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Achilles_Knee

OK seriously, is this game going to happen?

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Sorry to be so direct, but when did this project start?

I'm trying to understand why Rise and Fall by Midway won't basically moot this project. I'm not trying to flame here, or to say anything mean spirited.

But...

Is the gaming community going to see something out of this project anytime soon?

With AOE III, Rise and Fall, SW Empire at War, Sparta Ancient Wars, and even titles like Spore and BFME II...this game frankly seems doomed.

Where do you think you are in terms of what this game will be to the RTS community?

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The game was in design from Summer 2001- Summer 2003. Coding and official creation of the first prototype art assets began then. We have been officially in development for 2.5 years.

No, you probably won't see anything released anytime soon. We may have something for a small group (core group) of individuals for testing this summer.

We have no illusions of gradure. This game is made by people in their spare time with little to no industry experience in game development. We can't create games as fast as the pros, and we probably can't make games as good as them either. That being said, it doesn't stop us from trying. ;)

0 A.D. doomed? Depends on how your looking at it. Anything we release at this point would be considered by many in the hobbyist game development community as a success for virtual amature game development. If your trying to make a comparison of 0 A.D. to games like AoE III, or BFME II, your right - I think that comparison is doomed. It is something that is unachievable - they are making games on million dollar budgets and ours is $0.00

I think when its all said and done, I hope to have a game that is as sound in RTS as Age of Empires (the first one), with a few new features that we hope people will enjoy. I also hope that we will be able to continue to leave the game as open to modding as possible so that people outside the team could take some of the tools we have given them and continue to build on the foundation we are establishing.

The game is going to happen if it takes another year or two or five. The game could 'happen' right now if people really wanted. It isn't feature complete, does the community want a game that isn't even finished? Currently it isn't all that impressive, many missing components of basic RTS games (technologies, computer player AI for single player), incomplete sounds/art/music, no single player scenarios, very limited selection of random maps, unproven multilplayer capabilities, etc. So, sorry to keep you all waiting - but unless your a programmer, or artists of some type - I'm afraid thats all you can do.

As far 0 A.D. being obsoleted by RAF, in some eyes it may be. I really don't have a good idea of what their game is though. The impressions I have is that is its a hybrid FPS with a RTW style gameplay. If so, it is really nothing like our AGE/C&C type RTS game (well except for the setting, though they take a much more hollywood approach to their history). I'm not sure exactly what Midway is doing with it after they stripped it from SSSI, its already been delayed. If you could point me to some information - I could help point out the similiarities and differences for you.

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AK,

Remember that the purpose of games like AOE3 is to show what can be done when technology is pushed. The purpose of 0 A.D. was always something else, namely to test what could be done if the norms for teambuilding and hobbyist development were pushed.

Unfortunately, that means that 0 A.D. can't impress anyone except on its own terms. Every screenshot we release needs to be viewed in the light of the circumstances under which they were developed (actually, screw that, our screenshots are pretty stellar in any case), but this goes doubly for our time schedule.

We cannot promise you that when we release 0 A.D., it'll match a game which has been in professional development for a corresponding number of years. If that's what you're looking for, all you really need to do is to shell out £30 once in a while. This project is primarily a 'what could happen'-project, and only secondarily about how well we can compare to the professionals. (Even so, we are trying to compare in certain specific areas, such as modding - but not in terms of efficiency or technology. If we do end up matching the professional games in any of the technological areas, you can write that down to some pretty brilliant individual team members, not a deliberate attempt to be competitive.)

Edited by Vaevictis_Music

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Will this game really happen?...well I don't think we would be here if that's something we don't intend to do...hehehe

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When will 0 A.D. be released? I guess we should adopt the mantra made infamous by 3D Realms: "when it's done". We understand that you can't wait to play 0 A.D. We're excited too. Hell, I can't wait to play 0 A.D. and, generally, I don't even like RTS games! Since I'm crazy, I can't wait to test 0 A.D. either, but hey, that's another story altogether. ;)

The bottom line is that 0 A.D. is being developed with emphasis on quality and fun! Commercial games are developed with emphasis on profit and profitability! We're not interested in charging the Wildfire community for enjoying real-time interactive strategic and historical warfare entertainment. We're not interested in building a powerful franchise with a strong brand portfolio. We're also not interested in competing within existing markets created by existing (or future) commercial titles that are merely derivatives of their predecessors.

