News and announcements

Mission Accomplished: Ares 1.0 officially out

Written for Ares by AlexB on 2018-01-26

Today Ares reached a huge milestone: Ares 1.0, which finally restores support for savegames, has been officially released to the public.

Savegame related buttons in the menus have been enabled again, and using them to load a saved game will no longer crash. This was the last big missing piece to make Ares a superset of the original game, that is using Ares no longer takes away a fundamental feature the original Yuri's Revenge had.

Ares thus now officially leaves the implicit preview stage denoted by a zero in front of the version number, about 10 years after development of a replacement for RockPatch started in 2008. This is only a symbolic act though, as even in the preview stage the expansion dll was quite stable for all it added to and changed in Yuri's Revenge. Sometimes adding or adjusting minor things, sometimes turning large chunks of the game upside down.

No new features to announce here today. Maybe MissileSpawn now working on buildings. Again, there were some fixes for bugs, several stability improvements, optimizations and minor changes. This version should be more stable than the last, and it should in any case be a good base for future releases.

Thanks to all testers over all those years, who dedicated their free time to try out new logics and report numerous bugs and other issues. Thanks for confirming bugs as well as bugfixes, for proposing new features and voicing your opinions to improve them.

Finally, have fun with Ares 1.0 and savegames working again!


Ares 0.E has been released

Written for Ares by AlexB on 2017-09-14

Tunnel Networks known from Generals have been added, which allow several entrance buildings to share their contained units. Every entrance can be used to eject these units, allowing for quick and sneaky troop movements even between places that aren't connected by passable terrain, as well as for fast responses in case of an attack.

Gunner units like Infantry Fighting Vehicles have been somewhat expanded. With this release they support more than 18 modes, and each of these modes can have separate normal and elite weapons, tool tip names and even a distinct appearance with custom turrets and barrels. Also, an alternative way to define such modes has been added, which makes it easy to do more with fewer tags to set.

Kill Driver warheads are now applied like conventional damage, which means it finally supports CellSpread, so neutron shells as known from Generals are now possible. A new chance can be set to not kill the driver on every hit as well.

Warheads can be defined to have MAD Tank style damage delivery, which doesn't deal a fixed amount of damage, but instead uses a share of the targetet unit's or structure's current or maximum health.

In addition, more warhead effects have been added: Sonar temporarily prevents targeted units from cloaking, the target's weapons can be disabled for some amount of time, and another setting lets the target flash for no obvious reason as if it was being repaired. The bright flash when a nuclear missile detonates can also be optionally enabled for other warheads, or turned off for the nuke.

There are several new minor features like a sabotage effect for spies, a way to stop infantry from crushing tanks when chronoshifted or to protect certain vehicles from being crushed by chronoshifting units. Half a dozen new veteran abilities have been included to, for example, make elite units immune to radiation, poison, mind-control, or Kill Driver. And as if this wasn't enough already: the game's movies list can now be customized with more unlockable movies.

As always, more effort went into reworking existing features and improving performance, which should be noticable under heavy load. That's it for now, but there's more to come soon.


Ares 0.D is finally here

Written for Ares by AlexB on 2017-06-10

Finally, after about a year, a new version of Ares is ready for download, and finally it is another feature release, not just a minor service release.

With Ares 0.D, mouse cursors can be customized for weapons to give special attacks an immediately recognizable appearance. But not only that: units and structures can have custom cursors for moving, entering, deploying, and more. This way, ejecting passengers or occupants can be distinguished from triggering an area attack, and entering a Grinder can have another cursor than bunkering a tank. For this to work, Ares now has a centralized section to define mouse cursors, which as a bonus also allows to edit the original cursors in the game.

Mechanics as known from The Aftermath and Ambulances like the ones in Generals are now possible. This means the limitation that infantry was only allowed to heal other infantry and vehicles were only allowed to repair other vehicles has been removed. No longer is the workaround with positive Damage and negative Verses needed, and targeting and putting repair units in guard mode just works as expected.

AI players can be made to build more than one building of a type, which previously was only possible for special buildings like refineries, or using building clones to emulate this. Ares adds new options to support this directly, for each difficulty level, and also with some element of randomness. Pimp your AI by letting it build more War Factories. Also, the buildup and sell time of structures can now be customized, thus making slowly deploying buildings possible.

Not only can starting units be defined for a country using one central option, it is also possible to have a country start with a deployed Construction Yard instead of an MCV. This allows for new game modes with fixed starting positions or no MCVs at all.

Ares implements Death Bombs for the Crazy Ivan, which were apparently cut from the original Red Alert 2. With this special mode, bombs will not detonate after a certain amout of time, but will keep the bomb active until either disarmed, destroyed, or manually detonated.

That's not everything, though. As always, there is a bunch of smaller features completing this release. A plethora of bugs has also been fixed, both in the original Yuri's Revenge and in Ares. Several of Ares' features have been reworked and inefficient code has been updated to decrease its footprint. That's it for today.


Ares 0.Cp1 has been released

Written for Ares by AlexB on 2016-12-19

As a service release, Ares 0.Cp1 does not add new features. Instead, it focuses on stability by fixing nine issues that could not wait for a next proper version. These are issues like a memory leak, using stale pointers, and some logic bugs. Seven of these could cause crashes, so it is recommended to update Ares.

Most notably, this fixes a crash on some machines when starting a single player mission that was due to some very hacky code, even by Ares's standards. Other fixes apply to Temporal weapons and Gunner logic, as well as Abductor weapons.

A not as important fix is for rectangular SW.Ranges which were one cell too wide in each dimension, thus affecting more cells than intended. Essentially, that's it for now.


Ares 0.C is ready for download

Written for Ares by AlexB on 2016-06-18

Like its predecessor, Ares 0.C is yet another smaller release, not as feature-laden as the earlier releases. But it comes with a long-awaited feature.

Bounty finally has been added, in a simplified form. It allows units to get money for killing enemy units, either by shooting at them or crushing them. The value is customizable per veterancy level, so destroying an elite tank could give more money than a rookie fresh from the factory.

Particles have been optimized heavily: railgun and spark particle systems will no longer cause the dreaded lag known from the original games for almost two decades. The graphical particles -- gas, smoke, and fire -- now support custom palettes, supporting more detailled graphics, and gas particles can now damage an area, not just the very cell the particle is resides.

The effect of Factory Plant buildings like the Industrial Plant can be changed per TechnoType, allowing to modify the cost bonus for specific units and structures, or completely exempt them from getting a bonus.

Several existing features have been revisited also. For example, NodAdvancedPower is now again considered as default power plant for the soviets, while previously only the regular power plant was used. Spotlights and alpha lights have been reworked to support units cloaking, burrowing or being deactivated. Ivan Bombs can now be detonated even if a unit is deactivated or berzerking.

There's a handful of other new assorted features, like NoAmmoWeapon, which makes units switch to a less powerful weapon that might not need ammunition to fire while the primary weapon reloads. Warheads can be made to suppress the Unit Lost EVA message, which could be useful for silent killers and mutating weapons that don't really kill a unit. The sounds and EVA messages when a unit is promoted can be customized fully, as well as the number of frames the unit is flashing -- now even for the veteran level.

That's about it for this release. There's still a bit more to be discovered, and also a lot of internal changes as always.


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