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OpenRA Playtest 20191021
October 21, 2019 - 23:39
A new playtest is now available for OpenRA’s increasingly poorly named “Summer 2019” release. Thanks to everybody who tested the last playtest, this build should address all the issues and feedback that have been reported so far.

The key changes in playtest-20191021 from the previous playtest-20190825 include:

- Fixes for several issues with game loading/saving
- Fixes for several crashes and a desync issue
- Fixes for several glitches related to unit movement
- Fixes for several mission related issues in Red Alert and Tiberian Dawn
- Fixes for several compatibility issues with Linux and FreeBSD
- Refinements to the new spectator UI
- Further Red Alert balance adjustments

We hope this will be the last playtest build, and if no further issues are found we expect a new release version in a few weeks time. Head on over to our download page, try it out, and let us know if you find any issues or have any other feedback before it is too late! As always, the full changelog is available on GitHub if you would like to find out more.

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Season 8 of the Red Alert Global League is well underway. Resident RAGL wrangler netnazgul has been posting weekly wrap-up reports on the forum (Week 1, Week 2), covering the highlights and providing links to stream VODs for everybody who would like to keep up with the action.



RAGL Season 8 has been packed with explosive action.

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We have been relatively quiet about OpenRA’s Tiberian Sun mod lately, but this does not mean it has been abandoned. Development has been focused mainly on resolving low-level game engine issues, which has been slow due to the complexity of the work involved and relative lack of manpower.

Examples of this work can be seen in release-20180923 which included renderer changes that roughly doubled TS’s in-game performance, in release-20190314 which fixed a collection of game-breaking bugs with Nod’s cloak generator technology, and in the upcoming release which significantly improves deployable units and aircraft.

Deployable units were a big part of Tiberian Sun, with several combat units, support units, and even production facilities (in the Firestorm expansion) all having the ability to switch between mobile and stationary modes. OpenRA’s unit-deploy code was originally written for the classic Construction Yards, and was poorly suited for the more dynamic gameplay cases used in Tiberian Sun.

This code has been overhauled to add missing features and additional quality of life improvements. Deploy commands can now be queued between other orders (great for managing transports!), and deployed units can be ordered to undeploy and move to another location (including into a transport, or onto a service depot) as a single action. The risk of accidentally packing your Construction Yard with a misclick has been reduced by requiring the force-move hotkey to be held while issuing these orders.



Aircraft and deployable units work much better in the under-development Tiberian Sun mod.

The code defining aircraft and helicopter movement has also been rewritten, implementing many of the flight dynamics needed for Banshees, Orcas, and Carryalls. The Carryall’s transport behavior has also been refined, with unit pick-up behaving much like the original game, but unit unloading now requiring an explicit order like other transports. This makes it possible to queue multiple transport runs, or to land the Carryall without releasing its cargo. Carryalls can now also be ordered to pick up deployed units, which will undeploy for pickup once the Carryall arrives.

We are slowly working through our list of must-have features for a public release, but there are still many more to go. We still cannot predict a release date, but the Tiberian Sun mod is developed in the open on GitHub (like everything else in OpenRA) so everybody is welcome to follow the progress and participate in this work.

One Vision 0.92 Beta released!
October 12, 2019 - 23:24
One Vision Beta 0.92 has been released around 8 days ago. For those who are not aware of it, this Kane's Wrath mod aims to improve its gameplay experience by adding countless new faction unique upgrades and units, improving its graphics and much more.

According to the authors of this mod, this release should make units feel more "responsive" and fun to play with. Furthermore, many upgrades, abilities, support powers and useless units were changed to make them impact more the gameplay. Some of the highlights of this version are:

  • Balance changes and tweaks to nearly all units
       
  • A new economy system for a more fluid game experience
       
  • A more "responsive" feel on many units
       
  • Improved Commandos for RRF, Black Hand and Messenger-8
       
  • New audio and visual effects
       
  • Tweaks and balance changes to all T3 tanks
       
  • Revised mutations for Reaper-17
       
  • Vast improvements to heavy infantry (such as Zone infantry) or specialized infantry (Ravagers, Shadow Teams)





For further information about this mod and download, visit their ModDB profile and have fun!

Have you ever been curious about how does working in progress version of a classic work out? Even how does their internal map editor looks like? Then, there is good news that will satisfy your curiosity. I'll quote it straight from the source:

Quote:
Hi, C&C Community! CCHyper, Nyerguds, Tore, TaxOwlBear and Chad1233 decided to band together and obtain a real treasure in C&C history and share it with the whole C&C community!

We present to you...


