Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

OpenArena Community Mappack Volume 1 v3 Re-Release

Monday, January 20th, 2014
Due to some certain problems, first with a pair of bugs and then with a non-Free asset, the OpenArena Community Mappack Volume 1 had to be, well, repackaged. The good thing is that this time the 100% of it is still GPLv2-compliant. Server admins who are going to use the pack should delete the old versions of this pack (and if you were using betas, those as well) and use this new version instead. Likewise, people who's going to mirror this pack must use this version and delete the older ones.

And, in the name of the OACMP team, sorry for all of the inconveniences!

For information about the pack, head this way.

We are also gauging interest for the second volume, so if you like to map, we're waiting for you in the Maps subforum!

OpenArena Community Mappack Vol. 1

Thursday, January 16th, 2014
The OACMP team is proud to present…


OpenArena Community Mappack Vol. 1!

The OpenArena Community Mappack (also called OACMP) is a mappack containing GPL'd maps made by the community itself. The idea is to give GPL servers something else to play aside of the official maps and the already GPLv2'd maps.

This idea started in the official OA forum. Anyone, as long as they respect the rules of the mappack, could be part of the DevTeam for this pack. They don't even need to be mappers, even if they can't produce assets, this doesn't mean that they can't test the maps themselves and give feedback. The style of the map was up to the mappers themselves, with the only important restriction being that everything must be GPLv2'd, like OA itself.

Over the course of a year and a month and a half, the Team worked very hard in this pack. The result is 13 high-quality maps, 10 FFA-oriented and 3 CTF-oriented, from 4 authors and a plethora of collaborators.

Bundled with the pack is a mod which adds the OACMP FFA maps to the Single Player Deathmatch/Unlock Tiers mode. It (like the pack itself) requires OpenArena 0.8.8 in order to work.

The installation is as simple as “unzip everything in your OpenArena directory with routes enabled”.

With all of this said, we hope you enjoy the pack as much as we enjoyed making it!

0 A.D. Development Report #15

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

0 A.D. Development Report #15

Wildfire Games, the international group of volunteers developing 0 A.D., is happy to present this week’s 0 A.D. development report.
If you want to find out more about the development of this open-source, cross-platform real-time strategy game or if you are interested in game development in general, it might provide an interesting read.

 Screenshot of the Month

Enrique’s new horses (WIP). Animated transparent manes and moving armor are also in the pipeline (thanks to Wraitii).

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Team News

Our ‘family’ keeps expanding! A warm welcome to Scythetwirler, who has been working on our multiplayer lobby among other things.

Translations

Work has begun on translating 0 A.D. into many, many languages. Using the Transifex translating system, everyone can help! Check out this link.

 Programming & Art

Mythos_Ruler added a new map (Savanna River), rebalanced many units/technologies/… and laid the groundwork for our next civilization: the Seleucid Empire.

Yves has been hard at work upgrading Spidermonkey from 1.8.5 (which is old and unsupported) to a more recent version (v24 or later). He committed one patch that solves the massive performance problems we got with the new SpiderMonkey versions in lategame by changing the way different AI players are separated from each other. The second big patch adapted our code with the old SpiderMonkey version to match the most important constraints required by newer versions without updating yet. The third patch removed the JS Debugger temporarily because it will require a partial rewrite but doesn’t have priority for the update.

After these changes the WIP patch for the new SpiderMonkey is now much smaller and easier to handle (test, update and review).

Wraitii added a fishing boat for our latest civilization: the Ptolomaic Egyptians. He also implemented some new animals done by Micket: crocodiles, sharks and hawks. He optimized the water code making it faster (speed-up of foam generation code, …) and more modern. Last but not least, he is overhauling the Aegis bot (AI), squashing AI bugs and improving their capabilities.

Sanderd17 implemented countless functionality fixes; his energy/time went primarily to reworking formations and chasing (i.e. attacking fleeing units, animals).

Enrique has been reworking our horses, as they were getting a bit outdated. Your cavalry charges will be even more heroic!

Leper & Historic_Bruno fixed a number of crashes and other bugs. A full list of changes is available in the SVN log (any similarity with 99,9 % of all Google Chrome change logs is pure coincidence…)

Bajter and Kabzerek are working on the summary screen. Their changes should provide more information to the player (after-battle statistics…).

AnnieQ has been working on new unit cards for the Celtic factions.

BoeseRaupe has been working on the hero icon and a way to delete a units group with a right mouse click.

Lordgood: Artiste extraordinaire and My Little Pony-afficionado, has created a new Roman tower and a new wonder & homestead for the Carthaginians. Our “Brony” (Brother + Pony) also started working on the building set for the Seleucids.

