A Free Open Source RTS Game of Ancient Warfare Six Unique Civilizations to Play Unique Structures Historically Based Wage Large-Scale Wars Against Your Friends Lush, Realistic Environments and Terrains

*Alpha 6 Fortuna
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New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 6 Fortuna

0 A.D. News Feed  Posted by Jeru on Jul 10 2011, 12:43 PM
Comments: 6 - (Post a comment!)
Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of "0 A.D. Alpha 6 Fortuna", the sixth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. We have added hundreds of terrain textures and dozens of sounds, redrawn and added Hellenic units and buildings, implemented unit stances and put in some WW2 fighter planes just to show that the game engine can support flight.

Easy Download and Install
Download and installation instructions are available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. 0 A.D. is free of charge and always will be. You can redistribute it and modify it as long as you abide by the GPL. You can even use parts of the art and sound for your own projects as long as you abide by CC-BY-SA. No "freemium" model, no in-game advertising, no catch.

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New features in this release:
Top new features:
  • Unit stances:
    • "Violent" - The unit attacks any enemy unit in sight and pursues it as it escapes into the Shroud of Darkness;
    • "Aggressive" - Attacks enemy units in sight but does not pursue them as they escape;
    • "Defensive" (Default) - Attacks enemy units who come within half vision range distance. Will pursue the enemy until they leave that range. If no more enemies are within range they will return to their original positions;
    • "Stand ground" - Only fights back when attacked or when their comrade next to them in formation is being attacked. Else, does not move unless tasked to move or attack;
    • "Avoid" - Does not attack, and runs away from enemy soldiers in the direction of the nearest Civ Centre or Fortress. A unit with this stance, if tasked to move, will attempt to avoid contact with enemy units.
  • 250 new terrain textures. (These are still a work in progress.)
  • 43 new sound effects: Building selection and construction. (Thanks, Dynamite Sound Bytes team.)

These are just a few of the sounds created for the game by the Dynamite Sound Bytes sound design team, made up of three contributors who are professionals in the recording arts, based in Vancouver, Canada. Video compiled by 0 A.D. contributor Pureon. (CC-BY-SA Wildfire Games)

Art:
  • New Greek houses.
  • New Greek siege tower, which acts like a mobile missile battery.
  • Updated shield patterns for Greek hoplites.
  • Art released for all of the remaining Champion units, including: Persian War Elephant, Persian Cataphract, Carthaginian Sacred Band pikeman, Carthaginian War Elephant, Roman Extraordinarius, and Roman Consular Cavalry.
  • Thracian Mercenary unit - "The Black Cloaks," famed for fighting for the Macedonians against the Romans.
  • New movement animations for giraffes and lions (by Athos).
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New Greek houses, updated shield patterns and the Thracian Mercenary unit. (CC-BY-SA Wildfire Games)

Maps:
  • Cycladic Archipelago III, a huge Greek islands map.
  • Southern Greece real-world map.
  • Updated Belgian Bog.
  • Cantabrian Highlands random map now uses the Temperate biome terrain set.
  • Gambia River map, using the new Tropic biome terrain set.
  • Mediterranean Coves.
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The updated Belgian Bog map and the new Mediterranean Cove map. (CC-BY-SA Wildfire Games)

Programming:
  • Delay in carrying out unit instructions eliminated.
  • Units less likely to get stuck.
  • Various improvements to the text input boxes in the game.
  • Unit selection limit matches population cap (200 units).
The Atlas scenario editor:
  • Player settings editing panel: Set teams, colors, default AI behavior, starting resources etc.
  • Entity filter: Enter part of the name of an object/objects you want to add to your map to filter them out from among the rest.
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Two new features in the Atlas scenario editor: The improved "Player settings" panel and the new entity filtering function. (CC-BY-SA Wildfire Games)

Just for fun:
  • Flight demo: A brand new P-51 Mustang can fly around the map, and attack targets on the ground and in the air. (Thanks, Brightgalrs.)
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Airplanes! (CC-BY-SA Wildfire Games)

Room for improvement:
  • Known issue: The AI builds an awful lot of mills on the edge of the Acropolis II map.
  • Many unit stats are still unbalanced.
  • Many planned gameplay features are not added yet: There is no research, no auras, no formation bonuses, no settlements and territories, etc.
  • Many bugs and small missing features.
  • There is no multiplayer matchmaking service. You have to connect by IP address. (More convenient ways may be implemented in the future.)
Why "Fortuna"?
We name our releases according to development status ("Alpha" or "Beta"), successive release number (1, 2, 3, ...) and a word relating to the ancient world, in alphabetical order ("Argonaut" for A, "Bellerophon" for B, ...). In recognition of some of our good fortune recently as a development team, we have decided to code-name 0 A.D. Alpha 6 "Fortuna".

