history of CnC

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The semi-complete history of Command & Conquer
(by Oompah, read the original here)

C&C...what a game. Wouldn't you agree? Before I begin let's take a historical look at this great game, a walk down memory lane, if you will. It all began in Las Vegas in Brett Sperry's garage, he and a few friends were so intrigued with computer gaming that in all of their spare time they wrote code for games. Some were good, some not so good. Eventually they stumbled onto a design for one of their favorite novels "DUNE". They made an adventure game, in a matter of months, based on the movie, in the early part of 1990. To all of their surprise the game sold very well and made them a little bit of money. They agreed to work hard on a sequel, but they vowed more interaction in this title. Little did they know that they would design a game engine that would literally change the complextion of gaming. Real Time Strategy was born, although a few titles appeared before their sequel, "DUNE 2" that resembled RTS, none so cleverly captured all of the elements and nuances that were ingredients of DUNE 2. DUNE 2 was Command & Conquer's father, as Command & Conquer is Red Alert's father.

Command & Conquer was released (US) in November 1995 and immediately rose to the top of the best-seller charts. With a revamped interface and new hotkey features and a new and intriquing storyline, C&C became a hit. Oh yes, this title came with multiplayer capability. It was equipped with a IPX LAN multigame feature which quickly adapted into Internet Head to Head warfare. Soon battles over Green Acres and Marooned began to arise on such places as KALI & Mplayer. Kali took it's gaming one step further by coordinating a Ladder system run by Jeremy Rusnak out of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The ladder, "Case's Ladder", came after a failed KERPHOPS LADDER and brought with it not only a Head to Head ladder but also a Team Ladder. Kali also gave way to two legendary player, ICYBLOOD & SCHOOLBOY, maybe not legendary for their game skills, but more notably they were the creators of CCpack. Now the KALI players had 72 maps to pick from, which had much more tiberium and room to roam. Quickly Southern Utah 2067 took hold as the 'Standard' Cases Ladder map.

Meantime Mplayer was booming with players and the C&C rage was growing, yet divided. You had World class players playing on Mplayer and World class players playing on KALI. The debate still continues to this day, which players were better? On one hand Mplayer had 'faster' games, which left little room for error in decision making. KALI had 'slower' games with bigger maps, which meant a longer more thought-out game. Strategies on both sides began to form. The first real dominating strategy was the GDI tank rush, then the NOD bike/buggy rush, followed by the NOD helli rush then the engineer blitz (APC or CHINOCK) then defense and expansion, in no particular order these strategies still (for the most part) dominate play today. But the C&C world still remains divided. Mplayer or KALI which players had the better game? It was hard to switch between the two because speed was such an integral part of Mplayer games and the maps were essential to KALI guys. Something had to give.

Well, the makers of C&C, Westwood Studios, finally set a standard platform. WCHAT was born and slowly all of the legends of the game migrated over. From Mplayer you had the likes of XxRockxX, MastaBlue, FDR, and many others. KALI saw such players as Madcow, Pieman, Oompah, Murder1 and many more following suit. And the showdown began. The Mplayer gang had a definite advantage being that the WCHAT game closely resembled Mplayers in speed and maps. The KALI guys had to quickly adapt to the faster pace and rigidity of the maps. The balance of power still remains a question to this day. From the rogue WCHAT landscape emerged a new breed of player, Rquiem, CmdrCD, PecPecKiller, ADI and the like. All of these players brought a unique playing style to the table. Pieman showed early that he was a force to be reckoned with, with his relentless pursuit, explosive offense and tenacious defense. Rquiem, by virtue of a tournament championship under his belt, proved he had fire power to match, with his speed and savvy. CmdrCD took the mixed unit strategy (pioneered by Ormond on KALI) and achieved overwhelming success with it for awhile. XxRockxX and Mastablue methodically kill you with their expansion and spider basing. All in all it's been quite remarkable how competitve the league has become. Rquiem, Oompah, CmdrCD, Murder1 Mastablue and ADI all own titles under the new tournament system (It's also been rumored Pieman has a title under an alias as well), but the war rages on...Who will eventually step up and grab the gauntlet that Westwood has thrown down? Who will rise above all the rest and lay claim to the greatest player of all time? There really is only one way to decide it, for all intents and purposes it's still up in the air, and til it's settled, I'll see you their on WCHAT...........

Update [14 February 2000]:

I got an email by Oompah saying:

"PS (there is an error in my history, the original DUNE was not created by Brett Sperry and Westwood Studios, their first game in the series was the PC version on DUNE2 which ran on a 286 processor, the game was later ported to the SEGA entitled just DUNE)

another little known tidbit was that BLIZZARD copied DUNE2's PC code in their first game WARCRAFT which came after DUNE2 and was arguably a better product and outsold DUNE2, hence Westwood is generally considered the founder of RTS gaming even though BULLFROG's populous was the original game to incorporate "real time" control over a city, but lacked resource management and hand to hand combat."

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