Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

Progress Update May 2016

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

In this progress update we tell you a sample of what we have been up to since the last Alpha release. We have added new Seleucid buildings, more work has been done on animations for the new unit models and last but not least we’d like to tell you what Omri Lahav, our composer has been up to.

A screenshot showing the new Seleucid wonder in-game

A screenshot showing the new Seleucid wonder in-game

New buildings and a new team member

LordGood has been creating several new buildings for the Seleucids, meaning we should be able to officially release them in the next Alpha.

The Seleucid Market

The Seleucid Market

We have a new team member: Niek, known as niektb. He is new to the team, but not new to the project as he has been part of the community for several years. During that time he has gotten to know the project and has contributed both art, some code and maps, and most importantly he is an important part of the modding community. And that will hopefully continue, which means he can be a useful link between the main game development and the mod development. We hope that his journey will serve as inspiration for others, being a part of a modding team is a great learning experience.

Several buildings which have previously just been available in the editor are now possible to use in normal gameplay. They range from the Briton’s Crannog which is both a Civic Center and a dock, to the Persian Ishtar Gate, which increase the resistance to being captured for nearby buildings.

More accurate experience

Citizen Soldiers now gain experience (XP) per every hit they do rather than just when they kill another unit. This means that experience is more evenly distributed between the units. Previously one soldier might have dealt almost all the damage but another could still have gotten the XP just because it was the last soldier to hit the enemy before it died.

New animations

Our Art Lead, Enrique, has been busy creating new animations for the new unit models:

Walking female citizen

Walking female citizen

A unit mining

A unit mining

Walking with cape flowing in the wind

Walking with cape

Chopping wood with a shield on their back

Chopping wood with a shield on the back

There are still a lot of animations to create, so it is not likely that we will start to use the new models for a while yet. Every new animation created brings that day closer though, so it’s certainly encouraging to have more of them done.

Fixes and improvements

Sander (sanderd17) and Lancelot (wraitii) have changed the game engine so the simulation can set actor variants. This should allow things like showing damage on units and buildings, or defining winter maps that load actors with snowy textures as opposed to normal snow-free textures. The engine part is more or less done, but it will take a lot of work by artists before it will be visible in the game.

New balancing of champions and siege changes the gameplay to make siege engines more important, as buildings can’t be destroyed effectively by champions any more.

The timeout for the wonder victory can be set arbitrarily, previously it was set to 10 minutes, but now you can set it to anything from 1 minute to 120 minutes.

Apart from that there has been work done on technologies and civilization bonuses, the in-game menus and more. For an in-depth list see the Alpha 21 highlights page on our wiki which is updated regularly as new features are added to the development version.

Omri has released a personal album

And some news from our composer Omri Lahav: He has been busy creating his first personal album, which you can check out at his Bandcamp page:

We highly recommend you check it out. He has also just moved to the U.S. so he will most likely not have time to create music for 0 A.D. for a little while yet. He has mentioned that he’s starting to get inspired though, so hopefully it will not take too long.

As a final note: We have disabled the contact form on the Contact us page as we haven’t received any emails from it for a while and have been unable to find the cause. You can of course still contact us in all the other ways: via the forums, IRC, and the email address listed on the Contact page. If you have sent a message to us via the contact form and not received a reply, please contact us in another way as we have most likely not seen it.

TORCS version 1.3.7 “documented” released

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

TORCS version 1.3.7 “documented” is available for download. First I would like to thank the contributors which helped with patches, bug reports and feedback, especially Wolf-Dieter Beelitz for our lengthy suspension discussion.

The most important changes in version 1.3.7 are the much improved api documentation (available as separate tarball), improved handling of configuration files, improvements in the racing rules, blacklisting of input device buttons, improvements in the suspension code and as usual bugfixes and code cleanups.

Downloads

For the Windows gamers is an executable installer available (contains the full game binary and artwork but no source code).
For Linux/FreeBSD/OpenSolaris/Windows developers and Linux/FreeBSD/OpenSolaris gamers there is a full source package
available. Please follow the installation instructions carefully, do not forget to run make datainstall.
The new kid on the block is the API-Documentation.