Fortuna was the goddess of fortune and the personification of luck in Roman religion. She was believed to bring both good and bad luck, and so came to represent life's capriciousness. She could be represented as veiled and blind, as in modern depictions of Justice, and was usually portrayed standing and wearing a rich dress.

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Fortuna. (CC-BY perpetualplum)


Her cult was introduced by Roman king Servius Tullius, who reigned in the years 578-535 BC. She had a sanctuary on top of Quirinal Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome, and a temple on the Forum Boarium, the oldest food market in ancient Rome. This market was used both for cattle trade and as a religious center.

Also, in Praeneste, a city 35 km east of Rome, there was an oracle dedicated to Fortuna. This oracle was a shrine where Fortuna was believed to reveal the future, through a ritual in which a young boy would choose one of several rods, each inscribed with a different prediction. (This was the ancient Roman version of the magic 8-ball.) To this day, the ruins of this sanctuary can be seen in modern-day Palestrina, Italy. (Sources: Wikipedia: Fortuna and Encyclopedia Mythica: Fortuna.)

For the next alpha, we welcome fan suggestions for words relating to the ancient world beginning with the letter G. It's best if you think of something related to Carthage or the Punic Wars. Keep it original and within the 0 A.D. time-frame (appx. 500 BC - 1 BC)!

A Special Call for Contributions
Over the last few months we have been particularly privileged to welcome great contributors in various areas (programming, art, sound, music and more). But we'd like to take this opportunity to share some of our plans for this summer, and invite you to pitch in and contribute in two particular areas.

The first area is 3d art, as part of our aim to release the Carthaginian faction of 0 A.D. by the autumn of 2011. To achieve that goal, we invite 3D modelers to join the 0 A.D. development team. You must have adequate experience in a mainstream 3D application such as 3DS Max or Blender, and be able to properly UV map a model with a given texture. Also, it's best if you know a little bit about animating, but it is not required.

The second area is web design. We would like to design a new website for 0 A.D. over the next few weeks and are seeking one or more experienced web designer(s) for that purpose. You should be able to demonstrate that you can design usable interfaces, effective website layouts, and attractive 2d graphics, as well as write readable, standard-compliant code. We need to create uniform navigation and branding across a Wordpress blog, a Trac wiki and an IPB forum and create corresponding graphics for 0 A.D. profiles on other websites, such as ModDB/IndieDB, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Bandcamp.

These roles on the 0 A.D. development team are a boon if you want to brush up on your skills and update your portfolio, if you're seeking a project for school with real-life applications, or if you care about the cause of free culture and software and are willing to work pro bono with a group of dedicated volunteers from all over the world.

Interested? Please register on our forums and start a new topic introducing yourself in the applications and contributions forum following these instructions.

Long Time, No Siege
Wildfire Games will continue releasing new versions of 0 A.D. periodically. Watch our news feed to keep updated, or follow us by e-mail, RSS, Facebook or Twitter. And you're always welcome to join the 0 A.D. community on our forums.

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0 A.D. features on Geek-Haven.com & The VAR Guy

0 A.D. News Feed  Posted by Jeru on Jun 23 2011, 10:48 AM
Comments: 0 - (Post a comment!)
Two new pieces up on 0 A.D. on the interwebs: First, we have a new interview up at Geek-Haven.com:

QUOTE
What obstacles do the 0 A.D. game developers face? Perhaps on a day-to-day level, and perhaps on a larger scale?

[...] First, we are a group of volunteers from all over the world, in very different timezones, contributing in several different fields. Coordinating everybody so that we’re on the same page can be challenging. It requires effective management and good communications. We have weekly IRC meetings and forums to help cope with that for team discussions. (Our conversations can get pretty silly, which is awesome.)

[... W]e would also like to attract new contributors willing and able to help complete 0 A.D. Our general approach to this is to release regularly and often, and keep letting the world know about our progress. Since August 2010 we have released an alpha version every 70 days on average, and we intend to keep releasing more alpha versions at about the same frequency (or slightly greater) until the game is feature-complete. If any developers out there are reading this, you are welcome to get involved.


Especially if you're not familiar with our previous interviews, read the whole thing.

Next, there's an update by Chris Tozzi up on The VAR Guy (formerly WorksWithU), who has been covering the project since 2009:

QUOTE
The last time we wrote about 0 A.D. was in December 2010, shortly after it had reached its third alpha release. Since then, a lot has changed–and for the better, as the developers have steadily improved the game and increased the momentum of the project, which only a couple years ago was nearing stagnation.

