Unique Perspective on Cover Art Recounted by WC1 SNES Artist

Artist Michael Winterbauer has self-published a free book with stories about his life in the game cover art business. While the standard Wing Commander box in the early '90s was made from preliminary game assets, the Super Nintendo edition of WC1 has a different setup. Many fans may not even realize that the Dralthi are flipped between the DOS and hand-painted SNES versions, and there are unique visual flairs added to the console edition created by Mr. Winterbauer. He even redid the WC logo! His take is a fun animated variant of the original that also showed up in magazines to promote and advertise the game. You can download the complete "Confessions of an Art Junkie" here (90 megabyte PDF). Pages 26-28 on Wing Commander are below. Retro also published an interview with Michael recently. Both the Q&A and the self-published volume are fascinating reads for anyone interested in breaking into the industry or learning about its old school roots.
RETRO: Which game genres do you most like to work with?

MW: My art is heroic, adventurous, and fun. Fantasy role-playing and science fiction games lend themselves nicely to my style of art. Games that had heroes, warriors, creatures, dragons, castles, and mythical lands worked well with my cover art. My art relies heavily on exciting and eye-catching subject matter. If the viewer isn’t intrigued, they will find the painting boring, no matter how beautifully it is painted. Before starting any piece, I conceptually think of how to portray the subject matter in a clever and exciting design that engages the viewer.

RETRO: How would you describe the recent resurgence in popularity for your work?

MW: With so much art being created by computers, I have seen an increased interest in hand-painted classic game art. It has a unique place in art history because it was heavily used in the 80′s and early 90′s to portray and advertise computer games.

Cool Off With Hot Ice Bucket Vids

You've probably seen your share of ALS Ice Bucket Challenges over the last couple weeks, but just in case you haven't quite had your fill, here's a couple more from close to home. The first features Ben Lesnick and Sandi Gardiner from Roberts Space Industries going under the ice. They handle it like champs! It's also very impressive that they were able to find someone tall enough to dunk 6'3" LOAF without getting on a step ladder. The second vid features the Garriott de Cayeux family, including Origin founder Richard, getting soaked in an authentic Soyuz seat liner while all wearing their space suits.
Richard, Laetitia & Kinga Garriott de Cayeux take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge & Nominate Tim, Lucy and Stephen Hawking to take the challenge next! Kinga had watched a few of the challenges online, so she knew to fear what was about to happen. We cut the movie before she expresses her displeasure at dad dunking fer full faced with the majority of the bucket. She did get her ice cream and now loves watching the movie. BTW - We are all wearing flight suits. Mine is my actual Soyuz flight suit, and Laetitia's is from her training in Star City. She is sitting in an authentic Soyuz Seat liner, from an actual space ship.

It's Hard To Give Up Giving Out Wing Commander

Fans who didn't grab Wing Commander 3 when it first went free on the Origin service have gotten a brief extension on their procrastinating ways. The game was originally slated to remain On The House through September 2, but this has now been pushed out to September 16. Even if you already own the GOG version, it's not a bad idea to pick this copy up. A small number of people that have performance issues with other editions have reported good results with this edition, although Origin's copy is nearly identical to GOG's DOS/DOSBox setup. This is also a good way to share the series with friends as well as show EA how much interest there is in the series!
Adrenaline, romance, humor, danger - Wing Commander III has all this and more Professionally scripted and filmed in Hollywood, ORIGIN's multi-million dollar production combines the entertainment of film-making with the interactivity of computer gaming. The result is far more than an action packed and spectacular spaceflight experience.

Become immersed in a futuristic adventure that combines Hollywood's movie making expertise with the adrenaline-pumping game play of a space combat simulation. You are the star, your actions will determine the eventual outcome of the Terran Confederation. Adrenaline, romance, humor, danger - Wing Commander III has all this and more.

This sequel completes the turbulent chronicles of the Terran-Kilrathi war. The final showdown is near and only you can write the ending.

