The new year is finally here, and 0 A.D. is still going strong. We've been hard at work in all departments, and we're quite pleased with the strides of progress made in the months since our last news announcement. There are still a few key gameplay elements to be implemented before any release could be an accurate representation of how the game will be played. To start the year off, we've decided to give you a sneak preview of what sort of structures you'll be seeing in 0 A.D. and how each will contribute to your city.
The Civic Center is the fundamental core structure of your town or city, and controls all principal functions of your civilization. From here, you’re given the ability to train the essential economic and basic military units that are crucial to your nation’s survival, especially in the early developmental stages of your city. The civic center can also be used as a gather point for nearby resources if a resource center isn’t in your budget. In province-based game styles, construction of civic centers will be necessary for claiming new territory.
Houses are quintessential elements to the growth of your town, granting you additional living space for your citizens and soldiers. Each house you construct contributes additional space to your overall ‘population limit’, and each unit you build will fill a space in this population cap. Essentially, the more houses you have, the larger your army can be, and the easier it will be to defeat your enemies.
A mill will extend your gathering radius for mining stone and metal and chopping wood. You’ll then be able to salvage nearby resources that are too far from your civic center to be gathered from. You’ll also be able to improve your mining and chopping-related abilities by purchasing upgrades.
Farmsteads allow extended gathering radius of food sources, such as wild animals herds or nearby crops. Much like the mill, they will allow you to reach previously unattainable resources that are farther away from the center of your city, and provide a number of upgraded tools for your villagers to improve their gathering rate. Also, fields must be constructed within range of farmsteads or your civic center to be used.
By garrisoning animals in a corral, each animal will provide a steady trickle of food to your supply, or you can slaughter an animal for a quick burst of food in more desperate situations. Garrisoning horses, camels or elephants in a corral will reduce the production cost of units that use the animal.
Docks can only be constructed on the edge of a body of water, and provide all naval related services, from trading to fishing to the construction of naval war machines. Depending on the surrounding landscape and location of enemies, docks can often be central structure of your nation’s economic and diplomatic survival. If water-based transportation is required to reach enemy territory, it is crucial that docks be protected.
Markets serve a number of economically related purposes, primarily consisting of bartering resources between cities and allied factions. Merchants travel back and forth between markets to exchange resources for a steady profit. Only one market can be constructed per city or territory, so location is key in order to generate the fastest income.
Walls are essential to the protection of your city, and will keep enemies at bay while you construct defending forces. Gates can be constructed on longer segments of walls to allow passage of your soldiers in and out of the city without compromising security. Many players find that walls can become an essential aspect of an overall defensive strategy while slowly amassing an impressive city and keeping the enemy at bay, then eventually ‘booming’ with indomitable forces.
Scout and guard towers can be used to provide an additional radius of sight to look out for approaching enemies, and can be utilized to provide ranged fire to prevent enemies from entering your city limits, or to keep enemies at bay while you prepare defensive forces.
The Military Center, or Barracks, is where you will train the bulk of your military forces. Military technologies are also researched here in order increase the stats (attack, armour, speed, health) of your soldiers. You can build two barracks per territory.
In addition to providing the ability to train religious units, the Temple will provide a source of healing for any wounded civilians or soldiers that stand within its vicinity. Temples are not essential elements of your architectural conglomerate, but can be helpful if you’ve been damaged by the tides of war.
Fortresses are where most of the game's factions train their super units, heroes, and siege weapons (there is one notable exception). Strong, but expensive, Fortresses have ample room for a large garrison and is easily defended. One of these may be built per territory.
Special Buildings are structures unique to each faction and have some kind of unique function. In this image you can see the Hellenic (Greek) "Tholos" Special Building, which trains Hellenic heroes, and the Persian "Kakh" (Palace) Special Building that grants the Persian player a large economic bonus.
As with many other aspects of the game, the team has gone to extensive lengths to ensure that buildings are not all copies of each other, and in some cases, several models have been made for the same building. You may have noticed from the screenshots that many of the architectural styles are faction-specific, and all the buildings from a specific faction look very much alike. This artistic device was instituted to facilitate player-faction familiarization. Concurrently, we didn’t want to make every structure of the same faction and class look exactly the same, and have employed several methods of building randomization while still adhering to culture-specific artistic value, much like the way units are randomized using props. Look forward to more information on this in the future, among many other surprises we've got in store for a great year.
Thanks for reading our news update, and we hope you enjoyed it!
Bob Kimball, WFG Texture Artist