http://www.openra.net/ OpenRA - News Feed 2017-04-21T20:00:00Z OpenRA developers http://www.openra.net tag:www.openra.net,2017-04-21:/news/release-20170421/ Release 20170421 2017-04-21T20:00:00Z 2017-04-21T20:00:00Z <p>Almost to the day half a year after our last stable release, we are proud to finally present to you our latest work - OpenRA Release 20170421!</p> <p>With 43 developers producing just shy of 800 commits and touching almost 1800 files, this has very likely been one of our slowest release cycles ever. As such, the list of user-visible changes is not as long as you’ve come to expect in earlier years. However, behind the scenes, preparations for a fundamental transformation of the OpenRA engine are in the works. But more on that later.</p> <p>As usual, this new release brings with it changes to the balance of both the Red Alert and Tiberian Dawn mods, as well as a huge number of new and overhauled multiplayer maps. In addition, it contains the following major fixes and features:</p> <ul> <li>HiDPI font rendering for players with high resolution displays.</li> <li>Fixes for several multiplayer bugs that could stall or crash games when a player disconnects.</li> <li>The Red Alert “shell map” background is now muted.</li> <li>New behaviour for the Red Alert Gap Generator and Tiberian Dawn Obelisk.</li> <li>Fixes for asset installation on 32 bit operating systems and from the original RA95 CDs.</li> </ul> <p>The Dune 2000 mod in particular has many changes to make it better match the gameplay and graphical polish of the original game, plus seven(!) new campaign missions.</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170421-td-hidpi.gif" alt="HiDPI support" /></p> <p>Comparing regular and high resolution UI rendering in the Tiberian Dawn map browser.</p> </div> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170421-d2k-new-missions.png" alt="New Dune 2000 missions" /></p> <p>Dune 2000 now comes with 13 campaign missions.</p> </div> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170421-ra-gapgen.png" alt="New Gap Generator behaviour" /></p> <p>The re-written shroud-generating behaviour of the gap generator in action.</p> </div> <div class="about-todo-divider"></div> <p>The biggest changes in this release are behind the scenes; technical improvements that are not visible to players, but important for our development and modding community:</p> <ul> <li>A new <a href="https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/wiki/Trait-Conditions">trait conditions</a> system provides much better control over trait interactions.</li> <li>Actor vision has been overhauled, adding support for features like the RA active gap generators, D2K actors revealing themselves when attacking, and cliffs blocking vision in heightmap-enabled mods.</li> <li>Simplified weapon definitions using inherited yaml templates.</li> <li>Some initial steps towards removing code patterns that are not compatible with save game support.</li> </ul> <p>OpenRA grew out of the C&amp;C modding community, and one of our major goals is to provide a flexible game engine that the community can use for their own projects. Unfortunately, this goal has been hurt by OpenRA’s single-engine approach, meaning that every new release would unavoidably break community mods.</p> <p>After many discussions, we have developed a new mod support strategy that we will implement over the next two OpenRA releases. This release starts by adding support for parallel OpenRA installs, and we have started developing a <a href="https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRAModTemplate">mod template</a> that includes instructions and scripts to simplify mod development and packaging. Mods built using this template will be self contained games that function independently from our official mod installs.</p> <p>The in-game multiplayer server list will now list games for <em>all</em> the mods that a player has installed (even across multiple installations), and will allow players to directly switch to another mod when joining one. This applies across versions as well as mods, meaning that future OpenRA releases will be able to coexist, and switching between release and playtest servers will be just as easy as switching between RA and TD servers today.</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170304-mpmodswitch.png" alt="New MP server list switcher" /></p> <p>The multiplayer server list is now smarter about multiple OpenRA installations.</p> </div> <p>The next release (later this year) will complete the mod-support transition by removing the in-game mod chooser and support for manually installed mod packages: all mods (both official and community) will be listed individually with their own names and icons in your Start Menu / Dock / Launcher.</p> <p>We hope these measures will give more visibility to third-party mods, and establish OpenRA as a viable and stable real-time strategy platform even for games not connected to the Command &amp; Conquer universe.</p> <div class="about-todo-divider"></div> <p>For the complete list of changes please see the <a href="https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/wiki/Changelog/33cef396555bd767f9126d4775e20324ae05c235">full changelog</a>. You can find installers for all our supported operating systems on our <a href="/download/">download page</a>.</p> <p>We hope you’ll enjoy this newest installment of OpenRA!