11.05.2024

Still going strong Posted by Forceflow
New ISD II

Things are still moving forward, but with more people testing out the new patch more bugs keep popping up, keeping our resident techies very busy. We were hoping the current patch was more stable, but with all the new additions it seems there are some side-effects that we simply couldn't foresee. All in all we are already in a much better state, but you really shouldn't hold your breath for an immediate release.

It will be done when it's done and we really want to provide something exceptional that simply works for the majority of players.
So, in the meantime here a video showing of the new z-95 with some of it's features:


The team is working really hard behind the scenes and we are all hoping to get this thing out the door, but with a mod this complex and a somewhat constantly moving target with new features and stuff still being put in at the last minute things just don't go as planned.

Find more information and the occasional mid-week teaser here

04.05.2024

X-Wing Alliance Upgrade 2024 - Coming Soon! Posted by Forceflow
The final push, let's keep up the pressure!


While I know many of you were hoping for a May the 4th release we are just not quite there yet. There's been an unfortunate bug that came up with VR in combination with the HD concourse which meant we had to do some more bug smashing. This has been over 2 years in the making and we don't want to give you a broken game.
Most of the things are in place, we just need to apply some final testing polish as we are getting really close to a release.
Even now there is something new being added everyday. Here is a short list of the highlights that will be included in the next release:

New UI Features:
XWA Upgrade goes HD! We now have the ability to use far bigger format sizes to improve the games look in many areas.
Totally new Widescreen images and videos have been created to try and maximise the screen space used.
MechDonald has created a new Concourse, with ship animations in the window which change per mission too. All rooms have gotten a makeover complete with loading videos and especially the new Crew Quarters is a marvel to enjoy.

The new Concourse also comes with new interface, HD icons, battle images, menu screens and Skirmish pictures.
In the missions there will be new HD planet backdrops from Forceflow and the cutscene videos have been upscaled thanks to Marcop000, m0rgg and Ace Antilles.

XWAU_2024_Teaser_2.jpg

Flightmodels:
Nearly every craft has been checked over and tweaked! There are a ton of models that are completely new and many improved:
The all new version of the Imperial Star Destroyer II, Factory and Container Hanger from Vince T.
Master Qui-Gon, Prime and Ace Antilles have improved the YT1300 Corellian Transport, Millennium Falcon and Slave I.
DTM has created a new T-wing Fighter and Z-95 Headhunter. All this and more updated craft to come too.

Extra Craft:
We have decided to add some great new ships, which were not part of the vanilla game to complement existing missions:
The Imperial Nebulon B Frigate, Gozanti Cruiser, U-Wing and VCX-100 Light Transport (Ghost) from DTM and Quasar Fire-class Carrier from Driftwood.
These will be playable in Skirmish mode with some making an appearance in the campaign.
Tons of new Skins and Profiles are available and have found their way into the campaign missions for extra variety.

Sounds overhaul:
Ace Antilles has given the game a massive upgrade in the audio department! We can now add custom sounds for almost any area of the game.
For example Fighters will get unique sounds from each other, such as individual laser blasts and flybys.
Including sounds for: Canopy, Engines, Flyby, Hangars, Hyperspace, S-Foils, Shuttles, Weapons and more!

System updates
If that wasn't enough there's a mass of other improvements and fixes to the game itself.
The latest improvements from Blue Max for VR. Including viewable hands and Active Cockpit.
A new Configurator to manage ship profile changes for fun in the Campaign and Skirmish from Ace Antilles.
More options in Babu Frik's Configurator. Faster loading time improvements and useful editing tools from JeremyaFr.
Multiple mission fixes, tweaks or improvements to practically every mission thanks to LPhoenix and Ace Antilles.
And so, so many Bug Fixes... Like really, so many! (Big shout out again to JeremyaFr and Ace Antilles for fixing and finding those)

Testers wanted
And in the end a small call for arms. If you want to help the team and have you some time for testing available please contact us.
We really need some more folks who would be willing to use test out the current beta version we have. In particular with VR.
Be advised, this version is not fully ready for public release. It needs some work and things will break, so please only volunteer if you really have some time to post some feedback and patience for bug finding!

We are really keen to show you what we've been working on. It's really been a team effort, utilizing everyone's ideas and knowledge to make something cool.
With that, from all of the XWAU Team we say, May the 4th Be With You!

