OpenRA - News Feed 2016-04-24T10:00:00Z OpenRA developers,2016-04-24:/news/playtest-20160424/ Another playtest hot off the presses! 2016-04-24T10:00:00Z 2016-04-24T10:00:00Z <p>We are happy to present to you the second playtest in this release cycle!</p> <p>Many users – indeed more than we anticipated (over 2000!) – have tried out the first playtest and gave us a lot of feedback. Almost inevitably, a number of bugs were reported (thanks to all the testers who took their time to do so!).</p> <p>We have now fixed all of those issues, including:</p> <ul> <li>Crashes when opening the in-game menu on some maps (Fort Lonestar, for example)</li> <li>Broken left click orders</li> <li>Too many infantry units coming out of sold buildings</li> <li>Submarines not being targetable</li> <li>Stealth units being targetable even when stealthed under some circumstances</li> </ul> <p>Additionally, the Red Alert mod has seen more refinements to its map pool: a few lower quality maps have been removed, while some new tournament-grade maps have been added.</p> <p>As usual, the complete list of changes can be seen <a href="">on our wiki</a>.</p> <p>We promised in the last news post to detail the new map format and other map-related changes here. Skip to below the break for the full scoop.</p> <p>Installers for all supported operating systems are available from <a href="/download">the download page</a>. Of course we are still interested to hear about any bugs and issues you come across, so please don’t hesitate to report them <a href="">on our bug tracker</a>, in the OpenRA <a href="/community/">IRC channel</a>, or here in the comments.</p> <p>At this point we’d like to address a topic already mentioned in the previous news post. In order to get a better understanding of the composition of our user base and the way our software is being used, we decided to add an anonymous, opt-out data gathering facility to OpenRA. When enabled, the game will send us a few technical details about your system. There was some controversy over this feature during the first playtest, so we would like to reiterate that this only sends the following:</p> <ul> <li>An anonymous ID (e.g. “5ba68aa1-1ee8-4d6d-b197-51681347f252”)</li> <li>Your OS version (e.g. “Windows: Microsoft Windows NT 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1” or “OSX: Unix”)</li> <li>Your .NET runtime version (e.g. “.NET CLR 4.0.30319.42000” or “Mono 4.0.2 ((detached/c99aa0c) CLR 4.0.30319.17020”)</li> <li>Your GL driver version (e.g. “4.5.0 NVIDIA 352.63” or “3.0 Mesa 10.5.9”)</li> <li>Your OS language setting (e.g. “en” or “ru”)</li> <li>The OpenRA version / mod / modversion that you launched</li> </ul> <p>If you are uncomfortable with this, you can disable this functionality by unchecking the “Send System Information” checkbox in the advanced settings dialog, manually editing your <code>settings.yaml</code> file, or starting the game using the <code>Debug.SendSystemInformation=false</code> argument.</p> <p>The initial results from the first playtest have been promising: the vast majority (approximately 99%) of players are able to run the newer .NET runtime platform that we are hoping to make our minimum requirement in a future version. This means that we will be able to take advantage of new platform features to improve performance, identify bugs, and improve operating system integration without leaving many players behind. We also find that 40% of our players do not use English as their primary language, which suggests that it may be worthwhile for us to focus on translation support in a future OpenRA release. Of course, we realize that our playtesters are a biased sample of our overall player base, so we will wait for results from our next release build before we make any final decisions.</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20160424-os-shares.png" alt="Share of operating systems of our users" /></p> <p>This is the share of operating systems and languages among playtest users.</p> </div> <hr /> <h3 id="changes-to-map-handling">Changes to map handling</h3> <p>Custom maps are now stored in an additional sub-directory per mod version (e.g. <code>My Documents\OpenRA\maps\ra\playtest-20160403</code> on Windows).</p> <p>To ensure that outdated maps will not cause problems during gameplay, these maps will not be automatically moved when you upgrade the game. You will have to download updated versions from the <a href="">Resource Center</a> instead, or upgrade and move them yourself (see below). Note that the maps from the first playtest are compatible with this one (and will very likely also be compatible with the final release), so you can just copy them over, or rename the directory.</p> <h3 id="map-format-changes">Map format changes</h3> <p>The current map format (from playtest-20160403 onwards) is version 11.