to the hotel and checking out I sat withScott from Game Replays, John, Assassin and a few other people. I was on thesame flight home as DonCarlo so waited around for a bit then headed to theairport. Our flight was delayed so we wandered up to the International Terminalto get some food and bug the others up there.

So eventually our flight leaves and we arrive home about 2 hours30 late.

I would like to thank

  • The Hypnotist from CNCNZ, Assassin from CnC Source and Scott from Game Replays. I talked to them the most during the event and they helped make it an event to remember.

  • DonCarlo for keeping me entertained during our long wait for a flight home

  • Aaron Kaufman for organising the event and inviting me to it

  • Dragon for being a cool guy

  • The Scrin (yes I know that's not the official name of the 3rd faction yet but I can still say it can't I??)

  • The staff at the Ritz Carlton for being very helpful and doing everything they could to help.

  • Louis Castle

  • Jim Vasella, Richard Taylor, Greg Black, Amer Ajami, Mike Verdu and all the other developers that took the time to come and see us during our visit.

  • The Nuclear Night Ninjas for making us laugh a LOT.

Thank you for reading. Expect to see my full report of the eventand my full game preview / report online a couple of weeks into 2007.

Don't forget to check out the CNCNZ Podcast of the event andreports by Banshee,Assassin and Crimson.




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