Petroglyph Games is apparently working hard to keep the upcoming Command & Conquer remasters as faithful as possible. And in the process of looking for the best source material possible, the team has uncovered some truly surprising material that will be going into the remastered versions of the game.
In a new development update from Lead Producer Jim Vessella, he goes into lengthy detail on the quest to find the best-possible recordings of the original games' FMVs. For the original Command & Conquer and Red Alert, the videos are extremely low-resolution compared to modern standards.
The entire story is worth a watch, but Vessella eventually finds a filing cabinet in EA's Los Angeles offices filled to the brim with tapes from the Westwood days. (I also spy some Red Alert 2 labels sitting on top of the cabinet.) These tapes were an archive of all the footage, but sadly, Vessella and his team found they were back-ups of what was already out there.
In lieu of higher fidelity original footage to work with, the team has turned to upscaling the original FMV videos that would play between campaign missions using artificial intelligence. While it still looks dated, it is noticeably sharper and less pixelated. Vessella says they had three goals in mind with these videos: upscale the resolution, increase the frame rate, and clean up the audio where possible.
But while the filing cabinet was a bust for the originals, what Vessella did find was a different kind of treasure trove—hours of unseen footage, including B-roll, green-screen tests and other goodies. All of those will be included in the Command & Conquer remasters as part of the "Bonus Gallery," which you can gradually unlock while playing through each game's campaign.
Vessella also confirms that all the console-exclusive videos, including the Red Alert FMVs with General Carville. In one screenshot, you can even spy a tease for the original demo of Hell March. While the team has had to resort to strange means of rebuilding these games already, it's cool to see so much content from the making of these games find their way out into the public.
There's still no release date for these two remasters, but work on the classic RTS games seems to be chugging along at a steady pace. Hopefully we'll hear some solid information soon.
In the meantime, be sure to check out our feature on stories from the development of the original Command and Conquer.