Archive for the ‘News’ Category

What’s the Flightgear news?

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Changes of various kinds affect FG – it seems this year more than in others. Please read here an overview.

Whatever happened to the 3.6 release?

The simple truth is – it didn’t work out. In the end, the release team had personal constraints, got as far as producing a release candidate but then the efforts stalled. Flightgear is developed by human beings, and sometimes things don’t go the way we’d like them to.

Ideally this should have been communicated earlier – we’re sorry for this, the final decision not to have a 3.6 release was made not so long ago.

At this point, let me take the opportunity to point out the links to the automated builds where you can find the (as we now know rather stable) 3.6 release candidate and an automated nightly build of the FG development version.

The matching aircraft collection can be obtained from the repository following these instructions.

What’s the future?

At this point, we’re not sure whether there will be a regular 3.8 release. Rather, the idea which will be tried is a series of more automated stable releases – about four per year. We hope that this will stretch bug reporting by the general audience from the current one-week period between release candidate and stable (which makes it very hard to act in time) over a wider period, giving us the opportunity to respond better. At the same time, it will decreasing the waiting period for the next stable. Time will tell whether this works better.

In addition, there are multiple changes behind the scenes having to do with the server infrastructure for the FG scenery. Ideally these would not affect the end user, but they take time and effort nevertheless.

Development on the other side did not stop – we keep making FG more interesting.

More impressive weather

The weather system has received an update to simulate lightning strikes during thunderstorms. Each lightning strike will not only trigger a visible bolt, but also (in the Atmospheric Light Scattering (ALS) framework) at night illuminate the clouds in the vicinity for a split second. In addition, the position is registered in FG, allowing aircraft modelers to include ambient thunder sounds with the correct delay – this has for instance been done for the C-172p. Encountering a T-storm at night will be memorable now!

Improvements to aircraft interior rendering

The ALS framework offers a host of new options for aircraft developers, for instance a quick option to render panel backlighting using the so-called implicit lightmap technique, irradiance mappings giving a more faithful impression from where indirect light can fall into the cabin and the option to show reflections of the lit cockpit panels in the windows at night.

A fire-breathing dragon (and other impressive aircraft)

Among the most interesting aircraft to be added to the repository is the dragin. Demonstrating the versatility of FG, this reptile doesn’t fly on magic (like the Santa and his reindeer do, if you know the model…), instead it uses the aerodynamical data from attempts to reconstruct the flight dynamics of a Pterosaur. Let it slowly climb with mighty wingbeats, soar thermals to rise to high altitudes or swoop down in a steep dive – the dragon sure is fun to fly and at the same time instructive.

Substantial updates also have been done for other aircraft which have been under heavy development: Sounds and pre-flight inspection simulation of the C-172p have been improved. The F-14A variant has been added, making use of all recent rendering improvements and including a simulation of compressor stall. Lots of work have also gone into making the F-15 yet better – it now offers C and D variant, operational weapons and radar, detailed sound and simulation of hydraulical, electrical and ECS pressurization system. The Space Shuttle is now well on the way towards a photorealistic 3d cockpit. Substantial work has been done on the avionics, implementing automatic tracking and pointing routines and a realistic procedure to command OMS orbital insertion and de-orbit burns, as well as one of the most sophisticated failure meanagement simulations in FG.

Improvements to scenery rendering

The ALS rendering framework has added effects for improved rendering of runways. Paved runways are now shown with skid-marks whereas unpaved runways can be rendered with a multitude of materials, smoothly blending the runway into the surrounding airport green.

New terrain textures

The regional scenery texture project is progressing substantially – we have new runway textures, dedicated industrial and port textures as well as detailed customized definitions for South America, Africa, the Middle East and South Asia).