</p> <p>In previous versions (up to release-20151224), the game used to automatically update maps with earlier map formats to the latest one supported by that version. As of playtest-20160403, this is no longer the case. To update maps, you have three options:</p> <ol> <li>Use the <code>--upgrade-map</code> command of the OpenRA.Utility.</li> <li>Download an updated version of the map from the Resource Center, or</li> <li>Use the Resource Center to upgrade the map.</li> </ol> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20160403-web-resource-center-map-upgrade.png" alt="Upgrading maps in the resource center" /></p> </div> <p>The new map format brings with it a couple advantages:</p> <ul> <li>Minimap preview is embeddeded into the map package as a separate PNG file,<br />allowing third-party tools and websites immediate access.</li> <li>YAML rules and Lua scripts can be split into multiple files, which can be shared among multiple maps.</li> </ul> <p>One noteable change that needs explanation is the removal of the <code>Description:</code>, <code>Options:</code>, and <code>Videos:</code> blocks, whose properties have been moved to their corresponding traits. During map upgrades, these translations will happen automatically. Take a look at <a href="">one of our single-player missions</a> and the <a href="">Fort Lonestar map</a> to see how these work now, or search for the following traits in our <a href="">trait documentation</a>:</p> <ul> <li><a href=""><code>MissionData</code></a> (Description and videos)</li> <li><a href=""><code>MapOptions</code></a> (Tech level, difficulties, short game)</li> <li><a href=""><code>Shroud</code></a> (Fog, Shroud, Explored Map)</li> <li><a href=""><code>CrateSpawner</code></a> (Crates)</li> <li><a href=""><code>MapBuildRadius</code></a> (Build off Allies’ Conyards)</li> <li><a href=""><code>PlayerResources</code></a> (Starting cash)</li> <li><a href=""><code>SpawnMPUnits</code></a> (Starting units)</li> <li><a href=""><code>MapCreeps</code></a> (Viceroids, Worms)</li> <li><a href=""><code>DeveloperMode</code></a> (Cheats)</li> </ul> <p>A more in-depth description of the map format and the various YAML fields is available <a href="">on our wiki</a>.</p>,2016-04-03:/news/playtest-20160403/ Here we go again! New Playtest available! 2016-04-03T10:00:00Z 2016-04-03T10:00:00Z <p>We are pleased to announce the first playtest leading up to our next stable release!</p> <p>We have finally entered the feature freeze phase of the development cycle, where we stop adding features and focus on fixing bugs found during playtesting. This is where <em>you</em> come into play! We need <em>your</em> help to give this playtest as wide a test coverage as possible to ensure another successful stable release of OpenRA!</p> <p>We therefore ask you to please report any and all bugs and problems you encounter on <a href="">our bug tracker</a>, in the OpenRA <a href="/community/">IRC channel</a>, or here in the comments. We will strive to fix as many bugs as possible before a final release. Thank you for helping to improve OpenRA!</p> <p>While there are the usual bug fixes and improvements, a big focus over the last six months has been reworking several fundamental parts of the OpenRA game engine, with changes that will be felt foremost by server operators, modders and mappers. In fact, some of these changes are so fundamental that we will address them in-depth in the articles covering future playtests.</p> <p>But one thing after the other…</p> <hr /> <h2 id="ingame-changes">Ingame changes</h2> <hr /> <p>Quite a few long-standing annoyances have been addressed during the last cycle. Just to name a few, players will no longer be kicked from the server after installing a map, walls now stop bullets reliably, and husks can finally be targeted on refineries.</p> <p>Other changes and new features include:</p> <ul> <li>By popular demand, a tech level without super-powers has been added to the Red Alert mod.</li> <li>Zooming is now possible by holding CTRL while scrolling your mouse wheel. For spectators and in the map editor, two additional zoom steps are available.</li> <li>Cancelling an entire build queue at once is now possible by using CTRL + right click.</li> <li>Static defenses will now stop tracking their targets once it is out of range. This also sometimes prevented camo pillboxes from cloaking.</li> <li>Line-building of walls can now be disabled by holding the Shift key while placing the wall element.</li> <li>A couple of issues related to left-click controls have been solved.</li> <li>Engineers will no longer be selected when you drag-select a group of combat units.</li> <li>Fragile diplomacy has been removed.</li> <li>Lots of minor fixes, UI polish and performance improvements.