Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

Welcome to the New 0 A.D. Website!

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

Wildfire Games proudly presents the new 0 A.D. website, a new showcase for the game and FOSS project we have all grown to love.

You’ll notice that the content has been redone, the design better reflects the interface within the game 0 A.D., and it is easier to get to download the version of 0 A.D. that is right for you.

New Address

The new website is available on http://play0ad.com.

Please point your RSS readers to the new website if needed.

(The old website will remain at http://www.wildfiregames.com/0ad for posterity and so as not to break any links to old pages. We’ll put up a notice soon.)

New Features

A new game manual, with video tutorials, is available on the new website, to help newbies negotiate the complexities of an RTS game. (Thanks, BrynnOfCastlegate!)

Also, the global navigation on the top right corner will help surfers navigate between the main website, intended for a broad audience, and the forums and development wiki, which are usually for hardcore fans and developers.

For the more technically inclined readers, the current website runs on WordPress and conforms to modern web standards, which is important and a big step forward from our older website.

Credits

A huge round of applause goes to the team members who made this thing happen:

  • Geek377
  • Brian Stempin (bstempi)
  • GerbilOFDoom
  • Ludovic Celle (Ludo38)
  • Michael Hafer (Mythos_Ruler), and
  • Pureon

Please enjoy and give feedback on the new website on our forums!

TORCS, vote for project of the month

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

If you like to support TORCS to get the project of the month vote here.
Update: I removed the link because the vote is closed now, the winner is DOSBox, congratulations. Thank you for your votes, maybe we make it another time.
Bernhard

Indie of the Year 2012

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

It’s that time of year again.

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For those unfamiliar with the event, each year ModDB and IndieDB hold a contest for the best mods and indie games of the year.

In previous years we have been nominated for the Editor’s Choice: Best Upcoming Indie (2008), won third place for Indie Game of the Year (2009) and received an Honorable Mention for Players’ Choice: Best Upcoming Indie (2010).

We’ve come a long way this year too. Just think about it: A year ago we had no Romans in the game, and Hellenes and Celts were grouped into one faction each. There were no technologies or civilization phases, no trading system, and none of the amazing newly implemented graphical effects like specularity, ambient occlusion, etc.

As always, we want to win! More publicity means more players and probably more developers joining development, which is always great.

The nominations for the Top 100 have just begun, and will be ongoing until December 11th.

Please vote for us!

Thanks in advance, from all of us on the 0 A.D. development team, also known as Wildfire Games.

Indie of the Year 2012

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

It’s that time of year again.

Posted Image

For those unfamiliar with the event, each year ModDB and IndieDB hold a contest for the best mods and indie games of the year.

In previous years we have been nominated for the Editor’s Choice: Best Upcoming Indie (2008), won third place for Indie Game of the Year (2009) and received an Honorable Mention for Players’ Choice: Best Upcoming Indie (2010).

We’ve come a long way this year too. Just think about it: A year ago we had no Romans in the game, and Hellenes and Celts were grouped into one faction each. There were no technologies or civilization phases, no trading system, and none of the amazing newly implemented graphical effects like specularity, ambient occlusion, etc.

As always, we want to win! More publicity means more players and probably more developers joining development, which is always great.

The nominations for the Top 100 have just begun, and will be ongoing until December 11th.

Please vote for us!

Thanks in advance, from all of us on the 0 A.D. development team, also known as Wildfire Games.

0 A.D. on ROCK, PAPER & SHOTGUN

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

http://www.rockpaper…ts/#more-133432

:)

Packing Siege: Work In Progress

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Packing siege is one of the many requested and long-planned features for 0 A.D.  Currently, siege engines in 0 A.D. can move and attack freely like a human unit, which isn’t very realistic. In the real world, siege engines would have to be transported to and constructed on the battle field. We will add the concept of “packing”, where a siege engine is either packed or unpacked. If packed, it can move but can’t attack, whereas if unpacked, it can attack but can’t move. Packing or unpacking will incur a delay, during which the engine will be unable to attack or move. This will enhance the realism of the game, but also add to the strategy of using siege engines — the player will need to carefully consider where and when to deploy them.

Fellow 0 A.D. developer and artist Pureon has been working with me to add this feature. The plan is to have at least packed and unpacked models of the siege engines, many of which have already been added to SVN. In the future, we might add transition animations of the engines packing and unpacking, as well as appropriate sounds.

