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 Forum index » Modding Central » Public Project Announcements
Chrono Divide - A RA2 recreation playable in the web browser
Moderators: Generals Moderators, Global Moderators, OpenRA Moderators, Red Alert 2 Moderators, Tiberian Sun Moderators
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seppuku
Civilian


Joined: 30 Mar 2021

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 5:01 pm    Post subject:  Chrono Divide - A RA2 recreation playable in the web browser Reply with quote

Hi everyone!

I'd like to share with you my recreation of "Red Alert 2" running as a web client. This is a multiplayer-only client written from scratch in TypeScript (JavaScript) and it's playable directly in a web browser.

It is still in development (in alpha state) and missing some units and features, but otherwise fully playable. Full dev. info is on the game's Discord server.

Website: https://chronodivide.com
Discord: https://discord.gg/JjCyVc8tzW
A short gameplay video: https://youtu.be/UyY3EDpbOYY


I expect there may be some questions of legal nature here, and I hope I'm not breaking any forum rules. Point is, I couldn't find any project which is even remotely similar, and I'm unsure how EA's modding guidelines overlap with my use case, since my game is not technically a mod, but a complete rewrite.

Legal rant follows, would welcome any advice on the topic.

What I see that could raise some eyebrows is the use of original game assets, since the game is not officially freeware. While I am not redistributing or offering for download any original game files, I am however using the assets, albeit in a converted form in JSON format and serving these directly to the browser. But I don't think this can be looked at as bypassing copy protection or some form of piracy as the original game files can already be downloaded for free from XWIS, which is officially backed by EA, afaik (they handle the online play since original Westwood studios got shutdown). CnCNet also provides full working (mp only) game as download, so I don't see any problem in using them. And ofc EA still owns anything and could ask me to shut down at any time if they wanted to.

I thought about trying to email EA directly to get explicit permission, but this kind of endeavor is usually futile. I already tried to DM jimtern on Discord and I didn't get anything back so I kinda gave up. If bigger projects like Renegade X barely got their attention, not sure if there is anything more I can do about this atm.

Anyway, please pardon the long rant, and I look forward to receive some feedback Smile

For the Union,
Alex

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Allied General
General


Joined: 19 Mar 2004
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Idea is nice as proof of concept but yeah the asset usage I see this being an issue
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tomsons26lv
Cyborg Artillery


Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Location: Latvia

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well it already owns OpenRA from the looks of things, ill give you that.

At first i thought it has to be WebAssembly recompiled binary with some functions nuked and replaced(like font drawing, voxel drawing) but i see there's quite a bit of code going into this.

Regarding legal matters, what you could do this way probably is TS-FS as it was released officially as freeware.
We(CnCNet) don't provide a MP only copy of YR, we can't do that with RA2 - YR as they are not freeware.
We provide a client that offers MP/Skirmish only, it requires a up to date and working RA2 and YR installations to work.

XWIS is best defined i guess as inofficial, EA did officially redirect WWs MP links to XWIS, but that's where any partnership ends, technically they don't have a right to provide the game in any form but to their own risk they have been doing that anyway.
Only EA permitted scenario where a standalone can exist is a total conversion mod that replaces ALL assets.
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Tiberian Dawn, Red Alert, Tiberian Sun ,Red Alert 2,Renegade, Command & Conquer 3,Tiberium and Tiberium Wars and Westwood related image & video archive
https://picasaweb.google.com/113361105083292812413?noredirect=1

Skype live:tomsons26
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Last edited by tomsons26lv on Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:57 pm; edited 1 time in total

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TAK02
General


Joined: 28 Jun 2015
Location: It was Damascus.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One game-related criticism: One player can't launch the game, like vanilla, but I figured this version would allow it, like Ares DLL does, if only for players to mess around with the Browser-compatible controls.

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MadHQ
Commander


Joined: 07 Nov 2003

PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the idea is awesome! I have spent time trying to render vxls via web browsers and have done a decent job. So I do like what you are trying to do, looks good so far.

I tried to play... Couldn't play... I would try to join a game and after loading it would kick me...
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seppuku
Civilian


Joined: 30 Mar 2021

PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks @tomsons26lv and everyone who gave advice regarding the assets.

It seems I didn't actually test CnCNet without RA2 already installed. Indeed, it complains if it can't find an install.

I will most likely have to require players to select the original game files from local disk. The other option is somehow ensuring a valid serial via an XWIS account, but since they don't have an API, people would have to provide their XWIS credentials directly in-game, which is a big no-no for me. That also adds a dependency to XWIS. Origin doesn't have an API either, like Steam does and the game isn't on Steam.

Having a local installation unfortunately defeats the purpose of a web-based game. Also the original is Windows-only, so unless you go through the hoops of copying your *.mix files from a Windows PC to your Mac or Linux installation, cross-platform play goes down the drain too Sad


@MadHQ, there are still bugs of course and there was a lot of traffic during the last few days, which caused some issues. I have a channel on Discord for reporting bugs and such or you can DM me here. If you can give some additional details, maybe I can get to the bottom of it Smile


@TAK02, I'll add the test map mode (singleplayer, no AI) directly in the game menu at some point

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TAK02
General


Joined: 28 Jun 2015
Location: It was Damascus.

PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It'll be nice if at some point if at least a semi-functional AI will take over players' units that have disconnected from the game.

I've been playing Chono Divide for a while now. Solid stuff.

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