Saga Pilot Manager Is Now Multilingual

Luke has released a new version of his pilot/profile management tool for Wing Commander Saga and WC Saga Plus. Besides the usual tweaks and fixes, this release adds support for language selection. For now, English and German are supported. You can download version 1.1.1.0 here. Luke also maintains a Forums thread with various tools and howtos for Saga.

Clone: The complete pilot profile can be copied. Optionally it's possible to copy only the pilot with his settings, but without campaign progress, statistic and medals. Ideally if the player wish to restart the campaign(s) only with his settings. The pilot name will be checked with the WCS rules.

Rename: A simple and safe way to rename all profile files with one single step.

Backup: With this it's easy to store single pilots or all pilots with only one mouseclick, after the backup folder was set. The player have the choice between separate archives for every pilot or one single archive for all pilots. Date and time of the last backup will be shown.

Delete: A complete profile can be deleted, like in WCS. But optionally the player can also delete all data except the settings.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to the Wingnuts stopping in today from the US! To all others, this is a perfect opportunity to remind everyone about the awesome Pilgrim-themed treat hiding in our archives. The first and second books in the Wing Commander Movie's novel trilogy were released in 1999, but the third was never officially published. However, author Peter Telep recently helped us bring the missing novel to eager fans right here at the CIC. It's available here with some fancy cover and chapter art by NinjaLA. Tablet owners can also grab it as a mobi (Kindle) or epub (other)!

Wing Commander On Sale For Black Friday

Electronic Arts has kicked off its Black Friday promotions via the Origin digital storefront. The Wing Commander franchise is listed at 50% off, which makes each title $2.49. WC1 through WC4 and Privateer are available in five different packs. Other Origin (Systems, Inc) games including Crusader and Ultima are also on sale. Prices are good through Monday night. The savings aren't quite as high as the recent GOG discounts, but these are great additions for anyone building a library in the Origin system. Note that each title can be played "DRM free" by dropping an original DOSBox.exe file into the appropriate game file folder. WC1's first Secret Missions expansion runs without any tweaking, but players need to manually create shortcuts to run some of the other executables to get WC1&2's remaining addons to launch. Privateer doesn't currently include the Righteous Fire expansion, but WC4 is the DVD edition with enhanced video.

Recap History of Game Graphics in New Documentary

Ahoy has posted a series of videos that chronicles the Brief History of Graphics. It's a five part playlist that starts with the very earliest computer games and ends with a look into the future. There are also segments on sprite-based art and hardware 3D acceleration. Despite the role these technologies played in the Wing Commander series, it's the middle episode on the transition to 3D and the rise of polygons where WC shows up. Although space sims are somewhat lightly covered here overall, it's still a more comprehensive package than most and a worthwhile trip down memory lane. Check out chapter 3 below or see all episodes here.

Frightful Kilrathi Concept Art Surfaces

Concept artist Mariano Diaz has posted some startling Kilrathi additions to his portfolio. Much like Rob McKinnon's work, this dates back a couple years to Chris Roberts' early Wing Commander pitch for what would eventually become Star Citizen. The Kilrathi included here are some of the most terrifying depictions anywhere. There's also a clear visual lineage from these designs to the aliens that are now known as the Vanduul (Update: However, the Vanduul were independently developed by Chris Olivia). Check out the slick looking Salthi as well. If there's any chance that these monsters are what Chris has in mind for a future director's cut of the Wing Commander Movie, that would be something to see! Thanks to Klavs for the tip!

WC Strategy Mod Back On Track

Arraen began work on a tribute to Wing Commander at the beginning of the year. His project is a WC-themed strategy game made in the Unity engine. Things were coming together nicely until March, when he posted this message: "Sorry, guys, due to Russian invasion at my country I put on hold this project. And there is too many other concerns associated with this. But as soon as the situation becomes clearer, I will continue the work. Hope it will be very soon." Arraen is a Wingnut from Ukraine, and his suddenly departure was understandable. Eight months later, we're happy to report that he and his WC mod are doing well! A small update on the game is available below. Wing Commander fans always persevere!
Well, guys, the project is not dead yet :) Thank you for all of yours good wishes. While our war situation goes worse I'm trying to do my best with the game.

For now I'm working on interface and battle rooms. Hope to show you my progress soon. For now just want to show you one screen with new design.

Star Wars Trailer Rumors Stir WC Memories

There have been conflicting stories this week about the Star Wars Episode VII trailer being paired with the new Hobbit film set to release in December. It's possible that the rumor was unfounded, and there are many ways they could choose to unveil the preview these days - from attachment to a hot movie to a large scale television event to many many internet-based options. Mass digital media was much more limited fifteen years ago, and in March 1999 The Phantom Menace's trailer was revealed to the world before Wing Commander. This led to many theaters posting signs warning that refunds would not be given after the WC Movie's previews were shown. Wingnuts never quite got the same opportunity to see the Wing Commander trailer on the big screen since the film's release date was announced just five weeks before the premiere. A variety of different preview clips were made for different venues, however, and we've collected a number of them here. Keep exploring the CIC Holovids section for a wide assortment of other WC trailers, deleted scenes, making-of docs, music videos and much more!

Academy DVD Marked Down for the Holidays

A number of people have written in to report that Amazon is now selling the Wing Commander Academy DVD collection for just $7.99. It's not clear if this price reduction is in any way permanent, but with the holiday season fast approaching, this is a great opportunity to pick up some additional copies for gifts. Just this Summer, Amazon increased the price to full MSRP ($35) after their initial batch had sold out. It's been confirmed that the set is region locked to North America for licensing reasons, but overseas fans can pick up a Region 1 player for cheap, or explore more creative solutions.

Long-time visitors will know that you can watch Academy in three ways: storyline order, production order or by original air date. LOAF recently shared where he currently stands on the issue:

Yes, the episodes on the disk are in production order; that is, the order they were finished by Universal. With a live action show, production and continuity orders tend to be fairly similar... since shows are shot in a fairly linear fashion. With cartoons it's more complicated, since a swath of episodes are written and animated at once.

Order doesn't matter a GREAT deal on Wing Commander Academy. As AD notes, there is a proper 'timeline' order that you can watch them in, but much of that just won't matter.

Red and Blue comes first and the two-parted (Price of Victory/Glory of Sivar) comes last. The Last One Left should be second (since it's introducing the Tiger's Claw setting and several secondary characters) and then The Most Delicate Instrument third (since it introduces Archer's oft-referenced story arc.) Other aspects of watching in timeline order are more trivial... Blair mentions the events of Expendable in Chain of Command, Word of Honor in Recreation and so on.

I actually kind of like the production order regardless, though, as it gives you Chain of Command, the show's strongest episode, early in the run. When the show originally airead the early episodes were swapped around and you ended up having both the "they eject and are stuck on a planet" shows one after the other. Which sort of made manifest everyone's fears about fighter pilot shows, that they could only ever be coming up with excuses to get the characters out of the cockpit.

Another thing to note is that Red and Blue is by far the series' weakest episode... and it's very different in style and tone than the rest of the show. It's clearly FIRST, but you need to watch it with the understanding that that's not what the rest of the series is going to be like.

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