Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Music Blog #4

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

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.

Featured Contributor: Pureon

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

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:

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A couple of Supreme Commander units from 2009:

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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.

Some random 0 A.D. stuff I’ve created:

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Anything you want to add?

Some Nostalgia:

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Music Blog #3

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

Alpha 8 introduced the mighty Persians!

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


Tracks mentioned in this post:


Music Blog #2

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

As we progressed to Alpha 7, the Main Menu was redesigned by the team, and the music changed accordingly with a track titled “Honor Bound”.
(By the way I’d like to take a second here and thank all the team members for suggesting track titles!) Two new introductions to the game were the defeat track: “Dried Tears”, and the Carthaginian civilization – complete with two new tracks: “Peaks of Atlas” and “Mediterranean Waves”.
Percussion artist Dror Parker came in to record riq, frame drum, darbuka and tom parts, and I then built the music around his inspiring work!
Other then these distinct percussive sounds, Carthage was portrayed with a duduk and wooden flute.
Last but not least for Alpha 7, my three original A5 tracks were remixed and remastered, and flutist Marta Mc’cave came in to record the flute part on the Hellenic track, “Forging a City-State”.
Her improvisation over it was so awesome, that I added a whole segment to the piece based on it – and it is thanks to her mastery of the flute that this track is so alive, and remains one of my favorites today!

Thanks for listening, stay tuned for more 0 A.D. music!
– Omri Lahav


Tracks mentioned in this post:





Music Blog # 1

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Welcome to The Greek Theater, official 0 A.D. music blog!

This blog will chronicle the making of 0 A.D.’s music, since I assumed the role of composer and music department lead for Wildfire Games!

It is most appropriate to begin with a brief thank you to Aviv (Jeru on the forums) for recruiting me to WFG in the first place.

It was March 2011, and around the release of Alpha 5, Edetania:

Being both a (casual) gamer and a (professional) musician, I knew exactly what I want to hear in game – I had no interest in creating a period score, nor do I posses enough knowledge of the actual music of 0 A.D.

I decided the score had to be first and foremost – game music, and it must be compelling in that context!

In the interest of maintaining continuity, and ensuring each civilization in the game had it’s own, unique sound – I decided to completely rewrite the score, one piece at a time.

The first three tracks that came to be are “Celtic Pride“, “Forging a City-State“, and “Harsh Lands, Rugged People“: peace tracks for the Celts, Hellenes and Iberians respectively.

Given that these pieces had to feel relevant and integral to a massive war game – I chose to fully orchestrate them.

A simple yet effective device to identify the various civilizations was instrumentation:

On top of the orchestra, the Celts were portrayed with tin-whistles, highland pipes, a bodhràn and a fiddle, the Hellenes with a harp, bouzouki and flute, and the Iberians with a classical guitar (true, it did not exist around 0 A.D., but within the context of modern game music – it worked for me).

 

Thanks for listening, stay tuned for more 0 A.D. music!

– Omri Lahav


Tracks mentioned in this post:

FlightGear v2.10 Released

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

February 17, 2013 – FlightGear v2.10 is Released!

The FlightGear development team is happy to announce the v2.10 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 improved usability, better terrain rendering and a fully scriptable 2D rendering system.

A list of major changes can be found at: http://wiki.flightgear.org/Changelog_2.10.

Oscar B., one of our developers made a movie to highlight some of the new features in v2.10

LukeaFG has also made an excellent promo video showing some of the new v2.10 features.

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 v2.10 for free from FlightGear.org.

FlightGear – Fly Free!

FlightGear v2.10 Release Candidates

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

February, 17, 2013: FlightGear v2.10 is official released.  Please proceed to the download page and download the full official release!  All the files shown here are old news.  Please move along, nothing more to see here. :-)

This is the place to find the v2.10.0 release candidates as they become available.  We would really love for everyone to download these “test” releases and give them a try.  The target date for the official FlightGear v2.10.0 release is February 17.

Download FlightGear v2.10 Release Candidates:

(Release candidates can be updated frequently and the mirror system can take some time to update, so if a download link doesn’t work, please try another mirror.  If none of the mirrors work, try refreshing this page to get a new set of mirror suggestions.  Or try again in an hour or two.)

Download v2.10 Aircraft:

  • Download the newest versions of all the aircraft at the v2.10 Aircraft Download Page.  These are also have “release candidate” status and could be subject to changes before the official release.

