Kilrathi Mod Reconnects With Fans

It's been a while since we last heard about Aginor's Kilrathi-perspective WC mod, but he's provided a status update to let everyone know the project's still in the works. In its early days there was considerable feedback gathered on how to manage the Kilrathi look and feel. Then over the years missions and features were implemented, so the primary outstanding tasks relate to the finalizing the story, adding some art and completing some voiceovers. That's actually a lot further along than some fan games get, so head over to the CIC Forums if you'd like to provide some encouragement or help Aginor finish!
I have most of the story finished now, and proofread. I will try to write the rest soon. It is all there in my head, but it is sometimes hard for me to concentrate and really write a whole chapter. The missions are mostly complete, with a few dialogues missing, and perhaps some testing and balancing. Concerning models, scripts and so on my mod is feature complete. I am missing some pieces of art, the minimum being a Kilrathi player portrait (or even just a WC3 style helmet to put there). The rest is optional. I wanted to do a cool main hall like Saga has, but I suck at 3D art, and both of the guys that wanted to help me aren't anwering my emails anymore.

So while my mod is pretty far in development it lacks the final touches. I couldn't motivate anybody to help me out with it (except capi who did the proofreading). It is hard to create such a thing without somebody who kicks you in the butt sometimes, giving you a nudge forward. So yeah, that's my status. :)

Oldies Games Upgrades Its WC4 Profile

OldiesGamesTV has remade their French language profile of Wing Commander 4. The previous edition was based on the CD release, so they've remixed the English DVD edition with French voiceovers and other sound. This is really cool for Francophones who'd like to see the higher quality movies! Most of our visitors might not understand what's being spoken, but we try to provide something for Wingnuts around the world. And it's neat to see someone enjoying the game, no matter what language you speak! Part 1 is below:
Here is the reissue of Oldies Games TV # 13 # 13 ... OGTV have as subject 4 Wing commander on CD-ROM PC but this game is out in the US version dvd so 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.

WCDX Updated With Secret Missions Support

Stinger has released a new 1.1 beta of WCDX that now plays The Secret Missions. There was a funky cursor bug that delayed release (pictured below), but it's now been resolved. All of the effort spent so far should also help lay the groundwork towards support of SM2: Crusade sooner rather than later. WCDX patches the Kilrathi Saga edition of WC1 with improved D3D programmer that enhances compatibility, improves color display and fixes resolution issues. Grab the SM1 update here! If you're a KS owner, you can also download the Secret Missions here.
Secret Missions 1 support is finally here!

Somewhere in the process I managed to introduce a bug that prevented the game from cleaning up the cursor, so it was just leaving cursor trails all over the place. It's the sort of bug that would have been very easy to fix if I were working from the game's source, but with access only to disassembled code, I had to dig pretty deep to figure out what was going on. In the process, I managed to figure out the game's resource and image formats (yes, I know HCl already did that) and write my own extractors. This should help with figuring out the planets issue, but before I get to that I want to at least get SM2 up and running. With more knowledge at my disposal, that shouldn't take anywhere near as long as SM1 took, so look for it in the next couple of weeks.

I'm classifying this release as a beta only because I haven't spent much time actually playing it; I am not at this time aware of any remaining issues. If you find any, please let me know.

Now go get that dreadnought!

Denis Loubet Recalls Fond Origin Memories

Senior WC1/2 artist Denis Loubet has been busy lately connecting with Wing Commander fans. Wingnuts have been peppering Mr. Loubet with dozens of questions about his time crafting gorgeous art for the first few games. The discussion has spurred the recollection of many fun facts and interesting info from behind the scenes. All of the modern crowdfunding success that others have enjoyed has also led Denis to create a way for fans to engage with him directly for cool new art. You can commission an authentic WC artist to create your own pieces via his Patreon or Draw My Character pages. And if all you'd like to do is say hello or ask about the good old days at Origin, drop by the CIC Forums and join in!
I'm Denis Loubet, and I did most of the art for the original Wing Commander. Glen Johnson did the character faces, and I did the cockpits, backgrounds, and scramble animations. Also the explosions and debris. Plus I assembled and touched up the cover, which as everyone guessed, was not a simple screenshot.

Currently I'm trying to work directly for my fans through Patreon and Drawmycharacter. Right now my audience consists mostly of Ultima fans, but I'm curious as to how much the Wing Commander community likes my work on the early games as opposed to the Hollywood productions of WCIII and IV. Most of my drawings are fantasy based, because most of my fans are Ultima fans. But if I get some Wing Commander patrons, I can do more science fiction based art!

I'm here to answer any questions you might have about the early days of Wing Commander from the artists perspective, and would love to hear your critiques both positive and negative of the work I did for it.

Awesome! Lots to catch up on here! I didn't expect things to be so lively! :D

Let's see... Danr, The cockpits were fun to do. They were done in DeluxePaint with a lot of dithered gradients. Everything on the screen had to exist within 256 colors. I can't remember if I did them on a PC or an Apple IIgs. I suspect it was a PC. I did not know my name was used as a gunnery officer! I have learned something new today! :) Since all the readable text in the cockpits was actually functional, I think that you're right. I actually thought you could record your mission, is that not so? Maybe it only works in the PC version? :confused: And yes, the asteroids were hand drawn.

