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  1. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  2. -= *Introduction - A Few Words from the Editor...* =-
  3. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  4.  
  5. Hello, jbosmans
  6.  
  7. Welcome to the 42nd edition of the X-Universe News. Welcome also to
  8. 2011 and what promises to be another momentous year for EGOSOFT as
  9. momentum gathers in the development of the project known as TNBT (The
  10. Next Big Thing). We're not quite ready to shout, or even whisper,
  11. about it just yet but as soon as we are, you guys will certainly be
  12. among the first to know. In the meantime X3: Terran Conflict gets
  13. perhaps its final bug-splat in the guise of Update 3.1. As it's over
  14. two years now since the release of the game, the attention of many
  15. gamers may turn to modifications to extend the game's playability.
  16. There are some great add-ons, plug-ins and scripts which can enhance
  17. the original game, but some modders like to go that extra mile and
  18. 'redesign' the whole game. In this first edition of 2011 we'll be
  19. taking a look at a couple of those large-scale community mods,
  20. Transcend 2 and the recently-released X-tended - Terran Conflict, both
  21. of which require completely new game installations and feature totally
  22. new universes. If you like your interviews, then this edition is
  23. jam-packed with interrogation of some of the guys involved in the
  24. mods, so you can get a better idea of what's involved. Continuing the
  25. 'Day in the Life of...' feature, we also take a look at how EGOSOFT
  26. Art Director, Alex Preuss, fills an average working day. Also in this
  27. issue, we'll be taking a quick look at how one forum user's artwork
  28. could help you to show off your in-game persona. Since we've dedicated
  29. a big chunk of this edition to mods, it's perhaps fitting that Bernd
  30. Lehahn, EGOSOFT Managing Director, concludes it with a few words to
  31. the community about his and the company's position on the promotion
  32. and hosting of mods and scripts.
  33.  
  34. The html-version of this newsletter can be found at:
  35. http://www.egosoft.com/x/xnews/201102_1_44News.html
  36.  
  37.  
  38. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  39. -= *X3: Terran Conflict - Update 3.1 is Available!* =-
  40. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  41.  
  42. With most of the EGOSOFT team now working full steam ahead on The Next
  43. Big Thing, there has been little time to attend to the little niggles
  44. that still exist in X3: Terran Conflict. It's very pleasing then that
  45. an opportunity has arisen for what is perhaps a final update for the
  46. game. There are no major features to speak of but a number of text,
  47. mission and other bugs have been squished in addition to a couple of
  48. fixes for the Balance of Power missions released with Update 3.0. It
  49. has taken a little while to get round to this due to other priorities
  50. but we appreciate your patience and hope you'll find the update a
  51. useful one.
  52.  
  53.  - Fixed occasional freeze issue in the Balance of Power mission
  54.  - Fixed case where the Balance of Power achievement may not unlock
  55.  - Some minor mission fixes
  56.  - Fixed some map issues (for new games only)
  57.  - Several text fixes
  58.  - Fixed blank messages when object names are coloured by mods
  59.  - Fixed several passenger transport missions which could break in
  60. some circumstances
  61.  - Added Cargo Lifesupport System to Boron Angel
  62.  
  63. X3: Terran Conflict Update 3.1 can be found in our Download area:
  64. http://www.egosoft.com/download/x3tc/patches_en.php
  65.  
  66.  
  67. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  68. -= *Transcend 2 Mod - Beyond the X-Universe* =-
  69. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  70.  
  71. One of the key aims of the X-Universe News is to bring you the very
  72. latest news on what's going on in the wider X Community. The Transcend
  73. 2 mod, however, has been out in the wild for over a year now and it's
  74. probably a good idea, as it has received some major improvements, to
  75. bring it to your attention, if it isn't already keeping you awake at
  76. night.
  77.  
  78. The mod is the second in the Transcend series of mods and draws on the
  79. modding, scripting and Misson Directing skills of some of the
  80. community's most talented members. In a completely new universe, the
  81. mod continues the X mantra of TRADE FIGHT BUILD THINK. There are many
  82. new ships, new gamestarts, new missions and much more. As a so-called
  83. Major Mod, it's one of those projects which requires a totally fresh
  84. start, something which some players are looking for over two years
  85. since the release of X3: TC. In order to understand more about how
  86. this project came about and what it has tried to achieve, I posed some
  87. questions to its lead developers, Observe and Stu Austin.
  88.  
  89. Image Link: http://www.egosoft.com/news/images/news_2011_01_08_002.jpg
  90.  
  91. Toastie - It's been released for over a year now...
  92.  
  93. 1 - What was the initial inspiration behind the mod?
  94.  
