Wing Blender 2.0 Beta Adds Many New Features

The first test release of Wing Blender 2.0 has been released! The program allows models to be easily imported and exported between the Blender app and Prophecy/Secret Ops Vision Engine for easy 3D model manipulation. Even if you're not planning to mod the games, it's interesting tool to play around with and explore the guts of the Windows WC games with. Kevin has also made a documentation page for more information on how to use the program. Grab the beta here.
There have been many significant workflow changes since Wing Blender 1.x, so you may want to read the documentation first. New features compared to Wing Blender 1.x:

Export child objects along with parent objects.
Customize LOD ranges.
Customize CNTR/RADI chunks of each mesh.
More validation.
Improved support for varying forward/up axes.
More flexible LOD object naming schemes.
Support for flat colour materials.

Good luck, and good (bug) hunting!

Full Speed Ahead On Flat Universe's Torpedo Development

This week the Maslas Brothers are showing off some of the heavy ordnance that will be featured in the game. Three different grade torpedoes will be available: the Valiant and Firestorm from Prophecy as well as the heavier Lance which debuted earlier. It sounds like there'll be some pretty explosive assaults to come in Flat Universe! You can read all about Wing Commander torpedoes and how they compare with their real life counterparts in Dundradal's WC vs History feature.
We have some cool weapons. To be more precise, these are the Confederation conventional anti cap torpedoes you may encounter in combat (from top to bottom):
Valliant LT (light torpedo)
Firestorm (heavy torpedo)
Lance MK1 (fired only from capships)

Speed, range, lock time and damage potential are different for each type along with the platforms that can carry them. The only things they have in common is that they punch through phase shields and they create some great explosions - when they find the right target off course!

P.S.: Don't accidentally bump into one of those... You won't like it.

Welcome Home LOAF!

We've got some great news to report this weekend! After a very long week in the hospital, CIC co-founder Ben 'Bandit (LOAF)' Lesnick is finally home. He'll be taking it easy for a bit to get back up to full health, but it sounds like the roughest part is fortunately in the past. We're all super happy to have him back!
I'm so excited to be home! Thank you all, will catch up soon.

Tips For Running Super Wing Commander On A Mac

Super Wing Commander pro mkdud has written up some info to help Wingnuts play this relatively illusive game. One option is to secure a 3DO, or fans can try to find the right old Macintosh computer. After quite a bit of tinkering, he's settled on a recommended suite of computer hardware and software that performs well. Note that SWC doesn't want to run on OS X and doesn't always have great luck with emulators, so you're going back a little ways to get the best setup. He's had good success with an iMac G3 333 MHz with 128 gb ram and OS 9.1. You can find out more details on his specific machine here and read the highlights below.
Thanks to the advice from "Bandit LOAF" and others, I have finally assembled a machine that is playing Super Wing Commander very well. I wanted to post this as I have received some interest from other CIC members who potentially wanted to do the same thing, and some wondered if it is worth going to such extremes when we have been blessed with SM 1.5.

IT IS WORTH IT! If you are a big fan of WC1, WC2, and the Privateer era WC games, you will love playing SWC on a proper system. Smooth graphics and animation, great sound, actually good voice acting, and some very unique (and tough) missions make SWC an awesome experience.

After some more experimenting, on the iMac G3 333, I'm now running G3 Throttle at a wait state of 6, and I have PowerLogix Cache Control set to 111 mhz. This has improved the overall gameplay smoothness and stability a bunch. Even in melees with lots of ships, (including cap ships) this seems to have things really smooth and stable. I still have to post my memory settings for SWC; I believe the minimum file size is at 4238k, with a preferred @ 5238k.

I have had several Wing Nuts ask me what I felt was the best "ideal" setup for SWC. If your primary purpose is SWC and WC3 + WC4, I'm starting to see some real virtue in the 1999-2000 series G3 IMacs running OS 9.2. They can be bought for relatively low prices (under $100 +/-), and for a small additional investment (about another $100) on a nice ADB stick, ADB to USB adapter (I use the CompUCable, I had numerous problems with Griffin's Imate), replacement optical drive, and a powered USB hub, you can have a pretty good Mac SWC to WC4 system.

