I am Bernd Lehahn, studio director of egosoft. We work on the X space game series since the mid 90s. Titles included X Beyond the Frontier, X2 The Thread and X3: Reunion. The last release was X3: Albion Prelude. For a good 7 years now we are working on our "big new project" X Rebirth to bring space games back into the mainstream and make especially our series more open for new players again. X Rebirth will be released on November 15th for PC. We are based in Germany by the way which is the reason that THIS video from Gamescom released today is in german.

My Proof: https://twitter.com/EGOSOFT

Edit: Wow I am blown away by so much feedback and questions. I try hard to keep up and will try to stay online late into the european night, so you US fans can continue asking, but please allow a short recovery time for my fingers :)

Edit2: OK. Can continue this AMA now from outside the bathtub. Please vote up those questions you find most interesting so I can answer them in more depth. It is impossible for me to answer all postings down to the bottom of the page.

Edit3: Sorry now I finally have to catch some sleep tonight. Feel free to continue posting and I will catch up in the morning. Thanks a lot so far for the overwhelming participations and dedication!

Edit4: After I started answering a bit from my phone I saw so many new questions, that I now logged in with my laptop now.

Comments: 614 • Responses: 108  • Date: 

ArtemisShanks71 karma

I don't have a question. I would just like to express my joy over the games you guys make. Keep sticking to a higher standard, whilst maintaining your artisitic integrity! (not dumbing down, etc.)

All the best, gentlemen.

A big fan.

zav4243 karma

hmm... what a nice way to start this :) Thanks!

animatedviking34 karma

Hello, I am a big fan of this series, got every game so far, and some of the novels that got released! I think you guys/gals make severly underrated games, and should be way more recognized in the gaming industry. How do you stay so true to your fans? And keep on pumping out space sims, instead of going the easy cash way? Love you guys <3

zav4235 karma

The honest answer is that at least recently this way of development also started to become lucrative, thanks to the way we sell our games (Steam).

LostCanuck8931 karma

First, I just want to say: thank you to EgoSoft for a Linux launch! I think my main question is in regards to user content. The other X games have had quite a modding community, and is the new engine similarly open to user-generated content?

zav4243 karma

Yes absolutely. I think it is safe to say that the new engine is a lot more open and will at least after a few weeks be much better documented than anything in the past. We definitely intent to support modding.

Reliant23 karma

I've been a fan of the X series from the first one. The biggest issue I had with the series was how cumbersome it was to buy and place a station, particularly in a good spot with the entrance facing a convenient direction. That complication was usually was stopped me from going very far in setting up a network. Usually I'd only make a solar plant and one or two factories with some ore mines just to get some cash flow happening. I was among the players who never got to make enough money to try flying a capital ship.

My question is, what, if anything, has been done to ease the process of creating and placing a station? I remember reading from the earliest of docs that we would be able to expand stations and add modules, but what about that initial setup?

zav4225 karma

You get station "blue prints" which are pre designed but allow different paths and alternatives. Almost all stations are what you would have called a Complex in the X3 games, a combination of many factories which supply one another with their products. You have an architect who looks at the blue print and asks you what to do, so the decissions (even though they sometimes require menus) are always supported through talking to this person. Also you can not simply build at ANY location. There are "build spots" which you can start to build at. Thats not really a big limitation as we supply enough of them everywhere, but they allow us to help you place them "meaningfully".

taukarrie5 karma

this sounds more like a limitation than an improvement. Why are you taking station placement choices out of the hands of players? "meaningfully" can mean different things for different people. And learning which spots are bad spots to build should be part of the learning process, the "Think" part of the game if you will. Or is this decision simply a way to force people to build away from the new highway feature and other predfined cosmic landmarks?

zav428 karma

It really shouldnt be a limitation as long as you have a few buildspots in most zones, but this is a feature that opens us possible new gameplay options for the future in relation to zone ownership. So yes once we extend the game into a more strategic direction I can see us indeed limiting your "rights" to build more but in return you could get special rights when you own zones. But again: This is a thing of the future and only one of many possibilities. Right now it shouldnt be standing in your way.

Juggernaut9317 karma

Will there be a Jumpdrive system? If yes, how will it work if gates are disabled?

zav4233 karma

Jumpdrives are only available for capital ships and only work inside solar systems (which is still a huge distance). However, the player can currently land on a capital ship and jump with it.

Russian_mobster17 karma

In AP were war sectors, but there was no point of fighting there, because factions had unlimited amount of ships. As I read in x-rebirth building a capital ship requires some time and resources. So my question is – if we destroyed all capital ships of some corporation, will that corporation build new ships on their own ship yard or just get new ones from thin air like in previous games? And if ship is building in real time, can we find and destroy it?

zav4225 karma

We definitely want ship production to be realistic. Yes the X3: Albion Prelude ships did not use actual resources from the economy, but I THINK that the ships in the war sectors around the earth gate were at least produced in shipyards and flew to these sectors. CBJ, can you confirm?

EGO_CBJ30 karma

They were produced in shipyards in X3AP, and I believe the rate was limited, but the production did not use actual resources from the economy to do so.

zav4224 karma

May I introduce: CBJ - Head of our UK office ;-)

AnnuMakt16 karma

Is the 'Humble Trader' start still in the game? Can I be a 'space trucker'?

zav4221 karma

There will be only ONE gamestart at the start. Again: What we add after release is another topic and I am very much looking forward to hear your votes on what is most important.

TheReaperr9 karma

Please let the ONE gamestart be sandbox. Played X3 and never played campaigns for longer than 15 minutes, I much more enjoyed starting with that tiny ship and ending up with my own sector.

zav4213 karma

Of course you can play the game sandbox. As pointed out in this thread at another place, the sandbox nature and idea that you can do what you want and be who you want to be (pirate, trader, mogul, military etc) is really at the core of the franchise. Thats not just marketing bla bla. It is just that we have a cool plot and we make it very tempting to play it because without this plot the game would be an awful lot harder.

