Wing Commander Discounted Up To 85%!

GOG's Winter Sale is heating up, and a selection of Origin and EA games is being discounted this week. The sale page invites you to select up to 10 titles at up to 50% off. Whether intentional or not, the Wing Commander games are currently showing at just $0.89 each, which is actually a whopping 85%! Such a large discount is quite rare and usually requires additional bundled purchases, making this perhaps the best deal on Wing Commander ever. The entire series (broken up into 8 packages at GOG) is just $7.12 - an truly incredible deal. This is a great opportunity to fill out your collection or gift the series to a friend!

MechWarrior 5 Announced!

The MechWarrior series will be getting a new single-player sequel! MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries was just announced at Mech Con 2016. It will be made by Piranha Games, the studio behind the MechWarrior Online multiplayer-only shooter that's been running for the past couple years. This is a significant development for a couple of reasons. The MW franchise was a contemporary of Wing Commander with the main games being released for PC between 1989 and 2002. It suffered a similar fate to WC with the general decline in popularity of simulation games in the early 2000s. A few spinoffs were released over the years, but this recent revelation should mean that the 'core' series will resume in 2018 after more than 15 years on hiatus. Obviously Wingnuts are hoping for a similar revival at some point in the future, and this is an opportunity for a successful precedent that could help make the case for WC.

So is that just a pipe dream? Now that Electronic Arts has the renewed Star Wars license as well as its home grown Mass Effect series, it may not seem likely that Wing Commander would be primed for a reboot. But hope remains for some kind of third party arrangement. In fact, Piranha - the same Piranha making MechWarrior 5 - was actually in negotiations with EA back in 2014 to produce a new Wing Commander game! Ultimately, this didn't pan out, but the interest is certainly out there, and it's only a matter of time before some opportune set of circumstances works out. If MW5 is a success, then we're one step closer. For now, here's a preview video of the robots in action:

While the battlefields of the Inner Sphere burn with an array of devastating weaponry, none is more formidable than the BattleMech. These immense fighting machines, piloted by elite fighters known as MechWarriors, dominate the wars of the future with enough firepower to annihilate entire cities.

In MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries you will adopt the role of a rookie MechWarrior pilot thrust into combat as the Third Succession War continues to fracture the Inner Sphere. Take contracts from the factions of your choosing and engage in tactical, first-person, PvE ‘Mech combat through an immersive, career-based Mercenary campaign driven by player choice. Victory, prestige, and profit will not only require skill on the battlefield, but in the acquisition, maintenance, and enhancement of your BattleMechs.

Terran Fighters Ready To Lock & Load

The Maslas Brothers have an updated look at the human missile lineup for Flat Universe. Like their Kilrathi counterparts, the various weapons draw inspiration from various sources throughout the Wing Commander universe. These will be used for both Confed and Border Worlds craft, and of course, missile tactics will play a role in the multiplayer mode that was just detailed last week.
Starting from left to the right: Dart Dumb Fire, Javelin HS, Spiculum Image Recognition, Doru Leech, Pilum Friend or Foe. As you can see these are the available missiles that you people are going to choose from when you will fly with the Confederation and the Border Worlds Militia warbirds. As a matter of fact the last days my screens are full of missiles since our development schedule instructs that we should implement the missile logic of FlatUniverse into the multiplayer mode which is, I must admit, a chapter of its own.

Annual Call For Award Nominations

Somehow it's December already, and we're trying to be a bit more timely about our annual awards festivities this year. This is our chance to recognize many of the great things that the fan community constantly puts out. Our eighteenth annual Fan Project and Website of the Year Awards will kick off as the year comes to a close, so now's your chance to nominate. Send your nominations to news@wcnews.com. To help give you some ideas, here's a summary of all the prior winners. There's a lot of awesome stuff in the list below!
  Fan Projects of the Year Runners Up
2015 Homeworld Remastered Mod Flat Universe / Secret Ops MUP / Klavs' Model Archive
2014 Flat Universe Klavs' Models / Prophecy Fan Movie
2013 Collected Works of HCl / Klavs' Models Defiant Few
2012 WC Saga Klavs' Models
2011 OpenGL Patch for WCP & Secret Ops TacOps Online & Standoff
2010 Astro Commander's Mini Models DirectDrawHack
2009 Standoff Gemini Gold
2008 Ascii Sector Flight Commander
2007 Standoff & WC Saga Ascii Sector
2006 WC4 Homeworld 2 Mod Das Erwachen
2005 Standoff Privateer Gemini Gold
2004 Standoff WC Saga
2003 Standoff & WC Saga Holding the Line & Vega Strike
2002 Unknown Enemy Kilrathi Empire & WC Saga BS
2001 Unknown Enemy Holding the Line & Vega Strike

