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0 A.D.: A free, open-source game of ancient warfare (play0ad.com)
313 points by andrevoget on Nov 27, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 48 comments

This is an absolutely awesome open source game. I keep a list of awesome open source games and its one of only two super high quality ones I've been able to find. It also has an embedded SpiderMonkey engine for scripting which was really useful when I was trying to figure out how to get an embedded scripting engine setup a while ago.

Heres the link to its source for those interested: https://github.com/0ad/0ad

The other game Hedgewars has a great haskell server, you can read a summary here with lnk to source: https://github.com/jwaterfaucett/awesome-foss-apps#hedgewars.

Anyway tip of the hat to O A.D devs they are doing a great job!

Have a look at StuntRally too, if you're after well executed OSS games: http://stuntrally.tuxfamily.org/ It does have some initial weirdness and getting used to in the GUI, but it plays really great and looks stunning (even on "average" graphical details, which you should pick unless you have a high-end GPU)

A bit off-topic, but do you mind sharing that awesome list?

sure the list is awesome-foss-apps in my original post (https://github.com/jwaterfaucett/awesome-foss-apps), would've just posted the direct link to Hedgewars but the original link gives a good summary of why hedgewars is so awesome from a devs perspective :)

Have you played Battle for Wesnoth?[0] I would seriously consider including it in your list. Insanely fun and difficult turn-based game.

[0] http://wesnoth.org/

thanks! The code for Wesnoth is really nice its got great examples of lots of stuff, test suits, gui / interface managers, game servers. I just added it :)

0 A.D. is great. I used to play a lot of RTS (real time strategy) games between 1995 and 2005. Sadly the whole RTS genre died because of the shift of PC game developers to consoles and their casual softened gameplay (HaloWars, C&C4) didn't work out. And the free-to-play AoEOnline / C&C Generals 2 (beta) were failures and SC2 drifted into a hardcore online niche. Not everyone wants to play repetitive Moba/tower defence style games. There would be a huge market for RTS games.

I loved the Age of Empires series, as well Empire Earth, C&C Generals. And building games like The Settlers, Anno 1602, Sim City.

0 A.D. is similar to Age of Empire/Mythology. Keep up the good work!

Act of Aggression came out recently, and you've got AI Wars from a few years ago - I believe they've got a new RTS out soon as well. Supreme Commander and its sequel were proper RTS and still fantastic even if they are a bit older now.

Then you've got a new Anno game last year, Cities Skylines, Age of Empires got a re-release on Steam, and if you can find a copy Settlers II 10th Anniversary Edition completely reimplemented the original with modern graphics and UI.

If anything digital distribution and crowd funding is bringing about a resurgence of all those genres big publishers shunned.

I know. See my comment below: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10640337

I played all of them. The Total Annihilation series is a niche sub-genre. Anno 2070 just come out this month but has little in common with the old Anno 1602 or Anno 1404. The AoE "HD" releases were a quick buck for Microsoft and get boring again a few hours later (when you own also the original versions).

What the world needs are new RTS games inspired by AoE/EmpireEarth/C&C with a good singleplayer campaign and random maps with good offline KI that can play various game-modes. That's why 0 A.D. is so great!

I've been playing AOE since the original and still play it often, I've recently found Total War to be a sufficient RTS/Turn based game for me, a nice mix between Civilization and AOE.

That being said you should look again at AOE3, there is still a small online community that I hope will continue for quite awhile.

I miss all of the C&C games a lot. Are there any modern successors to them?

The recent Act of Aggression is a inofficial successor of C&C Generals. I just had time to play it for a few hours, but it seems to be almost as good as Generals. Though it's more complex (more unit upgrades, more ressources) and unlike Generals the building part of the game is less advanced: it limits buildings to a grid and building cannot be placed everywhere.

And Cities Skylines is the best city building simulation. It was a big surprise that a small team managed to create such a superior game. EA's SimCity 2013 with fake simulation was a failure.

0 A.D. is gorgeous!

Another great RTS, with a strong focus on fun gameplay and modding, is Megaglest https://megaglest.org/

Good coincidence seeing this here, as my partner and I are about to play a game while our baby (hopefully!) takes a nap. We call it our 'team bonding activity'.

Good luck with that. We had a simple rule: "sleep when the baby sleeps" that was the default for the first year. But if you can squeeze in some 0AD games, then good for you!

I only really played a game for the first time the other day, but I lost my entire afternoon.. I really like that all the factions are so different, I dont remember having had that much fun with age of empires.

I kept getting my ass kicked by catapults though...

I have been searching for the true successor to AOE2 for so long. I can't wait to try this out!

Alot of features are still missing, but its totally possible to play a fun few games. And the good thing is that you regurlarly get new features (And its free...)