BobTheMagicalFish4 karma

will dead is dead mode be available on launch ? It has been on of the highlights and most rage inducing parts of the game for me. Also you guys are awesome.

zav429 karma

Not planned for release. If enough people want it, a possibility for later.

ea6b60715 karma

Will there be any support for multiple monitors (where second monitors can be used for other views or controls, etc)?

zav4215 karma

Not at release without external tools, but we do support many different resolutions and it may work through such tools. Anyway... it is not a priority before the release of the game but may well end up high on the list of features to work on for an update / patch once the game is out.

rollhax14 karma

I have a few questions!

Can you expand on the concept of "ship hierarchy," mentioned several times in this thread: http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=342238 (the growing fears thread)

On mining: can we mine derelict ships, or even ships we've disabled but not neccessarily destroyed? Or just some random NPC minding his own business, can I take a chunk out of his hull and use it for resources? :)

Will we have the ability to speed-up/skip all the "turning" animations when, e.g. pulling down VR goggles, or turning to the right for that information screen to come up? It looks really cool, but I can see it becoming tedious after the 500th time.

What is Egosoft's favorite office food for late-night coding sessions?

Can you give some examples of unexpected behavior you've encountered while developing XR's AI?

I'm planning a visit to Germany sometime soon'ish. Do you allow fans to come in and say hi? :)

Thanks so much for taking time to do this, even if you don't/can't answer my questions!

zav4215 karma

On ship hierarchies: It is basically just a simple tree that develops automatically if you assign a boss to a pilot. Like when you tell a small ship to protect another small ship and that small ship is added to the fleet of a carrier. The idea here is that the player wouldnt have to worry about any ship that has a boss != from himself. Only the ships that are directly under your command are getting back to you and will tell you about everything they do.

Pakislav3 karma

A lot of people probably won't understand !=...

zav4215 karma

Well it is really intuitive and simple:

NPC Pilot: Hello boss I am the new pilot, what do you want me to do?

You: I want you to work for ... A station of mine

CoPilot opens your list of stations or a map and calls the manager of the station you select

Manager: Yes boss?

You: I am sending you this ship to work in your... freight fleet

NPC: Aye sir.

Manager: Welcome in our fleet.

OK this is not actual text from the game but you get the point ;-)

necrobrit5 karma

Hehe, I think he meant that != won't be familiar to people that haven't used C-like programming languages.

zav4211 karma

outch... I didn't get to code anymore for years, but still use things like this without thinking. != means NOT EQUAL how can anybody not know this ;)

billwoo13 karma

First, I am pleased you rebuilt X from ground up, it shows great commitment to the IP and the genre, and I am looking forward to the new release (my X3:AP is running in the background as I write this btw!) . But I have to ask, why did you go down the route of one ship for the player to directly control? It seems a large departure previous versions, and doesn't seem to provide any more options to the player (other than the nice interior views which would be much work to do for all ships), only less...

Part 2 if you have time, do you foresee the modding tools being able to circumvent this limitation in any way?

zav4216 karma

The reason was that we wanted to focus on those things that are most fun and help us design a better overall gameplay. I have explained in another post in this thread how you can control ships in your squad.

Yes I think MODs could extend this area and maybe eventually we may do this ourselves as well if demand is really so extreme. But first I want people to try out the game and THEN tell us what they miss :)

pinguz12 karma

Will the Argon girl by the name of Suzie make a cameo appearance in the game?

zav4216 karma

Shes already on the soundtrack. So yes :)

RustInPieces4 karma

Yes. Search youtube for the x rebirth soundtrack.

zav4217 karma

No, search iTunes for it. Alexei will thank you for it :)

Westbeam11 karma

Are there aliens on the space stations? Can you talk to them like to the argon people seen in the videos?

zav4219 karma

I do not want to give away exactly which races you will see in X Rebirth at release but yes there are some. BUT the new universe does not have as many different races as the old one. What we do is to show only a few solar systems but in a MUCH bigger resolution. What used to be just a sector with four gates is now an entire system with thousands of kilometers and many zones to explore and work in. This is also the reason why we had to limit the game to show only a smaller area.

sebi080311 karma

is it posible to do an practical semester for university at egosoft?

zav4210 karma

Right now is a bad time as you can imagine. But in general feel free to email us through the normal channels.

Erforce10 karma

Hardware question : Many guys start looking for a better hardware system to play XR. Considering we have little information about X:R multithreading calculations, can you tell us if it will be equally multithreaded or, like many others games, a big part of the code is run on a single thread, thus requiring a good GHZ CPU, like a i7 unlocked, in a heavy combat situation ?

zav4220 karma

We have two major threads we call the render and the "move" thread which are the heart of the game and in addition many special task threads running in parallel. The result is that four cores are strongly advised even though the game may be able to run on a dualcore machine too.

DocAce12 karma

While it's not a single thread, lots of calculations - especially those potentially affecting framerate - are distributed over a few specialized threads (4 if I'm not mistaken, but please don't hold me to that), so while the game can theoretically use all cores a high frequency will also help a lot.

zav429 karma

I am pretty sure I can introduce another employee here... Please welcome Mr Physics himself ;-)

Juggernaut9310 karma

Hi Bernd, thanks in advance for answering my questions: -Will the station interiors be different according to the station and the race type? - I watched the videos posted and I noticed that in the main cockpit of the Albion Skunk only one type of laser is shown at same time. Does it mean that we can only mount one type of weapon for each turret?

zav428 karma

The playership does only have front mounted weapons. Additional protection comes through your drones which you can simply start like wingmen OR control manually. Then there are of course also other ships with LOTS of turrets that you can have in your fleet and which can be around you if you like.

BlackRainZ10 karma

Another question. Will there be empire/command/strategic elements to the game? What I mean is, will you be able to take over areas of space (or possibly even the whole game universe) and eliminate factions/governments in some way?

zav4225 karma

You can still eliminate almost anybody and we sure dont stop you from eliminating an entire faction. However the game will not have a special UI to support strategic war planning at release. But this is high up on my personal wishlist for things to add in an update. This could maybe also include owning zones and many interesting consequences from that. But again: We are working on this beast for 7 years and cant add EVERYTHING for a 1.0 release or we will be working for several more decades ;-)

Aesran10 karma

From french community : - How much module ? ( Module available for install on capital ship) - What the different type of capital ship ? ( Have fregate, destroyer .. or not ? )

zav4213 karma

The ships vary more in purpose. There are for example special collector ships, specialized trader ships versus more hybrid trader ships. Carriers etc. I do not know the current highest number of possible surface elements on any capital ship but I believe it must be above 100

Schtiebuu10 karma

will rebirth be compatible with n'vidia 3D Vision? | Wird Rebirth mit 3D Vision von nvidia spielbar sein?

