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CnC: Final War Progress Report.
April 25, 2018 - 06:11
It's 2018, and it's been quite a while since I've posted to PPM to share progress on CnC: Final War. So without further ado, let's show off some new content going into the mod currently! All pictures are links to their respective ModDB pages, where you can find out more about the project!

- The newest completed feature of CnC: Final War, a new Temperate theater designed with the templates OmegaBolt released in his Temperate theater files:


-I've been adding more options to expand the tech buildings and urban combat elements of the mod, and also showcased is the tundra theater that was a collaborative project between Starkku, OmegaBolt, and I that spent several years floating around until it was completed:


-Sub-factions have been added to the mod to create mod diversity, and displayed below was the announcement of the completed People's Militia sub faction for the Eastern Empire. The mod advances the story and reworks many classic units, such as Crazy Ivan who has been powered up into Hero status and the V3 Missile Launcher, which has been reworked as the Catalyst Launcher and follows new abilities and has new artwork:


-As a part of expanding the core CnC: Final War experience, I decided to rework navies out of the mod into a game mode, opting to use the second build queue as an air factory for jumpjet units. Showcased below are the two variants used by the European Coalition and the Eastern Empire:

Navies will be re-implemented in a game mode in the future.


Join me at my small yet wonderful Discord channel and follow me at my ModDB page. Until next time!

At the Tencent Up 2018 event, Tencent Games has officially announced their newest game that results from a deal with EA done some years ago: Red Alert Online. Based on the Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge universe, it will be a real time tactics game for Android and iOS. Yuri and Tania will be in the game, as well as most units from the Allied faction. Here is the trailer:





Unfortunately, every information we have in this game is probably in mandarin chinese. The closest information about it that we have in english is this:




If you want more information and you don't know chinese, I recommend you to Google Translate this instead and be patient with the translation as somethings like Red Police OL (Red Alert Online) and SLG might sound weird in first place.


The game interface probably relies on three main functions. The first one is battle selection, the second is base building, the third and fourth pictures are not clearly defined and fifth is the battle itself, as respectively shown in the images below:












Base buildings and army building will possibly rely on micro-transactions. But at the moment, this information is not clear for the public.

And another not less important information is that the game will be originally available for the chinese population. It is not clear if it will be ever be available in other countries. The lacks of non-mandarin information might give a little tip that non-chinese people should not expect this game in their region... but this is mere speculation so far.


Anyway, this is a mobile game, it won't be moddable at all. The reason I am posting this news here, in PPM, is that the graphics and perhaps some of the game mechanics may inspire potential Yuri's Revenge modders or those making mods/games inspired by that universe. Thumbs up for Tencent for the graphics, they look decent, no puns intended. And that's all for now.

TS-DDraw 1.1.3.0 has been released.
April 20, 2018 - 07:30
In a recent news, we have announced that TS-DDraw was looking for testers. So, thanks to the effort of our community (and certainly others as well), there were new releases in the meantime. The latest one happened about 24 hours ago, which is the version 1.1.3.0.

For those who are not aware, TS D-Draw "emulates" direct draw in recent machines, allowing you to play games like Tiberian Sun, Red Alert 2 and its respective expansions on window mode, or simply without black screens, invisible menus and other problems like that.

Here's the changelog from versions 1.1.2.0 and 1.1.3.0:


Quote:
1.1.2.0

- Improved scaling performance
- Fixed color issues on main menu (OpenGL + RA2 / YR)
- Cursor is now locked in windowed mode and can be unlocked by opening the menu or pressing [Ctrl]+[Tab] or [RCtrl]+[RAlt]
- Window can now be closed by pressing the X button or via taskbar menu
- Fix for invisilbe menus on focus loss or window move
- Fix for invisible menu on Load/Save/Delete (Tiberian Sun)
- Fixed a GDI handle leak
- Mouse will now be centered to the window on maxmize
- Window is now centered to the screen in windowed mode
- Fix for invisible menus on [Alt]+[Tab] (RA2 / YR)
- Few other random fixes...


1.1.2.0 was the last version with OpenGL support. 1.1.3.0 is GDI only.


Quote:
1.1.3.0


- New hotkey combo [Ctrl]+[R] to enable a FPS overlay (Shows real rendering rate)
- Allow the renderer to slow the framerate down when the user's PC can't handle 60fps
- Windows XP support



You can download the latest revision at its GitHub public repository.

