Staring at a screen for 20+ years tends to make things blurry. My solution is to completely ignore the ravages of time on my eyes and to hope that things will work out anyway. And they did! EA have been working on a Command & Conquer remaster that sharpens the original sprites and deblurs the destruction, so I can more easily make out the Nod’s bikes for a few more years. The first teaser is here, so let’s shuffle our chairs a bit closer to the screen and take a look, eh?
Here you are.
I didn’t expect such restraint. The original source code to both Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert was recovered, which will help developers Petroglyph and Lemon Sky to remaster both games. The remaster will also include the expansions packs, so you’ll have the main titles and Covert Ops, Counterstrike, and Aftermath, all in one package. It must be fun for the former Westwood founders and developers currently working on the game at Petroglyph to go poking around in the old code.
According to proud papa producer Jim Vessella, the remastering process is extensive, but one that’s determined to keep the ancient charm intact:
“Lemon Sky has re-concepted, re-modeled, and re-animated every gameplay asset from scratch – examples of which you’ve seen with the Construction Yard and Tesla Tank. Once it reaches the final stage as seen in those previews, we render and export the assets in 2D so they lineup frame for frame with the original visuals. In some cases like the Grenadier, this can mean over 600 frames for a single unit. This creative process has allowed us to modernize the game assets as you originally imagined them, and stay true to the gameplay you’ve known and loved for 25 years.”
I had to take double spaces after the full stops out of that above quote, so you know you’re in the hands of a man who likes things old and proper. Though he’s not averse to a bit of whimsy. While playing the remaster you’ll be able to switch between the original assets and the new ones on the fly, hopping between 320×200 and 3840×2160 like Marty McFly. There’s a wee example of that here at the EA site.
We’ve got no release date for the remaster, but if you have the originals you can smell the manual.