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An open question to OpenRA folk

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Why did you "rebalance" the game?

 

You had the ability to perfectly recreate the original feel and texture but you didn't.

 

Why?

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Due to it's open source nature with a public development process going on https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA everyone interested in making the project better committed changes to the rules, discussed them at the forums and all that evolved the game rules over the years. If you follow the recent events you will note that https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/tree/bleed/mods/ra-classic is work in progress to please hard-core legacy fans while also shipping an enhanced version like http://dta.ppmsite.com/ does.

 

No one forces you to upgrade, but it is quite strange that gamers tend to binary-patch their beloved classics even when a superior reimplementation is available. To make an analogy: no one will try to do the same with an old unmaintained version of the proprietary AT&T Unix from the 80s. The whole world uses Linux nowadays.

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But why take the name if you are not gonna try and actually make it of that namesake?

 

Red Alert is the game we have now. The moment you change the smallest bit inside, its no longer what it used to be.

 

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OpenRA never was RA anyway... it never used the same logics. It just tried to get somewhat close to them, but no real research was done into the inner workings of the RA game engine when developing it.

 

I just see it as a wholly different RTS game that just happens to use Westwood graphics. It's not "superior", it's just different. Too different.

 

So, kindly, don't use words like "upgrade" when talking about it :dry:

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But you have to realise, RA was popular probably because of a mistake or a very last minute change inspired by like a beta tester/random dev.

 

If you compare all the westwood games before, none of them has the tank rushing and vehicle speed the same as RA.

 

We pretty much conclude here that the entire premise of such gameplay was forced against the nature of its origins, making it the oddity that *started* tank rushing but that oddity being an important step in the evolution of rts's in making them popular.

 

Which is why its even more important to preserve it the way it is; as an oddity that started it all.

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The genre was just newborn considering that Brett W. Sperry and Louis Castle practically invented it. I also think that multiplayer was not that popular at that time. You can join #openra on FreeNode IRC. I can compile you an unstable development version of OpenRA including the classic mod on request. Feel free to add suggestions at https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/issues/2740

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I also think that multiplayer was not that popular at that time.

Where did you ever get that idea? Just looking at the insane amount of maps on the RA archive should tell you a bit about RA's online popularity back in these days. The fact both expansions added a ton of maps was also due to its online popularity.

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Sure, but if I look at Starcraft and South Korea nowadays it was still at it's infancy during the Westwood times.

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I like RA1 for the grittiness, ridiculous-but-plausible weapons, the skirmish AI, campaign and most of all, the insanely easy pick-up-and-play concept. Only game I can play the entire way through one handed.

 

As for the balance, its dreadful. Aside from your basic rush vehicles, naval and a few odd strats, most units are utterly useless, even those added in aftermath.

 

I always felt a mod that would fix / enhance these features would make RA1 awesome, but now I'm playing it through, I kinda like the fact its essentially half broke :P

And really, RA2 fixed most issues I had, but I hate voxels so so much. And giant infantry.

 

But better inf, superweapons, air, UI features etc etc

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Sure, but if I look at Starcraft and South Korea nowadays it was still at it's infancy during the Westwood times.

Then you're just talking about multiplayer games as a whole, not about RA1. Given the amount of people that had internet access back then, RA1 was insanely popular.

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So your saying you want OpenRA to be like starcraft and competetive in the pro gamer scene?

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I never suggested any such thing. I just want you to stop pretending OpenRA is the same, or, god forbid, an "upgrade of" the original Red Alert. It's simply a different RTS. The classic mod is, as the name says, a mod, just like Return of the Dawn mods TS to C&C1. That doesn't suddenly make TS the same game as C&C1.

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The correct term might be Game engine recreation, but http://www.open-ra.org already says this is "a Libre/Free Real Time Strategy game engine supporting early Westwood games" and http://www.open-ra.org/mods/ calls them "reimaginations" of the classics. This should make it pretty clear for everyone that they are not fan-patches to the original binaries. I don't quite understand why you feel offended all the time and keep being aggressive. The constant flames on this forum and especially IRC are so annoying that I might hold development of the classic mods. I left some notes on http://bugs.open-ra.org so others can pick up.

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I don't quite understand why you feel offended all the time and keep being aggressive.

I don't. I just feel the need to be correct on the matter, while you seem to deliberately mix the two.

 

By the way, OpenRA is not a game engine recreation:

 

Game engine recreations are engine interpreters for video games that replace the original engine binary that came with the original game.

 

Meaning, an engine recreation is a program that can fully replace the original exe, and then run like the old game ran, using the game's files. One of the examples I can give is Dune Dynasty.

 

"In many cases, these are made by reverse engineering the original executable, but occasionally, as was the case with some of the engines in ScummVM, the original developers have helped the projects by supplying the original source code"

 

OpenRA has neither reverse engineered anything, nor used original source code, and does not run like the original game ran, at all. It was built entirely from scratch, and just tried to get close. It doesn't even use all original files; just the graphics and sounds. As far as I know, it doesn't even use rules.ini.

 

I don't even think it can run original RA or C&C missions at all, right? It can't even use the maps without needing a conversion. Playing the original game content is kind of the point of an engine recreation. And that includes single player.

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OpenRA has neither reverse engineered anything, nor used original source code, and does not run like the original game ran, at all. It just made something that tried to get close. It doesn't even use all original files, just the graphics and sounds. As far as I know, it doesn't even use rules.ini.

 

Updating the engine once the original developers published the source code would be a source port. That is probably never going to happen as long as EA is in charge and since Westwood is gone. So this is in fact a proper game engine recreation attempt despite that it does not aim for perfect emulation. If we argue on the basis of "the tech center sell bug is still not there" than yes, you are right. Instead of implementing legacy bugs and glitches I will from now on point everyone to https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/wiki/FAQ#this-is-not-true-to-the-original instead.

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I'm not talking about reproducing bugs. I'm talking about working anything like the original game. Being able to play the original game's missions, and using the original game's files, in the way the original game does.

 

OpenRA is, as the main page says, "a Libre/Free Real Time Strategy game engine supporting early Westwood games like Command & Conquer and Command & Conquer: Red Alert."

 

Technically, that is not even 100% correct; it only supports the game media (graphics and sounds) of these games. All other file formats need to be converted to be usable. All these things make it not an engine recreation.

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Being able to play the original game's missions, and using the original game's files, in the way the original game does.

 

The trigger system is non-existent at the moment. Your patches are always welcome. :)

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Matt, how can you expect Nyerguds to actually do that with all the reasons he's given already to not agree with it?

 

 

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Because Nyerguds might have the required skills and it is open source: so if you feel something is broken, go fix it yourself and stop complaining.

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Well, the triggers system is probably one of the most complicated pieces of C&C95... so far, the only thing I've managed to do with that is make a few clones of the "Destroy Trigger" triggers.

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Matt, this is supposed to be an open discussion, you are turning it into something else; since you are the only representative for OpenRA here I suggest you either get some of the other guys to take your place or learn to chill a bit.

 

Nyerguds, are you up to going over to openRA and fixing the entire engine/game so it matches the feel of TD?

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