WC RPG Makes Kilrathi Expansion Progress & Launches Art Campaign

Despite spring back falling right in the middle, March has been a big month for the Wing Commander RPG Wiki. The first half was largely about setting up the adventure pages for the different acts in the Elegy of Sivar campaign. This was important as it allows capi to plug in individual missions at will now. He also made a slick translation of the module's title into Kilrathi. On top of developing the faction reputation system for the game, the second half of the month was heavily devoted to setting up the game's Kickstarter campaign. The crowdfunding project that he's launched isn't directly intended to assist with the RPG itself. Rather, it's a collaboration with famous Origin artist Denis Loubet to create some amazing cover art for the game. Whether or not you intend to ever role play, getting one of the original Wing Commander artists to build a brand new creation in 2015 is certainly something we can get behind! You can find out more project details and contribute here.
An Elegy for Sivar, also known as "Elegy" for short, is the latest WCRPG module currently under development. It is intended to be the WCRPG system's first full-fledged campaign setting, set in the year 2680 in a region of space known as Epsilon Sector. In addition to the campaign setting, a pre-published full-sized campaign will be included. The campaign tells the story of Krahtagh "Bloodeye" N'Ryllis, a Kilrathi pirate whose demise is chronicled in the documentation of Wing Commander: Prophecy. The main plot-line of the campaign will chronicle the activities of N'Ryllis's group, the Demon's Eye Pack, as they attempt to re-build Kilrathi society. The main campaign will has a total of 44 individual adventures planned, though it is structured such that only 16 of these missions comprise the main plot. The module will include enough additional data that player groups will be able to develop their own adventures within the setting. One final and unique feature of the guide will be a Kilrathi lexicon.

Alright - so this is a game, right? Why is this on Kickstarter under Art Projects?

That's a good question with a simple answer: the purpose of the Kickstarter project is not to fund the development of the campaign guide itself. Rather, the goal of the campaign is to fund the artwork that will appear in it. The artist I hope to hire to do the cover art for the project is none other than Denis Loubet.

WC4 Homeworld Mod Close to Kilrathi Faction

Thanks to some generous help from a squadron of fellow Wingnuts, L.I.F. has made great progress importing Kilrathi ships into the WC4 Homeworld mod this past week. Fighters and capships from WC3 have been implemented in order to help fill out a new fourth faction in the game. The basics are already working, which means things like carrier-based fighter launches are functioning correctly. L.I.F. is optimistic that the Kats can be officially added in a new 2.0 edition soon. Homeworld Remastered owners can grab the latest release here.
Ok, so the plan right now is to get the Kilrathi as a playable faction ASAP to release the 2.0 version of the mod for every ody to enjoy both in Skirmish and in online multiplayer. No date promised, but I'll try to get it done fast.

If you heard about a really nice textured model of the Vesuvius, Bearcat, Dragon/Lance or any Border Worlds craft, please give me the contact info of the creator to see if I can use it.

Vengeance of the WC Playthroughs

Wvlfy is another prolific YouTuber that's passed under our radar for the last couple years. He's extremely prolific and has produced over 60 WC mission recordings with full commentary. Sometimes you see people who start WC1 and then get bogged down in the difficulty of The Secret Missions or SM2: Crusade. Fortunately, Wvlfy's gotten over the hump and is now in Wing Commander 2's Niven System. You can jump to a specific game via the preceding hyperlinks or dig into WC1 below! The long term plan is to cruise straight through to Prophecy and maybe even capture the Privateer games. He's got quite a few other series under his belt besides our space combat sim, so if you like these clips, there might be something else in his library worth checking out as well.
Wvlfy goes back in time to face a more terrifying foe than the Kilrathi: Farking Asteroids!

In space, noone can hear you meow.

Beginning his tour of duty aboard the Tiger's Claw in the Vega system, Christopher "Maverick" Blair takes part in an ongoing campaign against the Kilrathi, a race of tiger-like beings hellbent on using the Terran homeworlds as planet-sized litterboxes. It's up to you, the player, to declaw the Kilrathi and put those cats out for the night.

WC1 Almost Gave You The Finger

Dondragmer's continued artistic exploits have uncovered some interesting hand gestures buried in the code of Wing Commander 1. It's likely that these were intended for the mechanic tech that greets each pilot upon landing. Note the blue sleeve versus the brown jacket around pilot hands. A thumbs up might appear if a fighter returned with minimal damage. A less graceful motion could greet the pilot if they've created a lot of work for the crew chief to deal with!

Goodbye, Sir Pratchett

Discworld author Terry Pratchett passed away two weeks ago. The internet has done a much better job memorializing him than we could, but we would like to take a moment to kindly acknowledge him as a fellow Wing Commander fan. There's quite a few writers out there that share our passion for the series, and it was prominent sci-fi author Jerry Pournelle that got the prolific novelist into the series. He posted the following recently:
Terry was a friend and a fan. He had gone into survivalist mode when he read Lucifer’s Hammer, and came to the scenes where the survivors are discussing the old civilization. He said it made think, why be miserable when we have civilization. Better to try and keep it. After that he wrote at a prodigious pace. One day he was in Hollywood negotiating a movie, and came over for lunch. I showed him Wing Commander, he liked it, and I gave it to him as a present, remarking that this was a cheap way to slow the competition. He get addicted to it, but far from slowing his legendary output he produced even more. Wing Commander and its sequel Privateer were amusing interludes between the torrent of pages.

