As a composer, there is nothing more exciting for me than watching my music come to life… but this post isn’t so much about music – but about the people behind it!
First and foremost, a heart-felt “Thanks” to… you: the fans! I never imagined so many people would fall in love with the music of 0 A.D., but the feedback I’ve received in the past few years has blown me away! I am absolutely thankful to each and every one of you for expressing such love and interest in my music – without you, I would never have recorded a single note.
Since day 1, I insisted that as much of the music as possible be recorded by live musicians (as opposed to using MIDI-based sounds), and the results speak for themselves…
Several musicians have come together to really bring my music to life, and I would like to extend my ever-lasting gratitude to them as well
Marta Mc’Cave – Flute
She is the beating heart of the Hellenic Tribes, and also plays the flute solos from “Honor Bound” and “The Road Ahead”. Her solo on “Forging a City-State” was 100% improvised!
Shir-Ran Yinon – Viola
She is the soul of the Britons in “Highland Mist”, and the reason why “The Road Ahead” sounds so big… over 40 separate Viola channels were recorded to create the big string section sound!
Avior Rokah – Trumpet
Avior’s trumpet rings true in the win/loss music, tragic and melancholy on “Dried Tears”, triumphant and epic on “You are Victorious!”
Dror Parker – Percussion
The score of Carthage wouldn’t have been the same without this master of drums. His frame drum, darbuka, riq and toms were recorded freestyle – with nothing but a click track! I then sat down and arranged “Peaks of Atlas” and “Mediterranean Waves” on his inspiring work.
Jeff Willet – Percussion
Jeff is a personal friend and collaborator of mine, who has contributed two of his taiko drum tracks to be used as combat music in game. He also played a wide array of percussion on “Cisalpine Gaul” and “The Hellespont”!
Bar Guzi – Percussion
I’ve been playing with Bar since I was 13… and he was the first percussion player to chime in! His djembe playing can be heard on “Forging a City-State”.
Honest, heart-felt thanks for listening, stay tuned for more 0 A.D. music!
- Omri Lahav.
Erik Johansson (“feneur”) has announced he will step down from managing the development of the free, open-source game 0 A.D., citing his wish to focus on his writing and other hobbies. Johansson, 27 from Sweden, has been the project lead since 2008, and the team thanks him for his sustained leadership of the project. Back in ’08, 0 A.D. was a small, proprietary freeware project, but under Erik’s watch, the project has gone open-source and developed tremendously to a global community with thousands of fans and supporters. Erik has emphasized that he wishes to remain on the team, and he will continue to assist with certain administrative tasks, including serving on the Treasury Committee, a committee of contributors who make financial decisions for the project.
Longtime 0 A.D. contributor Michael D. Hafer (“Mythos_Ruler”) has agreed to take over leadership of the project pending the success of a crowdfunding campaign, tentatively set for May and June 2013, which he will plan and carry out. If the campaign succeeds, Hafer will work in a full-time capacity for one to two years from his home in Indiana, USA to promote all aspects of development of 0 A.D.
Starting from now, Michael will be replacing Erik on the Design Committee, which decides which features will be included in the 0 A.D. software. He will still answer to the Treasury Committee for all decisions concerning raising and disbursing project funds. If the crowdfunding campaign succeeds, the Treasury Committee will pay Michael’s salary according to the terms of a pending contract.
Current committee members are:
Design committee: Enrique, Michael (“Mythos_Ruler”) and Jonathan (“quantumstate”). Treasury committee: Erik (“feneur”), Kieran (“k776″) and Aviv (“Jeru”).
Edit (April 5, 2013): The new project liaison to SPI is Aviv Sharon (“Jeru”).
We invite contributors to advise our upcoming crowdsourcing campaign and help with related tasks. If you are interested, please let us know on our forums or on our contact form. Thanks!
We have started a donation drive to keep the operation of the server alive. In the past, all hosting costs were provided by one person, which we very much appreciated! However, the cost is getting too much for one person to bear. The server is what these forums are running on, as well as the lobby server, addons, and trac (bug tracker) along with the wiki, and buildbot to make the builds.
That means, that if we can’t get enough donations to be able to continue being hosted with the current service provider, then we will be forced to scale down operations and go for a simpler, less user-friendly solutions.
If you can spare a one-time donation, or a on going subscription to help out with the recurring server costs, it will be much appreciated! To donate, click on the Donate! link on the forums, or use this link Donations Thanks!
Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of “0 A.D. Alpha 13 Magadha”, the thirteenth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. This alpha features the Mauryan Indians, AI improvements, six new songs and more!
Easy Download and Install
Download and installation instructions are available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. 0 A.D. is free of charge and always will be. Although you might find some people selling copies of 0 A.D., either over the internet or on physical media, you will always have the option to download 0 A.D. completely gratis, directly from the developers.
Moreover, you can redistribute the game and modify it freely as long as you abide by the GPL. You can even use parts of the art and sound for your own projects as long as you abide by CC BY-SA. No “freemium” model, no in-game advertising, no catch.
Top New Gameplay Features in This Release
All-new and unique Mauryan Indian civilization, including new units, from war elephants to Brahmin priests; and new buildings, reflecting this culture’s original architectural style.