A collector of classic games and rare items who goes by the nickname Siberian GRemlin obtained this very early build of Red Alert through a contact of his. The real source of this discovery is unknown; it is quite possible this was an early QA or Playtest build for an event like E3 from 1996. Here is a short message from him:

“Good day, comrades. This version was found on a bootleg CD copied from an unknown source in 1996. Maybe this version was used for some game shows and expos. How it leaked from Westwood Studios and come to Russian bootleggers is unknown. I just bought it from the previous owner, whom I will no longer meet.”

So, the five of us got together and decided this was something the community really needed to experience and explore, so we contacted him and came to a deal so we could share this treasure with all of you!

For the past couple of days we have all jumped right in and have been testing the game as much as we could, documenting any differences from the release version of Red Alert. We have also pulled the game files apart, to see if there were any hidden files or new files to be discovered, and we weren't disappointed!

Here a few of the interesting discoveries and changes we found;

   
  • A couple of previously unseen FMVs, including the infamous “shipyard” FMV that never made the final game, and another FMV showing the UN flag.

       
  • Unheard voices for some units. Allied: “It is done!”, Thief: “Like candy from a baby.”, “Let’s pick ‘em clean.”, “Time for a little five-finger discount!”.

       
  • “Soviets” and “Allies” are the only factions available in Skirmish.

       
  • Contains a primitive version of the Skirmish AI.

       
  • Game balance is very different to the final game, with some weapons being quite overpowered.


Also, a really interesting discovery we found. This version of the game contains the internal developer map editor! There are also quite a few debug keys, for example; one that grants you instant special weapons, instant win/lose of the current mission and one that gives you 10,000 credits! You can find full details on how to activate it in the document below.

We have uploaded some shots of the “Editor” to an imgur album, and with the help of Chad, there are also some screenshots of the differences in the multiplayer maps maps here: https://imgur.com/a/OyBos03

TaxOwlbear Has been busy and very kindly prepared a full ‘Let’s Play’ for you all of the campaign and more which you can watch on his channel here (new videos will appear every 15 minutes from now!): TaxOwlbear YouTube Channel

Nyerguds has uploaded the FMVs and Thief quotes to his YouTube channel for your viewing: Nyergud YouTube Channel

Tore has also kindly hosted the the original, unmodified ISO image for you all, which can be downloaded from: https://downloads.cnc-comm.com/?dir=red-alert/beta

You can find a full list of our discoveries and changes, along with instructions for installing the game here: https://downloads.cnc-comm.com/red-alert/beta/rabeta_instructions_and_notes.pdf Make sure you read the instructions first! It will guide you through installing and running the game, and will give instructions for running on newer operating systems like Windows 10.

Have fun, and let one of us know if you discover anything we didn't catch!

Long live Command & Conquer!

CCHyper /u/cchyper88
Nyerguds /u/Nyerguds
Tore /u/Tore29
TaxOwlbear /u/TaxOwlbear
Chad (CNCNet)


A fan art mimicking a potential remasterization of Command & Conquer Generals has actually inspired Mark Skaggs to share some stories about the development of Command & Conquer Generals and its expansion Zero Hour. For those who don't know, he was the executive producer of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, Generals and Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth games.

He has shared stories that he wouldn't share if he was still working at Electronic Arts. Here are some snippets:

Quote:
CnC Modder: 1) In another post, you mentioned that the Marketing Team wasn't keen on having the name "Generals" without "Generals." But there were some leftovers of some sort of sub-factions in the original Game pre-expansion, including things like Chinese Secret Police, American Tank Command, and Chinese Red Army. Do you recall when and why the decision was made to scale these back to three factions until the expansion pack?

Mark Skaggs: 1) It was really more the EA execs who wanted the generals in the game. Marketing wanted the C&C branding and then they thought the game sucked and tried to kill ZH. That was a mess! As for faction choice, unit choice etc it was a matter of what we could get done and how they all fit together.


Quote:
Vanguard: Different is one way to explain Generals. Why go from no generals to having generals in ZH? Also why remove the POW system? Oh oh oh, why does Twilight Flame seem to be so... laggy for something that doesn't have a lot of stuff on it. When there are other 8 player maps that run fine it seems to do the opposite. Also why did we get rid of the demo reel water?

Mark Skaggs: During the development of the game, EA execs kept calling out the fact that the game was called "Generals" but there were none. I always answered that the player was the general. They actually suggested having a "general" walking around the battle field giving commands.

The rule of thumb at the time at EA was that expansion packs sold to about 30% of the existing audience so we liked to loosen up the rules a bit and give existing players more fun, wacky, new variations and game play. During development, the team came up with the idea that we could retune different units and troops a bit to create new variations in the sides (kind of like the different countries in RA1) and the idea of different "Generals" for each side was born. They worked out great because when you and a character, you get to add lots of personality. They worked out great.

