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What sold you on ZK?

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16 months ago
As we're nearing the steam release and starting to think about how to appeal to people, it's good to look back at what brought us here in the first place.

Tell us how you found ZK, what made you try it, and what made you stay (or not). Can be as long or short as you want.

- One post per person.
- Try to stick to telling your story as opposed to discussing others' posts ("oh, that's what brought me in too!" is fine).

Feel free to open a separate thread if you want to discuss something that was brought up in here.
+5 / -0

16 months ago
Found springrts around 2006 as a former TA player and a Linux user (at that time there were not that many Linux games). Played many mods of springrts along the time but now I like ZK.

Like the flat tech tree and the possibility of recovery and turn the game around. Speccing is quite fun as well. The number of ways to win is also a plus.

Community is better in ZK than in other currently popular springrts mods and most of the times I can find decent games when I want to play. And it works in Linux.
+3 / -0

16 months ago
(edited 16 months ago)

Was bored in my first semester of uni and looked at google code projects. Found ZK. Can't say I "stayed" for the game ( {redacted} lured me away with Path of Exile...), but the community was and still is very unique.
+3 / -0

16 months ago
(edited 16 months ago)

I found ZK on a free games list from bay12 forum because I ran out of games to play at the time and didn't want spend any money to buy new ones. Spring and ZK were on that list (at the time) so I decided to try a couple of Spring games and then ZK out. I was kind of afraid of trying ZK because it seemed the most hardcore, compelex and developed one but in the end I stuck with it because it was much better than BA or NoTA and had a much better community than these two.

I stayed because I was really into hardcore, as complex games as possible playing such games like Dwarf Fortress or heavily modded Arma 2 and ZK managed to satisfy my need to learn new strategies and mechanics of the game. Especially that I was pretty much only "getting into" the RTS genre at the time. Which ultimately spoiled me as an RTS player because I rarely can play RTS games without the excelent UI that ZK has like line move and fight commands.

Nowdays I still hang around mostly because of the community (especially my clanmates) and to some degree nostalgia not the thrill of figuring the game out anymore since I think I mostly know how it works nowdays. Though I'm still pleasantly surprised that people find new strategies and playstyles, that haven't been thought of before. Also I guess I'm still here for that eventual steam release when I will propably finally satiate my need to play ZK which pretty much limits me mostly due to low number of players and inability to have fair 1v1 matches.
+2 / -0

16 months ago
(edited 16 months ago)

Left another RTS, searched up for free RTS got here.

Farrrr more control over units, and eco, that's what made this game a lot better anything else, and best of all, a flat tech tree...

No upgrades! No nubs getting a lvl 420 Krow and stomping on us :))))

Also: Flea!

I used spiderfac since I went to wiki and found the flea, and I thought it was like a god unit lolol
+2 / -0

16 months ago
(edited 16 months ago)

I was looking for an RTS that would run on Linux. Extensive googling brought me some unfinished unplayable C&C clones, Warzone 2100 (that I had already played) and 0AD. I spent some time with 0AD but it got old fairly quickly and the medieval setting isn't my cup of tea. So I kept looking and eventually on some article about Top 10 Free Linux RTS You Can Play, *in the comments* someone wrote how it was unfair that they mentioned 0AD and not Zero-K.

I saw the "X ppl online, Y of them playing in N battles (>1k played this month)" label and it felt like I struck gold. I never hoped for a game with an actual MP community!

I liked the idea of a flat tech tree for its "mathy" elegance, liked units that did micro chores for you, was intrigued by terraform and steaming eco (was my first TA-like).

I watched some video (probably the trailer on home page) and saw a fusion explode. May sound stupid now, but after other "open-source RTS" stuff the explosion gfx looked stunning. That's when I felt I finally found a real game and not some student project. Needless to say, seeing a nuke go off was even more amazing.

I figured out how to install SpringLobby and played a lot of SP CAI games before going online.

I remember being flabbergasted that I was desperately grasping for straws looking for a linux rts and there it was, a game that was better than anything I hoped for, and it was near impossible to find!

