FreeOrion 0.1 is now out. The following is the release notes you will find with the download, but with a slight modification. These notes include where to download. It's been great watching this project come to where it is now, and I certainly look forward to the future. And a big thanks from us to all of you who have helped. More thanks will be found in the notes below :
A year after our project began, we are proud to announce the release of version
0.1 of FreeOrion - the open source turn based space strategy game. We have
based our design and roadmap on a number of games that we consider a good
Master of Orion series, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, Europa Universalis, Hearts
of Iron, Shogun: Total War, and so on. We have built the core using C++, with
OpenGL for drawing to the screen, and Zach Laine's GG widget library
(http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/gigi). We have a windows installer, and
the standard configure/make option for Linux users.
This release is based on the specifications detailed here:
http://www.freeorion.org/index.php?modu ... ments.html
We have stayed with this except in the following areas:
* AI - this has been left out. The primary reason is that we hope
to implement python for the AI, and so it would not be worth writing two
separate AI's, one for the 0.1 release, and then again when the python
integration is complete. The other reason is because the AI will differ
drastically once starlanes are implemented, again resulting in wasted effort.
Other than these differences, we have remained true to the specifications.
Progress will begin immediately on version 0.2, details to be found here:
http://sourceforge.net/project/showfile ... e_id=76257
You can see our roadmap here, to see where we're headed:
It's been an interesting year. Our project began with a great amount of
enthusiasm from many interested parties. Over the months, the ones that were
committed became apparent, and the project built on that foundation. The
initial interest was far more than I originally anticipated, and the project
has grown into something much larger, with great potential. We have an
excellent team managing the project.
We invite you to continue following our project. This release will have bugs,
and is essentially a milestone for a final release, not a complete, playable
game in itself. If you discover bugs, you can report them here:
http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_i ... tid=544942
We are always looking for new programmers, artists, musicians, game designers,
and more. However, there is an important word of caution - this is a very
early release, and therefore will contain many bugs, and is not what we would
consider fun to play. We are not ready to announce our project to the world
at large. So we ask you all to please avoid posting it to other news sites -
games, or other. We would rather announce it to a larger audience in
conjunction with a later milestone. That being said, we are still looking for
valuable additions to the team to help make this a great game.
You can download the game from
http://sourceforge.net/project/showfile ... p_id=75752
For all those a part of the teams that have made this release possible, we
invite you to carry on as you have been. Let's begin work on 0.2 and see that
this game continues to develop and change into something great. We've taken
the first step, and now the rest of the project lies ahead.
There are many people who deserve thanks for this project and for carrying us
to the first release. You will find their names listed in the credits of the
game. Samual Knowlton has described their efforts below.
Thanks, and enjoy!
NOTE: There is a list of known bugs in the following thread, please check there first before you let us know:
March 1st, 2004
To the FreeOrion Community:
We are very excited to have reached the first major milestone of theFreeOrion
project. The nature of our project is a very ambitious one, and the most
difficult part of the road is still ahead. Nevertheless, it is only through
the dedication of many people that FreeOrion exists at all, and only on the
merits of their most excellent example will the project succeed. For those of
you who have not followed FreeOrion from the beginning, it is worth commending
some of the specific accomplishments of our first release:
- The FO graphic artists, who created the look and feel of FreeOrion out of
nothing, whose professionalism and talent has maintained the highest
standards; even a well-designed game with the best programmers falls flat
without a polished presentation, and I have no doubt that we have a very
- The FO audio team, who created the musical and auditory identity of FreeOrion
with no basis to start from. Very little was asked of them for this early
release, but instead of sitting idle, they have composed about a half-hour of
(It is worth noting for both of the above teams that a great deal of work has
been done that did not make it into the v0.1 release. Our art assets are well
ahead of schedule and some of them are extraordinaril ypolished, so check out
the graphics and audio forums!)
- The many people who contributed to the development and design process, as
well as the details of the design itself. Creating a concrete design for a fun
game out of several chaotic weeks of brainstorming is a difficult task, but if
it remains as productive and enlightening as it has been, it will be a very
enjoyable one. Also, I would like to extend my personal thanks to Mr. Alan
Emrich, for invaluable advice and insight on the creation, evolution, and
management of this process.
- Last, but most certainly not least, the developers that are the heart and
soul of a project like this, who have done a masterful job with their
unfortunate duty of actually having to solve the problems that designers
invent. Without the direction of Mark Saward, Zach Laine, and(formerly) Joseph
Bissonnette -- and the many efforts of their team -- this project would be
nothing more than an idea on an Internet forum.
Credit where credit is due. Now, as for what to expect and what the future
I don't think anyone who has been involved with the FreeOrion community has
unreasonable expectations of v0.1, but it bears mentioning for the benefit of
any new arrivals that anyone who is expecting even a complete, simple game
with a beginning, middle, and end will be disappointed. We did not want to
allocate resources to polishing a product whose future changes are, in many
cases, already decided; as such, the term 'snapshot' defines this release much
better even than 'pre-alpha,' since it is more a sampling of our process thus
far than it is any kind of indicator of what v1.0 will look like.
The v0.1 release was intended from the beginning to be the artistic equivalent
of dumping colors on a canvas and selecting those parts we most want to work
with. It is a beginning, a jumping-off point; nonetheless, while many
difficult questions remain, FreeOrion is no longer 'vaporware' - and this
seems to me one of the most difficult hurdles for any project like this.
The version v0.2 design document is published on our web site, and we are
currently in the process of designing v0.3. Many thanks to everyone who
contributed to FreeOrion, and I look forward to many more years of working
with this excellent community.
Samuel W. Knowlton
FreeOrion Lead Designer
March 1st, 2004