We are excited to welcome the new year with a new OpenRA playtest! More than 700 commits from 42 contributors were merged over the last five months, with each commit helping to fix bugs, improve code quality, or add new features that improve the single- and multi-player experience.
This playtest is a timely opportunity to get community participation, as we celebrate a massive record of games played. At the end of November we passed 500,000 completed multiplayer games since August 2014, when we started recording online server statistics. This is a huge accomplishment for our community, congratulations!
The main focus of this development cycle was modernizing core parts of the engine and game code to support the work-in-progress Tiberian Sun mod and other community projects. These shouldn’t have visibly changed our released mods, but big changes always have a risk of introducing unexpected bugs or side-effects. Please note that changes to the way hotkeys are managed mean you will need to redefine any custom hotkeys in the Input settings.
The changes weren’t all behind the scenes; an overhaul of the multiplayer UI added long-requested features:
- The server browser shows the name/faction/team of connected players
- The server browser is now also available as a tab in the server lobby
- The main menu and server browser will notify you if a new release is available
- The Global Chat has been removed from the server browser and lobby
- A chat dialog has been added to the in-game menu
Of course, we realize that the vast majority of OpenRA players do not play online. We haven’t forgotten about you either! Improvements for the singleplayer experience include:
- The full Harkonnen campaign in D2K
- Refinements and improvements to several campaign missions in Red Alert and Tiberian Dawn
- A fix for the AI cheating when it uses superweapons and support powers
- Several other changes that should improve the AI behaviour and performance
Other notable changes include:
- New lobby options to disable bounty, build radius, and re-packing Construction Yards
- Units will no longer target enemies revealed by the Red Alert GPS Satellite
- A collection of community-driven balance changes for Red Alert
- Fixes for many graphical glitches and polish issues
- Fixes for several platform integration issues on Windows and macOS
- Further improvements to memory usage and performance
As always, we suggest you read the full changelog if you’d like more information on the full list of changes. We make these playtests available to get feedback from the community about the future direction of OpenRA, and we value your feedback. Let us know what you think and please report any bugs you discover via our forum, our GitHub issue tracker, or in the comments below.
OpenRA playtest builds do not overwrite the release version if you are on Windows or macOS, and you can switch between the two when joining an online server. So head over to our download page and give it a try!
This development cycle brought significant improvements for community mods, but we recommend that modders wait for a future playtest before updating their projects. We plan to merge a new version of our semi-automated rule upgrader before the final release, which will simplify the process of updating your Mod SDK based projects to the latest engine version. Stay tuned for more info!