Fan Film Follows Fearless Freddie

Andromeda Briggs has put together a thoughtful Wing Commander tribute video. His focus is, of course, on Freddie Prinze Jr's role in the WC Movie. A lot of work has clearly gone into this project to tease out more than four minutes of young Blair looking alternately pensive and emotional. I can't say what inspired him to wait until 2016 to put this together, but we thank him for the effort!

Fans Take On Prototype Midway Model

DefianceIndustries has recently decided to take a stab at rendering an odd prototype in the CIC archives. The ship depicted in these black & white photos and blurry images is commonly seen as the precursor to the TCS Midway. It has many of the megacarrier's design elements built in, although the final version smooths out some of the hard lines, centralizes the bridge tower and separates/stretches out the left and right hull sections. Here are some of the concept shots: And DI's take is below. It turns out Cybot actually mocked up the ship at one point too. Clearly our home carriers have made a lasting impression on the minds of WC fans! For reference, we've also included the final TCS Midway from Prophecy as well as the TCS Port Broughton from Wing Commander Arena.

Wing Blender Works With Even More WC Ships

Kevin Caccamo has released a new version of Wing Blender. The program is a helpful tool for exporting and importing models to or from the Vision Engine into the open source Blender 3D modeling suite. This potentially makes manipulation of the Prophecy and Secret Ops ships much easier. In version 1.6.1, the tool works with a broader range of models and eliminates an issue with duplicate textures. Grab the software and find a brief tutorial on how to use it at the project website here. Kevin's also looking for fans who might be able to help by testing the new release!
IFF Import Tutorial
  1. Obtain a VISION engine IFF 3D model from somewhere. You can extract an IFF 3D model from the game (or your favourite WC:SO mod, such as Standoff or Unknown Enemy) using HCl's treman. (You'll need to run it in DOSBox on modern systems, however.)
  2. Extract the textures for this model. If you are using MAT files, place them in the mat folder, and the 3D model in the mesh folder. If you are using PNG, BMP, GIF, or another high-quality image format, place the images in the same folder as the 3D model, and give them the same name as the 3D model, except with numbers after them. For example, if the 3D model is named GRIKATH.IFF, and you want to use high-quality images as textures, name the images GRIKATH1.PNG, GRIKATH2.PNG, etc.
  3. Run the importer script to import the mesh into Blender.

How Will You Make It Through?

There's a new poll out today that challenges you to think about what Wing Commander product fans would most like to have by their side if they were stranded on an island. Is the goal entertainment or survival? There's lots of great choices, but you can only pick one!
The old poll asked who Wingnuts would like to be if they didn't play as Christopher Blair so often. Maniac won, but Vagabond actually had an early lead. Hunter and Iceman also took home quite a few votes. All good choices!

Two Retro Reviews For The Price Of One

The aptly named Emotional Multimedia Ride blog has posted classic reviews of both WC1 and WC2. It helps that both games are bundled together in a very affordable GOG bundle! The articles are written in a way that highlights their strong points and enduring charm after two and a half decades. There's coverage of the story and then of the factors that make the games continue to stand out today. Another benefit of the GOG pack is that it comes with all four expansion packs, and it's nice to see that even they are included in the profile as well. I briefly write about Wing Commander here at the CIC almost every day, but long (or even medium length) pieces aren't my thing, so I always enjoy seeing other people picking up the pen and sharing their thoughts on the series from a perspective like this. You can find the full reviews here.
Long before X-Wing or TIE Fighter made epic battles in space possible, Origin Systems’ Wing Commander laid the cinematic groundwork for the space combat sim genre.

Model Upgrade Project Invites New Vampire In

DefianceIndustries has completed his Vampire model, and she's a beauty! Both the external renders and in-game shots show off the fighter's slick physique. The engine intakes have a cool pattern to them, and there's just a hint of artsy shark paint on each vectoring nacelle. With each of the Confed fighters complete, work moves on to Nephilim craft and Confed bombers/support ships.
Here she is, the Vampire! I should take a moment to acknowledge that the MUP has reached its first milestone: conversion of all Confed fighter craft! So again I'd like to thank everyone whose helped this project out getting here! The next two milestones are also relatively within reach: convert all Nephilim fighters and Confed bombers/support craft.

Tweak Guides Help Maximize The Wing Commander Experience

In addition to his guide to Wing Commander 3, PhilsComputerLab has published helpful "tweak guides" for Wing Commanders 1 and 2 as well as Privateer. GOG does a good job of preconfiguring their games to automatically run on most people's systems, but there are a small percentage of folks who encounter compatibility or speed issues. It's not difficult to optimize a setup to run on a specific computer, but people who buy the game at GOG for the convenience factor may not be familiar how to do this. Phil also has some tips on how to potentially improve the graphics and integrate sound emulation to enhance the audio, which could be helpful for everybody!
Topics covered include:

- Improving graphics
- Improving music and sound effects with Munt MT-32 emulator
- CPU cycle speed
- Joystick calibration
- Transferring pilots

Wing Commander Crossover Appears In Popular Mass Effect Fan Project

Klavs spotted a Wing Commander reference in a bit of an unusual place. The Mass Effect-based web comic Marauder Shields is a fan made alternate ending to Mass Effect 3. The authors are apparently Wing Commander fans, and they've created a Christopher Blair character to fit into their story. It may be a little difficult for the uninitiated to figure out what's what, but there's actually some deep WC lore baked into Pilgrim's bio! Check out our WCPedia page to distinguished the "fact" from "fiction." You can also find a video intro to Marauder Shields here.
Now THIS is obscure, Marauder Shields, the meme turned webcomic (episodes 1-5) turned SERIOUS webcomic (episodes 6+) has named one of their characters after Christopher Blair.

This issue is absolutely packed with Wing Commander references (read the codex below).

And you know what? If you've played Mass Effect 3 and were dissapointed with the ending, this actually... kind of helps. The audio episodes are pretty decent, as well.


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