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19.Jan.23 Introducing X TECH 5 and kicking off 6.00 Public Beta  (143 Comments)
Once our recently announced new X4 expansion, X4: Kingdom End, is ready to be released later this year, it will be accompanied by the most extensive set of improvements to X4: Foundations since the game's original release back in 2018. These major technical changes to the game call for a lot of testing - so please join our 6.00 Public Beta!


How do I take part in the Public Beta?
Every player who owns X4: Foundations has the opportunity to download the new 6.00 beta version. In order to ensure that beta participants are aware of the risks and rules involved, we ask all interested players to visit our forum, where they will find the rules and disclaimers, as well as practical instructions for participating in the beta. Follow this link to our forum (no registration required) to find the relevant information.

X TECH 5
Our past games X Beyond the Frontier, X3: Reunion, X Rebirth and the original 1.00 release of X4: Foundations marked the biggest milestones in the development of our very own X series engine. With the upcoming release of X4: Foundations 6.00, we're taking the next step and introducing X TECH 5.

While integrating the next generation of our graphics engine with several big visual improvements (details below), as well as a new, more powerful physics engine with performance and feature improvements, we're also maintaining savegame compatibility for X4.

We would like to give you a first impression of some of the highlights of X TECH 5 that are in the first Public Beta of 6.00. We are still working on additional features that may be added in later public beta releases. We will talk about those additional features in due course.

New physics engine
Experience the thrill of space more than ever before in X4: Foundations, with the integration of Jolt Physics into X TECH 5. Whether you're navigating an asteroid field, docking at a space station, or engaging in combat, Jolt Physics adds a new level of realism and immersion to every moment of gameplay. You'll feel the full force of acceleration and deceleration as you pilot your ship, and every collision will have a tangible impact. In addition to enhancing the overall gameplay experience, the integration of Jolt Physics also brings about performance and feature improvements to X TECH 5, which you'll find listed in the full 6.00 Public Beta 1 changelog.

Massively improved graphics engine
A big part of what makes us very proud of the upcoming 6.00 Update to X4: Foundations is the radical improvements included in our graphics engine. Here are some of the highlights from this area of development:

? Improved lighting
The main goal with the new lighting engine in X TECH 5 is to improve natural-looking sunlight in space. More vibrant colours, higher intensity suns, and a wider range of interesting lighting moods. X TECH 5 gives us many new tools to achieve this. Reflection probes greatly improve lighting situations inside cockpits, bridges and on stations, and seamlessly integrates with the screen space reflections introduced in a previous version of X4. You will also note that the shadow-casting in X TECH 5 has massively improved. This greatly helps in producing more realistic visuals at greater distances.

? Introduction of parallax occlusion mapping
With the inclusion of parallax occlusion mapping, X TECH 5 features a technique that allows us to add extra detail and depth to surfaces in the game. This is achieved by using a special type of texture that encodes information about the height and shape of a surface, which is then used to create the illusion of 3D depth and detail. As a player, you can expect to see a noticeable improvement in the realism and immersion of surfaces in the game, as parallax occlusion mapping allows us to add subtle details and depth that were not previously possible.

Wide range of gameplay improvements
Apart from the serious technological improvements, we have of course also added gameplay refinements and new features in Update 6.00. Please take a look at the complete changelog for version 6.00 Public Beta 1. Today, we would like to put the spotlight on the following two highlights:

? Position Defence
The new Position Defence feature in Update 6.00 allows players to have a single carrier-led fleet defend multiple locations while maintaining its streamlined support structure. Individual subordinate groups within the fleet can be assigned to protect specific locations, and will patrol the area until they need to return to the carrier for repairs or resupply. Additionally, these subordinate groups can be set to support other groups in the fleet if they come into contact with threats. This allows for flexible and dynamic defence of multiple locations with a single fleet. We can't wait for you to try out this new feature and see how it enhances your gameplay experience.

? Live Stream camera mode
Live Stream is a brand-new camera mode in X4: Foundations that brings you closer to the action. Once activated, by hitting F6, Live Stream mode allows you to watch interesting events and scenes unfold in your game in real-time. Whether it's an epic space battle, a bustling space station, or a beautiful nebula, this new mode has you covered. One of the best things about Live Stream mode is that it automatically switches between scenes, so you never have to worry about missing out on the action. You can sit back, relax, and enjoy the show, as our new camera mode takes you on a tour of the most interesting moments in your game.

We have lots more ideas on how to refine and improve this new camera mode further, and we will keep working on it during the 6.00 Public Beta phase and beyond. But please do try it out in its current form, and share your feedback with us.

We encourage all players to participate in the beta and provide feedback on the new features in our Public Beta Feedback forum. This is just the start of the 6.00 Public Beta for X4: Foundations. The beta will be updated regularly over the next few weeks, so keep an eye on our news channels to avoid missing anything.

We can't wait for you to try out all the new content in Update 6.00 and look forward to hearing your thoughts. --> Full 6.00 Public Beta 1 Changelog

? Note to the modding community
As mentioned in our survey summary a few months ago, X4 modders are super important to us and we are very grateful for their work. While we can't go into too much detail on this topic today, we wanted to at least briefly mention that we are working on some new modding tools for X4 and will also be improving the information available to modders in the future. For example, we plan to provide a modding equivalent to the X4 update changelog. As soon as the tools can be tested, we will inform you separately about this, and provide you with further details.

X4: Kingdom End – Wishlist now!
Enjoy a long-awaited reunion with the Boron in X4: Kingdom End, the fourth expansion for X4: Foundations, which completes the collection of the main factions in the X Universe. Discover the unique Boron ships, and fly them through distinctive systems, on a journey of discovery. Visit fascinating places, uncover old secrets and make new acquaintances. Embark on an immersive new chapter of X4!
posted by Gregory
16.Jan.23 Turning a long-cherished idea into reality: Secure your exclusive Baby Boron Plushie!  (62 Comments)
We've got a somewhat unusual campaign for you this year, which we hope will be to your taste. After several months of collaboration with the plushie professionals at Makeship, we are turning a long-cherished idea into reality.


Introducing… Baby Boron Plushie! We are excited to announce that our crowdfunding campaign, for the cutest, cuddliest plushie you've ever seen, is starting soon. This plushie is the perfect companion for any X4 fan, with its soft, huggable body and adorable features.

Baby Boron will watch your back while you enjoy the long-awaited reunion with the Boron in X4: Kingdom End, the fourth expansion for X4: Foundations, later this year.

Please note that all Makeship plushies are unique editions. This specific Baby Boron Plushie will no longer be available after the end of this campaign.

How can I get one?
The Baby Boron Plushie crowdfunding campaign starts on January 23rd, 2023, at 6pm GMT (10am PST / 1pm EST / 7pm CET) over at makeship.com. Once the campaign goes live, you will be able to purchase your very own limited Baby Boron Plushie at Makeship ($29.99).

The campaign will run for 21 days. If the campaign reaches the minimum order goal, Makeship will start production of the Baby Boron Plushie. If the minimum goal is not met, all customers will be refunded for their orders.

If the campaign is successful and the Baby Boron Plushies are produced, they will be shipped 2-3 months after the campaign end date. Shipping typically takes 7-15 business days depending on the destination country and city. Delivery to some areas may take 10-30 business days.

Visit the Makeship Help Center if you have any further questions about the crowdfunding campaign process.
posted by Gregory
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