Dumbo has been working on improving unit behavior when choosing opponents.

Itms added a town bell function. Enemy raid incoming? With one mouse-click your female citizens rush to the nearest building to find shelter.

Scythetwirler Josh have implemented various multiplayer lobby fixes to the alpha 15/16 server and alpha 16 client. They are hard at work fixing the post-game lobby disconnects and the problems with hosting to improve your multiplayer experience in alpha 16.

Apart from the lobby, Josh has also been working towards a more intuitive lobby login UI in the new “modern” style (WIP by Pureon), has done various UI engine cleanup, and re-worked the selection back-end to yield ~2% overall performance increase.

Mimo improved the way trade works. Now the trade management is centralised so there’s no need to click every trader.

Stanislas69 has been reworking the Iberian barracks and corral, and the Gallic mill and farmstead.

 Music & Sound

Omri_Lahav has been working on new peace tracks for the different civilizations and freshening up the score. A professional tin whistle player will redo the Celts / Gauls, a trombone player will record the low brassy parts on Honor Bound / Elysian Fields, and the Qanun player will be brought in to add another unique color to the Ptolemaic Egyptians. I think it is fair to say Omri is setting new standards for music in freeware software.

LAVS has been working on battle sounds that will make every melee more compelling.

Want to help out?

If you want to be part of this project, we urge you to post your application in our forums or just grab a task from our list of open tickets and get right to it. We are currently looking for Gameplay, AI, Sound and Graphics Programmers along with Animators and 3D & texture artists. You prefer to do something else than programming or drawing? Luckily for your portfolio we are also looking for Video Editors, a Documentation Manager and Scenario Designers. Still no luck? Head to our forums and join our active community!

 

!!! We are in need of (skilled) programmers. If you are one, redirect yourself to this thread. Your contributions are crucial !!!

Addon track package (generated tracks)

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

There is a new track package available here, it contains 90 tracks with 32 track layouts. Have a look into the readme.txt contained in the package for details.

This package contains tracks generated with the online track generator , created at the Politecnico di Milano by Luigi Cardamone, Daniele Loiacono, Pier Luca Lanzi and Stefano Suardi, have a look at the about page for details. Thank you very much for your work:-)

Enjoy, Bernhard.

Championship 2014 is ready to sign in

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

I wish you all and your families merry Christmas and a happy new year.
The TORCS Endurance World Championship 2014 is ready to sign in from tomorrow, to prepare the season there are as well test races available. If you want to get an impression of the past championships, have a look at the 2012 Championship roundup video or some 2013 footage. So I hope to meet you on the track next year.

Enjoy, Bernhard.

New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 15 Osiris

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of “0 A.D. Alpha 15 Osiris”, the fifteenth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. This alpha features a multiplayer lobby, skirmish maps, auras 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. Although you might find some people selling copies of 0 A.D., either over the internet or on physical media, you will always have the option to download 0 A.D. completely gratis, directly from the developers.




Moreover, you can redistribute the game and modify it freely 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.

Top New Gameplay Features in This Release

    • Multiplayer Lobby: The new in-game multiplayer lobby is a place to meet other players and play games together. Meet the entire 0 A.D. community online and face the challenge of a multiplayer game!
    • Auras: Units get a bonus when they are in range of a special building, like a wonder, or another unit, such as a hero. This feature adds a new layer of strategy to the game. So far, in Alpha 15, temples regenerate health for nearby units, and most heroes have auras. This feature is set for expansion and further refinement over the next few alphas.
    • Debut of the Ptolemaic Egyptians: Alpha 15 debuts the Ptolemaic Egyptians as a new playable civilization. Some new buildings, units and unique gameplay features can already be tested, but it’s not finished yet and still contains a lot of placeholders. The Ptolemies will be completed in the next alpha releases.

A Ptolemaic Egyptian settlement along the Nile.

  • Skirmish Maps: Skirmish maps are a new game mode in 0 A.D. They’re similar to scenarios, but can be easily changed according to your preferences. Like scenarios, these are hand-crafted maps in which the terrain, starting positions and positions of resources on the map remain constant every game. However, unlike scenarios, other aspects can be changed every time you set up a game, like starting resources, factions and teams.Also, in skirmish maps the map creator also placed some generic entities on the map, which will change according to the factions players choose as soon as the game starts, such as generic Civil Centers that will immediately transform into Civil Centers specific to the faction chosen. Skirmish maps are another option available to the player, on top of scenarios and random maps. (Try the first skirmish map, “Alpine Valleys”, bundled with Alpha 15!)