  95. Observe - With Mission Director for X3-Reunion, I recognized the
  96. potential for creating a mod that was much more than simply a
  97. collection of new ships. Using models I had created for XFP mod, I
  98. embarked on designing a mod based on a “story” starting in the Terran
  99. sectors. So the “initial inspiration” was born out of the powerful
  100. capabilities of Mission Director.
  101.  
  102. 2 - How well do you think it has met your initial goals?
  103.  
  104. Observe - Our goal was to make the Transcend story come “alive” in X3.
  105. I believe we have been successful at doing that.
  106.  
  107. 3 - Has user feedback resulted in any significant changes?
  108.  
  109. Stu Austin - The user feedback has been very well received and changes
  110. were made with the feedback.
  111. Observe - Development of a community mod largely depends on the
  112. players so we measure our success and make changes based on user
  113. feedback.
  114.  
  115. Toastie - As with many mods, it's a team effort...
  116.  
  117. 1 - How difficult was it to find the right people with the right
  118. skills to do the job?
  119.  
  120. Observe - Finding “multi-talented” people is not easy. For example,
  121. there are people who can create 3D models, but who are unable to get
  122. their models into the game. There are scripters who cannot work with
  123. Mission Director. One of the reasons we’ve been able to release in
  124. record time is because each member of our team has been able apply
  125. themselves in a variety of areas depending on need.
  126.  
  127. 2 - Was there a shortage of skills in any particular area that might
  128. perhaps be filled by aspiring modders/scripters?
  129.  
  130. Observe - X3 offers a huge variety of modding opportunities. For
  131. example, with Transcend we require skills in such diverse areas as:
  132. audio, video, scripting, Mission Director, software development,
  133. Galaxy map, the various T files, modeling, texturing, documentation,
  134. project management, user support and many others.
  135.  
  136. 3 - Do you have any particular message for the team of people
  137. involved, now that 'Transcend 2' has matured and grown in the past
  138. year?
  139.  
  140. Stu Austin - I would very much like to thank Observe for including me
  141. since the conception of the Transcend series, for asking me to be a
  142. part of it and for giving me the chance to participate in the modding
  143. community. Also thanks to those who have helped directly or
  144. indirectly: DannyD, TheDante, Killerog, Crip67, Realspace, Ketraar,
  145. Cycrow, Xenon_Slayer and others to numerous to mention; as well as the
  146. fans for their support.
  147. Observe - Stu Austin has persisted tirelessly and with good spirit
  148. throughout the long, sometimes very tedious process of bringing
  149. Transcend to fruition. In addition to those Stu mentioned, no such
  150. list is complete without thanks to Doubleshadow for his wonderful
  151. modding tools and also to Egosoft for their intelligent and consistent
  152. support of the modding community.
  153.  
  154. Image Link: http://www.egosoft.com/news/images/news_2011_01_08_001.jpg
  155.  
  156. Toastie - It's set in a totally new galaxy...
  157.  
  158. 1 - Although the established X races are there, there's a very
  159. different sector-naming system. What was the inspiration for that?
  160.  
  161. Observe - One of the first things I did for Transcend 2 was create an
  162. entirely new galaxy map. As you know, this involves a huge amount of
  163. very detailed effort. I didn’t want to spend too much time in the
  164. early stages coming up with approximately 200 sector names, so I used
  165. a random Latin star-name generator. I intended to eventually take time
  166. to name the sectors differently, but there were always higher
  167. priorities – so the original names still remain.
  168.  
  169. 2 - With nearly 200 sectors to come up with, how difficult was it to
  170. give each its own uniqueness and character?
  171.  
  172. Stu Austin - It was very challenging making the map come alive after
  173. Observe designed the "roadmap" of the galaxy and trying to give each
  174. sector a unique look.
  175. Observe - Challenging is right! Stu and I spent many hours editing and
  176. re-editing the contents of each sector. One of the first things was to
  177. determine race distribution in the galaxy. Based on that, we then
  178. needed to establish connections for optimum trading, challenging
  179. exploration and visual appearance. Creating an X-Universe galaxy map
  180. is almost like creating an entire living organism. Everything has to
  181. fit and flow together in symbiosis.
  182.  
  183. 3 - What were your primary considerations when designing the galaxy
  184. map?
  185.  
  186. Stu Austin - After Observe designed the layout of the map, one of the
  187. considerations was to make it a separate look and feel from the
  188. standard X3 map since Transcend II was to be set in a completely
  189. different galaxy.
  190. Observe - One of the primary considerations was achieving a
  191. functioning trading system consistent with the sector layout and race
  192. distribution. This involved creating custom Jobs and JobWings so the
  193. galaxy would be “alive” with AI ships. Factories, Shipyards, Docks etc
  194. all needed strategic placement.
