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A glimpse of C&C: Remastered Collection graphics on OpenRA
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Banshee
Supreme Banshee


Joined: 15 Aug 2002
Location: Brazil

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 5:52 am    Post subject:  A glimpse of C&C: Remastered Collection graphics on OpenRA
Subject description: It's time we've seen the future!
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Today, FiveAces has posted a video showing an alpha version of OpenRA with what seems to be a working support of Command & Conquer Remastered Collection graphics. Note that, EA does allow the use of these graphics under the terms they've posted in September 2020. So, among other things, using their graphics on OpenRA will require the users to actually own a copy of C&C: Remastered Collection on Steam or Origin. However, if you look beyond that, it also means that OpenRA will support 32 bits graphics with no palette limitations. And the best of all, you don't need to recompile OpenRA or dive deeply into its code to actually place these units in action, since YAML files are much more intuitive than that. Note that there is a lot of work that needs to be done before an official OpenRA actually supports this feature, although what was shown so far seems to be quite advanced and functional. Check the video below:





Take your conclusions and share your feedback in a reply to this topic.

Key Words: #News #OpenRA 

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pchote
Grenadier


Joined: 06 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed, most of the challenge in making this work has been integrating support for 32-bit sprites in all the places that used to use palette-based effects (e.g. player colours, terrain animations, transparency, colour overlays). The other big thing is optimizing the renderer to work with orders of magnitude more sprite data than before (a desert map uses ~1.5GB of uncompressed textures, compared to ~35MB with the classic graphics).

Once finished, these changes will enable bigger and better community mods as well as just the remaster.

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Holy_Master
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Joined: 21 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hype for abilities to use RGBA sprite! Very Happy

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MadHQ
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Joined: 07 Nov 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TBH, I think OpenRA using Remastered GFX is sad... I want C&C remastered to be the staple of Dawn/RA. OpenRA is dead now, get over OpenRa, it was cute when it started because of how old those games are, but now who needs OpenRa?
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EVA-251
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When second-gen CNC-style games are supported, I'm sure your tune will change. Some time in 2033 or so?
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TAK02
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By 2033 we'll all be dead 'cuz Kane and Tiberian Sun #Tongue

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G-E
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Joined: 09 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the others, OpenRA is now basically irrelevant outside of Dune2k and mods. Unless of course the C&C:R multiplayer servers shut down? So in that light, OpenRA's focus should be to allow more advanced modding, which will at least benefit from making C&C:R stuff workable within it.

Once the current crop of visual upgrades are done, I would suggest turning to a proper AI system, with a ruleset similar to RA2, but with chained conditions that includes negative conditions. Then perhaps even adding weighted teams so that the AI player could determine it is faster to make the second option due to how many factories of each type it has. In otherwords, no more fuzzy wuzzy stats based approach, but something that can be tailored to a style of play, with each faction or subfaction having preferred units that aren't necessarily that good.

I think a focus on becoming a generic engine for modders to make truly unique games -- like Unity -- is the only future for it.
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SteamsDev
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Joined: 12 Mar 2017

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:55 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

MadHQ wrote:
TBH, I think OpenRA using Remastered GFX is sad... I want C&C remastered to be the staple of Dawn/RA. OpenRA is dead now, get over OpenRa, it was cute when it started because of how old those games are, but now who needs OpenRa?


I was the same way, but after some trial of mods and the like I now know why people are choosing OpenRA. Look at mods such as Cameo or OpenHV - two mods with overwhelmingly complicated logic including tons of new factions, resource transportation logic, weapons, etc. Plus it's flexible - at least with 2D mods - which make the game a lot more fun to play.

Now 2.5D... eh... rather not go there Neutral .
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Reaperrr
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Joined: 26 Apr 2003
Location: Somewhere in Germany

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MadHQ wrote:
TBH, I think OpenRA using Remastered GFX is sad...

It won't "use" them.

At most, we'd maybe add support for optionally installing and enabling them for players who own a legal installation of C&CR, and otherwise just add engine support for the remaster file formats, so modders can use them in their own mods (which boils down to adding support for generic DDS, TGA, TGA+JSON-IN-A-ZIP and MS ADPCM WAV formats, as well as proper SRGBA/alpha tint support in general).