Changes since 1.3.6

Added missing pictures for Doxygen generated documentation (Bernhard).
Fixed all Doxygen (version 1.8.2) warnings (Bernhard).
Adjusted Doxygen configuration (Bernhard).
Added architecture overview to documentation (Bernhard).
Updated documentation in params.cpp (Bernhard).
Improved some currently unused functions in params.cpp (Bernhard).
params.cpp cleanup (Bernhard).
Restructured/improved robottools documentation (Bernhard).
Improved documentation of interfaces (track, graphic, robot, simu) (Bernhard).
Improved pointer checking in RmLoadingScreenSetText (Bernhard).
Improved race manager API documentation (Bernhard).
Added RmGetCategoryName to race manager API, as the name suggests (Bernhard).
Removed obsolete file confscreens.h (Bernhard).
Enabled documentation client side (Javascript) search engine (Bernhard).
Improved ReApplyRaceTimePenalties for cases where drivers did not complete a
single lap or the car has been wrecked (Bernhard).
Removed some outdated files from human driver (Bernhard).
TORCS configuration and result files go now to correct place on Windows,
e.g. to AppData/Local/torcs on Windows 7 (Bernhard).
Result saving creates directory if not available, matters when creating
custom racemanagers or running custom batches with -r (Bernhard).
Improved -r on Windows, paths containing backslashes (‘\’) are now working
(Bernhard).
Added ShFolder.lib to VS 6 project files (required for SHGetFolderPath).
For VS 6 builds you will need to install the Windows Server 2003 February
Edition CORE SDK (the last one which worked with VS 6) and set the lib
and include path in the VS 6 options (Bernhard).
Fixed some gcc 4.8.1 warnings (Bernhard).
Disabled penalties after race finish, reported by MarkP (MarkP, Bernhard).
Added new options to trackgen for testing, see -i, -o (Bernhard).
Added a test suite to generate a bulk of tracks (“test” directory) (Bernhard).
Added blacklisting of button events in player preferences, needed to set up
input devices which fire button and axis events on analogue buttons, e.g.
L2/R2 of playstation 4 controllers. Add in the drivers section of
preferences.xml e.g. <attstr name=”blacklisted events” val=”BTN7-0,BTN8-0″/>
(Bernhard).
Improved wheel velocity calculation (Bernhard).
Improved suspension code to catch damping spikes in extreme conditions and
setups, for TRB (Wolf-Dieter, Bernhard).
Added comments in susp.cpp (Bernhard).
Ensure that the third element just produces positive forces (Wolf-Dieter,
Bernhard).

Enjoy, Bernhard

New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 20 Timosthenes

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of “0 A.D. Alpha 20 Timosthenes”, the twentieth Alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. This Alpha features 10 new maps, core functionality for a cinematic in-game camera, the ability to share dropsites with your allies, and more!


golden_island.jpgThe skirmish map “Golden Island”, new in Alpha 20

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.

How to Download 0 A.D.Instructions for WindowsInstructions for LinuxInstructions for OS X

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.

New Gameplay Features in This Release

  • New Random Maps:  “Ambush”, “Empire“, “Flood”, “Frontier“, “Hell’s Pass“, “Island Stronghold“, “Lions Den” and “Stronghold“.
  • New Skirmish maps:  A 4-player skirmish map named “Forest Battle” and a 2-player skirmish map named “Golden Island“.
  • Use allied drop sites: After researching a technology you can use your ally’s storehouses, farmsteads, docks, CCs, but not Mauryan elephants, to drop off resources your units have gathered. The ally needs to allow it for each drop site, so it can’t be used to “steal” all the resources in the area.
  • Murder Holes: Research a technology to let towers attack units standing underneath the tower.
  • New technologies for fishing: Research technologies to improve the gathering efficiency of your ships.
  • Loot resources that killed enemies carried: Now you will automatically get the resources that were carried by units killed by your armies, in other words: kill wood workers to get wood, farmers to get food, etc. This is in addition to the normal loot you get when killing units.

ambush.jpgThe “Ambush” random map added in Alpha 20

Graphics and User Interface

  • Improvements to game options menu: New graphics quality setting, which allows you to easily change the quality of graphics from within the game (previously you had to use config files), as well as some cleanups and bug fixes.

