WC Album on Track for October Recording; Supplemental Campaign Announced!

Since the conclusion of his successful Kickstarter last month, former Origin composer George Oldziey has been in negotiations with symphonies all over the world to find the best musicians and make the most efficient use of the funds collected. He's selected Prague's prestigious Dvorak Hall with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra to record the album! Since the Kickstarter basic goal was exceeded, he's used the current proceeds to plan about 30 minutes of finished recording with the orchestra. Although George had a backup plan to fill the remainder of the album with digital tracks, fans have been asking how to maximize the amount of live music.

After our HUGELY successful Wing Commander Music Kickstarter Campaign, which was launched to raise funds to record at least 15 minutes of WC music with a full symphony orchestra and choir, I received bids from orchestras from all over the world! I promised to provide AT LEAST 45 total minutes of music for a CD and digital download (between the orchestral versions and MIDI sample based arrangements) while trying to get as much of it done with the orchestra as possible. After very careful consideration, weighing things like cost and quality of musicianship, I've decided to record the music at the historic Dvorak Hall in Prague with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra! This is a world class group of musicians that will be playing the music in one of the most beautiful and best sounding halls in the world! Right now we are scheduled to record the music in the latter part of October of this year!

The next step is a supplemental campaign to expand the scope of the album. With an additional $14,000, George can reach the full 45 minute mark! This is good news for both past pledgers and people who missed the original drive, and it's more than $10,000 less than the original estimates for the full track list. In order to provide a broader range of options this time around, the additional funds are being collected via Fundrazr. Unlike with Kickstarter, Paypal is now accepted and numerous countries/currencies are supported. People can click on "buy as a guest" during checkout to pay with just a simple credit or debit card as well. People who pledged at a certain level last month are also welcome to add an additional pledge in order to reach a higher combined tier if they'd like. If you know a Wing Commander fan who missed this earlier, please help spread the word! Add to the supplemental campaign here.
With the current amount raised from the initial campaign, minus the percentage that Amazon and Kickstarter received, we have enough funds to record 30 minutes of music with the orchestra and choir. So, we can settle for having 30 minutes of orchestral music with 15 minutes of MIDI music, OR have an entire CD of 45 minutes of music with the orchestra by raising another $14,000 through this FundRazr campaign! My preference is definitely for the latter! I will honor all the same rewards from the original campaign that are based on the various pledge levels! And if for some reason we don't reach our goal but have accumulated more funds I will put that money towards having even more sampled based music into the product!

Thank you again for all your wonderful support! Let's make this a recording for the ages!


Maniac Bikes to Work

Tom Wilson was recently spotted in the May/June 2014 issue of Momentum Magazine. It turns out that when the Maniac isn't test piloting a Morningstar, his go-to mode of transport is the trusty bicycle. Tom explains how biking around Los Angeles is feasible, and he also reveals how he's bounced back from two hip replacements. It's good to see he's keeping busy! If you'd like to check him out in person, his next show is at the ACES Comedy Club in Murrieta, California on May 16 & 17.

French Language WC4 Highlighted at Oldies Games

Jérôme Brenner tipped us off about a profile of Wing Commander 4 in the the French OldiesGamesTV video channel. It's a brief collage of WC4 cutscenes that most Wingnuts are quite familiar with, but the French dubbing is interesting to watch. Over the years we've heard from many fans who learned English so that they could hear the original game audio, but now it's English speakers' turn for a taste of the reverse. This is inherent in any video dub, but it sure is weird to watch our familiar actors' mouths move and hear a different voice come out!
Hi my Geeky Geek friends and welcome to my channel. We have prepared a very special show on the beautiful Wing commander 4 pc;-)

Happy CIC Easter!

The CIC themed Easter eggs are back! Have a good one, folks. Special bonus: Roberts Space Industries' Sandi Gardiner at Lord British's haunted egg hunt at Lake Austin earlier today.

