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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!

OpenRA Release 20160508
May 11, 2016 - 23:05



The OpenRA developers are proud to announce a new stable release of OpenRA!

Development for this release started about six months ago, and in this time 50 developers contributed a total of 1,232 commits that added more than 14,000 lines of code.

So what has changed?

A lot of work went into fixing minor bugs and omissions to make the game experience more pleasant:

   - Nod units in the Tiberian Dawn campaign finally use their original silver coloring.
   - Starting a game after installing a map no longer causes the player to be kicked from the server.
   - The lobby color validator will no longer complain as much as it used to.
   - Walls now reliably stop bullets.
   - Husks blocking refineries can now be targeted and destroyed.

They have also added the much-requested feature to restart missions and skirmish games, but this does not yet extend to multi-player games. Furthermore, the minimap radar will now also make use of team colors if those are enabled. Health bars can be set to only appear when the unit is damaged. Finally, the “Fragile Diplomacy” option has been removed.

UI-wise, issues with the left-click orders have been fixed. Additionally, it is now possible to zoom using Ctrl/Cmd+Scrollwheel (the spectator view and map editor offer two additional zoom levels). Two new modifier keys allow disabling line-building of walls (hold Shift during placement) and canceling an entire build queue (hold Ctrl when clicking).

But besides all of that, the biggest changes have been under the hood of OpenRA. The developers have already addressed these topics in the playtest news posts [1] [2], and wiki pages covering them have been updated or written from scratch, but to summarize them again:

   1. The dedicated server is now a stand-alone executable, and dedicated servers no longer need to synchronize maps with the resource center. See the dedicated server wiki page for details.

   2. The map format has been updated, and the way that the game handles map upgrades has been changed. A wiki page has been created to describe the current map format.

   3. In order to allow for packaging mods into single “.oramod” files, it was necessary to introduce a number of changes to the mod.yaml metadata file. These changes, and the layout of the mod.yaml file in general, are now documented on the wiki as well.

If you are interested, the wiki also has the full changelog which lists all of the changes included in this release.

You can find the installer for your operating system on our download page.

We hope you will enjoy this latest installment of OpenRA!

Mental Omega News Bulletin #23
April 29, 2016 - 23:56
Work on the next Mental Omega release continues, as we're adding and finishing new units of the Foehn Revolt. In this News Bulletin, we'd like to show you some of their infantry and a special power which connects them all - the Nanofiber Sync.



This support power, unique to Foehn, along with their support and major superweapons have also been showcased in this short video I've prepared which shows all of the superweapons of Mental Omega as they are right now.





We're also revealing the next unit from the revised stolen tech roster - the Allied Lionheart Bomber.



Visit MentalOmega.com to see MOre pictures and read about the latest additions to the arsenal. Stay tuned!