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Evochron Alliance 2.0 News

September 14th, 2007
Version 2.288 is ready for download and includes the following improvements:

- New specular effects added to ships for a shiny metallic look.
- Radar markers added for navigation points and contract waypoints.
- Framerate performance for slower systems greatly improved for menus.
- Missile lock retention bug for stealth devices fixed for multiplayer.
- Minor bug with threat level indicators not updating with the correct color level fixed.
- Bug causing the game to close back to the desktop at launch on some systems fixed.

The server program has also been updated to improve performance on most systems.

May 12th, 2007
Version 2.208 is ready for download and includes the following improvements:

- Support for TrackIR expanded to include all six degrees of movement and improved central deadzone.
- Improvements to joystick HAT panning view control and padlock mode.
- Menus now support 'Optimized' resolution mode.
- Support for running under Vista's UAC added.
- 3D text image quality improved.

The installer will update older versions of the game as usual, although it is recommended that you uninstall any older version before updating to 2.208. The reason for this is the new folder location of the game files (now \sw3dg\evochronalliance), removing an older version will free up about 40 MB of hard drive space by removing the old game files from the \Program Files\EvochronAlliance folder before installing the new files. You can also manually delete the old game files and folder after updating, if desired.

April 20th, 2007
Version 2.188 is ready for download and includes the following improvements:

- Performance optimizations for Windows Vista and slow systems running other versions of Windows.
- Third person view now retains HUD and cockpit displays for combat effectiveness.
- Purchasing station licenses now offers protection against hostile ships while docked.
- Loaded ship upgrades now provide a 3D icon in the inventory console and description when highlighted.
- Option to customize gun sound effects added (see the customizing kit for details).
- Option to remove cockpit struts now available ('nostruts.txt' file option in the game's folder).
- Text messages from crew members now display for full duration as with other message types.

A ZIP file is available in the downloads section to apply the 'bubble canopy' modification to the game.

March 2nd, 2007
Version 2.128 is ready for download and includes the following improvements:

- You can now deactivate stealth devices prior to their default cloaking duration by pressing the secondary device button a second time.
- Docking lights for space stations now provide a flight path to the docking port rather than just a circle around it.
- If targeted ship is destroyed, the targeting system will now give priority to the next nearest hostile (rather than just the next nearest ship).
- For widescreen resolutions, players can now manually adjust the mouse cursor offset to adapt to various aspect ratios.
- Support for multiple control devices enhanced (in particular, CH controllers such as rudder pedals).
- Mouse wheel throttle control now disables when using the navigation console (for all mouse flight control modes).
- Y Nav point position no longer changes with mouse wheel throttle input in mouse flight control modes.
- Secondary throttle control with game device buttons added.

February 8th, 2007
The announcement for the 2.108 update was posted a little early on the game's website, before a few details were finalized (my mistake while making an important website update). So I'll call this update 2.108B, which is available now and includes all of the improvements listed below along with improved support for the 1920X1200 resolution. Other widescreen resolutions with a similar ratio also benefit from this update.

January 28th, 2007
Version 2.108 is ready for download and includes the following improvements:

- Individual key and button control for nearest/next hostile added in addition to dual key/button option.
- Support for 1360X768 and 1360X1024 resolutions added.
- Ship to ship trades with mismatched cargo capacity corrected.
- Cargo container options in custom systems corrected.
- Loss of shadow effects after certain view changes fixed.
- When plotting jump points, you can now right click on an entry field to clear the value.
- Right clicking on object icons in the navigation console will automatically lock a jump point to that object.

January 12th, 2007
The next phase in the enhancement of Evochron Alliance is available now. The original ships (which suffered from 'programmer artwork' :-) have been replaced with professionally developed high quality ships and textures. Plenty of other player requests have been coming in, including hiring crew members and a news center. You can now hire crew members to further enhance the capabilities of your ship and its systems. From engineering to weapon operations, hiring a crew can greatly improve your ability to explore, fight in combat, trade, and repair your ship. Version 2.088 is ready for download and includes the following improvements:

- Players can now hire crew members that specialize in various skills to enhance their ship and its upgrades.
- New high quality ships (models and textures) added.
- Seemless planetary descent effects improved (horizon haze, shadows for ridges, smoother transitions).
- News console added to provide players with local market conditions and system news.
- Online news system added (can also be customized offline using news.txt file option).
- Textures improved for planets, cloud layers, and space stations.
- Mining beams now automatically pan around to optimized material recovery from asteroids.
- Multiplayer hosting reliability improved.
- Primary weapon effects improved.
- Mouse response in the multiplayer menus improved.
- Several issues with the Mouse Direction control mode fixed.
- The Low and Medium sensitivity modes for joystick and gamepad controls centered better.
- The HAT thruster control mode now provides the same level of power as key and button controls.
- Minor bug with lens flares fixed.

The installer also works as a patch to upgrade older versions of the game.

The dedicated server program has also been updated to version 2.088 for multiplayer compatibility.

