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OpenRA Playtest 20200118
January 18, 2020 - 22:16
A new playtest of OpenRA released today refines and fixes several issues in the current release.

The full Changelog includes:

- Fixed significant performance and behaviour regressions with aircraft
- Fixed rare crashes during gameplay and when loading saved games
- Fixed several behaviour issues with unit and bot AI
- Fixed missing team chat in game replays
- Fixed build failures caused by an upstream API change
- Improved build icon layout in RA and D2k sidebars
- Improved in-game menu option layout

A new Mod SDK release is also available with a number of additional fixes for modders.

Since we expect this to be the only playtest before a final hotfix release around the start of February, we encourage everybody (especially those who like to play in multiplayer team games) to try a game or two, and to let us know if we have missed any other issues or accidentally introduced new ones.

As always, we welcome feedback in the comments below, on OpenRA's forum, Discord, or GitHub pages.

Head here for the download.


The original announcement for release-20191117 can be found here.

Assimilator has been released!
January 05, 2020 - 22:43


Darth Jane (also known as Lauren) has recently released a new tool known as Assimilator. It loads any .skudef of a late SAGE game, such as Tiberium Wars, Kane's Wrath, Red Alert 3, Uprising and Tiberian Twilight, and then it lists all the W3D animations it contains. Then you can obtain the XML code for the animations listed there, and use it in your models without requiring to browse the depths of any of the old Art Packs released by EA.

You can download it at CNCNZ.com. However, it is worth mentioning that it requires Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 build 1607 or newer with .NET Core 3.x installed to run.

And finally, let's move to news from this year. Lin Kuei Ominae has recently updated Image Shaper to support a new format "Uncompressed_Full_Frame", which stores each SHP frame in its full size and, for this reason, you can't optimize its canvas.

So, here's the changelog:

Quote:
Version 01.01.00.23
-(update) new format "Uncompressed_Full_Frame" added, which stores each SHP frame in its full size. "optimize canvas" doesn't work for this case
-(update) command line option added to support setting "Split result"


And let's follow with an explanation from ApolloTD on this matter, since... why would you want to store uncompressed images for your mod in first place? ApolloTD has a good explanation:

Quote:
Since LKO asked describe this one in practical uses.

1. Suitable for alpha related material like for example commonly used alphaimages where the content ideally should be left exactly as is and if there is zero index pixels used they are left as is and no cropping/compression is attempted.

2. Weird cases like high vertical anims that exceed height more than usual width in the usual compression method are cropped and this crop per frame can sometimes cause an flicker like effect infront of building and since here dimension is always same size this can't occur and no, zadjust etc doesn't always work in positioning over with constantly changing inner dimensions.

3. Can be used to remove compression features from shp for testing normal shp for alpha etc or to find out if compression causes issues.

4. This is a last resort option in usual use if nothing else works flawless and for other methods where are no issues with the shps, this should not be used due to filesize considerations.


You can download the latest Image Shaper at the first post of this topic here.


Regarding C&C Executable Modifier, Lin Kuei Ominae has shared a hack to allow bouncing projectiles in Tiberian Sun to bounce more than 3 times, as you can see at the image below. Thanks tomsons26 for the hex research:




Talking about news that we have let slip, as I did in the last news post, here's another interesting one. LucasSK and the team behind Tiberium Resurrection has given a good Christmas gift back on December 24th, which was the release of Tiberium Resurrection 2.5. It is a set of campaigns for Tiberian Sun that present a story the relationship between GDI and the Mutants go really bad after Nod agents disguise as GDI officers and mass murder the mutants. Version 2.5 does not fufill their objectives of bringing 4 campaigns, but it already has 2 campaigns and, as a bonus, brings 3 skirmish maps and 2 new soundtracks.







You can download Tiberium Resurrection at their ModDB profile. If you enjoy it, share your thoughts at PPM Forums or at their Discord channel.

Doom Desire 2019 end of the year update!
January 05, 2020 - 21:46
Hello again! I know 2019 is over for a while, however, sometimes we need to pick up some news that we have missed. And this is one of those. At the end of the last year, mevitar who is in charge of Doom Desire, a total conversion for Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge (Ares) that brings an alien threat to Earth, has posted an interesting update for it. Here's his words on it:


Quote:
In 2019 Essence basically reached completion, with all buildings finished and some minor things here and there to add. Most Vintarid buildings are also done, and although I wasn't able to start properly working on Paladins, they got a new unit completed. Hopefully I'll be be moving to them soon.

Essence Helios Core and Paladin Nihil






Vintarid Field Command and various support buildings






Vintarid Conduit and Aligner






Vintarid Propagator and Eviscerator






Vintarid Accretor and Sky Breach






This concludes 2019 for me. Have a happy 2020!



For more information about Doom Desire, visit its ModDB Profile and Website.

XTX to release on CnCNet!
January 04, 2020 - 00:54
Greetings, community!