  Web Sites of the Year Runners Up
2015 Daedalus Station WCSaga.org
2014 Daedalus Station Wing Commander RPG Wiki
2013 Concordia Hangar Daedalus Station
2012 Pix's Origin Adventures Wing Commander RPG Wiki
2011 Shotglass' WC Saga
2010 Paper Commander Prelude to Darkness
2009 WC Saga Standoff & Paper Commander
2008 Paper Commander Standoff & WC Saga
2007 HCl's Wing Commander Editing Site Pericles' Paper Inside
2006 HCl's Wing Commander Editing Site Wedge's Wing Commander
2005 WC Saga Fleet Tactics
2004 Fleet Tactics Wedge's Wing Commander
2003 Wing Commander in Russia WC3D & Wedge's Wing Commander
2002 Wing Commander in Russia BlackLance HQ & WingCenter
2001 Wing Commander in Russia Acenet Central
2000 Acenet Central Wing Commander in Russia
1999 Wing Commander in Russia Acenet Central & HCl's WC Editing Site

Retro Gaming Podcast Interviews The Fat Man

Retro Hour, a UK-based retro gaming podcast, has posted an in-depth audio interview with Wing Commander composer George The Fat Man Sanger. They talk about the origins of his artist name, his early work for slot machines and Atari, the 7th Guest, creative process and the demo scene. The segment with Sanger starts at around the 21:30 mark and the subject briefly turns to Wing Commander at 39:00. The Fatman was also one of the subjects of the game sound documentary Beep that came out earlier this year. A 45 minute video interview with Sanger was released as a free preview.

WCSO Improvements Enhance Your Ship's Shake, Rattle & Roll

Building on his cockpit research last month, DefianceIndustries has managed to better understand cockpit framing and motion in the Vision Engine. If you click through the gallery quickly, you can start to see how fluid motion in front of a fully detailed dashboard would be pretty cool. There are some other potential upgrades that Defiance mentions below as well...
A Long Overdue MUPdate: I was playing with cockpits today. I spent a great deal of time combing through the .IFF files looking for anything that would indicate a camera position for the pilot's eye-point. Of course in the end, I should've just remembered the KISS principle and assumed that the programmers would simply default it to 0,0,0... which of course, they did. So after moving the model around the center of the frame in blender I got a basic new-style Panther cockpit to work pretty much as expected. The mesh has a default gray on it, and after putting it in the game I see some more detail that needs to be added - if I can find a good pilot mesh somewhere I'll likely steal its legs (mu hu hahahahaha) but it's a good start.

Flashy Encounter Peeks At Project's Potential

Adm_maverick has jumped a few more technical hurdles on the way towards his Prophecy Video Project. He's been working with multiple video and audio editors to figure out how to change the names that appear under talking heads and add in new voiceover segments. This new test video shows off this blend of dynamic elements with comm chatter superimposed over external camera footage in one of the early WCP missions. It's all still in the very early stages, but there's some nifty possibilities here!
In the meanwhile I do have something to show off. Every since I started this project more then 6 weeks ago I've been talking about stuff 'in theory' and 'if I can do it' and 'I think it'll work', but you never really know what problems you will face until you sit down and actually start putting blade to grind stone. So I did that today. I've put together a tech-log assembly cut of the launch for the first mission of the game, the Kilrathi Distress mission. It's not perfect and I've still got tweaking to do and the biggie section, the actual dog fight is still yet to be done but that will have to wait till next week.

Another idea I had, one that I'm tossing into the back of the pile right now simply because it doesn't play any part in the current development, is for an alteration to the mission to capture the Ship Killer. Basically I want to make the fight more intense, and then move it to more desperate as the Ship Killer is powering up. My idea right now is to have it culminate with the statement that the strike team doesn't have any torpedoes left so there's no way to take out the engines, only for another pilot (Maybe Maestro, maybe Stiletto, hell maybe even Maniac - he's just crazy enough to do this) to call out that they're bailing out after hitting their afterburners and pointing their ship at the engines of the Ship Killer, the resulting collision destroys the engines and disables the ship.

Another Exciting Day At Action Central

L.I.F.'s latest addition to the Homeworld Remastered Mod isn't just an awesome Wing Commander structure, it's an incredible technical accomplishment for the game engine. He's managed to import Klavs' WC2-style starbase by breaking it up into 28 conjoined submeshes with half a million polygons. The results are fantastically detailed. It's possible that the post may not be practical for the game, but it's very cool to see in the game nonetheless!
People... I think I've gone too far. I've done something that Modders were not meant to do. Klavs81 did some gorgeous work, but one kinda kept my attention for its sheer size and the ambition it represents. Kinda like, you know, Icarus' Sun, the thing that you know you should not try to reach but do so anyway?

This is the first version, without any kind of advanced texturing work to make it look really as great as he did in his screenshots. DEFINITELY work in progress, that's a proof of concept of my latest workflow, with a... > 500 k polygon mesh. I have no clue if I'll use it, how, why or where, but... wow. It can be done.

extremetracker

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