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Zero Hour Enhanced Update: Retrospective Look.
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Supreme Banshee

Also Known As: banshee_revora (Steam)
Joined: 15 Aug 2002
Location: Brazil

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2023 3:31 am    Post subject:  Zero Hour Enhanced Update: Retrospective Look.
Subject description: We don't need new shoes, we need new glasses!
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Hello, ladies and gentlemen! VectorIV, the leader of Zero Hour Enhanced, has been busy recently working on it and shared its progress report with us. For those unfamiliar with it, Zero Hour Enhanced is a modification for Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour that enhances the gameplay experience of the game according to VectorIV's visions. Here is the official announcement from Zero Hour Enhanced. However, beware that the political views in the text below may not reflect the views and principles of Project Perfect Mod community:

Ello again, friends, looks like we're back at, well, looking back at things (that didn't quite age well) and updating the updates! Even more meta than meta facebook!

And no, I don't mean the earlier versions of the mod or the cringe models I attempted to make when I was 15 (plz don't look it up.) What I meant is the PLA vehicles stuff, particularly the earlier stuff like the Battle-master, the Troop Crawler, the Overlord, etc.

So, what exactly went wrong and right, and why is there a need for a renovation of said stuff? Or to freshen up, so to speak.

So, back when I was creating the first batch of vehicles, I couldn't really decide whether to make the vehicles all the way "realistic" or to make them in accordance with vZH designs.

Visualisation of vZH design first, realism later

The problem arose when deciding which elements to keep, which to ditch, or which to add without going all the way down either end of the said spectrum which I couldn't really get it right, well, right away. So I just stuck with the old design principle, the same as how I did it before.

What I came up with quite later was the idea of realistic vehicles with the charm of vZH (color scheme, wacky armaments, etc.) designs still attached as you could kinda see morbing throughout the PLA vehicle updates (no consistency, lol)

With that said, let's start with the first vehicle I've done ever since these past few years: the Battle-master.

Ah yes, one of the vehicles that suffered greatly from the old design principle of vZH design first, realism later.

Despite claiming to be the ZTZ-88A, the apparent turret shape is just wacky, comedically large, and more adherent to the vZH style. Sure, at first, it looked fine when compared to the vZH Crusader, but it looked worse and worse the more I added new vehicles.

What's also closer to the vZH design is the lack of exhaust which when I look back at it now, I could only utter "HUH?" I guess I could have passed the exhaust as the rear vents, but it just looks wrong when even the Scorpion has exhaust pipes.

Another feature of the vZH Battle-master that was kept was the front grills. I guess it looked cool, but when you do extensive research into contemporary combat vehicles, it's just out of place and just doesn't any sense at all so I had to ditch it.

Example: irl smoothbore guns aren't so smooth looking

The barrel was also just plainly textured when, in reality, a barrel of different designs does indeed have lines running across it.

And lastly, the wide and THICC treads. I don't really know what I was thinking, really. It doesn't make any sense for any treads to be that THICC. I guess I just used the same mesh as vZH and called it a day or something. (lol)

So with the new design, I had to salvage from whatever was left. And now, All of those problems are fixed and more consistently aligned with all the other stuff I made.

Another vehicle that suffered greatly was the Troop Crawler.

Like, the whole damn thing didn't look like the actual ZSL-10 APC at all. It just looked like a vZH Troop Crawler but a bit taller and more modern.

This is because I couldn't find the damn blueprints, so I just made it out of thin air by looking at pixelated photos and trying my best to make another vZH Troop Crawler, lol.

And this aged very poorly and became very cringe to look at.

As you know, cringe can be a very powerful tool for a person to improve their craft. So powerful, in fact, that I just deleted it entirely, searched for the blueprints, and remade the whole damn thing. And now we don't have to speak about it anymore, and you can just wipe it from your memories.

Damn, I can't believe I nailed the Troop Crawler design first try. I'm so good.

And lastly, the Overlord.

Although it didn't quite suffer that much from the same faults as the two mentioned above, the lack of deep details and, in its place, flat details still made it quite dated.

