Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2

I’ve recently been overcome with nostalgia and revisited several of my favourite games from “back in the day”. Some of  EA and Westwood’s Command & Conquer games are among those that hold a special place in my heart, but not all. I’m quite particular about which of the series I like; namely Red Alert 1 and 2 along with Generals and their respective expansion packs. Yes, I admit it, I don’t care very much for the Tiberium games. Sorry.

Anyway, many moons ago, I used to tinker under the bonnet of Red Alert 2, modifying its config files to produce amusing results, like flying cows that could rapid-fire nuke shells across the map with a sniper rifle. I also used to build maps for it, but as I’ve had several computers that each saw multiple hard-disc wipes since the days when Red Alert 2 was in its prime, I’ve long-since lost them all. So, yesterday I decided to make a new one. Just to see if I still could.

After a little searching, I found the semi-official map editing tool, Final Alert 2, and set about rebuilding one of the multiplayer/skirmish map designs I’d once made from memory. It was loosely inspired by one of my favourite maps from Cavedog’s Total Annihilation, “Shore 2 Shore”. Read on to see how it turned out.

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Second Life

I have been part of multiple projects using Linden LabsSecond Life, a massive virtual world where thousands of users can interact using “avatars”. Almost anything can be created in Second Life, and its behaviour can be controlled using a scripting language called LindenScript.

One of the projects was an actual university assignment, whereby we had to design mini-games that were similar in style and theme to what you might have seen on a TV game-show, like The Crystal Maze.

The other projects, however, were extracurricular; and I worked with fellow students Chris Butler and Matthew Brittain. Firstly, we supplied the assets for a “machinima” in Second Life as a pilot TV programme for Channel 4, which was directed by Pixel-Lab. Secondly, we worked on a major press event when the University of Derby signed a deal with global technology services giant, EDS.

For the press event, we had to model a replica of the specialist Games Development Suite in Second Life, as that was where the signing took place in real life, and we produced avatars that would mimic the actions of the real people in the room. You can find the university’s article on the event here. Expand this post to see screenshots of how we built the virtual Games Development Suite.

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