Hobbitron9 karma

What about oculus rift? Will the TrackIR support be improved? Better support for multiple joysticks for HOTAS + pedals?

zav4214 karma

Not all of this will be possible at release. We have a very long wishlist of features to be added after the release and some of these things will be on that list. I answered about the Rift already below in another post (YES sure after release). Track IR maybe. Joystick support is of course a must for release but may also be extended with special features after release.

GTAVC1610 karma

Will there be empty spaceships, such as Trading ships, placed in space, ready to collect?

If yes, where is the first one?

zav4218 karma

hehe... I am pretty sure we will do this (again) but even if I knew I wouldnt tell you where to find them. Of course the more "normal" way is to capture ships in fights. So you MAKE them become empty ;-)

GTAVC169 karma

will they be normal ships that are availlible on shipyards or will some of them be "special" or "Unique" ships?

zav4212 karma

Yes there will also be unique ships for this purpose.

X_Central9 karma

How does the modular construction of capital ships work? Are they weled wall by wall together like stations and need time to build? and has the player influence on the appearance, or just wehre Turrets are placed? Do shipyards still have infinite Ships in stock?

zav428 karma

Capital ships are built just like stations. It takes time and follows a blueprint. Unlike with stations, typically there are however not a lot of fundamental choices on a cap ship blueprint. The upgrades fall into two categories:Those build in large quantity (e.g: turrets, shield gens, missile launcher etc.) where you do not select each seperately but just decide about the amount. And those that are individual build steps.

rollhax3 karma

Does this mean that there are no pre-defined Capital ship "shells" (hulls)?

zav423 karma

The blueprint dictates what can be built and extended as a maximum, just like with stations. But the difference is that even a very large capital ship will not have many building decissions of core modules.

RustInPieces9 karma

One of the biggest pains in building a large complex was supplying it with energy cells. To make anything self sufficient, you had to build solar power plants, which required you to build crystal fabs, which needed silicon mines, plus two types of food plants, all of which also require more energy so you had to have more of everything. More solar power plants, more crystal fabs, more food loops.
Will this be less complicated and expensive in rebirth?

Thank you. I am really looking forward to Rebirth, been waiting for it for years.

zav4211 karma

See my answer on blueprints and complexes in this thread. Yes we intent to make things easier :)

damjancd9 karma

All right, my original question here will probably never get seen, so I just want to say that the art direction for each specific area is just absolutely gorgeous. Some are perfectly executed cyberpunk environments, some are darling modern industrial Mirrors Edge style clean areas, really upping the value of the game and they are absolutely worthwhile to stick to ones eyes permanently :]

Great job guys.

zav429 karma

Thank you. Will forward this to our art department!

Aberrati0n9 karma

Hello Bernd,

So first of all, thank you for taking your precious time to answer to your fans. I have a few questions that torment my mind:

-Can you tell us the approximate number of sectors (by sectors I'm obviously talking about solar systems) compared to X3: Albion prelude? I doubt they will be fewer in x rebirth and you can not reveal too much, but more precise information about it would be welcome.

-I wonder if the AI will be able to build complex by himself throughout our adventure, so that it fits to the fluctuations of universal economy?

-are there still unknown areas and pirate systems?

-can you tell us more about piracy? Can we finally live a real pirate's life, captured ships and sell them in a pirate base for example? I really hope you've improved this, because in the old X games, piracy was not sufficiently developed to be able to play as pirate.

-can you tell us about the boarding system, are there any change?

Anyway, thank you for all your awesome work.I love you guys.

zav4215 karma

Solar systems: Few. But huge. A lot fewer than in the older X games, but they can not be compared to any old game. What used to be a sector is now more of what we call a "zone". So logically you have to compare the number of zones with the number of sectors in the old game. If you do that you get in a similar ballpark.

Yes the AI builds complexes. See my answer about blueprints in this thread.

Aberrati0n4 karma

Already read :)

Thanks for your answers. So what about piracy and boarding? :D

zav4220 karma

Boarding is of course supported. In fact you now hire a boarding crew commander personally on a platform and make sure he gets better (more experienced) and survives his action. They use pods like in the past and you have to disable engines and jump drives to allow them to board in the first place. More about that maybe in a video before release.

damjancd13 karma

My eyes are bleeding with tears over hearing about experience levels on commanders.

And my micromanaging glands are completely thrilled.

EDIT: NSFW

zav4220 karma

Micromanagement glands... Does this make this thread NSFW worthy?

StilRH9 karma

Big fan of the series and have been looking forward to X:R more than any game in the past few years. From the game footage and passion in the devs I've seen I have a really good feeling about this installment :)

Seven years is a very long time. In it's current state, is the game what you set out to make when you first started?

How did the team keep their focus during that time?

How did changes in technology, average player system specs, gaming culture and habits etc influence design decisions in the development process?

zav4213 karma

Oh well... this I could go on about for hours. No there were a LOT of obstacles and I would never have thought that the development could have been such a stony road. We sat down and wanted to do everything from scratch and everything better, but it turned out that this was a much bigger task then what we expected. Anyway... looking back now I am very happy with the result and even more happy when looking forward knowing that this is just the start of a new technology and all the exiting new things we can do with it.

lab_rabbit8 karma

Bernd-

Thanks for your time today. I recently discovered X3:AP and realized it's the game I've always wanted- I love you guys for it!

I have heard that ships won't have SETA in X:R. Do you compensate in other ways (such as increasing ship speed) for this? Is the player more preoccupied in-between destinations such that the lack of SETA doesn't matter as much?

Secondly, can we expect more voice acting and limited use cut scenes in X:R? (cut scenes that are only used a few times for major events)

Third, are ship upgrades similar to x3:ap? One wish I had for X3:AP was to make each ship modular and custom- i.e. swap engines, compartments, etc.

