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Yeah but seriously, here is what it says:

* When will 0 A.D. be released?

We won't really know until we've finished it. Expect the process to take several years, plus we intend to devote a whole year to beta testing. Information about release dates will be released at the appropriate time.

* When is your scheduled beta test?

We have not yet set a formal date for our open beta. Many months of development and testing await. It will occur after the product has passed rigorous quality inspection in our closed beta (internal testing by all Wildfire Games staff). Rest assured that the beta shall be publicised closer to the time.

* How can I apply for the beta test?

We have a long way to go before we reach that stage, so we are not receiving any applications at this time.

I mean, several years?

The concept is great, love the time period, but by the time you get this out will it even be relevant anymore?

With AOEIII and Stainless Steel Studios new game coming out, will your several years old 3d engine even be relevant anymore?

I mean, 50 bucks for a game is not that huge of an investment...

Ever thought of just getting your engine out there on sourceforge.net or something and getting the open source dev community to embrace your idea? Maybe you just need bodies at this point, the more people working on the code the better

How many years do you really think not releasing anything 0AD can withstand? Are you guys really all that patient? Do none of you understand the concept of marketing and dev schedules? Do you really want a tiny niche game out there that no one plays because it is so outdated?

Edited by Achilles_Knee
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Good Comments/Questions Stephen.

I'd like to say, we aren't purposely not 'releasing' the game because it is part of some shrew marketing plan. The game is very rudimentary at the moment and barely in a playable state (currently only simple combat, unit training, and resource gathering).

Maybe you have seen it mentioned on the site before but nearly the entire team is college students or working adults - investing time into this as hobbyist developers in between fultime work/part time work/classes/homework. I as the project leader of this virtual hobbyist group don't have any control over how the team members invest their time (as much as I would like too). If we were sitting in an office working a 9-5 shift 5 days a week - it would be a totally different story, but unfortunatly we aren't.

A year or so ago, we tried throwing more bodies at the project. The problem is - the new guys need to be 'trained' and need assitance to get around the code. In order to do that we pull programmers off what little coding time they have and pray that the time they invest in the new coders will be fruitfull (which in many cases it isn't - they just pick up and leave after they realize how complex and time consuming it is).

How many years can the idea of 0AD stand? Probably not to many... with AOE III, Rise of Legends, Rise and Fall all coming out this holiday/spring - our game will already be significantly outdated by comparison.

We don't have much experiance in marketing - probably not even as much experiance as you possess in your pinky :P (I did some googleing to find out more about you). But, as you stated once - until the game is release it is pretty much just vaporware.

We enjoy working on this in our freetime though and we are building up our resumes, and perhaps that is the only thing that will matter in the end whenever 0AD is released. We might explore open sourcing the game - we'll see where we stand at the end of the year.

Good thoughts :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just made my goal to learn DX and OGL within a year, then try to join your team. This is exactly the project i like B)

EDIT: Do you use C or C++? OpenGL is kinda like C, but engines are kinda like C++ so i was just wondering.

Edited by Akros
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With AOEIII and Stainless Steel Studios new game coming out, will your several years old 3d engine even be relevant anymore?

We'd like to hope so B). Most of the innovation in 3D engines is not huge changes to how the art is done or how the algorithms work but rather how many effects you can apply while still running at a decent speed. Stuff like AoE3's glow effects and even its reflective water can be added to any game with relatively little changes (I mean it would still be a few months, but it won't require a full rewrite of the engine). You can also see articles on Nvidia's website for example that explain how to achieve much crazier effects than anything yet seen in games. The limiting factor is really peoples' hardware. As you can see from the screenshots, the graphics side of 0AD is pretty functional already, and we're hoping to be able to improve it to keep up with new developments.

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*Breathes in deeply* Ah, the smell of productive work. Hi, I'm from the TLA side of things. I decided to start looking at 0ad too, as it's much further ahead than TLA. Your music and screenshots are wonderful.

Edited by Rinion
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The concept is great, love the time period, but by the time you get this out will it even be relevant anymore?

With AOEIII and Stainless Steel Studios new game coming out, will your several years old 3d engine even be relevant anymore?

I think that if/when 0 A.D. comes out, it will still be relevant if for no other reason than being an RTS engine for Linux/*BSD. I know I enjoy games that come out for multiple platforms (Especially something that helps me stay on the Linux side of my box).