I stayed for the people I met here. Though I play much less these days (lack of novelty and time) I still enjoy nearly every battle.
+4 / -0

16 months ago
I found Evolution RTS through steam during its launch. It was frustrating at first because there were a few bugs, and it required better than average technological understanding to make work (myself having worse than average). I stayed a while, but found that the skill difference between players was even greater than it is in ZK, there were only a few players capable of holding their own (most of which were from ZK) and the rest were struggling with the fundamentals. Nevertheless, it was my favourite game and I desparately wanted people to play with, but the steam hype soon dried up and the botched launch had failed to retain a real community.

While I had the spring launcher open, I could see all the other games available. I noticed there were significantly more people playing ZK. I jumped in a clusterfuck and hated every second of it. Too much was happening and nothing made sense. People were yelling at me the most divergent advice, and knowing what I do now, a lot of it was not useful. But EvoRTS was only available for the weekly meet-up, and I needed an RTS to play, so I stuck with it. I stayed bad for a long time, but eventually developed some niggling of a comprehension.

I left before getting good though, due to hostile community.

Six months later, I logged in for the hell of it, and there was a tournament on that same night. I got talked into it, and got soundly beaten by UArankSilentShadow. He seemed like a nice guy, and so I agreed to play a few more games with him later down the track. I then got hooked all over again.

The reason I've stayed is because the game is good (when there's enough people to play it), and I've got a lot of friends here.
+4 / -0

16 months ago
(edited 16 months ago)

I was looking for a good RTS, something better than supcom
- online mode
- large scale battles
- lot's of super weapons
- unit diversity and interesting interactions between different classes of units

P.S. I still remember my first battles in supcom - this feeling of battles on large scale was incredible, I think it brought me to zk =)
+5 / -0