I've been working with Holland this past year after seeing his efforts to bring our assets to the public sphere of CnCnet.
CnCnet has shown itself to be the most expeditious and practical way to get XTX into the hands of eager Tiberian Sun mappers worldwide, thanks largely in part to Holland's efforts to bridge the gap between the online community and modding community.



The original TX was made and released by Gangster as a beta all the way back in 2005, and though incomplete, was a huge milestone for Tiberian Sun mapping, and inspired a great deal of mods, maps, and campaigns.

XTX continued through the efforts of DaTS, and a few others. He had some difficulties due to a hard drive crash, and some other life events, but in this time the XTX terrain was able to benefit the kickstart of Tiberian Odyssey.

I joined the project in 2008 right after Creagor's TS: Callisto terrain was absorbed into XTX. Also joined were Lin Kuei Ominae and Harv, to extend XTX from being terrain-only into a "Civilain and terrain expansion", beginning with my voxel truck pack, and various LKO structures like the multi-sectioned train station.



As I was heavily involved with both Odyssey and Twisted Insurrection at the time, I used the opportunity to completely reorganize and synchronize the XTX terrain pack into Internal Build 1.1, and then redistributed it to TI and TO. This was the only time these mods generally shared the same terrain, but have since diverged heavily into their own flavors.

in 2010 I started a new career path IRL and my priorities shifted a bit, and had to prioritize my free time more decisively. My ambitions of releasing XTX seemed out of reach, and I released Build 1.2M "Messy" out of frustration, which included all the assets, but no functionality. Thankfully though, godofgamers took the mantle and pounded out a new internal Build 2.0 with full featuring full sets of Temperate, Snow, and Marble Madness.

In 2019 I noticed CnCnet had begun to feature TX and some other community assets, without requiring additional modding, and learned Holland was one of the guys to help make it happen. XTX has always been for the community, and what better way to give it to the community than through the world's primary source of TS online play? I'd already seen quite a few maps to feature the new assets as well as some creative Co-Op play that has never been seen before.

Today I write this post now with my ten-day-old son in my lap, and a highly demanding and respectable career to eat up my time. There's nothing more I can give to XTX that people like Holland and godofgamers haven't already done, so I'll leave it into their capable hands, and continue to cheer on from the sidelines.

All my best!

-TB

Friendly URLs at PPM!
January 02, 2020 - 23:00
Hello everyone! In the latest Happy 2020 news I've mentioned that I wanted to bring friendly URLs for Project Perfect Mod's frontpage. Well, this feature is working now. We still have a couple of not so friendly links, especially the ones related to downloads. But the site itself is full of friendly links, as you can see by exploring our left menu. Have fun!

Happy 2020, from Project Perfect Mod!
January 02, 2020 - 04:42
Hello everyone again! Happy 2020! It should be 2020 everywhere in the world right now, for those who count the years like us. For those used to the rituals of this site, this is the day of the year where we recap everything that happened in the previous year and share our plans for the future. It is the day we present the directives to make PPM grow larger, even if some of our plans "do not have shoes" to be executed this year, which is something that happens quite often.

We are starting this year of 2020 with some tweaks on the site. Technically, the site (not the forums) uses HTML 5 now. But, it doesn't take any advantage of it yet, since it inherits several limitations from the forums, which will be eventually migrated slowly into a more modern HTML code. Another improvement was a fix at the Hashtag search feature. If you click at the hashtags shown at the bottom of posts, it will show all posts related to that hashtag and not just the ones until the end of 2017. But this bug fix happened in 2020 already.

Now, here are the good things that happened in PPM in 2019:

- PPM website is now responsive and the Mobile site was merged into it. The site now adapts into different screen resolutions, placing the left and right menus into buttons when necessary. The site also follows the European Union General Data Protection Regulation. We've also placed some mechanisms to limit certain features of the site for botnets. Finally, we have fixed the way other domains we own handle this site. We have been testing site donations in BRLs (Brazilian Reais).

- At the PPM forums, we have extended BBCodes with Twitch, Tweeter, Reddit and we have done heavy improvements on other BBCodes. We've improved our forum performance by restricting botnet's activities. And, despite the April fool's joke, we still have a C&C: Rivals Editing Forum here. That is not a joke!

- The following mods were released at PPM: Dawn of the Tiberium Age 1.182j, Frontline Chaos 0.84, Tiberian Sun Client 5.44, Shattered Paradise 20190623 Release and 20191220 Playtest, Twisted Insurrection 0.8.0.6, The Second Tiberium War 2.21 and Tiberium Essence 2.0 Alpha and 1.6 Patch (Unofficial).

- Following our efforts to "attract more high quality mods" to PPM,  TS Mini Games has joined our forums.

