Academy Concept Art Shows Off WC3 Roots

Renowned comic and storyboard artist Tim Eldred has posted a couple of neat pictures to his Instagram. They feature concept sketch work that he did for Wing Commander Academy before the show was made. These were done early in his professional life and ended up influencing the rest of his career. The first shot shows several Confed fighters, including the Arrow and Hellcat that only ended up being featured in the first episode. At this point in development, the idea was that the TV series would primarily feature the cast of WC3 during their Academy years. This leads into the second sketch of the team as pilots, and this includes a young Flint instead of Archer! Very cool. Mr. Eldred is also working on a new graphic sci-fi novel series, Pitsberg, that you can find online here.
Presentation piece for the Wing Commander Academy TV pitch (Universal animation studio), 1996. This lead to my first-ever cartoon gig, and opened the path I'm still on today. #animation #scifi #wingcommander See my current SF webcomic at pitsberg.com!

Delve Deeper Into FM Towns Wing Commander

The amazing Pix of Pix's Origin Adventures is back with a second look at Wing Commander for the Japanese FM Towns system. If you missed his first look, it's worth a read so you can get a better understanding of the hardware and software package that goes into this. Now that he's played the game a bit, he's summarized some of the pros and cons inherent in this fairly advanced port. There are some minor but surprising glitches, although the sound is improved and Japanese pilot voices are pretty cool.
Let’s start with the sound which is where the biggest differences lie. The entire soundtrack is played directly from the CD rather than the MT-32 original. The music hasn’t been rearranged as far as I can tell but simply mapped to another fairly similar synthesizer with some more realistic samples for some instruments than were available on the MT-32. Usually I would always prefer the MT-32 in these circumstances but here the new versions are an improvement. Where they do suffer is by taking about 2 seconds to start each track due to that single speed CD-ROM. This is particularly jarring when the music switches up in combat.

I also prefer the digital sound effects for shooting, space debris etc. It would have been nice if they didn’t always play at the same volume but it’s not a big deal. I even like the Japanese voices for the pilots. The language being unintelligible to myself doesn’t really matter given that there are English subtitles. I do wish they had done a Scottish accent for Paladin just to hear what Scottish Japanese sounded like – probably more convincing than the Scottish American in WC2 I expect. On the whole, the FM Towns wins on the sound front.

Origin Heroes Profiled In New Sketches

Denis Loubet has drawn a new pair of images based on some of his early work at Origin. They depict the twin stars of Ultima and Wing Commander reflecting on the struggles they face. Wingnuts at the CIC Forums helped provide reference material and recommendations on Bluehair's look. It's really cool to see them side by side in a similar style like this, and these works of art would look great framed. Check out the links below for more detail, and note that these are only partial resolution versions. The full res originals are available to Denis' Patreon subscribers.
Out of the blue, just because I wanted to do something for my patrons, comes the Avatar and Bluehair! These two pictures depict introspective studies of our favorite heroes.

The Avatar is recalling all the creatures that have fallen before him who must have had complex inner lives he was not privy to, and questioning the simplicity of the virtues he is sworn to uphold.

Bluehair is recovering from the adrenaline charged chaos of a dogfight, wondering if he made the right choice to join the navy to defend the Terran Confederation from the depredations of the Kilrathi Empire.

Or not. I'm just guessing what's going on in their heads. You should decide for yourself what their grey matter is contemplating.

Many thanks to the Wing Commander CIC forums for their expertise regarding Bluehair's insignia. (Note that I decided to leave Bluehair's name plaque off his jacket because his name isn't really Bluehair, and his name should really be whatever you gave him when you played the game.)

Enjoy, and thank you so much for all your help! :D

--Denis

High Quality Orca Pods Make A Splash

The Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack has another fearsome addition. DefianceIndustries has successfully implemented Dark Sentinel's Orca destroyer. It looks great in the Vision Engine with a blend of distinctive details and elements that shimmer into the starry blackness. There are even pinpricks of light that dot the hull to represent windows, and it's got a couple big plasma cannons as well. This particular ship isn't in the public release yet, but you can fly around with many other upgraded craft in the current beta release here.
Fellow wingnuts - I give you a MUPpetized Orca, courtesy of Dark Sentinel! The learning curve on the bugs for converting capships is a bit steeper than Confed, but now that I've ironed out the wrinkles it should be smoother sailing. The bug destroyer is lean and mean - Also sporting destructible plasma guns (they aren't active but they could be with a tweak to the ship file) a destructible launcher, and some very nice damaged/destroyed meshes. It should look quite satisfactory blown up as well as menacing your Pelicans.

