This is a long post. If you're not interested in a summary of the past, skip the first part. If you're not interested in an amendment I take, skip the second part. If you're only interested in the future, read the third part.
So, AS is five years old. In these five years, I've seen modders coming and passing by, mods rising and falling, friendships and clashes, whatever currently happened in the community. I've seen and participated in the process of Ares breaking through the barrier of NPatch and I've seen how modders creatively use the possibilities included.
And I see how this creativity of this renessaince slipped away.
In the last year, the community became much more solid. There are no more groundbreaking ideas, no more talent, no more creativity... it just feels more and more dried out.
The motivation power of the modding community became nonexistant and in some cases particularly terrible. Seriously... in these days a completely incompetent attention-whore gets applaud and encouragement just because he's writing walls of texts without any result or meaning?
We're that point... and how to say, it has it's effect on AS.
That and another event in my life caused AS to be slowed down, and until a while I didn't even know what to do with it. You probably have realized it by now, that I ran out of niches for Oppressors. The whole idea of making Oppressors menacing was impossible because I ran out of logics - I overused everything YR and Ares made possible for all the human factions and a simple beamspam looks - not enough impressive, so to say.
I honestly didn't know what to do with it. Then a certain event happened...
If you are aware of my POV about some things I usually say, then you might as well aware of the fact that I had a very bad impression about OpenRA. Honestly, the first impression I had was an "aggressive, C# program, which doesn't even intend to seem like the old because it's easier to twist it to their own then to try to be as close to the original as possible" due to the PR disaster of how OpenRA introduced itself to the modding community. (TL; DR: it was a "you asked for RA? well we can do this, that and even that with such simply, don't bother with RA" everywhere, and well... seeing this more than enough was annoying... that disaster backlashed ultimately into the death of the classic mods and while I do see that it was a necessary task in OpenRA's development, the way it was announced was terrible and I'm quite rigid when it comes to such behaviour. Practically it hit my Berserk Button.) This happened like 2-3 years ago anyway and they got a lot better since.
I also know that I disliked the choose of C# because of Mono being lousy - but then Microsoft is releasing C# to Linux, so... that argument falls flat.
And I also know that I called OpenRA code as an undocumented spaghetti, but either I grow up to understand the principle, either in the last 1.5 years their code quality took ten levels in badass. Their modding documentation certainly did. Still, I give maximum 33% to these latter and more than 66% to the fact that I was the stupid.
In any way, this is a public apologize to OpenRA devteam due to 90% of the negative things I said about it. I still keep my opinion that OpenRA ain't the C&C equvivalent of OpenTTD due to the different history of the evolution of those programs - which if I remember well, was the main topic of our last clash.
I am also aware that in response, I was considered as a hater-without-reason - well, I favor compromises and that PR disaster was anything near such. And I'm rigid, so it takes me a good while to change an opinion. But I do acknowledge when I'm wrong, it just takes time.
So again - I was the wrong one for not realizing the effort that you did take your project serious and did accept the criticism where it was valid. You learnt your lesson after the lousy start and I was the stupid for not noticing it.
So Crystallized Doom is going for OpenRA. Well, little behind-the-curtains... after the post Astor made where he compared OpenRA to TS, he called me up and we started to look into OpenRA together. Until that point I thought I'm aware of OpenRA's capabilities.
I don't know how to say... do you know the feeling when you see an used car with a bit rusty bodywork, and when you open it's door and sit in, it turns out to be full extra with a turbocharger and an engine in perfect condition?
You don't? Well, sad for you, because it's the closest way I could describe. It can hit you. Hard.
So yea, I immediately realized that I owe the OpenRA team the above. And I should have done that probably a close year ago.
The main issue I feel at this point is that most of this potential is hidden. The main mods ain't rely upon it, and without ingame examples, it's hard to showcase.
However the more I tinkered, read for CD, the more I realized that they need a lot less time to catch up TS than what most people would expect.
And it's 80% possible that OpenRA would have already taken over in terms of features by the time I'd finish AS.
So right now, I am doing a slow concept of porting/reworking AS into OpenRA. I'm far from done yet - still being on Allied Tier 2 - and it'll take probably a month or two to finish the porting, but it might give me the creative boost I need to finish Oppressors.
It already allows me doing things I only dreamed of. Decoupling Jumpjet production from vehicles?! Reimplementing GLA salvage logic for Confeds?! Eltanin working as an ECM tank?! Fixing helicopters, so they will face the target during attacking, not relying on OmniFire all the time?!
You know what was the thing which sold me, anyway? Working disguises with AS's palette setup. I couldn't fix this in Ares and I was pretty certain AlexB wouldn't be interested in this one neither. And it has it. Already.
Of course, this doesn't come free. I am running into severe limits at some units - limits which while I do consider a stopper, I don't want to reveal here and now. Because I am also aware that these limits are not limits to the main mods and they don't really push OpenRA development further. To put it bluntly: I don't think if I'd open issues for them, they would get implemented, unless...
Unless I do it. It wouldn't be the first time I'd contribute to the platform my mod runs on.
So, the roadmap in my head at this point is the following:
- finish the conversion of the YR build as fitting as possible
- implement features, stuff into OpenRA AS depends on with the hopes that it'll pass their coding standard and gets merged in
- work on whatever remains
I also know that this will gonna hit development process hard. I mean... yea, probably no internal build for the next months.
On the other hand, after I get through the hassle of converting, the maintaince will be a lot easier... and OpenRA seems quite stable when it comes to maintaince, with a lot less issues caused by OS compatibility and such.
There is no point releasing something when all you could play it on would be virtual machines.
It might be a risk to give this change a go. It might be too early. But I'm willing to take this risk. Just since the time CD announced it's move, OpenRA got three features, and I don't know how many bugfixes. And that was just a week.
I want to finish AS. I want to make AS the thing I dreamt of five years ago. If that means dealing with a devil, fine. If I can manage to get it done by instead of dealing with devils, I acknowledge a huge mistake of mine - which I should have done unrelated to this anyway -, grinding my teeth for months then working on an open-source project which has a far more certain future than YR at this point, I consider myself a lucky person. And if it takes me five more years, then I put ten years to materialize my Magnum Opus. It took others more.
It already brought back the joy of modding. And I don't know what else matters.
I do acknowledge that this announcement might not be welcomed by everybody because this is my official resignation from Ares, but... I'm not interested in keeping a dead horse alive. Sorry, people. But for me, AS comes first.
Yours sincerely, Graion Dilach