- Tiberium Essence has scored 9th position on ModDB Mod of the Year 2018 Player's Choice while Mental Omega has received an honorable mention.  OpenRA has received an honorable mention on IndieDB Indie of the Year 2019 Player's Choice

- Latest OS SHP Builder no longer saves invalid SHP (TD) files, although its compression quality is lower than many other programs. Voxel Section Editor III's multi-monitor support was improved in the meantime.

- BySc has made Red Alert Online Decrypter, which is a script for QuickBms to extract Red Alert Online files. Lin Kuei Ominae has created SHP Palette Analyzer to count how many times a specific "color" (pixel value, actually) is used by a group of SHP (TS) files in a directory. The user aldrinjohnom has created RA2YR MIX Unprotector Master. The user matt7785 has created AI Join to merge AI files from Tiberian Sun and Red Alert 2. Nyerguds has added RA2 fonts support to Westwood Font Editor and some Unicode support as well. E1 Elite has patched Map Tool to allow object rules to have multiple commas separated replacement values. Lin Kuei Ominae has patched Image Shaper with several updates throughout the whole year. Tuc0 and E1 Elite has posted hacks for both Tiberian Sun and Final Alert 2 to be applied with C&C Executable Modifier. Note that most of the Final Alert 2:YR hacks can actually be downloaded at this patch from E1 Elite. Most of G-E's tools, such as MapClean, AICheck, AIClean and SoundCheck have received several updates during the year. E1Elite has done several updates to AI Editor. Nyerguds has patched Engie File Converter, fixed flickering issues with zoom, C&C 64 map reading support and few other fixes and added a feature to convert an image or a set of frames to a specified palette. E1 Elite has patched CnC Maps Renderer several times throughout the year. Starkku has updated BatchTMPConverter to support 24 bits PNG files.

- Ares 2.0p1 was released to fix several bugs from 2.0. The version 3.0 has been receiving a myriad of features, but it wasn't released yet. Tiberian Sun Client 5.44 has improved TS-DDRAW renderer, added CNC-DDRAW renderer and includes several bug fixes. OpenRA Engine has advanced a lot with game spectator UI, save games, overhauled unit behaviors and unit targeting logic, improved map editor and mod SDK, among other things.


With all that said, let's move to how we will make PPM grow larger in 2020. It is always based on the same plans from the previous years since these plans are actually very long term plans. This time, we will expand some of them. So, as usual, it is a copy and paste job with minor changes:

-> Modernize the main website and progress with Project Perfect Game: We plan to reform our menu to support more games without being visually crowded and also allow custom menus for different sites (such as the upcoming Project Perfect Game). We also plan to bring friendly URLs, URLs for specific articles (especially news posts) and the ability to view news as you scroll. We want to improve HTML5 support and refactor our cookies support to allow better navigation and member log in with different domains. The way we do now is limited to two domains. We also want bring more modern web-based technology to the current site design.

-> Modernize the forums: We want to have a similar approach to the responsive site from the main site with the forums, so it will be better to browse it with mobile devices. Also, we want to allow posting, editing, and other common tasks to be faster and as comfortable as a chat in discord. We also plan to bring friendly URLs, HTML5 support, multiples domain support for cookies and etc...

-> Expand the site to become more popular with games beyond Tiberian Sun, Red Alert 2 and OpenRA scope: We are slowly adding content for other games here, but we are not getting many modders interested to discuss them in our community yet. We are already trying to change this situation by adding more content and trying to approach communities from other games. Now we can also re-use our existing content to quickly expand new subjects that can be covered here.

-> Progress with VXLSE III's 3D model export feature: This is our ultimate goal to become a significant community that modifies or develops 3D games. We have many voxel assets that would be very useful in newer games if we are able to convert them. Don't expect this to be finished at any time soon since I have a doctorate to finish first and my thesis will be used on this solution (being a small, but significant part of it).

-> Attract more high quality mods: We need fresh blood and attractive content in this place. PPM is still an attractive place to have forums to advertise your projects and it still holds a community with skilled modders and artists to improve the quality of your project in the long term.

-> Improve news coverage from other games and communities: Nowadays, we have got a more aggresive approach to cover news related to Command & Conquer games and OpenRA, but this is not enough. We want this place to become a modding reference for every game. We plan an even more aggressive approach to obtain news generated in this community and also from other sources. We plan to use bots to help us to collect news from GitHub, Discord, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter and provide a quicker way to transform this information into news posts. Obviously, these news posts will still be written and revised by humans. We want to use it to increase the activity of this site and the attractiveness for game designers and user content creators that are not restricted to the universe that we cover nowadays. We expect to do that by using the RSS importing feature of this forum, the keywords feature and writing software to interpret the collected data and convert them into readable posts.

-> Improve the organization of our content: The News Tracker and the Key Words features are a nice way to organize the content that we may explore. Now we need to use these resources to expand the potential of this place as a good reference for game design and user content creation, as well as a good place to learn news about it. We will also improve the way we organize our keywords.




And, that's all for now, gentlemen. I hope you have a great 2020.