</li> </ul> <p>As usual, both the Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert mod have received some balance changes. Additionally, a number of Red Alert maps have been revised to be more balanced. A complete list of all these changes can be found <a href="">in the changelog</a>.</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20160403-cnc-restart-dialog.png" alt="Restart dialog" /></p> <p> Players finally have a restart option after failing a mission or skirmish! </p> <p><img src="/images/news/20160403-ra-team-colors.png" alt="Team colors and health bar improvements" /></p> <p> When team colors are enabled in the settings, they will now be used on the radar map.<br /> You can also set health bars to only appear when units are damaged. </p> <p><img src="/images/news/20160403-cnc-nod-colors.png" alt="Nod units with proper color" /></p> <p> This is for the nostalgic ones among us (and who isn't?).<br /> Nod units in missions now show their proper silver colors known from the original game. </p> <p><img src="/images/news/20160403-d2k-worm-trail.png" alt="Worm trails" /></p> <p> Worms have received some polish and now leave a trail similar to the one from the original game. </p> </div> <hr /> <h2 id="mapping-and-modding-changes">Mapping and modding changes</h2> <hr /> <p>The way that the game handles maps has changed significantly since the last release. We will elaborate on the changes and the reasons for them in a future post, but for now you only really need to know three things:</p> <ul> <li>Maps from release-20151224 and earlier must be upgraded before they will work.</li> <li>Maps are now installed into per-version subdirectories – like replays.</li> <li>Installing maps ingame and using the map editor works as normal.</li> </ul> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20160403-web-resource-center-map-upgrade.png" alt="Upgrading maps in the resource center" /></p> <p>The maps currently available on <a href="">the OpenRA Resource Center</a> are in the process of being updated,<br />and we have added an option for you to upgrade your maps manually.</p> </div> <p>Support for third-party mods will significantly improve with the next release. It is now possible to create an archive of your whole mod (called “.oramod”). Installing it on other computers is then just a matter of placing that archive in the “mods” subdirectory of the Support folder.</p> <p>The news post for the second playtest will detail what changes your mod needs to make it compatible with the upcoming release and to enable the .oramod packaging. All shipped mods have already been converted, so feel free to take a look at those.</p> <p>In the future, OpenRA will feature an ingame mod browser that will allow you to search for and install mods directly from the Resource Center.</p> <hr /> <h2 id="dedicated-server-changes">Dedicated server changes</h2> <hr /> <p>Dedicated servers have been made a lot easier to operate for the next release.</p> <div style="font-family: monospace; font-size: 85%; border-radius: 4px; background-color: #272d2c; padding:10px; margin:10px;"> <em> $ ./OpenRA.Server.exe Game.Mod=ra Server.Name="My Server" Server.DisableSinglePlayer=true <br /> [2016-04-02T16:06:10] Starting dedicated server for mod: ra<br /> [2016-04-02T16:06:11] Master server communication established.<br /> [2016-04-02T16:10:08] Antares has joined the game.<br /> [2016-04-02T16:10:56] Player has joined the game.<br /> [2016-04-02T16:11:49] Newbie has joined the game.<br /> [2016-04-02T16:12:16] Antares changed the map to Doughnut.<br /> [2016-04-02T16:13:41] Game started<br /> [2016-04-02T16:37:38] Player has disconnected.<br /> [2016-04-02T16:37:47] Antares has disconnected.<br /> [2016-04-02T16:37:54] Newbie has disconnected.<br /> [2016-04-02T16:37:54] No one is playing, shutting down...<br /> [2016-04-02T16:37:54] Starting a new server instance...<br /> [2016-04-02T16:37:55] Master server communication established.<br /> </em> </div> <p>First and foremost, the biggest change is that dedicated servers no longer need to sync maps with the Resource Center. Especially when you were running multiple servers of different versions, this could quickly become a headache. Another advantage is that the distinction between synced and unsynced servers will go away. That’s right: maps uploaded to the Resource Center will be available immediately, on all servers, without any further action required.</p> <p>Another change is that there is now a dedicated executable for dedicated servers, <code>OpenRA.Server.exe</code> (and a matching <code>/usr/bin/openra-server</code> on Linux). As a consequence, the old <code>Server.Dedicated</code> and <code>Server.DedicatedLoop</code> command-line arguments no longer exist. If you are using custom scripts to start your server instances, you will need to adapt them accordingly.