I love 0 A.D.! The only issue I have ran into is it slows down so much that it is basically unplayable with more than 4 players or so (or a few AI players). I've been meaning to jump in for awhile and help improve things.

I don't know what it's like now, but when I used to work on it we badly needed a new short-range pathfinder design. That and the range manager would pretty much just die once there was a significant number of units.

Yeah, that was the most talked about need when I was working on the project too. The release notes for Alpha 19 say there's a new Pathfinder.

The changelist make it sound rather underwhelming, but this release contains almost three years of work on a new pathfinder.

Did it just replace the long-range pathfinder with Philip's JPS one or did you replace the short-range one also?

Just the long-range one in this release[1], but the short-range replacement is targeted for the next[2].

[1] http://trac.wildfiregames.com/ticket/1756 [2] http://trac.wildfiregames.com/ticket/1942

Yay, so catapults and ships don't get stuck on each other anymore? Yay, I might have to get back into it (except I have a 'real job' and side projects etc now...).

Is the multiplayer turn length still really long? (500ms IIRC)

The video on the linked page mentions, "New unit path finder. Improved performance"

I'm curious how a little bit of randomness and more realistic combat would affect the RTS genre. Perhaps something like Overgrowth [1] for combat, and maybe even a MMO/RTS combination for intelligent units? Does anyone know of games exploring this possibility?

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct7xp0R-tnQ

Allegiance takes a stab: http://www.freeallegiance.org. A Microsoft project that failed commercially, but the community eventually convinced them to release the source code for.

It's an RTS/space-sim hybrid. Each team has a commander that mostly stays in starbase and leads from top-down perspective. Boring jobs, like mining and construction are handled by AI, but all the other ships have real players flying them. I don't think I have played a game that emphasizes teamwork more.

WarCraft III had a good amount of randomness -- %-based critical strikes, evasion, damage ranges, movement speed ranges, dodgeable projectiles. Also RPG style heroes for each faction which could heavily influence the tide of a battle when used well. Combat is of course not as involved as Overgrowth seems, since it's still an RTS. That sounds like it fits your proposal, but I'm not sure?

Savage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savage:_The_Battle_for_Newerth

One player per team can be the commander and gets a top-down RTS interface. The others have a first-person view and shoot or strike depending on faction.

Cool. It looks sort of like an upgraded Age of Empires.

It's current version is "0 A.D. Alpha 19 Syllepsis". Is it done and playable? Maybe it's better to wait for some "real" release?

By the way, it seems to me that open source games don't have visible milestones. So one cannot notice when there's a good moment to download and play bug free game. Do you have same impression?

I downloaded today and played a couple rounds on my c2007 MacBook Pro. I did notice occasional lag in 2 player mode but nothing horrific. I didn't see anything that felt like a bug. Very nice!

It's very playable. There is only one ruining problem, as the game progress and number of objects on the map increases, game becomes ultra slow. Like one frame in 10 seconds.

That's almost entirely fixed with this release.

Since I help develop the game, I'm rather biased, but I think that it's as stable or more so than most triple-A titles released today.

What I observed is that from time to time it slows down to almost unplayable but this lasts some 30 seconds and then it get backs to normal. This happens once every 15-20 mins. Hope it helps.

Can't thank you enough. You people totally rock!!

I'd definitely pay for a game with a campaign built on the foundations of the game. I miss good strategy games with nice long campaigns.

Campaigns are on the roadmap. All the required code to support them is complete, we just need to build the scenarios.

I love the game and so do my kids, is there an easy way to know how people can contribute? I mean do you need more assets? Storyboards for campaigns? In game copy? Designs? Historical research? Coding help?

Tell us what your needing, coding and otherwise. Congrats on the great work so far also!

We'd love help in any of those areas! If you'd like to help with programming, take a look at [1]. For other areas, the processes is less structured and I'd suggest starting on our forums [2]. In both cases however, jump on our IRC channels if you have any questions (#0ad and #0ad-dev on quakenet).

In terms of where we most need contributors, at the moment I'm not aware of anyone working on campaign storyboarding or UI mockups.

[1] http://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/GettingStartedProgrammers [2] http://wildfiregames.com/forum/

From the release page "We are seeking volunteer contributors in programming, art, sound, documentation and more. Programmers are especially welcome and can get started immediately."

If you're a programmer, you can start here - http://trac.wildfiregames.com/wiki/GettingStartedProgrammers

It's either 1BC or 1AD. There is no 0AD.

From http://play0ad.com/game-info/project-overview/:

> “0 A.D.” is a time period that never actually existed: In the usual calendar, one goes from 1 B.C. to 1 A.D. and skips zero. This reflects the historical fiction in the game

You can't skip what didn't or couldn't exist. 0 was a transition point from BC to AD - it had no quantity of time or duration.

The game is make-believe, like the year 0ad.

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