Fourth: We love massive complexes/stations and they look amazing in X:R. Can we expect performance improvements over x3:ap when building massive complexes?

Fifth- I can't believe you made it to question 5. This is more of a suggestion: I think you need beta testers and I know a certain someone that would be a great candidate. (hint: it's me!) Let me know how I can help!

zav429 karma

Secondly, can we expect more voice acting and limited use cut scenes in X:R? (cut scenes that are only used a few times for major events)

Yes of course we want to present the plot better than ever before. But at the bottom of my heart I am a fan of generic systems that will allow us to create more content for the future. And especially with cutscenes that means we have made a script based cutscene language which makes it very easy to create custom cutscenes for missions. So even modders can add cutscenes to missions easily.

zav428 karma

I have heard that ships won't have SETA in X:R. Do you compensate in other ways (such as increasing ship speed) for this? Is the player more preoccupied in-between destinations such that the lack of SETA doesn't matter as much?

THIS. Yes. That is the whole idea of highways. If you like to travel fast, you will and it will occupy you and be fun but you can leave the local highways anytime and explore at your hearts desire.

zav4212 karma

Oh and I forgot to mention: SETA was always ugly. It was necessary and the best we could do at the time, but it was our goal to design a game that does not require this hack.

zav427 karma

Third, are ship upgrades similar to x3:ap? One wish I had for X3:AP was to make each ship modular and custom- i.e. swap engines, compartments, etc. Fourth: We love massive complexes/stations and they look amazing in X:R. Can we expect performance improvements over x3:ap when building massive complexes?

In both these regards it is not possible to compare the two games. The complexes in X3 were just collections of loose stations while in X Rebirth you have the blueprint based complexes. Of course we improved the game to allow these complexes at decent framerates because they are now the rule and not the exception.

Ship upgrades I explain in another post in here.

zav427 karma

Fifth- I can't believe you made it to question 5. This is more of a suggestion: I think you need beta testers and I know a certain someone that would be a great candidate. (hint: it's me!) Let me know how I can help!

If you are REALLY dedicated and have a LOT of time, subscribe to the egosoft devnet, fill out the NDA there and contact us. But we only admit in people who dedicate serious time and not just sign up to play the game.

deimosmuc8 karma

Will there be a playable demo around the release date, to get a better feeling, if the game is something for me or not?

zav429 karma

We are thinking of MAYBE giving out the little fight demo that you can see my playing HERE. But as always this only shows a super tiny fraction of the game and leaves people with a wrong impression what X Rebirth is all about. So I doubt we will do this.

Ska-Ar8 karma

Hallo Bernd. youd said there will be Modding available soon after the release of Rebirth.

How did u and your company want to help us? Would it be like in the previus games that we get the tools and have much to find out by ourselves. or do you want to help us with comfortaable tools and a good dokumentary?

and how many of the game will be modable cuz the most and important parts was very hardcoded in x2upto x3ap so the limits was reached very fast

zav4215 karma

The engine is a lot more open than the old one. So this should help modders tremendously. Until the 15th of november I doubt that we will find time to write a proper documentation, but yes we definitely plan to release better documentation and tools then in the past.

Doctor_cheetos7 karma

There is probably a clear answer to the question I am about to ask, but I am going to put it out anywhere. A while back Egosoft had plans for creating an MMO game based around X-Universe; was that idea scrapped or is it something still on your minds?

EDIT P.S. I am looking forward to X-Rebirth.

zav429 karma

The website OnlineUniverse.net still exists but wasnt updated for ages. Actually a lot of the ideas from the tech development of that MMO have made their way into X Rebirth, but I am still sorry to say that we do not currently have any plans to start development of a proper MMO simply because we dont have the team size and time for it.

jabza_7 karma

Any plans to support Oculus Rift? Looking around space from inside the cockpit would up the immersion massively.

zav4213 karma

Yes definitely. We have a prototype Rift here and love it. However not for 1.0. How soon after that depends on your feedback once the game is release. You guys define the priorities.

Sathynos4 karma

I'd say it is a no 1 priority, since you already have walking outside the ship. If Oculus Rift doesn't get early adopters then it will die like all VR helmets of 90's. XR is the perfect chance for OR and super-immersive game.

zav426 karma

It is funny, but one of the first things we did with the oldest incarnations of what later turned into X Beyond the Frontier was a VR helmet version runnin on an Amiga. This was for the Virtual iO iGlasses. Needless to say that the Rift is a whole lot better, but after almost 20 years thats about what you expect :)

ValkoreXTC7 karma

Hello, I've been with the X series since X2 and the thing that made me really get into the games and buy the sequels were the incredible mods. I really loved the moddability of the game, and, although I'm not a modder myself, I am might want to be in Rebirth. My question is: will you expand the moddability of XR further? Will we be able to make our own missions/ships/systems/combat settings again? A second question is related to large scale fleet and station management. In previous games I only did this using scripts and mods because it was quite clunky and consumed a lot of time. How did you manage this for XR? Especially large trading fleets(I am in love with trading in this game series)? Also, how is the remote control of drones better than the remote control from the previous X games( using the two screens I could remote control even a M2!)? I can't figure out the innovation of this feature, except of course a full screen. Cheers

zav424 karma

I answered on this in another post already. But the short answer is YES, most of these things should be possible and much easier than in the last. The game is a lot more modular and open.

koriote7 karma

Hi bernd, there is a question from the spanish forum.

Now with Rebirth near to be released, what can we spect now from egosoft? any idea for the next game ? or any plan of what will you do?

Thanks

zav428 karma

As I said many times, we are booked on the X series and our plans are to listen to the feedback on X Rebirth once it is out. We will then work on updates, patches and probably an expansion (the difference here is that the former is free and the later costs money ;-)

mprey4 karma

While it must be awesome to be able to survive in this day and age as a developer of complex space sims, do you not ever feel like wanting to try something completely fresh after working on space sims for two decades?

zav4210 karma

It was hard and painful to get this new engine going because there were just SO many new untested things and we really struggled with that (you bet the release was planned much earlier than 2013).

That said it is super exciting seeing it all come together now and finally having this great new product come out. Not so much just the game but all the possibilities it opens up after the release. New ideas, cool technology (Rift)...

