Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

0 A.D. Financial Report, September 2013

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

In the interest of transparency, the Wildfire Games team would like to report on the finances of the project as of 2013-09-04.

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 2013-07-10, 0 A.D. has an earmark of USD 5743.51. The bulk of that (USD 4,140) comes from funds raised in two Pledgie fundraising drives in 2010-2012, which were only partially used (Links to fundraisers: #1, #2). The rest of the sum comes from other small donations, collected without any fundraiser.

On 2013-08-09, the 0 A.D. treasury committee and an SPI board member approved an agreement with contractor Jorma Rebane (RedFox) that will cost a total of USD 3,310, or approximately 80% of the Pledgie funds.

Under the agreement, Jorma is set to perform the following duties:

  • To enhance the memory performance and allocation of the game, its GUI rendering and implementation, and add a new efficient and feature-rich text rendering module.
  • To overview implementation of code architecture and design decisions, while also consulting other developers.
  • To review patches submitted by other developers.
  • To assist the programming team in efficient task management.
  • To publicly report on his activities to the team and the fans no less than twice per week, with the intent of encouraging public interest in and engagement with the game, as well as inviting new contributions from the FOSS community.

You can follow up on Jorma’s contributions on the forums. Here is his activity status report for August 2013. So far he has made extremely large improvements to the game, that will be readily apparent in Alpha 15.

Other Accounts & Total

In our “legacy” US bank account, we have USD 130.05.

On Flattr, we have EUR 276.06 available, which are approximately USD 363.87.

In total, at the end of Jorma’s contract, and assuming no more revenue, we will have USD 2927.43. This sum would allow us to keep contracting out work at the current spending level for just 9 more weeks.

Concluding Remarks

A monthly report of funds held by SPI in trust for 0 A.D. is also available on the SPI website under “approved minutes of past meetings“.

The 0 A.D. project finances are managed by the Treasury Committee: Erik (“feneur”), Kieran (“k776″) and Aviv (“Jeru”). We welcome your comments on the forums.

Thanks to all our donors. Stay tuned for the release of 0 A.D. Alpha 14 and the announcement of our biggest fundraiser ever.

Car Creation Video Tutorial Series is Complete

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Finally I finished the car creation video tutorial series:

Part 1 – Car Modeling
Part 2 – Texture Mapping
Part 3 – Painting
Part 4 – Using the Car in TORCS
Part 5 – The Physical Car Model

So there is no excuse anymore for not being creative;-)

Enjoy, Bernhard

0 A.D. Development Report #12

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Wildfire Games, the international group of volunteers developing 0 A.D., are 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.

If you want to be part of this project, we urge you to post your application in our forums. 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 a Sound Lead, 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 !!!

On Performance

Performance has been a major bottleneck for quite some time. We know the problems, and we are committed to resolve them. Last two months we’ve seen an influx of new contributors who are keen to help us fix the lag. sbte committed some patches (sim interpolation optimization) and a couple of memory leaks have been fixed (Markus). Kuranes has also been working on optimization and his work seems very promising. He added VBO support to minimap entity rendering (1,5 ms/frame to 0,8 ms/frame, which may seem trivial but every millisecond counts!). But this is just the tip of the iceberg, his many other optimizations are WIP or being reviewed by us, but when they are committed to the game the increase in performance will be noticeable! Last but not least we have Redfox, a retired 0 A.D. programmer who became active again. Currently he is working on font rendering, but like Kuranes, he is dedicated to implement major code optimizations, and he has the know-how. Their work will make 0 A.D. the enjoyable and fluid experience, you always wanted it to be!

Screenshot of the Month
Posted Image

Team News

Peter a.k.a. alpha123 has joined the programming team. Peter has contributed quite a few patches to the game and has been a valuable contributor in design discussions.

