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.
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.
|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|
|2008||Ascii Sector||Flight Commander|
|2007||Standoff & WC Saga||Ascii Sector|
|2006||WC4 Homeworld 2 Mod||Das Erwachen|
|2005||Standoff||Privateer Gemini Gold|
|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|
|2014||Daedalus Station||Wing Commander RPG Wiki|
|2013||Concordia Hangar||Daedalus Station|
|2012||Pix's Origin Adventures||Wing Commander RPG Wiki|
|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|
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.
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.
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.