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Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri gets an in-development open source remake

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Seems like another classic is getting revived with the power of open source. Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri from 1999 has a remake in progress called GLSMAC. All unofficial, like most open source reimplementations and it's early days for the project but it's showing a lot of promise.

Their plan is to use the original data files, just like other open source remakes (OpenMW for Morrowind for example), while it's a full rework of the graphics engine, networking and pretty much everything else. So plenty will be a bit different like the random map generation, AI and so on while they try to keep it similar to the original logic they are creating the code from scratch.

According to their roadmap they're at stage v0.2+ so they still have quite some ways to go:

  • v0.1: fundamental engine functions, such as: rendering, UI, netcode, sound system

  • v0.2: basic map functions, such as: tiles, mapgen, creating/saving/loading games, map rendering

  • v0.3: basic multiplayer: ability to host and join games, lobby, save/load games with same players. multiplayer support will be maintained during further steps from now on

  • v0.4: game processing, such as: game turns, units (only scout patrols, formers and colony pods), buildings (only recycling tanks), technologies (only centauri ecology), building of bases (only land bases), terraforming (only farms, mines and solar arrays), unit combat, victory by conquest

  • v0.5: all remaining SMAC units, buildings, terraformings, technologies, etc

  • v0.6: all remaining victory types

  • v0.7: AI (computer opponents, cities automation, units automation, etc) and diplomacy

  • v0.8: alien lifeforms, ecology

  • v0.9: all remaining in-game UI, including game settings

  • v0.10: non-crucial things like movies, interludes, dynamic music

  • v0.11: final polishing and bugfixing

Looking forward to watching this one grow, Alpha Centauri was absolutely one of my favourites. I remember spending so many hours playing it through.

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri can be picked up with the Alien Crossfire expansion on GOG.com. You can follow the remake project on GitHub.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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17 comments
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robertosf92 Sep 11, 2023
Cool project! I liked Alpha Centauri when I played it a few years ago
eldarion Sep 11, 2023
A pitty they will work on multiplayer before all single player features.

Anyway, I'm going to check the progress for time to time.
apocalyptech Sep 11, 2023
Quoting: eldarionA pitty they will work on multiplayer before all single player features.

I don't really care about multiplayer myself, either, but for a feature like that, it is extremely useful from a development perspective to bake it in as close to the beginning as possible, rather than trying to add it in after the fact. That way you don't discover right near the end that you've made some fundamental assumptions early on which make implementation that much more difficult, etc. IMO it's a good idea to be doing it so early.
Purple Library Guy Sep 11, 2023
Hurrah! I've been wanting something like this forever!
Be worth it just to have mousewheel zoom.


Last edited by Purple Library Guy on 11 September 2023 at 4:54 pm UTC
Purple Library Guy Sep 11, 2023
Quoting: apocalyptech
Quoting: eldarionA pitty they will work on multiplayer before all single player features.

I don't really care about multiplayer myself, either, but for a feature like that, it is extremely useful from a development perspective to bake it in as close to the beginning as possible, rather than trying to add it in after the fact. That way you don't discover right near the end that you've made some fundamental assumptions early on which make implementation that much more difficult, etc. IMO it's a good idea to be doing it so early.
I suspect having it is also a good way of making sure everything else works even if you don't have the AI working properly, because you can play out full games without the AI.


Last edited by Purple Library Guy on 11 September 2023 at 4:53 pm UTC
seven Sep 11, 2023
YES PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!
Nod Sep 11, 2023
Fun fact. This game was ported to Linux by Loki in 2000. I am a proud owner of the box set and played it at the time.
Purple Library Guy Sep 12, 2023
Quoting: NodFun fact. This game was ported to Linux by Loki in 2000. I am a proud owner of the box set and played it at the time.
Yup. Likewise. Not that I can get it to work these days.
gbudny Sep 12, 2023
Thank you for the article.

I hope this project will become as big and active as VCMI.
Ananace Sep 12, 2023
It's nice to see some love given to this old classic, a little uncertain about the priorities in the roadmap though - and regarding the further ideas as well.
Will have to have a further look through the code at a later point, see if I can help in some part.
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