Short But Sweet Profile Shows Love For Amiga WC

AmigaLove.com is a database that highlights the greatest games that were made for the platform. Wing Commander has earned its place as one of the top Amiga titles, so it's a perfect fit for the site. The highlight blurb is fairly brief, but they have a nice screenshot archive to show off the game. WC1 on the Amiga is known for having a fairly tiny color palette, although this has to be taken in context. It's amazing that they got the game running at all - let alone still looking so good with only 16 colors at a time! Check out the profile here.
Wing Commander is one of the finest games created for the sci-fi/space simulation genres of all time. It was technologically innovative with true 3D space employing bitmapped sprites at various angles to create the sensation of true 3D graphics...

System Shock To Be Remastered

System Shock, the 1994 shooter/role playing game published by Origin, is getting a remake. Night Dive Studios, best known for acquiring licenses to DOS classics and updating them for modern systems has initiated a crowdfunding campaign to secure the necessary funds. This studio is also credited with last year's enhanced edition of the original System Shock, which increases the screen resolution and fixes several gameplay and usability issues. The original voice artist for SHODAN is set to record new voiceover materials. An early gameplay trailer and pre-alpha demo are already available. With just about a week to go, the project has exceeded its Kickstarter goal and has the green light to proceed!

Did you know that the CD-ROM edition of System Shock features a hidden Wing Commander mini-game?


Even crazier bit of history: System Shock originally started life as a pitch for a Wing Commander tie-in called Alien Commander!

WC RPG Wrapping Up Encounters, Mocks Up New Ships

capi3101 is back with quite a few WC RPG status updates as well as a sketch for some new fighters. First up, he's made lots of house cleaning type updates concerning things like category listings for different chapters in his project wiki. Additional Kilrathi translations have been made, and encounter scenarios are almost finished. These sound like a lot of work! His new ships are inspired by the WC4 Razor. He's created a potential family of craft built by the same Martina Nostra manufacturer that would logically operate in the fringe areas where his RPG is set. This helps scratch his creative itch as well as provide something new and novel for his future players!
While I'm sharing design ideas over on the New 3D thread, I figured I'd go ahead and share some preliminary sketches I've drawn up for the three new Martina Nostra craft for the Elegy campaign - the Dirk medium fighter, Falchion heavy fighter and Claymore fighter/bomber. They kinda work like the Talon in Privateer, in that they're used by both pirate and commercial interests.

The general idea is that the three new fighters would share certain design components with the Razor, the original Martina Nostra pirate craft from WC4. Things like the upper engine cowlings, forward gun ports and fins are supposed to be the same on all of the designs (as a "cost-saving measure"), with the main differences being the general shape of the fuselage. Not wholly satisfied with the wing on the Dirk but I figured that would get worked out when the final models were built. I apologize for my hand-writing...


Homeworld Remastered Mod Debuts In 2.0 Engine

After a marathon month of coding, L.I.F. has released the first playable test release of the Homeworld Mod working in the new Remastered 2.0 engine. He's come a long way restoring basic functionality after the core game was overhauled. A few of the factions and features are still unavailable at this time, but this version allows players to get into some battles and provide valuable feedback. Testers are needed! Grab the mod at the Steam Workshop here and let everyone know what you think.
Aaaaaand it works. *phew* Steam release playable. Remember to use the -luatrace command and to report bugs/CTD if possible, as well as sharing your suggestions for balance and tweaks. I'd like to be able to release a more enjoyable version for the CIC birthday if I get feedback to work with and integrate. :)

One of the gameplay's highlights of the official 2.0 patch was a massive improvement in formations, so I think I will break away once and for all from the "fighter group" model used before, where you purchased your fighters and bombers by groups of different sizes. Instead of this, you will be able to build the fighters on a unitary scale and use the formation tool to get your own wings and combat groups. In addition, some ships will receive a productivity upgrade. For example, the Lexington and the Naval Base (think Blackmane in III) will have two production lines to build two fighters or two capital ships at once. The Lexington thus becomes much more interesting for setting up mining installations or replenishing strike groups during a pitched battle, while the Naval Base becomes much more than a simple shipyard.

Wing Commander Reorchestration Calculates The Price Of Freedom

Origin composer George Oldziey continues to make great progress on his second album of orchestrated Wing Commander music. He's moved on to Wing Commander 4 next, and it sounds like he's having a lot of fun doing it! This time there's also a sneak peek at the physical arrangement he's in the process of writing. Listen to samples from the first recording session at Soundcloud and get a copy for yourself at his website.
Having a great time orchestrating the second mission from Wing Commander 4! What a blast! Making great headway... Here is just a sample!
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