I finally installed MegaGlest a few days ago, after literally years of planning to do so (I did install Glest about 2-3 years ago, but my old computer couldn’t handle it). My main motivation for it was actually my renewed interest in watching professional Starcraft 2 games, so I had a pretty high standard to judge it by.
After a few days, my response would be – it’s not bad at all. I truly salute those guys who worked on this project in their free time and achieved so much. But having said that, there’s also much room for improvement.
I think I’m probably not yet qualified to comment about the strategic possibilities of an RTS game. I have kind of a complicated relationship with the RTS genre – I feel like I really should enjoy it, it has a lot of elements I love. but somehow I never became a serious player. I mostly played Warcraft 2, Starcraft 1, and Total Annihilation, finishing the single-player campaign in WC2 and TA and part of the campaign in SC, but never got to the multiplayer scene. However, that still gives me a little idea of how it should look like. And in terms of strategy, what mostly bothers me about MegaGlest is the almost complete absence of special abilities. There are almost no units that can do anything but move and attack. The professional games I watch are almost entirely built on that – every unit has completely different uses and strategies based on its special abilities.
As always, I can’t examine an open source game (or any game, really) without some planning of how one day I’ll make one of my own. But in this case, I think the general RTS game niche is in good hands. If I’ll have something to contribute in the future, I’ll probably look into contributing directly to one of the Glest projects instead of making something of my own. I do have some plans for a little variation on the RTS theme though… but it’ll take a lot of time. For now it will just sit in the back of my head until a long queue of projects I’m working on gets a little freed.
Finally, a little comment about the looks and sounds: Impressive for an open source game, but definitely not in the level of professional games. I don’t work in 3D yet so I can’t help there, but hopefully someday. Anyway, one thing I found extremely cute – the Indian stick fighters there have a pretty noticeable German accent in their voice acting. As the MegaGlest theme already seems to be an amusing salad of different times and cultures, I think that only contributes…
 It almost hurts me to say that, because I’m generally very unsupportive of the idea of watching professional sports – much better to play them than watch them. But Starcraft, being so strategic and non-athletic, is more justified – I do think I’m learning some strategic thinking from watching that.
 That’s probably mostly because I didn’t have enough friends who were into that, and I’m not a fan of playing with nameless strangers online. If anyone is like me and looking for partners for learning, practicing and discussing strategies, you’re more than welcome to contact me.