What do I mean by this? Well, in the earlier designs, I deployed what I call the "black lines and bolts" a lot and perhaps too much. This is what I call "flat details", and no, this has no basis in reality whatsoever; it just looked cool imo.

I never got rid of it completely because when deployed in moderation, in addition to what I call the "bevels and hinges" or "deep details," it looked great imo. And no, this mostly has no basis in reality either, except for hatches.

So, with that in mind, when you inspect the first version of the Overlord, you can see an abundance of these flat details that are not as present in my later works. The solution is simple really: just add the deep details everywhere while keeping some flat details, then get rid of the other issues the Battle-master also had (grills, lack of exhaust, plain barrels, etc.)

And just like that, the Overlord looks new again!

"But what of the other vehicles?" you may ask. Well, I also updated plenty of them, although not to the same extent as these three. In particular, most had the same THICC tread issue and the lack of exhaust that was quite easy to fix.

Nevertheless, I will update their renders as well so you can have a look at what has been changed, which can be found here: (don't wanna flood moddb media section)

On a last note and most importantly, when speaking of "Retrospective Look", I think it is VERY CRUCIAL, especially at times such as this, to look at the history of modern conflicts and how they came to be through a critical lens.

And so, C&C Generals can be somewhat paralleled to what's happening irl, etc. Whether you wanna admit it or not, it's a very political game and a very biased one at that. And no, they didn't predict anything. History is repeating itself once again. It's just the history most people probably don't know about because they weren't taught for a reason.

It's so easy just to take the news and headlines at face value while your favorite cute news anchor calls for the annihilation of a group of people because they're deviants, barbaric, savages, etc., that they're gonna replace your race, coming for your freedom or eat your children or something completely unhinged with a few "evidences" that paints the entire group of people based on inherent characteristics as such.

After all, they surely must be correct, right? Every news channel in existence, whether on your TV, your PC, or your phone, keeps telling you the same damn thing. They're the "professionals" after all. Surely they must know the information they're telling you is 100% the reality. Wrong.

So what of the "critical lens" exactly? Well, it's a way of looking at things that would inform you that although the antagonists may seem to change faces every now or so, whether it is the GLA, the GIN, the Arabs, the Jews, the Africans, the Latin Americans, the Soviets, the Vietnamese, the Chinese, the Koreans, the Gays or whatever being labeled as the so-called "Terrorists" or "Vermins", there are things that remain constant: colonization, exploitation, imperialism, fascism, you named it is part of same the ruling ideology: capitalism

Well shit, I guess there's no escaping after all

Well, if you ask me, "Why bother changing things? Things are comfortable for me already. I don't mind seeing my fellow human beings being erased out of existence, treated like second-class citizens, or marginalized to the edge of the society just because they're born where they are or born that way", and I would tell you, this: Things might be fine for you now, but when there's no one left, they're going to come for you and they would be no one else there to speak for you or your future generations. You'll be completely isolated and be easy pickings.

So yes, you better start rethinking how the rich stay rich and how they actively gaslight you to hate each other based on what, like how they eat, how they live, how they dress, the color of their hair, the color of their skin, which way they love, how they were born, how annoying they are or how a bit weird they might seem at first glance?

All trivial stuff to hyperfocus on and rage about, especially every damn time a new piece of media features a black gay character or something or a new tabloid article is released claiming the SJWs are ruining much media. Save your anger and frustration. It's rather childish to direct it to those who don't deserve it. Live and let live, as a wise person once said. Maybe learn a few new things from them, like reading a new lore from a fantasy faction.

Also, how does that affect anyone in a meaningful way exactly when our collective rice pots and the planet itself are on the line, hmmm? Maybe we should be responsible adults for once, stop fighting, get together, and do something meaningful about it perhaps??? It's just a food for thought, of course. I'm just speaking my mind, so don't get any funny ideas, hahaha Smile

Sorry for the rant. I had to get it out of my system. Anyway, I completely forgot what I was talking about. And that's exactly what's in the next update, so stay tuned! Bye!

You can check more information about Zero Hour Enhanced by visiting the ModDB Profile, and Discord Channel. And that's all for now!

Key Words: #News #ZeroHourEnhanced #Generals #ZeroHour 


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