Hey guys, thanks for the kind words. We're just getting up and getting ready to head out for Day Two right now.
We do have higher quality recordings and plenty of pictures of the process (Chris is here, after all), but we have to have them all approved by EA before we post them. There isn't actually anything classified going on, but it's their policy and we're more than happy to do it. Since we're trying to work as quickly as possible, that approval process will have to wait...
We happened to find the Privateer guide in a local computer junk shop the day before we left -- seemed like a reasonable good luck charm.
Here's where we are right now:
- We restored all of the SyQuest disks yesterday. It looks like they're mostly Wing Commander IV artwork (and some general artwork).
- We're about 30% done the CD-ROMs, which means we've done about 200 of them. Everything under the sun in here, including material from unreleased projects like Technosaur, Prowler and Privateer 3. I can't wait to actually start exploring the ISOs -- there will be something for everyone.
- We found more 3.5" disks than expected and have recovered some fun beta versions of things -- earlier releases of Ultima VIII, Pacific Strike, etc. We're about 25% of the way through that.
- Tapes aren't going as well, the Ultima stuff is proving difficult. We did recover a tape of Wing Commander textures successfully and have high hopes for the rest. There's another type of tape (DAT) which we don't have a reader for - but we will rectify that very soon.
- Chris is running a photography studio for all the artwork - he took so many pictures yesterday that his camera actually crashed. Really amazing and varied stuff there, everything from original sketches and cut-and-pastes laying out the 'Wingleader' box to the latest Ultima Online manual layouts.
- We found a mess of slides and luckily had a slide scanner... and then went out and bought a second one today. A lot of on set pictures from Wing Commander III and also the slides from things like employee awards presentations (Firefighter of the Year - Jorg Neumann).
- VHS tapes! Lots of footage from WC3, WC4, Prophecy and Privateer 2 as well as various errata (3D graphics presentations, Ultima commercials, store loops for things, etc.). We're about 40% through those now, thanks to a bank of three machines that turn VHSes into DVDs. Some of the footage is different than the finished game - we watched through an alternate cut of the WCIV intro earlier.
Okay big question, what all can you release to the community...behind the document scans, footage, and pictures. I am really getting at the source codes for not only the canceled projects but also for released games like WC4 and U7?
the bigger question is how long will it take to discover what all is stored within the aforementioned data. Keep in mind it took 5 days of constant effort just to get it all copied, they haven't even had a chance to find out what they have got yet. Patience will be fairly important.