In any case, this is more about mod support than anything else.

G-E wrote:
I agree with the others, OpenRA is now basically irrelevant outside of Dune2k

This is just my personal, subjective opinion, but I feel out of the official OpenRA mods, D2k is the least important, since it's mostly remaking the original with some key features (Starport logic) still missing, so it doesn't offer much over D2k Gruntmods Edition.
The other 2 mods at least take their own spin on gameplay, UI and balance. Not to everyone's taste (including mine), but there's a reason why at least the RA mod is still holding up solidly in terms of player base.
We've actually had players come back from the remasters telling us how they were annoyed about the C&C(R) UI and gameplay, missing some of OpenRA's UI features and gameplay changes.

Even as someone who loved the originals to death and dislikes parts of the direction OpenRA's RA and TD mods have taken gameplay-wise, I must acknowledge that the originals haven't aged well in terms of gameplay, balance and UI, and C&CR only partially adressed the latter.
Personally, I'd have preferred proper remakes over just remasters (except for the music), but maybe that's just me.

G-E wrote:
(...) and mods. (...) So in that light, OpenRA's focus should be to allow more advanced modding, which will at least benefit from making C&C:R stuff workable within it.

Regardless of what some people might say, that has been our main focus for quite some time already. We just don't have the dev resources to code and review core engine refactors to areas like rendering and network on one hand, and add lots of new modding features on the other hand at the same time.
So on some release cycles you won't see many great new modding features, even though there's been some serious under-the-hood progress.

G-E wrote:
Once the current crop of visual upgrades are done, I would suggest turning to a proper AI system

Funny you mention that, refactoring our AI system has been fairly high on the list of major things to tackle next for quite some time. It's just one of those things that will probably take quite some planning and have to go through several revisions, lots of testing and gradual updates over time to get right.

G-E wrote:
I think a focus on becoming a generic engine for modders to make truly unique games -- like Unity -- is the only future for it.

That's actually the main goal (well, don't expect FPS on OpenRA's engine anytime soon, but there are enough genres OpenRA could cover with small-to-moderate changes).
The shipping mods are nowadays primarily example mods serving as advertisement and showcase for the engine, not the main focus with some moddability tacked on.
Most updates to balance, missions and so on are actually coming from the active player base nowadays, while we core devs focus mostly on the engine.
There's only so much progress you can make per year when it's just a handful of people doing stuff in their sparse free time, though.

SteamsDev wrote:
Now 2.5D... eh... rather not go there Neutral .

I believe that will be less troublesome to deal with once our map editor is able to properly and reliably place 2.5D cliffs, elevate/level terrain, place auto-LAT and so on. That's obviously a prerequisite for proper TS/RA2 mod support.

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Graion Dilach
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Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Location: Iszkaszentgyorgy, Hungary

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reaperrr wrote:
G-E wrote:
(...) and mods. (...) So in that light, OpenRA's focus should be to allow more advanced modding, which will at least benefit from making C&C:R stuff workable within it.

Regardless of what some people might say, that has been our main focus for quite some time already.


https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/pull/18777 is a great example when this claim falls apart. Warhead activation tied to target types was something I cited as required for modders years ago in https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/pull/11624#issuecomment-238219913 and this grew into one of the cornerstones of AS which was copied out to countless other mods. I was even praising your CreateEffectWarhead refactor simplifying this and I'm really frustrated to see the claimed reasons for rejecting, when there's actual proof this works.

The principle to support modding is clear on paper and sometimes there are some steps towards it - like https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/pull/19062 - but OpenRA suffers from closed-mindedness in almost all levels - the core players unwilling to listen to anyone coming outside from the community, many of tovl's promising refactors which would have greatly benefited modding getting shut down almost imminently, list could go on. This unwillingness to take risks and rewards which would promote outside-the-box thinking is a very sad thing to see and while I still consider ORA as a project with great potential, cases like this are why I ended up saying ORA is a project with a great amount of... wasted potential.

