0 A.D. (video game

0 A.D.
0 A.D. logo.svg
0 A.D. game screenshot Discovery.jpg
Developer(s)Wildfire Games
Initial releaseApril 1, 2010; 9 years ago (2010-04-01)[1]
Stable release
0.0.23 Alpha Ken Wood[1] / 23 December 2018; 10 months ago (2018-12-23)
Written inC++, JavaScript, JSON, XML
Operating systemFreeBSD, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, OpenBSD
TypeReal-time strategy

0 A.D. is a free and open-source, real-time strategy game under development by Wildfire Games. It is a historical war and economy game focusing on the years between 500 BC and 1 BC for the first part, and a planned second part for the years 1 AD to 500 AD.[2][3] The game is cross-platform, playable on Windows, macOS, FreeBSD, Linux, and OpenBSD.[4] It aims to be entirely free and open-source, using the GPLv2+ license for the game engine and CC BY-SA for the game art.


0 A.D. features the real-time strategy gameplay components of building a base, economic development, training an army, combat, and technology research.[5][3] The game includes multiple units and buildings specific to each civilization as well as both land and naval units.[6]

During the game, the player does not advance through time, but from village phase over town phase to city phase. The phases represent the sizes of settlements in history, and every phase unlocks new units, buildings and technologies.


The game features both a single-player and a multiplayer mode. In both modes, players can choose between computer-generated random maps, hand-made scenarios, or skirmish maps as a hybrid form.

Multiplayer functionality is implemented using peer-to-peer networking without a central server.[7] There is, however, a central lobby server which can be used to discover other players and set up a game. Players can also bypass the lobby and connect directly to each other using their IP address. When players connect to each other, one player's computer acts as a host. The host gathers commands from all players and distributes them. Sending just the players' commands reduces the amount of data that must be sent, which reduces delays due to slow network connections. However, all connected players must calculate the entire game state from those commands, which means that the game can only be as fast as the slowest computer in the game can handle.


0 A.D. allows the player to control any of thirteen ancient civilizations from antiquity, which are each represented as they were at their apex.[8]


The idea of 0 A.D. started around the year 2000. At the start, it was just a modding project that would make use of the Age of Empires engine. However, different modders bumped into the limitations of using a closed-source engine, so they decided to cooperate and make a game from scratch.

Between 2002 and 2009, the game was developed in private. Only people who were accepted to the team had access to the source code. During that time, a lot of artwork was made, but it was difficult to find programmers for a closed-source model. In 2009, the team re-evaluated the development process, and chose the open-source development model. Shortly after open-sourcing the code, the team began to release development versions of the game.[9]

Since open-sourcing the game, it has seen a large amount of contributors, and is still under heavy development.

0 A.D. originally began as a comprehensive total conversion mod concept for Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings in June 2001. With limited design capabilities, the team soon turned to trying to create a full independent game based on their ideas.[10][11][12] The game has been in development since 2000, with actual work starting in 2003.

In November 2008, the developers confirmed that they would soon be releasing the project as open-source.[13] On 10 July 2009, Wildfire Games released source code for 0 A.D. under the GPL 2+, and made the art content available under the CC BY-SA.[14][15][16][17]

There were about ten to fifteen people working on 0 A.D. around 23 March 2010, but since development started over 100 people have contributed.[18]

On 5 September 2013, an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign was started with a US$160,000 goal. They raised a total of US$33,251 to be used to hire a programmer.[19][20] The majority of the finances are managed by the Software in the Public Interest organisation.

There is no official release date set for the finished version.[21]

Game engine[]

A Roman town (Alpha 23)
The Cycladic Archipelago island map

Pyrogenesis (from Greek pyr, "fire" and genesis, "origin, beginning") is the name of 0 A.D.'s game engine, currently under development.[22] It was originally named Prometheus, after the Greek mythological character who stole fire from the gods, for the use of mankind. That name was changed in 2004, after another development team advertised the use of the name Prometheus for their own game.

Pyrogenesis is mostly written in C++ and uses Mozilla's SpiderMonkey JavaScript engine for scripting.[22] It also uses such open-source libraries as OpenGL, OpenAL, Boost, SDL, Vorbis and wxWidgets. It supports open data formats such as COLLADA, XML and JSON. It is cross-platform, supporting Windows, OS X, Linux and various Unix-like OSes.