Behind the scenes work

Less visually, there is ongoing development on various fronts. The out of window GUI Phi continues to be expanded, providing support e.g. for an instructor station. Using Qt5, a common launcher for all OS is being developed which is expected to ultimately grow into a new in-window GUI option. Finally, the HLA effort aims at utilizing multiple CPUs better by running various subsystems in dedicated threads outside the FG main loop. Currently, only a very limited AI scenario can be run in this mode, but ultimately it is expected to provide improved framerate where poor CPU utilization is the bottleneck.

We hope to be back soon with details on the new release process.

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.

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.

FlightGear v3.4 Released

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

av9DBjV

The FlightGear development team is delighted to announce the v3.4 release of FlightGear, the free, open-source flight simulator. This new version contains many exciting new features, enhancements and bugfixes. Highlights in this release include frame-rate improvements on some systems, reduced memory usage and enhancements to the built-in web server.

Founded in 1997, FlightGear is developed by a worldwide group of volunteers, brought together by a shared ambition to create the most realistic flight simulator possible that is free to use, modify and distribute. FlightGear is used all over the world by desktop flight simulator enthusiasts, for research in universities and for interactive exhibits in museums.

FlightGear features more than 400 aircraft, a worldwide scenery database, a multi-player environment, detailed sky modelling, a flexible and open aircraft modelling system, varied networking options, multiple display support, a powerful scripting language and an open architecture. Best of all, being open-source, the simulator is owned by the community and everyone is encouraged to contribute.

Download FlightGear v3.4 for free from FlightGear.org

FlightGear – Fly Free!

Major enhancements in this release

Performance

  • Improved frame-rates on some systems from more efficient use of Uniforms
  • Reduced memory occupancy for scenery tiles
  • AI models are now rendered based on display size rather than range
  • AI/MP models may now define objects as being part of the interior, which will not be rendered at large distances

Usability

  • Built-in web server now includes a moving map, a screenshot grabber, and supports SVG-based panels
  • In-application launcher for Mac, based on Qt5

Graphics

  • Improved rendering of runway and other lights under ALS
  • Landing and spotlight support for ALS

Scenery

  • Improved materials XML format making customer material definition easier
  • Procedural rock material definition

JSBSim

  • Synchronization with latest JSBSim

Highlighted new and improved aircraft

  • Extra EA-500
  • North American P-51D Mustang
  • Cessna Citation II
  • F-14b

Other

  • Firewall exceptions are automatically added during setup on Windows systems
  • Aircraft moved to a SVN repository.

Bug fixes

  • See our bugtracker for an extensive, yet incomplete, list of the bugs fixed in this release.

Web Site Updates

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

December 30, 2014:

  • Upgraded to wordpress 4.1
  • Testing a new theme that is a bit less “bloggy”
  • Added a big fat “download now” button on the front page.
  • Fixed layout for small screens (like smart phones in portrait mode.)

January 24, 2014:

  • v3.0.0 release candidates are available for download and testing.  The official v3.0.0 release is scheduled for 17 Feb.
  • Upgraded to WordPress 3.8.1

December 20, 2013:

Upgraded to WordPress 3.8 and the Twenty Fourteen theme.

November 25, 2013:

FlightGear v2.12.1 (bug fix release) is now available for download.

October 3, 2013:

Upgraded to WordPress 3.6.1 and new TwentyThirteen theme.  The FlightGear web site server hardware has been relocated to a newer larger building.  And v2.12 has just been released!

February 13, 2013: Updated Scenery Download Path

The FlightGear scenery downloads has been updated to v2.10 in preparation for the 17 Feb v2.10 release.  The scenery content does not follow the same release schedule and has updates and improvements every few days.  Thus this is more of a name change formality, and the “v2.10” scenery will work fine with v2.8 and probably most v2.x versions of FlightGear.

January 12, 2013: New Wiki Server

The FlightGear Wiki (http://wiki.flightgear.org) has been moved from a shared hosting server to a new dedicated virtual private host.  The FlightGear wiki is *very* popular and generates a lot of traffic and server load so hopefully this will improve the performance and reliability of our wiki and at the same time help all the other services on the old shared hosting server.

