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20 September 2011, 10:21

0 A.D. Alpha 7 arrives as developers push towards 1.0

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0 AD Logo Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer developers, is making progress towards version 1.0 of its open source cross-platform real-time strategy (RTS) game, 0 A.D. with the release of a seventh alpha version, named "Geronium". Contributor Aviv Sharon told The H that the team aren't in a rush to complete a fully-playable version, however, they do "expect to reach a version 1.0 within a year or so" adding that "unlike some open source projects, we do want to have a 'finished' version of the game for our own sense of closure".

Open sourced two years ago in July 2009, the game is similar to Microsoft's Age of Empires in that users create and build civilisations and must defend them against their enemies. The game focuses on the years 500BC to AD500 and includes six unique civilisations and several multi-player modes.

Zoom Borders are now dynamically rendered
Source: CC BY SA Wildfire Games
To help the 1.0 effort, the development team is currently seeking contributors to fill several open positions. The team are looking for a Sound Effects Specialist, a Texture Artist, a 3D Artist, Animators and Graphic Designers. In the seventh alpha, the group have already had professional musicians compose and direct new sound tracks, and create more than 100 new sound effects.

One of the biggest changes in the new version is dynamic territory design: game territories will now change based on the structures that players build. 0 A.D. Alpha 7 adds an "all-new and unique" Carthaginian civilisation that includes new units, a completely remodeled navy, and more structures. Other improvements include an updated main menu design, new maps and new objects. A number of new "Easter Egg" objects, such as a Tophet structure and Samnite warriors, have also been added.

Zoom The latest version of 0 A.D. has a new main menu screen
Source: CC BY SA Wildfire Games
Further details about the seventh alpha, including a full list of new features, can be found in the forum release announcement. Aimed at developers, testers and early adopters, 0 A.D. Alpha 7 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux; installation instructions are provided. Feedback is welcomed in the Wildfire Games Forums and on their IRC channel (#0ad on QuakeNet IRC - irc://

The game's source code is released under GPLv2 and the art, music and sound content in the game is made available under the CC-BY-SA Creative Commons Licence. Interested users can follow @play0ad on Twitter for more updates.

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