Here is a rough demo of how siege packing might look in 0 A.D.:

Some of the challenges encountered so far:

  • Add auto-pack and auto-unpack: when a packed engine is ordered to attack, it should move into range and unpack; when an unpacked engine is ordered to move, it should pack, then move into position.
  • Make sure they continue to work with formations.
  • Make sure order queuing works as expected while packing.
  • Determine how or if we’ll want to use animations.
  • Any considerations for the AIs?

0 A.D. Development Report #9

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

0 A.D. Development Report #9 (21/10/2012 – 21/11/2012)

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 be 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!

Screenshot of the Month!

This strategic land bridge was named after the nearby Greek city. Need I say more?

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Click the image to see a larger version.

Art & Programming & Sound

Wraitii added enhanced water rendering, shore foam and waves for your viewing pleasure! He has also updated the water settings for most scenarios.
leper added diplomacy to the game! Is your ally eating up your CPU’s power? Declare war! He also added resource icons in the in-game tooltips (patch by regular contributor zoot).
quantumstate added unit training hotkeys (patch from mammadori), some more mediterranean textures and a tutorial scenario: ‘intruductory tutorial’.
stwf kept working on the Sound Manager. Hurricane Sandy cut off his electricity for more than a week but now he’s back in business.
Shield_Bearer added the Roman bireme (= an ancient oared warship). He is also working on new human models together with Kopesh and Enrique!
Omri_Lahav added yet another new track to our ever-expanding soundtrack: Calm Before the Storm.
Enrique kept working on the Mauryan Indians, a new civilization which will be fully playable in two alpha releases’ time. Lately he committed the Mauryan fortress among with some more textures. He has also added rubble (when you destroy a building) for most buildings!
fcxSanya reimplented training limits for heroes! Only one hero per player so choose wisely!
Spahbod added a new map: ‘Corinthian Isthmus’.
Zaggy1024 animated yet another animal! Please welcome in all its glory: the peacock!
historic_bruno updated some lists with contributors, and fixed Atlas and Collada dylib loading on OS X, for non-bundled binaries and a build error on MSVC (for most people this reads as: two bugs were fixed).
Mythos_Ruler added normal/parallax mapping for Iberian & Roman gates, an attack animation for females and some weapons and shields for the Mauryan Indians.
Last but not least: Myconid. Last week we decided to drop the fixed function renderer (which is barely used nowadays and was holding our graphics back). A road map was published internally with a list of planned graphical improvements. If Myconid can implement all of these (which he is capable of), then 0 A.D. will set the new graphical standard for open-source games.
One of our newest asquisitions, Ludo38, has been making box art and wallpapers.
Strictly speaking not part of the team (yet!) is Lordgood who has modeled and textured a few buildings for the Mauryan Indians.

See you in a couple of weeks with the latest development news!

Featured contributor: myconid

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

If you’ve been reading the latest development updates the name myconid should be familiar to you. If not: he’s the one who’s been working on adding lots of new graphics capabilities to the game, which have made the game look a lot better (take a look at the latest development updates/the last release announcement if you haven’t already to get a glimpse of what he has made possible). Because of that it was not a difficult decision to make him the featured contributor this time, and without further ado here’s a quick interview with him:

Tell us a bit about yourself

My first encounter with programming was on an Mac Classic II, where I discovered Hypercard and Basic – I feel ancient just thinking that was over 20 years ago! A bit later I got a PC demo of Macromedia Director 4 (the Flash of its time), which was in many ways similar with Hypercard, but its Lingo scripting language was much more flexible… and it had colour too.

Then I found Borland Delphi 1 Freeware on a PC magazine’s cover CD, and that’s when I really started getting into programming. Maybe it won’t surprise anyone that my first big programming project (sometime circa 1996) was a collab with a friend to make an adventure game engine in the style of SCUMM (think Monkey Island, etc). We actually got pretty far, and had our own scripting language, pathfinding, hi-resolution graphics…

Anyway, after a while I moved to Borland C++, discovered the internet and then the Open Source community. A couple of Computer Science degrees plus a “few” lines of code later, programming is my full-time career. Since in my day job I don’t get to make games, here I am indulging my 27-year-old inner man-child! :D

What have you found most interesting about contributing to 0 A.D.?

