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How to install the SVN version of 0 AD (on Windows)

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OK so this thread is to serve as a guide on how to install 0 A.D. I will first link to the page where most of the action takes places, it also describes what SVN is. This guide is basically me putting the instructions of that page in an easy to read format.


As can be read on that page, what you get is an unstable version of 0 A.D. This is the version that is being worked on by the coders; I'm not sure what exactly gets changed on a regular basis you'd probably have to ask them to be sure [edit: see bottom of post to see recent changes]. Either way, this is the version of the game that is being worked on and it gets updated often. So if you want to play on SVN you probably have to check for updates every day (perhaps every time you play). Rest assured, updating the game is very easy.

NB: This guide is for windows. I also don't go over compiling in this guide since you can play without compiling (would be annoying to have to compile every time there's an update anyway, I guess).

Step 1:

Download Tortoise SVN. This is the program that will be used to download the code for the game as well as the updates. It's easy to use, don't worry. Here is the download link:


Step 2:

After you've installed Tortoise and rebooted, go the place where you've set aside some space for the 0ADSVN install. Currently it's using 4 Gb on my computer. Make a new folder and call it whatever, in my example I've called it 0 AD SVN, because I'm not very smart and I need to label things very clearly. NOTE: It's better not to use spaces in your folder's name. I did in this example but don't do it yourself, it can muck things up. So ideally I'd have named this "0ADSVN", which is what my actual install is called ( :P). You can put this folder anywhere afaik. So, right click on the folder you've created and hit "SVN checkout". You should get the following window:


In the "Url of repository" you want to put in the following url:

Checkout directory should be the folder you've created.

Step 3:

This is the most complicated step. Hit "OK". You should get the following window:


This window indicates that you're downloading the code. Remember you're downloading 4 Gb of code.

Step 4:

Getting your download interrupted or something is not a problem. Updating the game is not a problem either, you can update the code very easily with Tortoise. Go into your SVN folder and right click somewhere. Go to TortoiseSVN > "Clean up...". Once cleaning up is done, right click again and hit SVN update. That should update your code to the most recent version. Remember that this is the version of A17 being actively worked on so the code will probably be updated very often. In fact you could play a game and have the code being updated during your game. Bugs will also find their way into the game due to frequent updates, it's your job to tell the coders about the bugs.

Step 5:

Once the download has finished, go to "[yourinstallfolder]\system" and find pyrogenesis.exe. Create a shortcut to the desktop if you want. Either way, this is the application you use to play the SVN version of the game. Now, as I said before, the game isn't compiled, so when you go in game your computer has to load things. 3D models will be very basic at first for instance, and grey of color. Don't panic, eventually your computer will load everything up and the game will play normally. To check to make sure that you're on A17, you can go to the multiplayer lobby, you should see the following:


That's all there is to it. As you can see, it's fairly simple and it requires very little technical knowledge to get it to work. Remember a few things though. SVN 0 AD is being worked on constantly by coders so you'll have to update often, unlike the official A16 release. Also remember that bugs and things of the sort will appear when you play. I'm not sure what other things might arise in SVN, there are actually lots of things that could go wrong (see sanderd's post below) including small subtle issues. Either way, remember that even if you're a player, you're also a play-tester. By playing on SVN you're helping coders find bugs that they couldn't possibly have time to find themselves. Yeah you won't get the Syntagma bug here, but you might get something else. Everything is work in progress! Have fun :P

I don't go over compiling because I think you'd have to compile the game every time the code is updated? I believe that would be a huge turn-off for Linux users, who have to compile to play the game, unlike us windows users who can play directly off the code. Well, if a code has something to say about that let me know and I'll fix things up.

E: Something relevant:

This page lists all recent changes.

Edited by iNcog
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It's not recommended to have spaces in your path. I see "0 AD SVN", that's not a good path. There's no guarantee that the tools we use work with spaces. And we even got some problems in the released version when people install it in a path with spaces.

Also, when you want to do a multiplayer, you must always make sure both players are on the same revision, by updating SVN, and telling which revision you're at. When you guys play the most, we code the most. So it's perfectly possible you just updated, 15 minutes later you want to play a game, and you see the version doesn't match with your mate.

As to what might not work? It's possible the game doesn't start at all. Or more subtle issues like not being able to reach 2nd phase or so. Basically, anything can go wrong.

Wrt compiling. We compile the thing for Windows (as compiling on Windows is indeed too hard). In Linux, compiling is a simple "make" command away, so we don't bother with providing a pre-compiled version of it. We do have to manually tell Philip's server we want a new Windows version. Compiling usually takes some time (I think it's currently around 30 minutes), and results in a new version (like this one: http://trac.wildfiregames.com/changeset/15291) providing a new exe. It's possible we forget to fire the autobuild after an important change, so your game will likely spit some errors in that case. It's also possible we started the autobuild, but it's still building while you try to play. In that case, wait a bit.

On Mac, compiling is hard too. But you need a Mac to compile for a Mac. And Mac servers are hard to find. So we can't offer that pre-compiled either.

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I'm at 15298 atm, not 15291. So an obvious issue would be that someone 15291 wouldn't be able to play with me on 15298 for example. However I don't understand why you guys would want to compile for Windows? What purpose is there compiling for Windows when you the base code works just fine? I don't think I understand what happens when you compile. If I'm on 15298 for example and you guys compiled for windows on 15291, does that mean that me, on windows, will run into problems? Due to, perhaps, a difference between the 4gb of code I have and the .exe file I have?

Regardless, I'll edit the OP a bit with your remarks in mind, thanks for going over it.

By the way, if I'm on 15298 and my friend updates his SVn so that he's also on 15298. Imagine that we play a 30 minute game on 15298 and during those 30 minutes, the code goes to 15299. Will we get issues? We should be able to play our game normally until the end and even start another game on 15298? It should be fine, as long as we stay on the same version, correct?

About the space issues, yeah, my real file doesn't have those spaces dw. I'll edit that in OP though.

Edited by iNcog
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Compiling code is turning the source code into something executable (the exe for Windows). Not all code needs to be compiled. JS f.e. is interpreted at runtime (and thus also slower). But C++ code needs to be compiled.

When we only modify parts that don't need compilation (like JS code, or even data files), we also don't need to do a new autobuild. Sometimes, when we modify source code, it even makes no difference in the behaviour of the game, so we also don't compile a new Windows version.

As such, it's normally no problem when the last autobuild is a bit older than your current version. Just when something odd happens, notify us.

Also, SVN only updates when you ask it to, not while playing a game. You can even tell SVN which version to use (in case the latest version is really broken).

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I'm not sure what exactly gets changed on a regular basis you'd probably have to ask them to be sure. Either way, this is the version of the game that is being worked on and it gets updated often. So if you want to play on SVN you probably have to check for updates every day (perhaps every time you play).

This page lists all recent changes.

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