Enjoy a better Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun and Red Alert 2 experience with it.

During this week, a couple of INI file editing tools were updated and one of them was even released. I'm talking about the INI Transformer, recently released by linq2js and the AIClean and AICheck being recently updated by G-E.


INI Transformer

INI Transformer is a tool that simplifies several processes of code reutilization on rules.ini like files. You can declare variables with @, build INI section templates, auto merge properties from the same section on different files, auto-append new items into lists, import the content of one INI file into another with @require, among other features. The full explanation for all these features and the ones I failed to mention should be seen at this topic. You can download the version from April 16th here at PPM or the very latest version at linq2js's Google Drive account.

Note that this is not the first tool made with this purpose. Nonetheless, the auto-append and offuscate features are not implemented in the other tool. However, this one doesn't have the maths and the multi-line comments.


AI Check and AI Clean

G-E has recently updated his tools that helps people to have a flawless AI code. AI Check 5.0 has checks for things like transports, and defensive teams, etc. AI Clean 5.2 has received the following features, as written by G-E:

- Now has the unit tag sorting in an external .cfg for easy arranging.
- Now supports tag sorting on buildings as well.
- Replaces missing Name= tags with a missing string including the heading.
- Automatic configuration defaults if .cfg or options are missing/invalid.
- Improved output neatness.
- More Yurified.
- Added more stuff to the aiclean.cfg and reshuffled a few things for what I think is better grouping, and updated the header in the .tcl to have better descriptions of how each feature works.


These tools from G-E are mostly focused on Red Alert 2, but INI Transformer works well for other games that also use INI files, such as Tiberian Sun and even Generals/Zero Hour.

Shattered Paradise's Dev Blog#3
April 16, 2018 - 13:33
Welcome to another Shattered Paradise's Dev Blog. It seems that a little over 1.5 years have passed since the last one. Three years ago, Shattered Paradise began as a project on the OpenRA engine, since then, the mod had many changes that manage to differentiate the mod from the original Tiberian Sun while also removing some of its limitations. SP is meant to expand Tiberian Sun, along with its gameplay, by adding three new factions: CABAL, Mutants, Scrin and improving the existing ones.

https://i.imgur.com/ABYaI8o.gif (Gif not shown intentionally to save up net)

So, what has happened on the last 1.5 years? First, mod development stopped after I ran out of testers, the mod had enough content, and without testing, it wasn’t possible to continue, so I founded a second mod (Nomad Galaxy), worked on it as much as I could, and stopped until I hit some limitations, I was also busy with my thesis at the university all along the way, so that’s why there wasn’t much activity.


The mammoth tank you can see now was made by ErastusMercy but spritifed with a renderer software, actually, most of the voxels have been spritified the same way to improve performance, the Mammoth MK II remake was done by myself.


After that, development was resumed after ZxGanon and Voidwalker entered testing and got me motivated enough to continue, so far ZxGanon has taken care on faction balance, where we are getting good results, meanwhile, users like Graion Dilach, Boolbada, MustaphaTR and Voidwalker helped improving the engine, allowing us to reduce its limtations and do things that wasnt possible, like customized super weapons, It was a long journey but somehow, we managed to cross most of it.

1) Balance Changes

First off, we simplified most units of the mod, removing custom armor types or uncrushable traits, this with the aim to make the game easier to understand and help balancing it. What is the point of having cyborgs with heavy armor if vehicles also have it, your opponent will be able to kill you with a single weapon type, instead we give them infantry armor but rise their hp. On the other hand, having random uncrushable units isn't really fun either, because people wont know what they can crush and what not, making desperate actions that much more frustrating.

https://i.imgur.com/722WAsc.gif (Gif not shown intentionally to save up net)

Another change we did was flatten the units of each side, basic helicopters are somewhat alike, which means air combat is reduced to unit amount and micro, which is way better than having one helicopter winning over another due to a random stat difference, that you cant see ingame of course, also their falling damage is increased, meaning you can sacrifice them if you are desperate.



Other miscellaneous changes include the eco, unit speeds, tier balance, where we tried to ensure that no unit becomes obsolete as the game goes on, so trash units can beat high tier units when there are enough numbers, while the high tier units give the player advantages, but don't give them a win button.