  195.  
  196. Toastie - The mod includes a number of new missions...
  197.  
  198. 1 - How do these differ from the stock missions of the 'vanilla' game?
  199.  
  200. Stu Austin - With the stock missions of the vanilla game, you
  201. basically had to start from scratch and build your way up. What’s very
  202. unique about Transcend II is right from the get go, your goal is to
  203. find and take command of an existing Lost Fleet. You will receive
  204. rewards as you go along and it will allow you to start building up
  205. your fleet and spread your wings with it.
  206. Observe - Some of the new missions are related to the overall plot,
  207. and others are designed to enhance the overall “feel” of the new
  208. galaxy. Many of the vanilla missions exist in Transcend because they
  209. are perfectly compatible with the new galaxy.
  210.  
  211. 2 - How useful has the Mission Director been in making these possible?
  212.  
  213. Stu Austin - With the Mission Director, it made it very possible to
  214. create a mod with character. With both Observe and me doing it
  215. together, it was great learning from him. The possibilities with the
  216. Mission Director are endless. With the Mission Director, more missions
  217. can be created as the mod progresses.
  218. Observe - We jumped on MD as soon as it became available for
  219. X3-Reunion, and have been using it effectively ever since. Without MD,
  220. the plot and missions presented in Transcend would not be feasible. In
  221. addition, there are many powerful things you can do with MD that don’t
  222. really qualify as “missions”. For example, in Transcend 2 we have a
  223. hollow asteroid with a special jump-gate inside sealed by an exterior
  224. door with three colored spheres above it. The door will open if you
  225. fire your laser at those spheres in a specific sequence. All of that,
  226. including the jump-gate inside, is controlled by Mission Director.
  227.  
  228. 3 - Do the missions form any sort of plot, or is the mod just a
  229. sandbox?
  230.  
  231. Stu Austin - I think it does form a plot. In the game-start Lost in
  232. Space, you have to find the Lost Fleet which got separated from you as
  233. they went through the wormhole from the X3 Galaxy. As you progress
  234. through the plot, you are asked to help stop Invasions in the
  235. Transcend II galaxy and at the same time are progressing towards
  236. finding the Lost Fleet. At the end, you have a nice Fleet, your own
  237. sector and the HQ along with the blueprints of the OSR ships. With the
  238. Fleet, you will have a job on your hands protecting the universe,
  239. especially with the “Mech Queen” on the prowl.
  240. Observe - A big part of the attraction of Transcend 2 for experienced
  241. players is that as well as having a quest, it offers a fresh new
  242. galaxy “sandbox” to roam around in.
  243.  
  244. Image link: http://www.egosoft.com/news/images/news_2011_01_03_001.jpg
  245.  
  246. Toastie - There are many new ships too, with some interesting
  247. designs...
  248.  
  249. 1 - How many modelers were involved in the design of the new ships?
  250.  
  251. Observe - I designed most of the ships and other models used in the
  252. mod to serve as “characters” in the overall Transcend story. Crip67
  253. donated some Terran ships, and Killerog provided some nice formidable
  254. Pirate vessels.
  255.  
  256. 2 - Were some of the ships designed with the mod's goals in mind or
  257. did they already exist before the mod?
  258.  
  259. Observe - Some of the models I created for XFP (Xperiment Fusion
  260. Project) mod, carried over into Transcend.
  261.  
  262. 3 - If you had to choose a favorite ship model, which would it be?
  263.  
  264. Stu Austin - My favorite ship is the Frigate. Flying it makes me feel
  265. like nothing can touch me.
  266. Observe - It’s hard for me to say because each model represents some
  267. kind of research into modding the game. For example, the second ship I
  268. put into the game soon after I became interested in modding X3 was the
  269. “Mobile Fortress”. That ship began as an investigation into the X3
  270. docking mechanism. Then there is the “Hailstorm Destroyer” which
  271. served as a platform for exploring different types of custom turrets.
  272. So my favorite models are related to the technical challenges involved
  273. with their design. As such, I might lean toward the Hailstorm
  274. Destroyer because of its very unique “wheel turret” design.
  275.  
  276. My thanks to Observe and Stu Austin for taking time out during the
  277. holiday season to answer my questions.
  278. Go here for more information about Transcend 2:
  279. http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=261288
  280.  
  281.  
  282. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  283. -= *X-Tended - Terran Conflict Mod – Into the Unknown* =-
  284. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  285.  