Now I'm going to take a chance here and step away from the consolidated opinion of the team... I believe this is a wonderful team that is so honest and intensely modest that they do not realize how talented and brilliant they are as game developers. I've been a member of the team for a short time, but I think this team is professional and highly collaborative. This team isn't comprised of a band of newbie programmers or amateur game artists who don't understand the importance of planning and getting things done. This team is comprised of die-hard RTS fans who absolutely adore the prospect of being able to play 0 A.D. one day with their friends and especially with the loyal members of the Wildfire community.

I know the mantra I mentioned is disappointing. You can be guaranteed that we're disappointed too, but rest assured, when this game is ready, you will know about it.

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I'd donate cash right now today to this project if it looked like there was a serious intent to get the bits out there and start developing a community...and that is no idle claim. And I'd start donating regularily in fact.

What I am hearing here is that there is no sort of intent after 2.5 years with it sounds like at least another year (which translates to 2) to insert this game into the RTS psyche...that it is a hobby, and there is no sense of urgency at all. That is not a very good message at all.

Age of Empires the original? That game is quite soundly obsoleted. Rise and Fall is indeed an RTS, the FPS part is very limited, and Rise and Fall is set basically in the exact same time period with almost the exact same civs, as well as large ships with troops on deck...as this project.

I run a data center with a 100mb connection to the internet, and I wish I had time to devote to creating a game, because I still stongly believe there is an opportunity in this historical time period for a killer app that would develop a loyal following and a strong community. There is an elegance to ancient warfare many of us love...and AOM totally opened the door to a realistic RTS by trying to compete with Warcraft. But that window is rapidly closing.

Basically I am not hearing anything from this team that is compelling in anyway...no offense, but it even sounds complacent. I think you underestimate the power of the internet dev community and the RTS community in general, if you have an engine that is working on some level and your intent is to make it basically openly moddable, not getting it out there ASAP in whatever form it is in my opinion is a rather large mistake, and on some level a resignation that what you have is a pet project for a few friends.

I think this project has lost it's original appeal and inertia, severly underestimates how powerfull the marketing story was on what this game was supposed to be, and has lost a tremendous amount of positive energy by announcing year after year that is will be another year before anyone sees anything...

I think it's a shame, I would have loved to contribute in some way...

I think you will be quite surprised what is going to happen in the next year around some of these new titles that are coming out. The RTS genre is now stronger then it has ever been, and 0AD for all intents and purposes at this point is a great idea by a great group of people...that has lost all of it's momentum and apparently lost the plot as well.

It's a shame really.

Oh well, off to work on my Ottoman deck...and start learning Empire at War.

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Lets defend the 0AD staff. ;)

The so called sloppy marketing strategy isn't really marketing at all. WFG provides an option for RTS to give suggestions while the game is being developed. As you can see the suggestion thread is one of the biggest around here, although many suggestions are too diffecult to implent there are quite a few that will make it or are seriously considered to implent. That gives 0AD a perfect opportunity for the fans to get things in the game they always wanted to see. The guys around here knew that the game won't be finished soon. Eventhough we'd all like it to be that way. But still we stick around because we'd like to give suggestions and comments on the work that has already has been done so the game can be improved.

Normally a game will only be released when it's almost finished. But WFG is different, they really give the opportunity to their fans to get involved into the process of making a game. And I think it's wonderfull.

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Stephen, I see you must be so anxious about playing 0 A.D. you're ready to play devil's advocate and bash us for being a different kind of organization than leading RTS game developers :D

What I am hearing here is that there is no sort of intent after 2.5 years with it sounds like at least another year (which translates to 2) to insert this game into the RTS psyche...that it is a hobby, and there is no sense of urgency at all. That is not a very good message at all.

