Some may recall that during my review of Wesnoth 0.1 I found a mysterious package inside the 0.1 distribution named strategy-source.tar. On closer inspection, the contents turned out to predate the sources of the first version of Wesnoth released to the general public by at least four days. However, I didn’t try to compile or run the mysterious application in that opportunity.
We are now going to take a route back in time to codename “Strategy”, which is a prototype version of the same engine powering Wesnoth 0.1. For readability purposes, we’re going to dub it Wesnoth-00 and proceed with the review.
It’s time to continue with our journey into the past to unveil the mysteries of the Battle for Wesnoth Project and its history. This time, we’ll take a look at the third major version of Wesnoth ever released, which succeeds versions 0.1, 0.2 and 0.2.1.
I have not been able to find a package for Wesnoth 0.2.1, but it also happens to be the first version to have changelog entries which can be found even nowadays in SVN trunk:
* many redraw bugs fixed
* new scenarios added
* many new graphics added that were contributed by Paco
* infinite recall bug fixed
* recalling now costs 20 gold pieces. Gold from previous scenarios carries over,
and there is a bonus for finishing a scenario early
* better transitions between tiles added (graphics for this not complete though)
Nonetheless, Wesnoth 0.3 — packaged on July 29th 2003 and including a lot of hidden files created by vi/vim and other applications — includes more changes than the changelog entries in SVN would lead us to believe.
With the intention of documenting the oldest Battle for Wesnoth development releases from the 0.x line, I started the Wesnoth Evolution series, which so far comprises the following articles, in chronological order:
An interview with Dave, where I ask David White a.k.a. Sirp about Wesnoth 0.1 and the mysterious project codenamed “strategy”.
It’s been a long time, but I have decided to stop procrastinating and fire the time machine again to take a look at Wesnoth 0.1’s immediate successor, version 0.2. This is just the beginning of an amazing journey which, with luck, time and patience, will lead us back to Wesnoth 1.8 from the perspective of a long-time player, UMC author and mainline developer.
As in the last installment, I’ll use a cross-compiled (Mingw32) version of Wesnoth 0.2 for Windows on Linux/Wine. The distribution's contents timestamp is 2003-07-13 09:31 UTC. Both this distribution and 0.1's include many hidden .swp files (vi/vim temporary working files) so it’d seem Dave packaged 0.2 in middle of coding work.
As I mentioned in my Wesnoth Evolution: 0.1 article, I contacted David White (a.k.a. Dave/Sirp) to ask him a few questions about Wesnoth's early history — more specifically, about codename “strategy” and Wesnoth 0.1.
The Battle for Wesnoth has been around for some years already and its ever increasing content and artwork quality has attracted many code developers, sprite and portrait artists and musicians over time. I started playing Wesnoth on version 0.9.6 which was distributed with the SUSE Linux 10.0 operating system; I later switched to version 1.0.2 and closely followed the 1.1 release cycle.
Now that version 1.8 has been released and approx. 7 years have passed since the very first release, I felt curiosity to see exactly what has changed and what hasn't changed since the very first Wesnoth version published by David White (a.k.a. Sirp) that isn't even available in the downloads page at SourceForge.net. Yep, that's right, this is a review of Wesnoth 0.1 against current versions of Wesnoth such as 1.8 and 1.6, or even intermediate modern versions such as 1.0.
For historical reference I'm using both an actual Wesnoth 0.1 build for Windows I prepared using the Mingw32 cross-compiler environment for Linux (running on WINE), and the Battle for Wesnoth Project's SVN trunk changelog, which starts at version 0.2.1. The project's combined CVS-SVN history, on the other hand, starts on September 15th 2003, 15 days before the first CVS release tag, version 0.4.8. The first version announced since the beginning of the Wesnoth forums (which predate Wesnoth.org itself) is 0.3.7.