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Twisted Insurrection: July Newscast
July 16, 2016 - 02:59


Good day everyone, welcome to the July Newscast.
Since the blast of activity in late March, we've been rather quiet in the radar.
As unfortunate as it may be, real life must sometimes take precedence over sweet hobbies.
Things have not quite yet returned to their former status, but worry not!
We're slowly but steadily rolling towards the next public release of Twisted Insurrection.

This brings me to our first announcement.
To avoid confusion with the old Public Beta 5, we're renaming the next public release from Version 0.5 into Version 0.6.
This is only a nominal change we won't actually skip a release.
The new title also fits nicely with the next OST release, Volume 6.

Now, for the actual game content. Version 0.6 will feature an all-new client software, re-written by Rampastring.
Here's a preview of the (still WIP) client:





In addition to client-related changes, we've also added a ton of various new terrain objects to make our maps ever more diverse.
Many of them are not just for eye-candy, but serve actual functions like blocking tanks.


(Click the images to view them in full size)

All 179 objects were created by our SHP and Terrain artist MigEater
(some slightly modified by Crimsonum).


Next up is music.
We've recently added a total of three new tracks to the game, respectively titled "Just War", "Black Hand", and "Still Alone".
All three are made by Bobek (Bobisfaction) and Swirekster for Twisted Insurrection.
Check them out below:










Last but certainly not least, our ever-diligent artists Swirekster and Bobek, with the help of Slawomir Polok and Bartosz Nawrat, have done some impressive TI-cosplay in addition to Swi working on a TI-related sculpture.
Can you guess who it portrays? Wink









That's all for now folks, hope you enjoyed! Take care and have fun!




We haven't posted any news for 5 months. That has lead to some fans lately asking us whether we're dead or alive. But if you're a long-time follower of DTA, you probably know that our radio silence usually means that we're working on something large - something awesome that we haven't wanted to reveal yet.

This is it. This is the official announcement for our upcoming version 1.15 of Dawn of the Tiberium Age.



Like in our previous major releases, a star of this release is going to be the client. In fact, I've entirely re-written the client. While the previous client worked, it wasn't as smooth to use as it could've been, and especially in online play it had this tendency to crash occasionally. I also wasn't happy with the quality of the client's graphics.

Along with the re-write, the new client has a more advanced technological base. While the previous clients used the Win95-era Windows Forms to display their graphics, the new client uses DirectX11 (OpenGL if you're on XP or Mac/Linux). This enables us to make better graphics and also special effects, like fade effects for opening and closing windows.



These changes make the client very smooth and pleasant to use compared to the old client. All sub-windows now open in less than a millisecond without any of the flickering that the old client displayed. We've also improved the UI functionally. As examples of this, the statistics window now has an improved layout, and the map preview in the Skirmish and CnCNet/LAN game lobbies can now be interacted with.

Another focus of the re-write has been stability. The goal is that the client should never crash in use. From internal testing I can say that we're pretty close to that goal.



We've always focused heavily on the CnCNet online gaming experience, and with the new client it's also getting improvements:

  • We've added an option that makes it possible to connect to CnCNet automatically when you launch DTA, and stay connected through your session
  • Private messages don't open a separate window anymore, but are handled by a Steam-inspired overlay that informs you of new PMs and allows you to respond quickly
  • Instead of opening separate windows for the Game Lobby and CnCNet Lobby, the client now runs in one window with a top bar that allows you to switch between the lobbies (and view private messages). This setup is much more convenient and closer to RTS gaming standards than the old one where you had to manage multiple different windows
  • Support for a friend list as well as an ignore list have been added






Now, the client is just an interface for accessing the game. The "game" part of DTA 1.15 will be bigger and better as well; there will be new maps (with new terrain!) for regular multiplayer, co-op, as well as singleplayer. We've only revealed two of these maps so far, but there are many more to come. Like always, we've also improved the balance between our 4 factions. More of these improvements and additions will be detailed in a later news post and other future updates.