The 0 A.D. team attributed its progress in recent months to the enthusiasm of contributors, both new and old, who have passionately committed themselves and their skills to the project:

"All of this is thanks to new contributors who have joined the team, as well as the existing team members who keep providing great contributions. We have a professional composer playing the bouzouki and the Spanish guitar at home for the benefit of the gaming public worldwide, a sound team recording sounds of water splashing and dogs barking, programmers grappling problems from raising framerates to fine-tuning the AI’s strategy, and artists drawing maps of Mediterranean landscapes, animating giraffes and texturing fortresses."


Read the whole thing!


0 A.D. Soundtrack Album Art

0 A.D. News Feed  Posted by Jeru on Jun 17 2011, 03:33 AM
Comments: 2 - (Post a comment!)
Check out the new album artwork for the 0 A.D. soundtrack:

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The scene is set in a Greek theater. It contains some weapons and armor (a helmet, a sword, a spear, a shield, a fasces and an arrow), some musical instruments (a lyre and two trumpets), a theatrical mask and an amphora, a ceramic container used for transporting and storing wine, oil, grains and other commodities.

Thus, it represents some major themes in the game (antiquity, nation-building and warfare) and contains a reference to music and the arts. We chose to represent 0 A.D. in a theater in self-conscious irony, as if to say, "We're just acting out war, and setting it to this music".

For now, the album art will be used on the 0 A.D. Bandcamp page to help make the soundtrack look cooler. The soundtrack itself is released under cc-by-sa and will always be packaged with the game free of charge.

Thanks to 0 A.D. contributor Gordon Napier (dashinvaine) for this work of art.


Iberian Skirmish

0 A.D. News Feed  Posted by Jeru on Jun 11 2011, 02:26 PM
Comments: 2 - (Post a comment!)


New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 5 Edetania

0 A.D. News Feed  Posted by Jeru on May 20 2011, 07:12 AM
Comments: 7 - (Post a comment!)
Wildfire Games proudly announces the release of "0 A.D. Alpha 5 Edetania", the fifth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. This release is chock-full of new features, from a new faction (the Iberians) to random maps, a new lighting system, unit formations and more.

Easy Download and Install
Download and installation instructions are available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. 0 A.D. is free of charge and always will be. You can redistribute it and modify it as long as you abide by the GPL. You can even use parts of the art and sound for your own projects as long as you abide by CC-BY-SA. No registration, no advertising, no catch.

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New features in this release:
Gameplay:
  • New civilization: Iberians
  • Much improved enemy AI named JuBot (thanks Jubalbarca)
  • Random map scripting (thanks historic_bruno)
  • Unit promotions (thanks fcxSanya)
  • Improved formations (thanks Badmadblacksad)
  • New map: Acropolis II, in which the Iberians face off the Hellenes (Screenshot below)
Graphics:
  • New shader-based renderer mode, to support new effects and improve performance
  • Improved lighting for warmer and more vivid colors
  • Particles - fire, smoke, construction dust, sparkles near mines, falling leaves
  • Terrain decals - smoother building foundations on bumpy terrain
  • Hidden units are visible as silhouettes
  • Various performance improvements (thanks in part ortalo)
GUI:
  • Idle unit button (thanks veprbl)
  • Unit control groups (thanks Badmadblacksad)
  • Unit selection limit raised from 40 to 64
  • Map setting editing in Atlas (thanks historic_bruno)
Art:
  • Eye candy - Rope bridges, River bridges
  • New loading screen images and tips
Audio:
  • New sound effects: Unit selection, building destruction
  • New music tracks: The first ones of what will be an entire soundtrack remake
Room for improvement:
  • Many unit stats are still unbalanced.
  • Many planned gameplay features are not added yet: There is no research, no auras, no formation bonuses, no stances, no settlements and territories, etc.
  • Many bugs and small missing features.
  • There is no multiplayer matchmaking service. You have to connect by IP address. (More convenient ways may be implemented in the future).
As you can see, there is still a lot of work to be done. We need capable programmers, artists and more. If you want to be part of this effort too, you're welcome to get involved!