Wing Commander Games Discounted on GOG

Good Old Games is running a big sale this weekend on its Electronic Arts catalog of games, including the Ultima and Wing Commander franchises! This also includes Strike Commander, Crusader and many other familiar titles. There hasn't been a discount like this since their holiday sale in December, and 60% off is nothing to sneeze at. Each of the individual game packs are $2.39, which means the entire DOS/Windows Wing Commander experience is available for just $19! Even if you already own the series, this makes a great gift for someone else. You can find the complete list of games on sale here.
Richard Gariott's Ultima remains an icon of computer RPGs, and many gamers consider Ultima 7 to be the best entry in the entire series. Our Complete Edition includes all four chapters of the game--The Black Gate, Forge of Virtue, Serpent Isle and The Silver Seed--in one handy DRM-free package. Become the virtuous Avatar, the savior of Britannia, to discover the origin of many strange occurrences spreading across the land and to stop the mysterious malicious entity, known as the Guardian, from pushing the world into its doom. With countless hours of deep and satisfying gameplay, this one is a must for all the RPG fans! There's no reason to stop at lucky number seven, though. The whole Ultima series--including the groundbreaking 3D dungeon crawler: Ultima Underworld 1+2--is on promo, so you can experience every single adventure of the Avatar (formerly know as "the Stranger") 60% off!

What Ultima is to RPGs, the Wing Commander series is to the space sim genre. Follow the story of the war between Terrans and the feline menace Kilrathi in Wing Commander 1+2 and Wing Commander 3: Heart of Tiger, then once the world is over and a shaky allience is formed with the cat-like aliens, face new enemies threatening the Confederation in Wing Commander 4: The Price of Freedom. The 3rd and 4th installments of the series use full motion video cutscenes to tell its elaborate stories and feature big names such as Mark Hamill, Malcolm MacDowell, and John Rhys-Davies as the Wing Commander universe prominent characters. You can also choose your own fate and pursue your goals as a mercenary, a trader, or even a space pirate in the series' popular open-ended spin-off, Wing Commander: Privateer.

Rec Room 3D Perspectives

In between recording Wing Commander long play videos, centaurianmudpig has been dabbling in 3D modelling with the open source Blender program. His very early version of the Tiger's Claw rec room is still rough around the edges (and missing its barkeep) but already feels familiar. If you have experience with Blender and have any comments or helpful pointers on recreating the classic look, mudpig would love to hear from you on the CIC forums. This isn't the first time someone has taken a shot at recreating Shotglass' watering hole in 3D. Check out Michelle D's modelling efforts and Marcus' gorgeous Lego model from a few years ago.

Hellcat Gets Some Teeth

Whiplash's Hellcat model needs one more thing before it's ready for battle: guns! He's put together a step-by-step walkthrough of how the side mounts came together, and the results look very much like their in-game equivalent. The forward cannons still need to be built, but the ship is very nearly finished!
So, as promised, the Whiplash guide to putting guns on a Hellcat. :)

The WC4 Hellcat has two particle cannons in the side gunports, and two ion cannons in the underslung gun pod. I started off with the particles, since there are plenty of good in-game shots of them. I considered using the gun pictured in the manual, but eventually decided to stick with the ingame version for consistency. Besides, I find the triple-barrel configuration quite cool and menacing. See comparison below.

So, here's how to build a particle cannon.

1) Added the protrusion behind the gun port (no idea what it is, looks like some kind of exhaust / cooling port )
2) Made a simple rectangular cut-out of the main body of the gun.
3) Both of the above pieces painted.
4) Next came the barrels. I cut some strips of paper to size...
5) Then roll and glue them into shape...
6) Then glue the barrels together.
7) Barrels glued into place on the ship (after being painted of course)
8) Created some raised detail on the gun with thin cardboard (sorry, this one is a bit blurry but I didn't take any other shots)
9) Final shape of the gun complete and painted.
10) The final product: I added some lighter grey to bring out the detail.

All done! Now for the ion cannons, which I'll show you next time.

