Mark Hamill and Chris Roberts Together Again?

A recent twitter post has the Star Citizen rumor mill all abuzz (and no, we don't mean the asset leak stuff everyone is talking about). Mark Hamill recently posted a message stating he had returned to England for a tantalizing non-Star-Wars project.

Mark Hamill engaging in a secret project on its own isn't necessarily huge news. Often, actors are restricted by NDA from disclosing movies they are working on until the studio is ready to reveal them. However, when combined with the fact that Chris Roberts is currently at Andy Serkis' UK-based Imaginarium directing the performance capture shoot for the Wing-Commanderesque Squadron 42, fans have been putting two and two together. It also helps that one of the Star Citizen early stretch goals promised that at least one Wing Commander veteran would be returning for the S42 single player campaign.

Coincidence? Or resounding proof that Colonel Blair will soon be back in the cockpit where he belongs? You decide!

Nimble KF-227 Harasses Vega Supply Lines

WC Vega's newest fighter is the swift Salthi light fighter. They've been added to Mike Peters' film project as quick little escorts to assist the larger Dralthi raiders. One of the sequences mocked up below shows off how they might work in tandem to take down a Drayman - before a pair of Scimitars come to the rescue! And if that's not enough to hold the kats off, the next Confed fighter is already in the works... Find more pictures and storyline updates at their website here.
Salthis! I made them a little small to improve the weight (mass) to thrust ratio, theoretically. Almost ready for a low-res, stop motion scene.

TCS Phoenix Still Holding the Line in Gemini

The crew of the TCS Phoenix is still cruising the star systems of Gemini Sector rooting out pirates and fending off the Kilrathi. For fans itching for old school '90s style forums-based role playing, Wing Commander From the Ashes is their best bet. The adventures follow the crew of a Confed ship assigned to the Potter and Humboldt Quadrants in many of the systems we became familiar with as privateers. You can find a taste of the action at their message boards here. They also publish a bimonthly newsletter with RPG updates, Wing Commander fan fiction and news about the space sim community at large. Grab the latest copy here (580 k PDF).

Ultima Art Project Moves Forward, But WC Element Still Possible

If you're not a Patreon follower of Denis Loubet, you may have missed the results from the recent vote for his next Origin-themed artwork. Unfortunately, Ultima fans won with a request for a new cover of Ultima VII. This is actually a very cool subject for Origin fans though as "The Black Gate" originally had just a stark black box! Denis will be consulting with Richard Garriott about what he might have imagined a properly illustrated cover to look like, so the results will be quite interesting for all.

The Wing Commander options in the poll placed around the middle of the pack of ten possible choices. But all is not lost for our heroic pilots, however! Mr. Loubet has acknowledged his significant support from the WC community and will likely find other opportunities to tide Wingnuts over in the future. In the mean time, fans are welcome to engage in open discussion about the glory days at Origin with this former senior OSI artist at the CIC Forums here.

Here is the breakdown:
Ultima 7 Cover: 15
Ultima 2 Cover 14
Ultima Online Cover 0
Ultima Fiction Illustrations 9
Ultima Tableau Illustrations 14
Ultima Cover as Movie Poster 11
Generic Fantasy Characters 6
Wing Commander Portraits 8
WC/Ultima Crossover 10
WC/Ultima Cardboard Heroes 7

The winner is #1! A real cover for Ultima 7!

It's interesting to note that everyone is apparently totally satisfied with the cover to Ultima Online, with 0 votes! ;-)

I will be quizzing Richard Garriott about what elements he would have wanted on the cover of The Black Gate if he had gone with an actual illustration. I'll let you know what he says!

The high counts for the U2 cover and Tableau illustrations shows a high Ultima bias in my fans so far. But the Wing Commander contingent just needs a few more voting fans to make things more interesting! Scold your friends who aren't already patrons!

I will try to sneak in something Wing Commander-ish at the same time for you guys.

I'd better get to work then!

Elite Dangerous Available For Mac

Elite Dangerous, that other major crowdfunded space sim, is now available for Mac. David Braben's adventure/trading game was released for PC late last year, with Mac and Xbox One versions still in the pipeline. Mac users can now get the game directly from Frontier Developments or through Steam, and players are able to fly alongside PC users. For the OS X port, the rendering engine was adapted for OpenGL, so a Linux port might still be in the cards.

Take control of your own starship in a cut-throat galaxy.

Start with a small starship and a few credits, and do whatever it takes to get the skill, knowledge, wealth and power to stand among the ranks of the Elite.

400 Billion Star Systems. Infinite Freedom. Blaze Your Own Trail

In the year 3300, across the vast expanse of an epic, full-scale recreation of our Milky Way, interstellar rivalries flare as galactic superpowers fight proxy wars.

Some may know you as an ally; others will call you a pirate, a bounty hunter, a smuggler, an explorer, an assassin, a hero... Fly alone or with friends, fight for a cause or go it alone; your actions change the galaxy around you in an ever unfolding story.

LOAF Talks WC3 For A Good Cause

Cloud Imperium Games community team members James Pugh and Disco Lando recently conducted a 24-hour video gaming livestream for charity. There's a wide variety of games on deck, including Wing Commander 3. LOAF even starred on the stream for a bit and provided a running commentary before taking the controls. The entire run has been archived here - jump to about 09:26:00 for the WC3 playthrough.

"Let's just say she could hypothetically cruise at a cool 500 kilometers per second..."

While cleaning his hard drive, Lc4Hunter stumbled upon old Excalibur model he'd created long ago. It brought back so many fond memories that he just had to take a stab at recreating it with all of the skills he's learned over the years! The result is a high quality update of one of the most beloved fighters in the series. You can also check out his recent Vesuvius remake here and more of his non-WC works here..
A long time during my childhood this ship was the most sexy thing in space I could imagine. I loved the Wing Commander series and especially Wing Commander 3 and 4 were my favourite ones.

This ship you can see here was created for an X3-Modification. The ship was already in-game and well... it was the death to all of its enemies. ;)

Behind the Scenes of the WC2 Demo

Wing 2 director and script writer Stephen Beeman recently shared some interesting facts about the WC2 demo, now almost a quarter century old. The awesome, 'alternative' intro animation is embedded below, or you can download the demo and check it out for yourself. Mr. Beeman also fondly recalled their rudimentary motion capturing efforts and the ensuing hijinks in an old Escapist article.
Yup, this is the WC2 announcement demo from winter CES in January '91. Those character closeups actually cost a huge percentage of our meager disk space, which is why the guard got cut from the final product.

This demo wasn't simply a promotional tool, it was a lab for trying out technologies for the game itself. Some of them worked--this was where I wrote what became WC2's voice system. And some of them didn't--Denis Loubet here was experimenting with sketching backgrounds, scanning them in and then coloring them in DPaint, and while it looks great in its own right, it wasn't clean enough to match the "pixel-perfect" style of the foregrounds.

You can find this demo on YouTube, where you'll get to hear some amazingly cringe-worthy voice acting. That's because we were crunching to get the demo done before Chris and Richard stepped on a plane, so the "actors" were just whoever happened to be around at 2am. The guard is Martin Galway, our audio lead; Prince Thrakath is Philip Brogden, designer/writer/programmer; and the Emperor, with the kind of gravely voice you can only get by sleeping under a desk three hours a night, is me.


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