Posted by Paul Chote on

Playtest 20200426

Another weekend, another playtest! To help a small number of players who are experiencing problems with poor GPU drivers, we are today releasing playtest-20200426 which restores the ability to use OpenGL 2.1.

OpenRA will continue to prefer OpenGL 3.2+ (or OpenGL ES 3.0+), but a new option in the settings menu allows you to switch back to the legacy rendering API if you experience glitches or performance issues.

OpenGL Profile setting.
A new "OpenGL Profile" setting allows legacy OpenGL 2.1 rendering to be used.

This playtest also includes a scripting fix for two RA campaign missions, but no other gameplay changes. We believe that all of the important issues have now been resolved, so plan a final release in the near future if no issues are reported with the updated graphics support.

For more information, see the previous news posts for playtest-20200418, playtest-20200329, and the original playtest-20200303 announcement post included below:

With the recent hotfix release addressing the worst bugs on the stable branch, we have been able to focus on completing work for the next big release. We have taken a step back from gameplay this time around, focusing instead on core engine logic and improved UI features.

Playtest 20200303 is now available, with a overhauled renderer that adds several long-awaited features:

  • Smooth Zooming: The previous “pixel doubling” feature has been updated with the ability to smoothly zoom the battlefield using the mouse wheel or new hotkeys ([ and ]). The default zoom level can be changed using the new Battlefield Camera option in the settings menu.
  • UI size options: Players with larger screen resolutions can increase the size of the menus, sidebar, and other UI elements using the new UI Scale option in the settings menu.
  • Improved HiDPI support: OpenRA can now detect HiDPI rendering modes on Windows and Linux, fixing the blurry rendering for players on Windows with higher resolution screens. Many UI elements now include high resolution artwork, staying crisp when drawn at larger sizes.
  • New introduction screen: A new screen is displayed when launching the game for the first time to introduce the most important display and control options.
  • Overhauled settings menu: The Display and Input settings panels have been refreshed with new options and a new layout.

We note that OpenGL 3.2 or OpenGL ES 3 are now required. Moving away from OpenGL 2 is important for future compatibility with modern rendering APIs (Vulkan/Metal). This does unfortunately mean dropping support for some older systems (typically 10+ years old) that currently can run OpenRA, but we believe that this is a necessary tradeoff for the future.

The new first-run introduction dialog.
The new introduction screen shows the most important control and display options.

Other notable changes in playtest-20200303 include:

  • Updated production rallypoints: Rally points can now be queued (Shift + Click) to define more complicated paths, and are now hidden until explicitly set.
  • New hotkeys: Shortcuts have been added to select and cycle harvesters (N) and the production structure associated with the sidebar (Tab).
  • New spectator Army tab: A new spectator view provides another way to compare player strength.
  • Notarized macOS releases: OpenRA is no longer blocked by the Gatekeeper on recent macOS versions.
  • Improved pathfinding logic: Units are now smarter about moving when their original path is blocked.
  • Map editor improvements: Undo/Redo is now supported, and improvements have been made to Copy/Paste and the actor property editor.
Rally point changes.
Production rally points can now define queued paths.

The spectator army tab in Red Alert.
The spectator Army tab provides an overview of each player's forces.

The playtest also includes a collection of modder-focused changes, and marks further progress towards the work-in-progress Tiberian Sun mod with fixes for low-level rendering bugs and new logic for production exits, EMP vs Aircraft, and the Firestorm Generator.

See the full changelog for a more detailed overview of all the changes, and head on over to our download page to try it out! Please report any other issues you find on our forum, the community Discord server, our GitHub issue tracker, or in the comments below.

We hope you enjoy it!