I acknowledge that C&CR support brings in good stuff, because it forces you to refactor the rendering code which will finally see the engine able to handle YR Terrain Expansion (for context: Snow and NewUrban TX incorporates so many tiles that it required GBs of VRAM to even load a mod incorporating them - https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/issues/11359 - and C&CR's bigger 32bpp tiles also reach similar amounts of texture space required so this finally got fixed with https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/pull/18982 I guess but I haven't tested this one) and post C&CR, you only need a modern audio format support to really rebrand yourselves as a generic modern RTS engine (dds and png32 covers everything on the visual side afterall, but since C&CR uses MS ADPCM internally for everything, this milestone isn't tied to that).

The potential is there but it's so wasted that it makes me cry inside every time I think about it. I see you do want to support modding, but you only listen to bad modders or you're trying to be brighter than actual modders. And in hindsight, I can't even say this is a recent phenomena either because I had to fight really hard for https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/pull/11513 back then which thankfully became a standard today with Kill() and repair exposing these properties as well - I'm glad that atleast this one proved it's worth.

Your own mindset is your biggest enemy to support modders and not the lack of manpower.
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pchote
Grenadier


Joined: 06 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graion Dilach wrote:
https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/pull/18777 is a great example when this claim falls apart.

You have either misunderstood or are misrepresenting my comment in that PR. Moving warhead specific options to the base warhead class forces those options to be defined by every warhead: how is the ChangeOwner warhead supposed to behave if ImpactActors is set to false? Or GrantExternalCondition? If we did decide to hardcode these kind of options on the base warhead, how would modders know which are useful? The warhead documentation would list them all as being available, but some options would be ignored, others behave incorrectly, and some might even crash due to specific options not making sense or not being implemented in any given warhead.

The idea of hardcoding warhead-specific options in the base class was rejected on these technical grounds. This has nothing to do with any modding features built using those options, and there is nothing stopping those features from being added without relying on hardcoded properties.

More generally, the attitude of this community confuses and occasionally disgusts me. Its fair enough to dislike the gameplay in the default mods, since that is a matter of personal taste. Its willfully ignorant, however, to extend that dislike into to calling the project irrelevant or dead, since it takes all of 5 minutes research to see that there is a strong community who does. It is outright crazy for people to think that they can act like an asshole, suggest "improvements", and honestly expect anybody to actually listen to them. We work on OpenRA in our spare time as a hobby, and when faced with a choice between the hundreds of things that I could work on, the much smaller set of things that i'm interested in working on, and that idea from a guy on the internet who called me incompetent and thinks OpenRA is a waste of time unless we pivot the project to do what they want - its pretty clear which one of these won't be next.

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G-E
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Joined: 09 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You shouldn't take my comments as an insult, you should instead see it as an uncontaminated observation.

Right now you are competing with existing games, newly released games, and have your ambitions set on accommodating more existing games. Regardless what you think on a technical level or the cool little things you include, you still have the basic problem of not defining OpenRA outside of the games you're recreating.

About the only real "problem" the project has solved is the dead/obsolete multiplayer options for those older games, not a bad thing certainly, but the C&C:R has solved that problem for 2 of the 4 games that needed it. The problem is no longer the serious issue it once was, so where does that leave OpenRA?

It's pretty obvious to me the project needs to stop focusing on recreating and focusing entirely on the areas that would allow the engine to transcend the existing games, in a way that will encourage actual game development, not just mods. The AI is one area that would help, but there are others.
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pchote
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Joined: 06 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well... the same place it has always been: as a recreation and modernisation of the original gameplay, in addition to its extensive moddability (which has sadly been a relative flop for the remasters). OpenRA's online player count has roughly doubled since the start of 2020, and our opt-in system info database shows that there are tens of thousands more people who play offline (which is another reason why its important for us to focus on improving the AI). I would have expected our player numbers to go down, not up, if the remaster had truely solved the problems that these people cared about.

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MasterHaosis
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pchote wrote:

More generally, the attitude of this community confuses and occasionally disgusts me.

Which exactly part of ,,this community" do you mean? OpenRA, or PPM overall? Or other?