Programming, Art & Sound

Our new project lead, Mythos_Ruler has been busy as well. So busy in fact that I’m reluctant to write down all the things he has been working on last two months. The major new feature is the blacksmith. Although the models are placeholders for now, in the near future you’ll be able to upgrade your units in this new building. He also added new technologies, a new Spartan hero (Brasidas), rebalancing and tweaking the stats of almost every unit ingame, a new map, normal and specular map for desert terrain … we could go on and on, but we insist you check out our next alpha release.

historic_bruno committed a lot of patches and bug fixes. I’ll mention just a couple of them: updating Valgrind headers and fixing some memory leaks (patches by Markus), updating Boost Library to 1.53.0 and improving SDL 2.0 support among many other. He also added a game speed option to the match setup.

Leper also had a productive period. He cleaned up code, and reviewed and committed many functionality patches, that were written by contributors like Josh and KareemErgawy among others.

stwf has kept working on the Soundmanager. Memory leaks have been removed, code has been cleaned up and multiple song playlists are now used by civs that have multiple tracks defined.

Wraiitii committed a few fixes and improvements related to water. More importantly, he is completely reworking the water code: adding support for different water heights (e.g. lake vs. sea), optimizing foam and shore waves … On top of that, ships received a sinking animation! Never has loosing your fleet been more pleasant to watch.

Enrique has been working on shields, unit props and buildings for our next civilization: the Ptolemaic Egyptians! He is also designing, modeling and texturing the new blacksmiths.

Omri Lahav has been working on some new material for the Mauryans. He has just invited two new guest musicians (didgeridoo and celtic harp) to capture their performance. How many freeware, open-source projects have a live recorded soundtrack? We are sure you will hear the difference.

Yves is working hard on upgrading Spidermonkey. The first benchmarks are a bit disappointing, but Yves won’t give up. This is not a simple task, but in the end performance and functionality will benefit greatly from the upgrade.

alpha123 and quantumstate reworked the armor system. Damage = Attack – Armour was changed to: Damage = Attack * 0.9^Armour (in case your unit has a 10% armor bonus). This change was necessary as techs now have the same effect on each unit. So a 10% armour tech will decrease damage by 10% for every unit.

We also want to thank all our contributors that are committing patches with new features and fixes. Not all of them make it into the report, but we are grateful. We can’t do it without you guys and gals!

This month special kudos to sanderd17 who is giving archers range bonuses based on map height and Micket who modeled a Hippo and an Oryx (and a WIP tiger).

See you next month with the latest development news!

New Art Department Leader, Changes in Committee Members

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Our project leader, Michael, has appointed Enrique Keykens Espolio (known on the forums as just “Enrique”) as leader of the Art Department. Enrique is a highly capable 3D artist in his 20′s from Zaragoza, Spain.

Also, we welcome Peter C., to the team, and to replace Enrique on the Design Committee. Peter, known as alpha123 on the forums, is 16 from Colorado, USA. He is both a capable programmer and valuable contributor in design discussions.

Current committee members are:

Design committee: Peter (“alpha123″), Michael (“Mythos_Ruler”) and Jonathan (“quantumstate”).
Treasury committee: Erik (“feneur”), Kieran (“k776″) and Aviv (“Jeru”).

Reminder: Do not use Tor (or any other proxy) to post

Monday, May 27th, 2013

This is a public service announcement regarding the use of the Tor anonymization or any other proxy service to post on this forum.

Due to persistent abuse, this is expressly (see viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9836) forbidden, and users caught using it will be banned.

As said in the original announcement, if you do not know what I am talking about, you have nothing to worry about.

(1 comment)

Music Blog #6

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

As a composer, there is nothing more exciting for me than watching my music come to life… but this post isn’t so much about music – but about the people behind it!

First and foremost, a heart-felt “Thanks” to… you: the fans! I never imagined so many people would fall in love with the music of 0 A.D., but the feedback I’ve received in the past few years has blown me away! I am absolutely thankful to each and every one of you for expressing such love and interest in my music – without you, I would never have recorded a single note.

Since day 1, I insisted that as much of the music as possible be recorded by live musicians (as opposed to using MIDI-based sounds), and the results speak for themselves…
Several musicians have come together to really bring my music to life, and I would like to extend my ever-lasting gratitude to them as well :)

Marta Mc’Cave – Flute
She is the beating heart of the Hellenic Tribes, and also plays the flute solos from “Honor Bound” and “The Road Ahead”. Her solo on “Forging a City-State” was 100% improvised!

