O’Reilly Network: Building Freeciv: An Open Source Strategy Game

[ Thanks to Jason
for this link. ]

“If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then
Freeciv is clearly a labor of love among its many volunteers. Since
the code for this open source version of Civilization was released
in 1995, hundreds of volunteers have added to it and improved it,
even though the original developers haven’t been heavily involved
in years.

Freeciv runs on Linux, Windows, OS/2, and Amiga, and features
online and network multiplayer capability. Initially, fixing the
networking and multiplay proved to be the biggest challenges for
the Freeciv team. Nowadays, the toughest jobs remaining include
sprucing up the game’s graphics and re-doing the artificial
intelligence (AI). Continued efforts like these have become goals
not unlike the strategy behind Freeciv’s gameplay — building and
improving upon things over time.

As it turns out, Freeciv is not the first open source version of
Civilization. The idea for Freeciv came about one day when three
Danish students were in their university’s computer science lab,
playing Openciv , a free multiplayer Civilization clone written in
Python using Tk/Tcl. “We soon gave up on the game, as it performed
terribly. At that point, the idea was born to write our own version
in C,” says Peter Unold, now a 30-year-old graduate student in
Aarhus, Denmark. Along with two other fellow students, Claus Leth
Gregersen and Allan Ove Kjeldbjerg, he created Freeciv while
studying computer science at Aarhus University.”


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