Implications of the C&C Remastered collection for OpenRA

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
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lawANDorder
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Implications of the C&C Remastered collection for OpenRA

Post by lawANDorder » Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:51 pm

Never thought they'd actually remaster the very early titles. I'm super excited about it but at the same time worried that this puts OpenRA into competition with much bigger players (that actually pay their developers).

Although nobody can tell at this point what impact a Remastered Collection will have in the C&C scene, for gaming in general and OpenRA and its community in particular, I'm interested to learn what you think OpenRA's unique features are, what you think about the effects of Remastered for OpenRA and what ideas you have how OpenRA can defend and extend its corner of the market.

IMO the main aspects of OpenRA's market niche are that it does not cost anything, comes with low minimum hardware requirements, is cross-platform compatible, provides modding support out of the box and is free software developed in the open. I can't imagine that a Remaster will ship with modding tools beyond a map editor, because remastering a game and providing features to make total conversions or other "remasters" just doesn't make sense in my eyes. It is also unlikely in my opinion that they find a way to satisfy both experienced C&C modders and people who want to try things out but have no technical experience. Lastly, modding is not the selling point of the product so why should they spend all the money and time for it.

IMO, OpenRA's future is OpenRA as an engine. Everything should be focused to get better in this area - low-level engine improvements, modding frontend tools, a mod library, social features, statistics, and more flexibility beyond C&C design concepts and game mechanics come to my mind - to convince designers and developers to build their games with OpenRA engine.

SirCake
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Re: Implications of the C&C Remastered collection for OpenRA

Post by SirCake » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:12 pm

I'm not sure how the devs think about this but I think OpenRA is great for prototyping games, but less suited for "real" productions. In a real production you would quickly sacrifice general design guidelines (i.e. yaml modable maps, uniform UI definitions etc) for specific implementations. Then why hassle with the overhead complexity and go for a straight forward home-brewn solution. To me OpenRA is a great RTS Sandbox. That could be the brand essence.

I also don't think OpenRA will in any way suffer from the EA remaster. It can only increase popularity of both.

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avalach21
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Re: Implications of the C&C Remastered collection for OpenRA

Post by avalach21 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:31 pm

OpenRA is awesome and always will be awesome... it is a great engine in and of itself.. it offers so much potential for endless mods as well as further conversions / remakes. There is still KKND and Dark Reign conversions coming together nicely.. Progress is being made on RA2 and TS.. it has been slow but seems to have picked up a bit lately from what I have seen. OpenRA is the premiere engine for 90's 2d-style RTS to be played.

It is also totally free.. with fully functional servers available for the foreseeable future. Not to take too much of a stab... I am hoping for the best... but EA doesn't have the best track record of supporting their online servers for very long. To be honest it is almost shocking how quickly EA tends to pull the plug on game environments that have barely had time to develop, and I am almost hesitant to get dedicated to any of their online ecosystems with the fear that the fun could get cut short at a moments notice :-(

We will have to see what the EA/Petroglyph C&C/RA1 "remasters" turn out to be. At this point we can only speculate... my hope is that they redo all the assets in high quality 3D graphics.. It would be interesting to see how something like that would turn out and I definitely don't want to see it take an 8-bit armies graphics style or some kind of let's be retro stylized cartoon look. Even RA3 was a bit too exaggerated for my taste but in any event.. I really hope they do make a significant effort to modernize the look of it.

This would allow OpenRA to be the absolute best way to experience C&C/RA (hopefully TS and RA2 very soon :-D) in a way that is truly classic 2-d style RTS with all the original assets to be an almost indistinguishable difference from the classics to casual observation (ie. how often OpenRA screenshots seem to be getting used in these recent articles ... lol)

It would make sense that with the backing of EA and a commercial development house like Petroglyph, we should probably expect a pretty significant overhaul of the look/feel/experience. Time will only tell, but I am willing to bet the remasters will not be designed to incorporate all the original assets.

camundahl
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Re: Implications of the C&C Remastered collection for OpenRA

Post by camundahl » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:50 am

Idk, 3D is kinda lame for RTS, but I dont want to lose OpenRA playerbase.....

