A short foreword...
Finally, another edition of X-Universe News! Many asked why it is taking us so long, or even assumed that we were gone - no we are not!
The explanation is rather simple: we consider X-Universe News as a NEWSletter, there's a new edition everytime there a significant news, we are no weekly magazine that makes a hype of nonsense just to get that pages full. We hope you'll understand our reasons.
Now for the content of this issue:
Of course we'll announce the winner of the ship data competition. Furthermore we were able to get another interview with Bernd Lehahn on X2, the X-Community and Online Universe! As usual an interview is not enough, so we picked some very nice screenshots to show what we are talking about.
We received several mails from people who get this newsletter in the wrong language and want to change that or who simply want to unsubscribe from our newsletter but didn't know how to do it. Being service orientated we will give a detailed explanation on how to change the default language or on how to get rid of us ;-)
Last minute info from Egosoft: X-GOLD is nearly sold out! If you want to have it: HURRY, there will be NO REPRESS this time!!! EGOSOFT Online Shop.
A final note on the next issue:
X-Universe News 7 will be released shortly after the BETA test has started (won't be too long now) and will mainly feature screenshots and feature descriptions.
So what more is left to say than:
Have fun with X-News VI !
Competition - And the winner is...
Congratulations Paul Knibbs
First of all, thanks for all your mails! It was a hard time for us to decide on a winner...
Finally the judges came to the conclusion that Paul's statistics fit best to the Paranid and look well balanced.
To make a long story short, here his suggestions:
- Name: Paranid Pericles
- Speed: 75.23 - 210.63 m/s
- Steering: 20 - 62 %
- Cargospace: 6-24 Units
- Laser: 2x Beta Particle Accelerator Cannon
- Missiles: Dragonfly
- Shields: 3 * 5 MW
- Powergenerator: 120 MW
NOTE: Once again the 3D Design must not be considered as 100% final (as you can see, it has changed in the past 3 months, the ship you saw in the last issue is now the new Prometheus)
Interview with Bernd Lehahn
More on X2 and the Community
Well here we are again, convincing Bernd Lehahn, Head of Egosoft to take some time out and answer some questions for us.
Thanks Bernd, we really appreciate it.
|As always, you are welcome.|
OK, first of all we have taken some questions from the community forums so that we can ask on their behalf.
Meltdown: Are Goner ships going to be armed? The shape really looks like that of a Ranger, and that nice laser turret under the nose should provide some nice firepower...
|No. Fighting is completely against the nature of the goners. Even any form of defence is against their morals. But Goners are not helpless :)|
James: You know what would be cool but might get complicated, having a N gate, and S, E and W, then having one above and one below so you get sectors on top of each other, then a 3D map and all that.
|Well we will not just have the normal N, S, W, E mapping. X2 will also have many gates (many of which are hidden), which do not fit into this simple scheme. But for the normal navigation we will still stick with the NSWE map as it helps a great deal to learn ways through the universe.|
SpuddyMcFuddy: I know in X-Tension there are a lot of worlds, won't count but I should say about 60 odd. Does anyone know how many there are in X2? I think there should be hundreds, also not all should be populated, except with the odd rogue ships or UFO's. There should be some that we can exploit fully ourselves. I love the game - it needs more ships and more station - generally more everything.
|There will be more of everything :) Yes and there will be more sectors and in some of them it will be left for the player to populate them.|
Etolf: Hmm.. I wonder if the shuttle (or xperimental) will be available in X2.
|Not as a normal ship (available in yards), but maybe you will find it in one of the many missions :)|
Dutchman: I have read in a German interview that there will be new ships AND weapon systems. But about what kind, your guess is as good as mine. I guess we'll need heavier weapons if the Khaak are the Threat they say they are.
|Not just heavier. Mainly they are more varied then in X and X-TENSION. Mostly all weapons in these games were simple bullet throwers. Now in X2 you will see some weapons, which are good against large groups and others that are good against some special enemies. The point is that there is not just simply MORE, but really more variety.|
BurnIt!: A long time ago there was something talked about a pulsating skin on Khaak ships, is this feature still planned?
|Yes I know BurnIt! got this brand new GeForce4 and wants something that really uses it :) Well it's still on our wish list for graphical features. Together with some other nice things that we would love to put in the graphic engine. No promises though.|
Thanks Bernd, now for some questions from us. We will be able to pilot M2 and M1 ships?
Can we rename systems?
Spaceflies flying about?
|Definitely. Spaceflies have some strong supporters inside the X2 development team! Hi Bala Gi :)|
Can you establish your Headquarters in a system from other X games. Can you *rule* a sector?
|Ah, you mean can you own a sector, own the shipyard? Like the rename question above, maybe.|
More Hidden sectors? Finding Getsu Fune was great, will there be more like that in X2?
|Yes absolutely. Stay tuned for a series of really exciting missions :)|
Any chance of the X-Tension system description secrets becoming true (i.e. the hidden base in black hole sun)?
|Who says there are none already? Maybe its just really well hidden :) But yes camouflage technology is an important improvement of the game.|
We have heard about Passenger ships and tugs, are these true?
|Yes. Passenger ships do exist. This is one of many new possible careers in X2.|
We have heard there will be other "lone" traders like the player? Is this true? WOW! Will they build bases and go head to head in a trade war?
|There will be other "free" traders who behave similar to players.|
The new bad guys must be the Khaak. So what about the Xenon and the pirates, will they fit in?