Download v2.10 Scenery:

  • The FlightGear scenery is continuously being improved.  The newest available scenery works with both v2.8 and v2.10.  We update the scenery packages with any new models or changes every few weeks.  Get the latest scenery through the usual means from the Scenery Download Page.

Source Code

What’s New?

Comments or Questions?

  • If you have comments or questions regarding the release candidates, please go to the FlightGear forum.

Bugs?

0 A.D. Joins Software in the Public Interest, Can Receive Tax-Deductible Donations

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, has successfully applied to make 0 A.D. an associated project at an organization called Software in the Public Interest, Inc. (SPI).

SPI is a non-profit corporation based in the USA, that acts as a fiscal sponsor to many open source projects, including Debian, Drupal and LibreOffice. This means SPI can accept donations and hold funds for the development of these projects, sign contracts on behalf of the developers, provide legal advice when they might need it and more.

Importantly, if you live in the United States, you can donate to 0 A.D. through SPI and deduct it from your taxes. (Europeans can donate to SPI through a non-profit association based in Germany, named ffis e.V., which has partnered with SPI.)

Wildfire Games has been developing 0 A.D. as a standalone game since 2003. We are always looking for ways to improve the speed and quality of development. That’s why we have recently re-considered many aspects of how our project is run, including setting up new and better ways to get funds. This is the first step in this direction.

To be sure, this partnership does not change things from the perspectives of developers, artists, or users. 0 A.D. will remain a free, open-source project run by the community, and SPI will not intervene in our decisions. The only role that will change is that of the project lead, currently Erik Johansson (also known as feneur), who now has the extra responsibility as the project liaison to SPI. This means Erik is the only person authorized to tell SPI how we want to use funds that were earmarked for 0 A.D.

0 A.D. was accepted as an SPI Associated Project by the Board on December 13th, 2012. Through this cooperation, we hope to both strengthen 0 A.D. as a project, and propagate free, open-source software everywhere.

We welcome your donations through SPI and will be phasing out the previous donation systems over the next few days. Edit: After further deliberation, the existing donation systems will remain in place in parallel to the new system. However, donors are advised that their donations are only tax-deductible if transferred via SPI.

Donating to 0 A.D. via SPI (U.S. Dollars Only)

Please find full instructions for donation on the SPI donations page.

If you have a credit card, you can donate via Click & Pledge directly to 0 A.D..

Donate Now

Donating in Europe

If you wish to donate to 0 A.D. through a European bank account, to save international money transfer costs, this can be done through the German non-profit organization, ffis e.V., following these instructions.

3.1.0 has been released!

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Today, we finally release Warzone 2100 version 3.1.0!
It is available at our usual location: https://sourceforge.net/projects/warzon … ses/3.1.0/

This release has been very long in coming, and brings along over 2 1/2 years worth of bug fixes and improvements.
While our small team of developers pushes ahead with continuing to improve Warzone 2100, you can expect quicker releases than it took to get 3.1.0 out the door.
Special thanks goes out to our developer Cyp, for bringing us perfectly synced multiplayer games, something that no other version of Warzone 2100 has ever had.

We wish to thank all the people that made this release possible, with all the helpful feedback, and the bug reporters to help us help you with a more bug free game, and the mod community for bringing helpful utilities like flaME, the map editor made by Flail13 and Berg for updating and converting many models that we use in game, along with MaNGusT, Jorzi and the rest of the Art Revolution members for continuing to improve textures and models that we use (or will use) for the game, and NoQ, for all the help he does, his maps and the new devious AI he has created, and a big thanks to all the translators whom have localized this game to enable a wider audience, and finally, we also want to thank the many other people who have contributed to Warzone 2100!

Important Note for Mac Users: This release supports intel (both 32bit and 64bit) on 10.5+; this will be the last major release to support 10.5.

Note: Unfortunately, this release is a bit late because of technical difficulties with the server, and the compiler.

Special note:
We now have Warzone 2100 portable builds available with and without videos!

(84 comments)

We Won Second Place!

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

0 A.D. has just won second place in IndieDB’s Player’s Choice for Upcoming Indie of the Year contest for 2012.

Thanks so much to all the wonderful fans who voted for us! This is a huge vote of confidence in the project, and a huge encouragement for the developers.

With your help, we hope to make an even larger splash in 2013.

And of course, congratulations to the winner, Path of Exile, which like 0 A.D., is entirely free of charge to download and play. Hats off!

Indie of the Year Awards