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War game Freeciv goes SDL

By Chris Williams. Published: 29th Jun 2003, 18:16:23 | Permalink | Printable

And there goes your free time

It's a lazy Sunday afternoon and a typically quiet Summer period looms as developers busy themselves with projects that need completing in time for the Autumn shows. So in order to avoid a mass twiddling of thumbs, the Unix Porting Project has struck again with an SDL-based Freeciv port.

Freeciv is a free, turn based multiplayer strategy game that's based on the commercial 'Civilization II' game. Basically, think TEK 1608 but instead of destroying civilisation with tanks and missiles, you're building it up. Literally, building it up from sending out settlers to founding cities to forming armies and crafting your mark in history.

The previous RISC OS port of Freeciv used X11 and an X Server to display the game. However, this version (1.14.1) uses libSDL so the game runs as a native application and is therefore faster. LibSDL was ported to RISC OS by Alan Buckley.

Freeciv is playable and certainly not slow on this editor's StrongARM RiscPC although the game is quite responsive on an XScale Iyonix. There's lots of online documentation and guides to help new players to get into the game plus the game interface itself is intuitive. The in-game graphics are very cutesy and colourful with lots of nice transparency effects thrown in for good measure - be sure to run Freeciv in at least a 32,000 colour desktop. There's also a remarkably large range of races and other options to start each game with.


Getting started
You can run the Freeciv RISC OS server to play against AI players (and anyone else who connects to your server) or you can play Freeciv online by connecting to a public Freeciv game server.


SDL Freeciv for RISC OS
Unix Porting Project (subscribe to the UPP for support) Freeciv was ported by Peter Naulls, who is also a Drobe Editor

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Ooo, pretty.

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 29/6/03 7:01PM
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Yes. It looks slick. Also, I think chocky.org is under heavy load at the moment, so patience is needed if you're downloading Freeciv.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 29/6/03 7:16PM
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That's what FileFetch is for. [link] Neat app.

Looking forward to trying FreeCiv (once it's downloaded) looks great!

 is a RISC OS Usertamias on 29/6/03 8:22PM
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drobe.co.uk should mirror it or something

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 29/6/03 9:12PM
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mavhc should buy a CD or something.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 29/6/03 9:17PM
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And someone should have told me about FileFetch earlier... Why i am just reading about this nice app after the fc download died two times today?

Sincerely Hauke

 is a RISC OS UserVLIW on 29/6/03 9:44PM
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Why would I buy a CD of stuff I can download? It's unlikely to be quicker than the 2hrs it's taking to download.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 29/6/03 9:51PM
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There are a variety of applications like this. There's my port of wget (but without the nice GUI that FileFetch has - although you can use frontender). WSS do a commerical app too.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 29/6/03 9:54PM
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[link] has the Wget frontend, of course the actual app is at [link] so that won't help as much for this problem, only 207k though so it's probably worth trying.

WSS sell Loadmaster (cut down version is used by ROL) [link] 23.5ukps

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 29/6/03 9:57PM
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Thanks for the tipps.

I knew about wget but it refused to run at all the last time i tried - which is a while ago now. And of course i knew about the commercial one but i do not have often those trouble (once in a half year) so it is not neccessary for me, specially as i have a broadband flatrate...

Sincerely Hauke

 is a RISC OS UserVLIW on 29/6/03 10:07PM
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As with most of the unix ports you need a largist wimpslot (drag Next bar out) before you press f12/open a taskwindow, then just do:

wget -c [link] etc

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 29/6/03 11:13PM
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 is a RISC OS UserSnig on 29/6/03 11:52PM
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first post!

 is a RISC OS Usernex on 30/6/03 1:57AM
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Don't forget Curl which is a great and all powerful utility for downloading or even uploading troublesome files. :-)


 is a RISC OS Userquatermass on 30/6/03 9:41AM
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I just downloaded the game at about 8kbit/s. To allow for a faster alternative, I have put a copy at [link] on my server. Please note that this is no official UPP download site and that the file will be removed soon (I don't want to offend Peter Naulls, just help in this case).

 is a RISC OS Usermaus on 30/6/03 11:26AM
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Sigh. I really wish you'd have talked to me first.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 30/6/03 11:55AM
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Thanks Maus, I managed to get it at last. Took about 30secs! :)

 is a RISC OS UserFylecore on 30/6/03 12:25PM
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I have removed the copy now, because "it's not helpful, for lots of reasons".

 is a RISC OS Usermaus on 30/6/03 12:53PM
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Eh? Reasons such as?

