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OpenRA Release 20191117
November 19, 2019 - 00:09
Just in time for the holiday season, OpenRA release-20191117 is now available with all of the features and fixes that have been tested and refined in the playtest builds over the past few months.

Big new features like save-game support, new UI for Tiberian Dawn and spectators, and completely overhauled unit behaviours make this one of our most exciting releases to date!

For more details, we hand over to FiveAces who has put together a comprehensive video introduction:




If you don’t like videos, the main changes have been outlined in previous news posts (one, two, three), and, as always, in the full changelog. A new Mod SDK release is also available for the modding community to take advantage of the new release.

Grab the installer now for your operating system from our download page! It has been a long road to this release, and we hope you enjoy it!

OpenRA Playtest 20191102
November 03, 2019 - 14:20
We are today pushing a new build of OpenRA that addresses several issues discovered in the previous playtest.

The changes in playtest-20191102 are:

- Fixed infantry failing to dodge crushes
- Fixed pilots ejected from killed aircraft remaining in the air
- Restored ability to force-move helicopters above enemy buildings
- Fixed several long-standing issues with classic (left-click) mouse controls
- Fixed 64-bit installation directory on Windows

We are now aiming for a late November stable release, which gives approximately two weeks for any final issues to be discovered with this playtest.

Head on over to our download page to grab the new playtest, and prepare for battle!

The original Playtest 20191021 announcement can be found here.

Hello everyone! Sometimes I may get a bit slow on news posts here and, it may not reflect the progress seen on mods, rather they are developed here or not. So, it is time to make some justice here and share some bits that have been displayed by mod project leaders recently.


The Desolated Future

- This total conversion for Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge has received a new unit recently, for the Wasteland Scavengers faction. It is the "Honest John" SSM Launcher.



Quote:
The Honest John surface-to-surface ballistic missile is perhaps the crown jewel of Scavenger weaponry. Developed in the 1960's, it is ancient among weapons and is treated with mythical awe. According to recovered archives, many missiles were manufactured and saw use by many nations until they were phased out in the 1990's, only to infamously end up in the hands of the Brotherhood of Nod who utilized them throughout the First Tiberian War. While all of them were lost to history, a famed archaeologist known only as The Safekeeper was able to uncover the aforementioned archives which contained schematics of the weapon, among others. Using current materials, only the most skilled mechanics are able to rebuild them, as well as building specialized trucks used to carry and launch them on the go. As devastating as they are against even the sturdiest of structures, they can be easily shot down by anti-air defenses and the trucks carrying them are rather slow and poorly armored, requiring protection from other units.



Dawn of The Tiberium Age

- DTA has a new map known as Gravity Valley, which was made by Rin and it will be included on DTA 1.18. Here's a preview:





Command & Conquer Red Alert History

- This Tiberium Wars mod will include the Tech Airport in the upcoming release and the airbone support weapon, of course. Here's a snippet.





Tiberian Sun: Reborn

The Tiberian Sun: Reborn team posted a development update 9 days ago showcasing the taller Cyborgs, new Mech animations, GDI War Factory changes, and Nod Construction Yard updates.





And that's all for now. Share your comments here or at the topics we have linked.

AI Generals in Tiberian Sun
October 26, 2019 - 16:54
Do you know that, during the development of Tiberian Sun, Westwood Studios actually tried to implement a system of AI Generals, where each AI houses could be associated with Generals that would provide different behaviors?

They planned to add five "Generals":

• Brain Dead - No behavior defined.
• General Meade - Strong defense, weak attack.
• General Jackson - Strong defense, strong attack.
• General Grant - Weak defense, frequent attack.
• General Hooker - Unpredictable.

But the idea was abandoned at some point, commented out. When I was a more active Tiberian Sun modder, I tried to understand the leftovers of this feature [registered users only], especially seen at ai.tlb file (but also at game.exe), and figure out if it was possible to use it.

Some days ago, CCHyper has posted detailed information about this [registered users only]. Here's a snippet:

CCHyper wrote:
Some of you may know that in my free time these days, I still research the TibSun engine for the Vinifera (shameless plug) project. Last night, I was just going through the section of TibSun that handles all the AI Houses and their "per frame tick" (simple terms, the routine the game executes to process the AI house every second) rules and I noticed something, a small call to a function that seems to never get made, because its requirements are never met. I decided to research this further.

We know that TibSun does not read the [AIGenerals] from the RULES.INI, we have done for some time now. But did you know that all the COM CLSID's that are defined in that list are actually embedded into the games executable? If you are into technical details, you can read up on how COM and interfaces work at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Component_Object_Model, but in simple terms, it is the same system as Locomotors use.

