Louis Castle är en av Westwood Studios grundare och idag ett stort namn inom spelindustrin. Han började sin bana inom branchen som grafiker, då han ansåg att datorgrafik var ett relativt outforskat område där man faktiskt kunde komma med nyheter. 1985 startade Louis och Brett Sperry företaget Westwood Associates i Louis garage.
FZ: First, who are you? What do you do at Westwood and what's your involvement with Renegade?
Louis: My name is Louis Castle, and I am the co-founder and general manager of Westwood Studios. As the general manager, I oversee the production of all Westwood games, including Command & Conquer Renegade.
FZ: I guess it's a pretty common question. Is C&C: Renegade an RTS or an FPS? Or what is it?
Louis: Overall, it's a Command & Conquer game in a first-person, action setting. From the beginning, we set out to make a true C&C game and let the players see this dynamic universe from ground level. Since it is a C&C game, we've incorporated a lot of strategy elements, but still made it a unique and rewarding experience for true action gamers.
FZ: What made you start developing C&C: Renegade? It's quite a long step from your previous focus on strategy games.
Louis: Even when we were developing the original Command & Conquer game in 1995, we always wondered what it would be like to see this incredible universe from ground level. So, as soon as C&C was on shelves, we began planning Renegade. Our desire to create this game didn't stem from simply trying to do a new genre, rather to expand the franchise and let people see it from a totally different viewpoint.
FZ: Did the finished game turn out as you initially thought or hoped? Or does it differ from your early ideas?
Louis: Actually, in the beginning, Renegade focused on the main character, Havoc, and really telling his story. But as the game evolved, we decided to shift the emphasis to the C&C universe. I think we made the right choice for the game and I'm really happy with the results.
FZ: What element in the development phase was the largest obstacle to get over? (i.e. what created most problems?)
Louis: I can't say that we had any large problems to overcome, but we did run into the standard hurdles for any development cycle. I'd say the one element we really spent a lot of time on, balancing and perfecting, was the multiplay mode. C&C Mode is the shining star of this game, and we devoted a lot of time to making it an incredibly fun multiplayer experience.
FZ: What features in Renegade are you especially proud of?
Louis: The quantity and variety of the vehicles really drives home the C&C aspect of the product.
FZ: Did you choose to develop your own engine or did you license an existing one? And why?
Louis: The Renegade engine was developed in-house. We evaluated several existing engines in the early stages of development, but none of them offered us what we wanted: the ability to have multiple vehicles on a map at once, to have huge maps, and to have no load times, even going in and out of buildings.
FZ: We have seen a couple of vehicles and several land based characters in the demo. Do we find additional units in the finished game?
Louis: We have more than 20 vehicles in the game, and the character will be able to control all 11 ground-based vehicles.
FZ: Will there be any more RTS-specific elements in the final version compared to the demo?
Louis: We have only released a multiplay demo, so no one has seen the single-player side yet, and that has many RTS elements in it. For example, the player may be called upon to cripple Nod's operations in a specific region, which can be accomplished by destroying specific buildings. Any RTS player will pick up on those little touches right
off the bat.
FZ: What have you done, and what will you do, to create a community behind the game? (I.e. support for clans, leagues, etc)
Louis: We have two full-time employees that have been working for months to grow the community, and they have succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. We have thousands of people visiting the Renegade website each day, reading our news, posting on our forums, etc. We will also be conducting monthly tournaments on the website and supporting clans and a worldwide ranking system.
FZ: Will there be tools available for the creation of modifications, new maps, etc?
Louis: Yes, we've partnered with Discreet to include their gmax modification tools for Renegade. This is a full mod suite that will allow users to completely customize Renegade -- the levels, characters, vehicles, weapons, etc.
FZ: Will we see any other Westwood games become first person shooters (or other types of games?)
Louis: Only time will tell...