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Real Time Strategy (Games)

Total Annihilation Remake Released 93

Pxtl writes "The long-awaited remake of Total Annihilation (considered "#1 RTS of All Time" by Gamepsy), "Spring" has hit its first official public beta release. The game reimplements the original Cavedog game in a full 3d environment, replacing TA's fixed-angle view. It also brings other new features to the table, such as revised physics and a 1st-person-shooter mode. Spring reuses the original TA content and is backwards compatible with the old unit packs. While the game is currently win32 only, its source has been released under the GPL, so fixing that is only a matter of time. Get to the download page now and help out with the torrents."
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Total Annihilation Remake Released

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  • Wow. I'll confess to being one of the greatest TA fans of all time, and somehow I completely missed the project's existence. Downloading now!
  • by Maradine ( 194191 ) * on Wednesday April 27, 2005 @02:37PM (#12362134) Homepage
    Now I can once again . . . well, rush my Peewees. Never mind. You had to be there.
  • Okay, I've heard of, but never played TA. I had a look at the website and am definitely curious and will probably download it tonight and give it a try. Can anyone give me an idea of the game play and such. The FAQ seems to focus mainly on details and differences between it and the origintal TA. I'm a big fan of RTS games (I still play starcraft), and would more than likely love this game. Is it multiplayer?
    • by ZosX ( 517789 )
      I'm not a big fan of RTS for the most part, except for maybe homeworld and dungeon keeper 2 (was this the first to introduce 1st person shooting?), however, that being said, Total Anihilation is one of the best games I've ever played period. I don't even think starcraft can compare from the little that I've played of it. The technology is awesome (create minerals from energy for instance) and the weapons get more and more powerful to the point where you have tactical nuclear weapons. Then the fun really
    • by Richard Steiner ( 1585 ) * <rsteiner@visi.com> on Wednesday April 27, 2005 @02:57PM (#12362391) Homepage Journal
      Oh yes. :-) TA is, anyway, up to ten (10) people in a given level. With all the units running around in that game, things can get messy rather quickly.

      Now... I wanna see a Linux port!
    • If you don't own TA, you can't "legally" download this clone. :-P
      • Really? I wondered about that, but didn't see any mention of it anywhere. That's really disappointing. I think I would have enjoyed this game. Oh well, back to Starcraft I guess.
        • I don't think that's true. I think the XTA stuff is a drop-in replacement for the commercial units/maps.

          If I'm wrong, please respond.
          • Ooops. Moderate down the parent. The bozo didn't install the game and check the readme.

            Yes, it does contain TA *modded* files.

            Though I have never really seen these so-called abandonware sites that claim to have TA... The last one I found was $5.95 (CDN) for the Commander Pack. Wish I could find another one at that price!
            • Since Cavedog have long since ceased to exist, there's always the P2P option. On Bit Torrent, you can find an archive of the game and it's two expansions.

              Just figured I'd mention it, since I've not seen the Commander Pack in well over 3 years.
        • It says right on the download page: "This category contains the latest releases from the TA Spring project. Some of the downloads includes the TA mod XTA which, like all TA mods, contains content from the game Total Annihilation. Therefore you will have to own a copy of TA to legally use this content."
    • It's online multiplayer only. Which sucks since my network doesn't permit any connections that don't use the proxy or run on anything but port 80 (and 53 I assume). Neither of which this thing can be set to use.
    • TA is definitely multiplayer, and does a great job at it. If you like Starcraft you're going to flip over TA.

      The big thing that makes TA stand out: VOLUME. Don't build small. "Just squeaking by" is not a good TA strategy, this is all about unreasonable displays of force!
      • If you like Starcraft you're going to flip over TA.

        No - Starcraft and TA are two different games. TA involved effectivly setting up your economy and launching a massive strike, while Starcraft revolved against tactical strikes (or used to before everyone demanded that ladder games be cranked over to fastest.)

        In either case, both of these games could benefit from including a semi-prebuilt base in the initial loadout - just to prevent the need for the tedious pre-combat phase.

