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Command & Conquer Unofficial Patch 1.06

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Command & Conquer
Unofficial Patch 1.06
DeveloperNyerguds
Version1.06c revision 3, 5 April 2012
Release Date20 September 2008

The Command & Conquer Unofficial Patch 1.06 is an unofficial patching project for Command & Conquer Gold developed by Nyerguds. It aims to fix all kinds of problems in the game, including game crashes, incompatibility with newer systems, game bugs, graphical errors, mission scripting problems and terrain errors in maps. Besides the bug fixes, its most prominent features are high resolution, new multiplayer game modes and an extensible language addons system. Work was started on the development of an INI-based modding system, but it has currently not been developed beyond the initial proof of concept.

Features

As of version 1.06c, these are the most prominent features of the patch:[1]

  • Free resolution switching: Game width and height can be set in the configuration tool.
  • Bonus missions: Official missions were extracted/converted from the Playstation and Nintendo 64 versions of the game, and added to the Covert Operations' New Missions list. The game's hidden mini-campaign featuring dinosaurs, which was very hard to access originally, was added to the list as well.
  • Six-player games: The original limit of four players in multiplayer was raised to the actual internal maximum of six.
  • Skirmish games: Although unscripted computer players in C&C1 can't build bases, a rudimentary Skirmish mode was unlocked in the Network game mode by allowing games to start with only AI opponents.
  • New music: A number of remixes of the original tracks were added, which were originally either hidden in the DOS version or available in certain console versions.
  • Languages: All four languages in which the game was originally released were bundled into the patch. These are English, German, French and sound-only Japanese. The language addon system also allows adding more languages.

The patch also includes the Covert Operations expansion pack of the game.

History

Pre-1.06

When The First Decade was released in 2006, it caused lots of people to play Command & Conquer Gold again on Windows XP and Vista. This revealed a number of game-breaking bugs which did not occur on older operating systems due to lax memory management. When VK and komfr released two hacks that each fixed such a bug in the game, Nyerguds released a fix pack containing a game executable edited to have both hacks, and a .dll file made by Scorpio9a that reactivated the game's defunct network play mode.[2]

In the forum topic of the release of VK's 1.05 patch, komfr shared his first rudimentary design for a high-res patch. The hack itself was not enough though, since it needed modified sidebar graphics to work right. From these three combined patches, and the necessary adapted sidebar graphics, Nyerguds released a number of high-resolution packs, each one changing the executable to use a different hardcoded resolution.

1.06

The first actual patch released as "version 1.06" was made when Nyerguds got in contact with yet another community hacker, pd, and learned how to disassemble the executable himself. From this grew a cooperation with CCHyper, who was also just learning dissassembly, to research and improve Command & Conquer Gold. The previously-hardcoded high resolution hack was changed to an option in the game's configuration, allowing the users to select 640x400, 640x480 or 1024x768 as game resolutions.

With the addition of an old collection of graphics patches and mission fixes which Nyerguds had made for the DOS version of the game, the patch grew from a simple hotfix to a complete game update, and since VK had used version number 1.05, Nyerguds decided to release it as v1.06. However, since the first release contained a small but potentially game-breaking bug, a quick fix was made and released as "v1.06a". From this grew the system of retaining the main version number "1.06", but adding letters behind it as actual versions inside the project. Later in the development, the old "1.06" was renamed to "1.06a" in the change log, while the old "1.06a" became "1.06a revision 1", to conform with the now-standardized system of patch letters plus revision numbers.

In later versions, the focus shifted from fixing game bugs to adding new features to the game, which led to unlocking the hard-to-find Mobile HQ mode in multiplayer, the addition of language packs, and the start of a modding system that would read all game data from ini files, as it is done in the rules.ini system in the later games. This modding system was implemented on the music list as proof of concept, but has not been expanded beyond that. There is an archive of all the game data as ini files on Nyerguds' website, though, with a text file expressing the intent to implement it all eventually.

Online play

Starting from version 1.06c revision 2, a small tool called cncnet.exe was included in the patch. This tool was one of the first versions of the current CnCNet online play system. It worked by placing its own version of the network dll thipx32.dll in the game folder, which made the game see the entire internet as local area network on which to broadcast its games, but which worked as normal network dll unless the game was specifically launched through the tool. The main advantage of CnCNet was that it gave people the possibility to use the expanded six-player multiplayer and new multiplayer options in online games, while the official Westwood Chat application limited online play to two players and the game options available on the Westwood Chat interface.

Because CnCNet evolved with the patch, and the patch releases after 1.06c r2 all contained CnCNet, the patch became the de facto standard version of the game in the community[3] listing C&C95 v1.06c as version to use, despite containing some changes that made it incompatible with the vanilla version in multiplayer.

References

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