DTA 1.15 will be released at the end of the summer. Until then, stay tuned for more information!



Hello everyone. Once in a while, a random member of this forum updates a tool from XCC Utilities, which Olaf van der Spek (the real author of these utilities) doesn't seem to be so much interested to update them anymore.

One year ago, tomsons26lv has released a new version of XCC TMP Editor with few bug fixes and a special edition there to edit 96x48 tiles as well.

Earlier in this month, Blade has edited XCC Mixer to encode SHP (TD) in a better way and, as a bonus, it also reads red alert 1's mouse shp correctly.

So, why not just do a install package with all of them. I've just grabbed a XCC Utilities.nsi from an old svn repository, updated it a bit, organized XCC files to fit it and voila!

You can now download the latest XCC Utilities installer with all changes created by our community at the CnC Editing Tools forum.

And if, for some reason, this topic also disappears from your radar, bear in mind that we have a download link for it at the left menu of this site -> CnC Editing Tools -> XCC Utilities. Just grab the PPM's Edition there. And yea, everyone else is invited to redistribute it in your sites as well. At least until our friend Olaf gets interested in his utilities again.

Frontline Chaos - June 2016 Update
June 20, 2016 - 21:12
Today, a showcase of the revised primary resource of Frontline Chaos.

In the time since last update there has been work done on various parts of Frontline Chaos. Besides the usual bug fixing and tweaking of various stats, the notable changes / additions are:
    *new trainable infantry unit for Revenant
    *new support GP for Revenant which includes another new infantry and vehicle
    *completely revised primary resource

As this all is a bit too much for one update, I will now focus on the last mentioned change, the revised resource. The story (and oh boy what a story it is) behind the new infantry and GP will be for a later update.

If you are not fan of long design choice stories, skip to the bold TL;DR part

So, to the subject at hand. Resources. As referenced to in the March 2015 update, the primary resource in the mod is Litenium. It has the looks of Red Alert's Ore, the mysteriousness and toxicity of Tiberium's... well Tiberium, and overall was a fancy idea at the time. The idea to use geodes (aka rocks with crystals in them) came as a random suggestion from a fellow modder, and was more original then what I came up with back then. The ingame look went through various iterations, but basicly remained the same idea: piles of rocks with some crystals thrown in for making it look less dull and to hint at the geode origin.

However, lore wise it was kind of flawed. Geodes normally form over a very large time span. In the current timeline of Frontline Chaos, there are roughly 6 years between the 'delivery' to Terra and the first documented discovery. The other lore issue that existed is how can it spread itself? A rock cannot 'grow' another rock, and a potential dangerous resource that can be removed permanently by simply harvesting it after being discovered is not that dangerous after all.

Initially I handwaved these facts and pushed these issues ahead to get on with the mod. The idea I had from the start with this resource is to have it grow / regenerate ingame eventually. Roughly a year later when trying to finally implement said idea I begin to see the flaws. How do rocks regenerate or grow? They don't. The next best idea is to have some kind of mine that drills up Litenium from time to time, but that also had some issues:
    *the idea is boring
    *designing a mine drill that looks original but also works ingame is hard
    *lore wise, how can you drill up something from underground if the resource has only been around for 6 years

After going back to the drawing board and putting random ideas out on paper, my eye fell on the idea of using plants as a resource. Plants could solve many lore issues I had: plants can grow quickly, plants can reproduce themselves, plants can have self-defence mechanisms that can be dangerous. An sufficient alien look complemented the idea.

TL;DR Time to introduce the new resource in Frontline Chaos: Prohicus Litenii or Litensplant


Quote:
"Litensplant at first look resemble a hybrid of ordinary Terran plants. The base of the plant consists of a large red-purplish root. ... From the top of the main root one or more sets of dark blue leaves grows ... The usage of the leaves is eventually the same as that of other plants: to be able to photosynthesise."