 

The Alpine Valleys skirmish map.

User Interface

  • Escort / Guard Order: You can now order your troops to protect other units or buildings. When the guarded unit is attacked, whoever is guarding it will come to help, either by attacking the offender, or by healing or repairing the guarded unit.
  • Attack Notification: Whenever you’re attacked, you’ll hear a sound and receive a chat message, and the minimap will shows some blinking pixels on the map so you can quickly see where the attack is happening.
  • Auto-Garrison Units: When possible, you can ask your newly-produced units to garrison in the production building by setting the rally point in the building itself, using the Ctrl key.
  • Automatic Naval Pickup: When units are asked to garrison into a ship, the ship will sail to the shoreline to pick them up.
  • “Back to Work” Button: The last civilian task a unit was doing (i.e., gathering, building, trading, …) is remembered when ordering a unit to do some military task (i.e. attack, garrison, …). After you’re done defending yourself from an enemy attack, you can quickly send units back to their previous tasks using the back-to-work button.

     

New tech icons.

Music and Sound

  • Two special tracks have been composed for the Ptolemaic Egyptians: “Valley of the Nile” (feat. Shlomi Nogay on flutes and Jeff Willet on percussion) and “Ammon-Ra” (feat. Jeff Willet) (see YouTube videos below).
  • A new generic peace track, “Tavern in the Mist”, contributed by Mike Skalandunas.
  • “Celtica” and “Highland Mist” now feature an actual Celtic harp, played by Avital Rom.
  • “Eastern Dreams” and “Sands of Time” have been completely remade, and now feature Jeff Willet on percussion.
  • “Honor Bound” remixed and remastered.
  • New selection sounds.


Graphics

  • Better Unit Movement in Formations: The units in formations run around less, and now know how to get to the closest available place in the formation. This way, the formation is formed faster, and the pathfinder doesn’t have to compute long paths for big formations.
  • New Asian elephant and tiger animations.
  • Some new buildings were added to Brits and Gauls, complete with AO, normals and specularity.
  • New terrain textures.

Development Updates, Bug Fixes and Miscellaneous Features

The new GUI design, modelled by the new Multiplayer Lobby.

  • New GUI Design: Work on a new and improved user interface design has started a while ago. With Alpha 15 you can see it in action the first time! At the moment the new design is only used for the multiplayer lobby, but other menus will hopefully also benefit from the improvements in the future.
  • Internationalization Work Started: For the next Alpha we intend to include a translation system, and work on such a system has already begun. Volunteers have begun translating 0 A.D. into dozens of languages. If you have the necessary skills to help localize 0 A.D., feel free to head over to the web-based translation platform Transifex!
  • Multiplayer OOS Problems Fixed: Several causes of out-of-sync errors in multiplayer games have been fixed. These issues made multiplayer games with AI players nearly unplayable in Alpha 14 but should now be fixed.
  • Increased Support for Multiplayer Hosting: If you were unable to host multiplayer games before because you couldn’t manually setup port forwarding, now the game will try to automatically negotiate port forwarding with routers supporting UPnP. This should allow more people to host multiplayer games without connection issues.
  • Some recent graphical changes make it possible to make particle jet trails and more realistic smoke in the future.
  • Random map generation is now faster.

Getting Support

Please see the “Get Support” page on our website to find ways to get help from the active and friendly 0 A.D. community.

We are well aware there is some room for improvement in 0 A.D. Some known issues are: Lag, visual glitches or textures not loaded, missing animations and more. When you provide feedback, we would ask you to focus on some of the other points that could be improved. Thanks.

Please Contribute!

We are seeking volunteer contributors in programming, art, sound, documentation and more. Programmers are especially welcome and can get started immediately.

Interested? Log onto #0ad-dev on QuakeNet on IRC and meet the developers. Also, you are invited to register on our forums and start participating!

Why “Osiris”?

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, …).

Osiris was an ancient Egyptian god, usually identified as the god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead. In honor of the release of the Ptolemies, we have decided to dub Alpha 15 “Osiris”.

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

Subscribe to 0 A.D. Development News

Contact info for press, bloggers, etc.: aviv@wildfireNILEgames.com without the capitalized name of Egypt’s most important river.

TORCS version 1.3.5 “Tuners Paradise” released

Friday, November 15th, 2013

TORCS version 1.3.5 is available for download. First I would like to thank the contributors which helped with patches, bug reports,
build notes and feedback, these are Wolf-Dieter Beelitz, Daniel Schellhammer, Jasper van de Ven, Jon Zabala, Stacey Pritchett, SteveO and
Rene Ladan. Thank you all very much.

