X-Universe News

Issue 21 - March 2006

 English Version http://www.egosoft.com/x/xnews/200603_44News.html
 German Version http://www.egosoft.com/x/xnews/200603_49News.html
 Italian Version http://www.egosoft.com/x/xnews/200603_39News.html
Editor's Note: A not so very short note...
X³: Patch 1.4: Hot on the heels of 1.3 comes 1.4!
X³: Rolling Demo: A breathtaking new movie, that benchmarks your computer
X³: Playable Demo: Take your Joystick into the beauty of the X³ Universe
X³: Reunion Manual: Updated X³ Manual now available for download
X³: Reunion - New language versions: X³ in a Universe near you 'Now'
Cockpits: Imp.- The Interview: A special Interview with Imp.- Creator of the 'Callback Mod'
Egosoft: Online Shop: The Egosoft Online Shop gets its own upgrades
Credits & Contact: The Uninteresting Bit!

This Newsletter has been optimised for 800x600 viewing.

Editor's Note

A not so very short note...


Welcome to the latest edition of X-News


It has been an amazing and extremely busy few months since the last edition of X Universe News. The Egosoft developers having been working flat out for the player community with new updates, additional content, an updated Manual and new X³: Reunion Rolling and Playable Demos.


The DevNet community has likewise committed a great deal of their spare time to ensuring that the new features are checked and tested. Not to be outdone the translators have also been very busy, extending the range of X³: Reunion local versions.


Joining in this fire of activity has been the Scripting and Modding community, which has in super fast time produced an excellent range of scripts and mods for X³: Reunion, extending the game experience to new frontiers.


Overall it has been an eventful few months, even allowing for the holidays in the middle of all this, a tremendous amount of work has been put in by Egosoft and its very active community. A special and grateful thank you, is owed to everyone.





X³: Patch 1.4

Hot on the heels of 1.3 comes 1.4!


The 1.4 update for provides some new game features as well as improving on those added in 1.3 and fixing a variety of problems experienced by some players in different parts of the game. For those who have been playing the 1.3.1 and 1.3.2 BETA versions, the even better news is that savegames from these versions are compatible with 1.4.


New features in 1.4:

  • Tug Laser allows M6/TL class ships to move stations using a tractor beam
  • New commands for automated mobile mining are available through the Special Command Software
  • New option to have ships contact you once they have completed their current command
Other improvements in 1.4:
  • If a hired TL freighter is destroyed an entry in your logbook will be created
  • New military ships have better scanners
  • M6 class ships have better energy generators
  • Improved performance in sectors with large asteroid counts (Ore Belt, Savage Spur)
  • Additional graphics options to help improve performance on lower-end graphics cards

The 1.4 update will replace the previous 1.3 update and will of course include all of its changes. For those of you who are not running on 1.3 yet, here is a quick reminder of the major new features:


New features in 1.3:

  • Mobile mining!
  • Sector enhancements
  • Complete tips menu with all game tips introduced
  • Destroyed stations leave wrecks
  • Previously missing ships have been activated (Argon Discoverer, Teladi Osprey)
  • Missiles have a new look
  • Intermediate products in a complex can now be selected in the sell for best price" menu
  • Intermediate products in a complex may now be bought, sold or both (global setting per complex)
  • A new ship is available: the Split Caiman Miner


A more detailed list, which also includes the various bug-fixes, is available in the readme file that comes with the update and in the comment thread for this news article.


Note: Savegame compatibility is maintained from all previous publicly released versions to 1.4, including public BETA versions 1.3.1 and 1.3.2.


A selection of download locations is available in this patch 1.4 update topic



X³: Rolling Demo

A breathtaking new movie, that benchmarks your computer


It is finally here! The long awaited demo for X³: Reunion is now available for download.


As with the rolling demo of X², this demo also features a benchmark mode so you can test and compare your system to others. Feel free to share and discuss your results on the forums and submit your results in this topic.


Download the Rolling Demo here: X³: Reunion Demos Page.