The TLB files that ship with the game are not necessarily useless, to people who actively reverse engineer the game or are interested in how games are programmed, they contain some great information.



If you are curious, visit our Tiberian Sun Research Center and check out this topic about AI Generals from CCHyper. But note that all Research forums here are restricted to registered users only. It takes few seconds to register on the forums and you don't get spammed because of that. So, it should not be a problem.

It has been one year since Jim Vessella, EA producer, has announced that they would remaster Command & Conquer Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert 1 and, today, they have brought some interesting news. As the title of our news says, it has a gameplay teaser (see below) and these games now have an Official Website of Command & Conquer Remastered.

Here's Jim's words on it:

Quote:
Fellow Command & Conquer fans,

Crazy to believe it’s nearly been one year since we formally announced the C&C Remaster and began development with Petroglyph Games and Lemon Sky Studios. To celebrate this milestone, today we’re excited to showcase one of our biggest reveals on the journey so far - a first teaser of the game in action!

And with this teaser comes an answer to one of your key questions from the past year:

  • “Is the Remaster going to be in 2D or 3D?”


We’re ready to share the Remaster has been developed in the classic 2D visual style, unlocking our ability to stay as authentic as possible to the original games. Below we’d like to provide more details on how we’re approaching these visuals, and why we felt the 2D style was the best fit for the project.

As you may remember from one of the first posts, our plan is to remaster (not remake) the classic games. Creatively, this means our guiding light has always been to remain authentic to the original feel, and we’re constantly on the lookout for ways to achieve that goal. When we recovered the source code to C&C Tiberian Dawn and C&C Red Alert, this gave us a viable avenue to accurately match the core gameplay, feel, and signature look of the legacy titles. We felt the 2D style was the best way to bring all these elements together, and ultimately achieve the authenticity we were looking for.

It’s been wonderful to see the passionate, artistic care taken by Lemon Sky and the team with this creative approach. Lemon Sky has re-concepted, re-modeled, and re-animated every gameplay asset from scratch - examples of which you’ve seen with the Construction Yard and Tesla Tank. Once it reaches the final stage as seen in those previews, we render and export the assets in 2D so they lineup frame for frame with the original visuals. In some cases like the Grenadier, this can mean over 600 frames for a single unit. This creative process has allowed us to modernize the game assets as you originally imagined them, and stay true to the gameplay you’ve known and loved for 25 years.

In addition to the authenticity, we’re excited to reveal an extra benefit of this 2D approach is that Petroglyph has been able to utilize their deep familiarity with the source code to enable the real-time switching of Legacy / Remastered graphics in Campaign missions. This means at any time when playing a Campaign mission, you can tap a single key to smoothly toggle between the original assets at 320 x 200, to the Remastered assets up to 3840 x 2160. Playing with this toggle over the past several months has been a true joy, and we believe will be one of your favorite features in the Remaster. Along with the real-time toggling, you’ll have the ability to zoom the camera to take in all the high definition detail, with an effective zoom distance between the DOS and C&C Gold camera heights.

You can see an example of these features in action in the associated video above (just in case you made it this far and haven’t watched it already). To get an even better feel for the visual difference, we encourage you to visit our new website site at:

https://www.ea.com/games/command-and-conquer/command-and-conquer-remastered

Here you can use an interactive component to see the Legacy / Remastered visuals playing side by side. Keep in mind some of the assets you’re seeing in these videos are still in progress (I’m looking at you, Tiberium Silo), as we’re continuing to fix bugs and polish items based on feedback from our colleagues, the Community Council, and all of you.

We’re eager to hear your thoughts on everything you’re seeing in this post, so please share your comments in the thread below. Thanks for your support and participation, and looking forward to sharing more game assets in the months ahead.

Cheers,

Jim Vessella

Jimtern








In one of Jim's responses at Reddit, he has confirmed that you'll be able to select different zoom levels, as seen in the trailer above.

So, I've tried to peak that idea and some random expressions of his text such as "2D", "recovered the source code to C&C Tiberian Dawn and C&C Red Alert" and... I have a good feeling that these games will have a good chance of being moddable. But that's speculation from my side so far.  Of course, it would come with a cost: you'd probably have to make the frames for each zoom level of these units, I guess. I am not sure about that, but at least a "low quality" and a "4k quality" will be required.

What do you guys and ladies think? Share your comments in a response to this topic.

(PS: Thanks to Plokite Wolf from CNCNZ.com for the YouTube version of the video above.)

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.

-------------------------------------

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.

-------------------------------------

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)