Let us know what you think here

27.04.2024

We are starting our attack run, hold on tight! Posted by Forceflow


So, with the page and forum up again, we can continue with our little teaser show. Above you see another update to the Death Star run. There’s been a lot of enhancements both on the actual models and the effects themselves. The Falcon now comes with headlights that simply look glorious:
2024-04-27_death-star.jpg

There are plenty of other new models and enhancements as well. We are getting closer and closer to having all models updated. Some of which will certainly be included in the next patch, and some that will be added not much afterwards. Though certainly even a 100% completion will not be the end for us. There are plenty of models that either are currently being reworked or even being completely rebuilt.

The biggest add-on will certainly be the new concourse. While this is also still ongoing and we won’t have the complete release available right now, most of the areas in-game have been completely rebuilt. You’ve seen teasers before, but here’s another one to show you the new look and feel of it:
2024-04-27_concourse.jpg

That’s it for now folks, sorry to be a bit short, but with the server outage and other stuff going on this had to be a quick one. Stay tuned for more updates!

Let us know what you think here

25.04.2024

Technical Issues... have been resolved Posted by Forceflow
Okay, as you can hopefully see we are back online. I finally got a hold of the right person about the issue with my provider and access to the database was granted again.
It was taken offline because of a high load it was using, most likely because an AI crawler bot was scrapping the forum for all it's worth. There's a high chance that this cause a spike in traffic that lead to the disabling of the database. Since that is an integral part of not only the forum but the page itself that meant nothing was working anymore.

I split the setup of the main page and the forum, so that in case the forums DB gets locked again the page will stay up and function normally.

In order to prevent the DB being locked again I had to take some rather annoying steps however. Except for the Announcements & Release Notes section of the forum everything is locked behind an account. So if you want to read the forum you will have to have an account and be logged in. I wish this wasn't necessary, but I don't know how else to protect he page. (Other than throwing a lot of money at the problem) I also found another trick that might help keep the bots at bay, but that's always going to be a case of whack-a-mole that eventually I will loose.

Let's hope things stay up again and sorry to all for the inconvenience.
[UPDATE from 2024/04/25 16:39 UTC]So most of the page functionality is back up again. News, Showcase, progress and downloads are all back up and running for now. The forum is still down and as of right now I have absolutely no idea when that will back. On the backup front I do have a working backup from the 2024/04/24 afternoon, so at least any kind of data loss would be limited to about 12 hours. Still sucks, but at least the vast majority of stuff is recoverable. Unfortunately until I know what happened and if I can get the most up-to-date state of the DB (which should still be there, I just cannot access it) there's really no point for me to move forward right now.
Really sorry about all of this, I hope to be able to have everything back up running on the weekend.[/UPDATE]

Okay, so as some of you may have noticed the page and the forum were down for most of the day and functionality of the page really isn't there anymore.
It was not an attack of any sort but it is an ongoing issue with my provider. Unfortunately it's something that is currently completely out of my hands to solve. To make matters worse I realized that my primary backup function had an issue as well. So while I do have a backup available from yesterday morning it's not nearly as up-to-date as it should be.
I will try my best to get anything up and running, but real life is unfortunately also heavily interfering right now.

Right now the only thing really working is the newspage, so I will keep you guys updated here. You can head over to the TFTC Discord Serer as well where some of us are reachable as well.

Leave your comments here

21.04.2024

Analyzing incoming data-stream Posted by Forceflow
It looks like the Empire is doing it again, a new Death Star appears to be built. But it's still not ready for battle so we have a chance to take it down before it is becoming fully operational!


This teaser is a bit more technical in nature, but I hope you'll stick with us through it. We'll show more stuff soon, but for now it's just us trying to keep you more up-to-date on what's going on.

The above video is part of the new concourse upgrade. It not only represents the amazing feat of being able to finally re-make the concourse with all HD elements, but also shows that with this new feature set we can actually include videos into the concourse. Before, all animations inside the concourse (not counting the actual video sequences for the game) where just a bunch of still images one after the other. While this was okay for low FPS small animations it's not really an option for full blown HD remakes. When first trying to include videos in the game it quickly became apparent that the required file sizes not only would be insane, but performance would suffer massively even on high-end PCs.
If we'd done it the old way using the same level of quality the animation above would have easily been 200MB or even bigger and load times would have been horrible. Even massively reducing resolution and optimizing the files would still result in bad performance and something like 90MB of files to load. (And note that this is a just a really short 3 second video)
As a video like you see above it loads much faster and is only barely above 12MB in size at full quality.

