Hello there ;)
thank you for your support :D we have been taking out time with the mod, but everything is starting to pay off now. amazing graphics, properly scaled performance for even the weaker laptops, great unit customization options, fantastic maps and crazy destruction mechanics..
everything is coming together great, and we have a series of fanstastic updates coming for all of you! :)
we have been pretty busy with summer quarter, but luckily done quite a lot of work on CNC2142 too. expect to see a new set of updates on Sidi Power Plant, Titan Mode and public beta release soon ;)
We spent some time to specially optimize the in-game map environment. As a result, maps in CNC2142 are much more raw, natural and high-detailed compared to the average CNC3 maps. ^^ When you play CNC2142 in-game, it gets even better!
hahahahha thank you! ^^ this project was one of the biggest CNC3 mods actually, but the team had to stop it for a while because of school exams. We have 6 members working in our team, as well as some volunteers from other very successful projects like the "Battlefield: Forgotten Hopes" modification :)
Hi yone! Yes, the CNC2142 modification will feature Titan Mode. Every map that you see in CNC2142 are faithful recreations based on the original designs in BF2142. However, I can't say anything on sending squads to the enemy Titan yet :p Stay tuned!
Thank you evan! :) The CNC2142 team appreciates community feedback very much, so if you have any comments, let us know! ^_^
Thank you buddy! ^^ Yes, CNC Generals definitely has the potential to perform a lot better with some further optimizations, but considering it was one of the very first full-3D RTS games back in its day, I felt it was a pretty successful attempt by EA :)
The CNC2142 team is definitely planning a how-we-mod tutorial series for the future, including everything that we've learned in terms of game performance optimizations, gameplay coding, realistic heightmap environments in SAGE, etc. New modders should find them super useful in the years to come ^_^ Thanks again for your support!
As for making textures more efficient and better looking, that is a much more complicated problem.. :/
When EA designed BF2142, they textured all the structures using a "palette system". So, something as simple as a brick house could have wall textures from the file "herp_derp.TGA"; window textures from "blablabla.TGA"; and roof textures from "hahalol.TGA". Each of these texture files could contain some sort of texture for up to 5-6 totally unrelated structures, and that made our job very difficult.
We tried to recreate the structures by hand, but the results were just too different. Finally, we decided to build our own in-house tool, which would automatically read EA's programming and sort out each structure's original textures. We then bake those textures, and optimize them by removing unnecessary spaces, reorganizing sizes, giving larger structures a better focus on graphics quality.
Our goal is to strike the best balance between texture quality, and in-game performance. It was a slow and seriously painful process, but we managed to sort out all of the materials in the end, and the results definitely pay off!
Ultimately, each engine has its own pros and cons. Optimizations largely depend on what kind of final product you're looking for. Larger texture files will always look better, but they also seriously affect performance.
It is almost always a constant battle for balance between game performance, and graphics quality :) Let me know if you have any other questions ^_^
Hey man! ^^ Well, optimization techniques really depend on what you're dealing with to be honest.
For each unit that you train, each structures you build, even the map terrain itself, all of these add "draw calls" to the game. In reality, it is a bit more complicated than that, but this is the simple version :)
Using CNC2142's SAGE engine as an example: it renders 3d objects by giving each object it's own "draw call". Because of this optimization, the SAGE engine can render a 2000-poly model, with the same efficiency as a 100-poly model.
The key to having great in-game performance, is to keep the number of draw calls to a minimum, so even if players mass crazy armies on-screen, lag will be less noticeable. ^^ There are many ways to reduce draw calls, but for the CNC2142 team, we try to merge all 3d models into 1 object as often as possible!
Using our EU tank unit as an example: its design included wheels, tracks, main body, main turrent, main gun barrel, machine-gun turrent and machine-gun barrels. However, as we work on it for the CNC2142 mod, all of these high quality polygons are optimized, then merged into no more than 2-3 parts in total. As a result, each EU tank polygon/model in-game will only take around 2-3 draw calls only, which is even more efficient than many of the original models from EA ;)
Hello Comrade Grigor! Terribly sorry about the delayed reply, I went on a short holiday in China - and didn't get back until a week ago. I did see your reply below though, gave you a thumbs up as soon as you posted it! ;)
We are currently still working on the map Sidi Power Plant, mostly ground textures. CNC3's SAGE engine originally failed to support a map as big as Sidi, but we have found a way to fit the map in without cutting out any of the original capture points. It is the biggest map in CNC2142, we will publish a preview as soon as it is finished! ^^
it'll be a mix from CNC3 and BF2142 :)
Hahaha :D tell us more what made you think so? ^^
thank you so much buddy! we really appreciate all of your support :D make sure to comment on everything you like, and post here if you have any sort of questions in mind!
