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[Col] New FreeCol Releases and Maps Overhaul

Blake00

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In between my Civ2 modding projects I'm currently in the process of helping out the FreeCol team with various things such as their public presentation (eg everyone thinks they're dead when they're not lol) and adding heaps of awesome new custom maps as fans have submitted heaps of cool ones over the years. Now obviously having American Indian tribes running around places like Australia and Africa is a bit weird haha (modders are working on localized native packs for other continents in the future though so stay tuned) but nevertheless the map variety now makes things heaps more fun. Some of the huge Earth maps may seem to big for standard Col games however FreeCol allows 8 European nations instead of the classic 4 and modders have increased that to 12 European factions now! Anyway I should have the map overhaul update all wrapped up in the next few hours and then hopefully in the coming days it will be added to the next github test release by the team. :)

Homepage:
https://www.freecol.org/

General info on playing FreeCol these days and where to get it:
https://sourceforge.net/p/freecol/discussion/719661/thread/2d0063a3bc/

More details about map project:
https://sourceforge.net/p/freecol/discussion/141200/thread/9eb4fbdf/?page=2&limit=25#b431

More details about extra Nations mod:
https://sourceforge.net/p/freecol/discussion/141200/thread/658935e76f/

EDIT: New FreeCol HD video tour that shows off these new maps & nations:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSfj_G4kA9g&list=PLZqnaGtTZxFbq3F5R6lqzyVvYzg9tRBPY

Screenshot of some of the new maps:
Maps.png


Screenshot I took a year or so ago just before finishing a game:
 
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Cool! I still visit www.freecol.org every month to see if they posted some new version. Never got into it myself because I dislike the graphics (perspective, images, icons, colony management, and so on - basically: "it's not like the original"). I also once tried to setup the multiplayer for a bunch of people, but the game just crashed. :p

Which are the 8 other nations you can play?
 
I' glad that freecol is not dead (yes, I, as many other people, thought that nothing's in development). Last time I checked, it was pretty barebones. Hope AI now is more intense and multiplayer is more fun. BTW, is somebody in the team trying to disassemble the original game for more faithful expierence? I think that disassembly in such cases is fair use (see Open Dune, for example). Of course, probably original AI is cheating hard, but as a option it can be sweet to have it there. As well as other math/rules (not from observation, but directly from the original code).
 
Cool! I still visit www.freecol.org every month to see if they posted some new version. Never got into it myself because I dislike the graphics (perspective, images, icons, colony management, and so on - basically: "it's not like the original"). I also once tried to setup the multiplayer for a bunch of people, but the game just crashed. :p

Which are the 8 other nations you can play?

Yeah I've been pestering them to improve their website as it was making everyone think they were dead. They've made a few changes now but more needs to be done. ISoon I'll be helping them update the screenshots section, adding a new videos section and posting new news articles!

Naturally the original 4 are included (Netherlands, France, England, Spain), but the default FreeCol also comes with 4 more (Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, Russia). Then 3rd party mods also add Belgium, Italy, Ottoman Empire and Germany. Obviously historically its getting a bit murky here with these extra supposed colonizers so they will likely stay in 3rd party mods instead of the going into the base game. The modder is also working on adding another 4 I think including some Asian nations, if that goes through people can have 18 player Col games which is just crazy haha! Oh and he's working on adding more Native nations too!

I' glad that freecol is not dead (yes, I, as many other people, thought that nothing's in development). Last time I checked, it was pretty barebones. Hope AI now is more intense and multiplayer is more fun. BTW, is somebody in the team trying to disassemble the original game for more faithful expierence? I think that disassembly in such cases is fair use (see Open Dune, for example). Of course, probably original AI is cheating hard, but as a option it can be sweet to have it there. As well as other math/rules (not from observation, but directly from the original code).

Yeah with no source and no one breaking down the games assembly code (as far as I know) so everything would be based of approximations of AI behavior combined with publicly accessible stats. If we're sticking with the Dune 2 analogy then Freecol would be live Dune Legacy more than Dune Dynatsy as the later was based on open Dune while the former was based on approximations. When I played a big game a year ago the AI wasn't too bad and was attacking each other, natives and me a bit. REF came down hard on me of course too. Was fun!

BTW guys there's a delay with the map pack sorry. I've submitted it to github but the main programmers have to approve it and there's some debate going on right now with the creator of the maps as he feels some of them are not good enough to be included and we're all like "dude! they're good enough!" lol.

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Awesome, just played some freecol the past few days and now wanted more selections of maps. Downloaded some massive selection of over 40 maps that I was kinda sceptical of. This looks like a nice curated selection. Awesome work!

One thing I would like would be to see the size of the map on the selection screen. I see some of them have XL or such in the title, but for the others as well. Having for example "75x50" or whatever the size would be in the title so I can see it on the selection screen, also helpful for knowing how many AI civs I should have.
 
Awesome, just played some freecol the past few days and now wanted more selections of maps. Downloaded some massive selection of over 40 maps that I was kinda sceptical of. This looks like a nice curated selection. Awesome work!

