War game Freeciv goes SDLBy Chris Williams. Published: 29th Jun 2003, 18:16:23 | Permalink | Printable
And there goes your free timeIt'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.
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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