Wing Commander Tastes Metal

Wing Commander fans are constantly impressing us with their creativity. We love seeing what Wingnuts will come up with next. 'Michael Lochlann' recently debuted a new rock mix of the Wing Commander 1 theme oven on his soundcloud page. In the vein of previous Wing Commander remixes such as LittleVMills' "Epic Rock Cover" or Cerberus Music's Kilrathi Remix, this version mixes the opening theme with a metal inspired sound. The results are - at the very least - interesting, and the low key mid section in the song is a nice contrast. You can check it out below. This is a work in progress though so check back in his thread over at ocremix.org for more details on the track and to leave feedback.
This a straightforward rock mix of the Wing Commander title theme, a request from a friend. Mix name is "No Need For Heroes"

Done on a 7 string Ibanez tuned in standard with 7 string droptuned to A. Tyrant Tube Screamer plugin Poulin Lecto (rectifier) and Legion amp sims with Red Wirez cab sims.

Drums: played on yamaha digital set and ran through Steven Slate Drums. Parallel Compression on drums bus, sent overheads to a bus with Tyrant Tube Screamer on it to liven it up and harmonics.

added 60 cycles to kick to get it to thud and some 8hz i believe for the attack, happy with the snare, added a SSLchannel compressor with high setting for the snap, 9hz boost for snap, 150 hz boost for power and cut 2dbs at 200hz out of the rhythm guitars for added snare power. (cutting other instruments that are masking works better than a boost sometimes by the way! sounds cleaner.)

new mix has more balls as I added a lot of crunch and power to the rhythm guitars, turned down the bass guitar a little bit, balanced the overbearing bass in the kick drum and turned the snare up.

First Space Sim Debuts on Next Gen Platforms

The XBox One and Playstation 4 consoles have received their first space sim, an enhanced release of Strike Suit Zero. Compared to the original PC release, the latest edition includes improved graphics, an expansion pack and extra suits and goes for around $20 depending on the region. The director's cut is also the first indie game for the Xbox One. When Wing Commander Arena hit XBox Live in 2007, the maximum downloadable game size was 50 megabytes. SSZ clocks in today at more than 1.8 gigabytes - the game certainly looks pretty with all those high res textures and fancy effects!
Xbox Wire: Tell us about your game. What do you want gamers to know?

James Brooksby: “Strike Suit Zero” is a space combat game that harkens back to the golden age of space combat games. The team here are huge fans of the genre, and have been influenced by the likes of “Wing Commander,” “X-Wing vs TIE Fighter,” “Elite,” “Homeworld,” “Colony Wars” and “Freelancer” to name a few. The biggest difference between those games and ours (other than a serious next-gen lick of paint) is the fact that we have a mech at the heart of the game. Bringing in our other influences we are also big fans of “Macross,” “Robotech,” “Gundam” and “ZOE.”

Microsoft Talks Backwards Compatibility

Reports from last week's Microsoft Build developers conference note that the company is looking into backwards compatibility for the XBox One. Such prospects still sound like a bit of a long shot, and only about half of original XBox games were compatible with the 360, but this does provide a tiny glimmer of hope for extended Arena longevity.

One of the developers looking into this is none other than Frank Savage, who was the director of game development for Wing Commander 3 and other Origin titles. He currently leads partner development for the gaming platform, which is a natural extension of the XNA toolset that he was involved with almost a decade ago. I wonder if he still keeps his Wing Commander memorabilia up on the office wall...

According to Xbox partner development lead Frank Savage, Microsoft is working on a solution to get Xbox 360 games on Xbox One, but players at home may never get to experience it themselves.

When asked by an audience member at Microsoft's Build developer conference whether the company had plans for backwards compatibility on Xbox One, Savage responded in the affirmative but with a serious caveat. Getting software made for drastically different hardware to run on another machine is a tricky proposition.

"There are [plans], but we're not done thinking them through yet, unfortunately," said Savage, as reported by Kotaku Australia. "It turns out to be hard to emulate the PowerPC stuff on the X86 stuff. So there's nothing to announce, but I would love to see it myself."

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