2) Graphical Changes

While I considered most of the graphics finished, there were still things that could be improved but wasn’t worth it because there wasn’t people playing, now things have changed, and as such, I have so I have spent time doing extra models for the game, examples of these are the new construction yards / mcvs, the MK II, the Juggernaut, and so on. One thing I want to point out is that I don’t plan on redoing the vanilla graphics, the work required is too much for a single person, and there are better things to work on like other mods, or expanding civilian assets if there is need for that.



3) Discord server and Streaming

Since the development of this mod stopped due to the lack of testers, that also motivated me to close the server as it was depressing to see an inactive server every day. At this point, the server was created a while ago but its closed to the public until the mod is ready, that way we don’t suffer from the same problem again.



On the other hand, SoScared and FiveAces stream this mod frequently, you could follow them if you are interested, both users and even myself are present on the OpenRA discord, in case you want to ask for details.

4) Mod features.

    5 factions that have different playstyles, but still keep to the C&C spirit.
    Unit changes for GDI and Nod, that aim to improve their faction overall so they can keep up with the rest.
    Over 100 playable maps taken from many different sources (all authors are given due credit, of course).
    Many miscellaneous improvements from Tiberian Sun, like aircraft that don't require micro to be effective, batch queues for quick changes in production orders, or attack move commands, flipped refineries that ease up map balance.
    Tech structures that allow mappers to set up points to contest early.
    In the interest of avoiding a burnout, we wont be focusing on making a campaign for now, as it wasn't really a part of the main plan, and we are not prepared to work on that yet. On the other hand we encourage people to give us a hand on that matter.


Hence, in terms of contributions, we are still searching for these:

    Voice-actors for many of the remaining units.
    A dedicated mapper for campaign design.
    A lua scripter for extra campaign support.


5) Last but not least, let me introduce to you to the current Shattered Paradise team:

    Nolt: Founder, Creator of Shattered Paradise, and graphics maker.
    ZxGanon: Gameplay Designer, Streamer, Map balancer, Voice Actor.
    Voidwalker: OpenRA Coder with passion.
    Graion Dilach: OpenRA Coder and creator of AS (without this, nothing would work).
    Apollo: Effect expert.
    BoolBada: OpenRA Coder.
    jaZz_KCS and jrb0001: Server providers.
    SoScared and FiveAces: Streamers.
    Siv: Writer and Editor.
    Veteran testers: Windawz, J Mega Tank, Kwendy, Orb, Trempler, 010010.
    That concludes this dev blog. Stay tuned for the next one where we'll take a closer look at the units and more game mechanics.


Article created by Nolt, Siv and ZxGanon, using footage from maps made by MadHQ, Trempler and Ixith.

The arsenal from the USA is growing larger on Contra, one of the most famous modifications for Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour. They've recently had an Easter progress report on their site displaying some interesting  buildings for the mod such as:




And there is also a video showing new particle effects in action:






For more information about this mod and to download its latest version, head to Contra website and enjoy it.

YR Red-Resurrection post 2.2 support
April 11, 2018 - 05:44
Since the release of the patch 2.2 for YR Red-Resurrection, OmegaBolt has already released mini 4 patches for it. The full changelog is HERE. These mini patches fixes many bugs, change the ballance of the game and even added a new game mode called Scavengers where you start with a mobile war factory and some mercenaries... perhaps it may remind Tiberian Twilight for some of you, but i hope it is better than that. Here's the full list of changes so far:

Quote:
07/04/2018 2.2.4
 - Updated client:
- Optimizations and bugfixes to loading of saved skirmish settings.
- Improvements to startup permissions check (should now consider running client in Program Files without admin privileges as insufficient permissions).
- Changes to updater to hopefully alleviate issue where client keeps file handles open after version checks
 - NEW GAMEMODE: Scavengers - Start with a War Machine (Mobile War Factory), mercs & support powers, and collect crates to grind them to build units. Destroy the enemy War Machine
 - Added various infantry crates if the crate option is enabled
 - Updated Textless Cameos pack
 - Apocalypse: fixed missing turret bug
 - Battle Fortress
- Can no longer lift Stormfronts and Stalin's Fists, in line with being unable to lift T4 units in general
 - Bishop can now gain veterancy
 - Sand Rush (2): fixed terrain bugs
 - Offensive Tactics (6): added additional ore drills


