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New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 16 Patañjali

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Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of "0 A.D. Alpha 16 Patañjali", the sixteenth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. This alpha features localization into more than 10 different languages, an improved AI, a new GUI, big changes "under the hood" and more!

Easy Download and Install

Download and installation instructions are available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. 0 A.D. is free of charge and always will be. Although you might find some people selling copies of 0 A.D., either over the internet or on physical media, you will always have the option to download 0 A.D. completely gratis, directly from the developers.

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Moreover, you can redistribute the game and modify it freely as long as you abide by the GPL. You can even use parts of the art and sound for your own projects as long as you abide by CC BY-SA. No "freemium" model, no in-game advertising, no catch.

Top New Gameplay Features in This Release

  • Localization:
    • 0 A.D. is now available by default in 13 different locales, contributed by volunteers from all over the world:
      • Catalan
      • Czech
      • Dutch
      • English (United Kingdom)
      • English (United States)
      • French
      • Galician
      • German
      • Italian
      • Portuguese (Brazil)
      • Portuguese (Portugal)
      • Scottish Gaelic
      • Spanish (Spain)
    • The Japanese translation is also completed, but due to the large font files, it would cause a larger download for other players and it also requires a computer with higher specs. So, we offer the Japanese translation together with the font files as a separately downloadable mod. See installation instructions for East Asian locales on our Wiki.
    • Many more languages are currently being worked on and are planned to be released in future alphas. You are welcome to contribute in this area.
  • Formation Updates: The Testudo formation (for Roman melee infantry) and the Syntagma formation (for Macedonian, Ptolemaic and Seleucid pikemen) have received new animations, and their movement has improved further over the previous version. The formations are also more moddable, which sets the stage for further developments in formations.
  • New AI - Petra: Petra features more aggressive expansion and combat and builds defence towers and fortresses as a human would. Petra manages resources better in late game than the previous AI, Aegis, and is more robust to external conditions. It will also trade over land with allied markets, if there are any.
  • Town Bell: Click on the new "town bell" button to sound an alarm and make your citizens garrison in the nearest structure until the enemy is gone. Once you sound the bell again, your units will ungarrison and go back to work.
  • Global Resource Trading Settings: You now set the chance a trader will trade a certain resource, rather than selecting it per trader. This gives you a better overview of your trade, and makes it easier to manage.
  • The "Wonder" Victory Condition: If you set "Wonder" as victory condition, a counter counting down 5 minutes appears after you build a wonder. If the enemy can't destroy the wonder in this time, you win.
  • We also have an "Explored Map" game setting now, in which the entire map is covered with the Fog of War. This is an option that gives something between the "revealed map", where there are no secrets, and the default "dark map".

Graphics and User Interface

  • New GUI, new font: The new GUI style seen in the multiplayer lobby in Alpha 15 is now used nearly everywhere. The GUI font has also been changed to Biolinum, a free font created by the Libertine Open Fonts Project.
  • Multiplayer "Ready" button: In a multiplayer game, all users must confirm game settings before host can start game. When the host changes a setting, players are set to "not ready" again. This is to avoid sneaky behaviour amongst some hosts, who would change the settings right before starting.
  • New art assets: Animated flying hawks, Ptolemaic ships, Eurasian Wolf, Nile Crocodile, Ptolemaic buildings: Military settlement, Docks, Market, and quite a few new animations, e.g. a new seeding animation for farming units.

Music

  • New music track: "Water's Edge" (click to listen). This beautiful track is assigned to the Britons and Gauls.

SpiderMonkey Upgrade & Other Development Updates

  • We have implemented a new version of the JavaScript engine "SpiderMonkey" in 0 A.D. It supports new features of JavaScript such as Map and Set objects. These two types, for example, have improved performance compared to normal objects when working with certain kinds of collections. Modders and developers who are used to working with the latest features of JavaScript are also happy about the new features which are now available.
  • SpiderMonkey also brings improved Javascript profiling and analysis features which allow for producing graphs. These features are another useful tool for performance measurements and for finding performance problems.
  • The version in Alpha 16 (v24) does not improve performance yet. But there will be improvements for the next version (v31) which should be included in Alpha 17.
  • Most importantly, the upgrade from v1.8.5 (which was released in March 2011) to v24 was quite a big step and a lot of work. Being on a current version means we avoid writing code for an old API that doesn't exist any more and it saves us a lot of work compared to staying with v1.8.5 and upgrading years later.
  • Last but not least, it's a "must have" from the security perspective, and it enables us to report bugs or even request new features from the SpiderMonkey developers.
  • This release contains many more changes and bugfixes not mentioned here. In terms of tickets closed on the project management and bug tracking system we use, Trac, this was another record.

