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Programming Real Time Strategy (Games) Entertainment Games IT Technology

0 A.D. Goes Open Source 88

Posted by Soulskill
from the good-on-ya dept.
DoubleRing writes "Wildfire Games has announced that it will be moving its previously closed development process for 0 A.D. to open source. All code will be released under the GPL and all art under CC-BY-SA. 0 A.D. is a historically-based RTS, and while it's not yet complete, this trailer is purportedly actual gameplay footage. With a codebase of over 150k lines of C++ code plus 25k lines in development tools, this is looking like a fairly promising entrant into the open source RTS field. The screenshots are definitely pretty, to say the least."
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0 A.D. Goes Open Source

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 15 2009, @01:42PM (#28705697)

    Waiting over 2000 years for the port is not a sign of success.

  • by Zakabog (603757) <johnNO@SPAMjmaug.com> on Wednesday July 15 2009, @01:46PM (#28705775)
    I'm very impressed by the graphics of a game that was never meant to be commercial. I haven't spent much time looking for open source games lately but from the screenshots this looks a lot better than free civ.
  • What the devil? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CorporateSuit (1319461) on Wednesday July 15 2009, @01:51PM (#28705843)
    There never was a 0 AD... it went from 1 BC to 1 AD... Did I wake up in an alternate universe? Am I in Star Trek?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by godrik (1287354)
      mmm, the date on the calendat never was 1 BC. :)
      • Re:What the devil? (Score:4, Informative)

        by HTH NE1 (675604) on Wednesday July 15 2009, @05:10PM (#28708323)

        mmm, the date on the calendar never was 1 BC. :)

        Nor was it ever AD 1 in any sense other than retroactively. Wednesday, the 28th of August, Diocletian 247 was immediately followed by Thursday, the 1st of January, AD 532. (The Diocletian calendar started with August 29.)

        Retroactively, 1 AD, the 1st of January was a Saturday, so the last day of BCE was a Friday. TGIF! (cal 1 1)

        Determining what calendaring systems were observed contemporaneously with our CE 1/1/1 and the corresponding dates thereto is left as an exercise for archæochronologists.

      • by Xtifr (1323) on Wednesday July 15 2009, @08:52PM (#28710939) Homepage

        Really? So what about this "Authentic Roman Coin(tm)" I have that is clearly stamped "34 BC"?

        (Apologies to Terry Pratchett for mangling his joke.)

    • Re:What the devil? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by andrewd18 (989408) on Wednesday July 15 2009, @02:00PM (#28705975)
      If you would read the FAQ [wildfiregames.com]:

      Are you aware that the year 0 A.D. did not technically exist?
      Indeed. Think of 0 A.D. as a hypothetical time period that never existed. It is a snapshot in time where major players of the classical ages were placed in an observatory. This is your chance to see them 'duke it out'. Your job as the player is to create the hypothetical and recreate the historical.

      It's called suspension of disbelief, and there are times when it's a good thing. Situations may include books, movies, video games, and other works of fiction.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sgt scrub (869860)

        you forgot marriage.

    • Astronomers use a year zero. It's one of those little irregularities that doesn't make any practical difference, since they're dealing with error margins orders of magnitude larger.

    • See if Scotty will beam you up. If he doesn't answer your still screwed.

  • Lines of code.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RisingROI (1011409) on Wednesday July 15 2009, @02:06PM (#28706047) Homepage
    Any project that has progress measured in lines of code scares me a bit.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hyppy (74366)
      I'm not sure if it's a progress metric, just an interesting factoid. I think about it as a developer releasing 175 thousand lines of possible solutions to coding problems that game developers may face.
    • by Eudial (590661) on Wednesday July 15 2009, @05:33PM (#28708629)

      It's a metric used to give you a fair idea of how big something is. Like libraries of congress, or Olympic swimming pools. Naturally, just how much actual useful code there is per line varies.