        • Some of us prefer the pre-combat phase. Often in TA I'll set up a game with 3 AI's ganging up against me and just build defenses, find my spot of land and hold it against the AI's. Of course this dosnt work so well against humans who can mount much more effective attacks, and it does get a little boring sometimes, but its nice watching anything that enters weapons range getting wiped out in moments :)

          To hell with dragons teeth, build walls of missile towers instead.
    • Not played it since I had a 800 MHz iMac with 768MB of RAM, but TA is awesome and it is the game that you can bring any machine to it's knees.

      Macledge.com used to have a TA map of the week deal, got good maps from there

  • TA Reminiscing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Necroman ( 61604 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2005 @02:44PM (#12362213)
    Total Annihilation was an awesome RTS type game. It was great because there were so many different units you could use and build. Plus there were tons more available units and buildings to download off the company's website and fan sites.

    I just remember downloading an addon building that was a gatling gun version of a gun called "Big Bertha". It was really long range with huge destruction power. It was a great time.
    • The Core Contingency pack had a Buzzsaw and a Vulcan. Getting one of those was pretty much 'You Win'.
      • Not on a bigger map like Real Earth or Australia, although you could use the fire-at-my-feet bug to fling the shots a lot further than normal and that would hit MOST points of the Australia map in a scattering fashion.

        Not that I've ever used that technique, mind you...
      • Re:TA Reminiscing (Score:2, Informative)

        by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
        Yeah, with a range of 4 and 2 kilometres, respectively. Seriously, sometimes that's less than the size of your base (and nowhere near the enemy base on 32MB and up maps), I'd rather build 3-4 Intimidators with their 8k range and actually have a chance of hitting anything. No need for that rapid firerate anyway. They are excellent base defenses but for offense you'd often need an outpost to get close enough to the target. And try building such a fragile and expensive thing this close to the enemy base...
        • Re:TA Reminiscing (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Cecil ( 37810 )
          The Vulcan was a truly awesome weapon. Admittedly, it was slow to build and relatively fragile. It's range was not nearly as limited as you imply though, in my memory it fired at least 3/4ths as far as a Bertha.

          I'll agree with you that it was an excellent base defense but not so great as an offense. For a obsessive porc like myself though, they are a dream. On large metal maps, you *need* a vulcan, if not several, to defend your base. It is absolutely unbelievable the amount of bots the AI will send at you
          • Re:TA Reminiscing (Score:5, Insightful)

            by ljaguar ( 245365 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2005 @06:12PM (#12365293) Homepage Journal
            Maybe I'll charm in here for all this Vulcan discussion.

            Hard core people don't use Vulcan cannons. Seriously. I don't remember the math off the top of my head, but I've seen it done.

            Vulcan cannons are expensive. very expensive. You can build couple of bertha/timmy (intimidator) with the same resources and you can fine tune those better. (you can turn a few of them off and what not) and real hard core players know how to take out one of those real quick so it's a big investment for nothing.

            There is no such thing as impenetrable defense. I know in TA, you can get pretty hardcore defense. And one of the main strategies of playing is Porc where you build an impenetrable base and start amassing your kickass army (some prefer air, some go for tanks, some go for artilleries). This strategy sounds really good and a lot of beginner players will try to perfect this strategy.

            But this strategy does not work against good players. They'll hit hard and early and prevent you from building your defenses. And it's the simple idea that the opponent had the same amount of time that you did. If you are focusing on your defenses and don't heckle your opponent, that's that much time that he had to concentrate on his armies too. And if he's better player than you, he can build his armies better than you can build your (so called impenetrable) defenses with the same amount of time/resources.

            You think your fusion/timmy/vulcan/nuke/whatever are impenetrably defended and it's the shit. But good players know how to focus and take that shit out. (bombers anyone? reconnaissance?) That's why you want to diversify.

