0 A.D. (pronounced “zero-ey-dee”) is a free, open-source, historical Real Time Strategy (RTS) game currently under development by Wildfire Games, a global group of volunteer game developers. As the leader of an ancient civilization, you must gather the resources you need to raise a military force and dominate your enemies.
History is Yours for the Taking
“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: Who would have won if all the factions were pitted against each other when each of them was at its prime?
We intend to portray some of the major civilizations over the millennium of 500 B.C. to 500 A.D. (Hence the midpoint, zero.) That is an ambitious prospect, so in the first edition of 0 A.D. we focus on the last five centuries B.C. Perhaps in future expansion packs, more civilizations will be added, along with additional gameplay features.
We put a strong emphasis on historical accuracy while developing 0 A.D. We plan all our units and all our buildings based on reconstructions of how the units and the buildings might have looked like in the ancient world. We even name them in the original languages, such as Greek and Latin. But it’s worth remembering that any game should be fun to play, so, in many cases, we preferred playability over historical accuracy.
0 A.D. is Free of Charge
0 A.D. is completely downloadable at no cost and always will be. No “freemium” model, no in-game advertising, no catch. This is our iron-clad guarantee.
Although you might find some people selling copies of 0 A.D. on physical media, remember, you will always have the option to download 0 A.D. gratis on the internet, directly from the developers.
0 A.D. is Free as in “Freedom”
0 A.D. is freely licensed software, because we believe everyone should have access to great games, and that everyone can learn from developing them. You can redistribute and modify the game as long as you abide by the GPL. And you can even use parts of the art and sound for your own projects as long as you abide by CC BY-SA.
0 A.D. is Still Under Development
Work on 0 A.D. began in 2001, first as a mod concept for Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. In 2003 development moved to a standalone game with its own engine, Pyrogenesis. In 2009-2010, the game was released as free, open-source software and and much of the codebase was rewritten. Learn more about the story of 0 A.D. »
As of October 2013, 0 A.D. is still in alpha phase, which means an early experimental phase. It is playable, and you can already download and test the game, but some features are still missing. When will 0 A.D. be released? It is very hard to predict. Even after we are done implementing all the features, we will want to conduct extensive beta testing, which can take a while. Information about release dates will be released at the appropriate time.