</p> tag:www.openra.net,2017-04-08:/news/playtest-20170408/ Playtest 20170408 2017-04-08T19:00:00Z 2017-04-08T19:00:00Z <p>You probably have already guessed the bad news, the buyable hats from <a href="/news/april-20170401/">our April Fools post</a> are not going to be in the next OpenRA release. Don’t be too sad however, as this ought to be the final playtest before the next release! So be sure to <a href="/download/">grab yourself an installer</a> and use this last chance to report bugs and give us feedback.</p> <p>As we’re trying to make our release (candidates) as stable as possible, this playtest doesn’t include many big changes compared to the last playtest. However, the Tiberian Dawn map pool got an extensive overhaul, with over 50 maps being added! Other minor touch-ups, like the changes to the Red Alert map pool or the last minute balance fine tweaks are listed in the <a href="https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/wiki/Changelog/5d16339b25ad3fe88f293f4590cb959f70000a5b">complete changelog</a>.</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170408-td-map-pool.png" alt="new td map pool" /></p> <p>The new map pool offers maps for both young and old Tiberian Dawn players.</p> <p><img src="/images/news/20170408-yak-gap.png" alt="yak and gapgen" /></p> <p>Yaks and MiGs received a slight sight range increment versus gap generation.</p> </div> <p>As always, if you encounter a bug, or have any other feedback, feel free to open a ticket on our <a href="http://bugs.openra.net">issue tracker</a>, contact us <a href="http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=openra">on IRC</a>, create a topic on our <a href="http://www.sleipnirstuff.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=80">community forum</a>, or leave a message in the comments below.</p> <hr /> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170408-ragl-III.png" alt="ragl season III logo" /></p> </div> <p>On a different note, we just entered the first break round of the <a href="http://www.sleipnirstuff.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=82&amp;t=20000">Red Alert Global League</a>, with 129 games being played so far! If you want to get an impression of how RA:GL matches look, check out FiveAces’ latest cast:</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/T0cSz8cUgpA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> </div> tag:www.openra.net,2017-04-01:/news/april-20170401/ April 2017 Release Preparations 2017-04-01T11:00:00Z 2017-04-01T11:00:00Z <p>The next major OpenRA release is imminent, so you might want to have a look at the upcoming features. If not, just jump directly to the <a href="/download/">downloads</a> page and grab the latest playtest installer to help us getting feadback.</p> <h2 id="tibbucks">TibBucks</h2> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170401-user-tib-bucks.png" alt="bucks" /></p> <p>Yes, we finally managed to add the highly demanded pay2win features to OpenRA!<br /> Buy TibBucks, our own virtual ingame currency and get your hands on our premium bonus content.</p> <p><img src="/images/news/20170401-chrono-speed-up.png" alt="chronoshift icon" /></p> <p>Spend TibBucks to paradrop tank armies anywhere<br /> on the map or use it to speed your constructions up!</p> <p><img src="/images/news/20170401-mammoth-hats.png" alt="mammy_hats" /></p> <p>Customize your units by buying hats for them.</p> </div> <h2 id="new-colorpicker">New ColorPicker</h2> <p>Our color picker has often been criticized for blocking too many colors and not giving much to select from. Fortunately our fellow comrade ‘<a href="http://www.sleipnirstuff.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=82&amp;p=294293&amp;sid=17a2bc916bb5935e144cfbf0f49adac4#294293">pulse</a>’ took a look at it.</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170401-color-picker.png" alt="color_picker" /></p> <p>The old color picker was just not intuitive enough and has been replaced<br /> by this non-restrictive, user friendly gem.</p> </div> <h2 id="brexit-news-britain-also-leaves-the-allies">Brexit news: Britain also leaves the Allies</h2> <p>No worries! We plan to readd them later as own faction (“RTG”, the “Real Tough Guys”). They’ll be joined by other Commonwealth members/oceanian nations like Australia and Atlantis.</p> <p>The United States of America will fill in the empty spot in the Allies’ rows. They got +200% build speed increase on concrete walls and also have access to Kennels and Guard Dogs. Instead of Tanya they’ll get their own hero unit: Donald J. Trump himself! His special abilities are: the best. Just believe us, he has the best and most tremendous abilities.</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170401-new-factions.png" alt="new_factions" /></p> <p>Furthermore, we removed the ability to form teams.<br />It wasn’t a great feature to begin with.</p> <p><img src="/images/news/20170401-french-bonus.gif" alt="france" /></p> <p>To compensate for the newly introduced factions,<br />France will get a +210% faster surrender bonus.</p> </div> tag:www.openra.net,2017-03-04:/news/playtest-20170304/ Playtest 20170304 2017-03-04T17:00:00Z 2017-03-04T17:00:00Z <p>OpenRA had a very successful 2016: including two feature-packed releases, a <a href="http://www.sleipnirstuff.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=19525">map design contest</a> that produced many great maps, and two seasons of the <a href="http://www.sleipnirstuff.