No, me personally and we as a company were through developing games just for the money some decades ago (gee I`m getting old) and I am super happy that we now have this franchise and the dedicated fans. I am looking forward tremendously to hear the feedback, good as well as bad and then improve this game based on that.

Merroc6 karma

  • Will there be any X-con style meetings at any point in the near future (I know there was one a couple years back at ES HQ and even further back in England). And will they be in English... :P
  • Also, why was the presentation during Gamescom in German..? ;)

zav4211 karma

Hi Merroc, nice to see you again :) I`d love to see that happen again and it would be all fine to do it at our offices although I (hope?) our office would be too small this time. I will definitely raise that as a suggestion to our publisher as a PR thing near the release of the game.

Sorry for gamescom, but I think the majority were german visitors.

BlackRainZ6 karma

As a player, I am curious how the player will interact with their own stations. What I mean is this, will you be able to build space cities of your own? Since the focus is on space cities, I am curious also how this ties into the empire building elements. Will you be able to build such large space cities in areas of space controlled by the player and have all your ships and fleets doing whatever it is they do there? Etc.

zav426 karma

Yes you can build large space cities yourself. There is also another post here in which I explain the nature of blue prints and that every station is a complex. Owning a zone is not implemented yet but on our list of features to be put up for voting after the release.

X_Central6 karma

Is the "pathing" used by the a.i. during combat as well, or just during "navigation"?

zav428 karma

There is not just "one" pathing. There are different approaches which look ahead in time for different amounts of time. Anything could be used in combat but typically the agents can not look ahead in time as much as a ship in a less dynamic environment.

CkEvan6 karma

How extensive would the interaction with the NPCs on the space station be? Will they give out missions, sell goods, etc?

zav4212 karma

Yes they can be involved in missions in various ways and yes they also sell goods. In fact what they sell we call items as opposed to the large quantity trading that requires larger ships and happens asynchronously (you send ships). Also you hire people there (with different skill levels) and you upgrade your ship.

GTAVC166 karma

Systemlord-Anubis and I am working on a translation/summary of this AMA to publish this on the forums in english and german, will we get in the credits of the booklet? :-P

Great work!

zav427 karma

Definitely. People like you make our community what it is. I am sure CBJ is collecting lists of everybody who helps. Thank you very much for your help and support to you and all the many other translators, forum mods, modders etc. etc.

CutterJohn6 karma

Most space games, X included, tend to have a completely space based economy, and the planets are just pretty baubles in the skybox. Is X:R similar in this regard, or do planets play some role in the game world/economy beyond being obstacles?

I'm not saying have planetary landings(though of course it wouldn't hurt my feelings at all!), but even something like EVE Onlines planetary interactions would be cool.

zav425 karma

Planetary landings is a request for as long as the X games exist. So much in fact that it turned into a running gag here at the office. Of course we want to implement what many people request, but this is of course nothing small that we can add in a few weeks. So not anytime soon on that.

Now as I already said before, we do not have as MANY planets and suns anymore as we used to have in the X3 games, but therefore a much deeper and larger universe around just a few of them. So we can actually tell the story, that the planets in some cases do play a role in the economy.

RC-12626 karma

Do I can dock on my own capital ships and is there also an interior which can be visited?

zav428 karma

You can dock on your own ships and sometimes the locations that you can then walk around on or in maybe actually inside the ship. More importantly however you can also fly into a ship to destroy turrets in the inside for example (see new video from today although this is a pretty small captial ship.

Mariux4466 karma

Will we be able to controll other ships in a sequel or DLC of X-Rebirth? Or maybe only M6's? Also, did the ship classification system change?

zav423 karma

Yes the classification system did change. It is more designed to point out the purpose of a ship.

As for expansions and sequels please check the other postings I made in this thread on this topic.

Erforce6 karma

2nd : Is there a specific reason why Egosoft decided to make a First Player view/ Hangars ? or is this a feature "in case of" for futures additions like armed squadron, planet landing ? //// Does NPC have an AI ? (do not stand still)

zav4211 karma

Many reasons why it is cool and makes sense now already: Hiring crew, mission NPCs, merchants etc. But yes it also opens more possibilities for the future.

X_Central5 karma

what are possible actions, if you want to be a pirate?

zav426 karma

Stealing for one thing. You can steal goods from stations as well as ships. These can be items you can pick up with the skunk, or you can use freighters with collector drones and also steal large amount of cargo.

Then of course the whole stealing of ships either for your own use or to sell them off.

Smuggling is also a possibility of course if you dont want to get the legal licenses for all kinds of ware types.

Special missions and much more...

X_Central5 karma

in the X News 49 you wrote: In X Rebirth there is a big difference between being in scanner range for a quick ID and being REALLY scanned deeply. There are several levels of scanning. Your true identification for example is something that requires a deeper scan. If you attack a station or shoot down a small transport vessel near a station, the law enforcement of that station may immediately start to hunt you, but they do not know exactly who you are (YET). Hiding in the right place, for long enough can help you not being punished for your evil deeds ;)

are we gonna see this feature in v1.0?

and thank you very very much for your answers and your effort so far.

zav426 karma

The technical system to have a "cover" is in version 1.0. Yes.

Makaveli615 karma

Abend! Ich wollte mal Fragen ob es Später im verlauf von X-Rebirth auch so genannte Dlc´s (Erweiterungen) erscheinen werden?

zav4215 karma

Question is about DLCs: Our goal is to release free updates as well as proper expansions. The difference between a large DLC and an expansion is more than just the name IMO.

Xenvarkas5 karma

Hey Bernd i have one question, and this point is (i think) the biggest problem of games who are very huge, very large like the X Games.

It would be very dissapointing for me (because this feature is for me ONE of the best!) when Stations look inside like each other. Will this be the Case?

Nonetheless i am VERY optimistic when it comes to X Rebirth, when i saw the first real trailer, i got big big eyes and my chin was hanging to the ground. I just love the X Games and i hope you and your team will develope much more games, for a long long Time!

Best wishes for you and your team, i just LOVE you guys the Planet needs more Devs like you!

zav427 karma

Well unfortunately we do not have endless resources. We try to make station interiors as versatile as possible within our time and budget restrictions and have huge plans to extend this later, but we have to use systems that reuse assets in some places.

