Wildfire Games werkt samen met zo'n honderd vrijwilligers aan het opensource-, crossplatform-, realtime-strategiespel 0 A.D. Het is een historisch oorlogs- en economiespel, dat zich van 500 jaar voor tot 500 jaar na het begin van de christelijke jaartelling afspeelt en waarmee spelers het ontstaan van de westerse beschaving kunnen naspelen. De ontwikkeling is in 2001 begonnen als een total conversion mod voor het spel Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings en sinds 2003 wordt er van een eigen game-engine gebruikgemaakt. De ontwikkelaars hebben de veertiende alfaversie uitgebracht, met de volgende opmerkingen:
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.
Graphics, Sound and User Interface Improvements
- 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.
The Atlas Scenario Editor, Bug Fixes and Miscellaneous Features
- 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.
- 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.