"I'm Poppin' The Pod! Make Sure I Get Picked Up..."

Today's new poll asks about your philosophy on ejection. Are you a pilot that always goes down with their ship? Or is Control+E a legitimate strategy for tough situations? Speaking of key combos, did you know that the Playstation requires six buttons to punch out? It takes the L1, L2, R1 & R2 triggers plus Select & Start to make sure you really want to go for it!

Our annual birthday poll asked how long fans have been visiting the CIC. A significant number of people have been following us since wcnews.com opened in 1998, and even more people have been around since our early precursor websites in 1996. But the winning option centers on the turn of the millennium 1999-2001. It's also great to see from the results that new fans keep showing up!

Ace Ferrara Launches on Android

Philipp Seifried reports that his Wing Commander-inspired space sim Ace Ferrara and The Dino Menace is now available on Android. It was released for iOS devices earlier this summer. The price has been temporarily marked down from approximately $4 to about $2 on both platoforms to celebrate the release. In our initial posting, we noted some fun similarities between this game and both WC2 & Arena. It feels like a charming homage to classic space sims, and positive player reviews starting to roll in seem to agree!

Workhorse Fighters Rebuilt Closer To Original Specs

ScoobyDoo is well known for tweaking familiar Wing Commander designs to come up with interesting concept models, but some situations ask for fewer liberties to be taken. He's answered that call and put together these shots of his Scimitar and prototype Thunderbolt with a bit more familiar profiles. The designs still contain his trademark flair such as hefty hull plating, refueling markers, stylized engine inlets and a nifty transparent radome on the TBolt. Since this updated Scimitar was actually modeled a while ago, you can also compare it to the heavier fighter to see how Scooby's artistic techniques have evolved over time.
A more standard view, albeit more boring view of the Scimitar

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There... tore the wings off...

Amiga Retro Games Reviews Classic WC Port

Mind Wipe has posted a video overview of the Amiga version of WC1. The Super Nintendo and Amiga both got ports in 1992, so many players who didn't have access to high end PCs in the early '90s fondly remember these as their first interaction with the franchise - and often 3D space sims in general. Since this was a less common way to play, however, we like to take opportunities like these to share alternate WC experiences. The first visible difference in the Amiga edition is its smaller color palette. Although most things look very similar, the colors look just different enough to cause a double take. Although slightly less advanced than the classic DOS edition overall, there are also a few curious improvements such as rotating fighter images (rather than simple VDU line drawings) in the TrainSim. The music is also a bit different, and you can hear its altered tone throughout the video here.

Rapier Render Revisits Powerful Prototype

Klavs has posted the latest iteration of one os his most popular fighters, the Rapier II. Many of his takes on the craft draw from Super Wing Commander or WC2 elements, but this version gets its cue from the original Wing Commander and famous Dean McCall render. This gives the design some nice hard angles on the leading edges, engine inlets and stabilizers. There's also a very satisfying blue engine glow. On top of the familiar Vega Sector fleet greens and grays, Klavs has also put together a snappy red YF-44 that makes a nice contrast. If you think this, or other ships in Klavs' fleet, would make good kit models, also be sure to check out this post for information on how to provide feedback for his latest project.

Fantastic Foundry Figures Featured For Fun

Mwikan of The Redoubt has painted some pretty nifty Kilrathi fighters and is preparing them for battle at this year's Millennium Con. The gathering is dedicated to tabletop miniature gaming, and these ships look like they'll fit right in! He'll be using the 5150 Fighter Commander game as a backdrop for the action. The ship designs might look familiar to you - they're the same base models popularized by AAN and Astro Commander a couple years back, and they're available as 3D prints via the Dream Foundry if you're one of the many talented Wingnuts who'd like to paint their own!
4x Dralthi IV, a Vaktoth, and a Kilrathi Torpedo Boat for 5150 FC. Primed with cheap Wal-Mart flat black spray paint, base coated with Reaper Gray from the core set and then painted with Vallejo and Army Painter acrylics with a wash of Army painter Soft Tone ink wash.

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I am doing some prep work for this year's Millennium Con and am planning on running two sessions of 5150 Fighter Command with a "Wing Commander" setting... I'll have Dralthi II, Dralthi IV, Vaktoth and a Custom ComCon ship (Frigate) for the Kilrathi and the Confederation will have (at least) Hornets, Rapier II, and some Longbow Bombers.