Michael Baumgardt

X³: The Playable Demo

Take your Joystick into the beauty of the X³ Universe


For those of you who have been awaiting a playable demo before taking the plunge, or even just those who would like a slightly gentler introduction to the game, the wait is over. This playable demo walks you through key game concepts in a limited game universe. Don't imagine that it will all be plain sailing though. The deadly Kha'ak will be there too and you will have to contend with their presence while you learn about the other aspects of the game.


The Playable Demo can be downloaded from the X³: Reunion Demos Page.



Updated X³: Reunion Manual

Updated X³ Manual now available for download


The new PDF version of the X³ Manual is now ready for download by X³: Reunion registered users. The new Manual has surpassed the original content of 80 pages to 97. It has been updated for version 1.3 to include the details for Mobile Mining, Weapons, Smugglers and many other tips.


Additional content from a Player's Guide that was in progress after the completion of the original Manual, was integrated into the new version, effectively changing the sequence and layout of its content. Contributions from forum users and Beta Tester feedback have also been included. With all of the above, it will be worth re-reading the content, especially if you are new to the X series games.


The updated manual can be downloaded from the X³: Reunion Patches Page.



X³: Reunion - New language versions

X³ in a Universe near you 'Now'


At a games shop near you, if you live in Italy, France or Russia you will find copies of the Italian, French and Russian versions of X³: Reunion, which are available in stores now.



Cockpits - Imp.- The Interview

A special Interview with Imp.- Creator of the 'Callback Mod'


The community's, let's say 'discussions' on the topic and controversy of the Cockpits, were lively to say the least. And while the Egosoft development team was busy working on updates for the game, one of the community produced a Mod for X³: Reunion that reintroduced Cockpits for the players who missed them so much.


Imp.- who has been in the X Community from the beginning and since X³: Reunion has been a moderator for the German Scripts and Modding Forum, developed and produced the 'Callback Mod'. This task was not an easy one and I am sure took even more effort than can be fully appreciated by everyone, so in order to give the community an insight to the enormity of the undertaking he committed himself to, the difficulties he encountered and how he overcame them, it was time to ask some questions:




terrabyte: Hi and welcome Imp.-. As I have already mentioned in this article, that the Scripters and Modders have been equally very busy over the last few months. You were responsible for one of the more anticipated Mods for X³: Reunion 'Callback Mod'.
What was the deciding factor that made you commit such a large amount of work?


Imp.-: I felt that early versions of were already lacking the atmospheric cockpits and I swore not to play the game until there were cockpits. You can imagine my shock when it became apparent that there wouldn't be the time for Egosoft to implement cockpits for the ships. Fortunately I had the time and knowledge to make my promise come true. :-)
Eventually Egosoft also provided me with the necessary tools to complete my work.


terrabyte: Can you tell me what sort of work was involved in porting X² cockpits into X³: Reunion?


Imp.-: All the basics from X² were kept so the old X² cockpits were still fully functional. However I have completely redesigned my cockpits for the engine to match the new ships. The only thing that really remained from the 'old days' of X² were the cockpit instruments as obviously didn't provide anything new here.
For the cockpits I had to create a complete textureset as didn't provide that either. This included special animated "gimmicks" to bring some life into the cockpits as X² did it. Animated personnel aboard the bridge however is still not feasible.
The mod basically does the same as the 'Callback Mod' did, which was to bring back the old X² cockpits. In addition I have created new cockpits for all Argon ships, so eight new cockpits in total.


terrabyte: Did you encounter any problems that made it very difficult?


Imp.-: I have never really encountered any fundamental problems, maybe because I already knew about the possibilities in X. Many modders make the mistake of setting their goals far too high without really knowing what can and what can not be done and what kind of work goes with it. Right from the start of the planning phase of my mod I was aware of what awaited me and kept the limitations in mind; that helped a great deal to avoid any surprise problems.
Of course there were some problems, but having direct contact to the guys at Egosoft, these could be resolved quickly. Many times it was just a matter of training as I didn't know about each and every new aspect of yet, on the other hand this can be extremely motivating as well.


terrabyte: How did the community react to the first mod you produced?


