R.T. “Bob” Smith is someone who previously worked with Total War, but left due to other reasons. He worked on Rome Total War and Medieval 2, as AI Programmer, Designer and Project Director, then later split off and developed Oriental Empires
Here's what he says about 3K
Looks like CA are doing a fantastic job with Three Kingdoms, and I'm looking forward to playing it. But Three Kingdoms is only a hundred years in a history that spans thousands.
I'd suggest playing Oriental Empires while you wait for TW Three Kingdoms to come out. It'll give you an overview Chinese history and civilization and give you the context of why everyone is rebelling in Three Kingdoms.