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=82&amp;t=19750">RA Global League</a> which separated the wheat from the chaff across a grueling 544 battles. Our online player numbers have nearly doubled since this time last year, and it’s now common to see more than 100 commanders <a href="/players/">on the battlefield</a> at peak times each day.</p> <p>We aim to continue this trend through 2017, starting with a new playtest available today. The playtest includes a collection of balance and map changes for our official mods that have been (often vigourously!) discussed and debated on our <a href="http://www.sleipnirstuff.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=80">community forums</a> and <a href="https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/issues/">Github issue tracker</a>, plus several notable new features:</p> <ul> <li>HiDPI font rendering for players with high resolution displays.</li> <li>Fixes for several multiplayer bugs that could stall or crash games when a player disconnects.</li> <li>The Red Alert “shell map” background is now muted.</li> <li>New behaviour for the Red Alert Gap Generator and Tiberian Dawn Obelisk.</li> <li>Fixes for asset installation on 32 bit operating systems and from the original RA95 CDs.</li> </ul> <p>The Dune 2000 mod in particular has many changes to make it better match the gameplay and graphical polish of the original game, plus 7 new campaign missions.</p> <p>Check out <a href="https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/wiki/Changelog/94da97fde0b142df1b5009c87e53c4006721ab7e">the full changelog</a> for more details, and head over to the <a href="/download/">download page</a> to try it for yourself! Your feedback on these playtests is important, because they are the last chance to catch any serious bugs or undo any controversial balance changes before they are included in an official release.</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170304-gapgen.png" alt="High resolution font rendering" /></p> <p>Red Alert Gap Generators now actively reduce enemy unit sight.</p> </div> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170304-hidpi.png" alt="High resolution font rendering" /></p> <p>Players with high resolution laptop or 4k displays will appreciate crisper font rendering.</p> </div> <div class="about-todo-divider"></div> <p>The biggest changes in this playtest are behind the scenes; technical improvements that are not visible to players, but important for our development and modding community:</p> <ul> <li>A new <a href="https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/wiki/Trait-Conditions">trait conditions</a> system provides much better control over trait interactions.</li> <li>Actor vision has been overhauled, adding support for features like the RA active gap generators, D2K actors revealing themselves when attacking, and cliffs blocking vision in heightmap-enabled mods.</li> <li>Simplified weapon definitions using inherited yaml templates.</li> <li>Some initial steps towards removing code patterns that are not compatible with save game support.</li> </ul> <p>OpenRA grew out of the C&amp;C modding community, and one of our major goals is to provide a flexible game engine that the community can use for their own projects. Unfortunately, this goal has been hurt by OpenRA’s single-engine approach, meaning that every new release would unavoidably break community mods.</p> <p>After many discussions, we have developed a new mod support strategy that we will implement over the next two OpenRA releases. This playtest (and the subsequent final release) starts by adding support for parallel OpenRA installs, and we have started developing a <a href="https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRAModTemplate">mod template</a> that includes instructions and scripts to simplify mod development and packaging. Mods built using this template will be self contained games that function independently from our official mod installs.</p> <p>The in-game multiplayer server list will now list games for <em>all</em> the mods that a player has installed (even across multiple installations), and will allow players to directly switch to another mod when joining one. This applies across versions as well as mods, meaning that future OpenRA releases will be able to coexist, and switching between release and playtest servers will be just as easy as switching between RA and TD servers today.</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170304-mpmodswitch.png" alt="New MP server list switcher" /></p> <p>The multiplayer server list is now smarter about multiple OpenRA installations.</p> </div> <p>The release after next (aiming for mid/late 2017) will complete the mod-support transition by removing the in-game mod chooser and support for manually installed mod packages: all mods (both official and community) will be listed individually with their own names and icons in your Start Menu / Dock / Launcher. This overlaps with our previously announced plan for a new project logo, and so we are delaying that change to this future release.</p> <div class="about-todo-divider"></div> <p>The Tiberian Sun mod has made exciting progress over the last four months, with support being merged for bridges, tunnels, subterranean units, jumpjets, and bouncy grenades. Improvements to our terrain heightmap logic means that cliffs are finally able to block unit sight and projectiles.</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170304-tibsun.png" alt="Tiberian Sun mod update" /></p> <p>Progress continues on the Tiberian Sun mod.