It is a historical war and economy game focusing on the years between 500 B.C. and A.D. 500. The game is cross-platform, playable on Windows, Mac OS, and GNU/Linux. The game aims to be entirely free and open-source, using GPL license for game engine and CC-BY-SA for game art. In addition, the developers do not get paid for their work, nor will they charge for their product. The game has been in development since 2000, with actual work starting in 2003. There is no official release date set for the finished version.
0 A.D. features the familiar real-time strategy gameplay components of building your base, training your army, combat, and researching of technologies. The game is about economic development and warfare. Wildfire Games aims to deliver an experience that is refreshingly innovative but at the same time familiar, focusing mostly on the military aspect of real-time strategy. The game will pursue a strong sense of historical accuracy without damaging gameplay. It also aims for a high degree of replay ability by being easily moddable and the formation of a large online community.
The player will have to build a city and an army following the rules of standard real-time strategy games, collecting resources and constructing buildings. The game will include multiple units and buildings specific to each civilization as well as both land and naval units.
Multiplayer functionality has been implemented that uses peer-to-peer and it has been confirmed that there will be no central server.
0 A.D. will allow the player to control any of ten ancient civilisations from antiquity.
The Carthaginians will have the strongest navy in the game, as well as the best trade. Units include the war elephant and the Sacred Band. Most of their troop roster, however, is made up of expensive mercenaries.
The two Celtic factions excel in hand-to-hand combat. They have minimal navy and siege. They construct mostly wooden buildings, which are fast and inexpensive to construct, though far less robust than their stone counterparts.
The Britons used war dogs in battle.
The Gauls possessed the first rotary flour mill.
The three Hellenic factions share a number of attributes including strong buildings, strong triremes, cheaper technologies, and the phalanx formation, which makes their Hoplites nearly invulnerable when attacked from the front.
The Athenians possess strong culture, exemplified in a number of unique structures including the theatre and gymnasium. Additionally, the Athenian navy is the most powerful among the Hellenistic civilizations.
The Macedonians field a varied and well-rounded military with the unique syntagma formation available to its infantry. Their siege capabilities are considerable, including their unique siege towers, immense, mobile wooden constructs able to garrison large numbers of archers.
The Spartans field a less-varied military than that of the other Hellenistic civilizations, but are able to use their melee infantry to deadly effect in the phalanx formation.
The Iberians' foot units are some of the fastest and most rapid-firing in the game, particularly their Balearic Slingers. A number of their ranged units also have the unique ability to fire flaming missiles. Toledo steel grants them superior metal weaponry.
The Mauryan Indians are a planned for an upcoming release.
The Persians are the most cosmopolitan civilization, levying a wide variety of troops from their vassal satrapies. Their infantry are weak and poorly-equipped, but can be massed in vast numbers. They have the strongest (though most expensive) cavalry in the game, and are the only civilisation that features all forms of cavalry, including cavalry archers in the form of scythe chariots. Their buildings are also the strongest in the game.
The Romans train the strongest swordsman (the Hastatus) in the game as well as construct the most powerful siege equipment. Other bonuses include the ability to construct siege walls to circumvallate enemy cities in enemy territory.