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13 July 2011, 15:55

Real-time strategy game 0 A.D. gets P-51 Mustang planes

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0 AD Logo Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer developers, has released the sixth alpha version of the open source cross-platform real-time strategy (RTS) game 0 A.D. Curiously, the update includes brand new P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft that can fly around the map attacking targets on the ground and in the air. The developers say that the WW2 fighter planes were added "just for fun" and "to show that the game engine can support flight".

Zoom The new flight demo includes P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft
Source: CC-BY-SA Wildfire Games
More conventionally, the free ancient warfare game now includes five unit stances, ranging from "Violent", in which units attack enemies on sight and pursue them if they try to escape, to "Avoid", causing the unit to not attack and to run away from enemy soldiers. 0 A.D. Alpha 6 adds more than 40 new sound effects for building selection and construction, as well as a total of 250 new terrain textures; however, the developers note that the textures are "still a work in progress".

Other changes include new and updated maps, artificial intelligence (AI) programming fixes, and various updates to game art. The Atlas scenario editor gains an improved "Player settings" panel which can be used to set teams, colours, default AI behaviour, starting resources, and a new entity filtering function.

New sound effects in 0 A.D. Alpha 6

Open sourced in mid-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. The developers say 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 (#0ad on QuakeNet IRC - irc://

Zoom A new Thracian Mercenary unit has been added in Alpha 6
Source: CC-BY-SA Wildfire Games
More information about the sixth alpha, including a full list of new features, can be found in the forum release announcement and on the Gameplay Features Status page. 0 A.D. Alpha 6 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, and installation instructions are provided.

In an email to The H, contributor Aviv Sharon notes that the developers are currently seeking new contributors to help with, for example, 3D animation and modeling.

The game's source code is released under version 2 of the GNU General Public Licence (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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