Our friends at GamingOnLinux served notice that the open source Age Of Empires-like RTS game 0 A.D. recently released a pre-alpha version to demonstrate the project’s intentions and status. Moreover, the date for the alpha release has been announced:
Sorry for the long lull in news, everyone. To compensate, you can mark your calendars: July is the month we plan to release the very first alpha version of 0 A.D.!
We can’t commit to a particular date yet (though we have one in mind), but what we mean by “Alpha” is that by then we should have a version that has all the bare-bones components of a playable game. These are detailed in our Alpha Release Roadmap, which is itself a work in progress, and include a new in-game GUI design, basic victory conditions, basic enemy AI, floating ships and some bugfixes. More music, sounds and art will probably be thrown in the mix as well, but the details are still being worked out.
The screenshots are very impressive, and while I never got into AoE, I did play Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, which used the same engine and (for some insane reason) kept the food-gathering mechanic. Lord Vader demands an update on the berry-picking!