[Mod] A little doohickey I'm working on

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thebestwes
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[Mod] A little doohickey I'm working on

Post by thebestwes »

So this may be of absolutely no interest to anyone (which is fine by me, this is mostly a personal project), but I'm working on a small, currently unnamed mod to change the gameplay dynamics of Tiberian Dawn drastically, and I thought people might be interested in checking it out.

I realize this isn't how a lot of people like to play the game, but I'm really into building giant, impenetrable fortresses, having asymmetrical battles where well-placed units can do hugely disproportionate amounts of damage, and generally de-emphasizing build order and other strategic aspects in favor of micromanaging relative unit placement and having more exaggerated rock-paper-scissiors dynamics. I'm not a competitive online player at all and I'm sure there's a lot of strategy stuff I'm not taking into account here, so input is very welcome.

Currently the mod is facetiously titled Tiberian Dawn eXtreme, and here are the major changes it makes, in no particular order:

-Infantry are cheaper, have longer ranges (in most cases slightly greater than their own line of sight), and are generally more useful against other infantry. They also do a lot more damage, so defensive play gets a slight advantage. Comparable forces can still lead to one-sided battles.

-Line-of-sight plays somewhat more of a role. Artillery and rocket ranges are significantly bigger, so spotter units are more important than they otherwise would be. Again, defensive play gets a bit of a bonus.

-Flamethrower units now shoot long-range streams of flame like they do in RA.

-Humvees, Nod Buggies, etc. now fire tracer rounds and can massacre unguarded infantry with ease.

Image

-Vehicles are generally much more powerful and much more expensive. Vehicle-on-vehicle combat is a lot faster-paced

-I hated APCs in the past, so I gave them Mk19 automatic grenade launchers that fire in 5-round bursts. Now they're fairly solid (though not exceptional) against infantry and light vehicles alike. They can also hold 10 units instead of 5.

-Commandos are the one infantry unit that is not cheaper. They are now scouts with a long line of sight who can cloak after a brief period of inactivity to act as spotter units or an early warning system, or pick off infantry from a distance. Their sniper rifle leaves a contrail, though, so they can't operate for too long without the enemy figuring out where you are. The plan is to balance them in the future against cheap but unarmed (or lightly-armed) Nod scout infantry who can also cloak and spot for artillery.

-Two new units (so far). One is based on the Russian TOC-1, which is an armored missile platform that fires thermobaric or incendiary missiles at soft targets.

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In game, this is a medium-range napalm missile tank that can annihilate infantry but is a minor annoyance at best to heavier vehicles. It's buildable by Nod at the same tech level as artillery.

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The other is a variant of the rocket launcher that fires napalm rockets. It is also extremely ineffective against anything with any amount of armor, but devastating towards infantry. It is buildable by the GDI at the same tech level as the rocket launcher.

-The light tank is now a scout vehicle with a long line of sight. It's fairly fast and fires an armor-piercing autocannon. A pack of them can make short work of slower, heavier vehicles or pick off expensive artillery units.

-The Mammoth Tank is more powerful, with a price tag to match. Anti-infantry missiles allow it to make short work of massed infantry. In one-on-one battles it can take down medium tanks in a matter of seconds, and needs to be surrounded and outranged to be defeated.

-Building ranges have been expanded, so build order is a lot less significant to the placement of buildings in your base. I'm not sure this will remain.


So yeah, it's pretty unbalanced at this point, so if you have any suggestions for changes please let me know. I'm going to probably model a few new units for it (nothing major) and continue to tweak it. There's currently no unique build icons or anything, so I'll add those as well as soon as I can figure out how (I'm on a Mac). I'm pretty accomplished at Photoshop and have done custom art for other quasi-3D games in the past, so I'm pretty excited for this part.

I also still need to do something with the Chem Warriors, which are basically super underpowered relative to the other new infantry.

Anyway, it's not much, but I've had fun playing around with it. If one person plays a single skirmish and has a good time I'll consider it an overwhelming success.

