Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

Web Server Going Down For Rebuild Monday May 18th @ 6pm CDT

Monday, May 18th, 2015
Hello all, you probably rarely hear from me, but I am the hosting provider for this website.  I wanted to let everyone on here know that our primary server is going to be going down for a complete rebuild tomorrow Monday May 18th, 2015 @ 6pm CDT.  This downtime is expected to last at least 4 hours.  However, depending how things get shuffled around, this site may be moving to the alternate server which would reduce the downtime significantly.  If this site is on the list to be transferred, I will keep you all posted.

Discontinuation of the Alpha 15 Multiplayer Lobby

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

The Alpha 15 Osiris multiplayer lobby is now discontinued. Users of Alpha 15 are advised to upgrade to the latest version.

The only distribution bundling Alpha 15 is Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, for which Alpha 16 is available in backports, and the latest version is available in our PPA.

Alpha 15 was released December 2013 with the subsequent Alpha 16 being out for a year now. The Alpha 15 lobby isn’t used very often anymore; the bot told users to upgrade to a newer version and we haven’t seen more than one player at once for more than a month. The Alpha 15 lobby bot also has an occasional issue causing it to terminate. Due to the inactivity, obsolescence, and amount of extra work required to sustain it, we have decided to discontinue the Alpha 15 Multiplayer lobby. By giving up support for our archaic Alpha 15 bot we are able to streamline some things on the lobby server as we do not need any special cases for the Alpha 15 bot anymore. Multiplayer via the Host/Join dialog is still possible for those who do not wish to upgrade.

New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 18 Rhododactylos

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of “0 A.D. Alpha 18 Rhododactylos”, the eighteenth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. This alpha features improved performance, an in-game technology tree, a new map type (“Nomad”) 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

  • Nomad Game Mode: Players start with only some citizen soldiers and female citizens, and no civil center, and must build a base from scratch.
  • In-Game Technology Tree: Allows players to see which faction can research what technologies, when and for how many resources.
  • The default AI, Petra, now supports saved games.
  • Toggle groups of units between marching in formation and breaking formation.
  • New Seleucid buildings:

The new buildings are the house, storehouse, farmstead, towers and temple. The Civic Center is a placeholder for now and will be updated before the Seleucids are finished.

Performance Improvements and Other Changes Under the Hood

  • SpiderMonkey upgraded to ​v31: The Javascript engine SpiderMonkey has been upgraded to version 31. This greatly improves performance and reduces memory usage a bit. We have also adapted our code to support new and advanced memory management techniques and features of SpiderMonkey such as Exact Stack Rooting, Moving GC and Generational GC. In addition, this version of SpiderMonkey includes a new and improved version of the performance profiling tool called “Tracelogger”, which has helped us identifying and fixing different problems and further improving performance.
  • C++11 upgrade: C++ is the main programming language used for our Engine and we now support the C++11 standard, which was finalized by the ISO committee in 2011. It took a while until the standard was supported well enough by the third party tools we are using, mainly C++ compilers. Last but not least, we dropped support for older C++ compilers in order to move to the new version. As a consequence, we have also been able to remove some workarounds for bugs and missing features in these old compilers. C++11 brings many new and useful features our programmers can use and it was a requirement for the SpiderMonkey 31 upgrade.
  • More Efficient Fogging and Visibility Calculations: These calculations keep track of what each player knows about all objects in the world. For example, you might see a tree with half of its resources remaining in the Fog of War. Another player might have more recent information because of scouting and knows that this tree has already been collected completely. This kind of information is now stored and processed more efficiently, which improves performance a lot.
  • New Wildfire Games Server: The new Wildfire Games server hosts different services such as the multiplayer lobby, our IRC bot, the website and also the newly implemented autobuilder. The autobuilder builds 0 A.D. from source code for artists, players and other people who should not have to build it manually, and can now check itself with automated tests. (The payments for the hosting plan and server license are made possible thanks to our donors!)
  • Selected other improvements: Several AI optimizations, reduced lag when selecting units, and more.

Improvements to the Atlas Editor

  • Right-Click Rotations of Multiple Objects: Normal behavior: Rotate objects in circle, Ctrl+Right-click: Rotate each of the objects individually in place, Shift+Right-click: Keep rotation but move in circle.
  • Atlas now checks for unsaved changes when closing a map.
  • Atlas now shows when objects are placed in invalid locations by highlighting them in red.
  • Show template names of selected objects.
  • Copy and paste added to Edit menu.
  • Numerous bug fixes.

