Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Open-source RTS games aren’t generally known for having quality graphics, even when finished, so you probably wouldn’t expect too much from an alpha build. Which is why 0 A.D. is a real surprise, thanks to visuals that are more impressive than many commercial products.
Okay, it’s true, the program has been in alpha for a very long time (running on Windows, the Mac and Linux must make for a complex development process), but the attention to detail is still impressive. Your citizens are people, not anonymous blobs. Buildings look as though like people live in them, with seating areas, pots and vases scattered around. And they live in a realistic and complex world, so for instance a desert will have sand, rocks, animals, perhaps palm trees which cast true shadows.
This continues throughout the game, too.