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Happy 2017, from Project Perfect Mod!
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Supreme Banshee

Joined: 15 Aug 2002
Location: Brazil

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:45 pm    Post subject:   Happy 2017, from Project Perfect Mod!
Subject description: Boom, boom, bang! Let a new explosive year commence!
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Hello everyone! We wish you a happy new year,  even if you do not celebrate it now. And we also wish you a happy life, because a happy new year is not enough for any of you.  We wish you peace, health and that may your dreams come true, except if they are related to the destruction of this humble place.

Let's keep things to our natural script, you know? At this time of the year, I always make a news post wishing a happy life (and new year), stating some good things that happened last year and our plans for the current year, which hardly get done, if ever. So, according to our lovely script, it is the part of the good things that happened last year. Let me see:

- The PPM Forums has received several features in the last year. The main one is the progress of the Key Words feature (also known internally as Hashtag, due to the # symbol). It allows us to search posts marked with strategic key words, display posts with specific key words in multiples forums, allowing us to re-use our existing content to launch forums about new games or subjects, and it also allows us to export news based on specific key words (and other properties too) and organized our resources (voxels, SHPs, 3D models, sounds, maps, etc) based on these key words as well. Unfortunately, we are far from being using the full potential of what Key Words allow us to do here, but it is just a matter of time until we improve this situation.

- There were other features added to PPM Forums, such as Game Development and Programming Discussion Forums, Spoiler BB code, unofficial news forums for projects that are not hosted by PPM, major speed up for the forums, forum locked administrative notice for problematic members, animated GIF image caching for news, etc.

- The following mods were released at PPM: Twisted Insurrection 0.6.5, The Dawn of the Tiberium Age 1.1579, Tiberian Dawn Xtended 0.53, C&C: Mashup 3.0,  CnCD2K 2.9.3. From the mods that have a non-official community news forum here, Mental Omega 3.3 was also released.

- The following mods received honorable mentions on ModDB Mod of the Year 2016: Twisted Insurrection and Tiberium Essence. From the mods that have a non-official community news forum here, Mental Omega has also been awarded a honorable mention there.

- Voxel Section Editor III allows the user to customize the amount of frames in GIF animations and it also fixes tons of bugs. Open Source BIG Editor allows you to open encrypted config.meg files from 8-Bit Invader, Hordes, Armies and Grey Goo. It reads every .meg file excepts the config.meg from the discontinued End of Nations. Open Source SHP Builder adds few custom schemes and fixes several bugs. A PPM distribution of XCC Utilities is now available, which includes community made fixes and compatibility improve for newer systems, such as Windows 10. TMP Shop support custom tiles and fixes several bugs. C&C AI Editor includes a couple of bug fixes.

- Nyerguds has released the Westwood Font Editor, which, as the name says, allows you to edit the fonts used on many old Westwood games. BatchTMPConverter 1.0.1 was released by Starkku to quickly replace image data from TMP files from Tiberian Sun,  Red Alert 2 and OpenRA. Rampastring has released FinalSun Tunnel Fixer to quickly fix issues with tunnels generated in Final Sun and Final Alert 2. Graion Dilach has released Voxel Scheme Generator which helps user to create custom palettes for OpenRA and Westwood old games too.  Josh is 25% Larger has released the YR INI Extension which is a preprocessor providing new functionality to INI files which can be compiled to code understandable by the YR engine. Lin Kuei Ominae has released the Image Combine tool which allows you to batch combine images into new images and he has also released Object Exchange, which converts buildings into terrain in a batch process. G-E has released many tools, such as AICheck, SoundCheck, AIClean, MapClean, focused on making the edition of INI files from Red Alert 2 and the verification of its errors an easier task.

- Ares has evolved a lot in this year. From 0.A to 0.Cp1, improving the customization of Firstorm Walls, superweapon targeting, audio support, logics regarding weapons with limited ammunition, spy logic, particles behavior, customization of the effects of the Factory Plant buildings, etc. As for the additions, the Bounty logic,  the Troop Crawler logic known from Generals, Saboteurs and Crush Damage from Dune 2000, buildings degrading while a player is low on power, Stealth Tanks holding fire unless in area guard mode, Generic Prerequisite Groups for buildings, allowing infantry and vehicles as prerequisite, NoAmmoWeapon, etc. Some more enhancements focus on passengers, like transports accepting only certain infantry units to enter. And there are tons of bug fixes, memory leaks being wiped out and much more.

- The Tiberian Sun engine has also received some reinforcements in this year, starting with the Tiberian Sun Client 4.08 that has received several bug fixes from the client and from the game, specially the one that crashed the game when you bypassed the limit of 75 buildable objects. And many fixes for the game itself has been posted by AlexB, Iran and few others at this topic on Research Forums (registered users only, sorry). These fixes can be applied with LKO's C&C's Executable Modifier.