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 “Rhododactylos”?

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, …).

“Rhododactylos” means “rosy fingered” in Greek and is one of the poetical epithets of Eos, the ancient Greek goddess of the dawn. According to the legend, she would rise every morning from her home at the edge of the ocean and open the gates of heaven for the sun to rise with her “rosy fingers” or “rosy forearms”. (Thanks, ltms!)

For the next alpha, we welcome fan suggestions for words relating to the ancient world beginning with the letter S. 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@wildfireLATINgames.com without the capitalized name of a language spoken in ancient Rome.

Championship 2015 is ready to sign in

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

The TORCS Endurance World Championship 2015 is ready to sign, 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 the 2014 footage.
As a starting point for your robot you can download the last years competitors here. I hope to meet you on the track.

Enjoy, Bernhard.

Championship 2014 Results and Videos

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

I wish you all and your families all the best for 2015, happy new year.

The TORCS Endurance World Championship 2014 is done, the winner is the DanDroid Team owned by Daniel Schellhammer. He took the crown for the third time in a row, congratulations.

There are videos covering all the races, if you spot funny/interesting/exciting moments just post the time index with a comment in the videos comment section, then I can later produce a “best of” video.

Race 10
Race 9
Race 8
Race 7
Race 6
Race 5
Race 4
Race 3
Race 2
Race 1

Enjoy, Bernhard

New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 17 Quercus

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of “0 A.D. Alpha 17 Quercus”, the seventeenth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. This alpha features a major gameplay rebalance, units on walls, trigger support, improved mod support 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

Screenshot showing the lobby with the new profiles

  • Major Core Combat Rebalance: Now, if you send only one unit type to battle, it fares poorly against regiments of the same size that mix more than one type, e.g. melee and ranged units. Technologies as a whole have been made more expensive and unrelated technologies have been “unpaired”. Some stats have been adjusted to make training some units viable. Buildings are now a bit easier to destroy. Temporarily, we have removed formations, and we plan to re-implement them again in a more balanced way.
  • Naval Map Support: The computer opponent now uses transport ships to colonize other islands and attack enemy bases, but naval combat (i.e. ships against ships) is not yet implemented.
  • Improved Fog of War: The Fog of War is the part of the terrain that has been scouted already but is not in vision range of your units or allied units. Buildings and changes to resources such as trees or metal mines are now also hidden in the Fog of War, and not just units. Hence, players now need to scout more often to find unclaimed resources on the map, hidden enemy outposts and more.
  • Units On Walls: Units can be garrisoned in wall segments, and appear on the walls at predefined prop points. (Importantly, while the units can attack and be attacked individually, they cannot walk around on the wall.)
  • Multiplayer Lobby Profiles: Users can now view profiles of other players from within the lobby. Profiles contain user statistics such as rating, games won and lost, highest rating, and ranking that can be accessed on-demand.
  • New Maps: Siwa Oasis (skirmish map) and Schwarzwald (random map).

Screenshot of the random map Siwa OasisScreenshot of the random map Schwarzwald

Scenario and Mod Design

mod_loader_smaller

  • Triggers: A “trigger” makes an action occur in the game if a specified event takes place. For example:

    If you build an outpost within a certain area (event), your enemy’s walls are destroyed (action);
    Alternatively, if a timer runs out (event), an army spawns on the border of the map and marches towards your city (action);
    Or, if a certain building is destroyed (event), the player who owns it loses the game (action).

    The new trigger system is perhaps the most important feature that was missing to make narrative campaigns and scenarios possible. Triggers also make it easier to design custom victory conditions, or even multiplayer maps with unique gameplay aspects. Events and actions are easily extensible with some Javascript knowledge and offer a huge set of new possibilities for creative map designers.