The default AI, Aegis bot, has been greatly improved, be it at defending, attacking, or building a strong economy. It now supports researching technologies and should work much more reliably than most other AIs before. (Known problem: Aegis now has some issues with saved games. Sorry, we hope to fix this in A14.)
Aegis can now play at several different difficulty levels, so beginners can easily learn to play, and more experienced players can get more of a challenge.
Attack/move command: If you select units and then Ctrl + right-click on a location, they will go to the location, but also stop to attack enemies they meet along the way.
Graphics and User Interface Improvements
Helpful messages appear when a building can’t be placed somewhere. (See screenshots below.)
When you select a place to build a building, the building preview always shows the precise final variation that will be built.
When some buildings are built, they now rise from the ground, and some also have lifelike scaffolds surrounding them.
Tribute stats added to the summary screen.
Players are notified when any tributes are given to them.
Music and Sound
New Celtic songs: “Cisalpine Gaul” and “Celtica” (the latter featuring Jeff Willet’s percussion),
New Hellenic song: “The Hellespont” (also featuring Jeff),
Combat music featuring taiko drums “First Sighting” and “Elusive Predator” by Jeff.
First Mauryan song: “Land Between the Two Seas.”
New and improved animal sounds for lions, tigers and bears.
Development Updates and Miscellaneous Features
User mod support: See our modding guide to learn how to create your own mods for 0 A.D.
Improved OS X build process, without need for MacPorts or Homebrew.
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.
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!
We name our releases according to development status (“Alpha” or “Beta”), successive release number (1, 2, 3, …) and a word relating to the ancient world, in alphabetical order (“Argonaut” for A, “Bellerophon” for B, …).
Magadha was an ancient kingdom in northern India from which the Mauryan empire originated. The empire was founded by exiled general Chandragupta Maurya, who overthrew the reigning king of Magadha and went on to conquer most of the Indian subcontinent, as well as parts of Persia and Central Asia. Years later, the third monarch of the dynasty, Ashoka, would become famous for renouncing all violence, converting to Buddhism, and spreading the faith throughout the empire. Ashoka is also remembered as one of the most exemplary rulers in world history for his advanced social and animal welfare programs.
Magadha also happens to be the birthplace of Jainism and Buddhism, two of India’s historically significant religions. These religions’ shared belief in rebirth and karmic retribution most likely derives from the culture of Magadha in the last five centuries BC. In honor of the release of the Mauryan Indian faction, we have decided to dub Alpha 13 “Magadha”.
For the next alpha, we welcome fan suggestions for words relating to the ancient world beginning with the letter N. Keep it original and related to the time frame portrayed in 0 A.D. (appx. 500 BC – 1 BC)!
Subscribe to 0 A.D. Development News
Contact info for press, bloggers, etc.: aviv@wildfireORACLEgames.com without the capitalized name of an ancient priest or priestess whom people would consult for advice or predictions of the future.
As you may have noticed occasionally, the server that this forum is running has at times been resource constrained. We are using it for automatically building snapshots and releases, for tracking bugs, this forum, the games server, and several other tasks. So far the costs for running this server has been paid by a member of the team. We need to move to a better server, but this costs more money than one person should pay on their own.
We are therefore looking for people to help us out with this. Server rental expenses are recurring on a monthly basis, so if you could donate a small amount of money each month to help us run this show, we would be much appreciative. You can also donate once, if you want. The more money we get, the bigger and faster server we can afford. We will keep a list of donors, income and expenses updated publicly. Regular donors may get a special forum badge if we can find someone to draw one. You may of course be anonymous, if you want.
Alpha 9 introduced the Roman Republic into the game. As I was looking forward to working on the Romans since I first joined the team, needless to say I was excited! However finding the proper sound proved to be challenging, and several options were thoroughly examined before finally deciding to go with a mandolin, an English horn and pizzicato strings. This combination of sounds resulted in two tracks: “Juno Protect You”, and “Elysian Fields”.
Also, early peace tracks were added for two civilizations: The Celts got “Highland Mist” with live fiddle performed by Shir-Ran Yinon, and the Iberians got “An old Warhorse goes to Pasture”, with live guitar, fife and percussion played by me.
“The Road Ahead” was remixed, and now features live violin and viola by Shir-Ran Yinon (besides the solo parts, about 40 separate viola channels were recorded to create the vast string section sound!), as well as a flawless flute solo by Marta Mc’Cave.
Alpha 10 included “You are Victorious!”, the first victory track in the game (and a polite nod to AoE!), as well as the Hellenic tribes’ early peace track, “In the Shadow of Olympus” – based on the Greek bouzouki!
This is actually an instrument I have never played before, and borrowed from a friend solely for creating this score!
Thanks for listening, stay tuned for more 0 A.D. music!
- Omri Lahav
Today, after some unfortunate delays, we now are ready to go live with the new addons section.
We would like to thank all the hard work that forum members Duha, NoQ & Fastdeath accomplished in helping us make the new addons site a reality. We would also like to thank the following members, Berg, effigy, Shadow Wolf TJC, karamel, aubergine for all the testing & feedback that they have provided.
