Is it at all possible to fan-make/remake/mod a WC multiplayer game?


Rear Admiral
A long time ago I read somewhere, (probably on this site), a comment about the first Wing Commander game. I dont remember the exact quote but it went something like this with regards to the lack of Multiplayer in WC: "How long would the Kilrathi Empire last if all the WC-players united against it"

Ever since I first read it I've find this quote highly stimulating in terms of possibilities for the first Wing Commander game-engine! :) Just imagine a Enyo-system combat patrol with a full squadron compliment of about 12 Hornets piloted by WC-veterans such as ourselves!

So my question boils down to: Is it possible today to create a multiplayer Wing Commander using the original engine, or is it more practical to look to modern (Freespace 2-based) WC-modifications?


Rear Admiral
Based on how the game struggles with 8 fighters on screen, like refusing to fire all your guns properly. I would say there would be other technical hurdles to over come than just adding net-code. As much as I like the old engine, it must just be nostalgia, I'd say go new. Freespace or use something like Unity3D, which appears to be the popular choice of today. Plus, with Unity, you can make it your own without relying or learning existing code blocks. Either way would probably have their caveats though.

Granted, those with view of the code would know better.


Frog Blast the Vent Core!
HCl's work on WCP MP shows it is possible and has been for a number of years now. It's just that anything beyond simple deathmatch is going to require some work.

You'd have to ask HCl where exactly he's gotten to looking at that code.


Finder of things, Doer of stuff
The sluggishness of the the WC1 engine is because of dosbox though... not the way the original game was made. But introducing multiplayer code into WC would be a pretty big task as WC1 was never designed with MP in mind. Prophecy does have multiplayer code... so it's already passed at least one big hurdle on the way there.


Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
The thing about modding WC1/2 to is it's only now after more than 20 years that people are figuring out how to change cutscenes and do certain modifications to the game. And those are just mods, not new features. Sure, anything's possible, but there's a hundred other unlikely things that would happen first.

The other big thing is that we have multiplayer games! There's Wing Commander Arena, Armada can be played online, and HCl spent a ton of effort hacking multiplayer into Prophecy. And people don't really play these games online, so I doubt HCl would expend the tremendous effort to get yet another multiplayer WC going. If people were serious about playing, the smart move would be to expand the capabilities of Armada and Prophecy multi.
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Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
If I'm not mistaken, the first "WC" game with a real co-op mode was StarLancer.

In addition to death-match style battles and the massive campaign mode, Wing Commander Armada also had two full 15-mission cooperative multiplayer campaigns in Gauntlet mode. The story was told in text, but it's an amazing (and challenging) experience that everyone should play.


The sluggishness of the the WC1 engine is because of dosbox though... not the way the original game was made.

Yeah, seriously, WC1 was made to run on a 386 at 32 MHz with 640 kB of RAM free. Today's computers are literally one hundred times faster, with ten thousand times as much memory (3 GHz and 4-16 GB of RAM).


Rear Admiral
I bring it up occasionally, just to annoy Pete and Quartro. :) But, I still have my pipedream that one day standoff will have multiplayer, at least a basic deathmatch. But lord knows what it would take to put Prophecy's multi-code into SecretOps. But I'm betting that would be more possible then WC1 multi. At least you get your WC1/2 ships realized in the vision engine.