  286. EGOSOFT is very pleased to share with the X3: Terran Conflict gaming
  287. community news that the X-Tended - Terran Conflict (XTC) mod has been
  288. released. After a lengthy development phase this modification, which
  289. uses the Terran Conflict game engine and is set in an entirely new
  290. universe of nearly two hundred sectors sees its official public
  291. unveiling. This massive mod features a completely new ship and weapon
  292. balance, numerous gameplay enhancements, streamlined asset management,
  293. many new weapons, wares, missiles, ships and missions. There is also a
  294. completely new map and a setting that is faithful to the official lore
  295. laid out by the books and games. The scope of this development marks
  296. it out as being one of the most extensive mods created for an X-series
  297. game.
  298.  
  299. The mod's team leader, Aragon Speed, said of its release, "The
  300. X-Tended Team would like to thank the community for their patience
  301. during the long development time of X-Tended - Terran Conflict. We
  302. hope you all agree with us that the wait was worth it. I hope that
  303. Bernd [Lehahn], Helge [Kautz] and the rest of the EGOSOFT development
  304. team like the direction we decided to take with XTC and that we carry
  305. on the X name in a manner that matches the tradition started by
  306. EGOSOFT in X-BTF. Of course our development of X-Tended does not stop
  307. here; the mod will continue to evolve and grow over time until we can
  308. create something truly memorable for the last game in the X series."
  309.  
  310. Image link: http://www.egosoft.com/news/images/news_2010_12_18_001.jpg
  311.  
  312. I interrupted Aragon Speed's post-Christmas reverie with a few
  313. questions about the project. Here's what he had to say:
  314.  
  315. Toastie
  316. With a large-scale mod like this how difficult was it to build a
  317. totally new universe while trying to remain faithful to the existing
  318. lore?
  319.  
  320. Aragon Speed
  321. We took the decision to not to expand the existing universe because of
  322. the risk of over-stretching the game’s engine to the point where the
  323. mod would be unplayable. Instead we decided to create a new universe,
  324. but unfortunately this left us with the problem of making it at least
  325. plausible rather than "Here's a new universe just because we wanted to
  326. make one, it has absolutely nothing to do with the old one, so deal
  327. with it!". We could have just created a new universe and the community
  328. would probably have liked it, but we felt that would be cheap and we
  329. also wanted it to fit into a possible branch of the X lore.
  330.  
  331. To cut a long story short, Aldrin was chosen as the point of
  332. connection between the commonwealth sectors that everyone knew and the
  333. new sectors we have in XTC. As an area that was from before the
  334. Terraformer wars, Aldrin must have originally had connections to the
  335. old gate network that Earth had built during that time period and thus
  336. wouldn't the races be interested in opening those connections up
  337. again?
  338.  
  339. As the X-Tended team have always liked to push the boundaries of the
  340. game's engine, this lead to the idea of having a universe that was
  341. actually expanding around the player while they were playing the game
  342. to simulate the fact that this was a new area of space that the races
  343. were exploring and expanding into. A simple idea, but it's the simple
  344. ones that can quickly turn into more work than anyone expects.
  345.  
  346. Working out station placement so the economy is stable is a huge
  347. problem. Creating an economy that works not only in the short term,
  348. but also over the long term, is no easy task when all the sectors are
  349. available from the start of the game. To create one that is stable
  350. when you have a universe that is dynamically changing all around you
  351. while you are playing... well let's just say this is a whole different
  352. level of difficulty. So to answer your original question, not easy at
  353. all.
  354.  
  355. Image link: http://www.egosoft.com/news/images/news_2010_12_18_002.jpg
  356.  
  357. Toastie
  358. In a universe so new and different there is still so much that is
  359. familiar; in your view what is the most jaw-dropping or eye-popping
  360. in-game feature?
  361.  
  362. Aragon Speed
  363. Man, I hate this sort of question, there is never a definitive answer
  364. as it depends on your point of view. As a developer I have to say the
  365. answer is fairly easy, it would be the massive amount of work that
  366. went into re-balancing the game. Between the economy, weapons,
  367. missiles and ships, that really is an eye-popping amount of work to
  368. both do and to test. From a player's point of view the answer is less
  369. easy. I would have to say the most 'WOW!' thing the mod as a whole has
  370. is the way the game now feels.
  371.  
  372. Combat is probably the most immediately-noticeable change for the
  373. player. It's no longer easy as the ships have now had balancing done
  374. on them to not only fit into much tighter class definitions (M5, M4,
  375. M3 etc.). They have also been tweaked to make them more effective in
  376. the hands of the AI. The new weapons and how they are placed on ships
  377. have also been changed as we now use custom-built equipment lists that
  378. will adapt to the new difficulty settings we have added. Easier
  379. settings will fit less powerful weapons, while harder settings will
  380. equip more powerful ones and/or place nasty surprises on the ships for
  381. the player (anyone in an M5/M4 who has run across a PBE rear turret on
  382. a fighter will know exactly what I mean).
