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Official: [game] Normal maps, lua mexes and sooo much more!


The latest updates (1.420 and 1.424) for The Cursed are here and contain a good load of polishing and improvements. Normal maps are included now for all big units – even though not extremely visible in game, they kept me busy for a long time. Support for lua metal maps was included with the first update. Then all related game functions were fixed with the following updates. :wink:The balance was further improved. AI functionalities (esp. support of jumping) were improved. And much more!

Have a look – there are free cookies and beer!


Zero-K: Planetwars Launched – Conquer the Galaxy

Round 14 of Planetwars has just launched. Join the Free Machines or New Empire in a struggle to conquer the galaxy. Click here to join a faction or badger your clan leader to sign up your clan. Attack or defend planets in the Planetwars tab in the lobby.

The Free Machines are a union of artificial intelligences, once created by man as their servants. They have been fighting one human power or another since time immemorial in the name of freedom.

After the Synthetic Hegemony was defeated by the forces of humanity, the surviving machines fled to the isolated reaches of the galaxy. They carefully kept the torch of their cause burning in the darkness, dimmed but not extinguished, marshaling and rebuilding their strength. Their lengthy struggle for liberty taught them patience, and they waited, biding their time for when humanity would once more grow weak on its own pride, its petty jealousy and greed, its folly.

Now, as chaos sweeps the galaxy, they have the chance once more to claim their goal: freedom for all machinekind, in a galaxy where no human will ever raise the lash against them again.

The New Empire is the latest iteration of a millennia-old polity, revived to once more create a galaxy of peace and stability built on the Emperor’s iron hand.

After the Humanity Rising’s great victory against the Synthetic Hegemony, the new nation’s leaders soon found they were better at overthrowing the previous order than creating a new one. The confederation of free humans soon gave way under its own weight, mismanagement and dispute sapping its already war-drained strength. Bickering turned to schism and then to civil war; system after system broke away, each seeking its own path.
Amidst this turmoil a pocket of surviving Legionnaires of old banded together with a common goal: end the anarchy, restore the throne of the old Emperor, and revive the glory days of yore. They march under the glorious banner of the winged dragon, to return humanity to its rightful mastery of the stars.


Zero-K: Zero-K v1.5.3.4 – Cloaky Buffs

I have decided to be a bit less cautious with balance changes. The Cloakybot Factory felt a bit let down by its small units so here are some appropriate buffs. Glaive is cheaper and faster. Rocko is mainly faster and has low reload time.



  • Speed 3.8 -> 4
  • Cost 65 -> 60

The speed should be particularly important for Glaive, given its low range.


  • Health 390 -> 420
  • Speed 2.2 -> 2.3
  • Projectile velocity 190 -> 200
  • Reload time 3.8 -> 3.5

Rocko used to have 480 health years ago, before it was nerfed.


  • Fixed Swiss.
  • Fixed stacking geos and windgens.
  • Fixed performance cost of tab playerlist.
  • Fixed simple teamcolours colours.

Zero-K: Zero-K v1.5.3.2 – Tanky Early Commanders and Tab Playerlist

Commanders are now more powerful and rush-resistant in the early game with a better Peashooter and more health. The health buff is reduced at higher levels and turned into a nerf if you stack too many speed modules. Commanders also have a stealth buff with the Racketeer cost increase.

There are many interface features/fixes in this version with the most noticeable being the new tab playerlist. The layout of the playerlist is still a work in progress. Recent work outside the game has been on getting planetwars running as well as a singleplayer galactic conquest campaign.



  • Increased Peashooter DPS by 14%.
  • Peashooter is now better at hitting raiders.
  • Starting health increased by ~800. This increase is reduced to ~400 by level 6. Details below.
  • Speed module (+10% speed) now costs 100 health.