graphics_options.png

  • Higher quality graphical effects enabled by default on higher-end computers. If your computer should be able to handle higher quality graphical effects they are now enabled by default. You can of course change to a lower setting manually if you want to improve performance or prefer not to use them for some other reason.
  • Idle worker button is now disabled when there are no idle workers, so you don’t have to press it just to check whether or not you have any idle workers.
  • Credits screen: Check out who contributed to the game, everyone from managers to programmers, from artists to donators, from translators to composers. We have tried to include everyone, but many have contributed over the years, so if you have contributed but don’t see your name in the list please let us know.
  • New trees and variations: There has been new models and textures for the acacia tree, Aleppo pine, oaks, dead oaks, generic dead trees.
  • Plenty of improvements for observer mode and replays: Among other things you can now watch the match from the perspective of a player, see the Summary screen during the match, and now the fog of war is shown in observer mode. Matches also support up to 16 observers now.
  • More information about players in a multiplayer match: Show who lags or has a network timeout.
  • New Seleucid barracks:

sele_barracks.png

Under the Hood

  • Cinematic camera for rendering cut scenes: The ground-work has been done to make it possible to control the camera for cut scenes. There is still some work needed to make it easy to use (for now camera paths has to be set by entering coordinates), but it’s a solid foundation to build on for the future.

Plus many smaller changes, for a list of all the interesting ones, please read through the changelog.

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 “Timosthenes”?

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, …). “Timosthenes” relates to 0 A.D. as it is the name of an Ancient Greek cartographer, and this release adds a lot of new maps. For the next alpha, we welcome fan suggestions for words relating to the ancient world beginning with the letter U. 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@wildfireSPARTAgames.com without the capitalized name of a Greek city.

Happy New Year!

Friday, January 1st, 2016
Happy New Year!

Championship 2015 results

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

I wish you all and your families a happy new year.
The TORCS Endurance World Championship 2015 is done,
the winner is this time the Hymie Tech Team owned by
Andrew Sumner, good to have you back, Andrew. This is his second title after 2007,
congratulations. Especially remarkable is the fact that he is the first to win a championship with a
car4-trb1 car. Another premiere was the first race ever on the reworked dirt-2 track. A certain track section got a name from Andrew, the “Meat Grinder”, could not be better;-)

There is another record to mention, my Berniw Racing Team passed this season the mark of 100 official races
and covered almost 100000 km racing distance. What a ride, started back in 2004!

I would like to share a quote from Andrews review of race 2: “This was an enthralling and fascinating race to watch, as good as any real-life event and one of the best TRB races I can ever remember.”. Andrew published very cool race reviews, don’t miss these:

Race 10
Race 9
Race 8
Race 7
Race 6
No review for race 5
Race 4
Race 3
Race 2
Race 1

Enjoy, Bernhard.

New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 19 Syllepsis

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of “0 A.D. Alpha 19 Syllepsis”, the nineteenth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. This alpha features building and siege engine capture, a new pathfinder, visual replay 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.

New Gameplay Features in This Release

  • Building and Siege Engine Capture: Non-siege units can now capture buildings and siege engines. When you hover your mouse over an entity that can be captured, two crossed flags appear so you can issue a “capture” order. If you do, you will start gaining some of that entity’s “capture points” at a certain rate. (On screen, you will see your color taking up a greater proportion of the width of the entity’s capture bar.) Once you gain all of these points, you capture the entity, and it is yours! (Note: You can still specify a regular attack on buildings and siege engines by holding CTRL when right-clicking on a target.) There is currently no animation for the units which are capturing, that will be added in a later version.
  • New Victory Modes: “Conquest Structures” (destroy or capture all enemy structures to win) and “Conquest Units” (destroy all enemy units to win).
  • Ceasefire Game Mode: The game can be set so that all players are completely unable to attack their enemies for a predetermined time at the start of a game.
  • Attack Coordination: Players can request allies (including bots) to attack a specific enemy by clicking a button next to the player name in the diplomacy window. Also, Petra AI now supports attack coordination.
  • Petra AI now warns its allies when it needs a tribute and lets them know when it advances to a new phase.
  • The Ptolemaic lighthouse now has its special feature implemented: It reveals the shore on the entire map.
  • New Skirmish Maps: Tuscan Acropolis (for 4 players; map preview), Northern Island (for 2 players; map preview), and Alpine Mountains (for 3 players; map preview).

Graphics and User Interface

  • Increased Maximum Map Height: The engine now supports an eight times greater range of terrain heights, allowing for the creation of maps with more diverse and impressive landscapes.
  • Visual Replay: Re-run a game and understand what took place in real time.
  • Aura Visualization: Units affected by an aura are now marked with an icon when the aura giver is selected.
  • New animals: New mastiff and wolfhound units have been added as well as a new rhinoceros.
  • The Roman units now have voices in Latin. Voice actors and people with knowledge in ancient languages are invited to contribute more voices to the game!