Getting Support

Please see the "Get Support" page on our website to find ways to get help from the active and friendly 0 A.D. community.

We are well aware there is some room for improvement in 0 A.D. Some known issues are: Lag, visual glitches or textures not loaded, missing animations and more. When you provide feedback, we would ask you to focus on some of the other points that could be improved. Thanks.

Please Contribute!

We are seeking volunteer contributors in programming, art, sound, documentation and more. Programmers are especially welcome and can get started immediately.

Interested? Log onto #0ad-dev on QuakeNet on IRC and meet the developers. Also, you are invited to register on our forums and start participating!

Why "Patañjali"?

We name our releases according to development status ("Alpha" or "Beta"), successive release number (1, 2, 3, ...) and a word relating to the ancient world, in alphabetical order ("Argonaut" for A, "Bellerophon" for B, ...).

Patañjali was one of the three most famous Sanskrit grammarians of ancient India. In honor of languages everywhere, we have decided to dub Alpha 16 "Patañjali".

For the next alpha, we welcome fan suggestions for words relating to the ancient world beginning with the letter Q. Keep it original and related to the time frame portrayed in 0 A.D. (appx. 500 BC - 1 BC)!

Subscribe to 0 A.D. Development News

Contact info for press, bloggers, etc.: aviv@wildfireSANSKRITgames.com without the capitalized name of a language spoken in ancient India.

Edited by leper
Added OS X link, removed note about bundle not yet being available.
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hi i was wondering if there would be a patch soon regarding the lag whenever anyone is moving. i really like this game but on my computer i can hardly play it without freezing.

Edited by bigshot103

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hi i was wondering if there would be a patch soon regarding the lag whenever anyone is moving. i really like this game but on my computer i can hardly play it without freezing.

The problem is not that simple to solve (else we would already have done that), but it mainly involves a pathfinder rewrite. We hope to get someone working on the pathfinder in the near future again with our (less than expected) fundraiser money. Hopefully this will lead to some positive effect.

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hi i was wondering if there would be a patch soon regarding the lag whenever anyone is moving. i really like this game but on my computer i can hardly play it without freezing.

not use too much units in a map.

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The problem is not that simple to solve (else we would already have done that), but it mainly involves a pathfinder rewrite. We hope to get someone working on the pathfinder in the near future again with our (less than expected) fundraiser money. Hopefully this will lead to some positive effect.

thanks for the reply i appreciate it :)

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Why weren't the Seleucids announced in the news? In A15 they were not playable, but in A16 they are. Or did they get activated by mistake?

Edited by foobar

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Why weren't the Seleucids announced in the news? In A15 they were not playable, but in A16 they are. Or did they get activated by mistake?

I think they still contain too many placeholders for being announced as a new civilization, so we sneaked them in. ;)

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They only have placeholder art. But the templates are ready for playtesting. The biggest work when adding a civ is the art part. So they're still not finished at all.

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Hooray for the new release, I really appreaciate the work everyone put in here, especially the Spidermonkey upgrade is indeed a good news to all. Hope to see more improvement in the performance front in the future.

Bring on the beer kegs! Let's raise a toast to Wildfire Games! :D

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This game is getting better and better! Thanks to everyone!

Speaking about the lag problem, could it be helpful to create a discussion about it?

So everyone can put ideas to solve this issue... Does it already exist?

And, what does it mean:

We hope to get someone working on the pathfinder in the near future

What "pathfinder" stands for?

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The part of code that finds the best path for the units when you task them to move. So not through trees or buildings, but around those.

It's quite complicated as different units have different sizes (compare a soldier with a siege ram). Sometimes a small unit can fit through a gap, but a big unit can't. Then you also have the fact that there are lots of units moving at the same time. So you might have calculated a path, but when you arrive, you see it's blocked with other units. Currently, it does too many calculations when it collides with moving units.