Shir-Ran Yinon – Viola
She is the soul of the Britons in “Highland Mist”, and the reason why “The Road Ahead” sounds so big… over 40 separate Viola channels were recorded to create the big string section sound!

Avior Rokah – Trumpet
Avior’s trumpet rings true in the win/loss music, tragic and melancholy on “Dried Tears”, triumphant and epic on “You are Victorious!”

Dror Parker – Percussion
The score of Carthage wouldn’t have been the same without this master of drums. His frame drum, darbuka, riq and toms were recorded freestyle – with nothing but a click track! I then sat down and arranged “Peaks of Atlas” and “Mediterranean Waves” on his inspiring work.

Jeff Willet – Percussion
Jeff is a personal friend and collaborator of mine, who has contributed two of his taiko drum tracks to be used as combat music in game. He also played a wide array of percussion on “Cisalpine Gaul” and “The Hellespont”!

Bar Guzi – Percussion
I’ve been playing with Bar since I was 13… and he was the first percussion player to chime in! His djembe playing can be heard on “Forging a City-State”.

Honest, heart-felt thanks for listening, stay tuned for more 0 A.D. music!
- Omri Lahav.

Of Championships and Tutorials

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

The 2013 Championships are starting soon:

TORCS Endurance World Championship 2013
Simulated Car Racing

You can find the links as well in the menu on the left in the section “Racing Competitions”. I added as well a video and research section to make it easier to find content on the net.

For those of you who want to model cars or to create textures I created a series of tutorial videos, have a look here. Btw. part 5 is coming soon.

A last thing to mention is that Quinten Kock has created a TORCS community here. I recommend to use it for small talk, for discussing TORCS support and development, please stay with the mailing lists to avoid fragmentation.

Enjoy, Bernhard.

Erik Johansson Steps Down from Project Leadership, Michael D. Hafer Assumes Role

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Erik Johansson (“feneur”) has announced he will step down from managing the development of the free, open-source game 0 A.D., citing his wish to focus on his writing and other hobbies. Johansson, 27 from Sweden, has been the project lead since 2008, and the team thanks him for his sustained leadership of the project. Back in ’08, 0 A.D. was a small, proprietary freeware project, but under Erik’s watch, the project has gone open-source and developed tremendously to a global community with thousands of fans and supporters. Erik has emphasized that he wishes to remain on the team, and he will continue to assist with certain administrative tasks, including serving on the Treasury Committee, a committee of contributors who make financial decisions for the project.

Longtime 0 A.D. contributor Michael D. Hafer (“Mythos_Ruler”) has agreed to take over leadership of the project pending the success of a crowdfunding campaign, tentatively set for May and June 2013, which he will plan and carry out. If the campaign succeeds, Hafer will work in a full-time capacity for one to two years from his home in Indiana, USA to promote all aspects of development of 0 A.D.

Starting from now, Michael will be replacing Erik on the Design Committee, which decides which features will be included in the 0 A.D. software. He will still answer to the Treasury Committee for all decisions concerning raising and disbursing project funds. If the crowdfunding campaign succeeds, the Treasury Committee will pay Michael’s salary according to the terms of a pending contract.

Current committee members are:

Design committee: Enrique, Michael (“Mythos_Ruler”) and Jonathan (“quantumstate”).
Treasury committee: Erik (“feneur”), Kieran (“k776″) and Aviv (“Jeru”).

Edit (April 5, 2013): The new project liaison to SPI is Aviv Sharon (“Jeru”).

We invite contributors to advise our upcoming crowdsourcing campaign and help with related tasks. If you are interested, please let us know on our forums or on our contact form. Thanks!

Donation drive is now live!

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

For those of you that missed the announcement posted here Donation Announcement

We have started a donation drive to keep the operation of the server alive. In the past, all hosting costs were provided by one person, which we very much appreciated! However, the cost is getting too much for one person to bear.
The server is what these forums are running on, as well as the lobby server, addons, and trac (bug tracker) along with the wiki, and buildbot to make the builds.