Well, two things.

Firstly, I’m here because I enjoy the challenge! I love hacking (in the R. Stallman sense), and graphics programming is definitely something that fills the bill for being both challenging and intellectually stimulating.

Secondly, I’ve always been a huge fan of open source and libre culture, and I think it’s an absolute triumph that a team of highly talented people has come together from all over the world to create a game of such quality. I’m both amazed and humbled by what the free, worldwide internet has enabled, and I’m proud to be part of it all.

Anything you want to add?

Now that the postproc manager is over and done with, I’m wondering what my next task will be. Have you ever noticed that Pyrogenesis can’t really do lighting? As crazy as this sounds, maybe it’s time we replaced our forward renderer with a deferred lighting solution*, as used by other modern AAA titles like Starcraft 2… though you can forget about keeping the fixed renderpath then.

* I’ve been asked to explain WTF those things mean, but the explanation came out a bit longer than I had intended:

Spoiler

Fame and Fortune

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

Woo Woo! Our own dak180 gets a shout-out on ESR’s Armed & Dangerous blog for helping with some build tools:
http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=4674

Sure, it’s more Fame than Fortune, but still…

And for those who do not know, Eric S. Raymond (esr) is one of the grey beards of the Open Source Software movement, responsible or involved in a whole bunch of things you have never heard of but are probably affected by.

(15 comments)

0 A.D. Development Report #8

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

0 A.D. Development Report #8 (Week 40 – 42)

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 be 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!

Team news!

Welcome aboard, Ludo38! Ludo has been contributing some great graphics recently and spreading the word about 0 A.D. He has accepted to join to Web Design Team.
Another contributor that deserves her (!) minute in the spotlight is BrynnOfCastlegate (or just ‘Brynn‘). Brynn recently started making tutorial videos and other promotional material. Check out her first tutorial !

Screenshot of the Week

A real-time post-processing filter FOSS – by Martins Upitis – applied by Zaggy1024. Note that this has in no way been Photoshopped. It is a screen capture taken directly from our ‘Atlas’ world editor. This is just one of many new effects and filters that are supported now in 0 A.D.! All credit goes to myconid for his amazing Postprocessing Manager!

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Art & Programming & Sound

The day has finally come! Myconid has committed his Postprocessing Manager to the main code branch (some even claim the only code branch…). Main features are Distance Fog, Brightness & Contrast (“fake HDR”), super-fast Bloom and fast Depth-of-Field. All these effects and enhancements can be tweaked to your liking!
Mythos_Ruler has mainly been working on technologies. You want to increase your citizen’s wood gathering rate? Research ‘Iron Axes’ at the mill! You want to give your workers a moderate movement speed bonus? Research ‘Shoes’ at the Black Market…(No wait… that was in C&C:Generals). Mythos_Ruler also created a sandbox scenario for the Macedonians, among some balancing. (Call it coincidence but he always seems to be ‘rebalancing’ stats prior to a staff battle…)
Quantumstate has been restructuring the code behind technologies. Talking about optimizing: he was able to lower the CPU usage of the CCmpRangeManager by 80%! This benefit won’t be spectacularly noticeable as this is only a small part of the game, but the CPU usage is such a bottleneck that we are considering to spend the remaining Pledgie budget on a bronze statue in his likeness. We think the community would concur (for the record: your money is not being wasted; all money goes to the development of 0 A.D.).
Spahbod has added two random maps: Nomad and Syria. He has also added a couple of map previews. Last but not least he revamped the match setup GUI even further: it is now possible to set a population cap (i.e. a limit on how many units a player can have) and to select the amount of starting resources.
Enrique has made a night version of the Belgian Bog map, among with new shield textures for the Mauryan Indians. Lion_Kanzen also contributed shields for the Mauryan Indians.

Zaggy1024 has been toying around a bit with Myconid’s Postprocessing Manager, mainly improving the quality and performance of Depth-of-Field effect.
historic_bruno applied a fix where water would not be animated in the editor (Atlas) and incorrectly animated while the game is paused. He also implemented rubble and debris (visible when a building is destroyed).

OmriLahav has been working on a new generic track and a new early (=will play during early game stages) Celtic track.
Yves added a splashscreen that appears on startup and informs the player about the status of the game (bugs, missing features).

See you in two weeks with the latest development news!