And unless you know how to program, I fear you can't help in solving the lag. We're already discussing it in several places.

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Ok, understood. So the only way is to read the code line by line. Is there a way to see just the pathfinder code, so who is able to program can read it without the rest of the code and work on it?

Maybe mine are just stupid questions for you, but i really want to see this problem solved.

Can't wait to see a big army moving around those beautiful maps.... :)

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The problem with the pathfinder is that you need to know the entire game. Positions are very important in an RTS. You need to understand how units typically move, how they should flee and chase, what sort of restrictions you can have ...

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The part of code that finds the best path for the units when you task them to move. So not through trees or buildings, but around those.

It's quite complicated as different units have different sizes (compare a soldier with a siege ram). Sometimes a small unit can fit through a gap, but a big unit can't. Then you also have the fact that there are lots of units moving at the same time. So you might have calculated a path, but when you arrive, you see it's blocked with other units. Currently, it does too many calculations when it collides with moving units.

And unless you know how to program, I fear you can't help in solving the lag. We're already discussing it in several places.

this is very interesting to me

would it be possible to code units so they recalculate their path every 0.5 seconds? instead of having them calculate their path only when they hit an obstacle, have them calculate a path every 0.5 seconds or even every 0.1 seconds and have them treat other units as immobile obstacles. would that be too demanding? what do you think? would this be more demanding than calculating a path taking mobile objects into account? i feel as if calculating paths is easier to do with immobile objects than moving objects, is this correct?

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As you can have hundreds of moving units at once (say 300 for both players combined), and a pathfinding calculation can easily take up 20ms (rough estimate). If you want to recalculate the path every half second of game time. Your half second would have a 6 seconds lag. You'd only be able to move 10 units more or less fluently with this.

So I don't think this is a viable approach.

Instead, we work with a long and a short range pathfinder. The long range calculates the general path. Only taking account of more-or-less static obstructions (a building can always be demolished by the time you pass there, but there's a big chance the obstruction won't have changed). Then we have a short range pathfinder that takes account of the moving obstacles too, and just routes you to the nearest point it gets from the long range pathfinder. Again this is a fixed path, but over a short distance. So even moving units aren't expected to move a lot. If it hits an obstacle, a new path is calculated though.

The two pathfinders solution is also a drawback though. The long range pathfinder has to be faster, as it needs to calculate long paths (possibly to the other side of the map). So it's tile based, with quite big tiles. Every tile is marked as passable or not-passable. And it finds it way like that. But that also means the pathfinder doesn't take the obstruction size of the unit it wants to move into account. So sometimes, a tile is marked as passable, but a unit (like a siege ram or ship) can't get there because it's too big. As the short-range pathfinder is ultra precise (doesn't have a grid, and compares and huge amount of possible paths). The short range pathfinder notices the unit doesn't fit through that gap. So the path it calculates becomes a very long path, around that big obstruction. Sometimes so long that the short range pathfinder just gives up (to not cause even more lag), and the units stop.

There are solutions to that, by letting both pathfinders use the same grid (more precise than the current long range pathfinder), and they do the compatible passability checks. The short range pathfinder should still be the only one to mind about moving obstructions. It should also be made in a way that units "communicate". I.e. friendly units should let each other pass by going out of the way. As such, the short range pathfinder shouldn't get stuck again.

You can always read this pdf to have a more precise overview of our plans for the pathfinder: http://trac.wildfiregames.com/export/15216/ps/trunk/docs/pathfinder.pdf

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OK, so ideally you'd want to reduce the amount of pathfinding calculations it would take to move a unit from A to B, correct? That makes sense to me.

I'm guessing you also want to limit the amount of actual calculations the engine has to do during a pathfinding calculation, correct? That would bring a calculation from 20 ms to 10 ms for example, and pathing in general would be that much more responsive. This also makes sense to me, thanks.

I'm going to read that pdf as well.brb

E: Are you guys still working on the new pathfinder which is composed of a good long range pathfinder and a newer, more efficient short range pathfinder? these ones:

http://trac.wildfiregames.com/ticket/1756

http://trac.wildfiregames.com/ticket/1942

Edited by iNcog

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