UFeindschiff5 karma

Hi Bernd, is there any chance that the "old" X Engine (just the engine, not the game files of course) will be open-sourced after the X Rebirth release?

zav428 karma

We did consider the pros and cons of this but couldnt make the step so far for multiple reasons (not all of them have something to do with money).

Lowyfer5 karma

I keep buying your games, and only spending an hour or two playing them. I equate the experience to morrowind. Beautiful! Yet I struggle with the game play and the.... Loneliness of the world. From that outside view each game seems to be a refined iteration of the last and I bump my head against it again. I respect the hardcore players who want it just the way it is. Are you following that same plan with this new one? Or have you done any paradigm changes that would help me get dragged in and want to stay?

zav424 karma

If you call it that, then yes we have a paradigm change in that regard, because one of the main design goal with X Rebirth was to have the most living and breating universe with a lot denser environments and a lot more life around you. Cities in space (or call it GTA in space) connected with very fast and interactive highways. Have a look at THIS please

darshuomega5 karma

I really loved the station building economic aspects of the previous games. But after awhile as things grew, I always tired of the perspective from the cockpit. The game grows in scale as you build space stations, but your options for control do not.

Are there any plans to allow players to control their stations and fleets from a view other than what was available in the previous titles? Perhaps a simplified sector view to better control station buliding and economics, not tied to your avatar in the game. I'd love to be able to play your games from space pilot and then make the transition into more of a galactic sim. Or perhaps I should just wish for yall to make a galactic sim instead?

zav428 karma

There is a map system which can show you a systematic overview of a station by modules. We are not showing this map system yet because we are not yet happy with its look and feel and want to improve it before release, but this functionality is already there and essential when you investigate build plans for a station and make decisions with your architect. The feature which will not be in the game at release however is a more strategic gameplay that such maps could make possible in the future. I talked about that in another posting here.

odingrey5 karma

I may be late to the party, but I'm a huge fan of the X series since X2. I've noticed with changes to SETA and ship control, the game seems to be moving away from some of the features that would stop it from multiplayer use. I may be looking too much into this, but is Egosoft working their way to an X online again?

zav426 karma

SETA was never a nice thing. It was necessary but an ugly hack. The reason to remove it did not require online gameplay... But yes it would also help there.

Nimelrian4 karma

Will future content updates (not whole expansions like AP) be free updates like in Reunion/TC/AP?

zav423 karma

There will be both. Free updates as well as full expansions. See other postings in this thread on that topic.

dante244 karma

Hi Bernd and others.

First, thanks very much to EGOSOFT team on excellent and hard work they done. I really appreciate it and I'm glad you are succeed.

Here are my questions: 1. Will there in near future be support for DX11? and 2. Why is it like "cartoon" inside the cockpit and stations? I have an eye for 3D graphic and design and can see that the most can't, so I noticed this in the first trailer. Why is like that - not like other X games fully 3D designed models and textures?

Thank you very much on your time to answer this. Greetings from Bosnia.

zav426 karma

Looking at improving and changing the 3D engine is also one of the things on our long list of possible jobs after the release of the game, also for the Linux/MAC port to OpenGL which has a high priority for us. But no promises as to when.

There is NO comic shader or comic look anywhere in Rebirth. I think some people confuse the brighter low orbit atmosphere of the Omicron Lyrae system that we show in a few videos for cell shading. But it really is just more colorful and most importantly a lot brighter because it is very low in the orbit.

Rockconan4 karma

Hello Bernd (Conan1). In Terran Conflict in combat and near large stations it could become very difficult to navigate and the framerate hit rock bottom (even with pretty decent system specs) - meaning it was impossible at times to shot and hit anything. Question: Will it (in Rebirth) be possible to engage in combat near stations against a horde of enemies without suffering from a low frame rate?

zav425 karma

That is definitely our goal. We are still fighting with performance until the day of release and probably also beyond it, but the bottlenecks are in totally different places than in X3 games. Just having a lot (and I mean REALLY a lot) of ships near a station is not going to do much to it. But yes every new game we do is cutting edge when it comes out and therefore performance optimization is crucial

dragossk4 karma

One thing that annoyed me in x3 was how easily ships would collide against each other when in large groups. Especially in fighter combat as well as flying in formations. It made me uneasy to trust the AI to take control of any of my ships.

With seta gone, it should help a bit, but will AI ship collisions almost be impossible to happen now?

zav425 karma

Impossible to happen is a big word. But the new pathing is far far superior. Have a look at This video about pathing. Also this is only one of the subsystems.

sereus4 karma

Firstly I must complement you from the bottom of my heart on your games, they stand side by side with The Elder Scrolls as my favorite games. now for my question: what difficulties have you had and how have you addressed the issues with+ trying to keep these open world games competitive in the current game market where almost every game seems to be more of a cinematic experience instead of a game?

do you have any plans to integrate the game with the upcoming oculus rift technology?

zav427 karma

The gamescom talk video we uploaded to youtube today talks a bit about the motives of bringing space games more closer to the mainstream again. I personally do not believe that the sandbox nature of a game significantly limits its success in the mainstream, but if it does then we will definitely not go down that road. X games stand for this free nature and the sandbox aspect. As for the narrative aspect: Yes of course it is harder to put a great narrative into an open sandbox game instead of a very tightly story controlled game so we have to make compromises.

Occulus: Yes definitely. But probably not in time for release

InFlamesFor3ver4 karma

How many systems will there be once the main quest has been completed? 4-5 or something larger?

zav427 karma

I have answered about universe size in a different post. I am not going to give concrete numbers but expect the number to be small. Still the universe is HUGE.

BlackRainZ4 karma

When you say you can "eliminate" a faction, do you mean you can completely erase them from the game? No more ships/stations getting spawned? Or will those factions/governments still produce ships and stations from nothing?

zav428 karma

Thats the plan. I cant say that I have personally tested it yet, and cant even promise that it is feasible in any earthly amount of time, but we should support it.

