With Tiberian Sun, we built the game we originally set out to build over three years ago. Almost all of the new engine features we designed were implemented in the final product, and many more were added along the way. We built a game that is as easy to play as its predecessor while offering up lots of new units featuring interesting tactics. All of this was done while keeping the system requirements low enough to run on most systems: a 166MHz Pentium with 32MB RAM and a 2MB video card.
We learned, or relearned actually, a few more things about making RTS games that weren’t listed above. They are:
Concept sketch of a GDI Orca bomber.
In the sense that Tiberian Sun was a game with lots of expectations for a sequel, it was a lot like Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. No matter how the final product turned out, there would be people that complained that it was too much like the original and others who thought it wasn’t enough like the original. As a company, we set out to deliver what we intended — a fun new RTS game that offers players a slew of new tactics.
Orca fighters escort a transport.
After three years of working on Tiberian Sun, it was a great feeling to finally finish the game and see it on the shelves. No matter how many products you ship, that feeling never goes away. Tiberian Sun broke Electronic Arts’ sales record for the fastest-selling computer game in the 17-year history of the company with more than 1.5 million units sold so far. But best of all, the team is proud of the product they created and can’t wait to get started on the next one.
Release date: September 1999
Intended platform: Windows 95/98/NT 4.0
Project length: 36 months
Team size: 25 full-time, 15 part-time developers
Critical development hardware: Pentium Pro and Pentium II machines, 200 to 450MHz dual-processor with 128 to 256MB RAM, Creative Labs sound cards, Windows 95/98/NT, SGI 02 workstations, BlueICE accelerators
Critical development software: Microsoft Visual C++, Lightwave, 3D Studio Max, Discreet Flint, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Illustrator, Avid Media Composer, Filemaker Pro, Deluxe Paint
Rade Stojsavljevic was the producer for Tiberian Sun the expansion pack Firestorm. Before coming to Westwood, he worked on military simulations and adventure games at various small development houses. When he’s not out getting doughnuts to bribe the team with, you can usually reach him at [email protected].