By the fans - for the fans

English Version Issue 10 English Version

June 2003

Zur deutschen Ausgabe

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  • Intro
  • X² - The Threat Publisher
  • X² - The Threat Release
  • X² - The Threat PRE-ORDER NOW
  • New stuff in X²
  • Character modelling show
  • Egosoft at the Games Convention in Leipzig
  • Imprint
  • A short foreword...


       |_| /--|-    | | \- |       _        _
    |\ ||_ \    /(_
    | \||_  \/\/  _)
        .  (        ,
     ) ( . )    ,  (
    ( .   (  ) ( , ')
    . ), ) _) _,') (,)
    I wonder whether anyone will read this intro at all...? Everyone will jump to the 3 top news directly...
    Well, for those who actually do read this: we've got several anouncements and at the same time these X-News are released a press release goes out to the magazines and the stores.
    With all that going on around the game, the game itself should not be left aside and so we picked another new feature from X² and will present it here.
    There's more! The Games Convention in Leipzig (Germany) will take place in late August and Egosoft will be there as well together with X² - The Threat!
    Finally we can celebrate a little jubilae as this is the tenth time this newsletter goes out reaching mailboxes all over the world.

    Have fun with X-News X !


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    X² - The Threat Publisher

    Putting an end to the rumours

    Finally we can put an end to the numerous rumlours! Neither did Microsoft buy X² exclusively for their X-Box nor will the guys at Egosoft have to burn every single CD themselves and ship it.

    "X² - The Threat" docks with KOCH Media!

    The game will be published by KOCH Media.
    If you think about moving or are planning a longer holiday when the release event takes place let us tell you that X² will be published in Russia by Noviy Disk and by QV Software in Australia.

    • United Kingdom
    • Germany
    • France
    • Italy
    • Austria
    • Switzerland

    • Australia

    • Russia

    More publishers for the other important territories to follow shortly.


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    X² - The Threat Release

    November to be the month of months

    Yup, you read right - despite the nasty rumours X² is going to be released THIS year!
    The fourth quarter (2003) will be when you will finally find CDs in the the modern style boxes (DVD format) in stores after more than two years of development.
    Additionally we got the confirmation that a printed manual will be included in the cardboard box - this should definelty calm those fans down that feared having to print off a 100 pages PDF document.
    To quote Bernd Lehahn, CEO at EGOSOFT: "With a fullprice game this - in my opinion - is a matter of course"


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    X² - The Threat PRE-ORDER NOW

    Pre-order now and receive a card game for free

    "Third time is a charm." - that's what the old saying tells us. And again it prooves right! Now that we know who will be responsible for publishing and when we are likely to hold the game in our hands here's another good news:
    You can pre-order X² already now in the Egosoft Online-Shop!
    If it wouldn't be worth every cent already anyway everyone who pre-orders will receive a free card game!

    Currently you can only order via PayPal (that means you need a credit card) automatically, but a friendly mail to often solves many problems.

    Be among the first to play the newest and finest spacegame from Egosoft. If you order NOW you will also receive the limited edition X²-Trumps cardgame for hours of fun for the rest of your family, while you can play X² ;-) Delivery on the day of release!

    Click here to immediately go to the Online Shop


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    New stuff in X²


    Didn't it bother you that you could track all ship movement the moment you enter a sector? Doesn't quite fit to X - after all this is about exploration.
    X² will find a remedy here! Ships and stations will have a certain scannerrange within which they can track other objects. A postive side effect is that the manual targeting of station to identify them becomes obsolete - a station that is in range will be identified automatically. When a stationary object is out of range its last known position is displayed. In many games this effect is called "Fog of War".
    Additionally there will be a new upgrade for your ships: range-enhancements. These are availabe in two versions and do exactly what the name suggests ;)
    It would not make much sense to explain this system in greater detail as pictures say more than a thousand words.

    Scanner-Range - 770kb

    (Click to enlarge)

    You can see two playerships each with its scaner radius. Of course you can extend the area that is not covered by the "fog of war" by using navigation relay satellites that have a great scanner range.
    This concept is also part of the Online-Universe.


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    Character modelling show

    From bones to flesh

    One of the new and impressive features of X² are the ingame cutscenes with 3d characters. We started to be a real pain in the neck for Markus Pohl until we succeeded!
    The pictures are directly from the 3D modelling and animation program "3D Studio MAX 5" and offer an intersting view behind the scenes and even into the inside of 3d models.
    The guy will be one of the extras that walk around on the stations in the cutscenes - we named him "Bill" ;)
    On the first screenshots you can see a so called "Bone-Model", this helps animating the characters and is enough to do first tests.
    Picture number 2 shows the wireframe of the body. You can already guess what the character will look like when work is finished.
    Finally you can see the bone structure again but this time a translucent 'skin' has been pulled over it and now it becomes pretty obvious what Bill will look like later.

    Bones - 351kb Wireframe - 459kb Translucent skin - 435kb

    (Click to enlarge)

    For making a realistic animation of moves you also need a certain interaction between the bodyparts, this is achieved through the so called weighting. Weighting means that spheres of influence and the strength of the influence a single bone has on the skin are defined so it moves correctly along with the bones. This way, if you for example turn the head th upper part of the neck will wrist with it, while the lower part will hardly move.
    Actually we wanted Bill to wear his brand new suit now, but he hastily left us with "I got to go". Well there we stood on the empty set. Fortunately a nice young lady came along and agreed to pose for the last shot. We got to know her by the name of Saya and she quickly became the favourite of the (male) developers :)
    Last but not least we receivd an image of the wireframe model of an office. Pursuing the plot the player will find himself in this office every now and then and maybe can meet Bill or Saya there as well...

    Weighting - 699kb Saya - 377kb Office - 907kb

    (Click to enlarge)

    A final note: neither textures nor 3d bodies were complete at the time these pictures were made, therefore it is very likely that many things look different now. When the rolling demo is released you will be able to gaze at the finished rooms and characters.


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    Egosoft at the Games Convention in Leipzig

    X² at the GamesConvention

    Egosoft and of course X² will be shown at the booth of KOCH Media at the Games Convention 2003 in Leipzig, Germany. This event takes place from August 21st - 24th on the exhibition centre at Leipzig.
    If you don't have plans for that weekend already this could be your chance to see the brains behind X, of course the game itself and many other interesting products from the world of elextronic entertainment at Germany's version of the E3.


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    Additional Contacts


    EGOSOFT / Deutschland -

    Editorship english:
    Darren Astles / Great Britain (da)

    Editorship german:
    Michael B. / Germany (mb)

    Contact the editorship:

    Jonathan Handby (jh)

    Translations and proofreading:
    Herbert R. Hohenburger (hrh)
    Peter Biner W. (pbw)
    Invader (inv)

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    Former issues in the archive!

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