RPG Expands Nostalgic Link to the Past

capi's Wing Commander RPG has fought against the nice summer weather over the past month and found time to make steady progress on the game's next chapter. The first focus area has been the development of numerous additional character profiles. capi has also been reaching out to former members of the WC Aces club to incorporate some of their designs into the project. He's had a surprising amount of success getting ahold of people who are no longer actively engaged in the community, and his work translating their old designs provides a wonderful connection to the '90s for Wingnuts who've been around for a while. Finally, the game's introduction text has been started, which was a big milestone for the project. capi explains further:
...this week was auspicious because I wrote the first lines of Elegy's introduction. That work got started on Tuesday, after I finished up stats for the Stalker EW craft on Monday and a character profile for Honeybear from Saga. Once the Stalker was complete, I was also able to finally finish up the Arcadia-class of carriers (as I mentioned in the last update), so I went ahead and figured up its final stats as well. The opening lines of the campaign I've given to an unidentified Kilrathi - I know who's talking, and those who play/read through the finished campaign will ultimately know who is talking as well, but I have my reasons for not saying who it is right off the bat. Work on the introductory lines went into Wednesday due to the fact that I did them as a parallel translation, English and Kilrathi. I find that even at this late date I still have to generate new words or phrases for the language - for example, "deign to speak" was rendered as jaqtalanmaksle, literally "come down and talk", which I think is close enough for jazz...

Another Arrow Achieves Assembled Appearance

Mlourenco has taken the first steps towards building one of the large 1/72 scale kit Arrows designed by Klavs. In order to keep the cost of 3D printing down, this design is manufactured in pieces and assembled as a kit. Putting it all together is the easy part - the real artistry comes during the paint process! This will be the second large scale model made, and you can check out the first fully painted spaceframe here. It's really a joy to behold. You can also order your own models at Terran Fleet Supply, which includes both painted and unpainted designs.
This is a 3D printed Arrow from Wing Commander Game in 1/72 scale. Just received all the parts today. Made by Klavs81 at Shapeways.com. I hope you enjoy the photos.

Huge Starship Comparison Upgrades Wing Commander Ships

Death noticed that Dirk Loechel's massive sci-fi size comparison graphic has received a "final" update. Although it's possible that the project will never really be complete, the creator believes he's done his last major update for at least a long while. Compared with the last big revision, a number of the Wing Commander ships have been cleaned up with new art. In some cases, fan renders appears to have been used when they're relatively faithful to the games and looks especially sharp. The ships have a more uniform side view now compared to the various angles that originally populated the WC section. Some Wingnuts have pointed out the Dreadnought length discrepancy, which the author has explained at the CIC Forums. Despite that quirk, it's pretty impressive how he's captured such a variety of Wing Commander ships!
The last update. For real this time: This is the final major content update, though if there are issues I'll still fix them. I also haven't forgotten I wanted to vectorize the writing. It's still on the radar. But content-wise, I think that is about all I can put in. Also, I added the ISS. For scale. It's on top, with a yellow frame so it's relatively easy to find.

Lots of errors fixed, lots of new ships too. Well, off for now, but I'll be replying in the comments more or less regularly. Also added a few more ships and switched the Eternal Crusader for the Legate Class battle barge, which is a class ship and not a unique ship.

You can download the full five megabyte image here.

New Chris Roberts Bio Covers Decades of Creativity

US Gamer has posted a lengthy profile on Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts. It begins by covering his early years learning to program and then details the growth of his expertise and fame at Origin. There's also a candid conversation about his decade in the movie business, including his thoughts on the development of the Wing Commander Movie. Finally, the author highlights Chris' ideas for the production of Star Citizen and the keys to its success. It's pretty easy for the gaming media to gloss over everything but WC & SC, so it's nice in this case to see a relatively thorough history here. And double thumbs up for posting a long article without it being split into multiple short pages filled with ads! Read the full piece here.
"The day Chris Roberts came in to pitch Wing Commander, was one I will never forget," Garriott tells me, "He had already mocked up the ship launch sequence: running down the launch bay, climbing into craft, closing the canopy and launching into space. It was obvious to all who saw it that this was a winning formula. It was obvious that Chris was a true visionary."

Roberts explains why his idea seemed so complete from the get-go: "Most of the time when you make games you have to tweak and polish, but on Wing Commander we'd done the tech demo, designed all the missions out on paper, and literally the game that shipped was the game that went in first time... The game that shipped was the game I wanted it to be in my head."


Besides, Roberts says he's not in it for the money. 'Some' would be nice, but as he says: "I'm not going 'I need a desert island' or 'I need a Bugatti Veyron' or something. I do see a few comments occasionally on articles saying, 'He's putting it all towards his gold-plated Bugatti Veyron'. Not really. The whole point of a Veyron is to go fast, and they've gone out of their way to make sure it's got the lightest materials possible. You probably don't want to put gold on it."

