Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category

New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 15 Osiris

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of “0 A.D. Alpha 15 Osiris”, the fifteenth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. This alpha features a multiplayer lobby, skirmish maps, auras 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

    • Multiplayer Lobby: The new in-game multiplayer lobby is a place to meet other players and play games together. Meet the entire 0 A.D. community online and face the challenge of a multiplayer game!
    • Auras: Units get a bonus when they are in range of a special building, like a wonder, or another unit, such as a hero. This feature adds a new layer of strategy to the game. So far, in Alpha 15, temples regenerate health for nearby units, and most heroes have auras. This feature is set for expansion and further refinement over the next few alphas.
    • Debut of the Ptolemaic Egyptians: Alpha 15 debuts the Ptolemaic Egyptians as a new playable civilization. Some new buildings, units and unique gameplay features can already be tested, but it’s not finished yet and still contains a lot of placeholders. The Ptolemies will be completed in the next alpha releases.

A Ptolemaic Egyptian settlement along the Nile.

  • Skirmish Maps: Skirmish maps are a new game mode in 0 A.D. They’re similar to scenarios, but can be easily changed according to your preferences. Like scenarios, these are hand-crafted maps in which the terrain, starting positions and positions of resources on the map remain constant every game. However, unlike scenarios, other aspects can be changed every time you set up a game, like starting resources, factions and teams.Also, in skirmish maps the map creator also placed some generic entities on the map, which will change according to the factions players choose as soon as the game starts, such as generic Civil Centers that will immediately transform into Civil Centers specific to the faction chosen. Skirmish maps are another option available to the player, on top of scenarios and random maps. (Try the first skirmish map, “Alpine Valleys”, bundled with Alpha 15!)

 

The Alpine Valleys skirmish map.

User Interface

  • Escort / Guard Order: You can now order your troops to protect other units or buildings. When the guarded unit is attacked, whoever is guarding it will come to help, either by attacking the offender, or by healing or repairing the guarded unit.
  • Attack Notification: Whenever you’re attacked, you’ll hear a sound and receive a chat message, and the minimap will shows some blinking pixels on the map so you can quickly see where the attack is happening.
  • Auto-Garrison Units: When possible, you can ask your newly-produced units to garrison in the production building by setting the rally point in the building itself, using the Ctrl key.
  • Automatic Naval Pickup: When units are asked to garrison into a ship, the ship will sail to the shoreline to pick them up.
  • “Back to Work” Button: The last civilian task a unit was doing (i.e., gathering, building, trading, …) is remembered when ordering a unit to do some military task (i.e. attack, garrison, …). After you’re done defending yourself from an enemy attack, you can quickly send units back to their previous tasks using the back-to-work button.

     

New tech icons.

Music and Sound

  • Two special tracks have been composed for the Ptolemaic Egyptians: “Valley of the Nile” (feat. Shlomi Nogay on flutes and Jeff Willet on percussion) and “Ammon-Ra” (feat. Jeff Willet) (see YouTube videos below).
  • A new generic peace track, “Tavern in the Mist”, contributed by Mike Skalandunas.
  • “Celtica” and “Highland Mist” now feature an actual Celtic harp, played by Avital Rom.
  • “Eastern Dreams” and “Sands of Time” have been completely remade, and now feature Jeff Willet on percussion.
  • “Honor Bound” remixed and remastered.
  • New selection sounds.


Graphics

  • Better Unit Movement in Formations: The units in formations run around less, and now know how to get to the closest available place in the formation. This way, the formation is formed faster, and the pathfinder doesn’t have to compute long paths for big formations.
  • New Asian elephant and tiger animations.
  • Some new buildings were added to Brits and Gauls, complete with AO, normals and specularity.
  • New terrain textures.

Development Updates, Bug Fixes and Miscellaneous Features

The new GUI design, modelled by the new Multiplayer Lobby.

