In the works for two-and-a-half years, the developers behind XWVM — the “modernisation” mod for Star Wars: X-Wing — have delivered their first pre-alpha version. While only available to selected testers, it does signal that XWVM is no pipe dream and eventually, we’ll all be able to enjoy a fresh-faced revamp of the classic space sim.
Unfortunately, the mod isn’t available to the public, with the developers choosing to go through a pre-alpha period. Apparently, XWVM Team was accepting sign-ups for testers via a thread on the GOG forums so if you missed out, it might be wise to poke your head in as soon as possible.
Even so, I wouldn’t be too upset. From the sounds of things, there’s still a lot of work to be done before it can be considered a finished product:
The game is in absolutely preAlpha, early access, preview, optimised, unfinished, incomplete, not-at-all done state. It’s lacking 90 per cent of the content and assets, if not more, and the amount of polish is at the “You can look at it without pulling out your eyes just after” level. We are always improving the visuals, replacing old models, adding bells and whistles.
However, the game is complex enough to make sense to release it already in its current state so that we can get an idea of how good or bad it performs in the spectrum of PC configurations that is out there. That will give us directions about where to go next, or what requires most urgent attention.
XWVM is the second project I’m aware of that’s using Unity to drag an older game into modern times. Aussie Gavin Clayton has been working hard for a few years now on providing a fresh face for Bethesda’s Daggerfall via the popular game engine.
I couldn’t track down a timeline for a public release, but fingers crossed it won’t be another two or three years!