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 30/6/03 12:58PM
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Unless maus runs a mirror it will probably cause the UPP crew a version nightymare...


 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis@work on 30/6/03 2:40PM
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And? That's what PD peeple have been doing for /years/. Why is Freeciv somehow "special" in this respect?

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 30/6/03 4:08PM
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Maybe Peter wanted to keep count of the number of downloads?

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 30/6/03 4:33PM
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Yeah, that's right. Everyone's an expert. If you've got an issue with this, then at least have the decency to email me first, rather than ranting on a public forum.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 30/6/03 4:35PM
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Referring to anyone in particular?

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 30/6/03 4:43PM
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Well, you can count me as an unofficial download (at 84kB/s). I may even play it some time.

Oh, and I got Digital Renderer from [link] is that OK?

 is a RISC OS UserStoppers on 30/6/03 4:43PM
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th: no, that's why I said "Everyone". But your further comments fail to improve the situation.

Stoppers: You are telling us because? I never said anything about counting.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 30/6/03 4:53PM
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I don't even know what the situation is, which is why I'm curious. I just figured that /if/ you did'nt want others to make downloads available, maybe you wanted to track how many takers you had, that's all.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 30/6/03 5:00PM
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mrchocky: Since you asked, I posted because I thought that being able to download the program very fast was useful (thanks, Maus). Also, I had a problem with not having Digital Renderer on my machine and I thought others might have the same problem and be interested in where to get the solution. You really don't have to count the download, if you don't want to, but you haven't given any reason why a copy of the software on another server is not helpful and the counting guess seemed as good as any, to me. The only other reasons I can think of are frequent updates/bugfixes, advertising on the UPP web pages or putting a unique id into each download.

 is a RISC OS UserStoppers on 30/6/03 5:33PM
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Or you could check the help on my webpages about the module, but I guess that would be too obvious.


-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 30/6/03 6:00PM
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I can't access that page, my connection was refused...

<joke>Someone want to host a copy so we can all read it?</joke>

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 30/6/03 6:38PM
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I get a 400 error (host not responding) on that URL.

It didn't take me long to find the module and put it in the boot sequence.

So, why is it not helpful to have a copy of the software on another machine?

 is a RISC OS UserStoppers on 30/6/03 6:52PM
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Niceish game... jus' gotta work out how to play it :o

 is a RISC OS UserAndrew Duffell on 30/06/03 8:53PM
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well i click on !CicServer and then click on !CivClient, and it just says initializing and then nothing happens!!!

I think it may have something to do with the fact that when i de-archived it with !SparkPlug it asked me to overwright loads of files. I don't know how to stop it doind this.

Please someone help me!!!! (and to make matters worse i've just been disconnected so am going to have to reconnect again and i don't even have broadband (not that this is relevant!!!)

 is a RISC OS UserTimothy609 on 01/07/03 9:33PM
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How does one set "home" as this is an error that comes up when i click on !CivServer ????

 is a RISC OS UserTimothy609 on 01/07/03 9:35PM
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Tim: Did you type "start" in the server window? The readme explains.

 is a RISC OS Userchrist on 01/07/03 10:46PM
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Read the help on the website. It explains everything you need for the ports. Of course, if you downloaded it from a "mirror", you won't have seen that, nor particularly know where to get it from, nor can you be certain of getting the latest version.

Not that people mirroring the software care about being helpful, just about being contrary.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 02/07/03 7:15PM
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It's a great game, one you can only get a full understanding for once you've muddled your way through to the end of it a few times. Not that I've tried the Acorn port yet, but I've played all other versions of Civ.

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 03/07/03 5:43PM
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Finally got round to unpacking it and having a go tonight, but discovered that a bunch of files have broken names. I'll go and get it agin. Some names seem to have been cropped, and are cropped in the archive when I look at it. Specifics are data/deluxe/theme_orders_buttons.spec and .png, for example, which only exist as data/deluxe/theme_orders_button, twice in the archive...

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 03/07/03 11:58PM
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...which just goes to show people will complain even if they're given something for free, on forums where the majority of people probably can't do anything.

The filenames are intact. The fault is with whatever you're using to unpack it with (modern versions of SparkFS have no problem).

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 04/07/03 08:16AM
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chocky; it wasn't a complaint, just a comment. I've got SparkFS 1.28, which is v. old. If that's the issue, I'll get it sorted.

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 04/07/03 6:45PM
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Mike, had a similar problem on a previous occasion. Suggest you go to [link] and download SparkPlug.

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 04/07/03 11:05PM
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