And this is just one of the many, many new features being implemented just for updating the concourse. Things have been in bug-hunting mode mostly the last weeks and bugs are being squashed faster than I can keep track off. So things are looking up, we already have a much smoother and better experience being tested.

It's still some ways off, but we are feeling ready to lock down the contents of the next big patch. It wont feature all of the HD concourse just quite yet, but most of the used areas should be fully ready to check out.
As always real life tends to get in the way of what we are hoping to achieve, but the team is making huge strides toward a great new release!

So stay tuned and hopefully we'll have another teaser ready for you guys next week!
Just one more thing to give you an idea of the absolutely amazing work the MechDonald has put into the new concourse:
2024-04-21_XWAU_teaser.jpg
Discuss this bit of news here

13.04.2024

Incoming classified data... Posted by Forceflow
We've got confirmation that one of our rebel spies has turned up some juicy information and is trying to get it to us as soon as possible...
2024-04-13_XWAU_teaser.jpg
Well, in all seriousness we figured that it might be good to keep you guys a bit more up-to-date on what's going on and provide some teasers along the way. We'll try to have some sort of regular updates in the future to hopefully built some excitement towards XWAU 2024 (formerly known as XWAU 2023, also known as XWAU 2022 :ops:) There is no planned release date, yet. We do have a working early beta version that's being tested however. There are still a lot of things that need to be fixed, but one of the discussions going on right now is to maybe release a beta to the general public sometime soon™.

There are plenty of reasons why things are taking so much longer than expected. One of the biggest contributor is that the scope just got so much bigger. Especially tech-wise things have been absolutely crazy. So many new toys and shiny things to play with. Pretty much all aspects of the game have been getting upgrades that we never thought possible. That did however also come with pretty hefty performance hits, some of which were simply not feasible. So a lot of time had to be put into optimizing performance versus eye-candy.

Recently huge strides have been made to improve performance with those new features in place however, so things are again being shuffled around and tested. Ace Antilles has built, rebuild, and rebuild the installer yet again countless amounts of times. Just the sheer number of files that he needs to keep track of is insane. Just to give you an idea, before a craft like the Z-95 consisted of a few files at most. Basic, exterior, cockpit opts, double that for a different variant, a material file if you wanted to be really fancy. Let's be generous and call it 10 files. Depending on how we end up setting things up that ship alone might come with 400 files, but it will be 100 for sure. (Granted, that one is pulling all the available stops here, but you get the picture)

Then there's the need to coordinate everybody working on stuff and fixing issues, making sure to not accidentally overwrite other peoples fixes and simply just desperately trying to stay on top of all the new and incredible tech-wizardry blue_max and JeremyaFr are coming up with.

And last but certainly not least a lot of older models are being redone, being reworked, tuned and generally optimized. Not to mention a whole bunch of completely new models are also in the pipeline.

So, to make a very long story short, stuff is going on ;)

Again, we hope to provide some more updates and teasers to you regularly, so stay tuned and we hope you guys are as excited about what’s to come that we are.

Comment on the forum on what you think!

30.03.2024

Has it really been 25 years already? Posted by Forceflow
Okay, so I must admit that date kinda slipped below our radar, so thanks @unmarcz for pointing it out. On the 23rd of March 1999 X-Wing Alliance was released. Which, looking at my calendar, was now 25 years (plus a few days... :ops: ago)

I know there hasn't been much communication from us lately, but that's not to say we aren't keeping busy. In fact we are hard at work, creating and improving and testing loads and loads of things to get the next big patch out. And unfortunately the next patch is getting bigger and bigger all the time. @Ace Antilles has been super busy going over pretty much all existing OPTs, making sure the material files are up-to-date and correct, smoothing the models for better looks and making tons of other tweaks as well.

Some existing models have gotten some pretty substantial upgrades, while yet others have been completely redone plus a few new ones are in the works as well. @blue_max and @JeremyaFr have been busy doing their magic enhancing overall visual fidelity and gameplay features and a complete rework of a as of yet fairly untouched area of the game is also being done right now.

Some of the new features have been teased before and we don't want to spoil too much, but @Vince T agreed to give you one sneak-peak at two of the newest additions that will hopefully be included in the next patch once it's ready:

2023-12-24.jpg

The next patch is going to be huge, not only in content but there's also a lot of other stuff that should make everything a lot better going forward.


Head over to the forum to discuss!