  383.  
  384. We also expanded the tools available to the trader and streamlined the
  385. interface as much as possible so anything we have added feels like it
  386. was a part of the original game rather than a tacked-on after-thought
  387. that was added just because it was needed. The amount of script work
  388. going on behind the scenes to make everything look and feel right is
  389. not inconsiderable either. The music was carefully chosen for each
  390. sector, and the amount of music work we chucked away just because it
  391. didn't fit the feel of the mod, the race, or the sector, has probably
  392. given the sound team more stress than joy for the most part. Even the
  393. background textures for the sectors were chosen or created to help
  394. convey a specific feeling for the sector they were placed in. The
  395. sector descriptions and the Galactic News Service both add an extra
  396. level of immersion for the player and actually give the new universe a
  397. depth that is perceptible.
  398.  
  399. Toastie
  400. What is the appeal of playing X-Tended – Terran Conflict to a player
  401. who is still enjoying their Terran Conflict game?
  402.  
  403. Aragon Speed
  404. The challenge. The type of person who plays a game like Terran
  405. Conflict is in it for the long haul. They are not after a quick
  406. five-minute fix of something fun (that's what the Wii is for). They
  407. invest a large amount of time into the game. Nothing quite compares to
  408. dragging your sorry butt up from nothing to become ruler of the
  409. universe. XTC makes this process more rewarding for the player.
  410. Gaining your first M6, for example, now actually feels like a
  411. well-earned achievement. I am filled with respect for EGOSOFT for
  412. continuing on with a type of game that is currently out of fashion in
  413. the larger gaming community, for not bowing to the whim of the masses
  414. and for creating games that have a depth and long-term appeal that
  415. most modern games severely lack. However, I think most people would
  416. agree with me when I say that Terran Conflict was pushed towards the
  417. mainstream a little too much, and thus lost some of its appeal due to
  418. the rewards being far too easily gained to cater to the more casual
  419. gamer. You lost that sense of achievement the earlier games in the
  420. series gave you and became bored with playing much quicker as a
  421. result. XTC aims to add the challenge and sense of achievement back
  422. into the game.
  423.  
  424. Image link: http://www.egosoft.com/news/images/news_2010_12_18_003.jpg
  425.  
  426. Toastie
  427. With which ship(s) in the mod are you most pleased?
  428.  
  429. Aragon Speed
  430. All of them? OK, I'm not going to get away with that answer, am I? Of
  431. the new ships we have added ourselves, I have to say I love the new
  432. Boron M2+. It looks great, plus I like the little internal tunnel you
  433. can fly an M5 through - a nice little feature I don't think anyone has
  434. found yet. A very close second has to be the new USC ships. Our
  435. modelling team have done a great job of making them look like USC
  436. ships while at the same time being totally different from the stock
  437. game’s generic kit-bash models.
  438.  
  439. My favourite ship-related feature, however, is not a new model, it is
  440. the way we have improved all the capital ships in the game by making
  441. them act more like capital ships. Attack an M1 and it will not only
  442. fire back at you like they did in a vanilla game, it will also give
  443. you a face full of fighters to deal with as it will launch its ships
  444. to help defend itself. If fighters are destroyed it will order new
  445. ones from its race’s wharf, and these will actually fly from the wharf
  446. to the M1. Damaged fighters are repaired by the M1 when they dock and,
  447. depending on their pilot aggression, will bug out and fly back to the
  448. M1 for repairs, then launch again when they are ready. If you actually
  449. destroy a capital ship, then the crew will try to escape in escape
  450. pods before the whole ship blows. Overall, capital ships feel a little
  451. bit more 'real' than they did before.
  452.  
  453. Toastie
  454. The planned plot-lines didn’t make version 1, so what action can we
  455. expect in that regard in future updates?
  456.  
  457. Aragon Speed
  458. I don't want to give away too much information here however I can say
  459. that there are multiple new plots planned. One involves the cold war
  460. between Aldrin and the Terrans, another involves the Xenon, and a
  461. third involves the Kha'ak. We have ideas for other plots as well, but
  462. they are just that at the moment, ideas. We won't begin work on those
  463. until the current three are done and out to the public, otherwise we
  464. will become snowed under with work and the player will be kept waiting
  465. longer than is needed.
  466.  
  467. Toastie
  468. If you had to name one feature in X-Tended – Terran Conflict that you
  469. feel players may find annoying, what would it be?
