Bearcat Gets Unreal Makeover

ScoobyDoo has made big progress importing his new Bearcat fighter into the Unreal 4 engine. In this new environment, he's been able explore adding tons of detail to the cockpit, hull surface and landing gear. Although he's known for adding lots of stuff like this to his ships in the past, he's being careful to walk a fine line and avoid making his ships deviate too wildly from the baseline Wing Commander examples. If you'd like to see more of the spaceframe itself, check out the previous post here. This design should be reading to import into various projets that use the Freespace 2 engine soon.
My main line of thinking was, I can't do a million greebles like S.C. models, it just wouldn't look WCish (heck even the Kilrathi isn't nearly that greebled). I decided to go with panels and small details. I would have liked to added more panels but it would start looking like it was patchworked. The big thing I'm going to have to deal next with is panel scribing (like what you use to do with physical models to bring out panel lines). That's going to take some rethinking on my part. The panel lines I've used in the past look ok, but somehow I don't think they would fit in nicely here.

Cockpit is finally coming together, I merged some of mine with one of the SC cockpit models, reworked and optimized. I think SC is using some sort of tessellation in their meshes and I'm not familiar enough to work with that. Wheels are fully animated, however until FSO support dae animation, they won't be useable in FS2, too many separate moving parts.

Frontier Bombers Get Modern Makeover

The Border Worlds faction is getting some nice upgrades to their torpedo-carrying fighters in the WC4 Homeworld mod. L.I.F. has just finished importing DefianceIndustries' Vindicator and Avenger into the Remastered engine. Either craft can do some serious damage to Confed, Kilrathi and Black Lance capships, and the Stormfires that will also be added to their arsenal will chew up fighters too (that aren't nimble enough to get away!). Try the mod out for yourself here.
The Vindicator is a medium-fighter armed with anti-ship torpedoes, a pair of laser and tachyon guns. Despite is relatively light anti-fighter armament, it represents a clear threat for frigates and smaller capital ships and should not be underestimated.

The Avenger torpedo bomber is a large, unwieldy craft reminiscent of a shuttle, however packed with as many anti-ship torpedoes as a longbow, and is reported to be a tough enemy to shoot down, especially with its dangerous rear mass driver turret. Prioritize it as you would a squadron of Paktahn threatening the Admiral's latest toy.

Three Weeks To Party Time!

In case you missed our recent announcement, the date and time for the CIC's 17th Birthday Party has been set! You're invited to join us on Saturday, August 15, 2015 at 7:00 pm EDT (4:00 pm PDT and 11:00 pm GMT) in the #Wingnut chat room. It'll be fun night full of old war stories, cake, trivia games and prizes. We'll have plenty of fun stuff to share here at the website too!

Sins of a Solar Empire Mod Starts Kilrathi Capship Conversion

M3RcAden has built quite a few Confed ships for his Sins of a Solar Empire mod, so he's branching out more now to the Kilrathi side. First up is the Kamrani corvette. Check out those beefy turrets! This is a common ship for mods to incorporate first, because of the relatively straightforward shape combined with how common they're expected to be. He'll continue to focus on capital ships next before getting down to the fighter level.
Kilrathi Corvette basic mesh completed. Here it is, and let me know what you all think.

Wing Commander, EA Titles Heavily Discounted At GOG

Over the next three days, GOG is discounting their entire EA catalog by 60%. Besides Wing Commander, Ultima and Crusader, their offer includes beloved classics such as Theme Hospital, Theme Park, Dungeon Keeper, Kyrandia and Populous. While you can buy an entire series outright for the sake of convenience, you can also handpick a few individual titles, many for as little as $2.39.

The Wing Commander bundle in particular offers incredible value. All the expansions are included, WC3 comes with a digital copy of the Fleet Action novel, WC4 is the high quality DVD edition, and many games come with the official strategy guides and more. Buy it here, for yourself or as a gift.

Wing Commander 4 Intro Remixed With Live Orchestra Track

Former Origin composer George Oldziey has posted another fantastic sample from his live recording of Wing Commander music in Bratislava last year. This time he's enhanced the introduction to Wing Commander 4 with his new audio. The results are amazing! After you give it a listen, you can compare this version to the original here.
20 years ago, I had the privilege of composing the music for 3 of the Wing Commander games by Electronic Arts. Many of you may know I was blessed with a successful crowdfunding campaign that enabled me to record some of that music last fall with the Slovak National Radio Orchestra, conducted by Allan Wilson. This is the way I always envisioned the music.

Since I didn't have access to any of the audio assets, I basically just dropped in the new orchestral track over the old video. Since the music was so low in the original mix it seems to go reasonably well with the original audio, with some tweaks here and there. I know the music is a little hot in the mix, but after all, I AM the composer :) That's probably why they don't usually invite composers to final mixes!

BTW, the ending music is different, because it is now part of the "Wing Commander Suite" and is intended for live performance.


Capship Combat Combines With Small Scale Shooter

Arraen has released a pair of new photos featuring a Rapier II circling the Concordia. He notes that his strategy game, Starship Tactics, is about fleet engagements, but he couldn't resist putting Klavs' slick fighter into the mod. The Venture, Kamrani and Tallahassee are already playable, and the Fralthi or Ralari are potentially up next. If you have a preference, let Arraen know at the CIC Forums!
So next video will be about killing Terrans :)

Bulky BW Bomber Bashes BL Baddies

DefianceIndustries is back with another Border Worlds heavyweight, the Avenger bomber. He's put together this gorgeous take on the design to spice up the ship in the Homeworld mod. A nice touch here is that you can see the ordnance stocked in the weapon bays. This particular craft is labeled #258, the "Duck of Death." Some snazzy nose art follows the pretty ship pictures below. Also take a peek at DI's Vindicator here.
"The Avenger...well, she's got about a hundred nicknames and ain't a one flattering. 'The Bus', 'The Pregnant Beast', 'B.U.F.F'; that one stands for Big Ugly Fat...well, you can figure out the rest. She's ugly as sin, but if you want a ship that can take a pounding and bring ya home then she's the bird for you." - Tech Sgt. Ed McElroy BWS Reliant, Excerpted from 'Carrier: A Life in the Union Militia'

Kilrathi RPG Expansion Bulks Up Story Component

It's been a while since we checked in with capi's Wing Commander RPG, and he's made consistent progress virtually every single week. In June he dived into the exposition that sets up the Kilrathi expansion module's backstory. It includes multiple scenes such as a flashback to the day Bloodeye N'Ryllis learned of Kilrah's destruction. Everything points to this aspect being pretty neat fan fiction in its own right! Some of the dialogue conversations will be translated into Kilrathi using the techniques he's been working out. There may even be a standalone lexicon 'treatise' released in the near future.
This past week saw the same thing as the last couple of weeks - namely work in Chapter 2.0 of the Elegy campaign - though this week I can report something accurately designated as "progress". I began the week last week by adding 29 new and re-purposed terms to the Kilrathi lexicon from the previous week's translation work. I am starting to note a slow transition towards "re-purposed" terms (i.e. ones that I've added additional meaning to) as opposed to brand new words. I also made a set of requested changes to the variants of the Shrike bomber and Hercules shuttle for Doc Wade's Victory-class killer capship. After that it was back to work - and I finished the translation of the first scene before the day was out on Monday. The completion of the first scene's translation work wrap's that section up - one down, five to go in 2.0.

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