Imp.-: Well, to be honest I have not publicly released any of my mods, except for a very small one that replaced missile models in X² (but that didn't receive much attention) :-)
Making the mods public is not always my primary goal however. If I want to make my work available to a broader audience I have extremely high demands for it. The mod also needs to be easy to install and as compatible to other mods as possible. Thanks to the excellent preparation in the previous patch this has now finally been achieved.
I think for there will be some more models of mine, besides the cockpits, that will make it into the game - some are even in it already. But that's all I am going to say on that subject ;-)


terrabyte: Did you encounter difficulties with the X³: Reunion integration that you could not overcome? How did you resolve the problems?


Imp.-: Originally the mod was supposed to be released along with patch 1.3. Unfortunately some graphics optimisations in the game changed the way the cockpits were lit in the game. This resulted in very dark times for all the users of the cockpit callback mod :-(
As I was the only one who actually worked on the cockpits, this had not been discovered by the Egosoft staff until it was too late. By accident I found a workaround at the end of January which allowed for the release of an updated CP Callback mod.
By now all the major problems have been resolved and with patch 1.4 on the way there are no more obstacles for the proper release of my cockpit mod.


terrabyte: So the latest Patch 1.4 has fixed a lot of issues for the Mod; are you pleased with the result?


Imp.-: There are a couple of minor things regarding the rendering, however the amount of work to properly fix this is considerable and beyond my abilities. Right now the reflections are not rendered dynamically. I will wait with my final 'issue report' until work on 1.4 is complete and I have had a chance to re-test it all. That report will accompany my mod as a list of known issues.


terrabyte: So what will you be doing next, are you going to extend the mod or work on something else?


Imp.-: Well, first of all, like every year, my 'real life' forces me to make a creative break until summer. This poses an excellent opportunity for me to think about what my next project will be. ;-)
I definitely plan to release a detailed guide to graphical modding of including an example ship. That guide is currently under revision and so far only exists in German language. Maybe I will concentrate on my module ships this year...


terrabyte: That sounds very interesting, what are these 'module ships'?


Imp.-: Basically it's a set of components to build capital ships from. Starting from frigates to large battleships where looks and abilities are defined by the creator. I have been working on this project for almost 5 years now and have already made good progress. However this project is not directly linked to X and I don't have any immediate plans to make a Mod out of it. Therefore you won't be seeing much more than a couple of screenshots on my homepage anytime soon.


terrabyte: Thanks for taking the time Imp.-, to give everyone some insight in to this excellent mod. I will for sure and I suspect a lot of other fans will also, be making your Mod one of the first installs after the the 1.4 update. I extend my own and the communities total appreciation for all the commitment you have given to make it possible for many of us to enjoy even more.




For those who want to keep an eye on any of Imp.-'s future mods, and have a look at some more of his excellent cockpits, the link is http://www.impts.homepage.t-online.de/ and click on the 'Schiffsgalerie' link for the cockpit screens.

Update: Imp.-'s page is currently being re-worked, in the meantime we have a few screenshots here for you:




As of now, Imp.-'s Cockpit Mod can also be downloaded from the X³: Reunion Bonus Material page.



We will be keeping an eye out for unsuspecting DevNet and Community members that might be persuaded to tell us their stories, watch this space.



Egosoft: Online Shop

The Egosoft Online Shop is getting its own upgrades


The Egosoft Online Shop is in the process of getting its own upgrades, and changes, though most of these will be in the background, the processing of purchases will be made easier with improved options like a billing address that can be different from the postal destination.


And as a special time limited offer for one week from today (until March 21st), anyone ordering from the Egosoft Online Shop, the postage will be free, yes FREE Postage, saving you 4.30 to 8.00 for the order.


Please click here to visit the Egosoft Online Shop: http://www.egosoft.com/shop/



Credits & Contact

The not so interesting 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

Michael "Terrabyte" Madden - Great Britain

Michael Baumgardt - Germany


Issue Editor

Michael "Terrabyte" Madden



Chris "CBJ" Burtt-Jones


With Thanks To

Bernd Lehahn


Translation and Proofreading

Confucio - IT

Vassenego - DE

Thoto - FR


To Unsubscribe


If you don't want to receive the X-Universe News any more by email, then you can change your profile on the website, just log in, go to your Profile and uncheck 'receive XNEWS by mail' - Edit Your Profile