</p> </div> <p>The end of our “core feature TODO” list for Tiberian Sun is now in sight, but there’s still a fair amount of work to do before we can consider a public release. We expect to have more updates on this progress later in 2017.</p> <div class="about-todo-divider"></div> tag:www.openra.net,2017-01-10:/news/2017-01-stats-post/ OpenRA: A statistic 2017-01-10T20:00:00Z 2017-01-10T20:00:00Z <p>The current release has been out for almost three months now. Time to take a look at some statistics!</p> <p>At the time when this post was drafted, there have been a recorded 53953 downloads of the latest release from the official OpenRA homepage. Not unsurprisingly, most downloaded packages are for the Windows platform (almost 75%!), with Linux being a distant second at 13% and OS X coming last with the remaining 12%. It is notable that the shares of both Linux and OS X are much larger than their respective share of the desktop market.</p> <p>When launching OpenRA for the first time, players get greeted by a question whether to send system information back to the OpenRA project — the very data which is used to compile these statistics! Of these more than 50k downloads, almost 22,000 individuals (thanks to every one of you!) opted in to this data gathering, which comes out to about 40%.</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170110-stats-downloads-vs-users.png" alt="" /></p> <p>While we know that many use third-party sources such as <a href="http://playdeb.net/game/OpenRA">PlayDeb</a> for their downloads,<br /> the download count from our official site is the only hard number we can rely on.</p> </div> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170110-stats-enable-sysinfo-checkbox.png" alt="" /></p> <p>If you like this post and happen to have OpenRA configured so that is doesn’t send system information,<br /> you can easily re-enable it in the “Advanced” tab of the settings dialog.</p> </div> <p>When the game is allowed to send system information, the time of the last update is recorded in our database. Thanks to this, we know that about 5,000 users have played OpenRA in the first week of 2017. This also allows us to see how “loyal” players are to OpenRA in general:</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170110-stats-last-launches.png" alt="" /></p> <p>It is an unfathomable idea, but it sure looks like there are users who don’t play OpenRA every day!</p> </div> <p>We can also get a general idea of the composition of our player base by looking at the language settings that get sent back to us. As expected, the vast majority of players use English (~57%) as their primary language, followed by German-speaking people (16%), which combined make up almost three-fourth of all our users. Surprisingly, the relatively small Netherlands come in at third place with 4.5% of the total. Also noteworthy is a quiet Chinese minority of ~2% at seventh place.</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170110-stats-languages.png" alt="" /></p> </div> <p>It is no big secret that Red Alert is the most popular mod, but just by how much? Here’s the answer:</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170110-stats-mod-popularity.png" alt="" /></p> <p>Since system information is also sent by people who are not playing online matches, the obvious conclusion here is that Tiberian Dawn and Dune 2000 players are much more invested in single-player and/or skirmish games against the AI.</p> </div> <p>Another interesting way to look at this data is to find out which mods are popular in which countries:</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170110-stats-mod-popularity-per-language.png" alt="" /></p> <p>Dune 2000 has a relatively larger following in Russia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Italy,<br /> while the Scandinavian countries are deep in the Red Alert camp.<br /> Tiberian Dawn is stronger in Hungary and Italy.</p> </div> <p>The OpenRA master server also records the maps on which online matches are played. The top ten most popular ones are these:</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170110-stats-top-ten-mp-maps.png" alt="" /></p> </div> <p>Here is the complete list of the top 40 (well, top 38) maps, all those with more than 250 plays. Red Alert’s dominance is again felt here, as every single one of those maps belongs to that mod.</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170110-stats-most-popular-maps.png" height="300" width="600" /></p> <p>Personally, I find immense joy in the fact that two of the three multiplayer cooperative missions<br /> that have been added in the last release found a spot in the top 40!</p> </div> <p>To round off this post, let’s look at the length of OpenRA online matches. The average length is 24 minutes and 18 seconds. There is a little bit of variation between mods, as can be seen in the graph below.</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20170110-stats-avg-match-length.png" alt="" /></p> <p>The faster-paced Tiberian Dawn with its shallow tech tree has shorter matches on average,<br /> while the slower gameplay and sprawling tech tree of Dune 2000 lead to longer games.</p> </div> <p>Now, there are a surprising number of very long matches in our databases. A total of 124 matches lasted longer than three hours, and 29 of those even longer than six hours. The longest game — by a wide margin, I might add — that was recorded on our servers was a match amongst four players (and one spectator) on the Red Alert map Doubles that lasted one day and eight hours. Yes, you read that correctly, a 32-hour match.</p> <p>Stay hydrated, guys!</p>