New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 10 Jhelum

Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of “0 A.D. Alpha 10 Jhelum”, the tenth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. This alpha features Hellenic factions such as Athens, Macedonia and Sparta; technologies, civilization phases, click-and-drag walls, healing 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. You can redistribute it and modify it 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.

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Top new gameplay features in this release:

  • New Hellenic Factions:Athenians, Macedonians and Spartans will now replace the generic Hellenic faction. Each features some unique characteristics along with shared Hellenic units and buildings:
    • Receiving significant naval bonuses, the Athenians are the rulers of the waves. Special Buildings: Gymnaseion, Prytaneion (“Council Chamber”) and Theatron.
    • Macedonians have a wide selection of units and siege engines, for a combined arms approach. Special buildings (in planning): Lighthouse and library.
    • The Spartans can’t build stone walls, but as their soldiers are top-notch, their men serve as their walls instead. Special Building: Syssiton (“Military Mess Hall”).

    (Also, along the same lines, we have decided to include more factions in 0 A.D., beginning with the Mauryan Indians! Read on to find out how you can help.)

  • Basic Technologies: Technologies, or techs, are economic or military bonuses that can be “researched” (bought) for resources at designated buildings. In 0 A.D., technologies come in mutually exclusive pairs: Within each pair, you can either research one tech or the other, but not both in the same game. As researching some technologies depends on having researched others, one should plan ahead carefully. (Importantly, for the meantime, all factions share an identical tech tree, but over the next few releases, different factions will get different tech trees, adding complexity and interest to the game.)
  • Civilization Phases: Start in Village, upgrade to Town, then to City. Unlock new techs and expand your territory with each upgrade.
  • Click-and-drag wall building functionality. (Support for gates is due in a future release.)
  • Healing units from their battle wounds is now possible by a priest conducting a ceremony with special chants within range. Priests can be trained at the Temple.
  • The Iberians get a pre-built walled settlement as a bonus every game.

Graphics improvements:

  • New Models/Artwork:
    • Roman Siege Walls, Prytaneion, Roman Merchant Ship;
    • Iberian Special Building, Temple and Fortress; Remodeled Iberian Civ Center
    • Remodeled Hellenic barracks and market
    • Updated/Remodeled all walls
    • New hand-drawn Greek unit portraits
  • Prettier unit/building selection rings
  • Refactored rendering engine, supports the new specular effect.
  • New graphics options: Ability to disable particles and unit silhouettes in game, which gives small boost to game’s FPS if needed (Thanks, rouge-spectre and mk12)
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From top left: 1. Specularity; 2. Celtic walls and revamped selection rings; 3,4. “Drag” (3) and “drop” (4) to build all types of walls, including Roman siege walls pictured. All works CC BY SA Wildfire Games.
  • 9+ New maps, including: Acropolis 5, Laconia 1, and Punjab 3 (scenario maps) and Deep Forest (a random map).
  • New music tracks: “In the Shadow of Olympus” (Hellenic) and a generic victory track.
  • Usability Improvements:
    • Training units with multiple buildings of the same type selected trains that unit in all selected buildings
    • Several UI changes in bartering and setting units’ formation and stance
    • It is now easier to select multiple control groups (by Shift+N, where N is the control group number, or by shift-clicking the control group icons) (Thanks, mk12)
    • Shift-clicking a garrisoned unit now ungarrisons all units of that type
  • Atlas & Random Map Script Improvements:
    • Terrain eyedropper tool
    • Several bug fixes improving display and stability
    • New wall generation tool for random maps (Thanks, FeXoR)
  • Bug fixes and minor features:
    • Refactored AI API, setting the groundwork for developers to reduce lag and program faster, smarter computer opponents in the future.
    • Attack restrictions: Soldiers can’t attack stone walls, women can’t attack soldiers, animals can’t attack buildings, and more. (Thanks, ZsoL)
    • New “Random” faction option for random maps (Thanks, deebee)
    • Increased support for Linux and Mac on several accounts (Thanks, ZsoL)
    • Control groups are now persisted between save/load (Thanks, mk12)
    • Fixed several gameplay & AI bugs (Thanks, mattlott, Dietger, MattDoerksen)
    • New data paths on Windows and OS X (Windows: “%appdata%\0ad” and “%localappdata%\0ad”; Mac: “~/Library/Application Support/0ad”).

Please contribute! (REPORTERS/BLOGGERS, PLEASE MENTION THIS! We need your help to finish the game. Thanks.)
We are especially seeking contributors in sound contribution management and in documentation, and, as always, in programming, art, sound, taking YouTube videos and more. These roles on the 0 A.D. development team are great if you want to brush up on your skills and update your portfolio, if you’re seeking a project for school with real-life applications, or if you care about the cause of free culture and software and are willing to work pro bono with a group of dedicated volunteers from all over the world.

Specifically, we invite contributors to guide us in ancient Indian history and architecture as we collaboratively design the Mauryan Indian faction in 0 A.D.

Interested? Please register on our forums and start participating! (If you are applying for a role on the team, we request you start a thread in the applications and contributions forum following these instructions. Thanks!)

Why “Jhelum”?
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, …).

“Jhelum” is the Indian name for the Hydaspes River in the Punjab region, and the site of a major battle between Alexander the Great against King Porus of the Hindu Paurava kingdom in 326 BC, located in modern-day Pakistan. Alexander victored, but at a heavy cost, and the bravery, war skills and princely attitude of Porus so impressed Alexander, he allowed him to rule Hydaspes in Alexander’s name.

In honor of the decision to include Mauryan Indians in 0 A.D., we decided to dub Alpha 10 “Jhelum”. (Thanks for the name idea, zaphzaph!) The setting for the battle of Jhelum is represented in the “Punjab 3” map included with Alpha 10. For the meantime, Persians replace the Mauryan Indians on this map, but this will be corrected as we include the Mauryans in 0 A.D. within the next few alphas.

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

Long Time, No Siege
Wildfire Games will keep releasing new versions of 0 A.D. from time to time. Watch our news feed to get updates, or follow us by e-mail, RSS, Facebook or Twitter. And you’re always welcome to join the 0 A.D. community on our forums.

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Contact info for press, bloggers, etc.: without the Greek name of this alpha version written in all caps.