  • Two new maps make use of the trigger system in Alpha 17:

    Survival of the Fittest: Each player has one female citizen in the middle of the map where treasures spawn from time to time. The main bases are on isolated spots with no resources and some buildings are restricted. Enemy attack forces spawn regularly and attack your main base. The goal is to survive as long as possible by collecting treasures, recruiting troops and defending your base. (Map type: Random; Map Filter: Standard)

    Treasure Islands: Search treasures on small islands and on the water. Collect more treasures than your opponent to win. You can use fishing boats to garrison infantry and send them to other islands. Trade ships can be used to collect floating treasures, but you need to advance to Town Phase before they can be built. (Map type: Scenario; Map Filter: Naval Maps)

  • Screenshot showing the scenario Treasure Islands, which uses triggersScreenshot of the map Survival of the Fittest, which uses triggers

  • Mod Selector and Improved Mod Support: The new Mod Selector allows users to enable or disable mods, save them or just restart into them to test them out. This way, it is a lot easier to test and play mods. This can be reached at: Main Menu -> Tools & Options -> Mod Selection. Also, modders can now easily make small changes to the game without having to copy and modify many files.

Performance Improvements

Several parts of the game and the engine have been improved for better performance. Comparing with Alpha 16, you’ll notice significantly higher framerates at the beginning of the game. There are also some improvements observable later in the game, but also additional overhead from new features. Improvements have been made in these areas:

  • Simulation: Dynamic message subscriptions;
  • Rendering: Optimise silhouette rendering, new unit renderer, optimisation for non-animated units;
  • AI: Building placement code, handling of unreachable targets (i.e. for builder or gatherers), Defense — finding defending units;
  • Scripting: Using new Javascript Map objects at some places.

Graphics and User Interface

post-13528-0-68424300-1412955330 post-13528-0-88757800-1412955339

  • Improved Culling for Shadows and Reflections: This fixes ugly pop-in effects for shadows and reflections while scrolling.
  • Improved Water Rendering.
  • Improved CJK text input using the Windows IME.
  • Music: Omri has created a new and improved version of Honour Bound — the 0 A.D. main theme.
  • Miscellaneous: Hellenistic ranged siege animations added; Carthaginian ballista added; Iberian barracks replaced; Rotary mill added; Ptolemaic blacksmith modified; Gaul farmstead modified; Ptolemy I hero for the Ptolemies; Snow wolf modified; Iberian wonder added; New Iberian tower models added (see screenshots above).

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!

Map Design Contest!

Do you want to try your hand at creating new maps? Especially now that triggers have been added? Then you get some extra motivation from the Council of Modders who are now hosting a map making contest. They do encourage you to make use of triggers and graphical mods as triggers and better mod support are important features in this release. The deadline is 30th November.

Why “Quercus”?

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, …).

“Quercus” is Latin for “oak tree”. The name relates to 0 A.D. as it could refer to the oak leaves used in the corona civica, a military honor given to a citizen who saved the life of other citizens or soldiers whilst in battle. Recipients were allowed to enter the Roman Senate, and were required to wear them at public gatherings. (Thanks, Jonathan L.!) This name suits this version well because of the many bugfixes and optimizations in Alpha 17 that make the game stabler and more mature, like an old oak tree. Also, the increased support for mods allows the game to easily diverge into more varieties of gameplay, like branches growing from a tree trunk. (Thanks, ltms!).

For the next alpha, we welcome fan suggestions for words relating to the ancient world beginning with the letter R. 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@wildfireLATINgames.com without the capitalized name of a language spoken in ancient Rome.

CoM Hosts Map Making Contest

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

In celebration of the five year anniversary (It’s really been five years?! Time flies!) of 0 A.D. going open source the Council of Modders are hosting a map making contest! Please head over to the forum topic to read more about the rules and rewards, and to submit your maps of course ”</p

Alpha 16 Patañjali OS X Bundle

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

The OS X bundle has finally been released. The bundle should work on Mountain Lion (10.8) or later. Users of an earlier version of OS X are advised to upgrade. Note that there is no 32-bit bundle anymore.

Documentation Updates and Random Bits

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Here are some documentation updates and random bits:

TORCS 1.3.6 architecture and API documentation download
Vicente’s “Build your TORCS track in 20 minutes” tutorial download
Track tutorial by ST
Videos of race 1 and race 2 of the current TRB championship
Raul works on a track converter (called 2TORCS), watch this video of a converted NFS track
For the “TORCS specialists” I packaged up unmaintained tracks, feel free to work on it, download it here

Enjoy, Bernhard.