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From my personal opinion - qualitatively 0 A.D. looks much more pleasant to the eye to me than AoE3 B) Richness in world detail beats fancy shaders for me any day. I'm not worried about how our graphics engine will compare with others. Since when have shaders and reflective helmets made a game more fun to play. Sure its attractive but after 2 weeks of playing you won't care anymore, the game's concept of gameplay is the most important thing.

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Ever thought of just getting your engine out there on sourceforge.net or something and getting the open source dev community to embrace your idea?  Maybe you just need bodies at this point, the more people working on the code the better

I'm a great fan of open-source development, make no mistake. However, I've my doubts that it is really the right way to go for a game. It boils down to the whole "cathedral vs. bazaar" thing. Most technology stuff can be developed in a bazaar fashion, because in the end, everybody knows what's good for the project. However, games need a coherent design and vision, and therefore require a more closed approach to how the development is done.

It's kind of like writing a novel. Do you believe a great novel could ever be "developed" openly?

Edited by prefect
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We always have plans, more than you can imagine :) The problem with getting a solid release date is this: We can give you a date, and then you can be dissapointed when it passes, or we can tell you what "we think will be the release date", which is our current estimate, which still stands for late 2006, which has been what we've been aiming for for a while.

The game will obviously be released when its done, picking dates to do that on makes no sense to us when all the time put into the project is all variable to the people working on it, however we are all here with the full intention of finishing this game and every day we get closer and closer to the finish line.

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  • 1 year later...

Once again - I simply have to ask - should we stop waiting?

I personally have gone back to playing Age of Mythology and I also play AOEIII Warchiefs - AOM is suprisingly easy to get a ladder game and AOEIII is getting plenty of play.

Can you help some of us put into perspective the 0AD project in terms of just the raw ability to play super competitive games online?

2008?

I think it's time to give you guys a dose of reality here - according to the fact this project is 6 years old - we hear "rumors" of something happening - but that has been going on since rumor was mid summer 2006...

Don't you think your fans deserve a clear and candid statement on this game and it's future?

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Achilles_Knee - while we appreciate your stance, I have to say we've given our fans more than simply "rumors" for over 2 years now. We've released dozens of quality screenshots showing progress, showcases, music tracks, interviews, and videos. To be completely honest with you, at this stage, people that visit here should be those that are most interested in game development, rather than the end result. If all you are waiting for is the end result, then you're going to be continually disappointed until we've reached beta stage (we are nearing a fully-playable alpha). But if you are someone who enjoys game development and watching something grow until final fruition, then this is the place for you.

Again, thanks for your patience. I hope you continue to stick with us and enjoy the progress we make each month.

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this project is 6 years old

Here are some better dates:

Winter of 2001/2002 - the idea of 0ad as a game was born (previously a mod for Age of Kings).

Summer of 2003 - actual game development started, up to that point is was mostly design on paper, prototypes, and proof of concept work.

I know we aren't as fast as a game studio that has an army of professionals pouring 40+ hours a week into their games. This might also help put some perspective on things if making comparisons:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_development#Duration

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Achilles, if waiting for 0 A.D. is the centre of your life, then maybe I can understand why you suddenly made that change of thought. However, since I'm sure that it's not, and it's merely a game you're just anticipating and like to check on every now and again, I'd have to say I find your reaction stupid and quite unnecessary - perhaps even morale breaking for the developers.

Reconsider.

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Actually - the thing I recently saw on this forum - and by all means correct me if I am seeing this situation incorrectly - was a rather innocent statement about how the fans have not seen anything in a while - followed up by someone on the team taking an image of calc.exe and photoshoping it - intimating that we will be getting something to chew on soon - not sure if the re-write statement was a joke or not...but after thinking about it for a few days I realized that it was directed at those of us who have been patiently waiting and ask for status once every year or so - and I really do think that was some kind of direct slap in the face...if that image really is something for 0AD then by all means correct me and I'll change my view and retract my statement.

But seeing as I doubt that this was serious - yeah - I (and others I would imagine) are a little bit offended by that.

These guys are easily offended to be honest by very simple and innocent questions about the status of the game - the fans, which I was until very recently one of them - have been very sparse with the questions over the years on terms of how things are going and when are we going to see something in terms of a gameplay video or something other then a screen shot - this thread for example was started in July of 2005.

Seems to me anyone that asks a simple question about status gets thier head ripped off with a how-dare-you statement or some kind of over-the-top comment about how your not a gamedev shop or how unreasonable I must be to want to understand when this thing is going to bear fruit and how I must be sitting around with my life revolving around 0AD.