</p> <p>One last, unrelated change is that the <code>Server.AllowBots</code> flag has been removed in favor of a <code>Server.DisableSinglePlayer</code> flag, which will allow people to play with bots on servers, but only if there is more than one human player in the game. <code>Server.DisableSinglePlayer</code> defaults to <code>false</code>, so be sure to set it if desired.</p> <hr /> <p>So much for a general overview of the upcoming release. For a detailed list of changes, see <a href="">the full changelog</a>.</p> <p>At this point we need to mention another thing. As many other open-source projects, we don’t have any clear idea how much our software is actually used. There is a huge discrepancy between the number of downloads (about 50,000 currently for the latest release) and the number of online players (60-75 players concurrently at peak times). In order to get a better idea of this, and also to help with steering the future direction of the project, we decided to add an anonymous, opt-out data gathering facility to OpenRA. When enabled, the game will send us your operating system and .NET framework version, supported OpenGL version of your graphics card, your language settings, as well as the current mod. As already mentioned, this data is sent to us anonymously, using a randomly generated ID. If you are still feeling uncomfortable with this, you can disable this functionality by unchecking the “Send System Information” checkbox in the advanced settings dialog.</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20160403-d2k-adv-settings.png" alt="Advanced settings dialog" /></p> <p> With the help of the data gathered, we hope to be able to decide &ndash; amongst other things &ndash; when we can allow ourselves to drop Windows XP support, and also how much benefit there would be if OpenRA was translated to other languages, and if so, which languages should be prioritized. </p> </div> <p>You can find the installer for your operating system <a href="/download/">on our download page</a>.</p> <p>Thank you very much, and have fun!</p>,2016-03-29:/news/ragl-announcement/ Announcing the Red Alert: Global League 2016-03-29T16:00:00Z 2016-03-29T16:00:00Z <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20160329-ragl-announcement.png" alt="Global chat lobby" /></p> </div> <p>Greetings commanders!</p> <p>Our well-known community member and caster SoScared is hosting the Red Alert: Global League.</p> <p>Monday, April 4th 2016 will see the launch of the new Red Alert: Global League. The Global League will attempt to combine the best elements of a tough scheduled format with a flexible meet-up to circumvent most, if not all, time-zone related issues. RA:GL aims to become a long-term, easy and reliable format for anyone that wishes to participate.</p> <p>The League will be running for two months twice a year, hosting several divisions. As with the recent <a href="/news/march-2016-tournament-announcement/">Tag Team Tournament</a>, there will again be a pool of prize money to be distributed among the top contenders of the two highest divisions. If you’re interested, <a href="">read the rules</a> and <a href="">sign up</a> on our forums. It is expected that many of the games will be casted on Twitch or Youtube, so keep an eye out for those streams if you want to follow along.</p> <p>We wish all participants the best of luck and a lot of fun!</p> <p>Meanwhile, the Tag Team Tournament was won by The AMHOLES (FrameLimiter and Barf), with a worthy 2nd place taken by Team Prize Fighters (Anjew and Amphy). Congratulations to both teams!</p> <p>If you have not been able to follow the tournament’s live streams, fear not! Many streams have already been uploaded to Youtube, with the rest to follow in short order, where you can catch up on all games on <a href="">FiveAces’</a> and <a href="">Hecthor Doomhammer’s</a> channels.</p> <div style="font-size:8pt; font-style:italic"> <p>[Apologies for posting this late, but if you are following OpenRA in any way, you should have already come across this announcement on <a href="">Facebook</a>, <a href=""></a>, directly on our forums or via the ingame battlefield news.]</p> </div>,2016-02-27:/news/march-2016-tournament-announcement/ March 2016 Tournament Announcement 2016-02-27T11:00:00Z 2016-02-27T11:00:00Z <div style="text-align:center"> <iframe width="600" height="333" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> </div> <p>It is time for yet another OpenRA tournament which, for the first time ever, will feature a prize pool of $200!</p> <p>Once again our community member Ripley calls to all OpenRA players to compete for the crown of ultimate RTS champions!