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OpenRA for classic Command & Conquer, Dune 2000, Red Alert has a new Playtest

OpenRA is one of my absolute favourite open source projects allowing you to play the Westwood classics like Command & Conquer, Dune 2000 and Red Alert has a new Playtest up over a year after the last release.

Some of the big highlights includes the new hierarchical pathfinder, which increases performance on large maps. New and improved netcode, better notifications for people playing without sound, a lot of balance and polish in Dune 2000 due to the rising popularity after the Dune filme and more.

Pictured – Dune 2000 in the new Playtest

Here’s an overview of what’s new:

Some of the more visible new features and improvements include:

  • Measures against sound / notification overlap. No more u-u-u-u-unit lost
  • Measures against spamming the multiplayer lobby and in-game chat
  • The ability to mute players
  • Support for disabling the chat in replays
  • An ingame encyclopedia in Dune 2000
  • New Red Alert missions
  • Community balance changes for all mods

Notable changes for mappers and modders include:

  • Automatic map reloading in the background
  • A change to the way speed is calculated for ground units
  • A new map format which includes the map preview (minimap) in the map versioning (map hash)
  • Loaders for more audio formats (e.g., mp3 and ogg), and formats used by the remasters
  • Many linting and documentation updates

As well as some other changes worth mentioning:

  • Toolchain and changes to support the .NET 6 runtime
  • A massive amount of upgrades to both ingame and client UI
  • Many more hotkeys became rebindable
  • Substantial progress towards localisation

Sounds like a pretty good one too. The upcoming OpenRA version of Tiberian Sun saw plenty of work too, although not ready for release yet, they implemented unit tilting on slopes. It’s a small visual feature but another part of what made the Tiberian Sun atmosphere and style so good for the time:

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