Post news RSS New Horizons Version 12B-2 Full Release

After multiple delays, I am pleased to announce the release of Version 12B-2 of the New Horizons mod for Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge.

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Greetings fellow Command & Conquer fans; I release now the latest version of the New Horizons mod for Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge, that being Version 12B-2 (which supersedes Version 12B). As always, I highly recommend reading the articles on the previous releases to learn more about what’s new, should you be interested. The version has been delayed due to a dispute, which has now been resolved, as follows;

Back in 2012 I helped a friend of mine from uni work on developing/fixing an early build of the Apocalypse mod, who claimed to be the creator of the mod (and to use the alias of 'Borg'). After initially helping my friend with the project, I soon decided I would rather work on my own new mod, called New Horizons. My friend advised me of primary online resource to use from the earliest stages (primarily Yuri's Revenge Agentina).

After years of developing New Horizons, using (and crediting) various souces, it was pointed out in 2018 that some assets from 'Borg' were used, apparently without permission (which I was surprised to hear, as I believed I knew Borg personally in the past), but after finding Borg's contact page and reaching out, it turned out that my friend was Not the real Borg after all. After exchanging messages and explaining the situation, we came to an agreement where I would continue to use certain assets if I credited Borg (hence from 2018 Borg was prominently credited, added to the list of other people & resources already credited). More recently in summer 2022, Borg withdrew permission to use certain assets, and so it has been worked out formally and now resolved, with the bulk of time lost due to us both living very busy lives, of which modding is a small part, and having to wait for each other's long-distance messages.

After removing certain assets that may have previously came under credit to Borg, at Borg's request, I would still like to credit Borg for being helpful during resolving this, including for play-testing my mod, and actively keeping a look out for any bugs, as well as for certain standard operating practices I followed when making my own mod (after I unwittingly helped the 'wrong' Borg initially, years ago)*.

With the dispute now resolved, certain things previously credited to Borg have now been withdrawn (such as the Yuri chaos drone & pad concept). And since we both happened to extensively use the same online modding resource (Yuri's Revenge Argentina, YRA), I've even went ahead and changed some of the models so that we don't both use too many assets from the same open source.

*More detailed background; back in 2012 when my friend got me into modding, this was an extremely helpful mechanism that helped me due to suffering severe amnesia (memory loss) due to an accident. As a result, I ended up eventually improving my memory by navigating code. When I moved from helping my friend with modding, to modding on my own, in order to help myself navigate certain files I would place sections of code I was used to seeing when working on Apocalypse, to help me remember where I was, even replicating certain typos (as seeing familiar things was genuinely comforting, such as the never-implemented in my mod 'Borg' sphere/cube). Now that I found out who the real Borg is, all placeholder code has been removed, along with assets previously credited to Borg, though another thing I still wish to credit to Borg besides kindly play-testing my mod, and looking out for bugs, is the standard practice of organising .mix files; I have carried over the tradition of putting certain models (be it Naval units, Ground units, Buildings, etc.) into specifically-numbered .mix files (a.k.a. 'Mixes'). Borg has even been kind enough to offer advice on future file organisation of such .mix files, to make them more efficient/less prone to problems/glitches, which I intend to try out in the future. Some files/models I may continue to leave as 'loose' (as in, outside a .mix), especially certain models used for the Chinese faction, due to the files/models themselves having a habit of self-corrupting when left in a .mix file, for reasons yet unknown (possibly due to my crappy old computer)

For further details, please refer to the usual credits folder, per the specific pathway; (game + mod file location, as per user’s choosing)/Randomlycompiledcreds/CredittotheRealBorg.

What’s New

Previously, with the release of Version 12, I introduced the 3rd new playable country, this time adding Turkey to the Allied/NATO faction, which has the 2nd largest army of the NATO members, and is also a host country for U.S. nuclear weapons; making it an obvious choice that logically should be included. With the addition of Turkey, it was the first playable country to get it’s own unique development choices, which again, if you haven’t read the previous article, meant choosing between constructing two different foreign embassies, each offering their own perks (but cancelling each other out; so you could only choose one or the other!). In Version 12A, I expanded the country-specific unique technology of Biological Weapons Research Facility for the playable country of Britain, allowing the creation of Biowarfare Agents, as well as updating the Turkish BMC 350 Kirpi. In Version 12B, I gave Cuba the unique country-specific technology of the ability to create Tunnels (for the purposes of moving and sheltering limited numbers of units), as well as an overhaul of some units; such as the 2S19 Msta-S and PLZ-05 mobile artillery systems, but mostly focusing on aircraft behaviour & models, including the implementation of the Su-24 Fencer.

After focusing on aircraft in the previous release, I’ve now paid attention to ships; primarily with the focus on making certain models more realistic. Particular attention has been given to the models of the Project 956 Sovremenny-Class Destroyer, as well as the Allied/NATO-faction destroyer (which is now modelled on the real-life Arleigh-Burke Class destroyer), as well as the Nimitz-class carrier.

Here is the Arleigh-Burke destroyer in real life;

Arleigh Burke class destroyer


Here is the model I’ve based it on, which will of course replace the original game’s Allied faction destroyer;

Arleigh Burke model

Here is the real life Project 956 Sovremenny-Class Destroyer;

Project 956 Sovremenny class

Here is the Project 956 in game;

Project 956 destroyer ingame

Here is the real-life behemoth Nimitz-class carrier;

Nimitz class aircraft carrier

Here is the Nimitz in game;

Nimitz class carrier ingame


I Was considering doing a real-life model conversion of the original game’s Aegis cruiser, but I like the original model too much, so for now this air defence-dedicated unit shall remain so.