I don't believe that is the message at all. There are none more excited about playing and releasing 0 A.D. than we the developers. We are the RTS psyche making this game. The history of many of our memebers go back 5 to 7 years to the Age of Kings community when the concept for this game first sprung into place as an idea for a mod. To say that we are openly competing with Age of Empires 3 or Rise and Fall or any new or upcomming RTS is obsurd, thats not why we are here. If I can give my personal opinion, contrary to what you say I believe the RTS genre is actually going down in the dumps more than ever. One of my main drives to join this team was because myself as an RTS gamer was fed up with RTS games that do not offer the experience or gameplay that I am looking for. That is another point - the team is made up of RTS die-hards who want to create their own RTS experience. Furthermore the team is largely made up of students in their early twenties, or students like myself who are still in highschool. This is why we emphasis the hobbyist, amateur, and independant part of WildFire Game's existance, so that people do not make unealistic expectations of this team, despite the quality and effort it is putting out.

I'd donate cash right now today to this project if it looked like there was a serious intent to get the bits out there and start developing a community

To make the judgement that we are not doing anything and basically idling our time would be quite an assumption to make. You do not see the daily posts in our staff forums (if you are wondering why all staff have thousands more posts than normal memebers, this would be the reason), you don't see the daily conversations that take place through IMs on MSN between team members, nor the weekly meetings on saturdays, or the 600 page long design documents, our new wiki with technical references integrated from the TDD, not to mention the technology itself that we use to update copies of the game and distribute it to the team so we ensure we are all on the same page at all times. 99% of the details in the work going on in Wildfire Games the public does not hear about.

Basically I am not hearing anything from this team that is compelling in anyway...no offense, but it even sounds complacent

We do not publish our 600 page design document detailing all the aspects of 0 A.D. and its gameplay because much of it will be subject to change durring testing, and furthermore we would like to be able to change things without having flame wars of outraged speculation erupt on our forums.

We were aware this kind of reaction could happen. This is what happens when you create a website and a community for a game you just began developing. Proffesional companies don't even anounce that their games exist until they are ready for beta testing, regardless of the fact that they have been working on it for the past 3 years. It is natural for people who are following the progress to be dissapointed at how long things take, or to be dissapointed at the seemingly lack of initiative from the developers to reach out to the community.

Thats not our intention, it should be clear that above all else our intent right now is to work on 0 A.D. and get it ready for you guys. That is how we spend our time. A community right now will be no benefit to us. We do not want attention right now, if we have alot of attention we get threads like this one, or we get so much feedback that we no longer can respond to it or debate it freely and openly in our own public forums here with our supporters.

I think you underestimate the power of the internet dev community and the RTS community in general,

Please look at our sister project, TLA. The TLA team is independent of the 0 A.D. team and is in the pre-production stage of development for their game which will be using the 0 A.D. engine. If there are serious projects that are committed to completing what they will start we can make acceptions and give them resources before they are fully completed. As a matter of fact, not long ago we were contacted by a proffesional that wanted to use our engine.

If we are among the 3 out of some 115+ internet indy game dev projects that still exist after 1 year of being anounced (let alone 5 in our case), I think this does say something about the indy community. In the best interests of completing 0 A.D. we would like to complete the engine and make everything ready as we see fit before letting a dozen mod teams try to micromanage our features to their needs.

I think this project has lost it's original appeal and inertia, severly underestimates how powerfull the marketing story was on what this game was supposed to be,

I'm sorry, this is yet another misguidance. There never has been a marketting story. We do almost no PR or relations outside of our own community (...for now....keep an eye on gamedev.net B) ) The attention of 2,000 15 year olds telling us what to do is not what we want right now. The only attention we get are from people spreading 0 A.D. by word-of-mouth to their friends, or from the original RTS community that we emerged from. But when the game is released, don't worry, you won't have any problem hearing about it, I'm positive the news will find you rather than the other way around.

As for "marketting".... The game is free, all you have to do is click a link to get it. Its not like we're trying to get you to give us $50 here. ;)

I realize some of the community here may be feeling the same way about 0 A.D. hence the thorough and lengthy post with my opinion on the matter.

Edited by CheeZy

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Very detailed and long response, but all you have to do is look at the date that I joined this site...

Pretty much says it all.

I'm sure I will play the game when you get it out there...my point here is that you could really have a lot of support behind you...I guess if that statement sort of flies over the teams head...I don't know what else to say.

I've talked to a lot of people over the last 2+ years about this project, we all pretty much feel the same way...