"The primary way of reproduction for Litensplants is by the supporting roots, and underground shoots that grow out of the main root. These shoots will spread laterally underground to form new plants nearby. This way a single Litensplant can slowly but surely reproduce itself ... A recent theory is that the new plants are genetical 'clones' of the original plant."

"The oily substance created during the photosynthesis process has been found to be highly combustible. As one of the first companies to research the possible economical values of Litensplants, M-Tec was able to discover several uses for the Litensplant oily substance."

"In its raw form, it has been discovered to contain various heavy metals ... After many experiments a way was found to split these heavy metals from the oily substance ... The waste product of this process is still very similar to the unrefined form ... When thinned by several chemical processes, the product has proven to be a working alternative for fossil-based oils."

"Alternatively, scientists have been researching the combustible properties for military purposes. As the raw substance sticks to most materials, it is comparable napalm ... a mixture of the oily substance and napalm has proven to give a much more intense flame, which burns longer and sticks even better then normal napalm."



Quote:
"The plants themselves continuously release a bio-corrosive agent in gaseous form. This agent is highly dangerous to nearby biological lifeforms ... A single mature Litensplant causes plants and grasses in a 3-6 meter circle to slowly wither and die. Trees fare better, depending on the species and range from the Litensplant ... Small wildlife like birds or rodents are easier overcome by the fumes, as the gas can enter the lungs. This results in a slow agonizing death, as the lungs are slowly corroded away, suffocating the creature."

"The effects of a field of Litensplants are disastrous. ... Dead wildlife surrounds the field, having succumbed to the noxious gasses ... Unprotected humans fare no better. The lucky ones succumb to the gasses as they corrode the lungs away ... The unlucky ones who hold their breath or rely on their own air supply will be corroded from the outside. Blisters will appear on the skin, and the skin will be eaten away to reveal the flesh underneath ... Unconfirmed report exist of individuals that were able to keep standing or walking long enough to see their own flesh being corroded away to the point that bones became visible."

"While a hazard to biological lifeforms, field research has proven that the gasses have limited to no effect on other materials. Trials with hazmat suits have shown that the gasses are unable to breach most Tier-2 hazmat suits. Metal also seems immune to the effects, even in larger Litensplant fields. As long as the gasses are filtered out, vehicles will have no problem passing through even the largest of Litensplant fields."


I hope you enjoyed the story / stories cooked up for today's update.
More info on Litensplants will be revealed in future updates.
Dutchygamer signing off.


Ares 0.C is ready for download
June 18, 2016 - 22:44
The final Ares 0.C has arrived, with new features like the long requested Bounty, particle optimizations, and many other assorted new toys to play with. Overall, again a smaller release, which adds a moderate amount of new features while also extending and reworking older parts like spotlights.

A few fixes are worth mentioning: Ivan Bombs can now be detonated on deactivated units or units that are berzerking. Also, NodAdvancedPower is now again considered as default power plant, and soviets again build the Nuclear Reactor to satisfy their power needs.

As always, a lot of internal changes were applied, which weren't too interesting this time.

Thanks to all testers for making Ares happen, and Happy Modding!

Website: http://ares.strategy-x.com/
Announcement: https://launchpad.net/ares/+announcement/14014
Download: https://launchpad.net/ares/+download
Documentation: http://ares-developers.github.io/Ares-docs/

D-Day: Fields of Battle
June 06, 2016 - 15:04
It's June 6th, D-day! This day also marks the 14th anniversary of the D-day mod. To celebrate I've created map sized screenshots of five new maps that will be included in D-day's next release, along with information about other maps in development.



Axis:

Click to enlarge: 19mb

A four player tournament style map set in an urban harbour shaped like a swastika. This map served as a test bed for the new sets of urban cliffs & features multi-levelled areas & tunnels. Note: The use of a swastika layout might be somewhat controversial, however the shape creates a balanced yet interesting design & is currently my favourite map to play on.


