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Final Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge is being patched!
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Banshee
Supreme Banshee


Joined: 15 Aug 2002
Location: Brazil

PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:06 pm    Post subject:  Final Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge is being patched!
Subject description: It's time to think about bigger mapping experiences!
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A very long time ago, in a galaxy far... far away... Actually, no, it was actually on this planet. Only far away from my home! Anyway, resuming what I was saying, a creature known as Matze has created a map editor for Tiberian Sun known as Final Sun. Eventually, with the release of Red Alert 2, he has tweaked his map editor to support the new game (at that time, of course) and made a Final Alert map editor out of it.

It became de-facto the user's main program to edit maps for the game since there was no public official map editor. His editor was never open-sourced. And that may have contributed to the existing Westwood Studios, the creator of Red Alert 2, see an opportunity and make business with Matze and buy his map editor.

Westwood Studios has helped him to correct several features of the editor, however, Matze was no longer allowed to patch the program on his own will. Eventually, Westwood Studios moved into new games, got disbanded less than 2 years later and Final Alert 2 was never patched anymore, right? Definitely there is no official patch for it anymore, however, the Command & Conquer community eventually found out tools ad tricks to tweak parts of the program. And these tricks are getting more and more popular here, during this year of 2019.

The tweaks are still simple, however useful. You can build maps with bigger size (up to 511 of width or height, check for further explanation here), more undo and redo, make it read custom mods data from a directory set in FinalAlert.ini, etc. There was a patch released on December 26th that comes with the following changelog:


Quote:
Changes (2019-12-26):
- Second row in toolbar is removed and buttons from it merged to first row.
- Default global AI Trigger enable checkbox is set as unchecked in new map creation window.
- Disabled Beginner mode by default on first run.
- Unit window text changed from Follows ID to Follower's ID in FALanguage.ini.



If you enjoy making maps for Yuri's Revenge, it is worth to check it out. Head to this post at PPM Forums for more information and download. The original Final Alert 2 editor required by these patches can be downloaded at Project Perfect Mod Website, at the left menu: Red Alert 2 -> Starting Tools. Have fun and a happy new year!

Key Words: #News #Release #RedAlert2 #YurisRevenge #FinalAlert2 

Last edited by Banshee on Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:34 pm; edited 1 time in total

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MadHQ
Commander


Joined: 07 Nov 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it possible to play maps 511x511 on ra2/yr?
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Banshee
Supreme Banshee


Joined: 15 Aug 2002
Location: Brazil

PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be honest with you, I have never tried that. So, I don't know. If the game accepts a width or height higher than 255 for a map, there is a chance of 511x511 maps actually run on the game.

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McPwny
Cyborg Soldier


Joined: 29 Jan 2018

PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maps being the lifeblood content of every ra2 and ts mod, its unfortunate we have been stuck with this rather glichy, old, and incomprehensible program for so long. if a better replacement had come out  
15 years ago, it would have been a huge game changer; but i guess its nice that people are trying to fix up the thing a little bit. ill try it out

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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MadHQ wrote:
Is it possible to play maps 511x511 on ra2/yr?

no, RA2/YR has the same max map size limitation, which is X+Y<512
511+511 would be 1022 and thus exceed this limit.

maps with a very high width (X) and low height (Y) however are possible, as long as X+Y is smaller than 512
e.g. my DTA map Africatorial is 424x70 big (playable area)
430x80 the total size, including the map borders outside the playable area.
this is 510, thus almost at the possible limit of 511

The editor however has an even lower limit of max ~43800 cells. Exceeding this, FinalSun/FinalAlert will both crash.
So for oversized quadratic maps, you can reach the FinalSun/FinalAlert limit before reaching the games max map size.
e.g. 210x210 is 44100 cells, and thus causing the map editor to crash, while the game would have no problem to handle such a map (X+Y=420, well below the games map limit).
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MadHQ
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Joined: 07 Nov 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's what I thought. I asked because of Banshees news post... You may want to fix/clarify that.

Quote:
You can build maps with bigger size (up to 511x511)

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Banshee
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Joined: 15 Aug 2002
Location: Brazil

PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I have updated the news post above.

