Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Small design change on the site Posted by Forceflow
Hi folks,

some might have noticed that the page layout change a bit. I *finally* moved away from the frames setup of the page and made sure to include the navigation-sidebar to all pages including the forum. I also tried to make the page a tad more mobile-friendly. Viewing the page on a mobile device should now move the navigation bar to the top to free up more space for the main text.

We also reworked the menu options. A lot of the items were almost empty, so we bundled them into the 'About' section. Here you can now find the Members, FAQ, Disclaimer, Rules and Links (which also has been overhauled to remove all the dead links)

All in all the visual change should be very small, but since there is a bit more f a technical change in the background I'd ask to give it a test-run and let me know of any issues you see. You might need to clear your browser caches to see the new page. Make sure you clear the cache before reporting any issues. (Unfortunately on mobile browsers this doesn't appear to be that straightforward at times)

Hope you like the change!

Post feedback and issues with the new design here

Saturday, June 27, 2020

New XWAU-Team-Members Posted by Forceflow
Hey folks!

Great news for today! The XWAU team has gotten bigger again! Today we are very happy to welcome Jaeven and ual002 into the team! Both are Star Wars veterans and have already helped team members with their projects. They are eager to help out and we can't wait to give them lot's of work ;)

This is what they have to say about themselves:

Jaeven wrote:
Image

I first got XWA around 12 years ago, and stumbled onto XWAU a few years later. It then took me until 2015 (I know, I can't believe I was that slow :D ) to finally make an account on this forum and interact with this wonderful community.

In those 12 years, I've put way too many hours into making mission. I've made close to a dozen campaigns, though I never quite got around to releasing them, in part because I've always added ships that weren't part of any of the craft packs. All that is to say, is that my skills are heavily focused around mission building/fixing. If a newly released opt needs testing, I'll put it through a variety of QA testing and see if/how it can break anything, whether that's CTDs or balance. This is what I've been doing for I think almost two years now with Driftwood, whenever's been working on an ship.

If said opt breaks the balance, I'll try to see if there's a way to fix the balance without having to do a grueling rework of an opt. For example, in case of the ISDII in the Kothlis mission I did a minor adjustment to its spawn. The gameplay and how the mission plays out remain virtually unchanged, but the result was that the player has a chance to save the Liberty without the mission feeling too oppressive and punishing. Of course, whether an opt or mission is changed is ultimately a team decision. What I would do in a hypothetical balance scenarion is play the mission, figure out what's wrong and then recommend solutions to make it balanced from a mission perspective. It is then up to the team to decide whether to rework the opt or make balance changes to the mission.

Beyond the making and editing of missions, I am very comfortable with using Opt editor, work on ini files and am able to do minor work on textures.


ual002 wrote:
Image

I am beyond thrilled to be considered an official part of the team. This community has meant a lot to me, either in some small or large way over the last 20 years. This game was the second PC game I ever purchased after XVT, and the 3rd to have a significant impact on my interests as a child if we count playing TIE Fighter on a friend's home PC before having my own.

I hope to contribute wherever I can be effective, motivated, and knowledgeable. My area of interest is obviously the Imperial Starfighter Corps, and I by no means claim to be an expert in legends or canon material, I like to think I understand the spirit of story TIE Fighter the game gave us and how it influences old/new soft/official canon.

I am a member of the 501st, The Dark Empire, and eventually will be part of The Saber Guild costume clubs. I have access to some rather neat people and information as well. From time to time when relevant I will share it. I should clarify that I also break from the rigid, almost draconian policing of costume integrity as I like to consider myself a free thinker and creative. I like to read between the lines, and I feel like I'm often comfortable with the material enough to confidently create costumes, or in the case of this project draw conclusion that are not necessarily "screen accurate." I will never argue against a valid argument just because we have one example of something different in the films.

My humble brags include partying at Chewbacca's house on July 4th shortly before his passing, Having drinks with the voice actress for Juno Eclipse, and having a frank conversation over breakfast with Timothy Zahn about the rank structure he added in one of his recent books.

I'm excited to also help contribute to subordinate projects and conversion packs as well, I should add. Especially ones that focus on Empire stuff.

My areas of familiarity include, dat editing, opt texture reverse engineering, intermediate photoshop skill, basic 3DM skill, basic understanding of the Concourse image, string, and audio files and how they all interplay. I have also done some voice acting contributions as well. I also consider myself somewhat of a brainstormer, an Idea person. I might not have the skill to code some fantastic hook into the engine to enhance some feature, but I sure can think of inventive and interesting things to add. It draws from my unique love of this game engine, rooted in my childhood desires for improvements to this game. My earliest posts were of trying to fix the s-foils on the Lambda and have cockpits added for it. I have been watching since the very beginning. I wont mind if you tell me I'm thinking "too big".

