Archive for the ‘News’ 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.

A preview of features for the ‘Barcelona’ release

Monday, April 11th, 2016

Join us for a short overview of what the next Flightgear release within the new automated three-month release cycle will bring!

FG goes to Spain

The most visible change to first-time users will be the change of the default airport. For the future, we plan to name every release after the default airport, and thus while the last release has been ‘San Francisco’ (or 2016.1), the next release (2016.2) will go to the beautiful city of Barcelona. Look forward to some impressive scenery and all-new VRF tutorials and suggested flights in the region!

Improvements to scenery

Improvements to scenery rendering are being added on all fronts. Supported by shader developments within the Atmospheric Light Scattering (ALS) framework, runways and airport keep can now be rendered in multiple ways in high resolution, and this has been implemented for different regions all across the world – including the new default airport of Barcelona ‘El Prat’.

Places across the world continue to be populated with 3d models, for instance check out the progress on London Heathrow!

See the FG world through an infrared camera

ALS now includes a whole suite of filtering techniques, which allow to select brightness and gamma-correction in-sim (i.e. affecting screen pixel color values visible in screenshots, not only the appearance on the monitor). Part of this filter suite is also a night vision mode and, possibly most exciting, and infrared camera mode. The IR vision shows contrasts based on relative temperatures, with the daily temperature cycles of the environment modeled by the weather system.

New and improved aircraft

The Piper J3 Cub, a long-time resident of the aircraft repository, has now been fitted with a brand-new JSBSim FDM as well as support for high-end effects, including interior shadow mapping. Water takeoff and landing by selecting floats rather than wheels is also being developerd.

The Boeing 757 has been updated with new versions and winglets dependent on selected airline livery. The Extra 500 received multiple upgrades and now includes a simulation of icing effects and a sophisticated failure system.

Behind the scenes changes

Multiple less visible changes have also been introduced:

* the handling of shared scenery models has now been much streamlined – shared models now reside in a single location and are most easily obtained and updated via the in-sim terrasync option. Alternatively a (daily updated) collection can be obtained here.

* FG now supports the generation and application of GPU specific rendering setting profiles. The idea is to make the experience for first-time users more pleasant by pre-setting the rendering quality level to something which leads to a good experience for the selected graphics card.

* Currently, support for pre-defining aircraft states (such as ‘cold and dark’ or ‘in air’ or ‘cruise’) is formalized and introduced, with the aim of routinely allowing in-air initialization of complex aircraft with all systems set correctly.

Stay tuned as we fly towards our next release!

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.

FlightGear 2016.1 Released

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

The FlightGear development team is delighted to announce the v2016.1 “San Francisco” 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 integrated launcher that includes the ability to download aircraft, a reduction in the installation package size, performance improvements and many rendering improvements.
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.

Qt_launcher_for_FlightGear_3.5_on_Windows_7

FlightGear features more than 500 aircraft, a worldwide scenery database, a multiplayer environment, detailed sky and weather 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 v2016.1 for free from FlightGear.org/download

FlightGear – Fly Free!

Please continue to our wiki article for all the specific details and new features in the release.

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)!

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Contact info for press, bloggers, etc.: aviv@wildfireLATINgames.com without the capitalized name of a language spoken in ancient Rome.