Should be a blast!

Trip Report: Citizen Con 2014

The CIC Staff is all back home after nearly a week in Southern California. While KrisV, AD & Dundradal held the fort online, LOAF, Frosty, ace and I kept busy in Los Angeles. We got a chance to check out the latest on Star Citizen at Citizen Con 2014 last Friday. Chris Roberts presented a status update on what Cloud Imperium Games and its affiliate studios have been up to, revealed new ships, gave a planetside demo and set forth the roadmap for the next year. The collage image pictured below includes the logos from thousands of different player organizations, including the CIC's group. On Sunday, there was also an open house at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. We saw functional mockups of the Mars rovers as well as the actual SMAP satellite in final testing before it launches in a couple months. The team was also happy to meet up with a couple of long time CIC visitors/contributors, Mark Thornton and Eddie Benowitz. We love meeting other diehard Wingnuts like us!

Starship Comparison Errata

We've reported more than once on Dirk Loechel's awesome starship comparison graphic, which includes designs from dozens of games, books, movies and tv shows. The collage has been updated several times to include additional ships or make minor corrections, but LOAF has spotted a few remaining issues. These nuggets of information might even come in handy at the next CIC birthday trivia, so read on...

I'm sure everyone has seen this going around, and it's really, really cool! That said, here are some corrections for the Wing Commander portion of the chart. Most of them are formatting, but several of the ships have significantly incorrect lengths (especially: the Hvar'kann dreadnaught, which should be 22 km long, and the Behemoth which lacks an official length... but should be longer.)

  • Length Issues
    • Midway-Class Fleet Carrier - should be 1,830 meters
    • Gettysburg-Class Cruiser - has no canonical length
    • "Experimental Dreadnaught Behemoth" - has no canonical length
    • Murphy-Class Destroyer - should be 589 meters
    • Durango-Class Heavy Destroyer - has no canonical length
    • Hvar'kann-Class Dreadnought - should be 22,000 meters
    • Sivar-Class Dreadnought - should be 550 meters (or: the picture is wrong and it should be the movie Sivar)
    • Snakeir-Class Superdreadnought - should be 650 meters (or: the picture is wrong and it should be the movie Snakeir)
    • Fralthra-Class Cruiser - should be 612 meters
    • Shiraak-Class Carrier - should be 715 meters
    • Concordia-Class Escort Carrier - has no canonical length
  • Class Issues
    • Bengal-Class Escort Carrier - should be "Strike Carrier"
    • "Experimental Dreadnaught Behemoth" - class is conjecture
    • Snakeir-Class Superdreadnought - should be Snakeir-class Carrier (or: the picture is wrong and it should be the movie Snakeir)
    • Concordia-Class Escort Carrier - should be "Carrier" or "Fleet Carrier"
    • Plunkett-Class Cruiser - should be Plunkett-Class Heavy Artillery Cruiser
    • Tallahassee-Class Cruiser - should be Tallahassee-Class Heavy Cruiser
    • Bhantkara-Class Carrier - should be Bhantkara-Class Heavy Carrier
  • Spelling/Formatting
    • Southamton-Class Destroyer - should read "Southampton-Class"
    • Bengal-class - should read "Bengal-Class"
    • Ralari-class - should read "Ralari-Class"
    • Fralthra-Class cruiser - should read "Fralthra-Class Cruiser"
    • On the Bengal, ‘confederation’ is lower case.
    • Fralthi-II Class - should read "Fralthi II-Class"
    • Note that it's spelled 'Dreadnought' everywhere but the Behemoth, which the chart lists as 'Dreadnaught.'

Chris Roberts to Discuss WC History at PAX Australia

Important heads-up for fans near Melbourne. The Australian edition of the Penny Arcade Expo includes a panel discussion with Chris Roberts. The session is at 3:30pm on Friday, October 31. Check out the full PAX Australia schedule here.

A Chat with Chris Roberts: The Original Wing Commander': A round table chat with Chris about everything from the early Mark Hamill days all the way through to the most successful crowd funded game of all time.

Wing Commander. Freelancer. Star Citizen. Chris Roberts is no stranger to the infinite blackness of space. But what is it that keeps drawing Roberts back? What is it like working with Mark Hamill to shoot full-motion video cutscenes? And just how did Star Citizen make $50 million without even being released? Find out as we join the veteran game designer to look to the stars.

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