Listen To Full WC1 Voiceovers In Mega CD Walkthrough

completewalkthroughs has posted a full recording of Wing Commander for the Mega CD (commonly known as the Sega CD in the US). It's not the first time we've seen someone on YouTube profile the game, but playthroughs are still fairly rare. While the Super Nintendo version of the game was quite popular, relatively few people are aware of this console port. It's really a shame too, because this was the only direct DOS derivative to get full speech! Only the full Super Wing Commander remake comes close. Some of the voice actors are better than others, but all of the spoken lines really add a new dimension to the experience. Any favorites? Or do some grind on your nerves? Hit the Comments button and let us know!

Weekend Reminders Roundup

There's a lot happening in the world of Wing Commander this month, so here's a quick recap of some highlights to keep in mind.
  • Wing Commander starts playing on Netflix today! There's already been considerable buzz on social media, and fans are organizing a group viewing. Visit the CIC Forums to participate.
  • The CIC's 17th Birthday Party is just two weeks away! We'll see you in #Wingnut on Saturday, August 15, 2015 at 7:00 pm EDT (4:00 pm PDT and 11:00 pm GMT). Don't miss out - it'll be a blast!
  • Ben Lesnick's world tour is about to commence! He'll be in Germany next week to make an appearance at Gamescom on August 7. The trip's set up to provide a status update on Star Citizen, but Bandit (LOAF) is always excited to meet fellow Wing Commander fans. People attending Dragoncon can also catch him in Atlanta during the first weekend of September!

WC1 Programming Library Widens Supported Assets

Since we last checked in, UnnamedCharacter has made a large number of expansions and improvements to his Wing Commander library project. The software toolkit (implemented in .NET v4) provides a programming interface for working with Wing Commander 1 data files. The creation of a mission editor or full-blown modding becomes a lot easier, since developers no longer need to worry about reading or writing WC1's arcane file formats. The WC Library package also provides two demo applications; one for extracting game assets from resource files, another for converting game data to or from human-readable XML. The latest version supports the following formats:
  • CAMP (reading and writing)
  • BRIEFING (reading and writing)
  • MODULE (reading and writing)
  • COMM (reading and writing)
  • VGA (reading and writing)
  • SHIP (as VGA, reading and writing)
  • PAL (reading only)
  • SHIPTYPE (reading only)
  • PCSHIP (reading only)

PC Gamer Reflects On FMV Games

PC Gamer has posted a new article on the state of FMV both yesterday and today. They point out the genre's rocky history, but Wing Commander is called out as a major exception that stands the test of time despite some technical limitations. Although live action cutscenes are largely seen today as a relic of a bygone era, the author highlights how they continues to pop up in new places. Live action trailers for games that don't use FMV are becoming increasingly popular. And developers have stepped up their storytelling, so more new titles are finally reaching heights originally achieved by classic '90s WC titles. Check out the full article here.
And for the most part, all of that is fair. Most FMV heavy games indeed stank. Among them though were some classics, and great examples of the form. Wing Commander 3 for instance looks ropey to modern eyes, but remains a fascinating space epic—not so much for the epic action, but for the subtleties that polygonal characters have only just caught up with. Mark Hamill's leading man, Christopher Blair, stands out particularly here as a man absolutely exhausted by the war and pushing on only because he has no other choice but to be strong in front of the men and women looking up to him.
Thanks to Delance for the tip!

New Flat Universe Previews Tease Next Installment

The Maslas Brothers have released a whole bunch of tantalizing new screenshots for the next iteration of Wing Commander Flat Universe. All images are either gameplay screenshots or otherwise rendered in the engine. These new pics show off the custom cockpits that frame the action: the angular green Hornet, squared off red Scimitar, silver curved Raptor displays and more are all there. Even the gun energy capacitors are designed to match! We also get a glimpse of the nav interface that will soon be helping pilots get around as well as some glamor shots of Klavs' hardware in a variety of locations.
I thought I would just pop in and share a bunch of screenshots. You know to get an idea of what is coming.... ;)

Wing Commander Arrives On US Netflix!

Streaming Wing Commander's spread across the globe continues! After appearing in countries such as Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the UK earlier this year, the WC Movie will finally begin showing on the US Netflix roster starting August 1. Sure, we all got the Blu-ray edition a couple years back, but it's exciting to think about the huge new audience the film will soon be in front of. Who's up for a viewing party?! Maybe with the right drinking game...
In the 27th century, Earth's only hope against the vicious Kilrathi Empire are two talented young fighter pilots. The guys, with their beautiful, tough-as-nails wing commander Angel, try to fend off the enemy and warn Earth of an impending attack.

Bearcat Gets Unreal Makeover

ScoobyDoo has made big progress importing his new Bearcat fighter into the Unreal 4 engine. In this new environment, he's been able explore adding tons of detail to the cockpit, hull surface and landing gear. Although he's known for adding lots of stuff like this to his ships in the past, he's being careful to walk a fine line and avoid making his ships deviate too wildly from the baseline Wing Commander examples. If you'd like to see more of the spaceframe itself, check out the previous post here. This design should be reading to import into various projets that use the Freespace 2 engine soon.
My main line of thinking was, I can't do a million greebles like S.C. models, it just wouldn't look WCish (heck even the Kilrathi isn't nearly that greebled). I decided to go with panels and small details. I would have liked to added more panels but it would start looking like it was patchworked. The big thing I'm going to have to deal next with is panel scribing (like what you use to do with physical models to bring out panel lines). That's going to take some rethinking on my part. The panel lines I've used in the past look ok, but somehow I don't think they would fit in nicely here.

Cockpit is finally coming together, I merged some of mine with one of the SC cockpit models, reworked and optimized. I think SC is using some sort of tessellation in their meshes and I'm not familiar enough to work with that. Wheels are fully animated, however until FSO support dae animation, they won't be useable in FS2, too many separate moving parts.

Frontier Bombers Get Modern Makeover

The Border Worlds faction is getting some nice upgrades to their torpedo-carrying fighters in the WC4 Homeworld mod. L.I.F. has just finished importing DefianceIndustries' Vindicator and Avenger into the Remastered engine. Either craft can do some serious damage to Confed, Kilrathi and Black Lance capships, and the Stormfires that will also be added to their arsenal will chew up fighters too (that aren't nimble enough to get away!). Try the mod out for yourself here.
The Vindicator is a medium-fighter armed with anti-ship torpedoes, a pair of laser and tachyon guns. Despite is relatively light anti-fighter armament, it represents a clear threat for frigates and smaller capital ships and should not be underestimated.

The Avenger torpedo bomber is a large, unwieldy craft reminiscent of a shuttle, however packed with as many anti-ship torpedoes as a longbow, and is reported to be a tough enemy to shoot down, especially with its dangerous rear mass driver turret. Prioritize it as you would a squadron of Paktahn threatening the Admiral's latest toy.

Three Weeks To Party Time!

In case you missed our recent announcement, the date and time for the CIC's 17th Birthday Party has been set! You're invited to join us on Saturday, August 15, 2015 at 7:00 pm EDT (4:00 pm PDT and 11:00 pm GMT) in the #Wingnut chat room. It'll be fun night full of old war stories, cake, trivia games and prizes. We'll have plenty of fun stuff to share here at the website too!
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