  470.  
  471. Aragon Speed
  472. Probably the larger sector sizes, they are massive compared to Terran
  473. Conflict's. They can range from about seventy kilometres to
  474. one-hundred-and-twenty kilometres between gates and take a long time
  475. to cross. From a lore perspective, in the original universe the Teladi
  476. had moved the gates in sectors closer together to allow trade to be
  477. more efficient, but this is a new area of space and the Teladi haven't
  478. been able to drag gates around yet. From a game-play point of view, we
  479. wanted to return to the feeling you had way back in the original X –
  480. Beyond the Frontier game. It took time to cross sectors. You actually
  481. had the feeling of being lost in a very small ship in a very large
  482. universe.
  483.  
  484. We have tried to make XTC less player-centric and make the universe
  485. feel like it exists on its own and not for the player’s convenience.
  486. This is also reflected in another potentially annoying (at first)
  487. feature - targets in missions can and will be attacked by race police
  488. and military if they are an enemy of that race or a known criminal,
  489. resulting in the mission target being destroyed before the player can
  490. even reach it - annoying mainly because the player will be trying to
  491. compare XTC to the vanilla experience. As I mentioned before, the
  492. universe no longer revolves around the player and the player will have
  493. to work harder to make his mark on it.
  494.  
  495. You can view a trailer video of this new modification here:
  496. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAQ7x8K6Yjg
  497. Read more about the project here:
  498. http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=293490
  499. The mod can be downloaded from here:
  500. http://www.egosoft.com/download/x3tc/bonus_en.php
  501.  
  502.  
  503.  
  504. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  505. -= *A Day in the Life of... - Alex Preuss, EGOSOFT Art Director* =-
  506. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  507.  
  508. Hi, folks. My name is Alexander Preuss and I am the Art Director and
  509. Lead Artist here at Egosoft. I live in Aachen not far from Egosoft
  510. headquarters and I have been employed here for about 10 years but not
  511. for the whole time, for personal reasons, but that’s another story.
  512.  
  513. I would like to tell you a bit more about me. What I like, for
  514. example, is good movies, my Wacom graphic tablet, my XBOX, swimming
  515. and other sports, having a beer after work and I love my wife and my
  516. budgies. What I don't like are people who are arrogant, ignorant,
  517. frustrated with their whole life or just simply stupid.
  518.  
  519. So what about my work? I love my job. And it’s great if you have the
  520. chance to do things in your job which you also like to do in your free
  521. time. So I would like to show you what a typical day in my life looks
  522. like and I hope you enjoy it.
  523.  
  524. Image link: http://www.egosoft.com/news/images/news_2011_01_08_004.jpg
  525.  
  526. 8:00 AM
  527. Monday morning at 8:00 AM the horrible sound of my wife’s Nokia mobile
  528. phone burns into my head and I don't look forward to leaving my cosy
  529. little bed but after a short time we are finally ready to get up. The
  530. daily fight for the bathroom is on and unfortunately my wife wins
  531. every time.
  532.  
  533. 8:30 AM
  534. Coffee time. I am still not 100 per cent awake but I try to help my
  535. body a bit with an injection of pure black and damn hot coffee before
  536. I even can think about going to work.
  537.  
  538. 8:40 AM
  539. Having a shower and brushing my teeth... the usual stuff you do every
  540. morning.
  541.  
  542. 9:00 AM
  543. Clothes... check!
  544. Mobile Phone... check!
  545. Keys... check!
  546. Head... check! ;)
  547. Ready!
  548.  
  549. 9:10 AM
  550. Now follows the horrible task of driving the race circuit to work with
  551. all the little harassments like radar [speed] controls, red traffic
  552. lights, not-awake drivers and so on. But during the last few years
  553. I’ve earned enough XP to find the quickest and fastest way to the
  554. office.
  555.  
  556.  
  557. 9:30 AM
  558. I arrive at the office and look for a parking space, which is actually
  559. a very hard task. You have only two choices here - either park in
  560. front of the office and pay 5 Euros if you forget to adjust your
  561. parking disk, which unfortunately happens very often, or make the
  562. neighbourhood angry when parking in a small street near the office,
  563. which actually makes for more fun. :) But today I choose the more
  564. convenient option and park my car in front of the office.
  565.  
  566. 9:35 AM
  567. Hello everyone!
  568.  
  569. 9:40 AM
  570. After some brief socialisation with all the available colleagues and
  571. starting my PC there is always a few minutes left to get another cup
  572. of coffee. After logging in I first check all my new mails. It takes a
  573. few minutes to get through all of them and if there something related
  574. to the Art Department, I give a quick reply if possible. This goes
  575. then out to the rest of the team and also to Peter [Kullgard], our
  576. project manager and to Bernd the owner of the company. Meanwhile I’ve
  577. started up all the programs I need to work, such as 3DS Max, Photoshop
  578. and some other tiny tools that make an artist’s life easier.