December 1st, 2006
- Evochron Alliance 2.0 is now available! This is a major update to the game that includes a lot of new features and gameplay options. Directional shield arrays, support for TrackIR, new physics, a 3D cockpit, and new control options are just some of the improvements. Based on player requests and feedback, the graphics have been updated substantially to include new effects, logos, textures, and menus. These improvements have been designed to enhance the look and feel of the game with a minimal increase in system requirements. So most players should not encounter any performance changes, although some low end systems may see a slight framerate drop due to the higher resource needs of this new version. The game has been updated to support Windows Vista (while remaining compatible with earlier versions of Windows) and has received several other updates requested by players. Best of all, this update is FREE to players who purchased the original game through this website. To update the game, simply download and run the installer.

Version 2.008 is ready for download and includes the following improvements:

- Windows Vista support added.
- Full 3D cockpit added (all gauges, indicators, and displays are now rendered in 3D instead of 2D text and sprites).
- Support for the NaturalPoint TrackIR 3D view control system added.
- Directional shields added with augment control.
- Padlock view option added.
- Graphics enhanced greatly to improve various special effects, textures, models, logos, and menus.
- Skill rating, scoring, and level system updated to better balance values between kills, contracts, upgrades, and cash.
- Eject option added.
- Physics system changed to match Arvoch Conflict's hybrid system by player request.
- Sensor range in thick nebula clouds for ships increased to 1200.
- Sensor range for wormholes and hidden containers increased to 2000.
- Support for secondary control devices added.
- Support for force feedback expanded for other formats.
- Inventory console sometimes has layered text issue during campaign contracts, fixed.
- Support for importing custom music added.
- Support for importing custom primary weapon sound effects added.
- Certain custom system exploits corrected.

The installer also works as a patch to upgrade older versions of the game. Version 2.0 is designed to update older 1.X versions of the game. Any version from 1.728 up through 1.888 should update correctly, although you will need to remap your controls and adjust settings as desired due to the many new options available. Pilot profiles, custom systems, registration status, and some aspects of custom Heads-Up-Displays should work with the new version. If the game prompts you to enter a key for any reason, simply use your original version 1.X key to convert the demo into the full game.

The new force feedback system allows you to 'force' the option even if the game doesn't detect it by default (such as what may happen on certain Logitech controllers using the IForce2 instruction set). To enable force feedback regardless of what is detected on the system, simply create a text file in the game's directory with the name FFENABLE.TXT, type the word ENABLE in the first line, then save the file. Next time you launch the game, force feedback will be activated.

Here are the filenames to use to customize the music (use a directory named \sounds in the game's main directory, then use the filenames below to replace the built-in versions):

evmenumusic.wav = Main menu music
evoambient.wav = In-game music

For custom primary weapon sound effects, use the filenames GUNX.WAV where X is the number of the weapon type you want to replace starting with 1 for the Banshee cannon. Use the same \sounds directory for these audio files as well.

If you are upgrading from version 1.X, make sure to load every pilot profile, start the freeform mode, then immediately save (you can use Alt-Q for quick save). This will automatically update your profiles for the 2.0 file format.

June 2nd, 2006
- Version 1.888 is ready for download and includes the following improvements:

- Option to target a ship under the gunsight now available (default Y key).
- Sound effects now open to modification/customizing. Refer to list below for sound filenames.
- HUD pitch ladder sometimes didn't scale correctly after alt-tab, now fixed.

The installer also works as a patch to upgrade older versions of the game.

Here are the filenames to use to customize the various sound effects (use a directory named \sounds in the game's main directory, then use the filenames below to replace the built-in versions):

buzz.wav = Mouse click error
buzz2.wav = Inbound missile audio alert
chaff.wav = Countermeasures
dock.wav = Docking effect
exp1.wav = Missile explosion
exp2.wav = Collision
flyby.wav = Ship fly by
hostilealert.wav = Hostile ship in range alert
lock1.wav = Missile lock
missle.wav = Missile launch
nuke.wav = Big explosion
nofire.wav = Primary weapon misfire
s3.wav = Normal explosion
s4.wav = Shield impact
s7b.wav = Mouse click
tabon.wav = Afterburner engaging
tabburn.wav = Afterburner cycling
taboff.wav = Afterburner disengaging
thrusters.wav = Maneuvering thrusters
thunder.wav = Nebula cloud thunder effect
tractor.wav = Tractor beam
warn.wav = Main warning alert
warn2.wav = Critical alert
warp.wav = Jump drive warp effect
weapload.wav = Weapon load effect

March 2nd, 2006
- Version 1.828 is ready for download and includes the following improvements:

- Wormhole and hidden container radar detection range increased to 2000.
- Mining/tractor beam can now be locked on using the ALT-B key combination.
- Level of detail for horizon bars increased greatly for clarity in high resolutions.
- 3D radar sphere detail increased greatly for improved legibility and clarity in high resolutions.
- Speed rate for HUD motion spears decreased for better legibility.

The installer also works as a patch to upgrade older versions of the game.

