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 Forum index » Modding Central » Red Alert 2 Editing Forum
Trying out ARES
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geof101
Rocket Infantry


Joined: 30 May 2012

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2022 9:34 am    Post subject:  Trying out ARES Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi guys,

I've been modding Yuri's Revenge for a while now. And lately, I'm thinking of using ARES because without it, modding is very limited, I mean very limited. However, I don't have any idea or knowledge about ARES where to start, what do I need. Like do I just extract ARES in the games folder? and start Yuri as usual? Or do I need to have a client launcher or something? Tried it this morning, but I guess I'm, not built for ARES.

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Overmind
Cyborg Soldier


Joined: 05 May 2022

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2022 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I do not find it limited at all. I am currently rebuilding my mod and I will do it classically. I want to max out anything that can be done before considering going ARES.

For now, there's nothing I could not do by normal means except having multiple structure-powered units like the Robo Tank.

As for ARES, they have a page with lots of documentation.

As a basic functionality info, it's another .exe that you must start instead of the game's exe. That new exe will inject code over the game's original .exe.
So the ARES .exe is your new game launcher.

Hope it's clear.

Good luck with building with it !

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G-E
Defense Minister


Joined: 09 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2022 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Your ability to design units and flesh out new factions, lore and technology, all the basic things that make a mod, shouldn't be limited just because the engine isn't quite as extended.

Most mods end up copying or repeating elements from other mods, because the creativity is usually the limiting factor more than the engine. People see things they like and replicate them, often without considering how they fit into the theme of their own mod, or relative technology levels. Even something as simple as justifying how a unit could have been developed by a specific country is ignored, in order to use a fancy gimmick of a unit.

This isn't meant to be harsh criticism, but rather an acknowledgement that units or weapons alone don't make a mod good, nor does having a very clever implementation of a game mechanic suddenly mean people will want to play it. It's just as likely someone will copy your unit in a more compelling mod.

I would suggest there's 2 tracks you need to follow, the first is just learning, learning how the engine works, the interplay between units, AI, maps, balance etc, and the second is to use what you've learned to actually make something new, that isn't just a regurgitated mess. Ares can't fix a bad mod that no one wants to play.
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geof101
Rocket Infantry


Joined: 30 May 2012

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2022 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yeah, got all of your points. Been doing that with NPatch since 2012, I think. Also, I only made a mode just for me, I know my limits, and my capabilities, and I know it is not good enough for public use. I just want to try other new option to add few features that I want to use in order to just make it more visually pleasing for me, at least.

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McPwny
Shrapnel Sniper


Joined: 29 Jan 2018

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2022 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

everyone knows that all the hardcore badass REAL modders mod rules.ini only, in the unpatched vanilla game, using only the map editor!

ares works well if you launch it through a client. personally i use a slightly modified version of the cncnet launcher to launch ra2 with ares.
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adamstrange
Jumpjet Infantry


Joined: 07 Mar 2013

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2022 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
As for ARES, they have a page with lots of documentation
Unfortunately it is written in a way that made sense to game code creators and not to the average person. Many of the terms I needed a dictionary and still didn't understand what it was trying to explain.

http://ares-developers.github.io/Ares-docs/ui-features/customizabledropdowncolors.html

I just wanted to add extra player colors like in Generals and TW and after reading the documentation, and try to understand what it was trying to say, I just deleted it and never got it to work after many tries.

Problem is it sez it injects new code into the game but when you open the RulesMD.ini it looks Exactly the same. It's not like there is a list of new codes in your file.

It explains the process of the code but does not tell you HOW to do it, instead of simply saying...to add extra colors, add this line of code [provides the actual new code] here to this section, then add this line of code [provides the actual new code] here.
First time I added colors to Generals,TW and Homeworld 2 I asked, a modder and he said "just go here, type this there and change this here".
There was no need to explain the process of extracting and shipping the minerals to build the computer you have to run the game that you want to add extra colors too.
Just show me the example how the new code to add the extra colors should look and where to place it.

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G-E
Defense Minister


Joined: 09 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2022 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ares is more akin to a hacking tool, like a Trainer that flips bits in memory to get you unlimited money or something. When they talk about code injection they mean machine code, the stuff you never get to see or read. the various inis you edit are not technically "code" they are just "settings" for the game to use.