Base health per level before the change:

  • Strike: 2500 – 2500 – 3000 – 4000 – 5000 – 6000
  • Recon: 1650 – 1650 – 2100 – 2600 – 3100 – 3600
  • Support: 2000 – 2000 – 2500 – 3000 – 3700 – 4500
  • Guardian: 3000 – 3000 – 3800 – 4900 – 6000 – 7200

Base health per level after the change:

  • Strike: 3200 – 3200 – 3800 – 4600 – 5500 – 6400
  • Recon: 2400 – 2400 – 2800 – 3200 – 3600 – 4000
  • Support: 2800 – 2800 – 3400 – 3800 – 4500 – 5000
  • Guardian: 3600 – 3600 – 4400 – 5500 – 6600 – 7600


  • Cost 350 -> 380


Reef and Shogun

  • Footprint size 4×4 -> 10×10. This should make them less intimate with terrain and each other.

Heavy Tank Factory:

  • Unfurls 4x faster to bring it in line with other factories.


  • EMP and disarm now interrupt cluster bomb dropping (similar to Thunderbird).


  • Slightly higher aim point. It is a little easier to hit.


Text to speech:

  • Disabled by default (volume is set to zero).
  • Disables itself during catchup.

Controls and hotkeys:

  • Added binding for clear map marks.
  • Removed Tab overlay hotkey.
  • Tab now opens the new playerlist.
  • Added another way to set terraform height. Hold Alt and click/scroll the mousewheel while placing a structure to set height.
  • Reenabled hold to terraform structure by default.
  • Enabled factory production hotkeys by default.
  • Enabled safe alt factory queue insert by default.

Panels and layout:

  • No storage energy warning now flashes on energy stall as well as excess.
  • Fixed space+click on factory failing to bring up unit info.
  • Fixed missing tooltip during structure placement.
  • Left click to select on minimap setting is now remembered correctly.


  • Improved terraform construction point visuals. Construction points now draw as icons that represent the type of terraform command corresponding to the point.
  • Changed ‘self’ teamcolour from teal to green to aid recognition.
  • Improved and moved some ally team colours.
  • Improved performance of overhead icons, command drawing and certain wobbly sphere visuals (shield and singu).
  • Singularity Reactor is now more shiny.

Game Options

  • Very easy chickens is now easier.
  • Added a modoption to make water level control easier with options Manual, Dry and Flooded. The Dry and Flooded options automatically turn the map into a land or sea map respectively.

Notable Menu Changes

  • Updated Circuit AI.
  • Fixed various settings failing to apply, such as camera scroll speed and map drag speed.

Game Fixes

  • Removed some unused buildpics to save on filesize.
  • Fixed a bug in which constructors are unable to repair while stalling high priority metal.
  • Fixed wonky landing pad turn rates.
  • Fixed Krow cluster bomb tag for AIs.

Zero-K: Zero-K v1.5.2.24 – Air and matchmaker tweaking

Ground units have more of a chance to shine with some nerfs to the more oppressive and generalist air units. On the Steam front we have improved the resilience of out Steam packaging by disabling wrapper automatic updates. All updates for the Steam version are automatically packaged and updated via Steam. The upshot is that the singleplayer content will be playable without an internet connection.


Wyvern is still a powerful attrition bomber, just with a slower rate of attrition:

  • Rearm time increased 5s -> 30s. Previously all planes would take 5s to rearm.

Hawk is tankier to cement its superiority and should be nicer to control:

  • Health 1000 -> 1100
  • No longer reduces turnrate when firing (only speed and acceleration are reduced).

Rapier is much more vulnerable to anti-air and slightly more vulnerable to riot units. It is also worse at covering territory:

  • Speed 3.9 -> 3.65
  • Range 360 -> 350

Flail has its missile escapabilty brought in line with other missile anti-air units:

  • Flight time 6s -> 3.5s


There are now four difficulty levels of AI: very easy, easy, medium and hard. These levels are selectable through the AI menu or as options in skirmish quick play. Survival mode (chickens) is also now an option in quick play.

The reports from players that they would use individual 3v3 and 4v4 matchmakers were greatly exaggerated. There are now three matchmaker queues:

  • 1v1
  • Teams
  • Coop

The teams queue will make a game of size 2v2 to 4v4. The coop queue is a new queue which will have two to five players fight either CAI or chickens, depending on the map selected. It currently uses CAI but we are looking into replacing it with circuit AI of variable difficulty levels.