Quaker2k8, This is great news! All I have to do is wait until 2615 and my Patreon should be ROCKIN'! I'll be Rich! ;) I'll settle for those thousand oldschool fans!

Capi3101, actually the ship designs were done by someone else. I'm not actually sure who! The Images of the ships just sort of appeared from the 3rd party that Chris had hired to do the rendering. Knowing Chris, I'm sure he had a heavy hand in the design. And I can certainly do covers and character illustrations, so break out that Kickstarter, man! ;)

LeHah, strangely I don't remember that much direction coming down from on high, which is unusual for Mr. Roberts. ;) I think the art team just clicked from the start, and was putting out what he liked. I remember making sure the cockpits of the fighters were tight, and the cockpits of the bigger ships more roomy. Chris must have told me what he wanted the Kilrathi to look like, but I don't remember that talk. I know he insisted on tumbling debris, and wanted that Battlestar Galactica style fighter launch sequence. We also had to pack a lot of stuff in the rec room, and I know we had discussions about the doors and layout of the locker room.

To answer a previous question: Looking at the characters in WC 1 and 2, I think we were going mostly for familiar stereotypes found in WWII movies, rather than specific actors. But looking at some of the portraits in WC2, the girl with the black hair has to be consciously modeled after Bettie Page! And I think paladin is Sean Connery. I'm sure Clint Eastwood was in there too. :rolleyes:

I didn't do any of the human portraits, but I did do the Kilrathi cutscenes, hence my avatar pic. They were fun to do.

Sorry my memory isn't better on all these issues, but I did SO much at Origin over the 10 years I worked there, and it was so long ago! :eek: But I'll do my best! :D

And thanks again all for making me blush!

--Denis

Think Fast! But Also Maneuverable...

There's a new poll that puts the Confederation's fastest fighters on deck. Rather than just simply picking the fastest ship, we've asked a question that inquires which craft has the best mix of speed and maneuverability. All of the fighters listed are quick, but they have trade-offs as well. The Wasp's booster is a huge advantage for interception, but what if the objectives also call for navigating an asteroid field? Other ships are sleek and many hold a special place in the memories of many pilots. If you needed the ability to get out and go, which would you take?
The old question was our annual New Years poll. Most fans are optimistic about the year to come, but some are unconvinced. We don't know exactly what the future holds, but check out last year's highlights to get an idea of all the exciting potential!

Overthinking It Overthinks The WC3 Finale

Overthinking It is a website dedicated to the contrived art of overanalyzing something on the internet. This month they've turned their sights on Wing Commander 3 and the moral implications of destroying Kilrah. The site actually goes after quite a range of modern pop culture, so the first part of the WC3 article attempts to lure in the casual reader based on the merits of the game. Some of the context is described and the obvious comparison to World War 2 is made. Reasons for not undertaking the Temblor assault are where the piece cracks a bit. The fact that the losing endgame results in Kilrathi paws crushing skulls on Earth while the winning ending ends in a peace treaty makes the "what if" scenarios kind of weak. But since you're on the internet, there's a chance this might be right up your alley! Check out the full article here.
I know what you’re thinking: “Here goes Lee again about that space combat simulator from the 90’s that he was obsessed with as a kid and is playing again as an adult. I’ve never played any Wing Commander and I never will. Skipping this article.”

WAIT. Keep reading. What if I were to tell you that one of the entries in the series was less a video game and more a movie starring Mark Hamill, Malcolm McDowell, John Rhys-Davies, and Tom Wilson…with a climax that involves the genocidal destruction of an alien race’s homeworld?

This is Wing Commander III, and this act of genocide is something that I’ve wanted to have a serious adult conversation about for a long time. So even if you know nothing about Wing Commander, strap into the cockpit and come along with me for this ride. I’ve been through a long war. We have a lot to talk about.

Target Ticket Going Under; Wing Commander Available Via CinemaNow

Web streaming service Target Ticket will be closing down next month, but other virtual avenues to buy a digital copy of the Wing Commander Movie still abound. The good news is that purchases will be transferred to the Best Buy-affiliated CinemaNow, which we hadn't previously listed as carrying WC. HBO Go, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, Flixter, XBox Video, iTunes and even Netflix (now in several European countries!) remain as other options.

Newspaper Provides Insight to Golden Age of Wing Commander

Joe Garrity from the Origin Museum has run across a really cool print article from an August 1998 edition of the Austin American Statesman. It's a story on the revolutionary episodic release of Wing Commander Secret Ops. They explain how new parts of the game can be downloaded each week and that they'll be supplemented with additional storyline on the web. The infamous CIH virus infection also comes up. Some of the article's charm also has to do with how they treat the internet as such a novelty. Gamespot.com is specifically described as a "gaming news Web site." Of course, the biggest issue at first had to do with how long the starter pack was. They talk about the wait associated with a 63 megabyte download, but all the serious Wingnuts waited all night for the full 114 meg starter to finish. There's also a mention about Chris Roberts' upcoming Wing Commander Movie. These were exciting times!
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