            I mean if you are just getting into it or playing with non-hardcore friends, vulcans are the shits and is definitely part of the unreasonable displays of power. But if you are playing the game for real (you are considered good on online communities/rankings) you are either dead before you can finish a vulcan/ the conditions of the game will make vulcan an unworthy investment.

            If I start building timmies (one by one) and you start building a vulcan, I'll have a timmy done before you finish the vulcan. I'll start shooting faster than you can. And when we both finish our project, we'll have approximately the same firepower. And I'll have better ranges too.

            The point is, if you can build 150 berthas, one of several is true.

            Your opponent is an idiot for letting you get that far. (stop playing the stupid computer, and play real people. Even the most advanced cheating AI on TA have weaknesses depending on the particularity of the specific map.)

            You could have killed your opponent without building 150 berthas. I mean if you had that much resources and your opponent is that lax, you should have been able to kick his ass by your 10th bertha. So, as much as your opponent sucks, you don't know how to attack for shit. I mean get some ground troops and air strike force for crying out loud!


            This is informative.
            • The other thing that takes out berthas nicely is, of course, nukes. Yes, there's ABM's, but you can pretty well overwhelm them as well. I loved the ever-escalating arms race of TA ... I just wish it didn't stop at the small nukes, I sort of wanted it to get all the way up to real armageddon causing weapons (short of the Core Contingency weapon anyway). Gives people an incentive to wipe out the other guy, before *everything* is blown away.

              • also consider krogoth part of the arms race.

                it one-upps nukes; it can survive two nukes. (maybe just one. one will do about half damage. so it depends)

                it's got scary ground range (short line of sight, but if you have recon, the range is truly large.) and its anti-air capabilities are unmatched.

                of course, the same problem exists for krogoth as for vulcans. if you have enough resources/time to build krogoth, 1) your opponent isn't putting enough pressure on you, 2) the resource is better spent somewhere el
                • of course, the same problem exists for krogoth as for vulcans. if you have enough resources/time to build krogoth, 1) your opponent isn't putting enough pressure on you, 2) the resource is better spent somewhere else (with more immediate results)

                  FYI, you can reach a stage in the game where resources are not a problem at all - build enough Moho Metal Extractors and Fustion plants, and you basically don't have to worry.

                  The only resource that you really need is time and unit limit space. You can cut down

                  • No no, this is what you need to understand:

                    full metal is wasted metal. you should never have enough resources.

                    of course, the same problem exists for krogoth as for vulcans. if you have enough resources/time to build krogoth, 1) your opponent isn't putting enough pressure on you, 2) the resource is better spent somewhere else (with more immediate results)

                    If you ever get to a point where you have unlimited resources, they aren't putting enough pressure on you and you aren't putting enough pressure on

                    • > TA is such a game that people love building a lot of shit of epic proportion. After all, TA is known for the excesses.

                      That's the key bit right there. TA isn't about winning, it's about crushing your enemy under a wild excess of firepower.

                      You want him/her to be sitting there, with their jaw on the floor, as death pours in from all directions, with you screaming "hahahaha!" and spinning around in your chair and frightening the cats.

                      It's true, good players can generally wipe out someone who's "
                    • because as soon as you start playing real people, your method won't work.

                      if you had the time to build an army, the enemy has had the time to match your army. you'll only get to utterly crush your opponent if he sucks much more than you. it's a very logical thing; if your skills are evenly matched, you won't get a chance to utterly crush them. (so stop playing the computer)

                      that's where strategy and finesse comes in. winning is the first step toward that whole "frightening the cats" bullshit and you'll find
                    • > because as soon as you start playing real people, your method won't work

                      It does if the other people you're playing are of the same demented mindset. We don't like "finesse." Finesse is for French cooking and lovemaking (which bookend a good TA session nicely, by the way). Playing TA is about (metaphorically) smacking your buddy over the head with a Buick and mocking his mother while doing a little dance in the slowly congealing blood.

