C&C Remastered – Mod Support, Open Source and LAN
In yet another update on the C&C Remastered Collection, Jim Vessella posted about a hot topic among fans – mod support. While C&C games have mostly been moddable thanks to community tools like XCC Utilities, FinalBIG, OS BIG Editor, and numerous others, with only late SAGE games getting semi-proper mod SDKs, this time we’ll get full support in the form of one open-sourced DLL per game, and even a sample unit for learning how to mod the new release. Also, he acknowledged the community’s desire for LAN multiplayer, but said it will not be in the launch build, though it might pop up in an update.
Here’s the full update:
Fellow Command & Conquer fans,
Since the announcement of the Remastered Collection, one of the top questions from the community has been if the game would provide Mod Support. Given the incredible C&C community projects over the past two decades, we appreciated how important this was going to be for the Remastered Collection. It’s time to finally answer the question around Mod Support, but it first requires the reveal of a special surprise for the community.
Today we are proud to announce that alongside the launch of the Remastered Collection, Electronic Arts will be releasing the TiberianDawn.dll and RedAlert.dll and their corresponding source code under the GPL version 3.0 license. This is a key moment for Electronic Arts, the C&C community, and the gaming industry, as we believe this will be one of the first major RTS franchises to open source their source code under the GPL. It’s worth noting this initiative is the direct result of a collaboration between some of the community council members and our teams at EA. After discussing with the council members, we made the decision to go with the GPL license to ensure compatibility with projects like CnCNet and Open RA. Our goal was to deliver the source code in a way that would be truly beneficial for the community, and we hope this will enable amazing community projects for years to come.
So, what does it mean for Mod Support within the Remastered Collection? Along with the inclusion of a new Map Editor, these open-source DLLs should assist users to design maps, create custom units, replace art, alter gameplay logic, and edit data. The community council has already been playing with the source code and are posting some fun experiments in our Discord channel. But to showcase a tangible example of what you can do with the software, Petroglyph has actually created a new modded unit to play with. So we asked a fun question – “What would the Brotherhood of Nod do if they captured the Mammoth Tank?” Well, one guess is they’d replace the turret with a giant artillery cannon and have it fire tactical nukes! Thus the Nuke Tank was born. This is a unit which is fully playable in the game via a mod (seen in the screenshot above), and we hope to have it ready to play and serve as a learning example when the game launches.
Alongside Mod Support, I wanted to be transparent and address a feature which many of you have also been passionate about, which is LAN Play. Earlier this year, we had every intention of including LAN Play in the launch version of the game, but sadly this feature did not make it in time. Unfortunately LAN Play became the key impact of the Covid-19 situation as we realized the challenge of developing / testing a “local area network” feature in a workplace time of social distancing. We understand this feature is vital as both an avenue to play mods in multiplayer, and also to serve as a backup in case the online systems are ever down. We’re bummed this one got away, and will continue to keep this on our priority list going forward.
Now in terms of discovering user content, we wanted to take full advantage of the PC platforms to streamline this process. For Steam players, we’re utilizing the Steam Workshop for sharing both maps and mods. Players can subscribe to maps and mods directly in the game’s Community Hub within Steam, or utilize in-game menus to browse / download content as well. Origin players can use the same in-game process for downloading maps but will need to manually install mods into their respective folders outside the game. For both versions, once you’re in the game, you may navigate to the Options / Mods tab where you can then activate the mod. We’re aiming to put together further documentation on uploading content and the entire UGC process around the launch window.
Overall, we are incredibly excited to see what the community creates over the coming months. We anticipate some fantastic content for the Remastered Collection itself, some great updates in current community projects as they incorporate the source code, and perhaps we’ll even see some new RTS projects now made possible with the source code under the GPL. One final note we want to emphasize – we’ve done our best to bug fix and prepare these UGC systems for launch, but we have no doubt that once thousands of you begin creating and sharing content, some quirks will be discovered. Please continue to share your experience once the game launches, and let us know how we can continue to improve these tools for your benefit.
We look forward to seeing all of you on the battlefield in less than three weeks, and in the meantime please stay healthy, safe, and thanks for all your support and feedback.