The Past Ain't What It Used To Be...

The first Command & Conquer received its last official update on the 21st of June, 1996. Since then, the game has been ported to Windows (as "Gold" version), and re-released in the big "The First Decade" and "The Ultimate Collection" collection packs, but has never received any more bug fixes.

The C&C Gold Patch 1.06 project aims to bring this classic into the new millennium, by fixing the old bugs, supporting higher resolutions, and adding new modding and mapping possibilities. It also contains an addon-based language system, allowing anyone to create translation packs for the game.

Visit the patch website
Visit the patch forum
Read the patch release article
Read the patch FAQ

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Everyone keeps asking me about skirmish AI that builds bases, despite me saying it can't be done. So let me explain, once and for all, and in great detail, why it can't be done.

First of all, we'll look at how it is done in the campaign. As you probably know, the AI builds, or at least rebuilds, buildings in the campaign. However, let me go right ahead and crush any illusion that this would imply that the C&C95 AI knows, in any way at all, how to build bases.

Exhibit A:
[Base]
004=NUKE,436215040
003=HAND,436213760
002=SILO,436216064
001=SILO,436215552
000=PROC,469769984
Count=5

This is what the base building AI in C&C looks like. This piece of text is taken from GDI mission 3. Now, it's not immediately clear from these values, but, once converted to hexadecimal, you can see they're just X and Y coordinates of the locations where the buildings should be built. If we decipher that block of ini code to readable language, we get this:

Priority of (re)building structures:
1: Tiberium Refinery at X=31, Y=28
2: Tiberium Silo at X=31, Y=26
3: Tiberium Silo at X=33, Y=26
4: Hand of Nod at X=24, Y=26
5: Power Plant at X=29, Y=26

I say "(re)building", because this system can also be used to build new ones. As long as the structure isn't there, it'll try to build it.

Now, let's take an actual screenshot of the base, and see which buildings that are.

Base

It should now be clear that the C&C1 AI, even in missions, can't do anything but build buildings which are already listed for it. The only actual 'intelligence' involved in this process is that they don't attempt to build the building if they already have it standing there.


On to the original point: Skirmish.

As you see, the C&C95 AI has no base planning logics whatsoever, which means that the only plausible way building bases in skirmish can work, is by editing multiplayer maps, adding such a [BASE] section, and giving the AIs construction yards to build from.

But then, of course, you're heading into mission making territory. You can't go adding structures and mission scripting to a multiplayer map, and expect them to magically disappear just because you didn't tick the "AI players" option. If you play normal LAN games on the same map, those construction yards will still be there, and so will the scripting that lets the AI build stuff.

Now, with the hacking I can do, I might be able to make the AIs spawn MCVs in multiplayer games, just like all other players, and I might even be able to give them a Deploy command, but it definitely won't be smart enough to move that MCV to a place where it actually has enough space to deploy, or even to move its units out of the way to give it enough space.

Bear with me though. Even if none of that would be a problem, imagine playing a game against two AIs that build bases. Their buildings are all programmed into the map with a [BASE] section. So, logically, that would mean they can build everything just fine, right?

Wrong. You might have noticed, the BASE section is missing something. One small detail that is crucial to allowing multiple AI players to use it.

The buildings in the list have no owners.

The results of this get rather bizarre. I told you that AIs don't attempt to build the building if it's already there. This ONLY applies if the building that's already there is their own building, of course. Capture one, and AI units will rush in to destroy the obstruction so they can rebuild it.

Now imagine, if you will, a [BASE] list with the complete layouts of two AI bases. Say the AI players ingame are green and gray. The list has power plants, refineries, silos, troop production, everything needed for both bases.

Then you look at how it works in reality, and you see that both bases have a mix of green and gray buildings. In fact, the gray one is building Obelisks while it doesn't have enough power to make them work, because the green one has claimed some of its Advanced Power Plants from the [BASE] list. The green player, after building those power plants, seems to have stopped building completely, because Gray has meanwhile built the refineries for both bases, meaning Green has no money left.

What you'd get, when looking at one of the bases, would be something like this:

Mixed base

If they are enemies, they'll also be busy trying to destroy as many buildings as possible from the other AI because they obstruct their building plan. And no matter whether they are allies or enemies, you can expect to destroy a gray building and immediately see a green one pop up in its place.


So, let's sum up what we got here, all right?

  1. The base building AI in C&C is 100% scripted. There is no logic anywhere in the game for intelligent planning of a base.
  2. Maps with skirmish scripting and AI construction yards would keep those things when playing normal multiplayer games, meaning you can't disable the AI players on these maps.
  3. Even though the rebuilding logic can be used to make an AI build new buildings, and thus, entire bases, it fails spectacularly once the mission has multiple AIs that own a construction yard.

I'll add another one to that. I'm programming in bytes. In bare CPU commands. What I use can barely be called a programming language; it's just checks, jumps and byte manipulation.

In other words, it is not the kind of programming environment that would allow me to program, say, a base planning AI. And even if it was, we'd be talking about such a complex piece of programming that it'd take me years to do. That 'little feature' people keep requesting from me happens to be the one major difference between the C&C1 and the RA1 game engine. The Red Alert base AI was rewritten from the ground up; I can't just 'patch' that in.

Another grave misconception is that I could just 'copy it from Red Alert'. It doesn't work that way. I remember, back in the early days of this hacking-to-upgrade stuff, it took the RockPatch team about three months to successfully copy a superweapon from Tiberian Sun to Yuri's Revenge. Now, in our case, we're not talking about a single superweapon. We're talking about a core mechanic of the game, with dozens of functions all tightly linked to each other, and all optimized towards Red Alert's internal workings. It'd be madness to even try that.