In this particular case, Ares also reads its own "settings" which tell those code insertions what to do. Part of what has you confused is that most of what Ares does is merely remove the default limitations, so you can use a feature Westwood already made like a SuperWeapon, but use it multiple times with slight variations instead of only once.

Like I said before, it really sounds like you're taking on more than you can chew. Ironically it was easier to start when the options were fewer in number and reduced in scope, but my advice still stands, "get good" on something, then move onto the next topic.

If you look at maps made prior to the 2010's they were all very simplistic, barren and ugly. City maps in particular look like a random scattering of buildings in an area. Map authors tried all kinds of gimmicks to disguise the fact that they were drawing straight cliffs, or unrealistic roads, and their inability to make convincing urban landscapes with few assets. Maps like voxels have come a long way in the last 5yrs, new terrain and buildings are only part of why that is, the authors also elevated their standards.


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adamstrange
Jumpjet Infantry


Joined: 07 Mar 2013

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2022 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for the explanation G-E

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Mig Eater
Defense Minister


Joined: 13 Nov 2003
Location: Eindhoven

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2022 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

adamstrange wrote:
I just wanted to add extra player colors


Use XCC Mixer to extract the uimd.ini file from the game, you can find it within the Localmd.mix file which it's self is within the RA2md.mix. Copy it to the RA2 game folder & then Open it with any text editor (Notepad etc), add a new section called [Colors] at the bottom of the file & then under that add Count=14. Launch Ares with the RunAres.bat file & you should now be able to use 14 colours instead of the usual 8.
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silverwind
Flamethrower


Joined: 11 Jun 2016

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It looks like somehow amidst all those enlightening words, nobody answered the original question in this thread.

> To run Ares, extract it to your game directory (where gamemd.exe is), and open RunAres.bat.


To understand how Ares words, it's important to understand how the game works. You open Ra2MD.exe. This file does some basic stuff, and opens GameMD.exe (which is the real game app).

Ares basically has a utility called Syringe.exe take over the role of Ra2MD.exe (leaving this file unused).

Syringe loads GameMD.exe, but not before scanning the DLL files in the game directory (Ares.dll and Phobos.dll, for example). These DLL files (application extensions) are  the 'code' that's being injected to the game. Using them, Syringe is able to alter the game executable as it's being run.

All in all, it changes how the game operates, what files it looks for, and how it reads them. This is how it's able to expand the game. And it does so WITHOUT changing the original game files (gamemd.exe is untouched).


Since you come from NPatch that works differently from Ares, you'll also want to uninstall NPatch before using Ares, as NPatch changes gamemd.exe directly, and could possibly cause Ares features not to work.

This happens because Syringe 'injects' code into various points known to the developers. NPatch might have changed these points to be different. The new code, after injecting might end up being gibberish.

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geof101
Rocket Infantry


Joined: 30 May 2012

PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2022 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

silverwind wrote:
It looks like somehow amidst all those enlightening words, nobody answered the original question in this thread.

> To run Ares, extract it to your game directory (where gamemd.exe is), and open RunAres.bat.


To understand how Ares words, it's important to understand how the game works. You open Ra2MD.exe. This file does some basic stuff, and opens GameMD.exe (which is the real game app).

Ares basically has a utility called Syringe.exe take over the role of Ra2MD.exe (leaving this file unused).

Syringe loads GameMD.exe, but not before scanning the DLL files in the game directory (Ares.dll and Phobos.dll, for example). These DLL files (application extensions) are  the 'code' that's being injected to the game. Using them, Syringe is able to alter the game executable as it's being run.

All in all, it changes how the game operates, what files it looks for, and how it reads them. This is how it's able to expand the game. And it does so WITHOUT changing the original game files (gamemd.exe is untouched).


Since you come from NPatch that works differently from Ares, you'll also want to uninstall NPatch before using Ares, as NPatch changes gamemd.exe directly, and could possibly cause Ares features not to work.

This happens because Syringe 'injects' code into various points known to the developers. NPatch might have changed these points to be different. The new code, after injecting might end up being gibberish.



Thank you for answering my question Smile

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