      • If you set a physicist to write a program, he will give you 15,000 lines of Fortran code that (probably) runs reasonably fast, but is completely useless for any other task, and contains copypasta from previous programs in which what little comments there are make no sense what so ever in this new context, and 80% of the code has nothing to do with the current problem at all.
      • A professional programmer does the same in 150 lines of C++ code. It runs reasonably fast, and it's easy to use it to solve similar problems.
      • A computer scientist writes a koan-like one-liner in Haskell. It runs 100 times faster than any of the above solutions, but unfortunately, since nobody knows what the hell the code is doing, it's not re-usable.
    • I agree. The best code I ever worked on reduced in size exponentially from its inception because the participants were good enough to turn multiple functions into single functions that did what was needed. Give me a programmer that looks at my code, and doesn't laugh until they barf, then churns out 14 lines that does what sending a variable through 2 of my functions once did.

  • Finally... (Score:5, Funny)

    by rtilghman (736281) on Wednesday July 15 2009, @02:08PM (#28706063)

    Access to the often overlooked and underappreciated "Make Dude" command. And on the lord created The Dude, and it was good.

    http://www.wildfiregames.com/0ad/album_image.php?pic_id=10984 [wildfiregames.com]

    -rt

  • The video is impressive, but I'm wondering if that's a typo. 150k lines of code would handle just the graphics engine- barely. Then there's the AI, the character objects, etc. Pretty dense coding..

    Seth
  • by wowbagger (69688) on Wednesday July 15 2009, @02:14PM (#28706143) Homepage Journal

    RTS like this are my addiction - I've gotten more fun out of Civilization:Call to Power (under Linux) than just about any other game I have, and was saddened when no more Civ games came out for Linux. I have Civ for the PS3, but it's not quite the same: too video-gamey, not enough strategy.

    This looks very interesting, and I plan on sending some money these guy's way when I get home tonight.

    • I thought Civ: Call to Power was turn-based not RTS.
      • True, but I was trying to simplify my post a bit - any strategy game, RTS or TBS, are like crack for me. There aren't many of either for Linux....

        • Ah gotcha. I wish there were more strategy games across all platforms. About the only type of game made these days is FPS. I have all three major consoles and the only one that offers something different is the Wii, and it has possibly the best interface for an FPS game. That's strange. PC games once had more variety however. They seemed to be more "thinking" games while console games were more action-only. I wish the "quest" games would come back. My favorite RTS so far has been Empire Earth I and II. I w
      • by kisak (524062)
        Check out Sacred [linuxgamepublishing.com] for a nice commercial RTS game for linux. Another excellent port from Linux Game Publishing [linuxgamepublishing.com]. Buy the game at Tux Games [tuxgames.com].
    • by Abreu (173023)

      I have Civ for the PS3, but it's not quite the same: too video-gamey

      I had seen people complain about tabletop roleplaying games becoming "too videogamy" ...but complaining about a videogame being "too videogamy"? This just went meta

    • The question is: Where is the donate button?

  • Usefull link (Score:3, Informative)

    by coolsnowmen (695297) on Wednesday July 15 2009, @03:32PM (#28707145)

    http://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/GettingStarted [wildfiregames.com]

    ...
    Playing 0 A.D. - details on how to run the game. ...
    How to build 0 A.D. ...

  • by TerranFury (726743) on Wednesday July 15 2009, @03:33PM (#28707157)

    It looks like there's a fairly large amount of artwork involved in this game -- and it looks good; this isn't just programmer art! My only suggestion (if any of the authors read Slashdot) would be that in general the contrast and saturation of the various graphics could be increased. It'd make the graphics "pop" out a little more, and go a long way.

  • Don't get me wrong, I love that this is happening.

    But how, exactly, are they planning to make money?

    • Re:Business model? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Wednesday July 15 2009, @09:11PM (#28711061)

      They don't really address that, I can see it as:
      1) Great advertising for the companies other games!
      2) Get OSS development kickstarted on their engine, once they have a kickass engine they can release 100 A.D with proprietary game-data.
      3) Package and see this in shops, the uninformed masses will probably buy it anyway, many of the informed will anyway just to support the company.

      The don't really lose much either, so even if the gains are marginal the loss is just the cost of some bandwidth.

  • Is that like a game based on historical ancient Japan involving battles with a giant enemy crab?

  • Actual game? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Taulin (569009) on Wednesday July 15 2009, @07:46PM (#28710301) Homepage Journal
    How close is it to being an actual game? Just having an engine that runs simulation code (fighting, harvesting, etc) is actually just one of the many pieces. There still needs to be all the setup menus and tools for networking, map designs, and everything in between.
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