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.
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.
But in order to complete the game soon, some of us will have to work on it as full-time contractors for the project.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
We are seeking volunteer contributors in programming, art, sound, documentation and more. Programmers are especially welcome and can get started immediately.
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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.