                      In summary, good players who use strategy and finesse will
                    • hey, as long as you are aware that you and your friends are retarded, you've taken the first step to recovery.

                      proud of ignorance and incompetence?

                      settling for mediocrity?

                      please reread the grandparent. it says if your opponent isn't retarded, he won't get crushed. christ, it's like the special olympics.
                    • > hey, as long as you are aware that you and your friends are retarded, you've taken the first step to recovery.

                      Whoa, nelly! What's with the ad hominem attacks here! I guess I must have forgotten that this is Slashdot - where a normal conversation suddenly turns into pointless name-calling. OK, I'll play.

                      >please reread the grandparent. it says if your opponent isn't retarded, he won't get crushed.

                      I know what it says. I was actually agreeing with you, in general. I was trying to make th
                    • Ah if only I had mod points.

                      Hell! If only I had friends like yours, I want some TA playing friends who fight like that. AI's are too incompetent, most humans are too... "task orientated"... ah well, guess I'll just have to introduce more of my friends to it and see how they play :)

                      An excelent thread, thank you, both of you, for presenting two utterly different, and yet true and valid views, and for the most part for doing so in a polite and sensible manner.
            • I was gonna be nice, but you started getting personal near the end, so, whatever.

              Vulcan cannons are expensive. very expensive. You can build couple of bertha/timmy (intimidator) with the same resources and you can fine tune those better.

              Thank you for repeating the part of the parent's post that I was agreeing with.

              But this strategy does not work against good players.

              I never said it did.

              I mean if you are just getting into it or playing with non-hardcore friends, vulcans are the shits and is definit
              • Good post. The poster you responded too is the exact reason I no longer play RTS' online. They believe that the destination must be reached as quickly as possible, completely ignoring the fun of the journey.

                I don't think I've ever FINISHED a game of TA. (When the "Dead commander ends the game" option is off anyway.) Playing the AI, it's dragged on for hours. The game didn't end, but I had a blast. Not played the game in a couple of years, but I used to play until my aging system started creaking due to how
              • > Thank you for repeating what I said, this time.

                He's good at that. See our branch of this thread, where I attempt to explain that my friends and I play for fun and to watch the nice pretty big units blow crap up, and he starts calling us retards.

                I totally agree with you -- he's missing the point that people play the game to have fun, and fun is subjective. His way is winning as quickly and as mathematically precisely as possible. Mine, and apparently yours, is not.

                For me and my cronies, LAN
                • I think this applies to ALL multiplayer games really. Action Quake2 at college was so much more fun because we could take the piss out of each other verbally, and listen in to the other team working out where we were and their strategies (we had mastered the art of audio message hotkeys and headphones). Damn that was fun.

                  Very few online games have the same feeling, its always a case of victory above all else. There are a few highly co-operative games that come to mind. SubSpace Trench Wars for example, whe
                  • Very well put. The last line in particular rocks.

                    The only thing I disagree with - I don't think they'd get the same pleasure out of chess etc. First, because they're not patient enough, an second because a big part of the FPS world in particular is centered around either extolling or blaming your gaming rig. For example, "I would have won if I had 3 more fps coming out of my video card, I better get more overclocking gear." In pure skill games like the ones you mentioned, you have nothing to blame for
    • The Vulcan Cannon, many a day I remember terrorizing an enemy from across the map with that thing. Huge power requirements, though.

      God I miss that game.
    • One of the best games I have found for playing on my laptop on trains is 2-3 year old RTS games like Total Annihilation [amazon.com] because the lush graphics do not require massive video card power to display and a scrollpad is fine for control.
  • by Asgard ( 60200 ) * <jhmartin-s-5f7bbb@toger.us> on Wednesday April 27, 2005 @02:44PM (#12362214) Homepage
    Why couldn't the editors wait for the evening hours; now I have to wait until quitting time to play!
  • I'd heard of TA's source being loosened, but I'd missed this project as well :s. Looking at the project description on their website, I'd say that the /. description is a little misleading. They seem to imply that it isn't so much a remake as... they're using TA some of the code and units. I'm downloading as soon as I can be arsed to reboot, and will be so peeved if they using a 16 bit installer or it doesn't work on Win64.
    • Chances are you will need to use 32 bit compatibility mode. The source is available, so you can always just compile it yourself for 64 bit. Unless there is something really big between the two, I don't see why you would need to actually change anything. (but i've never used a 64 bit system, and I really don't know much about them)
    • They only reuse TA units, not code.
  • Single Player (Score:5, Informative)

    by dsparil ( 844576 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2005 @02:53PM (#12362332)
    4.14 - Will TA Spring support campaigns?
    No. TA Spring will only support multiplayer.

