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C&C Remastered - Mod Support, Open Source and LAN

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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.

Cheers,

Jim Vessella

Jimtern

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Did you see the picture that was posted with this update? Pretty badass

 

 

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Yep:

26wxk3fa8yz41.png

Now if they make a good LAN option in an update and the EA account DRM isn't a roadblock for future-proofing, this will be so so so so so awesome.

 

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Nuke Tank? Not only it's a MOAB tank, but also it's a must have in C&C Generals!

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Just imagine the various mods and stuff people are going to be able to make with the remasters.

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That nuke is a thing of beauty.

I remember when I was 12 in the summer of 1995 and had the opportunity to build the Temple of Nod. I would save the game when the nuke was ready, and then spend ages sandboxing the hell out of it. The enemy base, my base, testing it on every unit and structure to see what would survive and get wiped out right away. And the animation at the time was a thing of beauty back then too. I just enjoyed watching it cycle, so I'd reload and watch it again and again.

Well looks like it's going to happen all over again now I'm 37! :dance:

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Saracen said:

That nuke is a thing of beauty.

I remember when I was 12 in the summer of 1995 and had the opportunity to build the Temple of Nod. I would save the game when the nuke was ready, and then spend ages sandboxing the hell out of it. The enemy base, my base, testing it on every unit and structure to see what would survive and get wiped out right away. And the animation at the time was a thing of beauty back then too. I just enjoyed watching it cycle, so I'd reload and watch it again and again.

Well looks like it's going to happen all over again now I'm 37! :dance:

I remember playing it on my buddy's Sega Saturn. We were all about GDI and the Ion Cannon and the Mammoth tanks. I was over there for a long weekend once, and finally decided to start busting through the Nod missions. Consider me a changed man...

Edited by Cygnus X-1
It's "Ion Cannon", not Ion Canada.

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5 hours ago, Saracen said:

That nuke is a thing of beauty.

I'll wait to see the full animated sequence before passing judgement.

I see some puffs of dust ahead of the shockwave for some reason, and if the fireball is already this big while still bright white, it might be a bit oversized for the low-yield tactical nuke they should be using in a battlefield setting. A nuke of that scale will certainly reach the cannon that fired it.

That lump on the right side looks like the beginning of a secondary fireball, which is common in animated mushroom clouds, but very rare in real ones. I don't really have a problem with that though, as double fireball nukes look more impressive and a realistic depiction of a low-yield tactical nuclear explosion would probably be underwhelming.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Nmenth said:

I don't really have a problem with that though, as double fireball nukes look more impressive and a realistic depiction of a low-yield tactical nuclear explosion would probably be underwhelming.

Considering Westwood always went for readability over realism, I would imagine this is exactly what it is. Tiberian Dawn's Nuclear Warhead was one seriously OP base destroying behemoth when deployed correctly. So the look matches the destruction. 

Unless of course they have most likely used the same animation for Red Albert's Atom Bomb which was so much weaker by comparison. 

But still, I see nothing wrong so far. It looks great and is still the same old core game underneath. I'm just happy they're breathing new life into it in any way they possibly can. 

Edited by Saracen
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On 20/05/2020 at 6:53 PM, Plokite_Wolf said:

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.

I really hope any form of DRM doesn't interfere with (hopefully) future LAN integration. I want the remasters to stand the test of time even if EA, the platforms, servers or anything else connected to it dies off in the future in some way. If the game can't survive on its own like all the other classics, then it has definitely been shot in the foot before even starting the race. It can still run the race, but will eventually bleed out if not patched up. So it is my sincerest hope that the lifespan of the games is not tied to anything but the games themselves.

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Indeed. The EA account registration at first launch does raise a question or two.

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