Red Alert: A Path Beyond brings the exciting storyline and epic clashes from the classic Westwood Studios game, Command & Conquer: Red Alert to realm of first person shooters, with a twist. We've remained loyal to the style and feel of the 1996 classic, while integrating content from its expansions Counterstrike and The Aftermath with a bit of updated history to add to the mix. Built off the W3d engine Westwood Studios built for classics such as Earth & Beyond and Command & Conquer: Renegade finished up in 2001, we help bring the fight to you as you play out your role as any one of a number of infantry classes participating in team-based combat that often involves land, sea, and air combined-arms clashes that just don't happen in any other game. Oh, and did we mention it is FREE?
We haven't been as loud as usual, but we've been just as busy. First, a lot of the vehicles were made before shader support or are old and don't fit in. The Soviet Attack Sub, Missile Sub, and Heavy Tank have all been re-modeled, and the Allied Cruiser's in development. We've felt limited by the original voice samples for our battle announcements; as such we've put our voice actors to the task and conjured up some new sound clips. Also, we've enhanced and made public our balance tracking data.
Posted by Chronojam on Jun 20th, 2008
With college graduations and vacation plans kicking off, we've been a little bit quiet. Here's what's going on:
A lot of the older models in the game were made by people who aren't with us anymore, and were made far before the introduction of shader technology and before our decision to increase polygon counts. While we've retro-fitted a few of them (removing the stop-sign wheels on the Ranger for actual round ones, and slapping on some quick normal maps to older tanks) in recent times, they also never had proper camo schemes made for them. Time to fix that.
The Soviet Missile Sub and Soviet Attack Sub have both had their models redone, first of all.
Click them to view the larger image. The Allied Cruiser is also being made finally, although we're not yet ready to say how it will be used. The design for that is being based off a variety of source material, the result of a hot forum topic we had.
The Soviet Heavy Tank is also currently being worked on as the older model had a few problems to it, and it was ready for a face-lift and retexturing. A lot of subtle detailing, such as grooves on its armor plating, bolts, and the roundedness of certain parts will be handled through bump mapping. And of course, it will get the four-camo treatment that all of the new ground vehicles are getting. Here's a quick look at the model itself plunked into the game:
Now, our previous vehicle modeler had to retire due to some family trouble. All of these new ones are actually being made by testers; the ones pictured were done by Kane000, and the Allied naval units are being done by M1Garand8. For his work, Kane000 is being promoted to staff, and he'll be tackling the Light Tank next. R34ch, another tester, is also going to join us as staff for his work on his map Coastal Influence, and to give support/updates to the older maps (such as Fissure, which is getting a bit of an overhaul) while other staff focus on brand new ones instead.
Periodically we like to flaunt our balance statistics around. The overall balance is superb, and the per-map data is pretty awesome. All of it supports the observations we've made about various maps; now you can check to see if your feelings about a particular map are true. For example, you might notice in a packed game that Fjord plays a lot differently than when it's only 9v9; you're now able to go in and search for Fjord rounds under 20 players and see the stats for yourself!
Some new data regarding round time is not available for all rounds in our database, only newer records are searchable based on round time. However, every other filter works for the past 16,000+ full rounds of A Path Beyond that've been played on the official server since December. The data is pre-filtered to remove any rounds where the server crashed, as forced to the next map, or auto-advanced due to no players willing to join on a particular map, so we've taken out that noise for you.
Here's a quick preview of the kind of output you'd see, along with a full listing of each round under that. If you want to take a look, go to Apb.mp-gaming.com and take a look.
During combat, your EVA relays audio announcements to you when you need them most. We've mostly been using the original Red Alert announcements and some edits, but that's really been limiting us. Instead, we're putting our voice talent to work and creating a full new set of voice clips. All of the original audio is being replaced, and new clips to provide better feedback and situational awareness are being made. For example, you'll get notification that a Spy has successfully infiltrated his target and disabled the Soviet Atomic Bomb while it sits in its silo.
BattleLaf is handling all of the main recording, with TagDaze as the chief audio engineer responsible for the edits. We're going roughly for a similar sound and feel to the original EVA voiced by Martin Alper over a decade ago, but we're also doing some things a little bit differently. Team-wide EVA announcements also will replace the existing silent "radio command" quick chat messages with far more useful alerts. Our entire staff is doing individual voicing for specific infantrymen for verbal shouts you can make for nearby soldiers to hear, rendering the old "radio commands" unneccessary anyways!
There are a ton of new announcements, and every vehicle purchase is now announced to the team so you can tell what people are actively building even when you're out in the field. It's harder than you'd think to get the right metallic sound to this stuff, but we've figured it out most of the way. Click the play button to listen; these are not final but should give you an idea of what we're going for even if there are some slight inconsistencies.
Base attack notifications
Missile Silo notices