But what makes me, personally, confident that Star Citizen will deliver is the fact that the man at the helm, the Mancunian by way of California, gets feedback like this from game development legend Richard Garriott: "Chris is a rare, truly brilliant game designer. I was always shocked to hear his first pitches for a new game. While myself and others would labor to reach a good idea, and then need large amounts of time to refine it, Chris would often show up with a game design far more clear and powerful than I have experienced with anyone else before or since. The clarity and power of his ideas means that Chris also attracts strong talents to be around him. This works as a virtuous feedback cycle, helping to keep his creations and his teams top notch."

Kilrathi Islands Location Pinpointed in Britannia

The Ultima Codex has done some further investigation into Ultima Forever's Kilrathi Islands that we shared last month. Using clues from the images, they've located the specific area where this exists on the mega sized world map for the game. They have also provided some interesting back story about what that region was intended for and how there may not have been a way to visit directly. Readily accessible or not, this is still just a fantastic easter egg! Check out the full writeup by Kenneth Kully here.
As it turns out, I had been looking too far to the north. The Kilrathi crash site is due east of Serpent’s Hold, while the Kilrathi monument is situated on the island that should have played host to Buccaneer’s Den: I say “should have” above because, as you can see, there’s no indication of Buccaneer’s Den being on the island, despite the fact that an in-game map of the town is available. But I digress.

It’s important to note that none of these locations is accessible in Ultima Forever by regular means. Indeed, I’ve only heard of people reaching Serpent’s Hold by means of some manner of game glitch which has resulted in their Avatar’s location being shifted thereto, and this glitch has not proven to be particularly replicable. Had boats been kept in the game, it would have been trivial to at least sail up to each island and grab some screenshots…but, alas, Mythic removed that mode of travel from the game some time between the alpha and the iOS soft-launch.

There's also been a lot of speculation about what specific fighter is pictured here. My money's on the Dralthi VII - check out the oval pods under the "roll bar" - it's a pretty close match! What do you think?

Alternate 'Heart of the Tiger' Credits Revealed

AD was spending some leisure time perusing the data tre files from Wing Commander 3 when he stumbled upon an interesting easter egg! His hacking revealed a set of alternate spoof credits for the game, and there's more in-jokes in there than you can shake a stick at. One famous example is the callsign of Prem "Wipeout" Krishnan who earned his name after inadvertently deleting Strike Commander's source code in progress! It doesn't appear that there's a way to display this text in WC3 itself, but you can find the full secret credits here. Wing Commander 4 also includes funky credits, which can actually be accessed in game from the main terminal.
Tori Amos ; Concrete Blonde; Nine Inch Niles ; Holzt ; Kodo Drummers ; Fabu ; Ryuichi Sakamoto; Nirvana; Machines of Loving Grace; Chick Corea; Poi Dog Pondering ; Vangelis; Sarah McLachlan; Seal; Carmina Burana; Melissa Ethridge; Arrested Development; Patty Larkin; Bunny Wailer; Dazed and Confused; Peter Gabriel; Flash Gordon; Cranberries ; Alice in Chains; John Williams; Siouxsie and the Banshees; Pat Benatar; Duran Duran; Bob Marley; Wagner; Miles Davis; Bill Evans; Indigo Girls; John Gorka; Orlando; Jimi Hendrix; STP; William Orbit

Mystery Science Theatre 3000; The X-Files; The Tick; Nietzche; Double Dave's Big Fucking Cokes; Not Money ; Not Short Hours; Doom ; X-Com; People On Fire; Two-Fisted John Woo Action; Doom II; Dilbert ; Simpsons; More Doom; Seinfeld; Net Doom; Star Trek (so sue us)

Future Crew
Doom WAD Authors Everywhere (the good ones at least)
James Hogan


Let's Play Wing Commander III and Standoff

Some time ago Ilanin finished documenting his playthrough of Wing Commander 3 and Standoff, and the entire, massive thing has now been included in the Let's Play Archive for posterity. Each elaborate entry includes story commentary, screenshots, gameplay footage and background information on ships, characters and events. Check them out here! We've previously reported that the Let's Play website also carries excellent entries for Wing Commander 1 & 2 and Wing Commander: Prophecy.
Belated Happy Birthday, CIC. As a rather late present, I finally got around to getting my Wing Commander: Standoff and Wing Commander III Let's Plays archived (to be fair, I submitted them before the birthday, but baldurk uploads at a rate of one per day, and there's a queue).

EA Checks Up On WC3 Cast

Electronic Arts has published a Where Are They Now? feature on the actors of Wing Commander 3. It doesn't actually give you as much information as simply browsing all of the actors' pages from IMDB would, but it's a little bit amazing that EA's Origin is publishing articles on The Heart of the Tiger in 2014. It would have been hard to imagine such a thing half a dozen years ago. Although we know this kind of recent news and activity isn't necessarily what Wingnuts have been hoping for, we find it encouraging that EA and other companies are at least showing an interest in the series again after a number of quiet years. If you haven't done so already, be sure to grab WC3 On The House by this coming Tuesday!
Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger holds a special place in the hearts of gamers. Developed during the early 90s when full-motion cutscenes were still in vogue, the game boasted a cast of recognizable actors who have made their mark in the public consciousness. And because Wing Commander 3 is On the House until September 16, you can see them strut their stuff against a green screen by downloading it for free! Clearly, this game made the careers of these well-known names, but what are they up to these days?
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