The most important changes in 1.3.5 are the ability to modify/store/load car setups during
practice and qualifying sessions (screen reachable when you hit escape, “Car Setup, Restart” or during a pit stop, “Setup”),
improved content (totally reworked racetrack e-track-2,
improved e-track-6 and wheel-2), the ability of robots to change the car setup during a pit stop (have a look at the
tCarPitSetup structure), new Robottools API calls for handling car setups, improvements to the simulation engine (1.5 way LSD, third element),
adjustments to the car categories and physical models, a new 4 speed stock car and category,
improvements to the TORCS Racing Board (public download of robots from past championships, review best lap times per track),
and as usual, many little improvements and bug fixes.
Hit Read More below to review the full set of changes.

Another thing, the TORCS Endurance World Championship 2013 is done, Daniel Schellhammer won with his DanDroid team, congratulations.
Review the results here, if you want to
congratulate or ask for an autograph you can do this here, you can download the competing robots and the champion here.
Here are some videos from the 2013 Championship, the 2012 roundup is available here.

Enjoy, Bernhard.

Indiegogo Fundraiser Wrap-Up

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Hey fans! Looks like we hit $33,251 in donations!

We’d like to extend our gratitude to everyone who donated and who worked hard to spread the word about our game and this fundraising campaign.

The sum we raised for this campaign dwarfs all of our past fundraisers combined. We are very happy to have raised this much, over 20% of our original goal of $160k, and we’ll be putting your donations to good use in the year ahead as we hire our programmer for a full 12 months of work.

The most popular perk was “Donator”, at 641 donors contributing $8679 in total. Donors at this level were promised a “Donator” badge on the Wildfire Games forums, appearance in a donor list we maintain on Twitter, and getting added to the list of “contributors” in the game.

This means that the most significant overall contribution came from people who weren’t interested in any physical perk at all!

Perk Fulfillment

In the coming weeks we’ll be working on fulfilling all of the perks. We’ll be contacting many of you via e-mail regarding some details (shirt sizes, etc.).

  • A reminder for those donors who are claiming the 0 A.D. Original Soundtrack: We will be offering the soundtrack in both super high quality FLAC format for download and the physical CD. If you would like just the FLAC digital download, please let us know when we contact you. This will help us save money on CDs and shipping and ensure more of your money goes toward developing the game instead.For those who opt for the physical CD, we know you won’t be disappointed. For everyone at this perk level (and above), our composer Omri Lahav is cooking up something special. Should be pretty fun. ;)

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Delivery for most physical perks should be between the end of November and the end of December. Of course, we’ll continue to update everyone as fulfillment moves forward.

Thanks again to our 1274 donors, and we promise we’ll make you all proud.

If you missed the fundraiser and still want to donate, don’t worry, see our donation page for details how to contribute!

0 A.D. Development Report #14

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Wildfire Games, the international group developing 0 A.D. – Empires Ascendant, is happy to present the 14th 0 A.D. development report (10 September – 10 October).

Wildfire Games has launched a crowdfunding campaign via IndieGoGo, with the aim of raising $40,000 in the next 3 days. If successful, the funds from this campaign will go toward paying team members to work on the game full-time (40+ hours per week)! This is a “flexible” fundraiser, meaning we get the money no matter if we meet our goals or not. For our fans, that means more features and better performance. Our stretch goals include another year of paid development so we can create an exciting single player campaign for the game! Click the logo below to check out our campaign!

fundraiser.png

Skirmish Maps

sanderd17 has worked hard to implement the new Skirmish Map feature. Skirmish Maps are like scenarios in that they are hand-crafted in our Atlas editor and are well-balanced, but act like random maps in that factions are not set in stone (the players can choose their own factions) and the game host can alter various options, like visibility and starting resources.

 

The New User Interface

Pureon has been working hard on designing a new, sleek user interface (see screenshots below). We at Wildfire Games believe that the user should experience a contemporary, robust, and clean atmosphere while in the game. We aim to bring a sense of historical accuracy in conjunction with a clean modern interface with a few stylistic flourishes.

