Today is the day that many have been waiting for: the new stable OpenRA Release 20210321 is now available!
We had originally planned to announce this release with a new patch spotlight video, but an unfortunately timed computer failure has left FiveAces’ battlefield control offline until repairs are completed. Rather than continue to delay the release, we have commissioned our best artist to make the placeholder image below, and will post the real spotlight once it is available.
Many of the biggest changes in this release were focused around the in-development Tiberian Sun mod, which continues to make slow progress in our development repository. There are many great changes for Red Alert, Tiberian Dawn, and Dune 2000 too, focusing mainly around streamlining some awkward gameplay mechanics, improving community integration, and improving our singleplayer content:
- Support for Discord integration and community-run ladders
- New lobby features for player handicaps and disabling spawn points
- Community balance updates and a refreshed map selection for Red Alert and Tiberian Dawn
- Further adjustments to make Dune 2000 more faithful to the original game
- More fluid infantry combat after fixing several long-standing combat bugs
- Nine more campaign missions have been ported for Red Alert
- Improved AI behaviour and performance
These features and more will be explained in more detail in the upcoming release spotlight, but for now you can look back over the previous news posts [1, 2, 3] or the full changelog for more information.
An important compatibility note is that OpenRA now requires GPU support for either OpenGL 3.2, DirectX 11, or OpenGL ES 3. Moving away from the legacy OpenGL 2.1 is important for future compatibility with modern rendering APIs (Vulkan/Metal) and for improving rendering performance with Tiberian Sun and the C&C Remastered Collection. 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.
We are also today deploying a brand new website design. Lead by @Fauntleroy with feedback from our GitHub and Discord communities, the fresh look also brings some important technology upgrades that improve the website behaviour on mobile devices, and adds new features for the live games list. We expect to continue improving and iterating on the new site, so let us know if you think that something important is missing or simply doesn’t look right.