New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 16 Patañjali

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of “0 A.D. Alpha 16 Patañjali”, the sixteenth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. This alpha features localization into more than 10 different languages, an improved AI, a new GUI, big changes “under the hood” 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.

dlbtn_top.png
dlbtn_win.png
dlbtn_linux.png
dlbtn_linux.png

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

  • Localization:
    • 0 A.D. is now available by default in 13 different locales, contributed by volunteers from all over the world: Catalan, Czech, Dutch, English (United Kingdom), English (United States), French, Galician, German, Italian, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Scottish Gaelic, and Spanish (Spain).
    • The Japanese translation is also completed, but due to the large font files, it would cause a larger download for other players and it also requires a computer with higher specs. So, we offer the Japanese translation together with the font files as a separately downloadable mod. See installation instructions for East Asian locales on our Wiki.
    • Many more languages are currently being worked on and are planned to be released in future alphas. You are welcome to contribute in this area.
  • Formation Updates: The Testudo formation (for Roman melee infantry) and the Syntagma formation (for Macedonian, Ptolemaic and Seleucid pikemen) have received new animations, and their movement has improved further over the previous version. The formations are also more moddable, which sets the stage for further developments in formations.
  • New AI – Petra: Petra features more aggressive expansion and combat and builds defence towers and fortresses as a human would. Petra manages resources better in late game than the previous AI, Aegis, and is more robust to external conditions. It will also trade over land with allied markets, if there are any.
  • Town Bell: Click on the new “town bell” button to sound an alarm and make your citizens garrison in the nearest structure until the enemy is gone. Once you sound the bell again, your units will ungarrison and go back to work.
  • Global Resource Trading Settings: You now set the chance a trader will trade a certain resource, rather than selecting it per trader. This gives you a better overview of your trade, and makes it easier to manage.
  • The “Wonder” Victory Condition: If you set “Wonder” as victory condition, a counter counting down 5 minutes appears after you build a wonder. If the enemy can’t destroy the wonder in this time, you win.
  • We also have an “Explored Map” game setting now, in which the entire map is covered with the Fog of War. This is an option that gives something between the “revealed map”, where there are no secrets, and the default “dark map”.

Graphics and User Interface

  • New GUI, new font: The new GUI style seen in the multiplayer lobby in Alpha 15 is now used nearly everywhere. The GUI font has also been changed to Biolinum, a free font created by the Libertine Open Fonts Project.
  • Multiplayer “Ready” button: In a multiplayer game, all users must confirm game settings before host can start game. When the host changes a setting, players are set to “not ready” again. This is to avoid sneaky behaviour amongst some hosts, who would change the settings right before starting.
  • New art assets: Animated flying hawks, Ptolemaic ships, Eurasian Wolf, Nile Crocodile, Ptolemaic buildings: Military settlement, Docks, Market, and quite a few new animations, e.g. a new seeding animation for farming units.

Music

  • New music track: “Water’s Edge” (click to listen). This beautiful track is assigned to the Britons and Gauls.

SpiderMonkey Upgrade & Other Development Updates

  • We have implemented a new version of the JavaScript engine “SpiderMonkey” in 0 A.D. It supports new features of JavaScript such as Map and Set objects. These two types, for example, have improved performance compared to normal objects when working with certain kinds of collections. Modders and developers who are used to working with the latest features of JavaScript are also happy about the new features which are now available.
  • SpiderMonkey also brings improved Javascript profiling and analysis features which allow for producing graphs. These features are another useful tool for performance measurements and for finding performance problems.
  • The version in Alpha 16 (v24) does not improve performance yet. But there will be improvements for the next version (v31) which should be included in Alpha 17.
  • Most importantly, the upgrade from v1.8.5 (which was released in March 2011) to v24 was quite a big step and a lot of work. Being on a current version means we avoid writing code for an old API that doesn’t exist any more and it saves us a lot of work compared to staying with v1.8.5 and upgrading years later.
  • Last but not least, it’s a “must have” from the security perspective, and it enables us to report bugs or even request new features from the SpiderMonkey developers.
  • This release contains many more changes and bugfixes not mentioned here. In terms of tickets closed on the project management and bug tracking system we use, Trac, this was another record.

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 “Patañjali”?

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, …).

Patañjali was one of the three most famous Sanskrit grammarians of ancient India. In honor of languages everywhere, we have decided to dub Alpha 16 “Patañjali”.

For the next alpha, we welcome fan suggestions for words relating to the ancient world beginning with the letter Q. 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@wildfireSANSKRITgames.com without the capitalized name of a language spoken in ancient India.