The Zero-K development team has just released Zero-K on itch.io [ here ], and we are not releasing lightly. We now consider Zero-K to have enough polish and singleplayer content to release to a wider audience.
Zero-K has primarily been a multiplayer game for most of its history. This is a result of our open source development model. Contributors come from the community and the people who joined the community were those that were interested in what Zero-K had to offer - multiplayer. This persisted for years, resulting in a game with plenty of multiplayer content (units, maps, game balance etc...) but which was weak on singleplayer.
About a year ago we decided to knuckle down and focus on singleplayer content, as well as 'boring' tasks such as polish. A new main menu was created, a standard looking one with 'Multiplayer' and 'Singleplayer' as submenus. The old client was effectively an IRC client with battleroom browsing attached. We had already fostered an AI community but AIs were always difficult to install. We integrated one of the AIs into our update system so users can seamlessly play against some decent AI opponents. The ingame UI was overhauled to look like less of a mess. We added more tutorials and I don't even want to think about how many polish passes were spent on some of them.
In addition to the six new missions there have been tweaks and fixes based on previous feedback:
- Added the Stats tab to campaign options which contains some information about your progress. Restarting the campaign may be required to make these stats completely correct.
- Reworked the layout of the planet invasion screen to make it fit on small monitors. Also added font size scaling.
- Made the Sling missions easier on non-brutal difficulties to better match the difficulty of nearby missions.
- Felon, Rackteer and Snitch missions are easier on easier difficulties. This is mostly achieved by giving the player more base defense and the enemies less early economy.
- Fixed the Snitch mission win condition.
- Fixed zoom to commander detection in Mission 0.
- Removed the link between the Stinger and Rogue missions.
The next big thing in the near future to finish the campaign. We are releasing missions week by week with the aim of focusing our polish and feedback on a small set of missions. There are 29 missions released so far, and we plan to be done around the end of the year. Feedback so far is good but we would always welcome more.
It would be remiss of me if I did not mention that Zero-K runs on the Spring RTS engine, found here: Springrts.com. I bet there are plenty of indie devs that would love to make an RTS but such projects look unapproachably large. Spring can be hard to get into but it does a lot of RTS-specific work for difficult technical tasks such as pathfinding and online play. It would be great to see more games using the engine, Evolution RTS (Forboding-angel.itch.io) is another game on itch.io using Spring.