Also coming into play on ZH was the fact that the team was now very experienced at using the super powerful engine and we didn't have much engineering time available (devs were on BFME at the time). So ZH was a combo of that limitation and the idea that we could create a great experience with content rather than more engineering.

ZH broke the rule of thumb and actually the combo with Generals pushed Generals to being the best selling PC game in NA that year (beating out Sim City which was launched shortly before Generals).

Vanguard: Hmm, honestly while I love ZH I felt like it wasn't really CNC, I mean it is because there are pieces that kinda fit into the two different time periods of RA and TD, and Generals seems to fit between the two so nicely, I just never quite understood why everything changed so drastically. I saw some of the Alpha coding for VGen and it seemed to be much... cleaner if that's what I would call it. So many limitations are put on us modders. Like I added something like 15 new colors to the game for the player to choose from and now suddenly loading bars for the new colors shoot off the screen but the crash report for both WB and the game are lack luster to say the least. Or I need new DAMAGE types. SAGE is really worried about ALPHA'S and for whatever reason a lot of your FX are based on ALPHAS.

Mark Skaggs: It wasn't originally planned to be part of C&C.
Remember that when we were making the Sage engine, we had to make trade-offs on time and features. We also didn't really realize how much it would be modded or how long it would last. I'm psyched every time I see people talk about modding it and wish we could have kept up mod support and community support in general for it. In those days, the idea of supporting a long term vibrant social community around a game wasn't something EA bought into. Westwood did but when EA bought Westwood, it became impossible to have a team support a game that was already launched. Any effort in that area had to come from Devs donating their nights and weekends, or from the community.



There is a lot of text from Mark Skaggs there with some bits on Red Alert 2, Yuri's Revenge and BfME as well. Fun time guaranteed! Read the whole thing here.

Tiberian Sun: Reborn update.
October 09, 2019 - 20:09
The Tiberian Sun: Reborn crew has shared a progress report of their project a couple of days ago. Here's what they said:

Quote:
TS:R news coming up! More on scaling, new arms, introducing the new Mobile EMP prototype, and discussion of the GDI AAPC.

Scaling
In the previous update, we were showing you the coding and magic being worked on for scaling infantry. Yah-Nosh has put together a video for fun exhibiting his work in that.











The new Mobile EMP offers a different gameplay approach to GDI forces. This MEMP lobs a ball of EMP energy, disabling enemy vehicles where the strike lands, replacing the too easy and too boring button-push gameplay of the previous iteration. In this method, GDI drivers will need to more carefully play this vehicle on the field, while faster Nod vehicles can move to outrace the lob and close the distance.

This change is going through extensive testing to ensure this variation of the MEMP delivers more fun gameplay for both sides in using it and fighting against it.

Weaponise the AAPC?
Discussion has surfaced in the development chat of possibly weaponising the GDI AAPC. Some team members argue the AAPC needs something to allow it to better support frontal infantry assaults, while conservative team members argue the AAPC functions in its role well enough as-is and needs no changes.

In support of the weaponisation, OWA has put together some variation concepts. Other ideas for changing the AAPC include allowing it to refill C4 and armour, provide smokescreen, and electronic countermeasures. It should be noted, and I cannot stress this enough: This is all completely conceptual.










If you have an opinion of the GDI AAPC, whether in favour of weapons or against changes, you are welcome to voice your suggestions and concerns.

That should be about it for this update. Have I missed anything? Anything you are curious of at this time regarding development progress and want it featured in the next update? Let us know!


And you can share your comments about it here, of course.

Happy birthday to PPM! 19 years old!
September 30, 2019 - 23:05
Hello everyone! Today, we proudly announce that Project Perfect Mod has completed 19 years old! So, yea, a new anniversary of PPM and what does it mean? Gifts, right? Kind of.

The birthday gift of this year has arrived 2 weeks earlier and it is known by the name of Twisted Insurrection 0.8. Thanks a bunch for the awesome crew from Twisted Insurrection for this wonderful gift! As for PPM itself, we are happy to be alive, since there is some unknown creature or organization trying to silence our forums since august for reasons beyond our comprehension. But, as you can see, it would be a sad error in judgment to mistake us for a corpse. And, don't worry, we will prevail. The forums are alive and kicking, so keep using it and have fun. And, of course, keep posting comments as well.

Last year we have mentioned that we would try to have a more responsive forum (to create and edit posts) and responsive site for mobile. From these things, we managed to merge the mobile site with the original site. The rest of the plans were postponed. It seems to be a bit more complicated than what I originally expected when I wrote that. But hey, that is still a plan!