It's not a bash. Just letting you guys know. A lot of us bought into this concept in 2003...

Now in 2006 not so much anymore...

Good luck, I'll check back in another 6 months I suppose...

;)

Edited by Achilles_Knee

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No need to get excited Andrew, he's just making a valid point. I'd like to make a point also, but don't have time here at work. Later tonight ;)

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...my point here is that you could really have a lot of support behind you

Very well, what do you have in mind? ;)

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I was going to write a lengthy reply, but I think you pretty much summed it it up.

...I don't know what else to say.

I don't either. I don't want to beat a dead horse here, but there is only so much one can do with extremely limited funding - but more importantly limited time. After all this isn't a full time job for any of us. We are working as we are able to with the trappings of real life (school, homework, jobs, family, friends, etc...).

I could show you chat logs, forum discussions, quanity of revision updates, but - your right, none of that really matters when all your looking for is the final product.

When we set out to make this game, we had 2 options in how we were going to go about it. 1) Get the community involved so they could watch our progress and follow it along or 2) work in isolation till we reached a state where we had something 90% completed before we reveiled it. We chose the former. Perhaps you would have prefered the later, but you wouldn't have even known we existed. ;)

Good luck, I'll check back in another 6 months I suppose...

Alrighty, we'll see you then. Hopefully we'll have some signs of life that are more to you and your friends liking.

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Stephen, I'm wondering what would persuade you that this team is thriving, outside of an actual Download link to an unfinished, unplayable product. Bobby made a very valid point: There's a reason that game projects lie low, PR-wise, until late in the process, because a lot of people simply don't realise how much time the full development cycle takes. If you're disappointed after 2 years, well, some of the professional 4 year development cycles must really annoy you.

I think you underestimate how much attention we actually are getting based on screenshots alone, but there's really no way to show you this except by letting you into the staff forums. The whole point about how much support we 'could have had' is invalid, since we're getting the amount of support we need, and exactly the *kind* of support we need (which is currently idle hands who want to devote time to help us out). I'm not sure where you're getting the ideas that we're going unnoticed. For a project which is still in-development, we have garnered an awful lot of attention.

Criticising based on incomplete information is easy - as far as I can tell, you're criticising based only on how many members our community has? - but I think a lot of us don't really know where to take your criticism, since it doesn't really apply to the project vision we have in mind or the game we're trying to create. It's as if you have the wrong idea about what we're trying to do to begin with. Yes, it can be kind of disappointing when you're looking for a project with very specific parameters, only to find that someone is working on something similar, but has certain differing ideas of their own as well.

Edited by Vaevictis_Music

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No, all you have to do is look at your post count. Maybe a little more involvement in the community would give you the gist of what's really happening.

Don't judge to hard on the post count, I myself have got an axtremely low post count, but that`s not because of not beeing on the forum, but more because I haven`t got anything interesting to add (at/ad dunno) to the topics. I come to the site several times a week (though lately it only has been about once a week, because of school and social stuff I guess) But I simply haven`t got anything interesting to say about the topics.

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Some people, huh? ;)

Seriously, it is a true source of inspiration for me, and I guess for all the TLA project, to witness how strongly you believe in this 0AD project, and what is more important, how strongly you believe in yourselves.

Only great things can come out of this :D

P.S. Apologies for buttin' in

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I understand where Stephen is coming from, and since he is mainly just uninformed and frustrated, I don't think anyone should/would take his comments offensively. If you think about it... the actual development started not long before you signed up. Before then, 0AD was somewhere along the lines of where TLA currently is. The big guys take an average of about 3-4 years to create their RTS. 0AD's been at it for 2.5 years. Why would you expect this game to be finished faster than how fast paid programmers, designers, artists, etc can do it? To be honest, 0AD makes pretty good progress considering it is volunteer work from inexperienced developers. I think WFG has gone farther than most people expected, and it's accomplished alot when compared to other indie/volunteer work.

On top of that, 0AD isn't a bad looking game. Sure, new games will come out and advance the genre. It doesn't mean we can't follow behind or even catch up. The focus on extensibility almost assures me that we'd be capable of catching up. We aren't purposely holding out on a grand product because we are selfish gamers. I'm one of those guys who can't seem to find the time to do my job for the game. I won't explain my reasons, but it's a little hard to devote time to a project when you have other priorities and responsibilities.

