"We're building 0 A.D. – Empires Ascendant because we love strategy gaming and we think the current state of the strategy genre is abysmal. While there have been some great strategy games released recently, we feel like the essence of old-school Real-Time Strategy has been lost. We'd like to recapture that."
is a historical Open Source Real Time Strategy
game in the vein of Age of Empires
that is currently being developed for Windows, Linux, and Mac by Wildfire Games, "an independent game developer, made up of a community of volunteers from all over the world". The game strives for a balance of historical accuracy and interesting gameplay.
The first installment, called Empires Ascendant, focuses on empires between 500 B.C. and 1 B.C., and includes Athens, Sparta, Macedonia,
Britannia, Gaul, Iberia, Carthage
, Persia, Republican Rome
, and Mauryan India
as playable factions, with the Seleucids and Ptolemaic Egypt planned to round out the roster in future alpha releases. The planned second installment, Empires Besieged, will focus on the following five hundred years of history.
The official site can be found here.
The current release is Alpha 14 Naukratis
. Downloading and playing is and will always be completely free.
0 A.D. provides examples of the following tropes:
- Anachronism Stew: A mild (and intentional) example in that each empire in the game is from somewhere in a 500-year period of time and is featured at the height of its power for the sake of fun gameplay.
- Hero Unit: Each empire has its own historical heroes to send into battle.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each alpha release is named after an appropriate subject, with the first letters following an alphabetical order (Argonaut, Bellerophon, Cerberus...)
- Spiritual Successor: To the Age of Empires series.
- War Elephants: India has them.