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[Col] New FreeCol Releases and Maps Overhaul

The FreeCol Devs regularly post polls, teasers & updates on the Sid Meier's Colonization fans Discord, Reddit & Facebook groups and today's is a big one! :)

FreeCol v1.1.0 released!​

The next official release of FreeCol is finally ready!
We have been working on the main parts of FreeCol since our last release. Six new musical tracks have been added to the game. In addition, we have included a new mod that adds hitpoints and ranged combat:


All savegames from 0.12.0 and up should continue working with 1.1.0.

Download: https://www.freecol.org/download.html

User visible changes since version 1.0.0
  • New track: El Dorado
  • New track: Free Colonist
  • New track: Lost City
  • New track: Rainy Day
  • New track: Royal Troops
  • New track: Wagon Wheels
  • Updated the old tracks with new updated versions.
  • New graphics for hills and mountains.
  • The standard panel background image is now both brighter and without obvious tiling artifacts on larger screens.
Rule changes
  • Jesuit Missionary can now recommision itself in colonies without a church.
  • Added the mod "Hitpoints and Combat" that adds hitpoints and ranged combat to the game.
Map Generator
  • Great rivers (ocean like, navigable by ships only) are no longer generated by default, but can still be generated if enabled using the Map Generator Options.
  • The number of rivers generated can now be properly controlled using the "Number of rivers" map generator option even when changing map sizes and/or amount of mountains.
  • Enabled generation of rivers that are only two tiles long (the previous limit was three).
User Interface
  • Units in Europe are no longer included in the list of possible active units.
  • Game options and Map generator options are no longer automatically saved and loaded. The default values are initially displayed for all new games.
  • Panels/dialogs are now automatically resized and relocated when changing the size of the application window (including when switching between full screen and windowed mode).
  • Allows the player to easily view all files while loading savegames/maps.
  • The start game panel can now be resized to smaller than the initial size.
  • The chat panel (start game panel in multiplayer) is now placed directly below the list of players making the dialog work better on small screens.
  • The displayed occupation string on a pioneer now shows "C" for clear forest instead of "P".
AI/computer players
  • Greatly reduces the time needed by the AI (the wait time after ending the turn).
  • The AI now gets less benefits on lower difficulty levels to make everything easier.
  • Escort unit missions are now immediately aborted if the protected unit gets destroyed.
  • More efficient transportation of goods and units (better utilization of the capacity of ships and wagon trains).
  • The AI now produces fewer and better colonies.
Mod development
  • Allow mods to be loaded when making maps in the map editor. This allows maps to be made with new terrain types, and other resources, added by mods.
  • New types of mountains and hills defined by mods are now used when generating maps. The specific type of hill/mountain is determined by the latitude.
  • Partial modifications to the specification is now possible again. This fixes a regression introduced in 0.11.x that prevented the "partial" flag from working.
  • Mods can now define new order buttons (and have them applied without having to restart the game).
  • Bugfix: Mods are no longer loaded twice (thereby causing various problems in the colony panel and other places when modifications were made).
  • Bugfix: Units that are not available to a player can now be captured if a valid "unit-change" exist.
Bug fixes
  • Fixed a bug that caused the same maps always being generated when starting a new game.
  • Fixes game hangs on end turn in some specific cases.
  • Fixed scaling and placement of goods production icons on colony tiles.
  • A unit in a building is no longer drawn at the top of the building (that is, the area for showing goods production) if the production is zero.
  • Sound effects are now properly played when attacking.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented the map shortcut buttons on the Map Generator dialog from working properly. The bug caused the button to have no effect the first time it was clicked after restarting the application.
  • Fixed an issue that sometimes prevented mods from being deactivated in the Preferences.
  • The game now fails gracefully if the server cannot be started. This prevents an application freeze when failing to start a new game or failing to load a savegame.
  • Revenge mode is now working again.
  • Fixes an issue that allowed a malicious client (in a multiplayer game) to attack with a unit that had no moves left.
  • The "Train" panel in Europe now has five columns of unit buttons instead of just three.
  • Fixes a bug that sometimes stopped trade routes / goto orders from working. For example, this happened if there was a lost city rumor in the search area of a wagon train on a trade route.
  • Fixes activation of tile improvement actions (like "Plow") after reconnecting.
  • Allows the founding father selection to be postponed without an error message.
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented the map from being redrawn properly after a unit move/attack animation.
  • Highscores can now be stored and displayed again.
Last edited:
Wow, FreeCol development really picked up in the last couple years. 13+ years ago, when I first ran across it, I despaired that it would ever reach 1.0...
I played FreeCol before I even played the original Colonization, even though I was into retro-gaming already then.
Last time I played FreeCol, I wasnt able to load a saved multiplayergame. Does that work now?
Last time I played FreeCol, I wasnt able to load a saved multiplayergame. Does that work now?
Yes apparently this was fixed in 2022. Author said:
The issue has now been fixed. The old solution used the nation key for getting the ruler ... and got a translated version of the ruler name to be used as a username while connecting. That was really silly as it does not work in lots of different situations -- for example when playing using different languages. I have changed the solution into using the nation ID instead. As a bonus, the username is updated after connecting.
The FreeCol Devs have posted a big new release across the Sid Meier's Colonization fans Discord, Reddit & Facebook groups!

FreeCol v1.2.0 released!​

This release features a new Colony panel with improved building graphics. In addition, there are lots of nice improvements and essential bug fixes.