Wing Commander Luminaries Light Up Both Coasts

Teams from Roberts Space Industries have traveled to conventions in both the northwest and southeast United States this weekend to promote Star Citizen. Up first in Seattle, Mark Abent, Chad Zamzow and WC creator Chris Roberts will be participating in the Intel panel at the Penny Arcade Expo on Friday at 2:00 pm followed by a get-together at the Logitech booth thereafter. Over in Atlanta, Dave Haddock, Alex Mayberry, long time WC documentation creator David Ladyman and CIC founder Ben Lesnick will be representing at DragonCon. They will be participating in a wide range of tournaments, panels and Q&As sessions throughout the weekend. Check the complete schedule here and be sure to say 'hi' if you run into them! Cloud Imperium Games has had a big week! On top of all the travel, their total crowdfunding haul has surpassed a whopping $52 million! This has unlocked an EVA jetpack for all Star Citizen backers.

Every Wingnut Needs Star*Soldier

Did the trivia at the birthday party seem pretty tough? There's one resource that helps tie everything together. The amazing game manual for 2007's Wing Commander Arena is packed full of information on the current state of the WC universe. From the perspective of the frontier in the year 2701, it tells the story of the Nephilim War, updates the universe timeline and much more. The book is a free download and absolutely everyone should have it. Grab it direct from EA right here (7.7 meg PDF)! Our Star*Soldier Gloss feature also has commentary from the writers and designers for all 60+ pages. The Art of Wing Commander Arena provides a further glimpse at the game with dozens of cool concept art images.

Manta Leads New Nephilim Incursion

Dark Sentinel is back with a new Nephilim model. He's trying to fix the lack of bug designs in the community in the hopes that more of the exotic ships get used in various fan art and cinematics. The Manta's basic spaceframe here is almost ten times more detailed than the original Prophecy model. These are also just preliminary colors in place for now, but plans are to simulate the glittery Nephilim skin eventually. Check out Dark's original Orca and bug CSM here.
Now back to business:

I know you hate it.
You hate it gray, 'cause it can be lethal even you're Panther.
You hate it red, 'cause it loves you capships oh so much.
You hate it's yellow sister 'cause it's completely overpowered.
Now even more awesome for you to hate. :)

Manta. Obviously.
Awesome for me. At least, I'm satisfied with the model ATM.
A free, weird and heretical intermix of arts, ingame model and own ideas.
9.1 times more high-poly, 2608 polies vs. 286.

Textures? ASAP, these are just dymmy materials to show the model.
Devil Ray? Will require some more work, but not impossible as well.
Moray? No. Tried to model. Didn't back up the model when should have to. Don't ask anything else. :(

C&C welcome as always.

- Dark.

Shades' Secret Ops Guide and Wing Commander Script Updates

Just when you think the birthday fun is over there's more presents! Longtime Secret Ops aficionado Shades has some updates to his Wing Commander works.
Like all of you I am a huge fan of Wing Commander and have been since the first game. One of the things I loved most about it was its branching story and like many of you I played it many times just to fallow the many story branches. Many year ago I decided to flowchart the script/story of the Wing Commander games, something that could be read in a "Choose your own adventure" style. My first public release was for Wing Commander II. It was rough but still felt lacking. With my current scripts I've changed the layout and added more picture to help bring more of the feel of the game to the story. It's not done yet but I wanted to release it for the Birthday party. Constructive feedback is welcome. The guides are not 100% tested and I would greatly appreciate any help in testing them.

WC Secret Ops has always had a special in my heart. Years ago I released an ICIS and Strategy guide for Secret Ops. I have redone both. The Cerberus ICIS is now very close to the Midway ICIS with a few tweaks. The Strategy guide had been updated to more closely match Prima's WC Prophecy guide. I've tried to upgrade the graphics throughout the guide. I've updated the maps to 3DFx version of the maps. I've made corrections throughout the guide including the release dates. Often going through the SO backup disk I found a document with all the pilots biography, many are different from what was in Prima's Prophecy guide. I have added those biographies and in some cases merged them with known ones from Prima's Prophecy guide. Also keen eyes will note the ISBN barcode on the back is the one that Prima's WC Prophecy Gold guide would have used.

I hope you enjoy these books. Constructive feedback is always welcome.

nedstat extremetracker

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