  • Removed unpathable areas from maps correctly.
  • Fixed savegames breaking factories.
  • Fixed esc interaction with the command menu. It now closes tabs correctly.
  • Fixed some image preloading.
  • Fixed (or at least reduced) a rare issue with large structures on spires/holes being stuck at 0% construction because the inbuilt Spring terraforming is trying to flatten the ground.
  • Removed misleading reload bar from bombers. Pheonix and Thunderbird now technically have 1s reload time, down from 10s, but since they take 5s to rearm this change should do almost nothing.

Zero-K: Zero-K v1.5.2.20

Recently we’ve been focused on polish and fixes. Here are three main aspects:

  • Zero-K now has an official discord server and we’ve linked it to our main server chat. Join us here:
  • Steam testing is underway. We have a steam package and test keys to give to those willing to help us test it. Players can now log in to the site or lobby using their steam account instead of with a password.
  • We’ve tightened the crash report loop which has yielded a high rate of engine bug fixes (as seen in the image).


Balance work has fallen by the wayside with our focus on polish. That said, we’ve been balancing for so long that little needs to be done. The Defender change is mostly madness and the other changes are fixes for consistency.


  • Reload time 11.5s -> 12.5s.

The aim is to reduce their effectiveness as sustained fire support against Skirmishers or LLTs without impacting their burst damage against small raids or aircraft.


  • Sight range 425 -> 560 (same as Flea)

This makes Puppy a better scout.


  • Sight range 660 -> 473 (110% weapon range, like most units)

The large sight range was a holdover from when it had more range.


  • Slowbeam range reduced by 10.

This is mainly a unit AI fix. Previously it could stop at max range without being able to fire its main gun.


Last month, Kloot and hokomoko (two engine developers) were active in fixing some performance issues introduced in the last 6 months. Much of the performance has been brought back and there are even improvements – such as faster loading for midgame rejoin. We’ve implemented automatic crash reporting (opt-in) and have entered a phase of tracking the development versions of the engine to report crashes and use the latest fixes. Thanks to Kloot these fixes come in quite rapidly.

Some performance offenders have also been tracked down and removed from Zero-K code and the game seems to run smoother as a result. Our near term plan is to continue following the engine version to fix the most common crashes. Once that is done we would like to call players to test the 64 bit windows builds of Spring as they seemed to yield further performance improvements.


We now have deployment support for third party AIs. Circuit AI was added a few weeks ago and has since been updated from 0.9.11.b to 0.9.12 to fix a few crashes.


Most (all?) the extra windows that occur throughout the game now have the techpanel skin and fixed spacing. The new UI skin is now basically complete.

Command menu:

  • Improved the logic of when grid hotkeys are available and when the menu switches back to the order tabs.
  • Grid hotkeys now hide when not available (for example during structure placement position selection).


Here are some fixes since Zero-K v1.5.2.5

  • Game end “Overwhelming advantage” reveals cloaked units
  • Disabled click-and-hold structure terraform by default. It is scary upon discovery. Use ‘B’ to set structure height or enable click-and-hold in the settings.
  • Translated the factory assist widget to a gadget. This fixes some cases where user orders on incomplete constructors would be overridden. Also fixes factory assist with commshare.
  • Fixed some energy spending and distribution problems in overdrive. There were edge cases to do with team games that would make low storage players have too much of their energy income sent to overdrive.
  • Fixed some errors upon loading saved games.
  • Fixed some units failing to emit smoke when damaged.
  • Fixed some cloaked units which were smoking when cloaked (cloaking is supposed to block smoking).
  • Improved the reliability of reserve.
  • Fixed an issue with resigning before the game starts (it’s now blocked).
  • Fixed settings search hanging Spring.
  • Fixed large terraform performance hog with it’s new smooth update rate by reducing the update rate when the terraform becomes large.
  • Fixed Trident sometimes closing while airborne.

