Under the hood - Wildfire Games and their superb free 0 A.D:
All begins in the moment when two groups began working on the same project. Wildfire Games was one of them but we won’t begin here. At first, we make stop at a name Tonto Clan. The players of this clan joined together and decided to suggest a remake of Age of Empire II expansion. This suggestion was sent to Ensemble Studios the creators of AoE. From their side, the idea was dismissed because they had been already working on their next RTS – Age of Mythology.
Guys of Tonto clan didn’t know that the same idea was under construction by Wildfire Games who had gone into a different style. Rome at War became name for mode AoE: Age of Kings. The creation was finished during June 2001 and it became real success. The creators were in fire and wanted to try a total conversion. For the less informed readers the total conversion (TC) remakes the whole game. Mostly, the core keeps the same but nations, units, buildings, everything is remade. The project was in development but the interest of players started fade away thanks more modern games.
As you can read at the official websites, the project 0 A.D. was still alive thanks two powers.
The first idea was about making own engine, which would support next modes. The thought was named The Last Alliance. The second power was in past member of Tonto Clan who brought many resources to make the dream true. At the turn of year 2001 and 2002 the world welcomed new baby 0 A.D.
The next eight years were mostly about filling the game with new nations, improved graphics and huge content expansion.
What is 0 A.D.?
Those who have experience with Age of Empires would feel very comfortable in 0A.D. thanks very familiar environment. It’s real-time strategy too but totally open-source and you can play it on other systems than Windows. The game takes you on a ride from year 500 BC to 500 AD. You enter world arena where you can change the history most of the west civilizations. Enjoy play for Roman Republic, The Carthaginian Empire, The Celtic Tribes, the Persian Empire or Hellenic States.
This variety of civilization make from this game shining jewel. Every nation has its own building, units, research, and so rich content of every AAA game. The units have some impact on your economy and they can be upgraded and improved through experience and technologies. The players were astonished by sea battles too and for hardcore researches the technology tree offers many and many branches, but when you find or research thing 1A you cannot bump into possibility to have 1B.This gives the game moments of decisions and truly leading a whole nation.
The multiplayer cannot be omitted as well and, so far, it’s represented by peer-to-peer. The creative players can try game’s editor and the very active beings could try own modification. It’s totally open-source, isn’t it?
The game may have still some bugs and unfinished parts which are still actively solved and pushed out of the Alpha version by the creators. However, this doesn’t mean that the game isn’t playable but you cannot call it finished freeware game. The whole project won’t be called closed for long time thanks two things.
If I understand well the Wildfire Games’ future plans are about making 0 A.D. II after finishing the first project. This sounds wise thanks “the not modern graphics” in today’s version but on the other hand it’s still great.
What’s so magical about 0 A.D.?
Only 30 people have been or were working in this project and only in their free time. With this scatter of fans and devoted people we can enjoy fully professional game. We should mention the whole community as well which helps with testing and comes with many ideas. Without the working people round the whole world it won’t be just possible.
We definitely don’t say bye to 0 A.D. Wildfire Games promised us an interview and we visit the game in the future thanks other articles or own gameplay experience.