16 months ago
Start using linux -> search 'linux games' -> find spring -> get into 8v8BADSD as 'W4R10K' for some years -> somehow find CA -> 'woah everything looks way bigger, cooler and OPper in than BA' -> WOAH CHICKENS + TERRAFORM -> stop playing for some reason -> then CA becomes ZK -> play ZK -> get bored of it -> keep lurking the forums & chat -> write a post about how I ended up lurking the forum and chat -> it all starts back when I started using linux -> search 'linux games' -> find spring -> get into 8v8BADSD as W4R10K for some years -> somehow find CA -> 'woah everything looks way bigger, cooler and OPper in than BA' -> WOAH CHICKENS + TERRAFORM -> stop playing for some reason -> then CA becomes ZK -> play ZK -> enjoy the glorius OP tick & the ̡d͠re͏a̧df͢ul̛ OP̨ st̷ile̛tto times-> get bored of it -> keep lurking the forums & chat -> write a post about how I ended up lurking the forum and chat -> it all starts when I start using linux ->search 'linux games' -> find spring -> get into 8v8BADSD as 'W4R10K' for some years -> somehow find CA -> 'woah everything looks way bigger, cooler and OPper in than BA' -> WOAH CHICKENS + TERRAFORM -> stop playing for some reason -> th̘e͕̟̪̲̬̪n̻̹̳̭̯͢ ͚̝̯̘C̭͎͖̰͞A̙̯͕͈͚̥͟ͅ ̷̜͕͔̬͓̮̺e̴̹̩͉c̱̤͎ơ̱̗̝̹͎̙̱m̰͎͍̯e͓̪̻͚̳s͓̼̜ ͙̦̰̥̩Z̵̩̠͈K̳̜͚͕̣͙͙ ̨̪̜̘-҉̭>̬̟̤̭̺̗͎͡ ͚̯̰̺p̷͔̯̰l̦͓̬͎͝a͏̥y̜̕ ̛͎Z͇K̡̭͇̹̪͙̟ ̵͔͇-̦̥̙̲̥ͅ> ̮N҉̦̖̜͕O̝͉̻͜ ̦̦̖̮P̖͔̺̱̟L̪͎̰̻͉̮̱͘E̢͖͍A̖̘S̼̣͡Ḙ̥̞̤͎̤̥ D̪̟͇̣͍O̴̦̯̭̘̥N̵̘̺̮'̛͇͖̫͚T͉̣̖̣͙ ̮́U͔̪ͅS͍͟Ẹ̱̮͙ ̳T̮̪̪̖H͏̱̻̣̜͕͔O̷͉͔̹̭̱͙̻S̗̬Ẹ͍͓̹̯ ̫͈̟̜D̴̝͈̰̙̝O͉̖͙͙̞̩̘͞M͈̪̰͓̝I̟̱̫S̰̯̭͈̫ ͘Ơ̰̳̣̪N̨̥̤̗̣ ̴͕̪ME̫͍̗̠-͖̤>̷̹̙̫̮ ̫̖̘̗͈̜̣ge͖̝t̰̖̱̲̜̗ ͏̰̜̪͉̭͕̖b̨̺̯͎͖̤͈o͎r̪̥̳̣̲͇͎e͏̺͉̫̦̦̝d ̢̳̳̻̟͎o̻̕f͖̙̯ ҉̺̫͕i̫t̘͕̗̫̙̗̣ ̛̝->̷ ͙͙͓̳̗̭k̠̻̲̲̩̤̩e͖̥͉̣̭̪ep̙͉̘ͅ ͉̞͚́l̦̝͍̗u̷̱̠̮̲ŕ̳͉͎̠͉k͇̼̳̮i̳͔͓͙̖n̹͍̜̥͇̘g̟̱͉̞ ͖t̜̼̻̬͚̻̭͡h̥e̝̣͖͇͈͜ ̡̙̩̳̯̙̭f̶o͇͔r̮͟ú̘͇̻ms & chat -> write a post about how I ended up lurking the forum and chat -> it all starts back when I started using linux -> search 'linux games' -> find spring -> get into 8v8BADSD as W4R10K for some years -> somehow find CA -> 'woah everything looks