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The Iberian Building Set: 1. Fortress; 2. Civ Centre; 3. Barracks; 4. Outpost; 5. Temple; 6. Market; 7. Farmstead; 8. Corral; 9. Monument; 10. Dock; 11. Houses. (CC-BY-SA Wildfire Games)


Who were the Iberians?
For most of the first millennium B.C., the Iberian peninsula was a mix of cultures and forms of settlements, from Celtic towns inland, to the cities of seafaring Greeks, Phoenecians and Carthaginians along the coast. There existed a distinct Iberian culture along the Mediterranean coast, often meshing with Celtic inhabitants of Iberia, but very little is known about the native Iberians, and the ancient Iberian language remains linguistically unclassified to this day.


Iberian Peace Track #1: Part of the new 0 A.D. soundtrack, that will gradually be composed and integrated into the game over the next few alphas. This track features some Spanish musical motifs and fluid orchestration. (CC-BY-SA Omri Lahav)


What little we do know from historical sources describing the Iberian tribes, however, is that they were not a warlike people; they did hire out mercenaries to other peoples, but they rarely themselves went to war. Organized as a loose confederation of tribes and cities, they mostly minded their own business. Their economy subsisted of agriculture, metalworking and exporting metals. (Indeed, Iberia was a rich source of minerals for all its neighbors and occupiers, including silver, iron, lead, copper and zinc). As their religious practice, they worshiped a pantheon of gods at small home altars. Male Endovellikos and female Ataekina were their chief deities.

When under threat, however, Iberia did not lend itself easily to conquest. Not even the great Hannibal could accomplish the task, and it took the Romans 200 years. Part of this has to do with two distinct features of the way the Iberians waged war: One was the guerrilla war style of fighting they employed; in fact, the Iberians invented guerrilla warfare. The second was the strong fortifications they built, the oppidum (a fortified town) and the castro (a hill fort). (More info: Wikipedia: Castro culture and Wikipedia: Castros in Spain).

In 0 A.D., the Iberians will have many bonuses to match their historic strengths. These bonuses include:
  • Elite Warriors: Capability of causing great damage with few numbers.
  • Cavalry Cost: Because of the large horse herds and some of the finest horses in ancient Europe, the Iberians' cavalry will cost less.
  • Flaming Javelins: There was a frequent practice among some Iberian tribes of dousing their javelins in pitch. Some javelin-using units will throw flaming javelins after researching this unique technology.

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Screenshot of Acropolis II, a map bundled with Alpha 5 Edetania. On this map, the Iberians fight the Greeks — and on Greek soil, no less. (CC-BY-SA Wildfire Games)


Why "Edetania"?
We name our releases according to development status ("Alpha" or "Beta"), successive release number (1, 2, 3, ...) and a word relating to the ancient world, in alphabetical order ("Argonaut" for A, "Bellerophon" for B, ...). In honor of the release of the Iberian faction, we decided to dub Alpha 5 "Edetania".

Edetania, the land of the Iberian tribe of the Edetani, comprised the district lying between the rivers Iberus (Ebro) and Sucro (Iucar), and bounded by the mountains of Celtiberia on the west. The territory includes the modern-day cities of Valencia and Zaragoza*. The Edetani's major city, and possible capital in certain times in history, was Edeta, which was continuously inhabited since the seventh century B.C. The modern-day city of Llíria lies on top of it nowadays.

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Map of extent of the Iberian tribes, circa 300 B.C. Land of the Edetani, an Iberian tribe, marked in black. (After Wikipedia, in turn after Luís Fraga da Silva; CC-BY-SA Wildfire Games)


Edetania, along with many other parts of Iberia, was conquered by the Romans by 19 B.C. and eventually became a Roman province. Mentions of the Edetani, however, continued up until the second century AD, indicating that they had maintained their tribal identity for centuries after foreign conquest. (Main sources: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, Spanish Wikipedia: Edetanos, French Wikipedia: Edetans, 0 A.D. Design Document: Iberians).

For the next alpha, we welcome fan suggestions for words relating to the ancient world beginning with the letter F. Keep it original and within the 0 A.D. time-frame (appx. 500 BC - 1 BC)!

Long Time, No Siege
Wildfire Games will continue releasing new versions of 0 A.D. periodically. Watch our news feed to keep updated, or follow us by e-mail, RSS, Facebook or Twitter. And you're always welcome to join the 0 A.D. community on our forums.

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* Fun fact: Zaragoza is a corruption of the name "Caesaraugusta". The latter name is what the city was called in honor of Roman emperor Augustus, who colonized it after the Cantabrian War in 25 B.C. Previously, the city's name was Salduba.


• Free and Open Source Software
• Cross-platform
• Historically based
• 6 unique civilizations
• Provinces and territories
• Realistic maps/terrain
• Realistic naval warfare
• Comprehensive editor
• Several multiplayer modes
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