I'll be tweaking it, but if there's a lot of interest I can definitely add new features etc. according to suggestions. Hope you enjoy. Here's the download link. [uploaded the wrong version. see below for the correct one]
Last edited by thebestwes on Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Norman_
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Post by Norman_ »

great! dont stop working on it lol
new features, new units, new stuff? - yes, please! :bana:

thebestwes
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Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:08 pm

Post by thebestwes »

Whoops, made a dingus mistake and it crashes. I'll fix it tomorrow.

thebestwes
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Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:08 pm

Post by thebestwes »

I am a noob and uploaded the file without the updated mod.yaml, so it was pointing to places that didn't exist. Whoops. Here is the correct download link.

And thanks for the support, Norman_!

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Graion Dilach
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Re: [Mod] A little doohickey I'm working on

Post by Graion Dilach »

thebestwes wrote: There's currently no unique build icons or anything, so I'll add those as well as soon as I can figure out how (I'm on a Mac). I'm pretty accomplished at Photoshop and have done custom art for other quasi-3D games in the past, so I'm pretty excited for this part.
Assuming you have Wine already from this.
You can get the TD font and a RA1 cameo template package to be used for PS.

There is even a tutorial how to create a cameo with them here.

When you're done with your cameo, save it (see later).

Get XCC Mixer (this will need Wine). Launch it, View/Directories... set RA and TD folders to your OpenRA/Content/etc folder - make sure you set the folders where the mixes are, that's just for your long term benefits.

Then go to your cameo. You have more options here.

You can save your cameo in 16bit color in your Photoshop. In that case, set the active palette via View->Palet->Tiberian Dawn to TD temperat.pal, then right-click on your cameo, Clipboard->Copy. Right-click again and use Clipboard->Paste as SHP (not Paste as SHP(TS)!), you get a pop-up window where you can set properties of the result, and you're only need to specify the icon in the sequence.

The other option is to save your cameo in 256 colored PCX/PNG (I believe PCX has a better result but sometimes PCX converting does not work for some reason), which usually yields better colors. If you did that, you right-click on the file, and use Copy as PAL and Copy as SHP (again, not SHP(TS)!). Then you add your icon to the sequence and add the resulting palette to your palettes.yaml - clone chrome into it - and specify your new palette on Buildable->IconPalette.

I don't know how to use OpenRA.Utility for converting to SHP and back - not even interested in that to learn - and AFAIK that one can't even do the latter option. What I know is that XCC Mixer is pretty much the go-to swiss knife of the Westwood modders, and tbh, that shows. :P

Hope this helps.

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Norman_
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Post by Norman_ »

still crashes. hope you can fix it, would like to test your mod.

thebestwes
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Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:08 pm

Post by thebestwes »

Which version of OpenRA are you using? Try using the latest playtest. I'm consistently getting it to work there. There seems to be a compatibility issue with the older versions that I'm currently sorting out.

And thanks, Graion Dilach! That's exactly what I needed!

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Norman_
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Post by Norman_ »

i tried the latest release, works now with playtest. fun to use the new nod unit, would be nice to test it with others online.

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Graion Dilach
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Post by Graion Dilach »

On a second note, the TDX abbreviation is already used by reaperrr's Tiberian Dawn Extended. No offense.

thebestwes
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Post by thebestwes »

None taken! Thanks for the heads-up. I'll add that to the to-do list.

Apologies to reaperrr for the similarity. I'm fairly new to the community and didn't realize that was a thing.

thebestwes
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Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:08 pm

Post by thebestwes »

Got some cool updates if anyone is interested.

I've added a few new units to change the game balance up a bit.

As part of my quest to make infantry groups more effective in the late game, I've added a new trim model of Mammoth for the GDI, which only carries short-range anti-infantry missiles but can transport 16 troops across the battlefield (double that of the improved APC). It has boosted armor, but costs 4500 to build (same as the new Mammoth).