So there you have it, folks. I hope this clears up why I get frustrated every time someone asks this question, and why the answer is not a simple satisfying one-liner I could put in the FAQ. But for the record, let me sum this entire article up for you in four little words:

It Can't Be Done :)

Italian language pack released!

Italian language pack released!

News 0 comments

An Italian language pack was created, with the help of the wonderful people of the OldGamesItalia website :)

Issue with lagging videos and game abort

Issue with lagging videos and game abort

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A configuration issue has been identified in the july 1 2014 release, that causes lagging in the videos and when aborting a mission. Here's how to fix...

Video packs and small updates

Video packs and small updates

News 2 comments

Video packs have been added to the downloads and addons sections, and the game / patch downloads themselves have gotten minor updates, too.

Warning to everyone who downloaded the full game pack before April 9

Warning to everyone who downloaded the full game pack before April 9

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An error in the full installer made the CnCNet desktop icon run C&C95.exe instead of cncnet.exe

RSS feed Files
C&C95 v1.06c revision 3 patch

C&C95 v1.06c revision 3 patch

Patch 39 comments

The Command & Conquer Gold v1.06c revision 3 patch. Updated with cncnet5 and TUC support on 01/07/2014

C&C95; v1.06c revision 3 full game installer

C&C95; v1.06c revision 3 full game installer

Full Version 35 comments

Complete No-CD game installation pack of C&C Gold v1.06c r3, without videos, with all music included. Videos can be found separately in the downloads...

Command & Conquer German Videos Base Pack

Command & Conquer German Videos Base Pack

Movies 0 comments

This can be added to your game to give you the German videos. If you want to add additional videos for other languages, use the addon-packs. The other...

Command & Conquer French Videos Base Pack

Command & Conquer French Videos Base Pack

Movies 0 comments

This can be added to your game to give you the French videos. If you want to add additional videos for other languages, use the addon-packs. The other...

Command & Conquer English Videos Base Pack

Command & Conquer English Videos Base Pack

Movies 15 comments

This can be added to your game to give you the English videos. If you want to add additional videos for other languages, use the addon-packs. The other...

C&C95 v1.06c revision 2 full game installer (old)

C&C95 v1.06c revision 2 full game installer (old)

Full Version 3 comments

Complete No-CD game installation pack of C&C Gold v1.06c r2, without videos, with all music included. This is only kept here for archiving reasons...

Comments  (0 - 10 of 112)
Templarfreak
Templarfreak

Weird bug (With C&C, not with the patch) that I found. Dunno if this is really already known or not. If A harvester that is in the process of returning gets destroyed before it docks, the return animation on the refinery will play forever unless another harvester wants to return there.

And a weird performance issue on my machine that I haven't been able to find a fix for yet. On the map screens the game will COMPLETELY freeze for the duration of the animation, though it will return completely fine after the point the animation would normally be finished.

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Mynameislol
Mynameislol

This patch makes the campaign almost impossible to beat, the AI get's unnecessary buffs (ect takes 4 infantry to kill 1 AI infantry, AI build faster, react faster ect) Is there a way to make the campaign easier? I've beaten it before without issues

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Tore29
Tore29

There are no balance changes anywhere in this patch. So this is either a bug or you not playing properly.

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Scarlat.
Scarlat.

Nice Work!

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Nyerguds Creator
Nyerguds

Thanks :D

Reply Good karma+2 votes
Purifier523
Purifier523

Comodo Antivirus detect "cc95v106c_r3_u2_full.exe" as a virus. Others have the same problem?

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CptMold
CptMold

Did it tell you why it was picked up as a virus? I know with Norton, the false positives I've gotten for XCOMUtil and a Rise of Nations disc were WS.Reputation1.

There was another definition that gave me a false positive once, all I remember is it had cloud in the name. Anyway, you get the point. There are some detection definitions that pick up falses more than others.

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Nyerguds Creator
Nyerguds

Must be a false positive on heuristics scan. I just tested the file through virustotal.com, and it reported that even Comodo sees the file as clean.
Virustotal.com

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DJYemack
DJYemack

I do appreciate your contribution Nyerguds!

I have dreamed to play this smoothly in window 7 64 bit, it works pretty well.

BTW, Does it have recomended resolution?

I have a problem that I can't move my screen right after I unfold MCV to building.

When I unfold my MCV, control bar appears on right side and my game screen expanded to horizontally with duplicating some part of my screen, then my mouse cursor can't act to move my screen to see other side of the map.

I guess there is a problem on my side that I checked resolution too much large size.

do you have any suggestion? please let me know if you have..

P.S.
I hope to post screenshots of my display directly for better understanding, but unfortunately I do not know how to post those on here.
I'll post on as soon as I can if I know how to do that.

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DJYemack
DJYemack

MY bad, Never mind, I have read FAQ and understand what should I do.

Thank you so much for kind instruction on FAQ :)

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Nyerguds Creator
Nyerguds

Glad you figured it out! Not many people think of checking the FAQ :)

Recommended resolution would be, uh, well... it depends on the mission's map size, really, but I generally feel most comfortable playing in 1024x768. Overall, keep in mind the MAXIMUM map size in the game is 1488x1488 (maps of 62x62 cells, with each cell being 24x24 pixels). So if you play in anything over 1200 pixels, it's practically guaranteed that every single mission will give those refresh bugs you saw in mission 1.

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Feb 4 2011 by Orac|

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