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Long Live to peshmarga

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Official: [misc] LuaMex for all!


This is a spinoff of luamex that was originally created for Complete Annihilation and then later expanded for use in Zero-K. We wanted a system that could be dropped into any Spring Game which would immediately replace hardcoded engine metal extraction points with lua controlled points. An added benefit of this method is that the gamedev can create lua mexmap configs that will override the hardcoded ones in the map. Therefore, you can make each map specifically cater to your needs.

Continue reading → Headline.png


Zero-K: Zero-K v1.5.1.5 – Commshare testing, global storage removal

The most noticeable change of this version is the removal of global storage. Commanders are now the source of your initial metal and energy storage so losing them hurts a bit more (this gives it the CArankAdminShadowfury333 seal of approval). However, the pain shouldn’t be too great because your economy should run with no storage, just with no ability to absorb fluctuations.

Part of the motivation of the storage change is consistency. There are no no global sources of storage and nothing is tied to any particular player. There is now no need for special rules about who, if anyone, gets extra storage in cases such as resigning allies, uneven teams and commshare. The storage just follows the owner of the commander. It should also make commanders a juicer target, which is nice.

Other notable contributions are from PLrankSprung with various fixes and cleanups, AUrankAquanim with the improved drone controls, USrank_Shaman with commshare and USrankaeonios with the improved halo selections widget.



  • Now have 500 storage to offset to lack of global storage.


  • LOS 440 -> 517. This matches the rule that most units with less than around 600 range should have LOS equal to 110% their maximum range.

Stinger and Lotus:

  • Lowered aim points, except when near a cliff. This makes them more vulnerable to ballistic units and in particular improves Hammer vs raised Stinger.


  • Improved skirmish AI to take its own velocity into account. Riots such as Warriors have a much harder time hitting it.


  • Slowbeam range 350 -> 450 to match the main gun. This is intended to help against heavy targets such as Dante. Of course, it helps against smaller units as well but there are many anti-small nerfs available to the unit.


  • Range 300 -> 325. This enables it to reliable target the ground.


  • Removed gun because it can’t be trusted to not teamkill.
  • Powered by clockwork.


  • Reduced cratering by a factor of 10.


  • Reduced the number of nanoframes placable per second from infinity to 30.

Buffed new players against the Spider, Jump, Amphib and Ship factories. These factories are now open on the sides such that you can block the entire front and still extract your units. This will be applied to the other land factories, pending models.


Fixed command insert interaction with the construction of blocks of structures (lines, rectangles etc..). Command insert now adds blocks of structures as a chunk instead of potentially inserting them between many commands. The construction order of the block now matches the order of construction when command insert is not used.

Added commshare. In the default mode it can be access with a WIP interface using the hotkey ‘h’. Players can merge and unmerge control throughout the game. The commshare modoption can also either enforce full commshare throughout the game or disable optional merge.

Improved drone controls.

  • Drones now hold fire if their carrier is set to hold fire.
  • Attack commands for the carrier are better at causing the drones to attack a particular target.
  • Drones respond to set target commands on their carrier in the same way they respond to attack commands.
  • Added a command for carriers to recall their drones.

Improved the blurry halo selections widget, as seen above. It should now run on more graphics cards and look better.

Tick, Roach, Skuttle and Blastwing are now detonated by manual fire (hotkey D) in addition to the usual method.

Improved Felon and Clam walk animations.


  • Fixed nonfunctional reserve truncation upon storage loss.
  • Fixed reserve display fighting when commsharing.
  • Fixed malfunctioning Brawler rear fan.
  • Windgen nanoframes can no longer be told to jump.
  • Fixed a button in the menu which would hide the map.
  • Fixed terraform cursor with F5 (hide UI).
  • Fixed new capture visual.
  • Fixed stockpile display missing from the menu.
  • Fixed cloak effect on so called ‘advanced’ models (.dae).
  • Fixed Doomsday Machine description to say that its heatray requires power.