All savegames (without mods) from 0.12.0 and up should continue working with 1.2.0.

Download: https://www.freecol.org/download.html

User visible changes since 1.1.0​

  • Awesome new building graphics from Misiulo.
  • Massive redesign of the colony panel with background images and other styling
  • A new styling for the top menu bar with better contrast. This includes changes like showing the top level menus in a button like style.
  • New styling for radio and checkbox buttons.
  • The face of Peter Minuit now has more realistic coloring.
  • Improved rendering performance, and especially when scrolling or moving units.
  • Allow to run FreeCol with only 512MB memory. Please keep in mind that 2GB is still needed for higher resolution, smoother scroll and high rendering quality.
  • Better handling of memory -- for example prioritized automatic clearing of caches when running low on memory.
Rule Changes
  • Adding the four extra nations to the classic ruleset. These nations are deactivated by default. Having them as a part of the classic ruleset make it easier to play a game with the classic rules, while still having additional players.
  • Deactivates being able to starve out native settlements.
  • Bugfix: Fixed a bug that made native settlements be scattered all over the map instead of being grouped by nation (this happened mostly on small maps).
  • Bugfix for "Shippable wagons mod": Wagon trains can now be built when the shippable wagons mod has been enabled.
User Interface
  • The mapboard scrolling is now much smoother and supports pixel-by-pixel scrolling.
  • Allowing scrolling past the borders of a map so that edge tiles can also be placed in focus.
  • It's now possible to use 75% display scaling. This can be used when playing on very small screens where fixed size dialogs would otherwise be larger than the screen.
  • The warehouse dialog can now be resized.
  • Focus is now changed on the mapboard with a single mouse click.
  • Unit dragging can now only be started by clicking on the unit (in order to reduce the likelyhood of accidental goto-orders). In addition, the drag can now be started for units that are currently not the active unit.
  • The active unit is kept when opening a colony panel.
  • The colony panel now works better on small screens.
  • The build queue is no longer displayed when clicking on other buildings than the carpenter type of buildings.
  • The colony panel can now be more easily dragged by clicking-and-dragging almost anywhere on the colony panel's open spaces.
  • Various fixes and a new visualization of goto-paths.
  • Buildings are now randomly distributed in the colony based on the available space, and can be of different sizes.
  • The panel showing the signing of the Declaration of Independence is now made larger on bigger screens.
  • Panels can now cover the entire mapboard area (this is needed for very small screens in order to show all content).
  • The confirm declaration dialog now fits on small screen.
  • 6688 translation string updated (in total) for 38 languages.
  • Bugfix: Fixes hidden OK-button in the Colopedia on small screens.
  • Bugfix: The height of a colony building no longer changes when a worker is added.
  • Bugfix: Lots of small rendering differences between different systems (DPI and OS) have been fixed.
  • Bugfix: Caps the automatic font size at no more than 25% larger than the current scaleFactor.
  • Bugfix: Hides the display of the "option only"-nation type from the start game panel
  • Bugfix: Fixes the tab order on the new game panel.
  • Bugfix: An error message is now properly displayed if trying to contact natives with a scout onboard a ship.
  • Bugfix: Solved an issue with the Founding Father panel missing the OK button in some languages.
  • Bugfix: REF color is now white for all REF players and Russia is grey (only if the game was started using this version or later).
  • Bugfix: Fixes an issue where the unit info panel displays outdated info. The bug could be reproduced by right-clicking on a tile and then selecting a unit.
Map Editor
  • Allow the minimap and other map controls to be resized in the map editor.
  • The areas for native nations can now be defined in the map editor. These areas mark the allowed locations for native settlements for each nations. Overlapping areas are allowed, since proper distance between native settlements are still checked, and can be used for having a random element to the overlap/size of each nation. In addition, it's still possible to define specific settlements that will be used if "Import settlements" is checked when starting a new game.
  • The starting areas for European nations can now be defined in the map editor. A random tile in each nation's starting area is used when starting a new game. The areas may overlap.
  • Unit order buttons are now hidden when in the map editor.
  • Bugfix: Fixes a bug where map width was used for height, and the other way around, when scaling a map in the map editor.
  • Bugfix: A new game is now always loaded before importing or generating a new map. This fixes lots of issues caused by stuff from the old map leaking into the new one.
AI/computer players
  • Bugfix: Fixed a bug that prevented the REF computer player (AI) from completing its turn.
  • Bugfix: Fixed a bug preventing the REF from surrendering.
  • Bugfix: Fixed a bug where the AI sometimes sent ships back and forth to Europe without doing anything.
Mod development
  • Adding an empty image resource file (resource:image.empty) to be used for replacing images with empty space.
  • Mods can now reference abstract types from the base rule without extending a specific base rule.
  • Added "preserve-attributes" that, if true, preserves the attributes of a specification element. This simplifies changing only the subelements. Please note that any "extends" attribute still needs to be repeated since this attributes changes the subelements.
  • The game now displays mod initialization errors to the user in the new game and start game dialogs.
  • An exception is now thrown if a referenced type is used before it's defined.
Other bug fixes
  • Fixed an issue that prevented the Declaration of Independence if the player name had non-ascii characters.
  • Allows automated trade routes to unload goods in colonies with more than 100 goods. In addition, unloading food is now always allowed.
  • Fixes an issue where moving goods into/out from a colony messes up the production. The most noticeable effect of this bug was colonists starving to death while a new colonist was born.
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