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0 A.D. Weekly Report #1

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0 A.D. Weekly Report #1

by plumo, 0 A.D. Community Liaison

The wait between consequent alpha releases can be hard, we realize that. To ease the pain we -- the international bunch of volunteers that is Wildfire Games -- will start showing what’s being worked on behind the scenes by our dozens of contributors.

Starting this week, we commence with publishing a weekly report. If you want to find out more about the development of this open-source, cross-platform real-time strategy game or if you are interested in game development in general, it is a must-read.

If you want to be part of this project, we urge you to post your application in our forums. We are currently looking for Gameplay, AI, Sound and Graphics Programmers along with Animators and 3D & texture artists. No wizard when it comes to programming or drawing? Luckily for your portfolio we are also looking for a Sound Lead, Video Editors, a Documentation Manager and Scenario Designers. Still no luck? Head to our forums and join our active community!

Feature spotlight!

Badmadblacksad, historicbruno, and Pureon have been working on implementing gates to work with the existing click-drag wall system. Expect this feature in the next alpha release! Pureon also uploaded a teaser video.

Art & Programming

After his work on the gates, Badmadblacksad, departed on a well-deserved holiday. When he gets back, we’ll urge him to continue working on the new multiplayer lobby.

One of our more reclusive contributors, Eggbird, has been modeling buildings for the Mauryan Indians, the recently-announced new civilization that will make a partial debut in alpha XI (for the complete implementation of this civilization you will have to wait until the release of alpha XII). Last week Eggbird has been putting the final touches on the civilization centre.

Gen.Kenobi has been busy revising the Hellenic buildings. Last week he remodeled and retextured the market building. This week he has been working on the Greek fortress.

Historicbruno has mainly been reviewing and implementing patches, submitted by other contributors like F00/Deiz, who personally whips programmers to greater productivity! This week saw the implementation of 'always visible hero selection rings'. This screenshot will explain.

Myconid has been working ‘round the clock to add modern post-processing effects like Bloom, HDR and SSAO to 0 A.D. Making everything work on various systems and video cards is a long and tedious process but the results are well worth the trouble.

Art department veteran (12,390 forum posts and counting!) Mythos_Ruler has been working on modeling and texturing units for the Mauryan Indians. He has also been editing the massive design document in our wiki.

Pureon has been working mainly on gate animations (last week he finished all gate animations!) and on new icons for opened gate/closed gate.

Spahbod has created autumn textures for the temperate biome. He has also been working on a new GUI for the match setup. On top of being considerably more user-friendly the match setup now features map previews! Thanks also to luziferius for these.

RfPWt.jpg

Wijitmaker, an old timer who has been around far longer than any current team member can remember, is currently reworking some of the building and clothing textures to make good use of the new possibilities introduced by myconid (Parallax) and Philip (Specular Lighting).

Wraitii has been working on a new and improved water shader. He is currently implementing more realistic shore waves.

Zaggy1024 is facing the massive task to have all animals in 0 A.D. fully animated. Lately there have been rumors of walking (not gliding!) elephants.

Audio

Our talented composer Omri Lahav has been recording new tracks for both the Athenian and the Macedonian civilizations. He insists on recording the performance of a real flutist instead of just using a flute sample… once again we realize how fortunate we are to have him.

Misc.

You find 0 A.D.’s website slightly (we stay polite) outdated? We too! That’s why bstempi, Geek377 and gerbilOFdoom are working hard on a brand new web portal for your favorite open-source game.

Project leader Feneur and PR guy Jeru are responsible for the promotion of the game among many other things. They keep the information on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and on portals like moddb up to date, whilst spreading the word (and the love).

Last but not least is K776, our open source development manager who sets the deadlines and targets for every alpha. His catchphrase ‘Will this make it into next alpha?’ is becoming legendary.

Next Monday: our second Weekly Report!

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Nice update!

What's the purpose of having buttons to control the gate? Wouldn't automatic opening and closing when your units are walking thorugh it be enough?

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To lock and unlock the gate :) A locked gate will never open, while an open one always will(for allies only iirc).