Bring out the Big Gun

There is one specific artillery piece I’ve been wanting to implement for a long time, but have refrained from doing so due to not being sure if it was still in active use (and I’ve been specifically focusing on implementing real life units that are approved for actual use). The ongoing conflict that started in 2014 in Donbass (and escalated relatively recently in February ‘22), has in fact confirmed the status of this unit. Specifically, the 203mm 2S7M ‘Malka’ (also known as the ‘Peony’, after a specific flower blossom). Since this is definitely in-use, I have decided to implement it, as it is the most powerful in-service howitzer (the 240-mm ‘Tyulpan’ is a mortar, for those interested).

Here is a picture of the 2S7M in real-life;

2S7M Malka

I have been quite picky with making the model; going extra lengths to make it as accurate as reasonably possible (which involved looking at many pictures and videos of it, both while deployed, and in motion). The Malka will behave in-game as a slow to move, and slow to fire, but very heavy-hitting artillery piece, that is particularly effective against infantry, buildings, and fortifications. But bear in mind, much like the previously-implemented K-300 ‘Bastion’ coastal defence system, this unit Must be deployed, in order to fire; it Will Not fire, unless you deploy it. Now the AI has been taught to use this, but bear in mind that this is the 1st iteration of the 2S7M, making it somewhat experimental in-game, so it may be subject to change in future. The model itself is actually composed of multiple parts, and once deployed, many of the parts will have moved to their ‘deployed’ state (you may even notice the large shell on the loading arm), and vice-versa. The large shell is also modelled as the actual projectile.

The 2S7M models, for reference:

Undeployed (mobile);

2S7M Malka model A

Deployed (non-mobile, firing state);

2S7M Malka model B

For balance purposes (to prevent ‘Malka-spam’), each player may only produce a limited number of them (five), for in real life these machines have a costly supply of large, expensive ammunition, and as such they will be expensive to build in-game.

The Yuri Forward Support Station

By building this structure, the player will be granted frequent support in the form of a trio of bombers; each bomber will fly to a target, and drop off exactly one parachuted bomb each, before making a break for safety. Although the attack is overall not powerful in itself, this is intended to be more effective when combined with other attacks, or alternatively, as a means of nuisance attacks that keep a regular pressure. If timed right, this can be used to help saturate an enemy base’s air defences. The bombers themselves are not constructable by the player, and are exclusively called upon by this support station.

Here is the structure in-game;

Forward Support Station

Introduction of the ‘Contract Soldier’

The original game gives the Soviet faction the baseline infantry of ‘conscripts’, modelled with the vintage PPSh submachineguns. This was reasonable, however is now a bit outdated, considering how the Soviet Union collapsed over 30+ years ago, and that the armies of the Russian Federation and Belarus are made up of many professional soldiers; that is, contract soldiers, as opposed to conscripted soldiers. As such, it is now possible to train Contract Soldiers (in game, referred to as Army Soldier), if you choose to play as either Russia or Belarus, whom are modelled with Kalashnikov assault rifles. They will basically be improved versions of the standard conscripts, and as such will cost a bit more.

Here they are in-game;

Contract Soldiers ingame

The original game came with the possibility of having alternate camouflages for infantry, dependant on the theatre, but was only implemented in a limited capacity. I have given some attention to this in the past, but have implemented some further ‘snow/arctic’-version outfits for this release, including the contract soldier.

Here is the contract soldiers in winter gear (note that they blend in a bit better with their surroundings);

Contract Soldiers ingame winter

It is planned in future to implement more theatre-specific camouflage patterns (including for vehicles!).

A note of game mode(s)

Previously, I’ve implemented 2 new game modes; the ‘Mechanised Infantry’ mode, and the ‘Infantry Divisions’ mode. Both were designed to recreate the ‘tech levels’ customisation, available in previous Command & Conquer games, whereby one could choose a ‘tech level’, which would limit the available choice of units. This meant that if you set the tech level to minimum, you could practically have battles that just involved infantry, which is what ‘Infantry Divisions’ mode pretty much allows; with the inclusion of basic light vehicles (such as transport trucks). The mechanised mode is basically to limit the use of air combat; focusing on land-based units. Beside this, I had made it possible to launch the game to play online with other people, which has been tested and works, but is still considered limited/experimental, and will be improved in future (and bear in mind that currently, the previously added special modes are not selectable during online play, at the moment).

With that said, there are 2 new game modes planned for the future, both of which have been in the works for some time, but won’t be disclosed until possibly the next version release (although some clues to what they will be have been implemented so far, in this version, as well as previous versions).

Miscellaneous:

Last but not least as usual, various miscellaneous changes; various debugging, neatening of code/files, and of course the ever-expanding AI.

I sincerely hope wherever you are playing from, that you enjoy the new additions, as well as all the stuff from previous versions. As always, have fun!

Command & Conquer Westwood Fans
Red Alert 2 YR: New Horizons
C&C: Yuri's Revenge
C&C: Red Alert 2

Comments
NextGenerat
NextGenerat - - 17 comments

I'm glad you found my "conscript pack" useful... ;)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Lee3y Author
Lee3y - - 326 comments

It was you? Extra thanks to you, I genuinely like it!

Reply Good karma+1 vote
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