  • New GUI Design: Work on a new and improved user interface design has started a while ago. With Alpha 15 you can see it in action the first time! At the moment the new design is only used for the multiplayer lobby, but other menus will hopefully also benefit from the improvements in the future.
  • Internationalization Work Started: For the next Alpha we intend to include a translation system, and work on such a system has already begun. Volunteers have begun translating 0 A.D. into dozens of languages. If you have the necessary skills to help localize 0 A.D., feel free to head over to the web-based translation platform Transifex!
  • Multiplayer OOS Problems Fixed: Several causes of out-of-sync errors in multiplayer games have been fixed. These issues made multiplayer games with AI players nearly unplayable in Alpha 14 but should now be fixed.
  • Increased Support for Multiplayer Hosting: If you were unable to host multiplayer games before because you couldn’t manually setup port forwarding, now the game will try to automatically negotiate port forwarding with routers supporting UPnP. This should allow more people to host multiplayer games without connection issues.
  • Some recent graphical changes make it possible to make particle jet trails and more realistic smoke in the future.
  • Random map generation is now faster.

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 “Osiris”?

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, …).

Osiris was an ancient Egyptian god, usually identified as the god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead. In honor of the release of the Ptolemies, we have decided to dub Alpha 15 “Osiris”.

For the next alpha, we welcome fan suggestions for words relating to the ancient world beginning with the letter P. 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@wildfireNILEgames.com without the capitalized name of Egypt’s most important river.

Indiegogo Fundraiser Wrap-Up

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Hey fans! Looks like we hit $33,251 in donations!

We’d like to extend our gratitude to everyone who donated and who worked hard to spread the word about our game and this fundraising campaign.

The sum we raised for this campaign dwarfs all of our past fundraisers combined. We are very happy to have raised this much, over 20% of our original goal of $160k, and we’ll be putting your donations to good use in the year ahead as we hire our programmer for a full 12 months of work.

The most popular perk was “Donator”, at 641 donors contributing $8679 in total. Donors at this level were promised a “Donator” badge on the Wildfire Games forums, appearance in a donor list we maintain on Twitter, and getting added to the list of “contributors” in the game.

This means that the most significant overall contribution came from people who weren’t interested in any physical perk at all!

Perk Fulfillment

In the coming weeks we’ll be working on fulfilling all of the perks. We’ll be contacting many of you via e-mail regarding some details (shirt sizes, etc.).

  • A reminder for those donors who are claiming the 0 A.D. Original Soundtrack: We will be offering the soundtrack in both super high quality FLAC format for download and the physical CD. If you would like just the FLAC digital download, please let us know when we contact you. This will help us save money on CDs and shipping and ensure more of your money goes toward developing the game instead.For those who opt for the physical CD, we know you won’t be disappointed. For everyone at this perk level (and above), our composer Omri Lahav is cooking up something special. Should be pretty fun. ;)

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Delivery for most physical perks should be between the end of November and the end of December. Of course, we’ll continue to update everyone as fulfillment moves forward.

Thanks again to our 1274 donors, and we promise we’ll make you all proud.

If you missed the fundraiser and still want to donate, don’t worry, see our donation page for details how to contribute!

0 A.D. Development Report #13

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Wildfire Games, the international group developing 0 A.D. – Empires Ascendant, is happy to present the 13th 0 A.D. development report covering everything (or nearly everything) that happened since the 12th report in June. Most of the items covered in the current report went into Alpha 14 Naukratis, so you should be able to see them in action right now!

First and foremost, Wildfire Games has launched a crowdfunding campaign via IndieGoGo, with the aim of raising $160,000 in 45 days. If successful, the funds from this campaign will go toward paying 2 team members to work on the game full-time (40+ hours per week) for up to 2 years! For our fans, that means more features faster and better performance quicker. Our stretch goals include another year of paid development so we can create an exciting single player campaign for the game! Click the logo below to check out our campaign!

Screenshots for this Report (New Features)

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IndieGoGo Crowdfunding Campaign, New Release: Alpha 14 Naukratis

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, is raising $160,000 to support development of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. The announcement of the fundraiser coincides with the release of “0 A.D. Alpha 14 Naukratis”, the fourteenth alpha version of 0 A.D.

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.

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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.

Please Contribute to the 0 A.D. Fundraiser!

We’ve been working on 0 A.D. as a free, open-source project for over 4 years now.

We have made tremendous progress over the years. All of this was accomplished almost for free, depending almost entirely on volunteer work.

0 A.D. will always be 100% free, open-source, and without any in-game ads. We have established ourselves as a one-of-a-kind project, combining strategy gaming, the love of ancient history and a commitment to openness and freedom.

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But in order to complete the game soon, some of us will have to work on it as full-time contractors for the project.