And finally, the plans for 2017. I'll be honest with you guys, it is not much different from the plans for 2016, 2015, 2014, etc... we are just calibrating things through the years, so don't be surprised with the high amount of copy and paste in the next lines:

-> Re-design and modernize the main website, merging the main site with the mobile one: We plan to use modern web based design solutions to make a clean looking site that offers the current content. Furthermore, such new design should make future expansions to different topics (game development coverage) easier in a long term plan, as well as approach the content of our hosted TiberiumWeb to our own. As a bonus, this new design will remove Revora's network bar from our site.

-> Expand the site to become more popular with games beyond Tiberian Sun and Red Alert 2 scope: We are slowly adding content for other games here, but we are not getting many modders interested to discuss them in our community yet. We are already trying to change this situation by adding more content and trying to approach communities from other games. Now we can also re-use our existing content to quickly expand new subjects that can be covered here.

-> Progress with VXLSE III's 3D model export feature: This is our ultimate goal to become a significant community that modifies or develops 3D games. We have many voxel assets that would be very useful in newer games if we are able to convert them. Don't expect this to be finished in 2017, since I have a doctorate to finish first and the my thesis will be used on this solution (being a small, but significant part of it).

-> Attract more high quality mods: We need fresh blood and attractive content in this place. PPM is still an attractive place to have forums to advertise your projects and it still holds a community with skilled modders and artists to improve the quality of your project in the long term.

-> Improve news coverage from other games and communities: Nowadays, we are covering news related to RTS Command & Conquer games and OpenRA, while we want this place to become a modding reference for every game. Our service to discuss news from your mod, imported from RSS feeds, in our forums is just the beginning of something bigger. With that and our key words feature, we plan a more aggressive approach to obtain news from other sources and, at the same time, use the key words to quickly rewrite these news automatically (through a bot that would aid me to considerably speed up news posting) to increase the activity of this site and the attractiveness for game designers and user content creators that are not restricted to the universe that we cover nowadays.

-> Improve the organization of our content: The News Tracker and the Key Words features are a nice way to organize the content that we may explore. Now we need to use these resources to expand the potential of this place as a good reference for game design and user content creation, as well as a good place to learn news about it. We will also improve the way we organize our key words.

-> Make finances even more transparent to users: From this year onwards, we'll reveal how much money do we have to pay each of the expenses for the site. PPM relies much more on donations than anything else to survive. So, it is fair that we should be more transparent on how your donations are being used to keep this site alive.

And finally, in this year I am obligated to finish my doctorate. I'm working hard to have a happy ending with this one. When it is over, I'll certainly increase my activity in this place. I'm really proud of what PPM has become and its potential. And it is a community that I place my bets on it and I am happy to contribute and keep this place running. So, happy new year and I hope you enjoy PPM in the future.

Key Words: #ProjectPerfectMod #News #PPMForums #HappyNewYear #KeyWords #HashTag #Forum #HashtagForums 

Last edited by Banshee on Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:49 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Lin Kuei Ominae

Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A happy new year to you as well Banshee!
Thanks for keeping the site running so well and also for the nice overview of the last year.
Good luck to your doctorate and future plans with Project Perfect Mod.

You forgot to mention the exe pros that fixed numerous bugs of the TS engine, bringing much life back to the aging engine. Wink
Thanks from me at this place to AlexB, Iran, CCHyper, dkeeton and all others who made this possible.
SHP Artist of Twisted Insurrection:  Nod buildings

Public SHPs
X-Mech Calendar (28 Mechs for GDI and Nod)
5 GDI, 5 Nod, 1 Mutant, 1 Scrin unit, 1 GDI building

Image Shaper______TMP Shop______C&C Executable Modifier

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Supreme Banshee

Joined: 15 Aug 2002
Location: Brazil

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's ok. I've incremented the news with some of the changes on the TS engine, although it was not nearly as detailed as what has been written about Ares. I've also added a bit about ModDB's Mod of the Year.

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Joined: 09 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Problematic members #Tongue

Just an aside, why are you registering .org/.net and other redundant domains, are there a ton of important legacy links out in the wild ?

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Supreme Banshee

Joined: 15 Aug 2002
Location: Brazil

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The main domains are .com, .org and .net. I do register them to mostly to reinforce the relevance of this site and the Project Perfect Mod name. There are few other reasons as well that I will not reveal in a public place.

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Joined: 20 May 2013
Location: Creativity Corp, ID Division

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy New Year, everyone! Keep on the progress and I wish the plans will be realized in the future!

High quality mods, hmm.... :3
Humans were born for two things,
to pray and be productive.

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Supreme Banshee

Joined: 15 Aug 2002
Location: Brazil

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update: I've originally failed to notice that C&C: Mashup 3.0 was released back in october. The news above was updated to add this bit.

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