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Red Alert 3 Community Summit Report

By Ang3lic - 26th June 2008 - 12:00 PM

Being able to go to the Red Alert 3 Community Summit was probably one of the coolest things I have ever been able to do that is affiliated with gaming! Just the idea of being able to meet the people who make the games I've played for many years was very exciting for me. Wednesday morning I had to get up around 5:00 am so I could get to beat the commuter traffic into New York City and arrive at the airport on time. My flight to LAX was scheduled for 9:40am. After a grueling six hour flight I arrived at LAX and I got a cab to the Ritz Carlton, where everyone from the community summit would be staying for the duration.

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Your first sight as you step into the lobby of EALA

When I arrived at the hotel I was promptly ushered to the front desk where I was informed that I would be rooming with Sonic from CnCnZ.com after I completed the check in process. After failing to actually get a functioning room key and having to travel to the front desk multiple times in attempt to get a working key, I found out that Sonic was already in the room; he had arrived about an hour before I did. After talking and watching some of the most awful television programming that I've ever experienced, we then went downstairs to meet Aaron and everyone else who would be attending the summit. Of course Aaron was the latest to arrive as he usually is, at least that is what the more experienced summit goers Tim from PlanetCnC and JohnWE conveyed to us, and we quickly discovered this as the summit continued on.

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Picture of about half the group at dinner

Once everyone arrived in the lobby Aaron began to send us to the restaurant where we would all be dining. Once we all got there we were seated in a private room and we all talked about the various sites we were representing and how excited we were about being there. Once we went through everyone's introductions we ordered our meals, they were pretty good, and at least nobody was obviously displeased with what they ordered. Once we finished the meal Aaron talked to all of us about what was to expect from the rest of the event. Shortly after, we returned to the hotel and crashed. Everyone had a long flight, some even over thirteen hours.

The next morning we all met in the lobby and to our surprise Aaron almost was under ten minutes late. We then all paired off into groups of four and got a cab to the Electronic Arts studio which was about a five minute drive. After getting through security at the front gate we all met once again in the lobby where Aaron told us the plan for the day and took us to the presentation room where we would watch the various presentations they had planned for us.

The first presentation was a basic presentation where they discussed the various features of the game, like the Co-operative Single Player campaign. They also talked about some of the single player story line, they disclosed that there was a time travel element involved with the single player but that was all we were told. During the first presentation we were also informed that most of the maps had significant water expansions to take advantage of.

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Chris Corry giving us a presentation on the direction of EA and Red Alert 3

The second presentation was focused heavily on the art and unit design. The Lead Art Designer for the game discussed the process that they had to go through for each unit and how the designs worked. They specifically mentioned that the Apocalypse tank had been re-designed from its original design. He also spoke about how much time each unit took to design. In many cases units went through several iterations of design before they actually made it into the game, whereas many units were completed on the first round of design suggestions.

The third presentation that we saw was one on how sound affects the game play of a particular game. They did a comparison of previous EALA RTS games to other games on the market since these sound features would not be as apparent in Red Alert 3. The best comparison they made was the difference between AoE3 and their sounds and the Battle for Middle Earth 2 sounds. There was a significant difference. The depth of the sound in BFME II made it much more enjoyable than the sounds in AoE3 and this is one of the many factors that contributed to the success of many of their previous games. The dynamic sounds in the EALA RTS games made a significant change to the way one views their games. We even had a chance to record a few different unit noises, including the bear! The best one would be included in the game; however they did not reveal who won this competition.