To support speedier development of 0 A.D., please help us raise $160,000 over the next 45 days.

In exchange, you’ll get some of our amazing perks, such as soundtrack CDs, posters, and even your face on a unit in the game! This is a limited-time offer, so act soon.

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For this fundraiser, your donations will be processed by one of the top crowdfunding websites, Indiegogo, and by the non-profit payments platform FirstGiving. Funds will be held for us by a US-based non-profit, Software in the Public Interest (SPI). SPI accepts donations and holds funds for many open source projects, including Debian, Drupal and LibreOffice, and also for 0 A.D.

Importantly, SPI is a tax-exempt public charity described under section 501c3 of the US Internal Revenue Code. This means that for many US taxpayers, some or all of your donation towards this fundraiser may be tax-deductible. For details, please consult your tax advisor.

If you enjoy playing 0 A.D. and believe that it matters, please help →

Why “Naukratis”? Announcing the Ptolemies, the Seleucids and “0 A.D. – Empires Ascendant”

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, …).

Naukratis (alternate spelling: “Naucratis”) was a city in the Nile Delta of Lower Egypt, mainly inhabited by Greeks from the 6th century BC onwards. It also contained pottery that demonstrated the earliest known examples of the early Greek alphabet. Until the rise of Alexandria, Naukratis was the most important port city in Egypt. (Thanks, ImperiusDamian!)

We chose “Naukratis” in honor of the Ptolemaic Kingdom, which we are proud to announce will be the eleventh faction in 0 A.D. Another Hellenistic state set to be included in 0 A.D. is the Seleucid Empire, which ruled the Near East after Alexander’s empire fell apart. The Ptolemies and Seleucids are each set to be released in one of the next alphas, and they join the ten factions already portrayed in 0 A.D.: 3 Hellenic factions (Athens, Sparta, Macedonia), 2 Celtic factions (Britons and Gauls), Carthaginians, Iberians, Persians, Romans and Mauryan Indians.

For the next alpha, we welcome fan suggestions for words relating to the ancient world beginning with the letter O. Keep it original and related to the time frame portrayed in 0 A.D. (appx. 500 BC – 1 BC)!

The Ptolemies and the Seleucids probably conclude the set of factions we intend to make for the first edition of 0 A.D., covering the period between 500 B.C. and 1 B.C. We have decided to call this first edition “0 A.D. – Empires Ascendant”. In future editions of the game, we hope to represent notable civilizations from 1 A.D. to 500 A.D. The list will not be finalized until the first edition has gone gold, but some possible civilizations include Late Rome, Imperial Rome or Eastern Rome, the Germanics, Vandals, Sarmatians, Saxons, Parthians, Huns, Dacians, and the Goths.

Top New Gameplay Features in This Release

Now that we’ve got all the big announcements out of the way, let’s review what’s new in Alpha 14.

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  • Blacksmiths: A brand new building type for the game, complete with models for all factions. Researches attack and armor upgrades.
  • Infinite farms: A farm will now keep yielding food until the end of the match, without need to rebuild it, but with diminishing returns. Only up to 5 gatherers can work on each farm. (Veteran players will notice that more space is now required to produce the same amount of food.)
  • Exponential armor and realistic health: Technologies now have the same effect on all units. Also, changes to the way units’ health is calculated in the game allowed us to correct some unrealistic phenomena, like archer damage to buildings.
  • Allies can now garrison in each other’s buildings.
  • Shared trade gain with allies: When you trade with an ally, there is a +25% bonus over trading with yourself, that is now split between you and your ally.
  • Ranged units can hit farther from high places.
  • Ranged units had to be within a minimum range from their targets to fire at them. This requirement has been removed.

Graphics, Sound and User Interface Improvements

  • Hero button: A persistent button in the top left appears when you train your one allowed hero(ine). Clicking it selects the hero(ine) wherever he or she is on the map.
  • Game speed controls: In single-player games, change the game’s speed whenever you want to.
  • Location hotkeys: You can now mark camera positions and jump back to them later with hotkeys.
  • GUI dropdowns support typing for quick selection.
  • Sound manager improvements: The game now plays a list of multiple songs per match, instead of playing just one song in a loop. Also, the user interface now responds to the user with sounds.
  • Terrain anchoring: Units now move more realistically on hills.
  • Saved games can now be given descriptions and deleted or overwritten in-game.
  • Several random maps were changed to be more beautiful and playable.
  • Fancy water rendering is now faster and improved.
  • Ships look better when sinking.