January 7th, 2006
- Version 1.788 is ready for download and includes the following improvements:

- HUD motion spears improved for reduced intensity and gray coloring.
- Overall graphics update for the Heads-Up-Display to look better at higher resolutions.
- Some hidden containers and weapon depots were unable to deliver items at various times, now fixed.
- Custom nebula clouds occasionally lost correct fog color after lightning flashes, now fixed.
- Several minor bug fixes.

The installer also works as a patch to upgrade older versions of the game.

December 2nd, 2005
- Version 1.708 is ready for download and includes the following improvements:

- Custom Heads-Up-Displays and cockpits can now be imported for each unique ship class.
- Radar blips for hidden cargo containers, weapon depots, and wormholes added.
- Option for custom cockpit mesh structures and glass 'frosting' now available (X and 3DS formats supported).
- Several minor bug fixes.

The installer also works as a patch to upgrade older versions of the game.

The new cockpit option will let you import your own custom designs in either X or 3DS model formats. I have included a sample cockpit object and glass frosting texture with the sample files for the HUD. The sample cockpit will give you an idea for what scaling and positioning to use. Simply build cockpit struts onto it and texture as desired, or build your own completely original design.

The radar blips for hidden containers and wormholes will activate at a range of about 1200 and are purple in color to help distinguish them from other blips on the radar. This will make exploring for hidden items much easier (hopefully not too easy though with the limited range of detection).

November 22nd, 2005
- A new retro Heads-Up-Display is available for download as well as files to translate the game text into German (both available in the downloads section). Version 1.588 is available for download and offers the following fixes and improvements.

- Demo freeform time restored for all demo versions
- Mouse flight control sensitivity adjustment added to Options menu
- Contract pool now cycles when objectives completed to provide more realistic events
- Contracts in systems where player has level 1 reputation now offer more variety
- Per transaction money transfer trade limit in multiplayer increased to 99-million
- Station ownership licenses now available in Talison, Deneb, and Thuban
- Space station hangar collision detection corrected for a few systems
- Individual pilot account limit of 2-billion credits removed, now virtually unlimited
- Available ratings increased to 100,000 available levels

The installer also works as a patch to upgrade older versions of the game.

November 2nd, 2005
- Version 1.508 is available for download and offers the following fixes and improvements.

- Particle effects added for mining
- New and more accurate collision system for mining beam
- Planet atmosphere physics system changed by player request
- Improved shield flaring and collision detection for space stations
- New trade routes established for planets specializing in agriculture, bio-research, mining, and technology
- Gravity now realistically effects cargo containers lost in a planet atmosphere
- Improved metallic appearance for cockpit displays
- Several graphics enhancements and minor bug fixes

The installer also works as a patch to upgrade older versions of the game.

October 14th, 2005
- Version 1.288 is available for download and offers the following fixes and improvements. Also, be sure to check out the downloads section as some new video tutorials and a custom Heads-Up-Display design are available.

- New option for custom universe systems that allow hostile AI ships to be turned off in multiplayer
- Hostile ships now send bribe offers if player is intimidating enough
- AI difficulty reduced slightly along with major reductions in multiplayer for the first 3 systems
- New options for modding Heads-Up-Display graphics
- Improved player exit system for multiplayer (prevents the delay in the ID list update)
- Station licenses took away profits from selling items on planets, fixed
- Cargo delivery contracts sometimes didn't register certain jettison distances, fixed
- Large transport ships sometimes jumped away if too many hostile ships intercepted during delivery contracts, fixed
- Radar blips smaller with less light haze for easier legibility
- 'Fill fuel tank' option now available to speed up refueling
- Targets in the area can now optionally be displayed on a list sorted by range
- Shield, energy, speed, gravity, and altitude can now optionally be displayed in the middle of the HUD
- Text font can now be set to bold or narrow for all in-game text
- Inaccurate lens flare inside asteroid caves fixed
- Planet icons on nav maps now more accurately scaled
- Planet city location icons added to nav maps for improved descent navigation
- Shipyard construction menu now defaults to current configuration instead of the minimum settings
- Players can now double click on pilot profiles to load them, instead of having to click on Load Profile
- Improved AI ship positioning system for multiplayer (prevents the large jumps when new players join)
- Small bug with the Excalibur missile pack on rapid fire not cycling correctly fixed
- New forward and reverse thruster control options for inertial mode
- Auto-load next mission option added for custom missions
- New keyboard and game controller binding functions
- Compass readout values changed by player request
- Several minor bug fixes

September 22nd, 2005
- Evochron Alliance has been launched! Head to the downloads section to grab the free trial version. If you previously purchased the original Evochron, be sure to check out the newsletter for the upgrade discount offer.

September 12th, 2005
- Evochron Alliance has reached release candidate testing and is on track for a release within about a month.

August 24th, 2005
- Evochron Alliance is currently in beta testing. Testers are reviewing the game, submitting feedback and requests along with bug reports. The process will likely continue for at least several weeks.

August 18th, 2005
- The official Evochron Alliance website is now available for preview. News will be posted about the game's development and the estimated launch date will be Fall/Winter 2005.

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