Realistically, nothing changes. I'll still be here, comically inflated ego and all doing what I can to help collectively improve our shared experience and maybe help make it a little more immersive, but not at the expense of fun.


So let's all welcome them into the team and buy them a beer or two! (But not more, they guys have to work tomorrow ;) )

Hand out the beers here

Monday, June 22, 2020

Future of the community, XWAU and all the things that were hosted on Darksabers website Posted by Forceflow
Just a quick update and request to all. We know and understand that many have questions regarding the future of the community, especially in regards of the all the things that were hosted on Darksabers website.

Unfortunately these things take time to decide and prepare. Note, nothing has been lost permanently. The team has access to everything that was hosted, but we do need to decide on how to best proceed. Please be patient for now. There will be an update from the team once we know how to proceed. PMing individual members wont result in any further information at this point ;)

With all that has happened the team is very busy right now trying to sort it all out. Since we all also have real life to take care of this unfortunately will take a bit to resolve. I will leave the topic open for comments, but don't expect any team members to offer up any additional information until we are ready to make an official announcement.

You can discuss this here

Friday, June 19, 2020

News about team situation Posted by Forceflow
Today we bring you sad news. Unfortunately Darksaber decided to leave the team. After a difference of opinions in the private forum things got heated and he apparently felt he no longer wanted to be part of the team. Sadly he left in so much anger that he decided to not only hurt the team, but the project itself. He manipulated the crafts fixes for the XWAUCP which would have resulted in the loss of the whole XWA directory of whoever installed them.

Once we discovered that we were forced to not only remove all of his privileges on the forum, but I could no longer in good conscience allow his private website to be hosted and accessible through my server. (Since it was on that server that the manipulated files were hosted) The timeline and actions of his leave us with no doubt that this was done on purpose. His last post on the forum where he implies he also manipulated the new craft installers make it clear he wanted to do this and hurt the project. Be aware that his account has since been deactivated and he can no longer access it.

We have analyzed the installers and tested them. We could not find any issues other than some normal bugs in them. We are currently seeing on how to best fix those and will post an update once we have new installers ready.

The whole situation has left the team fairly shocked and sad. I have been working with Darksaber on this project for something like 20 years now. And while at times we clashed and had a difference of opinion I always valued his input and advice. He was the driving force behind the project for many years, his installers were an invaluable addition and made things so much easier and more user-friendly. His modelling and opting skills were among the very best of the team and I think he is the single person who contributed the most to the project. He often shared his knowledge and helped a lot of new and old members to advance their knowledge. His models are of great quality and without him the project wouldn't be were it is right now.

Looking back however I have to acknowledge that his actions in the recent past have become problematic and that I have ignored them for too long. Analyzing the moderator and administrator logs it's clear that he was abusing his privileges against community members for quite some time. For this I wholeheartedly apologize. I turned a blind eye towards him, and this has caused damage to the community as a whole, driving people away, or in the very least stop them from further contributing to it.

The team has pledged to do better in the future. Moderator and Administrator guidelines are being created to make sure that this project becomes an open, friendly and fun place to be for all again.

Fortunately the XWAU is and always has been a team effort. As such this in no way an end to the project. The team is hard at work behind the scenes and there are new things in the works to push the game even further. So we all hope that this will make the community stronger and better in the long run!

Please understand that the team really doesn't feel like discussing this further than what has been said. As such the topic will be locked. If you feel there is something that needs to be added please contact General_Trageton and myself via PM. But do not expect to get any more details about what has happened.

Darksaber, I do not understand what pushed you over the edge to burn it all down. I am very sad that you decided to leave, and especially about the way you decided to leave. Never the less, you will be missed. Your insights, your skills, your help. You were a big part of what makes this project so great and I will personally try to remember only the good times with you.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

So many videos... Posted by Forceflow
Okay, since the team is still hard at work I figured I really should get to work myself showing of the great models they have made. So now the screenshot section not only shows the new screenshots but also features a 360˚ video of every single craft. (Minus the warheads... that really wasn't worth it) Since I bundled some crafts that's 117 new videos up on the page. Any boy can I tell you that was a lot of rendering time. (Each video takes anything between 15 and 20 minutes) I can tell you my CPU was really earning it's pay the past few days. But I think the results are really worth it.



Note that the videos only show up on the individual screenshot page of each craft as to not overload the pages. The videos are rendered at a resolution of 960x540 pixels with a framerate of 60fps for a hopefully silky smooth experience ;) Here a very small sample:











I hope you enjoy them, I might add some more videos down the line, but for now that's it!

Discuss these new videos here

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