  579.  
  580. 9:50 AM
  581. I have a short meeting with the Art Department to look at the progress
  582. of things and to give some feedback and advice if needed. Now finally
  583. I can start working on the stuff I left before the weekend but after
  584. only a few minutes I get the first interruption - some work must be
  585. re-scheduled in the project plan, so I have to sit down with the rest
  586. of the Art Department to re-plan some things for the next days and
  587. weeks.
  588.  
  589. 10:30 AM
  590. Back at my desk and starting to work… followed from the next
  591. interruption for today - one of the programmers has a few questions
  592. about one of the art assets which unfortunately causes a problem, so I
  593. take the time to answer him, to look at the file, and to find out how
  594. to fix the problem. Not as easy as I thought this time. I need some
  595. help from another programmer to fix the problem. Thereafter everything
  596. works fine and I can continue my work.
  597.  
  598. 11:30 AM
  599. My stomach starts to bellow and what now follows is one of Egosoft’s
  600. greatest traditions. Everyday sometimes earlier, sometimes later,
  601. there are a few employees here that group together and have a walk to
  602. one of the greatest and most mysterious places on Earth: the NETTO
  603. discount supermarket. Here you get everything from frozen hamburgers
  604. and microwave chips to t-shirts and jogging clothes. I get my lunch
  605. and a few bottles of Coke and water for those who were too lazy to
  606. join us. And on the way back to the office I have the chance to reset
  607. my parking disk.
  608.  
  609. 11:40 AM
  610. During lunch break there is some time to check out what’s happening in
  611. the rest of the world.
  612.  
  613. 11:59 AM
  614. I lock the door of the Art Department to have some privacy and to not
  615. be disturbed for the next few hours.
  616.  
  617. 3:00 PM
  618. Meeting time. Every Monday we have a short meeting of the whole team
  619. and everyone has a chance to explain what he did last week and what is
  620. planned for the coming days.
  621.  
  622. 3:25 PM
  623. Thereafter follows a short social break-out next to our billiard
  624. table, talking about programming stuff and also art assets. Everything
  625. works hand-in-hand here and if someone has a cool idea about a new
  626. feature or to improve the graphic quality it is always good to discuss
  627. this in a larger group so the chance of possible bugs can be
  628. minimized.
  629.  
  630. 6:20 PM
  631. Almost done with my stuff for today and it’s nearly beer o'clock. :)
  632.  
  633. 6:30 PM
  634. Done! I pack my things together, shut down my PC and say goodbye to
  635. the rest of the team. Then standing in front of my car, I remember
  636. very quickly that I forgot something… damn it! I got a 5 Euro parking
  637. ticket for not resetting my parking disk! :)
  638.  
  639. 7:00 PM
  640. The ride home always takes a bit longer due to all the beer o'clock
  641. traffic and with getting home comes the horrible task of finding a
  642. parking space. Living within the city has a lot of pros and cons, the
  643. biggest con is that it is almost impossible to find a parking space
  644. after 18:00. One ticket was enough for today so I decide to park a bit
  645. further away this time and have a nice walk home.
  646.  
  647. 7:15 PM
  648. Home sweet home. The first thing to do is to check if everything is
  649. fine with all my budgies and cockatiels - I have 9 of them. My wife,
  650. Alex, is still at work so...there is enough time for me to prepare the
  651. evening dinner... and to have a nice cold glass of beer, Becks to be
  652. more precise. ;)
  653.  
  654. 7:45 PM
  655. Dinner is ready and I already started my home PC to check my private
  656. stuff and I also dress in something more comfortable.
  657.  
  658. 8:15 PM
  659. My wife is finally back from work. Now follows the hugging, kissing
  660. and 'how was your day?' stuff . We have our dinner in front of the TV,
  661. watching the evening news and the Simpsons. Thereafter we move over to
  662. our little hobby-room and start to do what we like. No… not that. ;)
  663.  
  664. 9:00 PM
  665. Mirco, an old friend of ours, comes for a visit. I start our projector
  666. and we sit down to watch a movie, this time it is Inception. I quickly
  667. prepare some last-minute snacks and some drinks for the flick.
  668.  
  669. 11:30 PM
  670. My wife is tired and goes to bed. Mirco stays a bit longer and we
  671. decide to have a short match on Halo Reach.
  672.  