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OK, but what's the point? I suppose that it may be to avoid opening the gate to let get in both your units and enemies?

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It's more to avoid having your units automatically attack. Otherwise, you could open any gate just by luring some enemy units near.

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That's all excellent news ! Thanks for this report, that gives a very good idea of how much is at work now.

Cool for the gates! I like the fact that we can keep it closed even with units beside it. I guess it can help sometimes in the game.

I have a question about the civilisations in the game : do you plan to include the Egyptians ?

I guess the work on it would be massive and maybe not possible for the final release of 2013, but I believe that would give even more reasons to the -already existing- wonderful dunes and palm trees !

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Historicbruno has mainly been reviewing and implementing patches, submitted by other contributors like F00/Deiz, who personally whips programmers to greater productivity! This week saw the implementation of 'always visible hero selection rings'. This screenshot will explain.

great idea this weekly report :thumbsup:

the link to the screenshot is not accessible

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Nice report.

No progress on the sound system? Pity.

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Not all things make it into this report, even though they're being worked upon :) Just saying.

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Very nice report! It would give everyone, who is not following the forums regularly, a good snapshot of progress and what to expect in the next alpha ;-)

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Nice work (y)

What's the purpose of having buttons to control the gate? Wouldn't automatic opening and closing when your units are walking thorugh it be enough?

It came in handy (for me) very often in AoK. One reason is AIs were stupid and would often let an enemy army into my towns with their traders, villagers, or other units, at the worst possible time. Though a good enemy AI would target the gates first, so it was taking advantage of another bug or inadequacy in that case :P Another reason is for management of your own units passing through the town, you might want to force them to use a certain entrance, so all other gates can be locked most of the time. The real value of gates depends on what style of play you favor. If you're more aggressive then you probably won't care much for gates or walls, but if you have a defensive style, they make a big difference.

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While on the topic of gate locks, is there any particular reason why 'lock' and 'unlock' has separate buttons? Can't they be combined in a single, toggling button?

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While on the topic of gate locks, is there any particular reason why 'lock' and 'unlock' has separate buttons? Can't they be combined in a single, toggling button?

It was originally a single button but was changed at the explicit request of Mythos and Pureon (as I recall). I like the two-button layout myself, then you don't have to guess about whether the icon reflects current or intended state.

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I like the two-button layout myself, then you don't have to guess about whether the icon reflects current or intended state.

Yeah, the two buttons help people like me :P

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Another question about gates: currently they build instantly, is there a plan to build them with a longer time and with graphical effects like other buildings? Or this is intended since it's just an "upgrade" of an existing structure?

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Another question about gates: currently they build instantly, is there a plan to build them with a longer time and with graphical effects like other buildings? Or this is intended since it's just an "upgrade" of an existing structure?

It is an upgrade, so after some discussion we decided to make it an instant change. However as with most things, if we find this doesn't work well, we'll change it :)

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Hmm, indiedb/moddb doesn't seem to show this. Did we send it to them?

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hey dear community,

wooow... nice!

a big question:

will there be a usable multiplayer-interface in the next alpha. i found it rather hard to do it the manual way.

besides, it would increase the popularity of 0 A.D. before the beta-phase considerably in my eyes. the bots are good but the game would make A LOT more fun, if it can be easily played with human opponents. even though it will lag with more than two players.

shall we found an extra-donation-fond for this issue?

Edited by JuliusColtranePille

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@Spahbod

I uploaded the report yesterday on moddb.

@JuliusColtranePille

BadMadBlackSad has done some work on the multiplayer lobby recently. But I think I speak for the whole team when I say that this will be implemented before 0 A.D. moves to beta status :)

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@JuliusColtranePille

plumo is right. There was some discussion and it was decided that the Lobby Server would be pushed back to A12. While the patch already has basic functionality, there's a still a ton of work left to be done on it. For example: Edge cases need testing, it remains to be seen if the patch will fail to compile on Mac/'Nix, there's security to be considered, the interface could use a look over, and there's no server to host the lobby.

This will all get sorted out, just not in time for A11. The ticket for this item is #1504.

Edited by gudo

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