WC Solar Empire Game Now Available To Try

The first playable test release of the Wing Commander Mod for Sins of a Solar Empire has been released! Nomada_Firefox cautions that there are likely to be issues that players encounter, but feedback at this stage is quite valuable and it looks like a pretty cool fleet battle game. Obviously the SoaSE base game is required, and fans can download the files after registering here. Further details are below. A new video has also been posted that shows off the game in action! Check it out for a good idea of what to expect.
Well, I have released the first public version from the mod. You can found it only at my site. Just check the downloads section or this link.

The mod works with the last 1.91 ver from the game Sins of a Solar Empire Rebellion, just uncompress it into the Mods-Rebellion v1.85 folder. If you are curious after the 1.85, the game developers did not renamed the number from the mods folder. As you will see the mod replaces the original units by units from Wing Commander universe. There are many things new in the universe as several stations and starships created by myself, mostly with great imagination and modifing other units.

This version can be considered a test version, I do not know what you will find wrong inside. Any bugs can be possible. However, by quantity, this mod is very simple and it should work without problems, even, it will work equal or better than the original game because it does not overload the game.

Well enjoy it.

Wing Commander Available Via Movies Anywhere

Five of the biggest movie studios have surprisingly banded together to fix an annoying aspect of the digital age. As we accumulate movies across different platforms, our library gets scattered and we have to utilize a wide variety of services to see what we own. But now, movies that that were produced by 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, Universal, Disney and Sony Pictures and are owned within iTunes, Amazon Video, Vudu or Google Play can now be interlinked under an umbrella called Movies Anywhere. And Wing Commander is fortunate enough to be part of this new system! Whatever you own on one of the platforms and from one of the studios mentioned above instantly becomes available on all of the others. It all looks a lot more user-friendly and inclusive than the UltraViolet scheme. There's also several decent free movies that they give you if you sign up now. So if you happened to pick up Wing Commander on sale at one storefront but prefer another, now you're in luck! If you don't yet own it digitally, the going rate is $9.99 at iTunes, Amazon, Vudu or YouTube. Occasional sales can bring the price down to around $7, however lately these have been somewhat fewer and farther between.
Based on the best selling video game, Wing Commander is now a full length action-packed movie! Starship Troopers meets Top Gun in this no-holds-battle for the future of mankind. A vicious alien race, the Kilrathi, has discovered the coordinates to Earth and is heading its way! Now it's up to two young hotshot fighter pilots to blast their way through the Kilrathi's defenses and save their planet from this new breed of enemy.

Homeworld Mod Adds Confed Light Cruiser

The Homeworld Remastered mod has been looking at how to fill a gap in the Confed fleet lineup, and L.I.F. found their solution in the Tolmacs light cruiser. It's a fan design that was donated by Deathsnake after its use in another mod fell through, but the origins actually go back much farther than that... NinjaLA actually came up with the concept in a 2007 sketch for a potential comic. And Howard Day ran with it to create an exquisitely detailed ultra quality model the following year, which we never got around to showing in the news. But Wing Commander fans are resourceful and have long memories, so here we are today with the ship finally seeing broader use and getting more visibility today! It's a neat design with many similarities to both the Bengal and Exeter. It has two stacked launch tubes down the central fuselage for a small fighter contingent and a pretty good conventional armament. Check it out in more detail below:

Games Within Games

Mainstream gaming news site Kotaku has an article that promises a hidden, text-based adventure game hidden inside Wing Commander: Privateer. And it's true! The original Privateer shipped with a small file called TABTNE.VDA. Reversing the filename gave you an executable, ADVENT.BAT... and running that let you play a small, unusual text game called Art D's First Batch Adventure! Origin programmer Arthur DiBianca included a second game, Art D's Next Batch Adventure, with Righteous Fire and then both were included on the CD-ROM version of Privateer. A third and final game, Art D's Third Batch Adventure, was hidden inside Wings of Glory. You can play all three games in your browser at Archive.org (though, be warned: they do not have anything to do with Wing Commander!)

Additionally, a copy of the classic 'Animal Gump' computer guessing game is hidden inside Wing Commander IV. Start a new game, access the terminal as though you were about to select your callsign and type 'animal' while it is starting up (BEFORE you enter your name.) The game will start right there in your browser! Can you teach the Lexington's computer what animal you're thinking of?

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