06/04/2018 2.2.3
 - Fixed issue that prevented Yugoslavian AI or any Soviet AI in End of Nations or Unholy Alliance from building up to full tech
 - Can no longer build off ally buildings in missions, as it wasn't available in vanilla and breaks some stuff
 - Textless Cameos addon:
- Fixed Dreadnought still displaying text
- Fixed Tech Airport Paradrop still displaying text
 - Bishop:
- Increased damage by 100
- Increased cost by 100
 - Demo Truck cost increased from 1000 to 1500. Removed build multiplier


05/04/2018 2.2.2
 - NEW FEATURE: Added Textless Cameos Pack under the Settings -> Components tab, an optional pack which removes text from the sidebar icons
 - Updated missions:
- Fixed a vanilla bug in all missions which made the AI less productive on hard than on easy
- Fixed availability of units for the AI so it should now use a more varied selection of the RedRes arsenal against you
- A07: Soviet base should now build properly
- A10: Fixed AI not attacking
- A11: Fixed availability of Combat Drugs, Emergency Repair & Prism Tank
- A12: Can no longer build a clone Tesla Coil & now need to kill the Black Guard infantry to complete the objective
- S11: Added Tors around the Kremlin
 - Fixed palette issues with snow version of LA civilian buildings
 - Fixed remap issues on Woytek


03/04/2018 2.2.1
 - Updated the manual
 - Updated missions:
- A03: fixed bug that prevented AI from properly garrisoning battle bunkers
- A04: added Grand Cannons back
- A11: Squids no longer grapple player units
- S02 & S03: can no longer build terror drones as they are introduced in S04
- S10: added preplaced Archangels & a Grand Cannon near the WCD
- S12: added preplaced Archangels around the Chronosphere & Grand Cannons along the route
 - Updated the AI:
- will now build Solaris Communicator
- will now build Grand Cannons
- should no longer get stuck building Shock Mines
- Soviet AI should now use the Iron Curtain & garrison battle bunkers
 - Maps:
- NEW: Ruination (6) by Black Snow
- Snowdog (6): Can now build navy
- Offensive Tactics (6): Can no longer build navy
- Final Frontier: Hallucinations (2) updated
 - Sole Survivor:
- Demo Trucks are now able kill one another
- There is now a 5 minute timer, after which the map will be revealed to all
- Bridge huts no longer exist
 - Final Frontier:
- Sides no longer start with both Allied & Soviet Space Marines
 - Fixed flag buildings on snow theatre
 - Sonic Enforcers now gain veterancy from killing things along their line of fire
 - Dante now gains veterancy from killing things along his line of fire
 - X-Soldier:
- Cost reduced from 1100 to 1000
- When trained with Arms Deal it now has the same vocals as a normal X-Soldier
 - Fixed Fury Drone showing incorrect shadow colours at certain angles



And here's a sneak peak on the Textless Cameos Pack from patch 2.2.2:



... and the new game mode Scavengers:




If you already have YR Red-Resurrection 2.2, use the client to get the latest patches. If you don't have it, download the mod at its ModDB profile. Have fun!

New TS-DDraw release requires testers
April 10, 2018 - 01:14
For those who love playing Tiberian Sun, Red Alert 2 and their respective expansions and have the "lovely" windows 10, there is a present for you, from our friend FunkyFr3sh. TS D-Draw "emulates" direct draw in recent machines, allowing you to play these games on window mode, or simply without black screens, invisible menus and other problems like that.

FunkyFr3sh has recently released a new version and requires testers. It either emulates direct draw with GDI or OpenGL. It seems that GDI's version is working better at the moment. Here's what he says about it:

FunkyFr3sh wrote:
Download: http://downloads.cncnet.org/Games/RedAlert2/ts-ddraw.zip

Updated config tool (Tiberian Sun Only): http://downloads.cncnet.org/addons/ts-config.7z



Should work for Tiberian Sun, Red Alert 2 and Yuri's Revenge.




For all those who don't know TS-DDraw, this is what it can do:

Working windowed mode without having to change windows to 16bit

Makes the game running smooth on Windows 8 / 10  and wine ( You can try it on 7/Vista too)

Can fix black screens, invisible menus and other issues
...



I recommend the GDI version, but you can try the OpenGL one too