Freeciv .1.0 Beta 2 review

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Freeciv is a free turn-based multiplayer strategy game, in which each player becomes the leader of a civilization, fighting to obtain

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 0K
Developer: Freeciv Development Team
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Freeciv is a free turn-based multiplayer strategy game, in which each player becomes the leader of a civilization, fighting to obtain the ultimate goal:
To become the greatest civilization.

Players of the CivilizationŽ series by MicroproseŽ should feel at home, since one aim of Freeciv is to have modes with compatible rules.

Freeciv is maintained by an international team of coders and enthusiasts, and is easily one of the most fun and addictive network games out there!

It also means it has very extensive multilanguage support, something rare in games.

To start a multi-player game, type "civclient" in a shell. Recommended: "civclient -tiles trident" to get a 2-dimensional map. Then click the "Metaserver" tab and the "Update" button there. Look for game in "Pregame" state, possibly with nonzero players, connect and wait there for more players. Type "/create name" to get a computer enemy and "/start" to begin.

The goal of Freeciv is to build cities, which in turn can build armies to attack the other players. You start with 2 settlers and 1 explorer. Using the numeric keypad, move the settlers to a good location (see below) and build a city by pressing 'b' (for 'b'uild). You can move diagonally, by the way. Freeciv is turn based; every unit can move once per turn. The turn ends when everyone clicks "Turn done" or when a timeout is over.

In these cities, you can also build city improvements. These can help the city it is built in. Some improvements let a city get bigger. You should also build wonders, as they can do very important things, for instance the Apollo Program lets you see the entire map.

Cities also produce units, which can be used for various purposes, from fighting wars to enhancing infrastructure. Different strategies depend on different focuses between things external and internal to a city.

The eventual goal of the game is to win either by using military units to conquer all opposing civilizations, or by using massive scientific knowledge and production to build a spaceship to send to Alpha Centauri before your rivals can do so.

Cities extract resources from the square they're built on plus one nearby square for each inhabitant; you start with 1 inhabitant. The resources are: Food (to grow cities), Production (to build settlers/armies) and Trade (for research and money). Click a city to bring it up for management. Click on a used square on the small map to remove your worker (and turn him into an entertainer, see below), then click on an unused square to place your worker. However the default placement is usually good.

* Food: All food from the used squares is added to the granary. Every inhabitant uses two food per turn though, and settlers built by this city require one or two also. When the granary reaches 20 food, the city grows to size 2 and can use an additional nearby square. Settlers can irrigate (press i) nearby squares if there is water adjacent, which increases food by one for some square types, see table below. The square under the city gets a free irrigation.

* Production: The production you get from a square can be used to produce military units or settlers. Producing a settler reduces the city size by 1 and can only be done in cities of size 2 and larger. Some units require one production every turn (upkeep) for as long as they're alive. You can change the unit or building to be produced in the city report, or buy unfinished units. Settlers can mine (press m) some square types, which increases their production; see table below. The square the city is on gets one production if otherwise zero.

* Trade: Trade can be turned into tax, luxury or science. Science lets you research new military unit types. Tax yields money, which you can use to prematurely complete a cities production. Luxury creates happy inhabitants. You can select the distribution of your trade by pressing shift-R). Corruption reduces the amount of trade that a city delivers; the further away from the capital, the more corruption. Settlers can build roads (press r) which add 1 trade to some square types, see table below, and allow for faster movement. The square the city is on gets a free road.

Inhabitants can be happy, content or unhappy (shown by different icons in the city window). If there are more unhappy than happy inhabitants, the city falls into disorder and stops producing anything. The first four inhabitants of a city are content. Additional ones are unhappy and must be made content either with temples in their cities, with wonders (see below), with luxuries or with entertainers.

In the Reports menu you find the Science report. There you can decide what to research. You can select an immediate thing to research and a long term goal that the next immediate will be selected from. Most research items require others to be discovered already. After discovery of knowledge, you can build new types of military units, new wonders or use new governments. This window pops up whenever research on one item finishes.

The type of government you have affects how many resources your cities can extract from the land. You can change government by researching the new government type and then starting a revolution (in Government menu, will take a few turns). The most important ones:

* Despotism: This is your initial government type. Each square that yields more than 2 of anything (food, production or trade) has that yield reduced by one. Settlers use one food per turn for upkeep, military units are free unless there are more built by a city than the city has inhabitants. Science rate can only be set to 60%. High corruption.

* Monarchy: No more resource reduction. Settlers use one food. The first 3 military units per city are free of upkeep. Maximum science rate is 70%. Corruption is small.

* Republic: Each square with trade gets another trade unit. Settlers use two food, and one production. All military units use one production. Only one military unit is tolerated abroad (not in city), additional units create one unhappy inhabitant. Corruption is small.

Each wonder of the world can only be built by one player and only in one city. Other cities can build and send caravans (after you research Trade) to help in building wonders. The most important wonders are:

Magellan's Expedition: Sea units can move 2 squares further per turn. Requires Navigation
Leonardo's Workshop: 1 obsolete military unit upgraded per turn. Requires Invention
Michelangelo's Chapel: 3 unhappy inhabitants become content in every city. Requires Monotheism
J.S.Bach's Cathedral: Creates 2 happy inhabitants in every city. Requires Theology.

Here are some key features of "Freeciv":
General futures:
Generally comparable with Civilization I & II.
Up to 30 players!
Artificial Intelligence (AI) computer-controlled players.
Internet & LAN multiplayer (TCP/IP).
Support for a great number of platforms see Requirements.
Premade maps & scenarios!
47 units and 61 nations.
Modpack support!
Internationalization (i18n).
In game help system.
Gameplay specific:
Full Fog of War.
Diplomacy.
Graphics:
There are different graphics for different needs.
30x30 & 45x45 sized tiles, or most any size you feel like drawing.
64, 256 and more colors!
User Interfaces:
GTK+
GTK+ 2.2
Win32
Amiga
Xaw
Languages:
Catalan
Chinese
Czech
Danish
Dutch
English (British)
Finnish
French
German
Hungarian
Italian
Japanese
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Portuguese (Brazilian)
Romanian
Russian
Spanish
Swedish

Free software:

Freeciv is Free software (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html) and that means a lot! It gives you as a user a great deal of liberty, which proprietary software just doesn't.

A little list of some of the advantages Freeciv has:

It's Gratis!
The source code is available.
You are allowed to copy, redistribute, charge money for & modify Freeciv. For more info on this subject refer to the license.
A new release every now and then with new and exciting features!
Almost no bugs.
You can influence the development of the game dramatically!
It uses the very (free software developers) friendly GNU General Public License.

What's New in 2.0.8 Stable Release:
Simplification of pubserver authentication system, and other pubserver-related changes.
Fix a potential desynchronization bug when establishing connections.
Fix a potential crash when reading packets.
Fix some bugs allowing illegal rehoming of units.
Allow loading of savegames created by Freeciv 2.1.
Allow client goto into unknown tiles.
Fix a set of crashes likely to happen with the XAW client on 64-bit systems.
Fix a bug that allowed unlimited incoming airlifts.

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