X-Universe News

Issue 17 - Special Edition - April 2005

 English Version http://www.egosoft.com/x/xnews/200504_44News.html
 German Version http://www.egosoft.com/x/xnews/200504_49News.html
 French Version http://www.egosoft.com/x/xnews/200504_33News.html
 Polish Version http://www.egosoft.com/x/xnews/200504_48News.html
 Italian Version http://www.egosoft.com/x/xnews/200504_39News.html
 Spanish Version http://www.egosoft.com/x/xnews/200504_34News.html
Editor's Note: A Very Short Note...
Interviews With...: Jon Handby asks Greg Kingston about X³: Reunion
Credits & Contact: The Uninteresting Bit!

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Editor's Note

A Very Short Note...


Welcome to X-News Issue 17, a short special edition announcing Egosoft's Plans regarding the X-Series of games.


We would like to apologise for the lack of a news letter for the last 5 months, but we are working away at bringing the next issue of X-News as well as bonus articles, direct to you soon. X³: Reunion is the next big step for the X-Universe series of games, so we expect to bring more news on this development once more news is made available. X-Universe News will continue to bring you interviews from the developers and naturally more exclusive screenshots.


So, welcome to the first X-Universe News of 2005. It’s issue 17!


Jon Handby

X³: Reunion



EGOSOFT today announces the beginning of a new era for the X series of space combat/trading games. The planned expansion for the award winning PC CDROM title, X²: THE THREAT known as X²: THE RETURN has been cancelled. Quarter three 2005 will herald the launch of the ‘next generation’ of X game, in the form of X³: REUNION, the first multi format product, set in the X universe.



During the creation of X²: THE RETURN, a secondary team was tasked with the development of a state of the art X engine, with the power and flexibility to bring the concepts EGOSOFT and the fan community have envisaged to life. Many of these creations were not possible with the existing X² engine and consideration to ‘space’ features had to be made. The near completion of the X³ engine within 2005 would allow EGOSOFT the creative freedom they desired, with no loss of content and give players an unparalleled game experience.


X³: REUNION immerses the player into the most realistic, living universe, ever experienced. Extensive development has gone into the X³ engine, making full use of DirectX 9 technology, to create dramatic visual effects and stunningly realistic starships. The economy model in X³: REUNION is more complex than any previous X game. Coupled with the massively enhanced A.L. (Artificial Life) system, X³: REUNION will present players with an ever changing, evolving universe; where a player’s actions really can shape the future of the universe. Community involvement has been extensive, throughout the development process and the launch of X³: REUNION will see many innovative fan creations in the final retail game.


X³: REUNION will also be the first chance for players to experience the thrills of deep space trading on a format other than PC, with the launch of a console version (TBA). A lot of details about X³: REUNION will be posted throughout the next few weeks, but let me start with a short overview of some of the most important areas:


Universe Design:
X³:REUNION will allow much more dramatic changes to the map of the universe than would otherwise would have been possible. Sectors will look significantly different from what you are used to. More details about this shortly.


We are now able to completely redesign prices and productivity relations of factories. A new team of programmers from devnet put together a great concept for a modified economy and we can now combine this with some innovations to greatly improve the complexity of the X universe economy. Part of this project is also to allow much greater modifications in the universe. A war can now destroy factories and the game will automatically find measures to put the economy back into a balance...


Graphic Engine:
We plan to greatly improve the visual look of the X universe. Our new completely Direct X 9 based graphic engine will allow much higher detailed objects and usage of shaders for special effects.


User Interface:
The user interface is another important reason for the move towards X³:REUNION. As you may have read in some interviews already, we have been experimenting with new menus and innovative ways to control the game. Many of these concepts however would not have been possible inside the X²: The Return framework. Everything would have had to remain compatible with the ways of X².




Quotes from the developer community:


"The transition from X2 - The Return to X3 could not have come at a better time for Egosoft. Allowing us to fully realise both our own dreams of the X universe, as well as giving those who matter to us the most, our players, the chance to see X as it was truly meant to be. It's been a long journey, truly wondrous in its nature, but finally, the beginning has come an end. It's time to show the world OUR world. It's time to show you X3!"
- Ivan Tefalco


"What Egosoft has shown here is that their ideas and concepts were much too large to fit into a mere "expansion pack". Only a full out game could quench the thirst of their fans and the developers themselves. I think this is a brilliant move by Egosoft. This game journeys down new roads and takes steps in new directions- and is truly massive- only a sequel could do the job."
- Tristan D. Fisher


"The plot is so much bigger, with so much more going on, that it's like a feature film... with X2 like a trailer."
- Brian Ronald




Interviews With...