RA in 3D would essentially be Generals or C&C3.

If they did 3D it should absolutely not look cartoony, and maybe mix in RA2 elements like garrisonable buildings and elevation changes.

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netnazgul
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Re: Implications of the C&C Remastered collection for OpenRA

Post by netnazgul » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:52 am

lawANDorder wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:51 pm
IMO the main aspects of OpenRA's market niche are that it does not cost anything, comes with low minimum hardware requirements, is cross-platform compatible, provides modding support out of the box and is free software developed in the open.
...
IMO, OpenRA's future is OpenRA as an engine.
I'd argue about "low minimum hardware requirements", since for what there is in the engine currently, the hardware should be at least tenfold of what it was for the originals, and then with the latest release we also needed to raise the minimum level of GPU support due to some perf optimizations.
Also, OpenRA was always "as an engine", it's just that RA mod was (and is) the backbone on which the structure is built, as it remains to be the main feature and highlight of the project.

Anyway, I'm somewhat skeptical about the remasters. As I've already said in Discord, the task for remasters is very hard - making it as close to original as possible will render the remaster largely unplayable, as, frankly speaking, the original gameplay is very dated and largely unbalanced (we all remember one-dimensional heavy tank spam vs tesla coil creep and no allied play at all). At the same time, trying to do a rebalance here will make the remaster too unfaithful to original (some people wanted even remaster to have the original bugs implemented in!). And I would say OpenRA already followed the second path with some tries and fails on balance, both in TD and RA.

So, all in all I feel the remaster won't influence OpenRA a lot, at least in negative way. So far it only raised the popularity somewhat as lots of fans came into forums and openra.net news comments to share their thoughts and got acquainted with OpenRA in the process. If the remaster succeeds then we'll just have our "parallel" reality and OpenRA-as-an-engine like it was before; if the remaster fails then we at least didn't lose anything, maybe even gaining some playerbase from the failed remaster.

eskimo
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Re: Implications of the C&C Remastered collection for OpenRA

Post by eskimo » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:19 pm

I think it'll turn out fine. Looking forward to rocking the missions again as i feel ORA doesn't do it justice with lack of videos and balance changes. But the remaster pvp i doubt i'll touch, i can't see them besting what ORA have done, even TD. If anything i hope it gives ORA a player base increase.

camundahl
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Re: Implications of the C&C Remastered collection for OpenRA

Post by camundahl » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:44 pm

Yeah i mean you can already get the original PVP with C&Cnet. I really have no idea how they are going to effectively approach this for a sustainable profit.

eskimo
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Re: Implications of the C&C Remastered collection for OpenRA

Post by eskimo » Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:02 am

Through hype, lots and lots of hype :P

Looking at so many previous games that sold on hype, trust, and reputation, but yet didn't deliver and continue to sell...
Take their battlefront 2. 1st one was a joke, and 2nd one followed, but still sold. Neither matched Lucas Arts' versions

Matt
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Re: Implications of the C&C Remastered collection for OpenRA

Post by Matt » Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:15 pm

If they do a remaster in the style of Age of Empires HD or Starcraft Remastered then OpenRA might get some nice higher resolution graphics.

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Inq
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Re: Implications of the C&C Remastered collection for OpenRA

Post by Inq » Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:05 am

I'm hoping C&C Remastered gets released after the whole Generals 2 fiasco for one thing...

EA are sitting on a lot of money with the C&C franchise, but they have been pushing it too far from the original concept & making dreadful decisions along the way, like allowing C&C 4 to go ahead.

I really hope this is the fresh start Command & Conquer needs - Now with Westwood back in the picture, I can see a glimmer of hope.

As for OpenRA, I think it has really expanded well past being "just" a re-image of Red Alert... I mean it's pretty much a fully functioning game engine in its own right & its great to see all the old 90's RTS games getting brought back to life through it.

So yes, I think OpenRA will have it's own place in the world well into the future.

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