Aesran3 karma

Another question : Will there be one day a french box of X:Rebirth with a physic manual ?

zav427 karma

yes. Definitely

Merroc3 karma

Two more questions: - When will there be more information about the English Collectors Edition - Looking to the future, what are the plans? How did you like the path Egosoft took with "community" made plots and patches? Is growth (both as a company and gametype/market wise) on the table? Would be interesting to see what ES can do, thats not specifically a space-sim.

zav4210 karma

I already wrote a bit about our plans in a different post. But more specifically: We (of course) love the cooperation wit community people on bringing updates and joining their best content with our updates. The last X3: Albion Prelude update was a great example. A very dedicated team of people worked on this and made something that would definitely never have been possible otherwise (because the egosoft core team was 99% invested in X Rebirth).

If the modding content for Rebirth reaches that level in the future we would be stupid not to work together with people again.

Growth of a company is (for me) not a goal in itself, or otherwise we would probably have made different games. If X Rebirth is very successful (and it currently looks very promising for that), then of course we will do everything to make that franchise grow. As I have said in other postings here we have an almost endless list of things we want to do with this great game in the future. Some will be free updates some will be paid expansions, some even completely new games. But what matters is that we are dedicated to this series and these type of games. No intention to divert away from it as long as it can sustain our company. So sorry... no big chance of a egosoft football game but likely more diverse X stuff :)

Demongornot3 karma

I'm sure the future plan is, for the next game to bring back multiple ship available for player, but do capital ship will still be able to be controlled ? Cause at this point you think it is boring, but a lot of player, including myself really like to controlling huge and slow ship ! By the way i'm perfectly ok with the single player ship concept for X Rebirth !

zav427 karma

I do not see us putting the player back into the cockpit of a huge slow capital ship and force him to push the steering stick / hold the mouse / tilt the joystick for minutes on end just to look what is behind him.

If you now say: But wait I can do that from my external camera! No! Whats the difference then to what you can already do in X Rebirth? Add the ship to your squad, keep it in close vincinity if you like and command it with the help of the Skunks HUD?

Yes I know it is cool to be on a large bridge. Maybe we will have them eventually as indoor locations at a later point in time. But no way will you control such a ship with your standard controls.

solarizde3 karma

Hi, why is X Rebirth more expensive in Germany then in "Out of Europe" ? This is the only current thing hindering me from placing my preorder.

zav429 karma

VAT. Orders inside Europe include 19% VAT tax.

Noxinecrotic3 karma

Will there be a nosteam.exe on launch, if not, how long after launch will it take to develop one and release on the egosoft website?

zav425 karma

We aim to release a nosteam.exe at a later point just like we released the DRM free versions in the past. With the games of the past this was never longer than a year after release and I think this time it will be rather ealier not later. Note however that I do not consider Steam a DRM in any way. With the standard Steam restrictions (not using additional protection like some do) Steam allows you to install a game very conveniently on many machines.

jamesw40k3 karma

Hello, I've loved your games ever since I was young and had no clue what was going on apart from flying around, shooting some guys then getting vaporized by the police force.

My question is about the ships, you've said that you'll only be able to fly one main ship but is it possible to build up massive fleets and command them from your main one? Or can you only control the one ship and its drones?

zav426 karma

You own and control them all. But other ships are not controlled from a cockpit. You order them around. This does not always mean talking because we also have special HUD features (modes) which directly connect with those ships in your squad that can do special tasks (like collecting large freight in space when stealing from a station).

Drones can be controlled in 1st person but you are not there yourself and therefore dont die when they explode.

AirshipCaptain3 karma

You guys are an amazingly talented group of individuals. I first got into this series with x2 and was nothing but amazed. Even though the learning curve was steep the depth and scope was mesmerizing. The community of players and devs alike is by far the best i have ever been a part of. If I were to travel again to Germany would I be able to walk in and meet some of you??

Best of luck, I will always love your work and continue to support the X series

zav426 karma

Really depends on the timing. But there was the idea of a fan meeting (or several). We did this in the past and it was really cool. We will suggest to our publishers to help set this up

Zackaryel3 karma

You claim everything in the game is produced from mining, but what happens if you mine enough to make asteroids disappear ?

Is there a way for the game to spawn other asteroids to keep the production levels up ?

zav425 karma

Yes. New asteroids form naturally.

zav425 karma

With a certain rate of course. So this is not endless!

X_Central3 karma

Wie funktioniert das Erkunden neuer Gebiete? sind die schon da, oder wächst das Universum dynamisch? Irgendwann sind ja alle Asteroiden abgebaut, oder spawnen die irgendwo neu?

zav427 karma

A mixture. There is a large universe which was "designed" by us but it also contains dynamic regions which change during the game.

BlackRainZ3 karma

I have a few questions but I will start with this. Are you able to use the COMM system (or whatever it is called that you use to command your captains) while docked on a station or Capital ship? So essentially, can you be docked on one of your Capital ships and use the COMM system to command that ship to do things?

zav428 karma

Phew that is a very specific scenario. Most conversations can actually be opened anytime including while you are docked. But this is not the scenario I consider typical. Most of the time you are in your ship in space and send commands from there (or receive calls from pilots or managers and react to them).

gordogomez2 karma

So...even though it is not typical... can we do it?

zav426 karma

The honest answer is: I think so, but I have to try it out first.

RustInPieces3 karma

Will there be a benchmark or Demo? It would be very useful to see if our systems could run it. You already have the Gamescom demo, you could easily use that. A free demo could improve sales.

zav428 karma

Maybe later. Not before release. I know this defies your purpose but unfortunately we dont have the manpower to do "nice" things like that before release.

not_your_sheep3 karma

I have yet to purchase your games as it intimidated me. They seem huge!

I am thinking about preordering your new onne

Are there massive space battles like in xwing vs tie fighter? I just want to get into massive battles and target missles and what not.

zav425 karma

We definitely intend to have some massive battles in this game. Not just through the amount of ships but also through the scale of some of the large objects involved in them.

drjeeves3 karma

Will you be able to build your own space stations or something similar to your own base? The game looks amazing.

zav428 karma

Thanks... You can build almost everything. Most of the stations and space cities you see in the videos can be built by the player.

theabominablewonder3 karma

Hello. I have never played X3 but I have it in my library and I occasionally entertain the thought of starting it up.

