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Beta1 21-03-2005 10:22:35

X2: The Return cancelled, X3: The Reunion announced
So presumably it will be us, the xhaak and the xenon all be sitting around, drinking space fuel and reminiscing about how the AI pilots used to crash into the jump gates...

MDA 21-03-2005 13:32:01

Shit! I should have known they wouldn't make it if they couldn't reap holiday sales.

Beta1 21-03-2005 13:38:59


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). Technical details on the enormity of X³: REUNION will be released in coming weeks.

“X³: REUNION will see another huge leap in the evolution of space trading games” said Bernd Lehahn, CEO EGOSOFT. “The decision to bring X³ forward, allows for many community ideas to be implemented. X² set a bench mark to be beaten. X³: REUNION will surpass this in every way possible.”

Published by DEEP SILVER, developed by EGOSOFT and distributed exclusively by KOCH MEDIA, X³: REUNION is set for launch Q3 2005.

editted for front page purposes

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm 21-03-2005 18:07:15

"realistic starships"??

I wonder if they'll include an economic sandbox mode, where you can build the X universe economy from scratch? Provided there are ultimate goals to acheive with something like that, it could be fun for those who think blasting the n-th Khaak M5 - again - gets a little tiresome.

Darkstar 23-03-2005 03:10:27

realistic starships!! :lol:

So, they aren't going to stop when you stop pressing the accellerator then? ;) Or, they are going to be a small cone with a window the size of a soup can? :)

Qaj... the answer to your question is: No. They have coded it so that if you the player goes around and blow up all the AI controlled SPs, it just puts them back. That's from comments from the developers.

The economy is supposed to make real life look boring. So I guess they tossed in another layer or two of processed goods.

I just found out today that they cancelled the expansion. I suppose I'll have to upgrade to play this game... as that has been stated by the develepors that if you don't have cutting edge machine, it won't work for you. : sigh : Bitches.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm 23-03-2005 03:33:39

But it's a cutting edge new engine!! Isn't that worth $60?? :D

Realistic starship being a soup can attached to 100km radius solar sail, presumably.

Darkstar 23-03-2005 04:13:35

No. Just more richly detailed magic cars that zoom about. Although sectors will be "bigger" and arranged in a 3D matter, rather then oriented on the same plane.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm 23-03-2005 04:32:46

That's not very realistic. If space were like that, planets would be flying around the Sun in orbits like atoms, instead of on the ecliptic. Give me flat space any day!

Beta1 23-03-2005 09:32:14

I wouldnt mind seeing them make the sectors a lot bigger - maybe freelancer sized. Theres just not enough space in X2. One game that got it right was Iwar2. In that Space was seriously big, systems were actually arranged in belivable orbits around moons and planets. And the transport ships were several Km long. Sigh. I might have to try playing Eve.

on the other hand I'm on my second time through X2 and have nearly 100 stations and over 250 transports now. Makes 2-3million a hours without me doing anything :)

Still planning on wiping out the split. Just saving up for that battle fleet.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm 23-03-2005 19:09:39

Good work :) Not sure I'd have the patience for that given thatyou don't really get much out of it except ownership of the stations and a lot of credits. If there was some ultimate goal to work towards other than the main plot, there might be something to compel me to have that many stations.

I'd like to see sector sizes expand to encompass an entire system. Something like Frontier would be good - everything to scale. And real physics, too, come to think of it. But then, the dogfighting in Frontier did suck a great deal, so perhaps not _quite_ realitic. But you don't need to put the jumpgates at the edges of the system. Put them in a decent orbit around either the main inhabited planet, or the sun. You'd end up getting a lot of factories around the jump gates still, but mostly the ones engaged in selling a final product. Then you can move all primary producing factories out to planets/asteroids/moons, SPPs in close orbit around the sun etc. Clustered to make them easier to protect, but more spread out.

Maybe I should write my own damn game! :D

Darkstar 23-03-2005 20:01:50

Actually, blowing up enemy stations is bad in X. You can only earn money through selling goods to the AI.

First time through X2, I had gotten up to about 100 stations. But the interface to handle them just sucked so much. I ended up restarting the game, and I have to say that keeping a smaller empire and using the great signed scripts have really improved the playing.

The sectors are big... when you are flying small ships. But it falls down when you get into the bigger ships... particularly the TLs. ugh!

Still, fun game to mess about in. And X3 will actually have a "real" plot, rather then the initial thought of the plot in X2 that was never "fleshed out".

which reminds me... I need to go finish that game plot off.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm 24-03-2005 00:08:17

The sectors are big in any slow ship, because you can't crank up the SETA past 10. If you could do that (say, 30) and had good enemy ship proximity detection, it'd be a lot less painful.

I recall dropping down to a Nova from one of those ultrafast Paranid(?) ships, the one that goes 1016 but has no weapons? That's painful.

Beta1 24-03-2005 14:25:05

^ edited by the management? Whos been a naughty boy?

As for the ultimate goal - mine is the total and utter elimination of every split in the entire universe. Its those squeeky voices, They have to go.

Funko 24-03-2005 14:27:44


Look at the date, first time you've noticed that?

MDA 24-03-2005 14:29:39

:lol: Haw-haw!

I'll admit to having noticed before and still doing a big double-take once in a while.

Painful is flying the autopilot flying your Paranid m5 into the gate instead of through it when you the time compression on.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm 24-03-2005 17:18:05

Dang it, now I have to update the date in my sig...