 

Screenshots for this Report

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Art

  • Project leader Mythos_Ruler has added more spec maps, added a more prominent player color texture for Greek females and warship sails, condensed tooltips, started on the data files for the Ptolemaic Egyptians, added build limits for special buildings, added new armor technologies to the blacksmith building, balanced stats of units, and updated the Macedonian sandbox and many other scenarios. He’s also started the process of creating Skirmish Maps for the game, based on the existing scenarios. He has also started creating Ptolemaic and Seleucid units.
  • Enrique has modeled new buildings for the Gauls to differentiate them from the Britons (see above screenshot), upgraded existing Celtic buildings, fixed prop actor errors with buildings, and spruced up farm fields to be 3 dimensional and conform to changes in terrain, like hills and valleys. He has also started work on the Ptolemaic Egyptian buildings (see screenshot).
  • Pureon has continued work on his new user interface (see lobby screenshot above).
  • LordGood has been busy drawing new unit portraits for us and helping to design some of the Ptolemaic Egyptian buildings. (Video: Sketching and Coloring the Sacred Band of Astarte)

Music

  • “Highland Mist” and “Celtica” remixed with live Celtic harp, played by Avital Rom.
  • “Eastern Dreams” and “Sands of Time” completely remade by Omri Lahav, with live percussion played by Jeff Willet.
  • New generic peace by Mike Skalandunas, “Tavern in the Mist”.

 

Performance, Gameplay, and UI

  • RedFox continued to work on performance, optimizing the inefficient RangeManager as well as continuing to perfect his megapatch, as shown in his development reports.
  • mpmoreti implemented an notification sound for when technologies finish researching.
  • Josh proceeded to work on all aspects of the multiplayer lobby, including interpolation of game reports and incorporating Pureon’s new user interface.

 

Programming and Bug Fixes

  • Yves cleaned up the script console, helped review patches, and continued to progress on the SpiderMonkey upgrade.
  • historicbruno has fixed crashes and memory leaks in multiplayer games, cleaned up BuildRestrictions, improved gamesetup UI performance, and redesigned the Atlas save UI to work with Skirmish Maps and mods. It also added ability to use map subfolders for organization, and added default options to player settings, to prevent every map hardcoding a bunch of default settings.
  • Philip optimized some of the engine code, sped up compilation, fixed Windows installer behavior, cleaned out unnecessary files, plugged memory leaks, and continues to review RedFox’s megapatch.
  • stwf tweaked the codebase to be more Mac-development friendly and fixed a sound glitch.
  • sanderd17 squashed a rare querying bug that causes OOS, fixed odd attributes with Greek bridges, improved GarrisonHolder and technology scripts in GUIInterface, fixed bolt shooters that fire in the opposite direction, and reviewed patches. He also implemented Skirmish Maps, which are a new type of maps, where you can change your civilization and other options like in random maps, while they are carefully hand-crafted and have the beauty of scenarios.
  • leper pacified a saving problem in Atlas, fixed build issues with NVTT on Pentium D processors, and reviewed patches.
  • alpha123 continued work on the ratings system integration with the multiplayer lobby and reviewed patches including sanderd17’s aura implementation.
  • FeXoR improved the generation of random maps to make it look more realistic.
  • mimo helped fix a bug in GarrisonHolder and improved hunter behavior (so they don’t forget where on earth the animal is after they killed it).
  • jammus added preferred classes to the BuildingAI so your buildings won’t choose flinging toothpicks at walls over shooting down enemy soldiers.
  • wraitii has released the latest AI version, API-v3.
  • Spahbod has updated and tweaked every random map in the game.
  • zoot and madmax have implemented Attack Notification for the game. You will now be notified when you are under attack.

 

Internationalization

  • Gallaecio has been hard at work adding support for translations to 0 A.D.

 

We also want to thank all our contributors that are submitting patches with new features and fixes. Not all of them make it into the report, but we are grateful.

If you want to be part of this project, you are invited to head to our forums and join our active community! Importantly, we are always looking for skilled programmers who want to contribute in fields such as gameplay, AI, sound, and graphics. We are also looking for Animators and 3D artists, a Sound Lead, Video Editors, a Documentation Manager, and Scenario Designers. Feel free to introduce yourself on the forums using our recommendedapplication format. Your contributions are crucial! Thanks in advance.

See you next time with the latest development news!

Recent Crowdfunding Coverage

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Chris Priestman has put together a beautiful piece about us at Indie Statik. He really gets what 0 A.D. is all about, and it shows:

A huge project like 0 A.D. is worthy of people’s time because it’s a community project that people can find resolve in, share stories with others who helped to build it, and in a few months, or a year, or maybe even a decade, they’ll be able to look back at the game and remember the people they met, the things they learned, the things they shared.

Plus, we’ve been featured in OMG!Ubuntu! and the prominent German-language website Golem.de.

Some more shout-outs, including YouTube videos, can be found on our campaign updates page. Check it out!