Jon Handby asks Greg Kingston about X³: Reunion


X3: Reunion came as a surprise in mid March, but the news has been taken well by the fans of the X series of games. The new game promises much more than the expansion: "X2: The Return" could have offered, removing the limitations caused by such a development.
But now with those bars lifted, the developers are left with many more opportunities than they could have imagined, and they are taking this chance to improve the gaming experience for all.
The million dollar question that everyone is asking is just what form these improvements are going to take, so, some questions were put to Greg 'Abyss' Kingston, friend of X-News; and the answers should open a new door to the next game in the saga.



Jon Handby: We will start of with some graphics questions. Will the graphics be better than in X2: The Threat?


Abyss: Yes of course. The new engine offers huge improvements over X2 as it is fully Direct X9. There are various technical details on why this is better which we’ll cover off later on. But for now, there are some performance and detail improvements which take X3 into the 21st century along with other recent cutting-edge releases.


Jon Handby: What will change graphically in the game itself?


Abyss: Well, pretty much everything. The GUI, the ships, the factories, planets, and nebulae – everything is new. Again, I will be releasing a specific update on this at a later date – it is very exciting. But for the moment, have a look at some of the concept art that we have at this time, with more to follow soon…


Jon Handby: How will the user interface change?


Abyss: Dramatically is the answer. Two things influenced this – feedback from the community and also the synergy with a console platform. The latter is important as with limited input choices, it also presents the opportunity to make the controls for the PC gamer more refined and quicker. PC users will still however be able to access the old method of control should they wish. I’ve already made a very unscientific comparison between them and it is much easier. Again, this will be released exclusively to the community later on.


Jon Handby: Will there be any change to the way we get around the universe and how ships are handled?


Abyss: Certainly. The former I will leave open to speculation but yes, there will likely be changes. How ships will be handled? Yes again, there will be more options and also the fact that ALL keys and pretty much all the controls will be re-mappable should give some clues away here.


Jon Handby: Will the way we control our own stations change?


Abyss: Yes, but I have to be honest here, there are several options open to us still in development and it is not yet decided what will be used. There has been a lot of speculation, pretty much all of which is unconfirmed, about the Player HQ for example. This was intended for X2: The Return but now we may have better ways of doing what we wanted. Stay tuned.


Jon Handby: Will there be more ships to play?


Abyss: Of course.

Next question? ;)


Jon Handby: What will the expected system specs be needed to play X3: Reunion?


Abyss: Well, we have a rough idea on this already but I must emphasise that these are only early indications. I would anticipate that following would be a minimum – CPU 1.3, RAM 256MB and graphics card 64MB. Hard disc space would probably be around 2GB.


Jon Handby: The Yaki were mentioned for the expansion, will they still be in X3: Reunion? And who are they?


Abyss: Yes, they are still there – as we said before, most of the development from X2 has carried over into X3. The Yaki are a pirate faction who have taken advantage of the chaos caused by the Kha’ak invasion to seize their own space and are trying to become a dominant force in the universe. They also have some rather unique weapons…


Jon Handby: Is there anything about the plot that you can tell us about?


Abyss: Yes, Jules Brennan as well as the universe is in turmoil. He has only just found out about his father and now he is in a coma, the universe is under attack from an alien race, and some of the ‘known’ race species seem to be working against him. Personal agendas mix with political – who can he trust? Is it still safe to build an empire? Can old friends be counted upon?


Jon Handby: Finally… When is the expected release date?


Abyss: As before, Q3 2005 is the target. Whilst there is a lot to do, there is also a lot going on. This is for PC – console news will follow later.


We thank Abyss for the answers to these questions, and I hope they answer most of yours.
We were also given two items that may be of interest to everyone concerned with the graphics, no these are not in-game, but concept drawings just to show you how much the game is changing.




The concept art shows several new station designs, meaning stations will probably be changing dramatically.
We will keep you all updated on the future of these designs and the progress Egosoft are making.


Jon Handby

Credits & Contact

The Uninteresting Bit!


If you would like to get in contact with us, then feel free. E-mail: X-Universe-News@egosoft.com


EGOSOFT info@egosoft.com


Editors in Chief

Darren Astles - Great Britain

Michael Baumgardt - Germany


Issue Editor

Jonathan Handby



Greg "Abyss" Kingston


With Thanks To

Bernd Lehahn


Translation and Proofreading

Confucio - IT

Vassenego - DE

The Fly - FR

Karragan - FR

Sauron11 - PL

LokenJP - ES


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