    4.18 - Will there be an AI or a "skirmish" mode?
    No. There is no AI or skirmish support planned.

    I lost all interest after reading that.
  • Still have it installed on my box at home, have all the expansion packs, Core Contingency, and Battle Tactics, plus the umpteen million 3rd party units -- Vulcan Bertha, RoboTechKrog, etc etc etc.

    Played TA:K , didnt like the fantasy element, but was a fun game. Nothing like seeing the Nidehogg Dragons appear and blow over your entire city.

    Its largely because of Cavedog, that I love RTSs.

  • RTS (Score:3, Funny)

    by MyLongNickName ( 822545 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2005 @02:59PM (#12362414) Journal
    I didn't know what RTS was, and I couldn't follow the link (company policy blocked site). So I did what any intelligent person would do. I Googled it.

    Turns out RTS is Royal Televison Society.

    This was a public service announcement. Please mod insightful.
  • by prezkennedy.org ( 786501 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2005 @03:06PM (#12362528) Homepage Journal
    If you don't feel like dealing with BitTorrent, you can download the full version [osgaming.net] or the source [osgaming.net] from Open Source Gaming [osgaming.net].
  • And WINE (Score:4, Informative)

    by MoogMan ( 442253 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2005 @03:12PM (#12362635)
    While the game is currently win32 only,

    It also works under WINE, it seems :)
    • You wouldn't kid about that would you? :-)

      I'm gonna have to grab this when I get home. I've still go the original installed on an old Windows box, but my only 'wothy' machines for this new one run Linux. Now if only they had the soundtrack from the original (best game score ever!)...
      • Of course not. Works with current CVS (and I suspect the latest release). There is no soundtrack (or /sounds/ directory), so it will complain about no sound.

        Otherwise it works perfectly in Wine with no modification (and graphics jacked to full :-))
  • Spring (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 27, 2005 @04:20PM (#12363769)
    I am a dev on the team, JouninKomiko. There IS a skirmish AI planned, in fact I am working on it now. There is no TA code in this, just a use of the original TA content until the community remakes the units and scripts to make this standalone. Our FAQ guy stopped updating long ago for some reason.
  • ATTENTION!! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 27, 2005 @04:26PM (#12363870)
    The game sent along the Spring engine is NOT original TA. It's a mod called XTA, also created by the Swedish Yankspankers. The mod's purpose is to drastically change the balancing and gameplay. If you want to play with Original TA, you better fetch yourself the OTA patch [fileuniverse.com]. This is, btw, Storm.
  • gawd I luv TA (Score:2, Informative)

    by bonezed ( 187343 )
    these days I play the Absolute Annihilation mod

    lots of extra units, patches and balancing makes it the best mod
  • One of the more revolutionary real time strategy games in my opinion. The game was in 3-d and boasted realistic physics to boot. It was ahead of its time, I'm looking forward to playing it again for hours.
  • by fleabait ( 836025 ) on Thursday April 28, 2005 @01:38AM (#12368634)
    I have to say TA:Spring looks very impressive in its own right, but I can't help but bring up this:

    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_zd1up/is _200403/ai_ziff122201 [findarticles.com]

    Gas Powered Games is making a new RTS. Of course not a sequel to TA, but could be very interesting.

    For a little background, Chris Taylor is the man credited with creating Total Annihilation. However he left Cavedog to start up Gas Powered Games some time before Cavedog produced TA:Kingdoms and subsequently went under.

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"