The new wiki host has been donated to the FlightGear project by DigitalOcean. If you are searching for a good hosting service among an ocean of possible options, they are good guys.

December 18, 2012: WordPress 3.5 & New Theme

The FlightGear web site has been upgraded to the newest version of wordpress (3.5) and I am experimenting with a new theme.  We can always return to the old them if we decide we like that better, or we can more forward too.  The new theme has some better support for mobile devices.

December 29 update: when switching to the new 2012 theme, we ended up with comments enabled on all content pages.  This was unintentional.  The page comments were mostly support requests or the odd snarky comment.  I have removed the comments area from regular content pages, but comments are still allowed (and encouraged) for “post” pages.  However, comments will be filtered carefully for topic and usefulness.  Do they expand or clarify the conversation of the post topic?  Support questions will still be referred to the FlightGear forum.  Random positive/negative statements (like “I love flightgear” or “I hate flightgear” will generally be ignored.)  English is preferred for post comments, but exceptions have been made and probably will be made in the future.

October 24, 2012: Scenery Download Page updated

The World Scenery Download page is updated to SVN version 20579.  It may take a day or so for the updated files to flush through the mirror system.

September 7, 2012: WordPress 3.4.2

Upgraded to wordpress-3.4.2.

August 20, 2012: Updated Gallery

Featuring the winning entries of the 15th anniversary screenshot contest, we have added a new screenshot gallery to go along with the v2.8.0 release!

August 17, 2012: Version 2.8.0 Released

Yeah!  Look on the front page (or the recent posts list in the side bar) to read the official release announcement.  Better graphics, new aircraft, new visual effects, tons of new things to explore!

July 30, 2012: v2.8.0 Release Candidate “RC4” Available.

If you are interested in trying the next release of FlightGear ahead of time (and helping us sniff out any remaining bugs or packaging issues) then please take a look for download links in the release candidate section towards the bottom main download page.  Also notice that updated v2.8.0 aircraft are also available for download along with the pre-release.

June 28, 2012: WordPress 3.4.1

The FlightGear web site software has been updated to WordPress v3.4.1.

February 28, 2012: Version 2.6.0 Updates

Both Mac OS X and Windows have had small tweaks to follow up the v2.6 release.  For Mac OS X there is “r319” version of the 2.6.0 dmg which fixes a couple problems some Mac users were seeing.  For Windows there is a “Setup FlightGear 2.6.0.1.exe” which fixes one small 32bit vs. 64bit dll packaging problem some 64bit users were seeing.

February 17, 2012: Version 2.6.0 Released

There has been a large number of changes and updates to the download and information pages as part of the v2.6.0 roll-out.

Jan 29, 2012: New v2.6.0 Release Candidate Available

A complete test release for the upcoming FlightGear 2.6.0 version is available to try.  Follow this link to the FlightGear v2.6.0 Release Candidate page.

Jan 6, 2012: New Developer Snapshot Available

A new developer snapshot (v20120105) is available for download and testing.  This is a way to keep up with all the coolest new features and experimentation without needing to compile the code yourself from scratch.  You can find the download link on the main download page.

Dec 28, 2011: Contributors Section added

A new section has been added to the FlightGear web site: Contributors.  We plan to periodical add profiles of different contributors to this section.  If you’d like to be included here, or have corrections or updates to existing entries, please contact the web master!

Sep 27, 2011: Scenery Download Page added

A World Scenery Download page has finally been added to the new web site.  You can find the page in the main site menu.  The graphical download page has also been updated.  All the links should now point to the v2.4.0 version of the scenery (this corresponds to svn version 16700 from the terrascenery archives.)  Update: a small link error has been fixed so the download map should be working again.  Thanks to those who reported it!

Sep 27, 2011: New wiki and liveries server

The server hosting wiki.flightgear.org and liveries.flightgear.org has been upgraded and the content has been migrated over.  There shouldn’t be any problems, but of course if you spot something odd, please let us know.

