GSoC/GCI Archive
Google Summer of Code 2011

Unknown Horizons

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[IMAGE] The Unknown Horizons project aims at creating a free and open source realtime economy simulation with strategy elements in an isometric 2D engine loosely oriented towards Sunflowers' Anno / A.D. series. It is written in Python.

We apply together with our engine FIFE.

[IMAGE] FIFE stands for Flexible Isometric Free Engine and is a cross platform game creation framework written in C++. It provides you with the ability to create a game using Python interfaces. FIFE also comes as a DLL or static library so you can use C++ as well.

The first commits to a repository of Unknown Horizons were made in October 2007, but the actual development started as a C++ project OpenAnno mid-2005 already.

Since then we have achieved a lot in terms of development and gameplay:

  • Building a core development group and attracting many patchers
  • Releasing several highly playable releases of an open source real time strategy game
  • Setting up an excellent infrastructure that helps to focus on actual development
  • Using only high quality media under terms of a free, open license

Students now have the opportunity to work with this infrastructure and a grown development team while they will add some important features like a combat mode or advanced Artificial intelligence to Unknown Horizons.

FIFE on the other hand has several clients that use it, contributing improvements and feature requests alike. Development thus helps many projects and not just one organization -- both mentors know their code by heart and could come up with several own, concrete suggestions what to work on.

We however decided that the FIFE idea(s) should allow students to propose own ideas and practice autonomous coding instead of working through a bunch of open tickets and feature requests. Code refactoring and optimization also is an important field in programming, so we hope to help students prepare for this.

You can check out the awesome code our students wrote during this summer at our Google code repository and, most important, in the master branch of Unknown Horizons and FIFE svn trunk!


  • AI player This project aims to create an AI player for Unknown Horizons. The AI will create and maintain it settlements but not engage in warfare.
  • Combat System for Unknown Horizons This project's main purpose is to create a flexible combat system for Unknown Horizons.
  • Improve the overall performance of FIFE The aim of this project it to boost the overall performance of the FIFE engine by using hardware accelerated methods from OpenGL and utilizing different forms of caching: Batching and Atlases to name a few.