Any interest for some C&C Generals: Zero Hour games?

by malmon
  • malmon 11-11-2018, 06:16 PM (Edited 05-08-2019, 03:50 PM)
    Just wondering if anyone would be interested in playing~

    We can do up to 8 players, and teams are a thing!

    This wouldn't replace Worms or anything, since this game requires quite a bit more concentration and effort~

    I don't think you *need* a legit copy of the game, but I can provide my key (and DVD image) if you do.

    (I realise that a video of two pros going at it isn't the best way of promoting the game, but at least it gives an idea of what the game looks like~)

    For installation on Windows

    1. For those who're interested, you'll need a copy of C&C Generals, and C&C Generals: Zero Hour (the latter is an expansion). I can provide this if need be - just gimmie a boop. (I'd rather not stick a link right here, in case EA somehow notices).

    This is an old game - make sure to run all installers as admin.

    I have mine from the "The First Decade" (TFD) bundle. The standalone versions should be fine, but the multiplayer can be a real stickler for version matching, and I don't think that the official patches allow the game to run without the physical DVD present. The version from Origin should be ok as well, but there are a few issues mentioned in GenTool's FAQ.

    You can do step 8 while stuff is downloading or installing.

    I personally haven't tested this game on Linux, but given its age, I'd be surprised if it didn't work fine in WINE/Proton, or in a VM with GPU passthrough.

    2. Make sure you have the games updated to 1.08 and 1.04 respectively. This may already be the case if you downloaded the game from Origin. Both patches are included in the TFD rev4 patch from CNCNZ. If you're using the standalone games, the TFD rev4 patch will probably still work. If not, you can get the patches from C&C Labs, but you might still need the disc inserted to play the game.
    If all goes well, we might try with the 1.06 community patch for ZH, as it fixes a bunch of balance issues, but for now, everyone must be on the same version - this game isn't as forgiving as Worms in that regard ^_^

    3. Since the official game servers are down, you'll need to install GenTool, which enables access to the third party C&C Online server, as well as a bunch of other useful features, like widescreen support, and automatic replay uploading.

    4. Now you'll have to go in to the Zero Hour installation directory, and in the properties of generals.exe, set the compatibility profile to Windows XP (Service Pack 3), and enable running the program as an administrator. As @moeki found out, not doing the latter will cause the game to think you're running a different version for some reason.

    5. You should now be able to run generals.exe (or "Zero Hour" from the start menu). You may get a warning from GenTool saying that your binary is cracked. I'm not sure why it says so, but it doesn't seem to have any effect, so it's probably just a bug.
    If you get an error when trying to start the game, creating an options.ini file in "Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour Data" fixes it. Or at least for me it does >.>'
    If it asks for the disc to be inserted, and you're using the TFD version, gimmie a boop. If you're using the standalone version, let us know that it doesn't work, and use the TFD version instead.

    6. Set up your game options, like resolution and quality settings and stuff. The game only needs to run at 32 fps or higher - the game speed is tied to the fps, and maxed at 32 (or 30, I forget) in online multiplayer. If you want to challenge yourself, you can unlimit the game speed in Skirmish mode against the AI.

    7. Quit the game. A terminal window should show up - it'll download some extra maps.

    8. Create a game account using the instructions here. (Only follow the first two steps/pages). Don't use an existing password. If you use a temporary email, make sure that you can at least access it until you're done creating both logins, and remember it, so that you can log in from the game. The site won't let you use a Guerrilla Mail address.

    9. That should be it! Now you can launch the game again, and enter your server login into the Multiplayer/Online menu (make yourself look over 18 in the date of birth section). It'll also ask for your locale - I don't think this is really important, as long as you don't set it to a country that uses non-latin characters. Click on the Custom Match button, and you're in! Usually the 2v2 room is the most active, baring in mind that the randoms have probably been playing the game for up to 15 years~ (hence why I think i'd be nice if we played together~).

    It'd be nice if we could get on mumble for this, as it'd make coordination easier. The ingame text chat has no history, as far as I can tell, so it's not too great.