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The Atlas Scenario Editor, Bug Fixes and Miscellaneous Features

  • Pike elevation tool in Atlas: Allows for making mountains and cliffs more easily.
  • Mod improvements: Saving maps in Atlas will no longer make it crash.
  • Fixed some common out-of-sync and out-of-memory errors.
  • Alert sounds no longer heard by all players, off-screen sounds only heard when appropriate.
  • Fixed crash with Nvidia Optimus graphics and some netbooks.
  • Walls can be placed along shores.
  • Improved hotkey support for non-QWERTY keyboards.
  • Several performance improvements.

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!

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.

0 A.D. Financial Report, September 2013

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

In the interest of transparency, the Wildfire Games team would like to report on the finances of the project as of 2013-09-04.

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 2013-07-10, 0 A.D. has an earmark of USD 5743.51. The bulk of that (USD 4,140) comes from funds raised in two Pledgie fundraising drives in 2010-2012, which were only partially used (Links to fundraisers: #1, #2). The rest of the sum comes from other small donations, collected without any fundraiser.

On 2013-08-09, the 0 A.D. treasury committee and an SPI board member approved an agreement with contractor Jorma Rebane (RedFox) that will cost a total of USD 3,310, or approximately 80% of the Pledgie funds.

Under the agreement, Jorma is set to perform the following duties:

  • To enhance the memory performance and allocation of the game, its GUI rendering and implementation, and add a new efficient and feature-rich text rendering module.
  • To overview implementation of code architecture and design decisions, while also consulting other developers.
  • To review patches submitted by other developers.
  • To assist the programming team in efficient task management.
  • To publicly report on his activities to the team and the fans no less than twice per week, with the intent of encouraging public interest in and engagement with the game, as well as inviting new contributions from the FOSS community.

You can follow up on Jorma’s contributions on the forums. Here is his activity status report for August 2013. So far he has made extremely large improvements to the game, that will be readily apparent in Alpha 15.

Other Accounts & Total

In our “legacy” US bank account, we have USD 130.05.

On Flattr, we have EUR 276.06 available, which are approximately USD 363.87.

In total, at the end of Jorma’s contract, and assuming no more revenue, we will have USD 2927.43. This sum would allow us to keep contracting out work at the current spending level for just 9 more weeks.

Concluding Remarks

A monthly report of funds held by SPI in trust for 0 A.D. is also available on the SPI website under “approved minutes of past meetings“.

The 0 A.D. project finances are managed by the Treasury Committee: Erik (“feneur”), Kieran (“k776″) and Aviv (“Jeru”). We welcome your comments on the forums.

Thanks to all our donors. Stay tuned for the release of 0 A.D. Alpha 14 and the announcement of our biggest fundraiser ever.

0 A.D. Development Report #12

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Wildfire Games, the international group of volunteers developing 0 A.D., are happy to present this week’s 0 A.D. development report.

If you want to find out more about the development of this open-source, cross-platform real-time strategy game or if you are interested in game development in general, it might provide an interesting read.

If you want to be part of this project, we urge you to post your application in our forums. We are currently looking for Gameplay, AI, Sound and Graphics Programmers along with Animators and 3D & texture artists. You prefer to do something else than programming or drawing? Luckily for your portfolio we are also looking for a Sound Lead, Video Editors, a Documentation Manager and Scenario Designers. Still no luck? Head to our forums and join our active community!

!!! We are in need of (skilled) programmers. If you are one, redirect yourself to this thread. Your contributions are crucial !!!

On Performance

Performance has been a major bottleneck for quite some time. We know the problems, and we are committed to resolve them. Last two months we’ve seen an influx of new contributors who are keen to help us fix the lag. sbte committed some patches (sim interpolation optimization) and a couple of memory leaks have been fixed (Markus). Kuranes has also been working on optimization and his work seems very promising. He added VBO support to minimap entity rendering (1,5 ms/frame to 0,8 ms/frame, which may seem trivial but every millisecond counts!). But this is just the tip of the iceberg, his many other optimizations are WIP or being reviewed by us, but when they are committed to the game the increase in performance will be noticeable! Last but not least we have Redfox, a retired 0 A.D. programmer who became active again. Currently he is working on font rendering, but like Kuranes, he is dedicated to implement major code optimizations, and he has the know-how. Their work will make 0 A.D. the enjoyable and fluid experience, you always wanted it to be!

