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18 August 2010, 16:34

Playable alpha for real-time strategy game 0 A.D. released

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0 A D logo Nine years after it was first conceived and designed on paper, WIldfire Games has announced the arrival of a first alpha version of its free cross-platform, real-time strategy game 0 A.D. The historically-based 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 500 B.C. to 500 A.D. and includes six unique civilisations and several multi-player modes.

According to the developers, the alpha 1 release, code named "Argonaut", is "a close approximation of a playable game" and it includes aggressive units that automatically attack enemies on sight. The development preview features the addition of two new maps ("Arcadia" and "Hellenised Egypt"), support for in-game multi-player chat and more lifelike animals with improved AI, meaning, for example, that they will attempt to escape from danger. Other changes include various graphics updates, such as building collapse and corpse decay, a new terrain smoothing tool in the Atlas map editor, more sound effects and many performance improvements and bug fixes.

Zoom A screenshot of 0 A.D. showing the detailed, life-like terrain and some user status displays.
The developers point out that 0 A.D. is, and always will be, free of charge. No registration is required and advertising is not included in the game. Feedback is welcomed in the Wildfire Games Forums and on their IRC channel (#wfg on QuakeNet IRC - irc://

More details about the alpha release, including an alpha gameplay preview video, can be found in the official release announcement and on the Gameplay Feature Status page. 0 A.D. Alpha 1 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and installation instructions are provided. The game's source code is released under version 2 of the GNU General Public License (GPLv2) and the art, music and sound content in the game is made available under the CC-BY-SA Creative Commons License.

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