    For installation on Linux via WINE
    You may also use Lutris for more convenient management of games and WINE versions, but I'll just cover plain WINE here. If anyone wants a Lutris-specific tutorial, lemmie know.

    1. Install 32-bit WINE. 64-bit might work as well, but I wouldn't count on it.

    2. Run winecfg, and under the Graphics tab, disable everything under "Window Settings", and make a note of which ones were checked by default. Click OK. For some reason the TFD installed almost completely breaks the X display on the main monitor until it is closed, which may prove impossible if it spawns a window on the main display. For the curious i3 users, $mod+r will let you relive past memories through slightly corrupted renditions of residual data in the GPU's memory. (Avoid if family members nearby). If WINE complains about a missing wine-mono package, you can install it, though I don't think it's necessary for Zero Hour.

    3. Run wine setup.exe, where setup.exe is the file found under the root of the installation disc.

    4. Install the game as normal.

    5. Download the rev4 patch (see step 2 for Windows), and install using wine tfd-103-rev4.exe.

    6. Download GenTool (see step 3 for Windows), and install using wine GenTool_v7.6.exe.

    7. Run winecfg, and under the Graphics tab, reenable the checkboxes you disabled in step 2.

    8. Under the Applications tab, add an application, and select ~/.wine/<wherever you installed zero hour to>/generals.exe.

    9. With generals.exe selected, for Windows Version, choose Windows XP.

    10. Under the Libraries tab, add a new override for d3d8. Make sure it gets added as "d3d8 (native, builtin)".

    11. Under the Graphics tab, make sure that virtual desktop emulation is enabled. Set the size to whatever you want to play the game at.

    12. Run mv ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32/d3d8.dll ~./wine/drive_c/windows/system32/d3d8.dll.bak . This will prevent WINE from loading Windows' DirectX 8 library, since it for some reason doesn't work. It will instead use the d3d8.dll file provided by GenTool. This shouldn't break other DX8 programs, as I think WINE will use its own as a fallback.

    The game should now run with wine generals.exe

    NB: For those who haven't played before, the very first USA campaign mission of Generals (not ZH) is a good primer. It goes over the basics of how to actually play the game.
  • All in One 11-11-2018, 08:21 PM
    I'll definitely look into getting ahold of it. I had tons of fun playing around in Starcraft II - even if I wasn't very good.
  • malmon 11-11-2018, 08:50 PM (Edited 11-11-2018, 08:50 PM)
    (11-11-2018, 08:21 PM)All in One Wrote: I'll definitely look into getting ahold of it. I had tons of fun playing around in Starcraft II - even if I wasn't very good.

    Cool! If you can't get a hold of a copy, just let me know and i'll send you mine~

    There's some extra stuff that has to be installed as well, since the original game servers have been shut down >.>' But I'll add that tomorrow~
  • floattube 11-11-2018, 08:55 PM
    I'd be willing to try it out, no promises that I'll be any good though!
  • malmon 11-11-2018, 10:53 PM
    (11-11-2018, 08:55 PM)floattube Wrote: I'd be willing to try it out, no promises that I'll be any good though!

    It'd be great if you joined! I wouldn't worry about being good - I doubt any of us will be much better~
  • malmon 11-12-2018, 01:04 PM
    Alright, I've updated the OP with some instructions for those interested! Lemmie know how it goes~
  • Backlash 11-16-2018, 12:10 AM
    Bit of a moot point since I played with ya earlier, but count me in, too! ^^
  • Tang 02-09-2019, 07:39 AM
    china will grow larger
  • malmon 02-09-2019, 12:59 PM
    Ah, I should get back on this! As soon as I get the rest of my pc sorted >.<
  • Backlash 02-09-2019, 02:45 PM
    (02-09-2019, 07:39 AM)Tang Wrote: china will grow larger

    "Let's give 'em an airshow~"
  • Tang 02-10-2019, 11:38 AM
  • malmon 03-02-2019, 06:20 PM
    Added instructions for installation on Linux, should anyone be interested.

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Any interest for some C&C Generals: Zero Hour games?