Making the Games: Confederation Cruiser (October 14, 2008)

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Our next series of daily updates features a treasure trove of Wing Commander artifacts from former designer John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel. Johnny worked on Privateer 2, Wing Commander Prophecy and Secret Ops... along with several of the final projects attempted by the original Maverick team. More importantly, he has always been incredibly kind to Wing Commander fans - and for these updates he has dug up two CDs filled with amazing images, documents and data from his years at Origin. You'll see new images, documents and data from familiar games... as well as stunning material from projects sadly cancelled before their time. We will begin the series with several updates of unreleased artwork...

Following the release of Secret Ops in mid-1998, the development team at Origin put serious work into at least three projects which were ultimately cancelled: Strike Team, Shadow Force and Wing Commander Online. Since there was a good amount of overlap, it is unclear which project most of these ships were first designed for. What is known is their artist: Feng Zhu, who has since made a name for himself as a world-class concept designer. Today's update features several takes on a Confederation cruiser drawn in July, 1998:

Original update published on October 14, 2008
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Is it me, or is that last image new? I remember all the others, but not that one. "Utah" there has just replaced "TCS Feng" from the third image as my new favorite of the bunch.
The last image is new and all are much higher res than we've seen before -- you'll see increasingly newer ones in the next few days.
The Utah is my favorite also. I really like the proportions and overall feel of this ship.
I remember Feng doing some character sketches for one of those lost games too - I wonder if those are knocking around anywhere?
I like the ships in the last three pictiures, the first two are a bit weird. The one before the last picture is a bit plain maybe.
I sent Feng Zhu an email through his website to let him know we were posting these - not sure if that will get to him or not. It'd be great to hear the artist's take on all this.
Some of thes seem to have inspiration in the Movie capships... with for example the sub-like top mounted missile launchers in the second to last image, and the top ship in the last image looking very much like a naval battleship.
I don't know, July/August 1998 is about the only time that itd be possible to be neither an influence on nor influenced by the movie ships.