  673. 1:00 AM
  674. Mirco leaves and I just sit in front of my PC with a glass of wine and
  675. let the rest of the evening pass very smoothly.
  676.  
  677. 1:30 AM
  678. That's it. Good night, everyone!
  679.  
  680. Well if you would like to learn a bit more about me, I would like to
  681. invite you to visit my private homepage www.abalakin.de. Here you can
  682. find out what I do in the rest of my free time.
  683.  
  684.  
  685. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  686. -= *Forum Signatures - Licensed to Kill* =-
  687. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  688.  
  689. The EGOSOFT forums now have well over 360,000 registered users, many
  690. thousands of which have attached signatures. There is an astounding
  691. range of creative and artistic signatures, which tell us something
  692. about the users in question. Some signatures are not X-related, but
  693. many thousands are and attempt to show the individual's passion for a
  694. certain aspect of the X gaming franchise. One forum user, Freya
  695. Nocturne (formerly chobit-389), has come up with a clever way for
  696. users to share their in-game persona with fellow forum users. As
  697. you're aware, in the X series of games, so-called 'Police Licences'
  698. allow the player to receive bounty payments for destroying pirates or
  699. enemy ships. Freya Nocturne has brought this licence concept to the
  700. forum signature using his artwork and your in-game info.
  701.  
  702. You can choose a licence according to your favourite race or faction
  703. and append badges to show your current trade and fight rank. On the
  704. main licence you can add your name, date of issue, the classes of ship
  705. you fly, your 'home' sector, a 'photo' and a signature. The design and
  706. layout of the licences has already undergone an update for 2011.
  707. Here's Freya Nocturne's forum signature as an example:
  708.  
  709. Image link: http://www.egosoft.com/news/images/news_2011_01_03_002.jpg
  710.  
  711. The creation of your own personal licence will require the use of a
  712. reasonably good image-editing program but once complete, you will be
  713. able to show off your own X persona to fellow forum members.
  714.  
  715. Find out how to do it here:
  716. http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=292637
  717.  
  718.  
  719. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  720. -= *Modding and Scripting - A Few Words from Bernd* =-
  721. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  722.  
  723. Since some people from the modding and scripting community have
  724. recently asked us about our policy towards modding and what we do to
  725. support it, I would like to state a few things:
  726.  
  727. EGOSOFT has always encouraged modding. Over the years some modders
  728. have contacted me personally and asked for help in all kinds of areas.
  729. Sometimes it was legal advice, sometimes technical support, sometimes
  730. we were asked to help distribution and promotion. I and others in the
  731. company have always tried to help where we could. I am really sorry
  732. that some modders feel that we have treated some of you differently
  733. from others. That is definitely not our intention.
  734.  
  735. What our intention definitely is, is to:
  736.  
  737.  - promote your mods to the community through all means that make
  738. sense for the mod and that you want (mention in X-News, mention on the
  739. website frontpage, facebook or twitter etc.)
  740.  
  741.  - help in hosting your mod if traffic volume allows (and traffic
  742. volume allows for quite a lot these days)
  743.  
  744.  - provide technical support where time allows (answering questions
  745. and providing documentation and tools)
  746.  
  747. If some people have made more use of this than others, then it's
  748. because some people get in touch with me and others here at the office
  749. more actively. If I don't know about the release of your mod, then I
  750. can't support it.
  751.  
  752. So for the future: Please let ME personally know where we can help
  753. you. Tell me about your projects, tell me what we can do to support
  754. them! To this end, please email me at bernd @ egosoft.com!
  755.  
  756. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  757. -= *CREDITS & CONTACT* =-
  758. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  759.  
  760. If you would like to get in contact with us, then feel free.
  761.  
  762. E-mail:
  763. X-Universe-News@egosoft.com
  764.  
  765. Publisher:
  766. EGOSOFT info@egosoft.com
  767.  
  768. Editor in Chief:
  769. Michael "BurnIt!" Baumgardt
  770.  
  771. Issue Editor:
  772. Toastie
  773.  
  774. Contributors:
  775. Belisarius
  776. enenra
  777. Peter Kullgard
  778.  
  779. With Thanks To:
  780. Bernd Lehahn
  781.  
  782. Translations and Proofreading:
  783. Xgerman - DE
  784. Garga-Potter - IT
  785. XFrench - FR
  786. SBlade - ES
  787.  
  788. To Unsubscribe:
  789.  
  790. If you don't want to receive the X-Universe News any more by email,
  791. then
  792. you can change your profile on the website, just log in, go to your
  793. Profile and uncheck 'Subscribe to X-Universe News (newsletter)':
  794. http://forum.egosoft.com/profile.php?mode=editprofile
  795.  
  796. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  797. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx