Posted by Paul Chote on

Playtest 20190106

Better late than never, OpenRA is celebrating the new year with our planned “2018 holiday-season” playtest. Playtest 20190106 brings some big changes to gameplay mechanics, more single-player content, and even more bug fixes and performance improvements.

The biggest change comes to the unit targeting logic, which has been reworked to better understand the Fog of War. This has fixed a collection of long-standing bugs (especially with artillery-style units), however, due to the subtle nature of these changes, more testing is required to predict the impact on overall gameplay and game balance. We hope that the community can rally behind testing and report any issues so that they can be addressed before the final release.

The specialised infantry in Red Alert have had a shake-down and a fix-up:

  • Engineers are now consumed when capturing buildings, after a short external wait
  • The Hijacker is now the Thief, who can steal cash from refineries in addition to capturing vehicles
  • Allied Mechanics now repair destroyed team-mate vehicles instead of capturing them
  • New Attack Dog behaviour resolves many issues and behaves more like the original game
Thieves and Attack Dogs
Improvements to the Attack Dog and Thief should make them more viable on the battlefield.

Thanks to the hard work of several new contributors, seven new single-player missions have been ported from the original Red Alert, and another two from Tiberian Dawn. Behind the scenes, the underlying AI framework has been rewritten to support the development of some long-planned improvements in future releases.

Some other notable gameplay changes include:

  • Units in the Return Fire stance will no longer chase their attackers
  • Infantry in Pillboxes in Red Alert no longer gain experience
  • A new Ctrl modifier queues items at the front of the production queue
  • The spectator UI now includes information on player army values
TD Campaign Mission: Nod 10b
Nine more single-player missions have been adapted from the original games.

This release brings several improvements to the development tools. The map editor has been upgraded with a new actor property editor and improved copy/paste tool, and the tile selection sidebar now supports multi-category selections. The mod rule linter has been made more robust, and can now report errors in audio notifications. The Mod SDK has also been updated to work with the new playtest and planned future changes to the OpenRA Resource Center.

Map Editor Improvements Profiles
The map editor now supports editing actor properties such as owner, health, facing, and stance.

OpenRA is developed by volunteers who freely donate their spare time to build games that everybody can enjoy. Playtest 20190106 contains changes from 34 contributors over the last 5 months, and fixes bugs reported by many others. This post covers only some of the changes, so see the full changelog to learn more.

The playtest releases are our way of crowdsourcing bug reports and feedback so that the next release can be the best it possibly can. This only works if you get involved, play games, and report your feedback. If you do have something to say, please let us know in the comments below, on our forum, Discord, or GitHub.

Playtest releases do not overwrite the OpenRA release version, and you can automatically switch between the two versions when joining a multiplayer server. Head over to our download page and give it a try!