2018 was a good year for us, as we grow from strength to strength! We were going to do our usual yearly roadmap post, but then realised that we had practically achieved everything that we were announcing, so consider this one big W3D Hub update I guess!
We aim to make 2019 an even better year than 2018, with more updates, more patches and more content than ever before, so without further ado, let's get into some of the key things we're bringing to the table right now!
New Logo & Intro Video2019 is a fresh and exciting year, so what better time than now to debut our new logo and intro video!
The new logo is slightly different to our previous logo (though we've had the new logo in place for quite a while now), but the major difference comes from the fact that we've now got a fantastic new intro video to put in all of our games!
Big thanks to @Kicken for making this happen but also to @Coolrock for being instrumental in bringing oldbies, like Kicken, back into the community! You'll notice that the oldbies group on Discord is pretty full these days, which is great to see!
Anyway, here's the video that Kicken's made for us; paying a homage to the little known company from Las Vegas that inspired us to make all of this happen.
2018 Feature RetrospectiveLast year, we posted this thread outlining what we wanted to achieve within the year.
Here's a quick rundown of what we did out of that list!
We announced and released Mammoth! A brand new game editor that fully replaces the old Level Edit tool for Scripts 5.0 projects such as APB and Reborn!
We announced that we were working on a new plugin for 3DS Max, which we have now completed!
Renegade support was announced last year, which we have some exciting info on below!
Work has begun on Single Client Packages so that we can distribute the launcher with a game already pre-installed! This will likely be completed later this year.
Our Stats System is in fully working order, tracking players stats across Red Alert: A Path Beyond. It will support Tiberian Sun: Reborn when it releases as well.
The APB Forum Skin was completed and continues to be maintained. More skins will come but it's currently a low priority amongst our other projects.
Confluence support has been attained. Read more below!
The Downloads section is back up and running, giving players the ability to upload their own mods!
The Modders Group was launched! It currently doesn't have anyone in it because everyone in it got staff permissions, but we hope to get more modders on-board soon!
We had our first Event with Prizes last December! The turnout wasn't quite what we expected, but we're glad that the people who took part enjoyed it!
We hired new programmers, such as @Dghelneshi, @Yah-Nosh and @CMDBob, who have been instrumental in pushing our codebase forwards with new and exciting features and optimisations! Cheers guys!
Recently, in an excellent video from [NE]Fobby[GEN] and Havoc89 of the Renegade X team, Fobby mentioned that the Renegade community is "stubborn" and "tenacious". What we are about to reveal in this update proves just how stubborn and tenacious we really are in continuing to provide support for a game that should have died out years ago if not for its uniqueness, its easiness to mod and the people like us who continue to love what Westwood gave us back in 2002.
The Renegade and W3D community is the best community in the Command and Conquer franchise's umbrella and today we aim to prove why with these game-changing updates. Hold onto your butts, it's gonna be a wild ride!
W3D Hub Launcher - Now Supporting Renegade!
We are proud to announce that W3D Hub will now be fully supporting Renegade and its community with our services. But what does this mean exactly?
Well, as of now the W3D Hub Launcher supports Renegade! It's been tested internally for the past couple of weeks, but once we switch on the support publically, players will be able to browse for a Renegade installation and have the launcher manage it.
Upon clicking "C&C Renegade" on the launcher, you might find that the launcher has already detected your installation of Renegade (using known registry keys) which means that you will be able to play Renegade from the launcher with no further actions needed!
If the launcher doesn't find your install of Renegade, you will see a new button that reads "Import Game". Click it and you will be taken to this screen:
You will be prompted to browse for your Renegade executable from the installation directory. Browse for it, select Game.exe and then click "Import Application". If all goes well, you should be done!
Please note that the launcher doesn't currently install the latest version of scripts 4, so if you wish to install that, it must be done so separately (for now).
Once Renegade has been imported to the launcher, you will be able to join servers using the Server Browser tab!
The launcher will also feature all currently online Renegade servers that have plugged into our infrastructure. We pull our sever listings from two GSA (Gamespy Arcade) servers currently:
If you are a Renegade server owner, we encourage you to add both master server addresses to your configuration file in order to ensure zero downtime.
We invite all Renegade community server owners to join us as we aim to formalise the union of the Renegade and W3D modding communities with the inception of the Renegade Council on our own Discord server.
With this we wish to create strong bridges across the Renegade community, so that we can help and support each other in ways that we cannot do alone. W3D Hub's infrastructure has grown large over the past few years, so we'd like to share the knowledge we've gained across the community and share our tech, such as the launcher, with the Renegade community so that more people can benefit from it.
