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0 A.D. is a free and open source in-development real-time strategy game from Wildfire Games, one that hasn't seen a big release for quite some time (Alpha 23 was in 2018) but work continues on with it pulling in lots of goodies and Alpha 24 should be quite an exciting one.

What's always impressed me with 0 A.D. is the quality of the visuals, and they're set to look even better whenever Alpha 24 arrives. Before now it had no Anti-Aliasing but thankfully that was merged into the game earlier this year so it's going to look even better. As their team shared on Twitter, it's a nice difference:

It's most clear to see the difference on the roof.

Matches in 0 A.D. are going to get more lively too, with new animals making their introduction including the Eurasian Brown Bear, Polar Bear, Hippopotamus, plus Aurochs Bull and Aurochs Cow. Not only that, some previous issues with animals have been solved like speed not matching walking animation and building construction issues when animals are present.

Additionally, looking further over what they've done, there will also be tons of improvements to other areas of the game. New unit animations, a bunch of enhanced textures for various units, a new map with Sahyadri Buttes (the next picture below), another new map with Atlas Valleys, improved game icons and more.

If you're like me and you want building placement to match up we've got good news there too, as building-snapping has also been added in. When you hold down CTRL as you're moving around a building blueprint, it can then snap right against the sides of existing buildings. It's real handy! You can see a quick demo here first showing normal building placement, then the sudden snapping is the new feature when holding CTRL:

I have to admit my fondness for 0 A.D. is also due to another reason with their built-in scenario editor tool. You can use it to make maps of your own and do pretty much anything. It's also gained quite few new assets to include in maps from flora to cliffs, multiple new types of trees and just a lot more biodiversity to add in maps.

There's of course hundreds, if not thousands of other changes and improvements coming that I've not mentioned. 0 A.D. Alpha 24 is going to be good.

Want to try out the latest development version that will eventually be Alpha 24? You can download 0 A.D. as a Snap Package across many Linux distributions, look for the "edge" channel for all the latest bits. Keep in mind obviously that's all development code and there will be bugs.

If you've never seen 0 A.D. before head to the official site for more info.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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26 comments
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Tchey 11 May
I feel 0AD is still missing some important tools, unless i missed them.

Most importantly, full keyboard rebinding, and formation movements : you can select different behavior and shape for the group, but moving around is uneasy, like, you can’t draw an arrow on the ground to set direction they are facing.

Also, i find the perf mid-game to drop quite a lot, and with 50+ units on screen, it’s not great. Could be my computer, but for similar situation, i have better perf with SupCom or Zero-K.

Anyway, i played a new skirmish yesterday, and it still was a nice experience.
TheSHEEEP 11 May
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TcheyAlso, i find the perf mid-game to drop quite a lot, and with 50+ units on screen, it’s not great. Could be my computer, but for similar situation, i have better perf with SupCom or Zero-K.
Unfortunately, the game's rather bad performance is well known.
IMO it is mostly due to them using JavaScript (Spidermonkey afaik) for scripting. JS simply wasn't made with high performance in mind, that's just not where it shines.
But now that the script engine is that deeply integrated since years, you can't just rip it out like a bad tooth to replace it with a shiny C# or Lua tooth. At best, I could imagine more scripting logic being rewritten in C++, only called from script.

Actually, the latter makes most sense IMO, as that is how scripting should be used anyway (as in, if it is performance critical, don't do it in script, do it in C++).
oldrocker99 11 May
The FOSS game I love even more than 0AD is Warzone2100, a commercial game from the late 90s, which got lost among the other RTS games of that era. It was made FOSS, and has been improved, with many releases. It has its own gameplay, and as you discover "relics," you can upgrade your tanks and other fighting vehicles.

There was nothing wrong with the game; the late 90s saw a raft of good games released, and not all of them were successful. Here's the skinny: link

HIGHLY recommended.
Gooda 12 May
Wow, the visuals are really great!
tuxayo 14 May
play0adI can't say for sure we will provide SMAA in the next release, but some work as been started. However we are only volunteers so free time is defined by the amount of time we spend AFK;

I can't find the ticket for that. Do you by any chance have it in mind?
play0ad 15 May
Mountain ManMany, many years ago before Steam for Linux, I started keeping track of open source game projects because they were pretty much the only games available for Linux at the time. 0AD was one of them. As I look through my few dozen archived internet bookmarks now, most of the sites are either gone or haven't been updated in years. And yet here's 0AD still going strong and looking better than ever. Given its professional quality, I'm surprised it hasn't been given a price tag and sold as an "early access" project on Steam.

It's been considered however there are some licensing issues, and also, the problem that the game is 20 years old, nearly 100% volunteer work, and there are still some major issues we have to fix to avoid a huge spam of Negative reviews if we decide to change something between two releases. So we will go eventually, for a price or not, but not until some features like campaign support and pathfinder threading are implemented.


DerpFoxI really love that gale. It's a pleasure to see it constantly evolve.
The only thing important to me it lacks for me is a voiced tutorial/campaign with a clear objective system.

Hopefully the work will resume on https://code.wildfiregames.com/D11 soon allowing the interface to support campaigns. However it's already somewhat possible to create scenarios. Voice campaigns are much more complicated, for we'd need to have a special sound team for that. And that doesn't usually come open source :D

TheSHEEEP
TcheyAlso, i find the perf mid-game to drop quite a lot, and with 50+ units on screen, it’s not great. Could be my computer, but for similar situation, i have better perf with SupCom or Zero-K.
Unfortunately, the game's rather bad performance is well known.
IMO it is mostly due to them using JavaScript (Spidermonkey afaik) for scripting. JS simply wasn't made with high performance in mind, that's just not where it shines.
But now that the script engine is that deeply integrated since years, you can't just rip it out like a bad tooth to replace it with a shiny C# or Lua tooth. At best, I could imagine more scripting logic being rewritten in C++, only called from script.

Actually, the latter makes most sense IMO, as that is how scripting should be used anyway (as in, if it is performance critical, don't do it in script, do it in C++).

Intel did actually some profiling recently https://software.intel.com/content/www/us/en/develop/articles/identifying-the-frame-rate-bottleneck-in-0-ad.html

There are however a lot of things that can be done, though most of them are very complex. There is pathfinder threading
https://code.wildfiregames.com/D14 UnitPushing https://code.wildfiregames.com/D1490 those could offer a significant boost in the endgame.

There is also using a more recent version of OpenGL we use 2.0 and 1.1 but that means a lot of existing players won't be able to play anymore.

In the future we'll have to find a way to keep supporting MacOS when they finally remove OpenGL support.
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