That means, that if we can’t get enough donations to be able to continue being hosted with the current service provider, then we will be forced to scale down operations and go for a simpler, less user-friendly solutions.

The current server provider has this deal: http://www.hetzner.de/en/hosting/produkte_rootserver/ex4
Our deadline is at the end of April for our current setup.
If you know of a better price than what they offer, then we are all ears.

If you can spare a one-time donation, or a on going subscription to help out with the recurring server costs, it will be much appreciated!
To donate, click on the Donate! link on the forums, or use this link Donations
Thanks!

–Warzone 2100 Project Team

(26 comments)

New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 13 Magadha

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of “0 A.D. Alpha 13 Magadha”, the thirteenth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. This alpha features the Mauryan Indians, AI improvements, six new songs 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.

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

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

  • All-new and unique Mauryan Indian civilization, including new units, from war elephants to Brahmin priests; and new buildings, reflecting this culture’s original architectural style.
  • The default AI, Aegis bot, has been greatly improved, be it at defending, attacking, or building a strong economy. It now supports researching technologies and should work much more reliably than most other AIs before. (Known problem: Aegis now has some issues with saved games. Sorry, we hope to fix this in A14.)
  • Aegis can now play at several different difficulty levels, so beginners can easily learn to play, and more experienced players can get more of a challenge.
  • Attack/move command: If you select units and then Ctrl + right-click on a location, they will go to the location, but also stop to attack enemies they meet along the way.

Posted Image

Graphics and User Interface Improvements

  • Helpful messages appear when a building can’t be placed somewhere. (See screenshots below.)
  • When you select a place to build a building, the building preview always shows the precise final variation that will be built.
  • When some buildings are built, they now rise from the ground, and some also have lifelike scaffolds surrounding them.
  • Tribute stats added to the summary screen.
  • Players are notified when any tributes are given to them.

Posted ImagePosted Image

Music and Sound

  • New Celtic songs: “Cisalpine Gaul” and “Celtica” (the latter featuring Jeff Willet’s percussion),
  • New Hellenic song: “The Hellespont” (also featuring Jeff),
  • Combat music featuring taiko drums “First Sighting” and “Elusive Predator” by Jeff.
  • First Mauryan song: “Land Between the Two Seas.”
  • New and improved animal sounds for lions, tigers and bears.

Development Updates and Miscellaneous Features

  • User mod support: See our modding guide to learn how to create your own mods for 0 A.D.
  • The new Javascript Debugger supports the basic features of debuggers (breakpoints, continue, step calls…), and allows 0 A.D. developers and modders to debug Javascript scripts used by the game, saving a lot of time to understand some unexpected behavior or issue. 0 A.D. uses Javascript in many different areas like gameplay logic, UI, AI and random map scripts. Thanks to mmayfield45 for contributing the web GUI. (See screenshot below, and the documentation wiki for more details.)
  • Improved OS X build process, without need for MacPorts or Homebrew.

Posted Image

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 “Magadha”?

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, …).

Magadha was an ancient kingdom in northern India from which the Mauryan empire originated. The empire was founded by exiled general Chandragupta Maurya, who overthrew the reigning king of Magadha and went on to conquer most of the Indian subcontinent, as well as parts of Persia and Central Asia. Years later, the third monarch of the dynasty, Ashoka, would become famous for renouncing all violence, converting to Buddhism, and spreading the faith throughout the empire. Ashoka is also remembered as one of the most exemplary rulers in world history for his advanced social and animal welfare programs.

Magadha also happens to be the birthplace of Jainism and Buddhism, two of India’s historically significant religions. These religions’ shared belief in rebirth and karmic retribution most likely derives from the culture of Magadha in the last five centuries BC. In honor of the release of the Mauryan Indian faction, we have decided to dub Alpha 13 “Magadha”.

For the next alpha, we welcome fan suggestions for words relating to the ancient world beginning with the letter N. 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@wildfireORACLEgames.com without the capitalized name of an ancient priest or priestess whom people would consult for advice or predictions of the future.