FlightGear v3.2 Released

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

The FlightGear development team is delighted to announce the v3.2 release of FlightGear, the free, open-source flight simulator. This new version contains many exciting new features, enhancements and bugfixes. Highlights in this release include an experimental aircraft manager allowing users to download and load aircraft in-sim, a very capable built-in HTTP server, built-in voice synthesizer for ATIS messages, and many improvements to the Canvas rendering framework.

Founded in 1997, FlightGear is developed by a worldwide group of volunteers, brought together by a shared ambition to create the most realistic flight simulator possible that is free to use, modify and distribute. FlightGear is used all over the world by desktop flight simulator enthusiasts, for research in universities and for interactive exhibits in museums.

FlightGear features more than 400 aircraft, a worldwide scenery database, a multi-player environment, detailed sky modelling, a flexible and open aircraft modelling system, varied networking options, multiple display support, a powerful scripting language and an open architecture. Best of all, being open-source, the simulator is owned by the community and everyone is encouraged to contribute.

Download FlightGear v3.2 for free from FlightGear.org.

FlightGear – Fly Free!

Major enhancements in this release

Aircraft Modeling

  • A Failure Management Framework for FlightGear has been added
  • The JSBSim flight dynamics model now has support for ground effects like bumpiness, solid-ground detection and adjusting of friction factors. Additionally, bogey type contact points sink in non-solid surfaces, making it no longer possible to ride on water.
  • YASim now has versioning support. The YASim FDM now checks a version tag in it’s configuration file to allow improvements to the YASim FDM without risking breaking older aircraft.
  • Additional aircraft have started adopting the Canvas navigation display that was introduced with FlightGear 3.0.

Graphics

  • Improved rendering of VASI, PAPI, runway and taxiway lights.
  • Orbital rendering using textures from the NASA Visible Earth project
  • Additions to the Atmospheric Light Scattering (ALS) rendering include:
    • an experimental framework to render cloud shadows on the ground (requires Advanced Weather)
    • a substantial extension of cloud layer visibility using impostor techniques to 150 km
    • a new agriculture effect allowing to render fields without tiling artifacts
    • a new forest effect to simulate managed forest, varying tree size by patch
    • sparkle and fog effect on runway lights
    • much improved visual appearance of rock faces

Usability

  • An experimental aircraft package manager allows the download of new aircraft, and changing the current aircraft in-sim.
  • A new internal web server (aka httpd) based on mongoose httpd has been added. It supports various AJAX requests, a screenshot server, a property tree browser, and a web-based moving map and much more.
  • The integrated Map dialog now uses an azimuthal equidistant projection, for better representation in polar regions and across the International Date Line.
  • Windows users are now able to use the scroll wheel in dialog lists

Canvas System

Improvements to Canvas, FlightGear’s scriptable 2D rendering system include

  • Better performance
  • MapStructure-based layers can now be customized and styled
  • Support for mouse button and modifiers
  • CanvasImage now supports the http:// protocol for dynamically retrieving raster images.
  • An experimental Map dialog using Canvas is available under the Equipment menu.
  • Canvas Layout Engine

Nasal Scripting

  • A new fully-interactive Nasal GUI console based on Canvas has been added: Interactive Nasal Console
  • the hard-coded flight path history subsystem which samples aircraft position is now exposed via Nasal.

Documentation

  • Nasal documentation is now included,

Highlighted new and improved aircraft

Other

  • A text-to-speech system based on flite+hts_engine has been implemented, which is used for ATIS and other messages.
  • Improved loading behaviour for AI/MP aircraft

Bug fixes

  • A serious bug was found late in the release causing large numbers of crashes. Fixing this delayed he release, but had a nice side-effect of improving performance on some systems that were previously CPU-limited.
  • See our bugtracker for an extensive, yet incomplete, list of the bugs fixed in this release.

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.