|Yes they will. The Khaak may be the biggest threat but both Xenon as well as Pirates are still very active.|
Can I be a Pirate?
|Of course you can. Actually you always could be a pirate in X-TENSION already; it was just not an easy career and peaceful trading and building probably made more money. But we try to make a career as a pirate a good alternative in X2.|
Does X2 happen just after XT or a long time after? Can you tell us anything about the political stability? Do the Split still dislike the Boron for example? Are they friends or even fighting each other?
|Hmm... *looking into the audience wondering who asked that question? There is somebody quite well informed ;-)*|
There are quite some years between X-TENSION and X2. The universe has changed and developed further, but the main political situation at the beginning is still similar to how you know it. And of course as long as there are Split and there are Boron, the Split will always dislike the Boron :)
We've heard that you plan to involve the community more into the game that it has been before, how?
|Several modules of the game can be exchanged between players. Currently we are thinking of a way to record events in the game and store them into relatively small files. These can be exchanged over the Internet and played back with the game. This way now people donít just have to believe your exaggerated descriptions of what has happened out there in space yesterday, but they can really see it :) Other modules like AI scripts can possibly be exchanged through our website too.|
These AI scripts sound great, where can I get them from when the game ships? Will Egosoft provide a platform for exchanging scripts? Are they easy to install?
|Yes we have plans to provide a platform for exchanging these scripts between players. Installing a script is as easy as saving a file to a directory.|
Assuming that the graphics engine has been improved a lot since X-Tension, what can you tell us about new special effects in X² - The Threat? Is T&L fully supported?
|Yes T&L is fully supported in hardware and it helps tremendously. So having a 3D card that supports it helps performance a lot. There are many new graphical effects that will improve the atmosphere of the game. Some of the latest screenshots for example may show a new improved stardust, much nicer engines and much more :)|
Has the Beta started yet? How many testers do you want? Is there still a chance to take part?
|No I'm afraid we already have more testers then we need.|
When will the game ship? Will THQ be the publisher once more?
|Sorry... no comment on this one yet.|
There are several other promising games of nearly the same genre (Freelancer, Elite 4) in development. Where do you see advantages of X2 compared to these games? Are you going to buy these games yourself?
|Well of course we will have an eye on the competition, even though I think that none of them will be released before X2. Of course Freelancer for example is somewhat of a competitor, simply because its a space game and maybe released around the same time (but we would have to wait and see for that)[note from the editors: Freelancer has been delayed for early 2003]. But apart from the fact that they all play in space, X2 is so much different that I donít think you can see any of these games as being similar.|
*marketing mode ON* We concentrate on improving our game and are quite confident that it will be the only game that offers a really open universe with a truly unmatched freedom of game play.
Last but not least a glimpse into the remote future. How is Online-Universe getting along?
|Well some parts of the fundamental technology are working, and with the development of X2 we also always improve and update the OU engine, but at the moment our primary goal is to finish X2 (the offline version that is :)|
So there you have it. Some more answers from the man himself. We could have talked a while longer and asked a LOT more questions :) But time for that another day. Lets not keep the development of X2 back any longer!
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Summer here, Winter there...
Shirts from EGOSOFT
It's getting warmer and warmer on the northern hemisphere, a nice T-Shirt might come handy here, where the summer is close - have a look at the egosoft webshop, there are several very nice T-Shirts featuring the "X² - The Threat" Logo.
Or if you live on the southern hemisphere where it is getting colder as the winter is coming closer, you might wnat to order a sweatshirt from Egosoft.
Now that there aren't many shirts left this is YOUR CHANCE to get one of the last exclusive "The Threat" shirts!
Of course people on the northern part of the world may order sweatshirts aswell - great in the evening when it's getting colder again.
Vice versa ordering T-shirts is allowed for people on the soutthern hemisphere aswell ;-)
Now don't hesitate and go shopping!
X-Universe Fiction Ė Final Call
Deadline on 30th June 2002
Please be aware that this is the final call for fiction destined for the X2 release CD. You must submit your final texts before 30th June 2002. This means final, including any graphics, your name or any other detail you wish to include, grammar and formatting complete. Word format files are best, but rich text format (RTF) is also fine.
Send any questions, queries or final texts to Steel. If anyone is still waiting for any feedback from Steel, please do not hesitate to contact him again. He has been extra busy recently, sorry for that.
Remember 30th June is the cut-off date. Thanks to all you writers, graphic artists etc. Your work is very much appreciated and it has to be compiled and converted to our chosen medium for the CD.
Musik as heard in the X games
A russian X-Fan, who calls himself sVGA 'composed' several pieces of music, that sound similiar to the ones well known from the X-games. Download his work here:
Here's the same page machine translated by worldlingo.com (NOTE: we are not responsible for the content!)
EGOSOFT / Deutschland - firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris F. / Great Britain - email@example.com (cc)
Michael B., Nürnberg / Germany - firstname.lastname@example.org (mb)
Contact the editorship:
Darren Astles - email@example.com (da)
Florian Bircher - firstname.lastname@example.org (fb)
Translations and proofreading:
Herbert Hohenburger - email@example.com (hrh)
Jonathan Handby - firstname.lastname@example.org (jh)
Peter Biner W. - email@example.com (pbw)
At this point thank you to our graphics artist Alex who puts so much effort into our tiny little logos.
His work can be seen in the christmas edition and the never released easter special. Still you can have a look at the easter-logo here.
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Former issues in the archive!