Anyway - I'm really looking forward to star citizen. Do you have plans to do your own space MMO in a similar vein?

zav4210 karma

errm well we had plans at some point: www.online-universe.net was posted in 2000 or 2001 then boom went a publisher down and with it our hope to soon dig on a gold mine. So instead of trying the super huge mega MMO we concentrate on gameplay in a single player game at first. Maybe one fine day we grow... but thats currently nothing more than a dream and some still registered domain names ;-)

Leviathan29563 karma

Hello, First of all, I would like to thank you and your team for the amazing job you've made on each of your games. I love everything in it (gameplay, soundtrack, graphics, vessels, universe, …) .We've waited seven years for X Rebirth and the last remaining months will be the longest before the release (at least for me :) ) !

I had one question about the "Pride of Albion". You say that it will be customizable. Will it be like the previous games (engines, shields, weapons, cargo, ...) or will it be something a little bit more complex ?

I also would like to know if you planned to release a demo before the game launch as the one you showed during one of your presentation of the game ?

Thank you in advance for your answers, and keep up the good work !

zav426 karma

Extending the playership is limited to certain systems (engines, shields, weapons etc.). These changes may also change the outside look of the ship a little, but this is not a modular design. This is in contrary to building capital ships whre we sometimes have just that. I think I explained this in another post here a bit more indepth.

ThommoHawX2 karma

Hi Bernd,

1) Space Suits > Is EVA enabled in Rebirth if not yet but at a later time?

2) 3rd person camera view of our ship / other ships / stations (like the F3 and numerical keypad function in X3 etc...) will Rebirth have this?

Thanks, and best wishes to you and your team.

zav422 karma

2) 3rd person camera view of our ship / other ships / stations (like the F3 and numerical keypad function in X3 etc...) will Rebirth have this?

Probably not at the start. You do have other perspectives through special units (like drones) but we do not currently have an external cam mode. Possible thing for after release if requested by enough people.

Rulux2 karma

When can I preorder the English Collectors Edition?

zav422 karma

Soon (tm)

nonnex2 karma

you were speaking of item trading beside the large scale trading. Does that mean that we have more (respective) items to sell. More variants or even rare items that can drop ect..?

zav429 karma

Yes. There is a large variety of items. Soma illegal, some require a license to carry some with interesting missions behind them. Items can be collected in various ways but all are pretty obvious: Fly over a crate in space, open a box on a platform, get them from a trade on a station etc.

IAlmostDied2 karma

I enjoyed albion prelude, however autopilot was rather terrible in it, i would go to the bathroom and my ship would collide with the station while docking, and this happened several times.

Will the new one you're working on have this issue also, or have you fixed it?

zav423 karma

The autopilot should be a lot better than before, but normally we do not intent to allow you to simply tell your ship to do something without you playing at all. This type of autopiloting will not be a part of the game (while you can still do it in other forms: See my post about docking with capital ships here).

Bluelizzard2 karma

Hi Bernd why just in Germany will have retail version from X rebirth? (I pref. retail version and it always cheaper than steam)

zav426 karma

There will be retail versions in most european countries as well as in the US.

Elenoe2 karma

Hi there :) Is the entire city (complex) walkable? AKA does every module have interior (at least simple form of bridge or hallway (ready to expand)) so one can actually walk from one end of complex to another? Or they are more like single apartments.

zav422 karma

No. Indoor locations are not (yet) connected inside the station. Again something that may change in the future.

MrBootylove2 karma

I love the concept of space sims, and how they are generally very rich and deep rpgs. My biggest problem is it's hard for me to find the patience to figure out how to play most of them. My question is are you guys offering a way to ease people who aren't acclimated to the genre into your game without sacrificing the deep complexities which make the genre so unique?

zav424 karma

YES... YES... YEEEES.... That is exactly the whole point of the X Rebirth development. Also listen to THIS (or actually probably you have to read because it is unfortunately in german but has english subtitles)

FeuerSeife2 karma

Ich hätte da ne Frage. Wenn das Nötige Klein geld Von der Community / sonstige einahmen Steht. Wird Dann irgend wann ein Multiplayer in X rebirth Eingefügt?. Wenn ja : Welche Art ? Open world wie in Star Citizen oder eher Wie Star Conflict wo man sich Mit schiffen beballert?

zav426 karma

Question is about multiplayer: Answer is, we will think about it at a later point in time together with hundreds of other cool ideas. We have been working on this for seven years and want to get it out to finally hear the communities feedback. Then we will decide which expansions, fixes, upgrades will be done first. I am really looking forward to that moment where this process starts again

efess2 karma

First of all, thanks for making some of the most fun games I've ever played, and thanks also for allowing the community to get involved in the process!

  1. What's EGOSOFT's favorite flavor of cake?
  2. What's your favorite beer?

zav424 karma

Oh we got so many nice cakes and I dont think the team can agree on just one :)

Me personally? I dont dring a lot of beet but now since it is summer I drink Hefeweizen occasionally :)

Erforce1 karma

4th : are the freeroaming mission difficulty VS reward revamped? what is the degree of repetitiveness from these missions ? (still pick him, drop him, profits?) And by the way, hi ! and thank you for everything.

zav422 karma

Free roaming missions (I called them generic missions in another post here) are an essential part of the game. We hope to provide a very solid set of missions with the release. But this especially is something that we can extend very nicely with updates later.

ginshuen1 karma

wieviele plots sind zum anfang geplannt?

zav422 karma

There is ONE main plot and lots of generic missions.

IRGhost1 karma

Hi, thanks for all the really nice games.

Question: Have you designed at smarter autopilot this time?

zav423 karma

yes

Xorvic1 karma

Is X-Rebirth only going to work on 64BIT Windows 7/8?

zav423 karma

It can theoretically run on 32bit systems but we dont test it and so it is not officially supported. Minimum requirement 64bit simply because we need 3 or 4 GB of memory. As for older OS I am not sure. We used to have some Windows XP machines at the office and they used to run the game fine. But again: We dont test on that anymore, so officially: No.

Demongornot1 karma

Do the player ship, the famous Skunk will have Turret and other surface element ? and if yes can we and how we control this turrets ? VR goggle, the big screen at our right, a turret station on our ship ?

zav422 karma

Not planned. See other post for reasons and explanation