I have not seen him since his illness, because I have not been to Britain in many years. I fondly remember our last dinner in London. I wish we could repeat it. Our guest as Jack Cohen, and it was an experience worth repeating. Farewell, old friend. RIP

SM1.5 Campaign Ported to PC with New Modding Techniques

Fans have long been intrigued by the differences posed by Super Wing Commander. Ostensibly a remake of the original Wing Commander with newer graphics, the games' smattering of familiar fighters has much confusing crossover with ship models used in very different roles throughout Privateer and Armada. And while WC1 and The Secret Missions were pretty faithfully recreated in the new engine, SM2 was replaced by a brand new intermediate campaign where the Tiger's Claw seeks out and destroys the shipyards that spawned the Sivar Dreadnought. This special expansion, dubbed "Secret Missions 1.5" by fans, adds quite a bit of new story while borrowing a few elements from the original SM2 that help set up Wing Commander 2. To top it all off, the game was only made for older OS Macintoshes and the Panasonic 3DO, so few Wingnuts have actually played through it first hand.


delMar and UnnammedCharacter are now working on an innovative way to port the SM1.5 missions into the DOS version of SM2. They've extracted the core characteristics of the obscure expansion and come up with a prototype patch that recreates the game in the DOS WC engine. It's absolutely wild stuff! There are still a number of things that don't work quite right, but the fact that it works at all is amazing. delMar has recorded this YouTube clip below of an SM1.5 briefing in the Tartarus System, one of the few locales previously exclusive to the Mac and 3DO. It acts a little weird because it's a unique briefing that takes place in Colonel Halcyon's office, which normally does not happen outside SWC. Visit the CIC Forums here to try out the test release. Detailed instructions are provided in the post, and any feedback will go a long way towards enhancing this endeavor!
This is about bringing the Secret Missions 2 campaign from Super Wing Commander and 3DO, known as Secret Missions 1.5, to the PC.

For a start, I'll just make the files available here that have been converted 1:1 from the 3DO version. That's possible due to the awesome work of UnnamedCharacter and many others who paved the way. The zip file contains a readme file with all necessary information and instructions.

So, by downloading and installing this zip file to your Wing Commander I, Secret Missions 2 installation, you should be able to play the full SWC Secret Missions 2 campaign, which is commonly referred to here on the forums as Secret Missions 1.5.

AUTOMATIC INSTALLATION
----------------------
Unpack the zip file into the GAMEDAT subdirectory of your Wing Commander installation.
Execute the file "toSM15.bat" (or just "toSM15" in case file extensions are hidden)
The files should be renamed accordingly, continue at "STARTING THE GAME" below.

For playing the original SM2 campaign, execute "toSM2.bat".

STARTING THE GAME
-----------------
Execute SM2.EXE and start the game as usual.
When you talk to Shotglass and he is NOT talking about the Firekka, you seem to have done everything right.
Enjoy and please give feedback at the forums.

French Dub of WC4 DVD Playthrough Defects to the Border Worlds

DocteurJ tipped us off about the second chapter in OldiesGamesTV's high quality playthrough of WC4. Just like chapter one, this episode is spoken in French thanks to a special remixing of the audio from the CD version on top of DVD edition's high res video. Even for non-French speakers, it's pretty interesting to see how the voices are dubbed in a different country. It should even be possible to take advantage of a universal translator app to spell out any dialogue you might not remember or even listen in to what the player/narrator has to say.
Here is the reissue of Oldies Games TV #13. OGTV's subject was Wing Commander 4 on CD-ROM PC, but the game on DVD is only in English. But for your enjoyment I remade the show with videos from the DVD version and the sound of the CD release. A new way to enjoy Wing Commander 4 ... Bon visionage

Kat on a Hot Durasteel Roof

Dondragmer has been hard at work with fellow fans performing digital archeology on the art of Wing Commander 1, and he's made some interesting discoveries! The first reveals the ceiling panels of the original four Confed fighters. Everyone has probably seen these without noticing before, since they're briefly visible during the first person ejection sequence, but they fly by so fast that nobody ever gets a good look. It's fascinating to see what was slightly above our heads all along! Is the opening above your head the evacuation hatch? Or do the Hornet and Raptor have a sunroof?!
There are a few cockpit oddities in the WC1 file titled "PILOTANM.VGA".

These are the roof graphics. The final ejection graphics are stored in the respective cockpit files, PCSHIP.V00 to PCSHIP.V03. (PCSHIP.V04, the Dralthi, would presumably have one if you could eject from it. While the inability to eject from the Dralthi was given a storyline justification, was there first a technical limitation that prevented this?)

Something I'd never realised until I video-captured an ejection sequence is that these roof pictures get stitched on top of the regular front cockpit view. Even after all the hours I've spent in those cockpits, they look very different with the roof graphic stitched on.

Can't get enough cockpits? Check out the reference pack for 150 interior fighter shots from WC1, WC2, WC3, Academy, Armada and Privateer.
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