way bigger, cooler and OPper in than BA' -> WOAH CHICKENS + TERRAFORM -> stop playing for some reason -> then CA becomes ZK -> play ZK -> A̦͉̠͍B̛͓̖͔̼͕̻o͍̻͔̜̞͔ḿ͇̠̩I̻̬̮͡N̡̘͙͔AB͓̲̦̪̠ͅl̖̳E ̢̤C̮̮̦̼ͅO̗̝N̴M̻̣̱A͇̤͉͕͙̫̰N̵̟̩͉̦͔̝ͅ ͖ͅ-> s͖t̝̭͍O̹̩P̺̳̣̗̳̮ ̼̱ͅTH̻̥A̗̳͙T̷̙ ̷̘̝̜̬̹P͈ͅL͏̱̜͓̘͇E͈̥̬͈A̯̺S͉͔̜̘͇͔̘̕E͎̺̱͎-> keep lurking the forums & chat -> write a post about how I ended up lurking the forum and chat -> it all starts when I start using linux -> search 'linux games' -> find spring -> get into 8v8BADSD as 'W4R10K' for some years -> whY is ThAT COMM FLYING TOWARDS My TEchSPOT ->somehow find CA -> 'woah everything looks way bigger, cooler H̨̛̟̺͎̘̥ͧ̾̽̓ͥ͋ͨ̎ͤ̐̿̎̄ͨ͛̚͡͠͞Ė̾͑͌̑͗̔͐́҉̞͇̝͕̼̥̳̩͉̩̪͔͝ ̢̼͚̟̘̬̼̰͇̜̗̽̔ͯ̇ͯ͆́C̴͂̓̂̍̉ͨ̽͑͂̓ͧ͛̽ͥ̌̚͏̻͇̜̜̮̠͙̩̪̣̪̦͔̯̱̦̖͘O̷͋͛̈́ͧ҉̧͍̳̝͇̼͉̤̬̲̱͈͔̼̲̱͎M̶̧̜̤̺̠̜̤̯̝̣̟̜͔͖̋̈̇͋ͯͧ̌͒ͫ̓͢ͅE̸̡̪͖̠̩̟͙̠̤̮̭̲̰ͪ͋ͦ̑͋ͥ͒ͤ̇ͮͦ̀͞ͅS̝̟͙̣̜̽̆̋ͭ͑͋̇͆͟ͅ ̧̏ͣͧ̏͌̈̐͜҉̮̳͚̙̫͔͚̺̻̝̻̪͕̖̗͔̻̜ ndO̪̠̕P̟̳̝̱̗p̲e̪̮r̩̰̥̩͈ ̻í͚n̝̻͓ ̛̝͓͉̫̥͕͕t̡̬h̵͖̟̫a̪͝n͔̙̤͍ ̛͇̹A͠'̳͉̱̼ ̱͎͓͔̀-̪͕̞͢>̫̤̖̗͔̤̯ ̭̖W̡̙̱̝͚̳OAH͘ ̙̯̪C̣ͅH͍̤̰̦̝̻I҉̘͎͈͔͓̮̩C͔̤͚̝̩K̼̯͓͍E̼̝̲Ṇ̢̳̬̹S͈̀ ̥̹̘̳+̜̹̞ ̶̝̰͎͚̠ͅT҉E̹̦̣̜̺̥R̠̟͡R̟̫̠̩̟̖̩̀AF̼O̹Ŗ͈̲͔M̶̳͓̝ ̖̮̻̯͔̭-̹̣͓̪̭̤̦>̛ ̡̺̼͕̪ ̻̝̲̹͠s̯͔͕͔͠t͓̦̳̫̠o̙͈͖̣̗̬͡p̱͎ ͏̳̯͍̼̖p̭̱͓̯̬̜͈l̵̰̗a͍̲̻̞͓͟y̸̱̲̰̼̘̩̤in͇͕g̹͍͇͎͓̮͝ ̥̱̭̩f̟̲̱͉̹ǫ͈͖̜̘͚r̨͎̟̗̱̦͇ͅ ͚͓̬̹̙͎s̭͇̪̰͉̘͠om̩͉̦̲e͙̼̩̹͓̣͞ ̳͈͍̕r͚̦èa̼̹̜̥͈s̤̙͎͚̦͟o̯͍͡n ͚͝-̠̘>̼̣̱͞ ̠̭̟̭̰̥ͅt̖̗͚̣̞͢h̹̬͙̱͎͇̀ẹ̥̟̝̞͠n̙͖̭̙͕͓ ̤̤̥̕CA͖̻ ́b͙̜̪e͕̦̲̦͎͝c̱̬̱̺̼o̭͍͓̘m̤͘es͇̥͚͇͓͍͇ ̱͔͈̼̘́Z̖̟̠̼̣̭͙͘K͏̬ ̴̠̘͔͉-̴̳̙̼̩͍>̷͇͈̩̭͖ ̙̣̠͙̥p͡l̠͕͚̫̩a͖͝y̺̤͍̝̦͉ͅ ̕Z̬̕K̨̮ ҉̗̖̦-̘̗͓ͅ>̢̯͓̬̟͓ͅ ̱̥g͎̺̝̫e̥͞t͕͍̮͚̜̠ ̼̻̭̞͓̯͟b͎͙͖̝ơ̟̭̜̫r̻̲̠̱e͏̩̺͈̺̝̖d̘̫̮͘ ̮͉͍͉o̷͍͓f̩͠ ̠̩̤̙̹̯̗͟i͇t̞̳͓̝̰̤̞͘ ͏̩̱̯̱̫̘-̙͙̼̜̝̝>̳ ̩̯͖̜̰̕k͖͇̘ͅe̮e͔̩͠p ̷͕̲ͅḷ̀ų̖̮̟̫̰r̡̳̮̼͙k̶͍̺̘̠̥ͅi̶͇̭̰̠͙n̨͙̱͍̹͖g͖̙̱̹͕̲̳ ̯̦̘̣͖̣̘t̗̘͇̰͕̪h̹̦̠̝̞̬ḛ̠͓͠ ̸̞͚̗̝̱̬͚f̘o̙r̷͚̜͎͍̜̜u̴m̷͍ͅs̡ ̦̖͕͓̯̺͘&̯ ̺̻̦̲͟c̷̠̲̭͚̗h͍͞à͖̞̺͓̙͍t̢͉̳͙̺͙ ̥̕-̫̙̬͞>̛ ͙͈͈͡w̝͙̳̣͙͍r̩̮̞i̘̹̦̘̲̠t͏͈̜͚̯e͈̻̞̖ ͖͈ͅá͎̰ ͍̰̭̙̲̺͇p̟̬̩o̤s̞̟t҉ ̻͇̜̺̱͖̦̀ábo͍̭̥u̙̟͚t͍͕̫̹ ̺͈̩͉̰̟̫h̶̪̼ow҉͇̻͙̼̞ͅ ̪͚̻͉͓ͅI̳̯ ͔̱͎̫̣̥̤e͎͍͇̘̰͖n̴̺̩̝ͅd̶e̟̱̦d͏ ̜͕̼̠̗̞͖u̬p̩̻̫͖̦ ̴͇̫̺͖̖l͙͎͔̗̭͚͙͢u̡r̖̱̮͘k͎̣̮̹͕̰̼ị͘n̳̤͘g͎̼̦͎ ̴͍͇̮̖͓͖̪ṱ̜ͅh͔̱̣̖ͅe̪̟̖̻̹̗ͅ ̧͙̱̱f̳̙͎̯͓̥o͔̱̦̪̫ŕ̟̣̬u̝ḿ̠͈͖͍̦ ̭̲͙͕̩̯͈̕a̹ņ͎͉̪d ̲͈c̮h̷͙a̫t̙͉͈ͅ -̥̖̰̼̩̫̥≯̞͈̼̜