</p> <p>Running on the weekends of March 5th-6th and March 11th-12th 2016, the tourney will take the format of tag team elimination. Teams of two players will square off in a total of three games, two of which being 1v1 matches between pairs of opposing players and a final 2v2 match between both teams.</p> <p>Thanks to the casters of the Comcast Crew and <a href=""></a> a prize pool of $200 will be rewarded! The prize will be split 80/20 between the first and second place, to be evenly shared among team members.</p> <p>For official tournament rules and team registration, <a href="">visit the forum thread</a>. If you are looking for a team mate, have a look at <a href="">this thread</a>. Registration ends on March 2nd at 0:00 UTC, so don’t waste any time and register right now!</p> <p>As usual, the event will be covered by a number of casters. Channels and streams will be announced once the tournament starts.</p> <p>We wish all participants good luck and a lot of fun!</p>,2015-12-24:/news/release-20151224/ Release 20151224 2015-12-24T12:00:00Z 2015-12-24T12:00:00Z <div style="text-align:center"> <p>The OpenRA development team wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!</p> <iframe src="" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="600" height="300" style="-webkit-backface-visibility: hidden;-webkit-transform: scale(1);"></iframe> </div> <p>We are proud to announce the Christmas 2015 release of OpenRA!</p> <div style="border-radius: 4px; background-color: #272d2c; padding:10px; margin:10px;"> <em> I've got a present for ya! </em><br /><br /> &mdash; Commando </div> <p>40 developer elves have toiled long and hard to fill your stocking with lots of fixes, improvements and long-awaited features.</p> <p>In particular, this release introduces the global chat channel that is shared across all mods, which will allow you to meet up with other waiting players and arrange matches without joining servers. Going along with it is a re-design of the ingame server browser as well as the skirmish lobby.</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20151031-multiplayer.png" alt="Global chat lobby" /></p> <p> The channel is available from outside the game as well,<br />by connecting to channel #lobby using your favourite IRC client. </p> </div> <p>Also new in this release is a game speed selector, a feature that many people have often and repeatedly asked for over the years, and now it’s finally here, for multiplayer, single-player skirmish and missions!</p> <p>In addition, OpenRA now offers an additional way of scrolling the map similar to the way it worked in the original Tiberian Sun and Red Alert 2 (by right-clicking and moving the mouse). To use it, select the “Joystick” scrolling option in the input settings dialog.</p> <p>A change we are sure many will rejoice to hear is that units will now start with the “Defend” stance by default. No more losing units that decided to hunt after enemies without your explicit orders!</p> <p>Another big focus of this release has been overhauling our Dune 2000 mod. We have added Thumpers, spice blows, and rebalanced all unit and building statistics to more closely match the original game.</p> <div style="text-align:center"> <p><img src="/images/news/20151031-d2k.png" alt="Dune 2000" /></p> </div> <p>The Red Alert mod has received some much-needed balance changes, with a focus on making the country-specific units more interesting and useful. The changes are too numerous to list them all here, have a look at <a href="">the changelog</a> for all the details. There are also a total of five new missions for the Soviet single-player campaign, which means that it is the first of our campaigns to be 50% complete!</p> <p>The Tiberian Dawn mod also includes two new single-player missions, as well as some minor balance changes and several new multi-player maps.</p> <p>As usual, we not only have treats for our players, but for modders as well. The map editor has seen further improvements, such as a cash counter and a copy and paste function. There are also new traits for weather and lighting effects, more flexible <code>Missile</code> and <code>DeployToUpgrade</code> logic, as well as new additions to the Lua API. As usual, use the OpenRA.Utility to upgrade your mods or maps to this new release. Be warned, however, that there are couple of changes this time around where it unfortunately wasn’t possible to offer an automated upgrade path. Most of these are mentioned in the changelog, the OpenRA.Utility will alert you to the remaining ones when it runs.</p> <p>There are a lot more minor changes and bugfixes, so take a look at the <a href="">full changelog</a> if you want to unwrap all of the details.</p> <p>Grab the installer now for your operating system from <a href="/download/">our download page</a>!</p> <p>We hope you’ll enjoy this newest installment of OpenRA! Have fun!</p>