What is TA3D?
NB: if you don't know about Total Annihilation you should click here first
TA3D is a free project whose aim is to remake the engine of Total Annihilation but in real 3D, with perspective, camera management, hardware acceleration ...! TA3D is developed under Linux(if you don't know what a true Operating System is click here). But there is also a windows version.
So TA3D is a remake of Total Annihilation engine under GPL(that means free...) which uses original game files (means it doesn't run without *.hpi or *.ufo files from the original game,the demo or a mod). The goal? Make this great game run better on modern hardware, and bring a few new features (original AI is a bit classic(too easy), units models might be more detailed,...).
No I am not mad!! Total Annihilation was in 256 colors(don't lie, if I did not tell you you would never know!) with isometric 3D (means no perspective, no camera, prerendered terrain,...). Most of the game can be easily ported to real 3D: models of units are already in 3D just need to draw the models with perspective; terrain is prerendered but with height map we can make some corrections; sprites, huh, it's pure 2D...but we can extract 3D data from luminosity(yes it is possible and already done, look at rocks in TA3D: real 3D rocks!!). With accelerated rendering(OpenGl) you can get higher frame rate with more details!!
You can say there is an other project with the same goal : TASpring. Yes but I tested it and I didn't really like the modifications they made to the gameplay, and their Linux port wasn't ready when TA3D started. Worse, they don't use files from TA like maps!! The TA community has done great work, we can't let this be lost!! If you look closer to both projects they took their own path, even if they both are TA-like RTS engines they are two different games.
Now you should believe TA3D brings something...hum it's not finished yet...so I go back to the code!!