P̦̻̝͖̪̣̤ͯͥ̀̐ͨͥͫ͛̋̋́͟͟O̡̻̮̟̮̳̬̐ͤ͋ͫ̀ͬ̈́ͧ͋͑ͨ̀̂̄̀Rͥ͂̃̐͌ͮͬͫ͐̒̍̆͏̨̜̼̮̗͓̰͜C̛̮̗̠̟̲͛ͣͩ̃̈ͨ̿ͩ̓̈́͑̓ͮ͟ ̍ͮ̍͗ͤ̄ͫ̾̑́̚҉̤̲̻̬͈̳͚̗̭͍̞͓̱̠͖̗̲̲̰͟F̵̢͍̮̥̝̫̥̮̱̣͈̟̥ͥ̈́͆̍͊͌̂ͤ̓ͦ̚E̡̘̰̖̯͈̮̭̥͓̠̣͎̟̭ͤ́̉̆ͦͬ̾͂̆ͧͫ̉ͧ͌ͥͩ̽̚̕͟S̵̡̙̞̘̣̰̬̭̰̥͍̰͇̪̬̲̱̬ͫ͂̓͊͢͡Ţ̴̯͚̱̌̈ͨ̆͘͡ ̆̽́ͦ̉̍ͩ̓̏͏̵̩̺͈͕̝̹̥̩̣͚̯͚̫̭̳̕͜͜l̴͖̲̪̜̱̠̰͉̣̙̳̗͎̫̦̭̬̭̒̄́̿͌͆̆ͣ̇̊̀ͥ̈́̒͛͂̓͒ͭ̀̀͟͞ͅo̸̩̠̟̣͚̦͇̻̺̯̲̲̤̦̗̟͕͐̿̍̋͗͆̑ͅb̋͂̾̉͛̏͒̊̓̽͒̿͝͝͞҉̧̘̙̗̪̯͙͉ ̵̧̬̼͕͈̪͈̖̠̳̬̜ͪͤͭͧͦ͒ͩ͊ͫ̅́ͣͬ͆ͫ̕͞ͅl̨̛̖͙̦͒̇͆̃͌͂̾̅͒̊ͣ̏̄ͣͩͮ̉́́ͅö̏͑ͫ̓̆ͫ͋̓ͥ̂͋́̈̉̈́̚͏͏̡͍̠̩͍̗͎̤̬̭͈̪̻̲̜̪̗̖͓̪͢b̛̞͕̪̼̦̫̙͔̬̫̻ͦ̽̃͋ͦ̈ͨ̏͛ͩͮ̍̒͆̽̚͢͞ l̩̯̦̮͙͔͎̫̈́ͮ͝ǫ̵̞̫͈̭̦͆̑͌̓͑̒ͭ͡b̧̪̪̞̳̪̼́̏̇̑͜ ̴̢̳̜̬͖͈ͬ͛͂ͮͬ̑l̨̛͙̫̼͍̯̺̇̊ͩ͋ō͔̱̯̻͈͎̲̙̎̌͘̕͜b̶͙̎̐͝
+16 / -0

