The excellent open source RTS game engine OpenRA [Official Site], which allows you to play classic Command & Conquer titles has a new release out.
As a reminder, it currently supports Tiberian Dawn, Red Alert and Dune 2000 officially. They're working on Tiberian Sun, which is one of their current major goals with the project. It's taking a long time though, since it's quite different to the other games. For the existing games, it will download the required content for you since they were set free by EA years ago.
The first major change, is that it will now allow you to hook up a forum account to your game:
Connecting to your OpenRA forum account allows you to verify your identity to other players without revealing your IP address. You can also choose to display up to five badges, with a selection of default options and custom awards available to choose from. Server hosts can configure private clan or tournament servers based on accounts instead of using passwords.
Naturally, I tested this out and it works perfectly. My choice of badge to display was an obvious one:
An interesting system, which I am glad is kept as an optional feature. Not everyone wants to sign up for an account for everything, just to play a quick game with friends.
They've also moved over to using AppImage for the Linux downloads, which does simplify it a bit. One download for every Linux distribution that should just work. I certainly had no trouble when trying it out this evening.
Some other highlights of this latest release:
- Significant improvements to rendering performance and unit responsiveness
- Descriptive tooltips for tech structures
- Tech structures and walls remain on the battlefield if their owner is defeated
- Overhauled Chronoshift-return behaviour in Red Alert
- Disabled Kill Bounties in the Red Alert campaign and default multiplayer configuration
- Fixes for several crashes and gameplay bugs in release-20180307
- A collection of community balance changes in Red Alert and Tiberian Dawn
They also improved their SDK that allows others to build games with the OpenRA game engine. This actually includes the ability to make an AppImage, so custom games and mods should have an easier time to support Linux too—nice!
They also spruced up their online game list, so you can check if there's games going without even loading the game up—handy!
I am incredibly happy this project exists, since I played a lot of Red Alert and the original Command & Conquer in my youth. We've had a good few games in the community too, we just don't talk about the time Samsai got nuked.