Another Dralthi Expands the Lego Fleet

Voidshaper has put together a pretty good looking Dralthi with digital Lego tools. Wing Commander fans have a long history of building some slick Lego spacecraft, which is impressive given the limitations of the building blocks available. Dralthi fighters are one of the most popular creations. Renders like these make you wish there was a Lego Wing Commander game!
Attempted to build a minifig-able Dralthi. The stubby cabin is tricky.

CGM Looks At Celebrities In Games

CGMagazine's Brendan Frye recently posted a piece about celebrity actors in videogames. From Norris to Spacey: Celebs in Video Games touches on voice acting, the full motion video craze of the 1990s, and finally the shift to motion captured animation. Check it out here.
Many 90s games also used full motion video as a way to create realistic theatrical cut scenes. Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom and Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun feature famous actors in real-life video sequences, which serve as cutscenes in the games...

Then there's fighting your way through space on the TCS Lexington in Wing Commander IV, between cut scenes of once-retired Colonel Blair (Mark Hamill)'s attempt to find and destroy the threats arising on the Border Worlds. Blair should consider himself lucky that Admiral Tolwyn (Malcolm McDowell) called him back to the military. His plan to become a farmer on a desert planet probably wasn't working out too well. WCIV's cut scenes account for nearly two full hours of celebrity-stuffed, full motion video action. Amazing.

The newest way to include celebrities in games is with motion capture and performance capture technology... This method not only features the voices of celebrity actors but the digitized movement of their bodies and facial expressions. Now celebrities can be fully active in video game cut scenes, like Hamill and Jones were in Wing Commander IV and Tiberian Sun, but act as the playable main character throughout the game as well with the digital capturing of their physical attributes and expressions.

Confed Dreadnought Reimagined as Sleek Powerhouse

Klavs is back with a big new addition to the Terran arsenal. His fresh take on the Confederation class dreadnought smooths over some of the hard hull edge lines and fills in sections that were originally more tapered on his first Concordia render. The somewhat unnecessary full-length topside runways have been shortened to be more proportionate to the hangar deck, but key features like the forward radar tower and keel-forming phase transit cannon are just as prominent as ever. Hopefully there's some sharp green highlights coming in its near future!

Big Flat Universe Update Enhances Playable Alpha

There's great news for Flat Universe fans! A new playable test of the top down Wing Commander shooter has been released with a ton of neat features. There are additional ships, animations, customizable missile loadouts and more. Pilots can also practice in free flight mode to get a better feel for the game. The accompanying reference card and ship schematics have been updated as well. Load up Daedalus Station and scroll down to grab the game for Windows, Mac OS or Linux. Have fun and be sure to let the Maslas Brothers know what you think!
Some of the most interesting features of the latest update:
  1. New patching system. No more downloading and decompressing huge packages. Just start Flat Universe and our server will update your copy with the latest version.
  2. Two new exciting ships have been added: Raptor and a Shuttle.
  3. New animated Take Off sequences from Daedalus station.
  4. Fly around our spectacular home system, "Destiny", on a free flight mode.
  5. Now you can select your own missile loadout.
  6. Missile Decoys are now available. No more extensive use of afterburner to avoid missiles.
    and last but not least
  7. Finished turret AI. Now you can kill it before it kills you. A test flight will convince you. And as always, we need your feedback! Your opinion counts more than you can imagine. Have Fun!!!

    the MaslasBros

Video Highlights Benefits of EMS in WC1&2

danr has put together a neat video that shows off some of the differences between pilots that played WC1&2 with and without expanded memory. In our modern world of DOS emulators and glide wrappers, carefully tuning a struggling PC to get the best experience is a bit of a lost art. Getting games properly running in the early '90s required a pretty good working knowledge of boot disks, conventional memory optimization, loading device drivers into extended memory, taking advantage expanded memory and more. And the rewards for a good setup were great! Full EMS usage enabled things like the moving hand on joystick, cockpit damage, faces for the communication VDU, richer explosions and WC2's speech. Wing Commander Academy actually required EMS just to run, but by later games, simply having the necessary amount of extended memory RAM was sufficient - until Prophecy introduced hardware acceleration modes.
Going to be making a few WC1 related videos for the anniversary, since I've not done this much before, figured I'd test out the software and my microphone with this oddball curiosity video.

Inspired by a thread from earlier this week, this one's aimed mostly at the kids that don't remember seeing Wing Commander in low memory environment, or even in EGA. The music I've used is from the Amiga version.

WC RPG Positioned For An Exciting 2015

In the latest update on the status of his massive Wing Commander RPG Wiki, capi3101 has laid out the plan for the year ahead. Work continues to round out the "stat blocks" for members of the Kilrathi Demon's Eye Pack that will appear in the Elegy of Sivar expansion. This comes after the successful completion of most character histories. capi is also trying to gauge feedback to see what kind of accompanying art fans might be interested in. Check out the latest post here, and visit the CIC Forums to help provide input. The holiday season can understandably hinder progress on any project, so it's great to see everyone bouncing back into the swing of things for the new year!

Extensive Walkthrough Chronicles Super Wing Commander

GaijinGG has sent in a nifty time capsule that will be a nostalgic stroll down memory lane for some Wingnuts and a peek into another world for others. He's scanned in his personal strategy guide for Super Wing Commander that was written way back in 1996. It's a very useful tool for anyone thinking about playing through the game, especially since an official strategy guide was never produced. Detailed mission stats can be a big help for mission planning and knowing when to conserve missiles. Gameflow sequences have also been summarized from the perspective of his character. This includes the exclusive "SM1.5" expansion that takes our crew to the Tartarus, Cairo, Anchorage and Jakarta Systems. They're exotic places where the Claw hunts down the shipyards that made the Sivar, but some aspects of SM2 were reused for the new expansion as well. Fascinating all around! Download the guide here (9 meg zip).

Annual Contest Voting In Full Swing

This is a reminder that the polls are still open for the CIC's Website & Fan Project of the Year awards. For a full rundown of the nominees and what made them stand out in 2014, check the original post here. If you found you way to this update on a mobile device and aren't seeing the poll option, open www.wcnews.com again in your browser without the /m/ suffix.
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