The XWA Upgrade is a massive mod made from fans for fans. We started more than 22 years ago planning to only upgrade the ship models to add some much needed details into them. Over the many years we have discovered many things that we can do to upgrade not only the ship models however but the actual game engine as well. These days there is barely any part of the game untouched. There are higher texture resolutions, more ships with more options to choose from. More flightgroup colors, VR support, fully dynamic and interactive cockpits and so much more.
- Updated HD Models
Replacing the old low-detail models with better, more accurate ones has been the core focus of the project since its conception. Today, with modern PC capabilities we are able to take it one step further and create highly detailed models with higher resolution textures.
- Hooks: Breaking the limits
By using runtime code injection aka. Hooks we have not only managed to break through many of the original game's technical limitations but also add new features and functionalities like animated model parts, multiple model profiles per ship, customizable hangar maps per ship or per mission and much, muich more.
- New Shader Effects
Using a completely new DDraw.dll we are now able to add modern day visual effects to the old game engines. SSAO/SSDO, Bloom, Dynamic Shadows, Animated textures, Normal Mapping and much more!
- Dynamic Cockpits
This new feature brings you absolute immersion by integrating the various HUD elements right into the cockpit models of flyable craft. As of now, this has been implemented for the various main fighter craft of the Empire and Rebel Alliance. However the roster of ships with dynamic cockpits is steadily growing.
- VR support
Yes that's right, with the new ddraw you can now run XWA using all common VR setups. To facilitate this, we have expanded the dynamic cockpits to include actual VR control elements.
- HD Backdrops and Updated FrontEnd
All the above features also also greatly improve upon the Backdrop and Frontend elements. High-resolution Starfield and Planet backdrops with Orbital scenarios, Updated Explosions, Dynamically generated Hyperspace and Lense Flare effects, Upgraded FrontEnd like Simulator Icons and new Mission simulator Pictures and much, much more!
- Extended Sound Effects
We can now customise many key areas of game sounds and assign new ones. This gives a much wider range of individuality to different ships.
The XWAU provides the technical foundation for and works closely with various other mods such as the TIE Fighter Total Conversion or the in-progress Embers of the Empire Campaign.
To play this mod you will REQUIRE to have a copy of the game X-Wing Alliance (XWA) installed. As the 1999 CD version is becomming harder to support, we recommend you get one of the digital versions of the game.
There is so much we are still learning about the engine and we are trying to push it as far as we can. Sure, we might never be done, we might never get to that last model to be changed, but boy are we having a lot of fun on the way.
We sure hope you will join us on this ride and rediscover this old but sill really great game.