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MadHQ
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Joined: 07 Nov 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to be annoying about that.  Razz
I am sure you can guess I am all about mapping these days. If I could do a map 511x511 I would so happy.  Razz
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Banshee
Supreme Banshee


Joined: 15 Aug 2002
Location: Brazil

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't be sorry about that. You have actually done me a favor Wink. Thank you. Smile

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E1 Elite
Commander


Joined: 28 May 2013

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Game's map size limit is Width + Height <= 512. FA2/FinalSun had a cosmetic limit of 200 for either width or height that was extended to 511 for new map creation window and resize features.

Game support maximums like 511x1. As the rectangle becomes square (width is same as height), the area increases which becomes max at 256x256. As the area increases, the number of cells in a map also increase with the formula:

Code:
Total cells in a map = ((Width * 2) - 1) * Height
Total cells in 511x1 = 1021
Total cells in 256x256 = 130816


This formula is because the cells are of diamond shape and are kind of interlaced in rows/columns.

FinalSun/FA2 starts giving glitches and crashes after it reaches some number of cells. For easy computation when creating new maps or resize features, the area message in the UI says to keep it below Width * Height of about 43500 approximately.

As there were map's inner boundary (LocalSize) changes as well, the minimum value was increased from 16 cells for either width or height to 20. So max new map size that can be created from the UI of these editors now is 492x20 or 20x492.

Instead of 200 limit for either width or height, these editors now allow creation of new maps of sizes like 108x404, 124x352, 154x282, 174x250, 250x174, 282x154, 352x124, 404x108, 428x84, 448x64, 458x54 etc. which were not possible through the UI earlier.

I should have mentioned the correction here but this info is available in that patch thread, in the editor's UI and other threads also, so I neglected.

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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey E1, do you think you could edit Map Tool or Map Renderer to merge 2 maps?
e.g. create two 256x128 maps (upper/lower half), then merge them to one big 256x256 map.
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E1 Elite
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Joined: 28 May 2013

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Map Renderer and MapTool were not suitable.

Actually I did start a map merge tool when Tuc0 asked for a map resize feature. Did tentative UI, map parsing and coordinates based datatypes etc. all amounting to less than 10% coding of the tool in a few hours. Because of the complexity of the cross referencing of the index/IDs within a map and from 2 maps, I had to drop it. Units have follower's ID, triggers can link to other triggers, tags can be referenced at various places, actions/events have multiple entries in a single line which may contain teamtype/trigger IDs and those needs implementation on a case to case basis and AI triggers/teamtypes/scripts/taskforces etc.. It would have taken over a week of full time to even do the feasibility testing of the coordinates for resize and merge part with some basic implementation. So discontinued at very early stage itself.

Probably some of our reverse engineering experts could take it up and figure out the FinalSun/FA2 crashing when W * H crosses ~43500 value. It makes a big loop through a function and when it executes couple of further functions, it crashes by referencing a low address like 0x60. Minimap being the reason could almost be ruled out as I did disable it at all places except one where it had common computation with the main window.

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Tuc0
Cyborg Firebomber


Joined: 26 Sep 2016
Location: Slovakia

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joining 2 maps sounds like lot of mapping work too, having perfectly matched adjacent terrain (height, cliffs, shores, LAT, etc). I can only imagine doing it by running two instances of FS side by side or starting second map with small portion of previous map.

Does the OpenRA have TS map editor? Or only one-way map converter?

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E1 Elite
Commander


Joined: 28 May 2013

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea that I had was to make 2 maps of say 256x140 where top and bottom map would have copy paste of some portion for continuity. While merging, those could be cropped or resized and made as 2 maps of 256x128. But the complexity for achieving a 256x256 map was too high through a new tool, so had to leave it.

It may be easier for reverse engineering experts to fix it in FinalSun/FA2 itself.

Don't know of OpenRA.

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Graion Dilach
Defense Minister


Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Location: Iszkaszentgyorgy, Hungary

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OpenRA has a TS/YR-map-to-OpenRA converter + a primitive map editor which lacks terrain raising/lowering tools and any autoLAT.

You can't convert backwards from ORA to the legacy games.
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McPwny
Cyborg Soldier


Joined: 29 Jan 2018

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

there is a box in the editor where you can edit the name of the map. how hard would it be to add a box where you can edit the 'Author=', or the 'Briefing=' of a map?  

for that matter, how hard would it be to make the inbuilt INI edit function a bit more streamlined?

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E1 Elite
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Joined: 28 May 2013

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adding new stuff needs source code or do assembly coding, so can't do.

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