Screenshot of the Month
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Team News

Peter a.k.a. alpha123 has joined the programming team. Peter has contributed quite a few patches to the game and has been a valuable contributor in design discussions.

Programming, Art & Sound

Our new project lead, Mythos_Ruler has been busy as well. So busy in fact that I’m reluctant to write down all the things he has been working on last two months. The major new feature is the blacksmith. Although the models are placeholders for now, in the near future you’ll be able to upgrade your units in this new building. He also added new technologies, a new Spartan hero (Brasidas), rebalancing and tweaking the stats of almost every unit ingame, a new map, normal and specular map for desert terrain … we could go on and on, but we insist you check out our next alpha release.

historic_bruno committed a lot of patches and bug fixes. I’ll mention just a couple of them: updating Valgrind headers and fixing some memory leaks (patches by Markus), updating Boost Library to 1.53.0 and improving SDL 2.0 support among many other. He also added a game speed option to the match setup.

Leper also had a productive period. He cleaned up code, and reviewed and committed many functionality patches, that were written by contributors like Josh and KareemErgawy among others.

stwf has kept working on the Soundmanager. Memory leaks have been removed, code has been cleaned up and multiple song playlists are now used by civs that have multiple tracks defined.

Wraiitii committed a few fixes and improvements related to water. More importantly, he is completely reworking the water code: adding support for different water heights (e.g. lake vs. sea), optimizing foam and shore waves … On top of that, ships received a sinking animation! Never has loosing your fleet been more pleasant to watch.

Enrique has been working on shields, unit props and buildings for our next civilization: the Ptolemaic Egyptians! He is also designing, modeling and texturing the new blacksmiths.

Omri Lahav has been working on some new material for the Mauryans. He has just invited two new guest musicians (didgeridoo and celtic harp) to capture their performance. How many freeware, open-source projects have a live recorded soundtrack? We are sure you will hear the difference.

Yves is working hard on upgrading Spidermonkey. The first benchmarks are a bit disappointing, but Yves won’t give up. This is not a simple task, but in the end performance and functionality will benefit greatly from the upgrade.

alpha123 and quantumstate reworked the armor system. Damage = Attack – Armour was changed to: Damage = Attack * 0.9^Armour (in case your unit has a 10% armor bonus). This change was necessary as techs now have the same effect on each unit. So a 10% armour tech will decrease damage by 10% for every unit.

We also want to thank all our contributors that are committing patches with new features and fixes. Not all of them make it into the report, but we are grateful. We can’t do it without you guys and gals!

This month special kudos to sanderd17 who is giving archers range bonuses based on map height and Micket who modeled a Hippo and an Oryx (and a WIP tiger).

See you next month with the latest development news!

New Art Department Leader, Changes in Committee Members

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Our project leader, Michael, has appointed Enrique Keykens Espolio (known on the forums as just “Enrique”) as leader of the Art Department. Enrique is a highly capable 3D artist in his 20′s from Zaragoza, Spain.

Also, we welcome Peter C., to the team, and to replace Enrique on the Design Committee. Peter, known as alpha123 on the forums, is 16 from Colorado, USA. He is both a capable programmer and valuable contributor in design discussions.

Current committee members are:

Design committee: Peter (“alpha123″), Michael (“Mythos_Ruler”) and Jonathan (“quantumstate”).
Treasury committee: Erik (“feneur”), Kieran (“k776″) and Aviv (“Jeru”).

Erik Johansson Steps Down from Project Leadership, Michael D. Hafer Assumes Role

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

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!

New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 13 Magadha

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
  • The new Javascript Debugger supports the basic features of debuggers (breakpoints, continue, step calls…), and allows 0 A.D. developers and modders to debug Javascript scripts used by the game, saving a lot of time to understand some unexpected behavior or issue. 0 A.D. uses Javascript in many different areas like gameplay logic, UI, AI and random map scripts. Thanks to mmayfield45 for contributing the web GUI. (See screenshot below, and the documentation wiki for more details.)
  • Improved OS X build process, without need for MacPorts or Homebrew.

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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 “Magadha”?

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.

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.