Instead of trying to find a fault, what you can do is figure out how you can help :P. My motivation to joining the project was simply a self-need to improve how scripting can be used to create the game environment. I kept complaining about how AOM did it, so I thought, why not be the one who defined how 0AD does it. Maybe you have a certain skill set we could use or maybe you know how to help us acquire volunteers :S. Inconstructive criticism doesn't help you nor us, so keep it productive.

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I just hope, when it is finished, i just don`t feel that there is a real lack of playability and balance and i hope that the designers of the game make a goof job in terms of playability and balance

- and play RTS (or have expierience with the play of RTS) on a high level, so they know what the important points of an RTS are :P

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I intend to convince the Halos to authorize a Heaven at HG for 0 A.D.

This has been tried before and due to HeavenGame's business plan I don't think it will happen since we do not have $10,000 to give them to support a community for us as do the other game developers. Unless we really are a good game and have potential for a good community and HG is feeling generous, I'm skeptical about a 0 A.D. Heaven. If it happens it'll be close to our release time as right now we're ill-prepared for having that kind of a community.

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I have one thing to add, AK, that wasn't quite covered by some of the other posts. A lot of your points seem to be about technology: Rise and Fall, AOE3, etc all have cutting-edge graphics effects, physics, and so on. Remember that many of these are "fixed cost" effects - you write (and debug :S) a couple hundred lines of code and you have shadows, you write a couple hundred more and you have HDR lighting, etc. Thus, we can add many of these effects on later in development, especially as hardware support for them becomes more widespread. Just because development started in 2003 doesn't mean 0 A.D. will look like a game released in 2003. It probably won't look quite like the commercial games released at the same time either, but we'll do any new stuff that can be implemented in a reasonable amount of time. Of course, part of what makes other games good is the armies of graphic and sound artists working on them full-time, creating models, textures, sounds, etc. We can't match that, but personally I'm very impressed with what our small team of artists has done so far. To put it in another perspective, think about why AOE1 is obsolete today: It has nothing to do with technology; it's because Ensemble Studios simply stopped working on it. If ES wanted, they could have patched it to Age of Kings and then AOM and Age of Empires III graphics level, at less cost than it took them to develop those games. They could have added better pathfinding, smarter units, higher population limits and a physics engine. But of course they didn't do this, because it makes no business sense. Instead they released the same sequence of updates with new settings as new games, so they can actually charge you for their work. In a sense though, Age of Empires 3 is what AOE1 would have been if they had continued development, so AOE is actually far from obsolete. Similarly, we won't stop at some arbitrary point and decide "this game will be released with 200X technology" - and unlike AOE, it's likely that we'll keep improving our engine as we begin working on 0AD Part II.

Keep in mind that none of us would be here if we didn't believe this was worth doing. Also, a lot of us are new members: I joined about one year ago, a number of other programmers joined last fall, Morgan also joined us around that time, etc. We definitely wouldn't have joined if we didn't believe this was worth doing :P.

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I manage a data center with a 100mb connection to the Internet...

Maybe you can then understand why I'd like to get something to the owner of my company...

I wanted to float the idea of us hosting a game server...

meh.

Sounds like 2007 or so...

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You can't expect a hand full of students and other "hobbyists" to keep anything near the speed of production rate of a small army of full time game diesngers putting in at least 40 hours a week. Some of us might only be able to put in a few hours a week. There is a reason big time developers can turn out a game in 14-16 months. The reason is man hours.

I don't exactly understand your concern with us having a swarm of groupies following us around. So far besides you it seems like most everyone is stoked to a level that does not exceed sanity about the project. Fortune and glory aren't the objectives here, the objective is a cool game that we made for scratch with the communities input and geared towards fostering an even bigger modding/home-brew community in the future...

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I think its is smart to take sugestions from your fans.This creates hipe kinda .but only for the people who know this site and go to it and make sugestions.In my opinion if you dont start getting the word out about this game it may be screwed.Also exactly what fan ideas have you oficialy put in the game and which ones are you considering?

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