It's never too late for SupCom eye candy

Herewith, a promo video for the 4th Dimension mod for Supreme Commander:

(I think it's well worth getting the 214Mb AVI version.)

At first glance, this mod is just a particularly-well-done member of the "this game's OK, but it needs more humungous mecha" genre, but there's actually more to it than that. There's a version of 4th Dimension for the original Supreme Commander, but the current version requires SupCom and the the Forged Alliance expansion pack (which is sort of Supreme Commander v1.2).

If you ask me, SupCom is only becoming more attractive as it ages, for people like me who liked the original Total Annihilation (and, heck, Kingdoms too; Demigod is the SupCom engine's Kingdoms-equivalent). You can still reduce an arbitrarily powerful computer to one frame per second if you play a big enough game, but your standard four-person weekend LAN game is much more workable on current mass-market hardware than it was when SupCom was new, back in '07.

You can get SupCom and Forged Alliance together in the "Gold edition" pack, which is cheap on eBay. (Here's the same search on

6 Responses to “It's never too late for SupCom eye candy”

  1. metalskin Says:

    You really need to have a gander at the Spring engine. It's an open source engine that was originally written to replicate the features in Total Annihilation.

    There are quite a few mods, some focused on the TA universe others that have diverged, the popular ones would be BA (Balanced Annihilation), CA (Complete Annihilation), 1944 (WWII game). BA is called balanced mainly because they wanted to keep faithful to the original TA while trying to make the game balanced. CA is an ongoing mod that undergoes a lot of changes over time, makes it a tad hard to keep up, but has some very nice models. The client supports an auto map downloader (via jobjol website and torrents). By default the 'SpringDownloader' will try and share maps via a built in torrent client, I recommend disabling the sharing for Aussie players, but our overseas friends shouldn't have any problems. This wont stop the lobby client from attempting to auto download maps that you do not have, and then there is always manual downloads via jobjol.

    Comes with a lobby client that makes it easy to join a game but recommend spectating on a few games before playing. Tends to be a tad quite Australia evening time (normally only a few big games) but generally there are a fair few Aussies and Kiwi's around who wish to play. The lobby client comes in several flavors, there is a linux client though I've never personally tried it. Personally I like the old lobby client which is not installed by default, the new one I find a tad difficult to use. But both work good.

    I recommend highly that you look at the game, far better than SupCom. Some mods (i.e. BA) are very faithful to TA (which come packaged in the first download). Please remember, it's open source and ongoing development. I think from memory you also need a copy of TA purely for legal reasons as the BA mod includes models and names based from the original TA, me I have both TA and the expansion pack sitting in the cupboard so no problems for me :)

    Oh, the link would be Spring Engine.



    PS. single game play isn't that brilliant, AI's are pretty poor. But you can play single player if you wish.

  2. Joseph Says:

    I think Dan has mentioned Spring in a past SupCom post.

    It's also great for those of us with a computer that weeps at the mere thought of being asked to run SupCom.

  3. metalskin Says:

    Ahh okay, didn't realise :)

    And that is another good point you've made Joseph, Spring is very good for low end machines. Unfortunately in the last few years some of the mods have gotten pretty heavy in the effects department, but at least you can dial em right down and it still works fine on a low end system!



  4. Changes Says:

    The Mad Dog / Vulture battlemech at 1:45 was a pleasant surprise. :D Methinks I'm going to play this mod.

    As for the movie itself: it's very nice, but someone needs to tell them to disable screen shaking next time. Seriously, it's ridiculous how much it shakes at times.

    Spring is nice, but: is there any way of running it with the original units from TA? I like TA mainly for nostalgic reasons, and I would love to occasionally play it with the good dumb units of the past, but all I find are enhanced/improved/embiggened versions.

  5. Daniel Rutter Says:

    I think Spring can play original TA out of the box, provided you have a copy of the original TA so it can get the still-copyrighted model, audio, etc files.

    There are also numerous Spring mods, like "Not OTA", that adapt and improve the original TA without being completely different. I think "Basically OTA" is the closest-to-vanilla mod. The appropriate part of the FAQ also suggests "Hardcore Annihilation".

    The original TA also runs OK in modern Windows flavours, I think. The last time I tried it in XP I didn't get any sound until I ran dxdiag and turned "Hardware Sound Acceleration Level" all the way down, but that bodes well for Vista/Win7 compatibility, possibly using one of the standard compatibility modes.

    The final version of original TA had plenty of stuff that still needed tweaking, but if you make a gentlemens' agreement not to use vast hordes of missile trucks or super-micromanaged stealth fighters, then vanilla TA plus Core Contingency is still a lot of fun. There are still many people who need to be taught not to let you push out a fast heavy gun turret on the middle-of-map corner of your island in Evad River Confluence...

  6. Red October Says:

    I just grabbed that mod; it's patently awesome! That is all.

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