Ohh I understand what you mean now! Apologies though, CNC2142 will be following the same vanilla CNC3 gameplay formula, so you'll only start off with a starting position.
I'm not really sure what you mean by "starting units".. >.>
Hello Comrade Stoyanovich, CNC2142 had a small-scale "friends and family" beta 4 months ago. While we don't have a concrete release date for the mod yet, we do expect most of the work to be finished in a few months from now.
haahahah thanks man!! glad to hear that you like it :D
everybody knows this is fake lol, it's just supposed to be a mockup of what a RTS game would look like in Frostbite 2 :p
thanks for all the comments guys, we really couldn't have done it without your support!
keep them coming XDD
thanks buddy! ^_^ it's been a while indeed hahaha, hope you've been doing well too~
we do have Titan Mode maps planned, check out our Titan warship screenshots from earlier on man! :p
CNC2142 is a RTS game, so yes, it will have tech-trees like SC2, and all infantry units will start off with their stardard gears as in BF2142. players can unlock additional upgrades by building the research facility, and select such as active cloaking, EMP grenades, etc. essentially, almost everything you had in BF2142 will be in CNC2142.
as for vehicles in CNC2142, all pilot and gunner positions will be active and operational right from the beginning - any additional seats will be free for infantry units to use as transportation. the only reason some BF2142 matches don't have gunner positions manned is because it is an FPS game, and it can only handle so many players at a time. we want to bring you the same futuristic, believable and intensive BF2142 experience by giving you total control of properly organized, respondsive and cooperative armies.
i hope this helps! :)
hahaha no worries guys, the team already has the geometry prepared for all the maps, even Northern Strike ones. :) Bridge at Remagen is one of my favourite maps too!
hahhaha thanks guys! its been a while :D
thanks buddy! :D the team chooses to work on maps based on their design and layout. if you've played BF2142 before, you'd probably remember Cerbere Landing is more of a town / city map, mixed in with slopes and snow. it demands a more strategic "attack vs defense" style gameplay.
as a result, our next map would ideally be open-landscapped, to provide an even wider area for strategic freedom. Sidi Power Plant is a great map that fits the bill perfectly, and it's also the winner of our community's most favourite map vote from a while ago.
ultimately, we would like to include all the BF2142 maps, but some of them are indeed too big for CNC's SAGE engine to run. we might have to deal with certain compromises for some of the largest maps, but we'll see :)
well we are very happy to tell you that unlike BF2142, almost everything you see in our maps can be destroyed. :) don't like the trees? crush them. don't like the building? blow it up. want to create a choke point? lay down some EMP mines and sentry guns - everything will be at your command ^_^
i completely agree, if we're gona do something we might as well do it right! ;) if you played BF2142 before, you would know the awesome feeling when your team mates are providing you coverfire properly, tanks are rolling in on the flanks, and the gunships are taking out priority targets in the skies.. and then you play CNC2142, everything is now literally at your command. it will be quite mind-blowing :D
hey man!! i'm terribly sorry it took me so long to reply, as people don't normally comment on older screenshots XD thank you so much for your reply, the support we receive from people like you in this community is the reason why we dedicate to making this modification. it is a passion of ours ^_^
although all the CNC2142 team members have university work and what not in real life, we do try our best to juggle between the two to make sure our work does not go to waste. truth be told, this mod first started off as an idea between my friend and I when we were sitting in a bus, on our way to school one morning. it was just one of those "if somebody made this, it would've been so awesome" ideas, you know :p even we didn't expect the mod to become so popular, to be honest, but we're really glad sooo many people have shown us crazy amounts of support over the years, either as fans, think-tanks, or even fellow mod team members. we are extremely grateful for all of this, and we'll make sure it all works out in the end. :)
thank you again for your message, stay awesome buddy! ^^
thanks for the feedback guys, make sure you keep the questions and comments coming! XDD
we actually had a very, very small "friends & family" beta test back in December. the focus was to help us collect some performance data from different computers, so that we may optimize our models, textures and other performance-hogging technicalities properly :) check out our latest news article update if you want to know about the actual improvements!
it has definitely been some time indeed :D our team is usually quite busy between winter and summer breaks, but making CNC2142 is a dedication of ours and we don't want to release something half-baked. :p what do you think of it so far?
thank you man XD we aim to recreate the same intensive, futuristic yet believable BF2142 experience for both new and existing 2142 veterans. the ability to have everything at your command is amazing, and with more official maps coming along this could only get better.. without all the lagging, exploiting, PunkBuster "losing key packets" too, of course :p