Everyone who wants to add new content, or to vote for the content on the site must first register using their forum credentials.
You do not need to be logged in to be able to download things.
If you decided that you wish to upload your addon to the site, then you must follow these simple instructions: Addons
Remember, the addons site is for the FINAL versions of your addon, please upload it to the Addon discussions area for general debugging and feedback.
No addon should have any errors/warnings in the logs, so always check your logs!
The moderators are NOT beta testers! Don’t waste their time.
Once you upload something, then you can’t access it again until a moderator approves it.
You can report addons that have issues via the report button, only moderators will see it.
While not mandatory at this time, it is highly suggested that you have a forum thread for your addon, so we have a good way to communicate with the author about possible issues.
Lastly, please be patient with the moderators that we have, they are doing this on their own time, like the rest of the developers.
I’m taking a break from the regular blog progression to address a recent question I received – regarding the instruments I own that were used to create the sounds of 0 A.D. :
All these blogs make me wonder: Just how many instruments does Omri have? He seems to own 5-6 instruments for every civilization!
Let’s start with admitting that I have a problem… I am an instrument hoarder, I have around 40 different ones in my studio… Let’s take a look at the instruments that were used to create each civilization’s distinct sound:
Celtic Tribes: The sounds of Celtica are based on a duo of D tin whistle and low D tin whistle, along with an Irish bouzouki, a Bodhràn (traditional Irish drum), a rain stick, and a fender acoustic guitar. Some tracks also feature a Celtic harp (sampled) and a fiddle played live by Shir-Ran Yinon!
Hellenic Tribes: The Hellenic sound was created using a Greek bouzouki and a flute (played by Marta Mc’Cave!), as well as large frame drums, a djembe, a harp (sampled) and horns. The Greek bouzouki is so prominent, some of the Hellenic pieces are based entirely on it!
Persia: The sound of Persia consists of several stringed instruments – a handmade Oud, (traditional middle-eastern instrument with 11 strings and no frets), a handmade Saz (Turkish instrument with 6 strings), and a slightly more modern – home made fretless acoustic bass guitar.
As well as some percussion sounds – an African djembe, a Syrian darbuka, and a pair of bamboo shakers.
Rome: The primary sound in the music of Rome is a mandolin, as well as the wind chimes which were recorded on my porch!
Iberia: The voice of Iberia is centered around the Spanish guitar, as well as a Fife, a tambourine and a shaker.
Carthage: For Carthage I brought in percussion artist Dror Parker to play frame drum, darbuka, riq and toms. He recorded those in freestyle, and I then built the music around his work. While the Duduk is sampled, the bamboo flute was played live.
Mauryan Indians: Sadly, I do not (yet) own a sitar, so I came up with a replacement and used my homemade fretless guitar. I also recorded a snake charmer that was actually bought in India, finger cymbals, and a homemade rice shaker.
On the next post we’ll go back to the chronicles of making this score
Thanks for listening, stay tuned for more 0 A.D. music!
- Omri Lahav.
It’s time again to take a closer look at one of the contributors to 0 A.D. This time we’ve chosen to feature Pureon, one of the most versatile contributors we have, but I’ll let him elaborate on that below. Let’s just say that it was an easy decision to feature him, and that we are very grateful that he’s part of the Wildfire Games team and community.
Tell us a bit about yourself
Prior to joining the 0 A.D. team I participated in online community projects for games such as AOE3 and Supreme Commander, however my experience of RTS games started with the classics AOE1 and Total Annihilation. My enthusiasm for creating user generated content for the early generation of RTS games helped define what degree I studied at university and therefore my current employment in the creative industry.
Some AoE3 units I created in 2006:
A couple of Supreme Commander units from 2009:
What have you found most interesting about contributing to 0 A.D.?
I first heard about 0 A.D. about 6 years ago, and at the time it looked good but no alpha releases were available to play or mod so it slipped my mind until 2010. That’s when I heard it had switched from closed development to opensource and had released a playable alpha. I was hooked. Why work on mods for commercial games when I can use my skills to shape a ‘real game’.
The variety of tasks I’ve been able to contribute to allows me to acquire new skills and keeps me motivated. Some of these tasks include 3D modeling, unit animations, map making, texturing units, designing the new website, managing the sound department, creating the trailer videos, and illustration (icons). Once triggers and a few other key features are implemented I’d really like to work on some scenarios for 0 A.D., just like I did for AoE 1,2 and 3.
Looking to create a distinct sound, I picked up my oud, saz, acoustic bass, darbuka, djembe and bamboo shakers, and just started recording different combinations and ideas.From one session of recording my own improvisations came two new tracks: “Eastern Dreams“, and “Sands of Time“. Parts have been refined and some orchestral work was thrown in, and the unique voice of Persia was ready to go into the game! A8 also saw the addition of the first generic peace track, “The Road Ahead” – which was (deliberately) long, with several changing moods. On November 2011, I was awarded WFG’s ‘Member of the Month’, for which I am still very honored and thankful!
Thanks for listening, stay tuned for more 0 A.D. music!
- Omri Lahav