We ask these question ONCE A YEAR. Seriously - if you think this is my problem or that asking about the game on that kind of a schedule is a problem - and understand this is coming from a 42 year old man - YOU are the problem.

Frankly - a link to wikipedia and a statement about how my life must revolve around the game for simply asking about status is ridiculous - along with the statement that I am stupid for the way I am reacting to being patronized for asking a simple question. oh - and suddenly this is a place for people into game development and not the fans of the game - what a crock of you-know-what - basically that is a poltie way of telling me to go you-know-what off.

I'm done. All I ever get for asking simple questions about what we can expect as a fan around here is flamed.

If that does something to morale maybe that is a good thing - because right now I'm feeling pretty put off by my what - 4 posts max a year?

Edited by Achilles_Knee
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About the Calculator image: it was just intended as a small joke, so I apologise that it gave the wrong impression. As was implied in that thread, we are working to release a gameplay video, though it's taking a while to get all the pieces organised (particularly with a number of people having been away or busy over the holiday, and since it's not something we've done before) so it'd be a very late "New Year's present" now.

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Achilles - If you've felt offended by our remarks, then we apologize. Offense was not our intention. What we are giving you are replies that are hard-nosed, for sure, but we are being realistic. I don't feel that we've filled anyone's head with delusions that the game is "almost done" or even that we have a concrete date set for release. Frankly, you should know this. We have been plain that we don't have a concrete release date since the inception of the project. Your comments regarding "information" about the project kind of astounds me as well. No other project has been so open about its progress that I am aware of. No other project can you actually SEE progress that is made each day (revision log) on its main web portal ( www.wildfiregames.com/0ad )! We post regular screenshots of our progress. We post showcases regarding the design of the game. We've posted interviews that give open and frank answers. We've posted music tracks and videos. The game is making progress and we let you guys know that monthly or even weekly. I just don't know what kind of information will satisfy you and others.

All I can say is what we've already told you. You keep asking the same questions which naturally beget the same answers. ;) You're obviously a passionate fellow. If you have any modding skills, I implore you to fill out an application to join the team. ;)

Please do not take offense to direct and honest answers. We dont know when the game will be completed, only that we are reaching Alpha (playable 2 player with 2 full civs). Soon we'll be releasing a gameplay video that I think you'll enjoy. :D In the meantime, check out the new items on our main page, the revision log, and ask some new questions on the forum for some new answers. Stick with us, bud. :D

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(By the way, we are (or at least I am) speaking as ourselves rather than as a voice of the group, so the expressed opinions and feelings may differ wildly. That seems friendlier than having everything filtered as PR output, but probably more likely to cause confusion in some cases. I'll try to avoid causing extra confusion in the future ;))

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Just another thing, please keep in mind which posters are members of the development team and which aren't. I don't think anyone on the team meant to be disrespectful. I'm sorry if we were that way. Here are my thoughts on your points:

- If you wish to see daily progress, look at the Revision Log on the left side of http://www.wildfiregames.com/0ad/. This shows a summary of the changes we make to the game each day. (Highly technical changes aren't listed.) It's updated in real-time as we make them. It's not very detailed and doesn't explain much, but at least it gives an idea of the things we do every day.

- We are also releasing a showcase or screenshot each month. These usually reveal new info or new artwork.

- We are releasing new history articles every few weeks, often 3-4 per month.

- We can't give a fixed schedule for several reasons. First of all, life is unpredictable. As an extreme of this, one of our founding team members passed away about a year ago due to cancer. Similarly, several of us are in their last year of school, graduating, looking for jobs, etc. 0AD is a volunteer project that must fall behind real-life priorities, so we can't reliably estimate how much time we will have available and thus schedule things far ahead. Secondly, game development in general is very complex, as you undoubtedly know. When we say this, we don't just mean "it's hard", we mean "there are parts of the process that may take way longer than we estimate". It's really tempting to write down a schedule and put something like "computer player AI - 6 months" without knowing whether computer player AI can be done in 6 months or even how to best approach that problem (after all, it's not a "standard" problem; there are no books or papers or courses on writing an RTS AI; it requires creative problem-solving in addition to time). In the end, we have a choice between releasing a schedule and taking the risk of not meeting it, or not releasing one but showing things we *have* finished through screenshots, revision logs, videos, etc. We chose the second way because it seemed more honest and less likely to disappoint people.

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