We hope that we can begin a road to a brighter future for Renegade by working together, so we encourage any Renegade server owners who are interested to come forward and talk to us about more cross-community collaboration.
Stay tuned for an announcement when we switch it on!
A W3D Engine for Modders Everywhere - W3D Kit
Following on from the news that we will be supporting stock Renegade, we'd like to announce a new development toolkit that we're currently calling the W3D Kit, which is designed to provide a solid base for amateur modders wishing to make new total conversion mods.
The W3D Kit is essentially a stripped down version of the W3D engine with all non-essential content removed which will enable developers to freely mod and experiment with it, as well as make full-blown mods without needing to use a pre-existing game like Renegade or APB as a base.
Here's what the W3D Kit will contain:
Game folder which includes the latest release build of Scripts 5.0 and a specially stripped down Always.dat (W3D's main content archive)
Latest release build of Mammoth Editor
The latest 3DS Max content plugins (Importer and Exporter)
A whole suite of additional tools for building and editing W3D-related files (Artillery, W3DViewer, TDBEdit, SimpleGraph, etc.)
A link to our documentation resource, Tacitus.
Content examples for modders to refer to (e.g. rigged vehicle/character/building sample files).
This step forward will hopefully encourage more people to step up and try their hand at developing mods on the W3D engine. If you are looking at starting a new hobby making small games or wanting to get into the games industry professionally, W3D is great to start on! It is a pre-built engine for first-person shooters and vehicle combat is a lot less bare-bones than more contemporary general-purpose game engines such as Unreal or Unity are.
Obviously the Renegade/W3D engine is still EA's tech, so strictly no money can be made from games made on it. What we aim to do is make an accessible engine for hobbyists to use non-commercially, which we feel could be beneficial to those looking to learn how to get into game development.
More info on this will be released when we launch the W3D Kit later this year. In order to support it, we've been working on some new content tools and a strong documentation resource, which is what we'd like to talk about next.
New Content Pipeline - 3DS Max 2017 Tools
We announced last year that we would be making a new plugin for 3DS Max that would allow W3D developers and modders to use the much more modern and feature-rich 2017 edition of the popular modelling software to make and export 3D models for Renegade, Generals, Zero Hour and the Battle for Middle Earth games.
To clarify, this means no more GMax and no more 3DS Max 8.
We are happy to announce that with the combined efforts of @cfehunter, @jonwil, @Sir Kane and the talented bunch over at The Assembly Armada, we have been able to produce the first working version of this plugin which we are now testing thoroughly before we release it.
This new plugin should enable our content creation pipeline to be much smoother, giving us many more tools and options at our disposal when creating everything from maps, to vehicles to characters! Also bundled in with the plugin are new versions of W3D Viewer and W3D Dump!
You can get hold of the plugin and additional tools right now from here!
This has been one of our long term goals ever since we started W3D Hub, so seeing it complete has been a major achievement for us as a team! W3D Engine Development Documentation Network - Tacitus
Last year, we announced that we were going to get a confluence community licence in order to power our new wiki. This goal has changed, so without further ado, we're proud to announce the central point of documentation and reference for all things W3D and Renegade related; Tacitus.
Tacitus is driven by Atlassian's Confluence software, which is a powerful industry-standard tool for creating and managing documentation. With Tacitus we hope to host everything W3D and Renegade-related, including W3D engine documentation, game information, tutorials and even the old Renegade community wiki in its un-vandalised entirety.
We hope that with Tacitus, we can create a resource that inspires players and developers alike; standing the test of time as the years continue to march on. Although it's quite bare right now, keep your eyes on it as it grows further and further.
As of now, our database is looking quite bare, so if you are interested in helping with the transfer of content onto Tacitus, please get in touch with us via PM! We are looking for documentation writers and are eager to push this project forwards! For now this is more of a soft launch, but more visible links everywhere will come once we have enough content to fully launch it.
More to come!As we move forward, there will be more updates for the games coming through the pipes! We're currently undertaking a pretty major overhaul of our codebase, so not much feature development can be done; but once this has been completed we should be in a good position to get the wheels turning again!
Stay tuned for more information on the games in the weeks to come and thanks for all of your support. Without everyone supporting us, we wouldn't be where we are today!
As ever, if you have any questions or feedback, feel free to post below! Cheers!
[blurb]We've got big news for Renegade players, W3D Modders and fans in our big update for 2019! Come and read more right here![/blurb][thumb]thumb_w3d.0.png[/thumb]