Open letter from Bernd Lehahn
It's again time for me to wish you all a Happy Christmas and all the best for the new year.
It is however also the time of the year when we normally start talking about a new game or expansion.
Last year it was Home of Light, and before that it was The Teladi Outpost. Both of these X Rebirth expansions received a lot of positive feedback and helped us to show X Rebirth 4.0 in a much better light.
This year, there are several really exciting new developments that I can share with you:
Everybody who would like to help test the updates can get access to the following beta versions today:
X Rebirth 4.10
X3: Albion Prelude 3.2
X3: Terran Conflict 3.3
All three of these updates improve the games, and include a number of fixes and performance improvements that have come to our attention over the past months. These updates will, of course, be made available to everybody, via all the usual platforms, once the testing has ended.
X Rebirth VR Edition
will be a new standalone game based on X Rebirth Home of Light
, completely redesigned and optimised for a Virtual Reality experience.
X Rebirth VR Edition will be released via early access in the first half of 2017, and will be available as a new standalone game. If you own X Rebirth already, you will be able to get the VR edition at a discounted price.
To bring X Rebirth into the VR world, we had to change the game and the universe quite a bit:
X Rebirth VR Edition is a super-exciting development for us.
Special universe and economy: While based on X Rebirth and Home of Light, the universe and economy of X Rebirth VR Edition are specially designed for a Virtual reality experience. This is also the reason why the games are not savegame compatible.
New graphics engine: X Rebirth VR Edition will be the first title by Egosoft to utilise our new in-house development, based on the innovative new Vulkan graphics technology.
New content: X Rebirth VR Edition extends the gameplay and universe with new missions to deliver a unique virtual reality experience.
Special UI: The user interface of XR VR Edition was specially designed to work entirely as an immersive first person VR cockpit experience.
Pace and Balancing: All aspects of the game had to be rebalanced to create the best experience for the VR environment.
Playing this with a VR Headset feels like finally playing space games the way they were meant to be played all along.
There is, however, also another project that we are working on and which is equally exciting to us: X4
. It is still too early to talk about many details of this, and it doesn't even have a full name yet, but we are making good progress and I wanted to share a few words with you about what we have been doing in the last couple of years.
When we worked on X Rebirth we needed to make a lot of simplifications. We removed some features in order to be able to concentrate on others. But when X Rebirth was released, many fans expected it to be an "X4"; a game with most of the key features of the X3 games and then some. Since then, we have worked hard to make X Rebirth a better game, incorporating player feedback, continuing to develop the engine it is based on, and releasing many updates and expansions. However we also realise that there are still many unfulfilled wishes, some of which would require extensive changes that couldn't be implemented in the existing game. Many of these are things we would also like to see in a space game and these, along with the foundations laid by all the work and feedback that went into X Rebirth, have been the basis for the big project that we have been working on for the last few years: a real X4
While I cannot say much about its features yet, what I can tell you about it so far is that it will allow you to fly many different ships, it will give you an all-new interface to manage large fleets, and it will give you full freedom when building stations from individual modules.
Please be patient with this and we promise to show some really cool things later in 2017!
Now, everybody, have wonderful holiday and a great new year!
Bernd Lehahn, Egosoft