Everyone who follows mods remotely regularly knows that December means one thing - DBolical's annual Mod of the Year and Indie of the Year awards! The voting process is easy - simply go to the ModDB/IndieDB profile of the project you want to vote for, click on Vote Now, and you're done! You have until 11 December to do so, at which time the Top 100 mods and Top 100 indies will be unveiled, which will have their own voting process afterwards. On the 22nd, the Editors' Choice will be published, followed by the Players' Choice for unreleased projects on the 27th, and on the 29th, we'll know the Players' Choice for released projects. To reminisce 2018 in modding and indies, DBolical has prepared Year in Review articles on ModDB and IndieDB. Also, voters are eligible to win some games! So get voting, help your favourite C&C mod/standalone game get to the top, and you might just go home with an extra game!
GenTool, xezon's extension for Generals and Zero Hour, has finally received a new update, 7.5 to be exact. Here's what's new: New Features 7.5
- Enabled reveal of random colors and start positions with Random Balance
- Enabled extra camera height in singleplayer missions
- Enabled low camera pitch values in singleplayer missions
- CNC Online: Added 2v2 ladder scoreboard and points preview
- Added menu display option to disable ticker/event/ladder displays
- Added support for chain loading other d3d8 files (d3d8x.dll, -proxy custom.dll)
- Added MDS checks for detecting maphack with buildings during replay playback
- Added support for custom camera heights in mods and custom maps (singleplayer, online)
- Disabled GenTool initialization in WorldBuilder
- Changed scroll speed value steps in GenTool menu
- Changed the ini file validation to accept the modification of a variety of UI related files
- Improved the screenshot feature to allow taking images without limitations (F11 button)
- Improved Anti Cheat
- Improved MDS performance
- Improved internal memory management and performance
- Fixed a bug that caused wrong ticker event times for American time zones (UTC-x)
- Fixed potential crashes
- Refactored major parts of code
Here's a set of new developments all throughout the community in the recent days:
- VG247 has revealed that Warren Spector, creator of Deus Ex, has worked on a first-person Command & Conquer RPG game that was cancelled by EA, adding that it would've taken a lot of inspiration from Deus Ex. No further information was given on this cancelled project.
- Deep Impact, a total conversion mod for Zero Hour, has been cancelled by its team, No Life Studios. The latest beta build of the mod was released "as-is" and can be downloaded here.
- The Second Tiberium War mod has been updated to version 2.0, which can now be downloaded. It replaces several units from its older versions and from Tiberian Sun, as well.
- Eternal Cronus, a new total conversion for Yuri's Revenge set in an alternate Red Alert future, has released its first in-game shots of structures from one of its new factions.
- A Generals-based total conversion mod for C&C3, aptly titled "Generals", has released in-game footage as well as in-game screenshots.
- CnC: Final War, a well-known Yuri's Revenge mod which has just recently been released, has new screenshots, showcasing the return of Soviet Service Depots, a new EuroCoal unit and the new Allied Navy, all of which will be a part of patch 1.0b.
- C&C Generals: Frontlines, a small mod for Zero Hour, has received an alpha release.
- Star Wars: Command & Conquer - Tiberium Empire, is a total conversion for C&C3 that was announced last month. Aside from having a long name, it brings about most of the well-known factions from the prequel and original Star Wars trilogy into C&C3, by altering the lore so that Tiberium makes its apperance in the Star Wars universe. Its sole developer, Quinn-G, is already showcasing progress on the mod.
- Project Tomahawk:Storm, a mod for classic C&C Generals rather than Zero Hour, has just been updated to version 1.1. You can also browse the mod's gallery for in-game screenshots of the latest version.
- Kane's Wrath Unofficial Big Bang patch 1.04, a Kane's Wrath mod, the Wolverine has just received a graphical upgrade and GDI will now have a Field Trooper Drop Pod support power.
- Madin, the developer of the C&C: Red Alert History mod for C&C3, has shown several new additions for Release 7 of his mod, with more on the way in the coming days. Shown so far are the Airforce Command, Harrier, Mirage Tank, Soviet Multi-Drone, Mammoth Tank and Ore Trucks.
- The Doom Desire total conversion mod for Yuri's Revenge has had 2 new structures revealed for its Essence Faction: The Aural Resonator and The Assembly Plant.
- EA has been releasing a series of Tips & Tricks videos on the game, titled "Commanders Training Videos" with the help of Rivals community members and players.
- On the road to Worldwide Launch, Rivals has now become available in several countries, having been just released in Canada. It is also now available on both iOS (through the App Store) and Android platforms (Google Play).
- Player Profiles and Leagues have been introduced to the game. This includes a World Map showcasing player league progression.
