A great development community has formed around the pumpkin studios game Warzone 2100. I actually bought this game back when it was originally released, and enjoyed it despite not being a big fan of the genre. Pumpkin Studios released the source code to the game and since then folks have been working on it. On April 1 they released version 2.06 and it’s worth checking out if you’re an RTS fan or just looking for something new and fun to tinker with. The game has a number of features that are still uncommon in modern RTS games, including the ability to develop custom vehicles made up of various components you research, a heavy emphasis on sensor systems and using them to coordinate attacks, and a focus on tactics more than strategy. The game has aged really well too, still looking acceptable despite being ~8 years old, and it has network play and an extensive single player campaign. It also has a really good user interface. It takes a little while to get used to but once it clicks you’ll find it a lot easier to understand than many RTS interfaces. The only downsides are that the original movies that were used to advance the plot in the single player campaign are not present (they’ve been replaced with text explaining what’s happening) and that the game was made back when 800×600 graphics were super high end, so if you crank up the resolution your units are very small and hard to distinguish – is that my artillery or my repair bot?
Anyway it’s a tiny download, it’s