This time six years ago today the beginnings of The X Universe were being built...
It seems strange to think that this site has been up and running for the six years it has, and a lot has gone on in that time, and more is planned, as will be outlined in this thread...
Through the past six years TXU has grown from a 'let's test my site building skills project...' to a site that has thousands of members, and is the home of a number of the bigger projects that the X games have seen during that time. With X³: Albion Prelude [#x3albionprelude] now out, and X Rebirth [#xrebirth] on the table for this year, there is a lot more to happen that will help grow and develop this community. As well as that, Xtended Terran Conflict has launched it's first versions in this past year with more coming.
This brings us to the new feature of TXU that is underdevelopment:
Project X (as the project is currently called) has been developed progressively over the past couple of months in tandem with the DragonByte Tech coders (behind a number of the modifications to vBulletin on this site). The aim is to provide a command based game environment for the users here to participate in.
Though lightly based in concept on the X games, it will not feature the ships and stations of the X games series, though some similar aspects of it will appear as development permits. The idea for the project originally came in a slightly different form over six months ago, but at the time it didn't seem realistic to pursue it. It was only after @Neurotoxin started his Lost Universe [#lostuniverse] project that we saw a way of making the system more user friendly and interactive. For those who have played the Lost Universe, you will see a number of similarities in concepts, while at the same time Project X strikes out in it's own direction on certain features.
What will a player be able to do?
Each player who activates their account will be given a set amount of ships (depending on what start they choose). Each ship (and eventually station) that a player owns will be able to take commands that will be played in almost real time. Every five minutes the server will update the status of each ship and act on the commands the ship was running on, for example it will continue to move a ship from Point A to Point B, or harvest materials, or patrol against enemy ships, etc. At hourly intervals stations will produce their goods and ships assuming they have enough materials to do so. Stations and ships can be built by the player as they research the knowledge and blueprints to do so. Ships and Stations can be set with 'queues' of commands and instructions that will be processed even when the player isn't on the forum. Plans are to also allow groups of players to act together in an alliance format if they wish.
Can we play now?
This announcement doesn't mark the release of Project X, rather it opens the opportunity for a number on the forum to sign up to begin the Alpha testing stage. Currently we have built much of the unseen administrative control panel operation of Project X, several of the commands that will be used and at the moment we are working on developing the User Interface that a user will issue their commands and check their status from. We expect Alpha testing to be ready to begin within a week to two weeks. A public Beta stage will be announced further along the line when all users will be able to participate before the final full release and official start to Project X a few months down the line.
Can I join the Alpha Testing Team?
We are opening an opportunity to all users to volunteer their services with regards to Alpha Testing. A thread will be opened in the Project X forums shortly and all users can volunteer to sign up there. Conditions on partaking in the testing will be outlined in that thread.
For those interested in following the development of Project X, and keeping up to date with the progress of it's development and testing, there are a number of things you might want to do. Subscribe to receive notifications in the Project X forums, and also keep track of references using the hash tag system here. Additionally, expect blogs to appear as various members of the team explain and outline the latest news and features. The following links might therefore be useful:
Project X Forums
Subscribe to Project X Forum
Project X Alpha Testing Signup Thread
Enter projectx in to your hash tag updates to get notifications of references to Project X