16 months ago
(edited 16 months ago)

Played Complete Annihilaiton when there were plasma deflector on Crabe, a unit that can set timed bomb on buildings and a lightsaber bot with two forms of melee attacks called Slicer, liked the quirky unit designs, then not playing it for a while until [1uP]archl speak highly of Zero-K in a Chinese Total Annihilation forum.
+2 / -0

16 months ago
(edited 15 months ago)

strategy, real-time and round-based were always my thing. i started with dune2, civ1 and warcraft2, over the older c&c universe and semi-professional broodwar ... and ended playing LAN battles of supcom. so, you can see some concentrated and critical experience and view on rts here.

due to cpu lag of supcom on greater scale, one linux-affine guy introduced zk when it was some 8X.X engine used. i liked supcom better at that time, but my crappy pc forced me to zk. i got used to it.

i fell in love with the variety of options for success, the flat "tech tree" and terraforming. linux-availibility and constant active develobment, most of it to the better. also being able at rejoining and spectating is a plus.

did i mention skuttle?
+3 / -0

16 months ago
(edited 16 months ago)

The RTT or RTS game that most influenced my tastes is Myth. It was a late 90s fantasy RTT from Bungie studios (last game series the main Bungie crew made before Halo), and it had full physics interactions with everything. That aspect was the coolest thing ever to me, and I've wanted games like that ever since, especially if they also had basebuilding. I got SupCom for that reason, but I found the speed at which armies were built, along with the delays in commanding them, meant that the physics interactions didn't factor in as much as I'd hoped. After Kings and Castles was cancelled, and it turned out that the people behind the Monday Night Combat games were both the majority of the SupCom-era GPG devs and were making something of a TA successor in Planetary Annihilation, I figured I was worth supporting the Kickstarter.

From there I got to the alpha and beta forums, where AUrankAdminGoogleFrog talked about Zero-K's interface inside a question about PA's interface, which is how I learned about the game. I bounced off it a bit before figuring out how it worked, and spending over an hour configuring the darn thing. Once I realized what the game itself was really like, I was both hooked and decided it would make a great game to cast alongside Achron. The physics system mattered, and as a bonus the tech tree flatness put me in the mind of the way fighting games (which is the only game genre I've consistently played some game in for the last decade) allow for flexible changes in approach at a moment's notice.
+4 / -0

16 months ago
Had OTA as a kid. Loved it because it was more simcity than other RTS (I was a total porcnab and only played metal maps with bots)

Found TASpring, spent half an hour building 1 of each unit with XTA v9 (default mod) on the original Small Divide, thought "cool", deleted because just a tech demo

Friend visited an hour later, "hey whats up" - "oh i found a 3d TA techdemo" - "wow show me" - redownloaded because it was just 10mb, messed around again, didnt delete

Figured out there was a bundled TASClient, ran it, holy shit there are people

Then the usual path: XTA > AA/BA (more people, gameplay closer to OTA) > CA/ZK (there was something new to discover almost literally every day)

At some point Supcom appeared. It would've probably contested the my OTA Successor throne but at the time my PC didn't run it (and when it did there was already the sunk cost of rediscovering the gameplay and the community).

