So Westwood have finally decided to release a map editor for Red Alert 2. I have to say that I was shocked when I first heard about this. Just a couple of months ago Westwood said they would have nothing to do with a map editor. But why have they decided to bring out a map editor now? Why not two months ago when everyone wanted one? I'm sure a lot of people still want a map editor now; but they are not raving on about it like they were 2 months ago.
The other piece of information we know about Final Alert 2 is that it is going to be based around Final Alert, a fan created map editor. This obviously immensely cuts down the amount of work that has to be done by Westwood. An interview with the creator of this utility is provided later on in the article.
So are we really getting anything new? All I see is Final Alert with improved loading speeds, a new menu bar and most importantly a Westwood logo on it. But I think that is the most important fact. Many people were reluctant to use Final Alert because it wasn't official. Many people didn't even know about it and some probably couldn't figure out how to work it. Now that it is official it will have excellent documentation and it will become better known. More people will have access to it and be able to use it effectively.
Westwood admitted after many months that "something" was going on in the RA2 editing community. After a series of congratulation messages from Chris "Delphi" Rubyor to the Final Alert and XCC creators it was more than obvious that they were upto something.
We already know about the new revolutionary features Final Alert 2 will provide, with a friendly interface being one such example. Here we have a brief question and answer session with the utility's creator Matze.
StrikerPro: Why do you think FA2 will be better than FA1?
Matze: Because it is faster, has a full trigger / script list, has Framework mode and many other interesting features
StrikerPro: Will you allow fan sites to host it?
Matze: I can't tell you that, you need to ask Westwood.
StrikerPro: What are the new possibilities a mapmaker has using FA2?
Matze: As there is now a full trigger list, making missions should be easier now. Also terrain editing is now much easier thanks to the Framework Mode.
StrikerPro: Will you or Westwood implement new features to FA2 in the future like you did with FA1?
Matze: I don't know yet
StrikerPro: Is there any possibility of a "auto build map wizard" or a "campaign editor" to be later introduced?
Matze: Who knows :-)
StrikerPro: Will you support an RA2 expansion?
Matze: AFAIK Yes
StrikerPro: Any comments?
Matze: Hmm... I hope people will use it and make some great missions and maps :)
StrikerPro: Thanks for your time.
Matze staying rather reserved there as you can see. However, the arrival of this new map editor should promise a bevvy of maps.