- Bounties and Fuel, which constitute part of the game's free progression rewards, have received an upheaval.
- New Units (August): The Juggernaut (GDI) and Giga-Cannon (Nod) have been released.
- New Units (September): The A.P.C. (GDI) and Phantom (Nod) have been released .
- New Units (Early October): The Shockwave Trooper (GDI) and Tick Tank (Nod) have been released.
- New Units (Late October): The Drone Swarm (GDI) and Chem. Buggy (Nod) have been released.
- New Units (November): The War Dogs (GDI) and Widowmaker (Nod) have been released.
- A competitive mode, titled "Rivals Champions" has been announced.
- An official Worldwide Launch date was announced: December 4th, 2018.
- Update 1.1. was released in early October, bringing with it many balance, monetization & map changes, a slew of new units, as well as replacing Sectors with Leagues & Divisions and adding in the Rivals Fairplay mode.
- Update 1.2 has been released this week, adding in the War Dogs & Widowmaker units, the Rivals Champions mode, as well as bringing substantial changes to maps, player leveling & progression, unit unlocking, crates, economy & monetization.
- A Rivals Commander Training video has revealed a new GDI infantry unit, which appears to be some sort of "Machine Gun Team".
- The Canadian iOS App Store page has brand new screenshots of the game, showcasing what is possibly the next two units to be released in the game: The Orca Bomber (GDI) and The Avatar (Nod).
- Update 1.2 has brought in a small, yet ominous easter egg on the World Map in the Tiberium League locale, in the form of the crashed Scrin Ship from Tiberian Sun. It is present on the top right, when scrolling off the map, seemingly encased in ice.
Another quick overview of recent interesting events:
- Red Alert: A Path Beyond has been updated to version 184.108.40.206 recently, which not only sports a new interface and a usual array of bug and balance fixes, but also new units (MiG, Cruiser), new models for others, and MSAA support.
- The PC Gamer article on the beloved Mental Omega APYR mod is now finally readable internationally online. Check it out here.
- Gamasutra announced that Westwood Studios co-founder and proclaimed Godfather of RTS Louis Castle will be holding an hour-long(!) post-mortem presentation on the original Command & Conquer at the GDC next March.
It is the first Monday of November, so it is time for another article from Nmenth's Research Lab. This month, we will examine the Drones in Command & Conquer and see how they compare with real unpiloted combat robots.
A new technology will be explored in Nmenth's Research Lab on the first Monday of every month. Return next month on the 3rd when I take a closer look at Nukes.
The Chronoshift project, formerly known as RedAlert++, has had its currently developed code released for the public on GitHub earlier today. It still requires the English version of the original Red Alert patched to version 3.03 to work, as it is not independent from it at this stage of development.
For those who don't know, Chronoshift is an open-source recreation of the engine seen in the original C&C Red Alert. Unlike OpenRA, it is made through careful research of the original game over many years and aims to be as close as possible to the official gameplay instead of trying to "modernize" it. It is released by The Assembly Armada, a team name also associated with Thyme, a work-in-progress open-source recreation of the SAGE engine as it appeared in C&C Generals: Zero Hour.
The mobile game Command & Conquer: Rivals has just been announced to launch worldwide on Android and iOS on 4 December 2018 according to EA's press release, which will make its quaintly named "pre-alpha" period last approximately 6 months.
After two happy anniversaries in a row, there is a third one that is still bitter. On this day 5 years ago, on 29 October 2013 to be exact, the live service titled simply Command & Conquer and originally announced as just a separate game called C&C Generals 2, was cancelled, and its development studio Victory Games was closed, ending a 10-year span of an RTS studio situated in EA's Los Angeles building.
From the get-go, the game suffered from numerous development issues, starting from the Frostbite engine that is notoriously difficult to develop non-shooter games for, through Victory Games' compromises to EA when it came to monetization and sacrificing campaigns at launch just to keep the studio and the game afloat, all the way to poor game design decisions that were only starting to get resolved very late in development, with game-changing patches scheduled, ironically, for the day it was cancelled and several months after that. To add an entire bag of salt to injury, Victory Games was ordered to post up a pre-written cancellation message that was regarded by one of their developers as "total bs", even though they were supposed to roll out a major update that same day.
This also stands as the 5 year anniversary since the cancellation of the last known serious attempt at making a Command & Conquer game, and was seen as just the culmination of EA's catastrophic management of the franchise that started since C&C Arena's shift to Tiberian Twilight in 2009. While we were spared an undercooked semiproduct, we had also lost all hope to see a completely new C&C title at all (let alone a good one), at least until the recent remaster announcement.