Image Image

Since the Mammoth and Mammoth APC are now significantly more powerful, I've given Nod a tank destroyer in the late game. It's slow, but has a long range and does a lot of damage to armor. If you know what you're doing it can kite a Mammoth and kill it pretty easily despite having significantly less armor. It cannot target infantry. It uses the same sprite as the heavy tank from RA.

The Nod TOC-1 now has a cameo:

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As does the napalm version of the MLRS:

Image

I've also added a new humvee cameo since I've always hated the old one:

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And added a new unit to bridge the armor gap between the GDI's humvee and medium tank.

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The armored humvee is lighter than the light tank and slower than the humvee, but has a mounted autocannon that can at least put up a fight against light armor in a pinch. It has a coaxial machine gun for attacking infantry, but is still pretty vulnerable compared to its more agile brethren. The sprite is nothing fancy; just the humvee with a light tank turret on top.

I also have a couple new explosion animations for some weapons. The one that's most finished is the napalm launcher (which is faster and looks better in-game):

Image

I also have some that I'm tweaking for the Mammoth's cannon (which I always thought was cosmetically underwhelming) and recon bike missiles (which I just found boring).

As far as cosmetic changes go, I got some audio samples of various real-world weapons and edited them to short little effects. The Mammoth is sampled from an Abrams, and I have to say that the slight reverb and echo really makes it sound powerful. The guns of the A-10s now have the super-low-pitched growl of a GAU-8, which is probably the most badass sound ever to exist. The guard tower and Apache now sound like a navy minigun. MLRS was sampled from its real counterpart, although I had to heavily modify and speed up the sound to make it work as a sound effect (the real thing makes more of a bang and then a sloooow taper rather than a satisfying "whoosh"). I always found the minigunner gun sound to be kind of annoying, so that's a softer suppressed MP5. Commandos, to fit their new longer-range role, fire a sniper rifle that makes a satisfying "crack." Nod Buggies and Humvees are sampled from a Browning.

They don't sound mind-blowing (I'm intermediate at best at audio editing), but I think it makes weapons feel more punchy and generally invigorates the game a bit.

Other than that, most tanks now have a coax machine gun so they're not shooting their main guns at infantry to no avail. They're not significantly more effective towards infantry, but they are more aesthetically satisfying in my opinion.

Hopefully I'll have something slightly polished to post soon.

EDIT: I almost forgot to mention that I'm working on a few maps that will hopefully let you take advantage of the new style of gameplay a bit. I'm not a professional mapmaker, I just play one on TV, but I think they're pretty cool. First one is huge, but only for two players. The idea is to force you to really utilize your commandos and scouts to set up a logistics network and create choke points. One half of the map is fairly open, and the other is filled with all sorts of tight cliff-ey terrain, so you can rush or ambush your opponent, whichever fits your play style. There's not a ton of tiberium, but there are several oil derricks in town near the center of the map.

Pics:

Image

That's about a third of the map.

Image

I tried to give it a nice organic feel like the campaign has. Again, nothing super spectacular yet, but I hope you find it at least somewhat interesting.
Last edited by thebestwes on Fri Aug 14, 2015 2:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

thebestwes
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Post by thebestwes »

Also, feel free to do whatever you want with those cameos. They're not my images anyway (it's like a 75/25 real photography to my pixelart ratio), and I'd love to see them put to better use than this dinky little project.

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Norman_
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Post by Norman_ »

download link please :) looks and sounds interesting

thebestwes
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Post by thebestwes »

I'll post the download link at some point this weekend. I have to polish a few things first and I'd like to try and get it working with the newest playlets.

KonshusKeboobZionist
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Post by KonshusKeboobZionist »

Yo!
Are you dead, modder?
This sounded interesting! I was working on something with the same logic and i'm overwhelmed by the work implied.

I still cannot touch the Code, Ifor I would break it. But we should team-up on the realistic oriented aspect, as far as graphics and specs are involved.

Let us know what's going on :)

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