Allied:

Click to enlarge: 30mb

A five player map in the shape of the Allied star & circle.

Mountain Guns: 6 player

Click to enlarge: 29mb

Mountain Guns is a remake of my favourite C&C Generals map of the same name. This map served as a test bed for the new sets of rock cliffs & features multi-layers cliff faces. Note: The road & bridge graphics will be replaced in the near future.


River Valley: 6 player

Click to enlarge: 30mb

A long six player map featuring a winding river through a valley. It also features a train line weaving in and out of the mountains along the edge of the map.


Island Roulette: 8 player

Click to enlarge: 55mb

An extremely large eight player map of a circular island with separate areas for each player connected to a central mountain.


I have several other maps in various stages of Development for D-day...

No Man's Land:
A World War 1 themed map with a large network of trenches, that players can occupy & fight over.

Train Duel: (wip name)
A two player map featuring buildable armoured trains & two loops of track that run parallel to each other in the center of the map.

World War:
A large map based on the world map.

Corregidor:
A large island map based on the US base on Corregidor in the Philippines.

Paris:
A large map of the French capitol, featuring the Eiffel tower at the center.

Washington DC:
Large map of the US capitol, featuring many famous landmarks & monuments.

Soviet:
Counterpart to the Axis & Allied maps. I haven't decided on an exact layout yet, but this will be the first snow map in D-day.


Lastly I would like to point out that all of these maps are subject to change. Some of the graphics will be replaced in the near future & new terrain that is currently in development will be added. So you can expect the maps to have more details when they are included in the next release.


First in series of (semi)regular media and progress updates, detailing progress as the mod moves towards it's eventual public release.

Coalition Structures page has been online for a while now on Project Phantom website.



Hero infantry are something of a staple of Command & Conquer. While Project Phantom departs from C&C lore- & setting-wise, it still pays homage to it on several aspects. Project Phantom features three hero infantry per faction, with only one of them being available at your command at once.



Another element present in original Red Alert 2 and Yuri's Revenge that returns in Project Phantom is ability to spy enemy laboratory structures and acquire stolen technology which unlocks new units. In Project Phantom, these units are referred to as Experimental Units.

For now, you can have a peek at three of the nine experimental units, all of which are acquired by stealing technology from Western Coalition.



Additionally, showing enhanced Temperate and Desert theater terrain as well as completely reworked Tundra theater.



Read the full newspost at projectphantom.net

Follow Project Phantom:


Mental Omega News Bulletin #24
June 04, 2016 - 17:32
We've been posting AI-only skirmish videos on our YouTube channel this week, now it's time to talk about some changes and additions shown in these videos.

This time we're keeping it short and sweet while we finish up details on the vanilla sides and almost approach the end of designing the first batch of features for Mental Omega's Side 4 - the Foehn Revolt.

Thanks to recent developments it is possible for me to become an observer of an AI-only game and with proper Mental AI Boosts an absolute mayhem has taken place. AI-only skirmishes are completely different than human ones, they're highly explosive and full of units and constant action, at least as soon as the War Factories are up.



All Yuri's Epsilon subfactions & Confederation on '(4) Eternal Alliance'




All Soviet subfactions & Euro Alliance on '(4) Double Patrol'




All Allied subfactions on '(3) Mystery Town'


There are some new features, changes and details we haven't shown before in these videos. What needs to be addressed first, is that the economy booster buildings in Mental Omega (Ore Purifier, Industrial Plant and Cloning Vats) all function as a single Oil Derrick, which is a thing that was introduced back in the 2013 release. The only difference now is that thanks to Ares DLL the money those buildings provide is visually presented in the form of small animation. Foehn's ecobooster building will have its unique function but also act as a single Oil Derrick too.

The not-so-short version of the list of recent additions & changes can be read on MentalOmega.com.

Stay tuned for more updates!