And finally, but not least, the very awaited cake... because the cake is something that always must show up on our birthdays:




The credits for today's cake goes to this site

Madin has been posting the latest progress with Command & Conquer Red Alert History at its forums. The Allied and Soviet factions from this Command & Conquer 3 total conversion have received mobile construction vehicles (MCV) and their construction yard, from Red Alert 3 models. Technically, it doesn't sound like a hard job, but at this time, the lighting conditions of the C&C 3 engine doesn't favor the aggressive colors from Red Alert 3 universe. So, of course, some feedback is expected. Here are some of the pictures:







Share your thoughts about it, by check all details at this topic at PPM forums.

The creator of CnC: Final War, m7 (also known as SMxReaver), has posted a progress report on the upcoming version 2.0 of the mod. Before I leave his words here, a big congratulations for his first son. Here are his words:

Quote:
Hi everyone, it's SMxReaver here with another Developer Blog. It's been quite a while since my last check-in with the group, and there are a multitude of things to cover in this rather large update. First thing first, the next version of the project, CnC: Final War 2.0 is currently in full steam development with a release planned for the holiday season! Before we go any further, I'd like to announce that my lack of updates and activities have been due to the birth of my first son this September and he's been one big happy, healthy handful!

Getting down to business, many things have been added to the mod as we moved away from the last public update to a new version improving the player experience even further! First off, the number of in-game factions has increased from 3 to 7 as the two faction-specific groups have become their own full fledged factions! These factions each feature their own full tech trees (using borrowed units from their home faction to fill in the gaps), offer their own gameplay styles and tactics, AI opponents of these new factions fight with enhanced tactics, and still can be augmented with forces from the now three neutral sub factions.







In addition to these big faction expansions, each of the three original factions have seen multitudes of updates going towards their building sets, expanding their tech trees to four distinct tech levels and offering a new set of support structures and defenses! The tech trees have seen expansion in several fields, with the return of pad aircraft granting another build queue for engines of war. Factions have also constructed a Tier-4 tech structure that grants access to Hero units, Refinery Upgrades, and Major SWs in an effort to keep out-pacing their opponents! Earlier game engagements can be boosted with Tier-2 economy buildings, granting the old Refinery passive money generation. Tier-3 defensive structures bolster your defenses in non-offensive ways, giving you additional reinforcement to hard-hit sections of your base. Tier-4 refinery upgrades allow for even the most ravenous of money-hungry economies can continue moving forward by granting an oil-derrick style low stream of funds.









Of course, new factions need new toys and expanding the tech tree has allowed for the introduction of plenty of new units in the upcoming patch! Each faction had hordes of balance changes, unit reworks, additional variations on the tech trees to suit gameplay, a rework of all support powers, and some extra faction flair with a couple new super weapons! The core factions received many updates, either new units when old ones left to become unique to particular sub factions or as enhancements to their already lackluster armaments. Sub factions becoming full factions received several new weapons of war, giving their factions more variety than before. The Remnant Legion constantly receives updates, taking a new shape of it's own with more overhauls of their arsenal to function more like a hybrid Yuri/GLA mix.









Behind the scenes of less-exciting code work, new features have been stuffing the update full like a Thanksgiving Day turkey, with the addition of new Stolen Tech and Secret Tech units, faction upgrades like the Legion scrap upgrade system shown below, and reworks to the Spy Infiltration logics! Spy infiltration can grant new prototype Heavy Combat Tanks to players who can get their spies into enemy War Factories, replacing the old veteran experience bonus. Spy infiltration into Major SWs now grant access to a Stolen variant of the SW instead of resetting the cool-down, keeping the destruction of each game moving forward. The Legion have received visual updates to help denote their makeshift mentality with scrap trophies from their kills as they gain experience levels. The Mercenary Warlords have received a new feature allowing them to build a random, changing, pre-selected set of combat units at Elite experience, but without any further upgrades and at an additional cost.









Finally, CnC: Final War 2.0 will be launching with a fully integrated music experience! Inspired by the history of wonderful C&C music, a brand new soundtrack that will be freely downloadable and shareable will be releasing alongside the 2.0 update! Credit to MotionArray's library of royalty-free music that can be safely included in the project, the battles of Final War will be orchestrated to the perfect grim mood that permeates this future. Featured below is one of the many new songs to be seen on this new OST!




[Audio] Euro Thunder - Mod DB






That's all I have to offer today, I hope everyone who's following along has enjoyed the update and the explanation of some of the extra stuff going on behind the scenes with the project. Until next time, Commander!