0 A.D. was voted one of the "Top 100 Best Upcoming Mods and Indies" of 2008 by Mod DB.[23] In 2009, it was named among the "Top 100 Best Upcoming Mods and Indies" again,[24] as well as winning third place for Player's Choice Upcoming Indie Game of the Year.[25] For 2010, 0 A.D. received an honorable mention for Player's Choice Upcoming Indie Game of the Year,[26] and came second in that competition for 2012.[27] 0 A.D. has been generally well received.[28] It was voted by fans as the SourceForge project of the month for June 2012.[29] It was voted as LinuxQuestions.org "Open Source Game of the Year for 2013".[30] Between 2010 and May 2017 the game was downloaded from Sourceforge.net over 1.3 million times.[31]

See also[]


  1. ^ a b "0 A.D. releases". Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  2. ^ Yaron, Oded (8 August 2010). "0AD: לוקחים את ההיסטוריה ברצינות" [0 A.D.: Taking History Seriously] (in Hebrew). Ha'aretz. Archived from the original on 5 August 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  3. ^ a b McElroy, Justin (13 July 2010). "The Joystiq Indie Pitch: 0 A.D." The Joystiq Indie. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
  4. ^ Tozzi, Christopher (13 October 2009). "0 A.D. Promises Real Gaming for Ubuntu". The Var Guy. Archived from the original on 20 August 2011. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
  5. ^ "0 A.D. – PC – IGN". IGN. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  6. ^ Knight, John (1 January 2011). "0 A.D.—Stunning Real-Time Strategy Game". Linux Journal. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  7. ^ Scipii (17 December 2009). "Wildfire Games Interview". HeavenGames. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Factions". Wildfire Games. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  9. ^ "The Story of 0 A.D." play0ad.com. 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  10. ^ Adams, Jason (14 June 2006). "A First-Look at 0 A.D." GameDev.net. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Official FAQ – How long has 0 A.D. been in development?". Archived from the original on 28 September 2011.
  12. ^ Domps, Baptiste (22 March 2011). "Wikinews interviews 0 A.D. game development team". Wikinews. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  13. ^ "Does everyone like the Revision Log?". Wildfire-games.com. 25 November 2008. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  14. ^ "0 A.D. Goes Open Source". Slashdot. 15 July 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  15. ^ "Real-time strategy game 0 A.D. goes open source". The H Open Source. 14 July 2009. Archived from the original on 26 September 2018. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  16. ^ Charlie (13 July 2009). "0 A.D. Now Open Source". Free Gamer. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  17. ^ feneur (10 July 2009). "0 A.D. development moves to open source". Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  18. ^ Tozzi, Christopher (23 May 2010). "RTS Game 0 A.D. Needs You!". The Var Guy. Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  19. ^ Dubowy, Liane M. (5 September 2013). "Neues Release des Echtzeitstrategiespiels 0 A.D." (in German). Heise.de. Retrieved 31 August 2019. Die Spieleschmiede Wildfire Games hat eine neue Version ihres klassischen Echtzeitstrategiespiels 0 A.D. für Linux, Windows und Mac OS X veröffentlicht. Mit Hilfe einer Crowdfunding-Kampagne soll außerdem die Entwicklung des Spiels beschleunigt werden.
  20. ^ "0 A.D. Fundraiser (now closed)". Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  21. ^ Ridgwell, Ian (20 June 2011). "An interview with Wildfire Games". Geek Haven. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  22. ^ a b "Overview". Wildfire Games. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  23. ^ "2008 Mod of the Year Awards event – Mod DB". Mod DB. DesuraNET Pty. 18 January 2009. Archived from the original on 19 December 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  24. ^ "2009 Mod of the Year Awards event – Mod DB". Mod DB. DesuraNET Pty. 6 January 2010. Archived from the original on 8 February 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  25. ^ Henley (5 February 2010). "2009 Players Choice – Indie Game of the Year feature – Mod DB". Mod DB. DesuraNET Pty. Archived from the original on 6 February 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  26. ^ Henley (23 December 2010). "Indie of the Year 2010 Players Choice – Upcoming Indie". Indiedb. DesuraNET Pty. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  27. ^ "IOTY Players Choice Upcoming 2012 feature - 0 A.D. Game - Mod DB". Mod DB. DesuraNET Pty. 23 December 2012. Archived from the original on 28 December 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  28. ^ Brookes, Tim (25 October 2010). "8 Awesome Free Open-Source Games You Can Enjoy On Windows, Mac and Linux". Make Use Of. Archived from the original on 5 August 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  29. ^ "0 AD: Project Of The Month, June 2012". SourceForge. 4 June 2012. Archived from the original on 5 February 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  30. ^ "2013 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Award Winners". 5 February 2014. Archived from the original on 7 February 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  31. ^ "Download Statistics". sourceforge.net.

External links[]