Darkstar 24-03-2005 19:26:05

Sectors are *too small* for the big ships. Your TL will kill so many things, and bounce off many factories while on Autopilot! Bah! :mad: There just isn't enough room in most of the shipping lanes for TLs to travel--- if you are in it. When you aren't in the TL, it doesn't do the full player controlled collision checking, so its size and poor turning isn't an issue. That is the big deal for a significant part of the X2 posting community. Because TLs are just so useful... mobile mining, cheap carriers, mobie HQs, etc etc etc.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm 24-03-2005 19:36:32

Then it would seem we're at an impasse.

There's a mod you can get for X2 that quadruples the size of each sector. There are a few problems with this, though, number one being the full sector no longer totally fits on the default zoom of the sector map. Second, it takes far to long to traverse, even in a fast-ish ship. Third, times for those courier missions, useful in the early game for making a few bucks quickly, aren't modified to increase times. Also, scanner ranges are small, factories get lost against the background, and it's really tough finding anything.

Of course, now there's room for your TL to fly. But what's the point if the game is now far too annoing to play? Increasing sector size means really tweaking a lot of the other game parameters. Perhaps they'll get a chance to do this properly with a full released X3 rather than an add-on (which likely wouldn't change things a great deal because of previous engine limitations, or breaking compatibility with the first episode etc.).

Darkstar 24-03-2005 21:07:05

They are making the sectors be "TL" friendly in X3. One of the many statements leaked by the devs.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm 24-03-2005 21:24:15

So what does that mean, exactly? Clustering factories away from space lanes? Increasing sector size? Reducing collision detection for player-operated TL's?

I'd go look for what they have to say about that and other stuff, but Websense prevents me. If you've got a short list handly, I'd love to read it.

Darkstar 24-03-2005 21:31:03

They haven't said. Other then sectors will be much bigger and prettier, giving a more realistic fealing of being in space.

They have said that there have added in a super duper wuper economy engine, allowing for a better economy model, and modding it so players cannot destroy the economy (by blowing up all other stations). That the A-Life engine will be much better, and you will think you are in a real, living universe with this one, as opposed to X2's "boring and listless" universe.

They haven't mentioned fixing the ship imbalances. Just having more realistic looking ships.

Darkstar 24-03-2005 21:33:05

If you've got a topic you want me to go dig up for you, let me know.

Oh yeah... they will be able to do much better cut scenes "in game", and will have a real story that will feel like you are immersed in a movie set (So, lots of watching the game run itself, I suppose).

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm 24-03-2005 23:40:36

Thx DS.

They couldn't have cut scenes that were WORSE than X2, if you ask me :D

I don't mind bigger sectors with slow TLs, but they really do need to ramp up the speeds of the smaller craft if that's the case. There's no reason a giant ship like that shuld go as fast or faster than, say, a Nova M3.

If the A-Life engine is improved by having the AI traders run the improved mk3 Trading Software or something along those lines (exhibiting decent behavior) and having AI mercenaries doing the actual BB missions, then I might be more impressed with the A-Life. In fact, I'd like to thee the BB system enhanced beyond what it is now. There's no reason not to have a centralized DB of missions for each sector, and no reason you shouldn't be able to communicate with other sectors easily. After all, whatever passes for radio comms in the X Universe clearly can pass through gates, and they're only a few klicks apart. Total distance from Argon territory to the Boron sectors in the upper left should be well under a light second.

But, with all that, I guess gameplay trumps realism. I hope they make it logical AND fun. Or just fun, so long as it's consistent.

Beta1 25-03-2005 10:03:21

LOl your right about the cutscenes, whoever did the 3d on the people should be shot - never seen such a deformed bunch of polys.

I'm going to have to go and dig out edge of chaos and play that again soon. That and get out DBpro and start writing my own game again. I start that about every 6-8 months and then dont have time to finish it. LOL if only I had the money to not work.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm 25-03-2005 17:00:14

What are you trying to create? Anything too secret so as not to be able to post here without giving away your intellectual property? :)

Beta1 25-03-2005 19:14:56

just the usual elite/freelancer/x clone.

generally get as far as working out the 3d when I get bored. And the last lot died with the great HD reformat cockup. :)

Not much of a loss, after a few weeks I forget what each bit does. I should document much better. I did right a pretty cool little pointless graphics thing with loads of water pouring down the screen that you could catch and funnel by drawing with the mouse, all in 2D, with some 3D ducks that floated around on the pools. Unfortunately that got formatted too :(

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm 25-03-2005 19:33:39

Elite clone (traditional wireframe) shouldn't take too long, if you skimp on the details. Just make one kind of ship ( make it a wedge for the sake of simplicity and speed) have a spinning cube for a station and a circle for the planet. Once you've got that simulated and your ship flying, add details as you see fit.

From there, add systems/sectors, more stations, different ship models, texture map the whole thing, and there's the space sim part of an X clone :)

Of course, I haven't started on any of that, so what do I know of how difficult it is? :D I'm currently working on icosahedrons, dodecahedrons and hexecontahedrons right now, with a view to, well, something. The math is interesting *NERD ALERT*

Beta1 25-03-2005 20:12:55

well I cheated on that bit and use DBpro which laready has a 3D engine - so I dont need to worry about the shapes - i can just load them in from most modelling programs. The tricky bit comes in the scales involved - otherwise you end up with small X style sectors. If you want real infinite in any direction space you have to find a way of making the 3D engine space (and scales) somehow tie in. Its easy enough if you have no background objects - you can just cull objects off at long range. The problem comes in if you want realistic size planets (which I do). Then you have to have a way of rendering a 3D object that is truely massive without it getting culled by the draw limits of the engine. theres various "cheating" ways to do it - making the planet smaller but keeping it at the edge of the visible area and making it larger as you approach but when you get in close theres always going to be the problem of the edges of it being chopped.

So really its the background that gave me the problem rather than the foreground.

I'm away next week but maybe I'll dig the old 3D package out and start again (again)

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