Under the Hood

  • New Pathfinder: The pathfinder is the component of the game engine that picks a route for a unit to move along from its current location to its target location, so that it does not collide with other units or with structures or with impassable terrain. The new pathfinder improves performance, but at the same time, it also introduces some new bugs. We have done as much as we could to ensure it was bug-free, but please report anything unusual!
  • XML Validation: In 0 A.D., the behavior of units, buildings and other world objects is defined by their components, such as cost, health and more. All of these are described in XML files. The “grammar” of the XML files is now checked for correctness before being used by the game engine, which helps prevent technical problems.
  • The generic Hellenic and Celtic factions have been removed.
  • Linux users, please be advised that SDL2 is now enabled by default on Linux.

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 “Syllepsis”?

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, …).

“Syllepsis” relates to 0 A.D. as it means “capture” in Greek, and refers to the building and siege engine capture feature implemented in this version (Thanks, bouke!).

For the next alpha, we welcome fan suggestions for words relating to the ancient world beginning with the letter T. 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@wildfireATHENSgames.com without the capitalized name of a Greek city.

0 A.D. Financial Report, November 2015

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

In the interest of transparency, the Wildfire Games team would like to report on the finances of the project as of 2015-11-25.

0 A.D. has funds in three places:

  1. Funds earmarked for the project and held in trust by US-based non-profit organization Software in the Public Interest, Inc. (hereafter “SPI”);
  2. A private account in the US, under the name of former project leader, Jason Bishop (Wijitmaker). This account is a legacy of the time before we became affiliated with SPI;
  3. Flattr, a Sweden-based microdonation provider.

SPI Earmark for 0 A.D.

As of 2015-10-31, the 0 A.D. earmark is USD 34,410.05.

  • Web hosting costs about USD 85-90 per month, or USD 1,000 a year, and are paid directly from these funds.
  • Some of these funds (approximately USD 5,200) will soon go towards reimbursing Erik Johansson (feneur) who has bought the perks we promised our donors.
  • We know donors have been waiting for their perks for a long time. We sincerely apologize for the long delay in perk fulfillment.

Other Accounts

In our “legacy” US bank account, we have USD 332.82.

On Flattr, we have EUR 619.75 available, which are approximately USD 662.27.

Total

In total, we have approximately 35,405.14 USD in all three accounts.

Concluding Remarks

The 0 A.D. project finances are managed by the Treasury Committee: Erik (“feneur”), Adarash (“MishFTW”) and Aviv (“Jeru”). We welcome your comments and suggestions on the forums.

Perk delivery for the fundraiser

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Update on the fundraiser we had in 2013

Thank you for your patience, this has taken a lot longer than we hoped for, and we are sorry for this. We are also sorry for the lack of updates, but wanted to wait until we were absolutely sure the perks were going out soon before we contacted you again so we wouldn’t make any false promises. Now we have ordered things and they will soon be sent to the shipping agency (the first have already arrived) which will package things and send them out to you.

If you have moved since the survey we sent last year, please send an email to fundraiser@wildfiregames.com as soon as possible so we can make sure the perks reach you.

Please reply as soon as possible, after everything has reached the shipping agency we want to have it sent out as soon as possible. After the first of November we will send things out, if you for some reason don’t see this until after that date and have moved the package might have trouble reaching you. Unfortunately there isn’t much we can do about it, apart from trying to make sure everyone notices this. If you know someone who has contributed, but who might have missed this, please let them know.

If your perk level includes Ancient Warfare Magazine subscriptions you should have gotten an email from feneur@gmail.com. If you never got it, please contact us as soon as possible so we can get those taken care of as well.

Some quick questions and answers:
If I haven’t moved, will I have to do anything? No, but you might get your perks sooner if you do: things are sent out either when we get an email or when the time limit has been met.

What has happened with the money donated? Some of it went to covering the fees from Indiegogo and SPI (SPI manages our money). Some of it covers the perks, and some of it will be spent directly on the development on the game.

What happened to Michael and Jorma? Michael sadly left the team last summer since the fundraiser did not raise enough money to employ him full-time and since he no longer had time to work on the game in his free time. Jorma was unable to work for us when we did not raise enough money to employ him full-time.

So, how will you use the money now? As it is not as much money as we hoped it will be harder to find someone who is able to set aside time to work on the game, especially since the person should already be familiar with the game code to make the most of the time. We will definitely not spend the money on something else though, and will keep you posted as soon as something has been decided.

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.