One thing I would like would be to see the size of the map on the selection screen. I see some of them have XL or such in the title, but for the others as well. Having for example "75x50" or whatever the size would be in the title so I can see it on the selection screen, also helpful for knowing how many AI civs I should have.

haha yeah all the crazy maps like the GTA one's Mazim made were filtered out. :)

Nah they all have sizes in their names S = small, M = Medium, L = Large, XL = Extra Large, XXL = Huge. And yup I stated in the sourceforge map thread where all this went down that I'd be lodging a ticket asking Mike or someone to stick in a little 'legend/size descriptions' area below maps with the class sizes. I did think about adding the full A x B sizes to all the individual map names but others weren't excited about the idea so that's why there's just the S, M, L, XL, XXL labels in the names.

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As part of my Civilization & Colonization video series I've finally done a FreeCol HD video tour that shows of the new maps & nations I was talking about in this thread:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSfj_G4kA9g&list=PLZqnaGtTZxFbq3F5R6lqzyVvYzg9tRBPY


EDIT: And would you believe it right after posting my video, the FreeCol team came out with a brand new stable FreeCol 0.12.0 release! While there have been many test nightly releases over the last few years this is the first official stable release since good old 0.11.6 back 2015! Mike and the gang were slowly building towards this release and then original FreeCol admin Stian returned along with some new helpers resulting in things really getting busy and before we knew it FreeCol 0.12.0 was here!
There's been a huge amount of changes since the last stable release which people can check out a list of here:
https://sourceforge.net/p/freecol/wiki/0.12.0 Release Notes/
And of course people can download the new release from here:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/freecol/files/freecol/freecol-0.12.0/

 
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Thought about starting a new poll thread here but got lost in the confusing poll options lol so I'll just keep it in a simple post in this exiting FreeCol thread I've got going...

FreeCol creator Stian has asked over on the Colonization fans discord in the FreeCol chat area what would fans like him to prioritize over the months to come in the lead up to the big FreeCol v1.0 release. If anyone lurking here as an opinion feel free to post below! (not sure if it's news worthy this time @The_J , probably not but giving you a heads up just in case).

A - AI Colony Management: Make the AI manage the colonies well (making specialized colonies, utilizing experts properly, making the correct tile improvements and the correct buildings).
B - AI Military: An AI using a tactical map for placing the soldiers where there's an actual threat (would also be used for making unarmed colonist avoid dangerous areas, and for planning assaults on enemy settlements). This is required functionality in order to get any joy from playing a military mod like explained here: https://sourceforge.net/p/freecol/discussion/141200/thread/7decd315e2/#3b07/7552
C - Official Public Servers: Improve the multiplayer mode with official public servers (this includes time limits, password protection of players, automatic restart when the game ends etc).
D - Better Graphics: Improve the graphics -- both the User Interface (for example a skin for the colony panel) and the terrain (nicer transitions, better hills/mountains, animated fish jumping out of the water etc).
ABCD - All of the above: Try to do a bit of everything.

1660483946303.png
 
Guys. Need help. Downloaded the new version 0.13 and having issues. When I move a worker into a colony (farmer, lumberjack etc) I cannot get them to provide any resources. So say I move a lumberjack onto a forest tile, he does not work. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong on this version? I have played version 0.11 for years so know what I'm doing lol
 
Guys. Need help. Downloaded the new version 0.13 and having issues. When I move a worker into a colony (farmer, lumberjack etc) I cannot get them to provide any resources. So say I move a lumberjack onto a forest tile, he does not work. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong on this version? I have played version 0.11 for years so know what I'm doing lol
You're experienced so I'm guessing you're already right clicking on the unit and selecting the type of work you want them to do.

The main FreeCol team don't drop by this forum so I'd recommend posting the bug in their bug reporting area on the sourceforge page here:
https://sourceforge.net/p/freecol/bugs/

You can attach your savegame and a screenshot of your town screen to the ticket and the entire team will see it and hopefully be able to help you out. :)
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FREECOL v1.0 will be released soon.
I am looking forward to.
I'm Japanese and it's already January 2nd in Japan time, but it's still January 1st in North America, so it hasn't been released yet.
What time will v1.0 be released on January 2nd in North America?
 
Yes Stian has posted on the Discord that he intends to release the big v1.0 release soon. However he did not specify a release date, he just said "soon", so that could be days, or weeks.. who knows lol!

Looks like he's released a brand new development build for people to do final testing with so this is probably pretty close to what v1.0 will be!
 
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I understand.
I expected v1.0 to have 3D graphics (like FREECIV) but the version he released yesterday is still 2D.
 
Ahhh now I see where you got the 2/1/2023 release date from.. Stian didn't say a date on the Col Fans Discord where we all chat, but he did post about the new release coming on the old news page.

Well sure enough it's here now, the big moment 2 decades in the making! Version 1.0 of FreeCol is released! :)

"On this very day, 20 years ago, we made the first public release of FreeCol. Our releases have until now been marked as alpha/beta even though the number of downloads for our game has long been counted in the millions. We are extremely proud to finally announce FreeCol 1.0.0!"


Some highlighted changes since the previous stable release version 0.13.0 are:
  • New nation specific colony graphics.
  • New forest graphics
  • Major changes to the tile goods production so that the actual values matches the original game.
  • Greatly improved artificial intelligence (AI) for the computer players.
  • Much better stability (many bug fixes).

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