Personal blog of Elijs 'X2Eliah' Dima

Stuff Wot I’ve Done, the XTC mod-team times

Between 2010 and 2012, I was part of a somewhat sizeable mod-team (meaning, about 15+ people for the majority of the time), for the “X3: Terran Conflict” game (by Egosoft); our mod was pretty much a “total conversion” type of thing, with a complete overhaul of the game’s universe, tons of features, all the while keeping strictly within the established lore & feel. Was working as a tester-manager (pretty difficult to enforce any sort of testing processes when the participants are volunteers across all over the world, and are mainly in this just to get access to new mod versions faster.. Sigh.), in-game writer (articles for the in-game news-system, some additional mission texts, item/weapon/ship/station descriptions, stuff like that), manual writer/designer/Person-Wot-Makes-It-Presentable (Link: http://files.linux-addicted.net/x-tended/X-Tended_-_Terran_Conflict_Manual_V2-1.pdf), and 3D modeller/UVMapper.

Some of the spaceship & space-station models I made for the mod will follow below. For the textures, we used texture materials from existing in-game models (each “race” had a specific texture set; all of them used tiling techniques to appear more high-res than the actual sheet). Modelling & UVmapping was up to us, and I tried to reuse as few assets as possible (just to make things more interesting and add to the established style. Also, that made for cleaner meshes, which led to better use of the polygon budget).

Some of these got given to Egosoft at the end of 2012, to be included in their X3: Albion Prelude expansion.

Let’s start with spacestations, shall we?

Supplementary "extraction" module for an asteroid mine, for an quatic alien race ("Boron").

Supplementary “extraction” module & main module for an asteroid mine, for an aquatic alien race (“Boron”).

The largest model (and one of the last added to the mod). A capital-class station for the "Paranid" race.

The largest model (and one of the last added to the mod). A capital-class station for the “Paranid” race.

 

Asteroid Mine station, main element + supporting module. Designed for the "Paranid" race.

Asteroid Mine station, main element + supporting module. Designed for the “Paranid” race.

Capital-class Station for the "Split" race.

Capital-class Station for the “Split” race. Wanted to evoke a bit of Hengsha from DX:HR, with the two levels of “decks” and busybusy stuff in the middle/underneath.

Asteroid mine station module, main section, for the "Split" race.

Asteroid mine station module, main section, for the “Split” race.

Capital-class station, for the "Teladi" race.

Capital-class station, for the “Teladi” race.

 

 

And now… SPACESHIPS woo!

"Boron" mobile agricultural production ship

“Boron” mobile agricultural production ship

Same ship, seen in-game.

Same ship, seen in-game.

A "People transporter" class ship for the "Teladi" race.

A “People transporter” class ship for the “Teladi” race.

Capital-class spaceship, a mobile energy-production powerplant. Very happy with this one. Pretty much the final ship I did.

Capital-class spaceship, a mobile energy-production powerplant. Very happy with this one. Pretty much the final ship I did. Also visible is another (reference) ship for style, and the previous powerplant-ship for rough size outlines.

Small Corvette for the "Argon" (the stock humans of this game's universe) faction. Something like a mix between a utility ship, military trader, and cruising yacht.

Small Corvette for the “Argon” (the stock humans of this game’s universe) faction. Something like a mix between a utility ship, military trader, and cruising yacht.

In-game test shots of the ship.

In-game test shots of the ship.

A cargo carrier / military trader ship for the "Paranid" faction. Still not entirely happy with the side-panels, but there was a pretty limited tris-count budget, and, well, Paranid ships were all about triangles and spheroidal surfaces, so not much box-extrusion allowed...

A cargo carrier / military trader ship for the “Paranid” faction. Still not entirely happy with the side-panels, but there was a pretty limited tris-count budget, and, well, Paranid ships were all about triangles and spheroidal surfaces, so not much box-extrusion allowed…

The "Split" alternative to the people carrier. "Split" were the "warlike" faction, so their ships had to be aggressively styled.

The “Split” alternative to the people carrier. “Split” were the “warlike” faction, so their ships had to be aggressively styled.

Capital-class ship for the "Split". A mobile weapons forge. (reference for previous model - the thin long gray thing, and another Split capital ship for style ref)

Capital-class ship for the “Split”. A mobile weapons forge. (reference for previous model – the thin long gray thing, and another Split capital ship for style ref)

A mobile ore refinery ship. Alas, the game engine did not allow true inter-object interaction, so the rocks are a permanent part of the model.

A mobile ore refinery ship. Alas, the game engine did not allow true inter-object interaction, so the rocks are a permanent part of the model. This was the first of the “mobile factory” ships, and sort of acted as a pitch for replacing the entire mobile factory ship set with race-appropriate designs.

A heavy destroyer for the game's main antagonist faction - self-sentient terraforming evil robots.

A heavy destroyer for the game’s main antagonist faction – self-sentient terraforming evil robots.

 

 

Seems fun, right? So.. why did I leave the team at end of 2012?

Well.. Basically, we accomplished what we set out to do. The version 2 of the XTC mod had all the new features, all the ship and station models we wanted to have, and most of the story fleshed out. What was left was basically customer support, bugfixing, minor tweaks, and additions on the scripting/coding side, which, at least at the time, was not “my thing”. And, well, 2+ years is a long time to work on a game mod. I wanted to take a break, and have spare time for playing games (and, well, university stuff, but that wasn’t a big time-taker).

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