Graion Dilach wrote:
the core players unwilling to listen to anyone coming outside from the community

Graion Dilach wrote:
The potential is there but it's so wasted that it makes me cry inside every time I think about it.

Graion Dilach wrote:
Your own mindset is your biggest enemy to support modders and not the lack of manpower.


Graion Dilach (since I am not interested or folling OPanRA at all) seems that there are also issues right? Is same as in our own PPM case in past, did people got improved there or history repeats itself even in OpenRA?
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Graion Dilach
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Joined: 22 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pchote wrote:
Graion Dilach wrote:
https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/pull/18777 is a great example when this claim falls apart.

You have either misunderstood or are misrepresenting my comment in that PR. Moving warhead specific options to the base warhead class forces those options to be defined by every warhead: how is the ChangeOwner warhead supposed to behave if ImpactActors is set to false? Or GrantExternalCondition?

The idea of hardcoding warhead-specific options in the base class was rejected on these technical grounds. This has nothing to do with any modding features built using those options, and there is nothing stopping those features from being added without relying on hardcoded properties.


ChangeOwner I actually can even showcase - because I did that already. https://github.com/AttacqueSuperior/Engine/blob/master/OpenRA.Mods.AS/Duplicates/Warheads/ChangeOwnerASWarhead.cs - also see the strikethrough note of https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/issues/17347.

If ImpactActors is false, there's still the terrain and empty air target types which can be used as warhead activation triggers via applying them to the epicenter. Because this is what this should provide - a shared warhead activation trigger framework. In https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/pull/11513 you and obrakmann argued for that IWarhead should be turned into a generic effect-spawner object and damagewarheads should remain separate. Wiring all the other warheads to share CreateEffectWarhead's ignition controls is even a step towards that aim. I would even argue though that this change would make sense for damagewarheads as well, to use these generic tags for activation triggers and then introducing a second bunch of tags for affected actor filtering (example case, giving two damage warheads to a missile to suppress the damage delivered to all actors in range if it blows up in the water). Or using the air targettype to decrease the spread radius. Or exploding weapons on an IronCurtained actor actively turning all effects of the weapon void (like in RA2) and not just only ignoring on the actor in the epicenter. My list can go on.

Currently, effect affections and activation triggers are a mixed bag with ValidTargets occasionally used for one or the other (EDIT: and rereading your thought - you consider the tag's former usecase only). What's correct is that both should be using targettypes, because at this stage almost everything can have them and the edgecases which don't should provide theirs (for example, the Firestorm Wall can change targettype based on the activation condition) but they need to be separated out and shouldn't be blended together especially not under the same flag. If there was something wrong with that PR as-was is that it wasn't doing any migration and should have simply went with an EpicenterValidationWarhead virtual subclass first and migrating CreateEffectWarhead to implementing it then slowly migrating all the other warheads with time, in a similar way of how the Stance->PlayerRelationship went through multiple PRs (which is incomplete because internally the query is still called HasStance() btw, I would fix that before the release to provide a stable API).

pchote wrote:
More generally, the attitude of this community confuses and occasionally disgusts me. Its fair enough to dislike the gameplay in the default mods, since that is a matter of personal taste. Its willfully ignorant, however, to extend that dislike into to calling the project irrelevant or dead, since it takes all of 5 minutes research to see that there is a strong community who does. It is outright crazy for people to think that they can act like an asshole, suggest "improvements", and honestly expect anybody to actually listen to them. We work on OpenRA in our spare time as a hobby, and when faced with a choice between the hundreds of things that I want to work on, the things that would reward toxic entitlement go to the bottom of my list.


This I can partially agree with. However, this isn't without a history either. A major portion of this can be traced back to Phrohdoh's "contributions" to OpenRA RA2 (like moving the Kirov to the aircraft queue) and people like tomsons26 still cite his lack of respect to the Westwood games. I stood up for this project for years to mediate until that "strong community" of yours decided to name me as the worst thing ever happened to OpenRA. Regardless, I find your criticism hypocritical when statements like https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/issues/17534#issuecomment-569977185 mocking global laws are completely fine. Infact, I consider the entire GeoIP->IP2Location switch a giant proof of toxic entitlement coming from your own community, because GeoIP explained in details in their post that they pulled back unauthorized downloads because they can't ensure leaking of sensible personal information. Scrambling the last octet isn't enough and since the online ecosystem is a client-server-client structure, there's absolutely no reason to transfer any portion of a client's IP to another. IP-based blacklists should be forced to be phased out in favor of the forum profiles and their black/whitelists and the country data should also be queried from an opt-in forum profile field instead of derived from the IP locally on the client if you are actually interested of dealing with all the SPI handling concerns.
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Matthias M.
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Joined: 15 Jun 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These comments and especially all the hatred are very unfair. The OpenRA team was part of the community council. Of course re-using the assets (under compliance with EA's community rules) was a large motivation and got official support. If you don't like that: just don't play OpenRA. If you want community balance and modern features like fog of war: then stick with OpenRA.

If you disagree with how it is managed then sure you got the http://meatballwiki.org/wiki/RightToFork which is part of the Open Source philosophy. You don't have a right for personal attacks.

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MasterHaosis
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will stick to Ares/Phobos for now Very Happy
Matthias M. wrote:
and especially all the hatred are very unfair.

Matthias M. wrote:
You don't have a right for personal attacks.

Where is hatred and personal attacks here in this thread?
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Matthias M.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If this tone is really what you call a friendly discussion between colleagues then I pity you.

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PussyPus
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you stop these arguments please?
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MasterHaosis
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matthias M. wrote:
If this tone is really what you call a friendly discussion between colleagues then I pity you.

Sir, with all due respect, you have no idea what you are talking about. This place was far worse in past, regarding conversations. Insulting, name calling, offensive swearing, too many threads have been crapped because of insults etc etc... Yet again this is nothing to old Renegade forums where Rock Patch was held.
The fact that you are complaining on ,,tone" proves fact that it is much easier  and better to communicate now. This is honey compared to before. We all used to be much different in past, more or less.
You see I have ability to watch two sides of same medal. This thing what you are trying to explain has also two sides of medal:
First side - That you are right, this is not acceptable way of communication, and we all need to change. In this case you are right to pity me because I do not know for better. If you are raised by cannibals, you are cannibal as well. So, if I am used here for years on this way of communications, then I am not that different from them either, except I do not name call and insult people. In this case we must change.
But there is second side of medal - that you are either weakling or sensitive, like modern day people, who always find everything they cannot take as offensive or insult ,,OMG THIS INSULT THAT INSULT!" like crybabies ignoring the fact that it was far worse in past. Todays people (not by generation and age, but for behaving, functioning, adapting to these times) adapted this type of sensibility. I dislike this modern mentality, men became like .... let's just not use words. CRYING EVERYWHERE! FOR TRIVIAL REASONS! This can be annoying.
But from what I can see here, you did not include in consideration few things:
-First, I have no moral right to talk about OpenRA, since I am not following it or your forums. But from what I saw here, people noted that OpenRA is dying. And if this is true (since my conclusion comes from this thread, so I may be wrong), you may be frustrated because of it, and now  discuss about trivial things such this.
-Second, few years ago, I spend too much time on chat with AlexB regarding Ares. Almost each day until 5AM! Sometimes I tested features even before they went public. During our time, we also used to complain about community, requests and such from time to time. But we worked! He was working all the time! People back then in early stage of Ares had serious insulting, but they worked! Rock Patch before and so on. More people used mods, patches got more powerful which attracted more people. Golden days of modding. Which leads me to third:
-Third, not just open ra, we are also dying here slowly. less and less people visit, download stuff, make mods, comment on resources etc etc... So, complaining about how ,,leftovers" communicate now is useless. What I have been working last time, daily is rapid shp creation. Some people find it fun and usable. But less people are here at PPM overall. But I do not stop! Last night I spend literally whole day on something which I failed overally. (I was tryint to create few shps, and infantry converting A to B, B to C, C to D and D to A, but failed ultimately). But I wont complain, I will keep work as I find fit. Same goes for you, if you have time, find way how to increase your project to attract more people if possible,do not waste time on trying to convert how this community behaves, since it wont get you anywhere. With this attitude, you are doing opposite, I believe that less people are attracted with OpenRa. This is two way street. You may be dissatisfied with how community behaves, but also some may be dissatisfied with how you behave as well! Think about it, it is always two sides of medal or street with two ways.
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Matthias M.
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Joined: 15 Jun 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, thanks. I guess gaming communities can be harsh, but maybe it would be better if they wouldn't. This thread is a bad representative of the OpenRA community. There is http://discord.openra.net/ where you can chat with fellow modders and developers (though not guaranteed till 5am) while the game even has Discord RPC integration, so you can easily play with your friends. https://www.moddb.com/games/openra/mods is also a testament to me that OpenRA modding is very much alive. I would rather call it 3rd generation modding with Ares being 2nd and .ini rule editing being 1st generation. I recently saw some gameplay of ReShade(?) which was visually very impressive so 2nd generation modding is still very much alive and with sites like GitHub probably even more organized than "in the golden days" of modding.

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Blade
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Joined: 23 Dec 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you really call it any generation modding when its not a C&C based game engine, modding OpenRA is just game dev creating C&C alike games. The OpenRA core mods are remakes of the original games on a different engine without remaking the graphics. If I made C&C alike game in the unreal engine using the original graphics, is that C&C modding?

In many respect this is probably why the remasters haven't really leeched much of the player base from the OpenRA mods, it really isn't the same game so why would people who enjoy playing one want to give it up to play a different one. If they wanted remaster game play, CNCNet have been providing something pretty close for years and people have picked their poison one way or another.

I disagree with MadHQ that its sad to add support for the newer graphics formats used by the remasters, the format are more modern and it expands the useability of the engine for unique games to be developed on beyond providing just a lick of paint over two of the existing games on the engine and the lick of paint is hardly going to be unwelcome by OpenRA players who tried the C&C remaster games and didn't find them to their liking.

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G-E
General


Joined: 09 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blade: It may not be "modding" in the strictest sense, but if you gave a brand new person a chance to play whatever game back to back with the real one, would they still feel like they are distinct games? I'm guessing the answer would be no, people don't care what's under the hood, they see the results only.

The discussion here that people like Mattias are seeing is one of the insider's perspective, they know all the things going on underneath the skin and can't fathom how a person outside the bubble just doesn't care. There are actually two legit viewpoints here, and like other industries, the users and creators/programmers see it entirely differently. You might as well be trying to convince someone your 98% signal to noise ratio is far superior to the 97% signal to noise ratio they are already experiencing...
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Banshee
Supreme Banshee


Joined: 15 Aug 2002
Location: Brazil

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Blade: It is modding in its stricter sense. When you start modding OpenRA, you'll certainly start by modifying an existing mod there (the RA1, TD, or Dune2k ones that come with it... or any other game/mod for this engine that you admire). Of course that the result of your work usually ends up being a game, since it is usually standalone, but exceptions are possible.


@Matthias: I have a feeling that many people in this community have the expectation to create modifications based on Tiberian Sun or Red Alert 2. The fact that OpenRA does not cover most of the features they desire might make them vocal their frustrations about it. For now, I'd recommend you guys not take it to heart. Those who are more familiar with game design do understand that you guys do not have a magic wand that makes the magic get instantly done and that you guys are progressing as fast as possible. So, keep up the great work with OpenRA. I'm sure that once the TS mod gets in more advanced stages, it will get more support here. But for now, be aware that there are a lot of people who admires OpenRA here without being as vocal as those frustrated people Wink. And bear in mind that your project will always be supported here because there is a public for it here.

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TAK02
General


Joined: 28 Jun 2015
Location: It was Damascus.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excuse you, I do admire OpenRA.

Though the fact that vanilla missions and maps are not compatible is the real deal breaker.
(this is assuming that limitation remains; if you're planning on supporting the WW .map format and all the triggers and what-not at some point, ignore this)

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Matthias M.
Stealth Laser Trooper


Joined: 15 Jun 2012
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some students worked on a .ini trigger to .lua script converter, but never sent a patch. https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/issues/12727

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NimoStar
Tiberian Beast


Joined: 07 Nov 2012
Location: Buenos Aires

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OpenRA, as it stands, is pretty terrible as a game engine because it cares more about supporting its own terrible RA clone (allied biased, etc.) than about being a viable mod platform.

The OpenRA problem as a mod platform is simple, it requires every modder to do their own fork instead of providing a robust codebase where everyone can work and doesn't have to refactor their whole mod with every update.

I called it when the developers took this direction which only works for themselves and against modders that it would kill the game.

The OpenRA server could be glorious, if it was like it is suppossed to be, you could download the base client and  download and play ANY GAME OR MOD MADE WITH THE OPENRA ENGINE, with the same system used for TD, RA and D2K.

But the developers said "nope, mods are not our problem and our client will only support the official games. Let them eat cake."

Well, that is why OpenRA is basically dead. Thank you for listening.

________________

PS: The OpenRA guys here say "But modding IS our priority!" but their actual arguments boild down to "PEOPLE THAT DIDN'T LIKE REMASTERED RA1 COME TO OUR RA1!" which isn't about making a better platform for modding at all. Yes, there may be people that enjoy OpenRA's RA1 skirmishes, and? So what? What does that do for modders that want to be able to use the engine? Nothing.

In fact, I would reckon that the OpenRA community and developers spent more time and energy debating the "added Hind for allies" debacle in the last 2 years than about supporting proper isometric graphics... a full year later from them having been sent the code, implementing *a building selection box*.

Practically everyone abandoned OpenRA modding long ago, why not take a look at those users frustrations if modding is the priority instead of "BALANCE - changed rifle infantry machinegun damage from 110 to 111, reverted from P109273b". Indeed even MustaphaTR with his Romanov's Revenge mod has been unable to update all of his codebase and thus didn't even benefit from the goddamned selection box due to the terrible for "non-official" mods OpenRA code structure.
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Volgin
Commander


Joined: 07 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Imagine if y'all pressured people to kill modding on the USELESS Tiberian Sun engine and the standard YR engine and move people to Ares back in the day. Maybe people would still mod these dead-ass engines. OpenRA is NOT perfect, but I can't ztyping believe this community will condemn it after years of encouraging people mod... Tiberian Sun, a horrible engine with no optimization, instead of moving on to the Yuri's Revenge engine, or one of the projects like Ares.

Y'all out of y'all's damn minds.
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EVA-251
General


Joined: 20 Feb 2005
Location: o kawaii koto

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2021 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uh oh, you're going to get mugged by the fanboys. Seriously though, TS is almost entirely dead at this point- the remaining mods are only there because they're too heavily invested.

Quote:
The OpenRA problem as a mod platform is simple, it requires every modder to do their own fork instead of providing a robust codebase where everyone can work and doesn't have to refactor their whole mod with every update.
This x1000. There was so much extra work that needed to be done seemingly after every update that I eventually lost interest in maintaining my mod. I'll wait until the modder-side of the engine is actually stable.
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ORA/YR modder/artist, DOOM mapper, aka evanb90
Project Lead Developer, New-Star Strike (2014-), RA Tweaked (2015-)
Former Project Lead Developer Star Strike (2005-2012), Z-Mod (2006-2007), RA1.5 (2008-2013), The Cold War (2006-2007)

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pchote
Grenadier


Joined: 06 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2021 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EVA-251 wrote:
I'll wait until the modder-side of the engine is actually stable.


Its not really feasible to have both an immutable modding API and also continously adding new features or improving old ones in response to feedback. You can't have your cake and eat it too!

OpenRA modding is very different to the Westwood engines, both at a design level (modular building blocks versus hardcoded tags), and in terms of not being dead (ahem, "stable" Wink) for the last 20 years. Adding new features or improving existing ones often means changing the properties exposed to yaml. E.g. a big change happening lately has been adding full 32bit sprite support and arbitrary color / alpha modifiers through the engine. This adds a lot of new modding capabilities, but means that several traits that were designed around palette swapping are being removed or having their palette references changed to specify tint colours or translucency directly.

These kind of changes break API stability, and nobody is going to apologise for this - the alternative is a stagnant engine that is fundamentally limited in the ways it can be improved. We put a lot of effort into maintaining the updater tool that does most of the changes automatically, and in documenting the rest. Most modders outside the PPM bubble seem to be okay with this level of pain (i'm not going to pretend its all easy) as a trade off for the benefits of getting an actively maintained and continously improving engine.

Last edited by pchote on Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:29 am; edited 2 times in total

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m7
Commander


Joined: 17 Apr 2009
Location: The Fang

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2021 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NimoStar wrote:
Practically everyone abandoned OpenRA modding long ago, why not take a look at those users frustrations if modding is the priority instead of "BALANCE - changed rifle infantry machinegun damage from 110 to 111, reverted from P109273b". Indeed even MustaphaTR with his Romanov's Revenge mod has been unable to update all of his codebase and thus didn't even benefit from the goddamned selection box due to the terrible for "non-official" mods OpenRA code structure.


You don't say, everyone has left! Oh no!

Shattered Paradise has received continuous improvements for the last few years, with the new spectators features and rotating buildings. Being the first of the isometric mods I discovered back in 2016, Nolt and crew have done an excellent job with their TS expansion mod.




Similar people are also involved in working on a Red Alert 2 version which aims to increase multiplayer balance and takes some creative liberties with new features like the RA3-inspired Commander Powers (which I cannot remember being shown in this video):




Swarm assault is a recreation of another RTS altogether, an old bug-based game. The creators have worked hard to bring it to the OpenRA engine and even included 99 missions in the project!




Open HardVacuum is a new RTS experience, created from public domain graphical assets from a cancelled game in the era of Dune games. Completely new logics were created, including the resource system which utilizes something closer to 8-bit Armies/Hordes.





All of these projects are just a small selection of what OpenRA modding has to offer, and while the engine features are often in flux due to active engine development there is a system in place to help ease the pain of updating engines.  Thank you for coming to my TED Talk, OpenRA is very much alive! #ModdingIsHardWork
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Last edited by m7 on Thu Feb 04, 2021 4:02 am; edited 1 time in total

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pchote
Grenadier


Joined: 06 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2021 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like you linked a video of the original Swarm Assault  Smile

Here's a video from the OpenSA mod:





Also RV has been using the isometric selection boxes for nearly a year now, as are clearly visible in the video linked above... NimoStar is vomiting complete nonsense that isn't worth engaging with.

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G-E
General


Joined: 09 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Volgin wrote:
OpenRA is NOT perfect, but I can't ztyping believe this community will condemn it after years of encouraging people mod... Tiberian Sun, a horrible engine with no optimization, instead of moving on to the Yuri's Revenge engine, or one of the projects like Ares.

You know given DTA's success with "engine swapping" I would have expected a TS-on-YR+Ares by now. Just for the increased resolution it would be nice, sure some TS-only features would be lost, many of which can be faked convincingly anyway, but overall a net gain?

Maybe if ReWire had been complete enough for a crude beta things would be different.
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Graion Dilach
Defense Minister


Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Location: Iszkaszentgyorgy, Hungary

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2021 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EVA-251 wrote:
I'll wait until the modder-side of the engine is actually stable.


This got a lot better since the ModSDK between releases atleast. Sure, there are still cases when the change was unnecessary (Stance->PlayerRelationship provided no functional difference and was just a plain rename, but that is probably the sole such case which comes into my mind). I'm not saying it's perfect because the packaging changes are usually more problematic to follow than the actual yaml changes (the idea to PR packaging changes parallel to ModSDK as to the main repo is a good idea, considering that the ModSDK remained as a PR for a good portion of this playtest cycle).

Sure, I am not always happy with OpenRA, but there are some reactions since my last post which are just outright ridiculous and far, far away from the truth.
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Semi-retired. Sometimes contributing, mostly just blurbing in.
Attacque Supérior (2010-2019) Valiant Shades (2019-?)
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