At some point I tried getting into SC2 which is when I've discovered that ZK's godlike UI made me decadent and complacent so now I can't play any other RTS because the controls are shitty everywhere else. ZK itself has been evolving and it's design and quality are top notch by now so it's both the best and the only playable RTS for me.

My hardware is not keeping on with times well and I have less time in general so I barely play nowadays and moved into things I can do at work - develobbing and lurking the forum (and participating in spiderlord intrigues). These are interesting enough to make me stay but as soon as I get enough spare time (so probably when I finish uni) it's back to playing ZK.
+7 / -0

16 months ago
(edited 16 months ago)

Played spring games since 2006, mostly XTA, EE and S44

Found ZK and was blown away by all the features, detailed manuals, unlocks, Elo, clans, planetwars. Upon joining GBC had the best gaming experiences of my life for a good year or two before unlocks were removed and smurfing came in, then max room size increased and clusterfucks came in, silly maps like clusterfuck icy run came in and getting a good game became difficult.
+3 / -0

16 months ago
(edited 16 months ago)

I liked Brood War. But i liked Urban Assault more: it was 3d, and it had physics, and it had some armor rules but no targeting rules. I could shoot bombers down with a tank, or kill fighter planes by dropping bombs on them. It had a flat tech tree. It was also personal when you shot your enemies because of the embodied commander aspect.

But Urban Assault was sadly dated, didn't run on modern systems or Linux, had no multiplayer, and nothing similar was on the horizon. However, i had some experience modding games. A plan quickly hatched: i shall make my own clone of Urban Assault! It will have physics, fast-paced combat, and no contrived targeting rules!

I decided i'd do this on Spring engine in 2008 to 2009 and actually got somewhere along with it. I couldn't really run CA at that point because CA demanded a lot more computer power than i had, and was an "annihilation" which, to me, meant just another artless clone lacking any interesting mechanics or designs, and forever poisoned by the touch of Big Gamedev corporate IP.

Then RL interfered, and i abandoned this project. In 2011, i was prepping to resume it with more skills and a better computer. So i decided to research what recent advances happened in Spring that would affect my plans. I ignored all games which had the word "annihilation" in them, again, but this time CA was called ZK and also claimed all kinds of radical changes, so i went to investigate.

ZK was fast paced. It had physics. It had very little in terms of targeting restrictions. It eliminated armor classes. It eliminated tech trees. It was already existing and had a multiplayer community. The only thing missing was direct control over units - a feature that spend long decaying in Spring, and one i was by then prepared to abandon because no engine developer cared to support it or even enable easier Lua implementations.

So, essentially, my plan was implemented better than i could hope. It was time to pwn.
+8 / -0

16 months ago
have always been an opensource enthusiast, been looking for a good opensource game since forever.

tried wesnorth, 0ad, warzone 2100 and eventually springRTS was disappointed usually.

but keep on returning to opensource game once in a while.

stumble into zk from spring game list, like the screenshot. join some game, got frustrated by the interface spend several week figure things out [this AI shall not beat me].

Fell in love with territorial focus gameplay, flat tech tree, unit AI, no limit on units count, join a clan for planet war as well, tried getting my brother to play with limited success. Become unable to play other RTS game.
+2 / -0

16 months ago
(edited 16 months ago)

TA nostalgia brought me to BA, which eventually brought me to ZK (when I was tired of DSD and I was constantly seeing new maps being played in the CA/ZK room in TASpring lobby).

I remember my first game of ZK: we were about 4 and everybody was building puppies! Maybe a new unit at the time?
+3 / -0

16 months ago
As many others I played BA a lot and found out about CA/ZK and many other mods. What made ZK stand out was the flat wide tech tree, and more importantly, the balance system which allowed you to use almost any factory regardless of the terrain. At that point I was getting bored of BA with its mirror matches, where kbots would go on hills and tanks would be on flat terrain, and any other setup would be clearly nonoptimal. ZK would provide a large variety of matches due to the number of possible combinations of initial factories you and the enemy could choose.

