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Red Alert development dates

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AZ-Stalker was kind enough to send me the December 1996 issue of the old Croatian magazine "Hacker" with a review of the first Red Alert. What makes it so intriguing are the dates related to several development phases of the game, unavailable elsewhere nowadays. Everyone who loves keeping all possible data on C&C games can feast his eyes on this B)

  • 12 December 1995 - Westwood Studios started creating a real-time strategy game set in the Second World War. The name is still unknown.
  • 29 January 1996 - The newly named Command & Conquer: Red Alert begins experimental development on Windows 95.
  • 11 February 1996 - Story drafts completed, great new units and buildings announced.
  • 1 March 1996 - Development for DOS and Windows 95 accelerates. 80% of the engine and 25% of the artwork (graphics, sounds, missions) are done.
  • 15 March 1996 - Multiplayer capacity increased from 4 to 6.
  • 17 May 1996 - Multiplayer capacity increased from 6 to 8.
  • 27 June 1996 - Westwood Studios focuses development on creating a multiplayer environment on the Internet.
  • 1 September 1996 - Testing of DOS and Windows 95 versions started. Tester count increased from 10 to 60.
  • 5 September 1996 - Westwood Studios announces the game to be released in 45 days.
  • 4 November 1996 - PC Gamer releases "secret" information and never before seen images from the game.
  • 9 November 1996 - First CDs created. Bug hunting becomes a priority.
  • 12 November 1996 - The game malfunctions on some systems.
  • 14 November 1996 - First master discs manufactured. Final testing phase started.
  • 17 November 1996 (7:00 AM PDT) - Master discs sent for copying, ending the development cycle of the game.
  • 31 November 1996 - Game released in North America.


Magazine photos (not scans, he announces to have them made soon) are here: http://imgur.com/a/V0SSp

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15 March 1996 - Multiplayer capacity increased from 4 to 6.

Wow. THAT one must've been a ton of work :P

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Wouldn't know. It was pure luck that AZ-Stalker had this issue of the magazine, so I really couldn't tell about TD.


As for Dune II, I can tell you with 100% certainty that there isn't a timeline posted in Hacker, as it was first released in 1994.

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MrFlibble recently gave me a document with some really interesting development background surrounding Dune II. No actual timeline, but the way they clashed with Cryo was certainly interesting. Whoever made it did a ton of interviews with the original devs, and looking at the stuff they mention, they did it fairly recently, too.


I uploaded it here:

http://nyerguds.arsaneus-design.com/manuals/Dune II/

Document is (obviously) the "Insider's Guide".

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The log file is a recording of the keyboard entries and mouse movements during the game, including

any clicks. Mouse movement is due to its nature difficult to quantize and record. Be advised the log

file will most likely be unable to completely record the movements of the mouse, and will with certainty

desynchronize from the scenario at some point. In the long run this causes the log replay to become

corrupt, merely playing back nonsensical mouse movements.



That explains..

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Heh, yeah. Their replays system is probably one of the oldest in the game industry (well, quite definitely the oldest on RTS :P), but it was never properly implemented it seems.

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I bet that they tweaked their network protocol beforehand. This is actually impressive if you think about modem speeds at that time. See 1500 Archers on a 28.8: Network Programming in Age of Empires and Beyond which can be applied to C&C, too.

I was being sarcastic. C&C1 supported 6 player LAN from the very first DOS release. They just chose to artificially limit it to 4 players. And the involved network protocols work perfectly fine for 6 players. In fact, I don't think they ever changed much between C&C1 and RA2.


In other words, that step is completely nonsensical; their engine could already do that.

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