Additionally its design focus is just better than most strategy games. To name a few key features:
- it encourages good team play where you don't fight over your allies for resources
- initial fighting can start very early in the game, and the little focus that exists on economy is directly linked with combat and map control
- changes are generally good and made by people who know how to play; the amount of communication between devs and players is more than in any commercial or indie game i have seen
+3 / -0

16 months ago
After years of playing C&C online (Generals, Zero Hour) I discovered Spring. First I used to be a BA player on the *Spring server* (also some TA, NOTA later on). If it wasn't for seeing ZK as another Spring game on the server (with better graphics, terraform, communism) I might have never or possibly much later ended up playing ZK. I doubt that people can discover ZK like this nowadays... guess why. And I believe many people playing ZK will never see the opportunity to try other spring games and see if they like them. I believe in giving and taking within the small community of platform independent opensource games, especially among Spring games.

All hail to the Steam release. What do you expect Steam will bring? It's not free super advertising. The players I would want to attract are not primarily Steam focused. They are players interested in opensource and indie games - and while those people certainly could do that over Steam, it's not where the music is playing. What makes you believe that? Maybe I have missed those examples of small community OS games that got thousands of players through Steam? I can only repeat, what do you expect Steam will bring? New players, contributing to a thriving community can be brought by advertising on the right places, indie and opensource game lists and communities. Zero-K is a small niche game and should be cultivated like this, together with the other Spring games. Maybe my point of view is biased, because I come from this direction. But opposing views might be biased in the same way in the other direction, keep that in mind. Knorke might be a troll, but, to be honest, I agree with his criticism. Things have gone horribly in a wrong direction. Please, please prove me wrong in the upcoming years.
+4 / -0

16 months ago
(edited 16 months ago)


Chapter 1: (Why I've Noticed ZK)

But S44 had a small community with few games, while I had way too much time, so every now and then when there were no S44 games available, I've watched other games on the spring server, such as BA and ZK. For some reason (lower frequency of 8v8 DSD probably?) ZK games seemed to have more variation and I think they were also more aesthetically pleasing, so I've watched them much more.
It's worth mentioning that I've barely understood what's going on, but hey, explosions are nice.

Chapter 2: (Why I've Started Playing ZK)

Even though I've become a S44 dev, I was starting to enjoy the games less and less. The small size of the community and some of its members drove me away bit by bit.
Having watched dozens of ZK games, I've decided to give it a try (Sep. 2014). Playing both 1v1s and clusterpots with surprising success, I've started to notice how many principles that I have liked in S44 existed here as well (counters, aggressiveness, knowing when to retreat, decisions>APM, spring's interface, quant's rule).
So games were awesome and community was a vast improvement as well. In my early days I've had many talks/games with PLrankOrfelius RUrankAdminikinz and RUrankivand (back then I accidentally thought they were the same person) and probably others I don't remember which made me feel very welcome. Since then I've virtually stopped playing S44.

Chapter 3: (Why I Haven't Stopped Playing ZK)

In the time I've been playing, from my perspective at least, everything improved:
  • Skill: I got way better.
  • Community: We may have less players today, but more of them are my friends: First and foremost everyone in TheGBC (I've even met CHrankAdminDeinFreund in person a month ago!) but also many others such as (in no particular order, and probably omitting many) EErankNorthChileanG ROrankSigero PLrankzenfur DErankkatastrophe unknownrankHelwor
  • Involvement: As an engine dev I'm part of the effort of making this game better and it's very fulfilling to see people play an engine which contains my code, blood, sweat and tears. I quite often think of myself as the part of ZK's war effort that fights on the engine's front (Although AUrankAdminGoogleFrog and I may often seem to be on opposing sides, I don't think that's the reality).


At the moment ZK is more or less the only game I play. With its exciting games, its unique gameplay, the friendly community and my personal involvement I just can't see myself leaving any time soon.

+17 / -0
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