HCl and the Banshees

Yet again, HCl has performed miracles and released his patch to place the Banshee from WCIV in Secret Ops! Download it locally here and don't forget to read the readme file for instructions. And that's not all...CIC has scored a screenshot of the next model to be converted, the Goran from Armada!

Locke's Latest

I'll bet you've been wondering what Locke has been up to since he finished writing the single coolest WCP/SO addon known to man. Apparently he's been developing a simulator for Secret Ops! Grab a copy here. With a name like Locke, it has to be good...

Donut Go There

It's all coming to an end... a horrible firey end. By that, I of course mean that Byydo has released the final version of Ace's Happy Donut Fighter for Prophecy. Grab it here here, with the foresight that we shaln't see a new version until he updates it for Secret Ops.

Call Me Fiction...

...never mind why... today's Secret Ops fiction is up! A pair of e-mails and an ICIS update make up today's score... quick suggestion, read the ICIS update *first*, and everything will make a lot more sense.

Cheaters Never & Other Popular Cliche's

AVault, the page most known for having a cool name that you can argue about how to pronounce, has added a section on Secret Ops hints and tips. There's currently a document to download... I haven't had a chance to grab it yet, so I'm not sure how affective it is, because, face it, it's not as cool as the movie version of DUNE...

All Good Things

That's right, folks, it's the last of our exciting Secret Ops team interviews for a while... there's a good chance we'll get a few more soon, so check back. Here's Pete Shelus, programmer...
What was involved in programming Secret Ops? How much of a jump from WCP is it?

Secret Ops is sort of an evolutionary step from Prophecy. One of the first things we did was modify the existing Prophecy code base to allow for the episodic mission system. We learned a lot doing that, and we are already working on some new ideas to make the episodic system even better for future releases. The rest of the programming consisted of resolving issues that remained from Prophecy, adding and improving game functionality, and optimization.

Do you see a multiplayer WC game in the future?

Multiplayer WC is something that we would certainly like to see. We're spending a great deal of time working out exactly what would make a great multiplayer space combat game. It's a little tricky building something that will be fun because space is a very empty place. Combat usually regresses to just 'jousting' with the other players, so we're reassessing the game mechanic and the environments in which you fly in order to make sure that the multiplayer Wing Commander experience is a great one.

Status Report!

Today's bit of Secret Ops fiction is up! Head on over to the SO site and take a look at a (fairly important) report from Capt'n Enoch... which sort of explains the dual nature of the upcoming Duel (Episode 6, not a pun... I hope).

More Bugs...

Only this time they are of the software type and have crept in to HCl's current project, the WC3/4 - WCP/SO model converter which are almost certain to delay work. Model conversion is going to stop until the bugs are out, but we've scored some screenshots of the fighter voted second best in our WC4 poll, the Banshee in the Vision engine! Enjoy..

Who Do You Want To Devastate Today?

Episode 6 - Day 1 fiction is now up at the Secret Ops site, including info on how best to fly the Devastator for all of you Plebes out there.

Interview #3

Time for interview number three, this time it's Secret Ops lead designer, Cinco Barnes...
What does a designer do? What did you do for Secret Operations?

The designer works closely with the art and programming staff to generate the 'look' and 'feel' of the gameplay. Once the overall goals for the game are decided, the design team focuses on the creation of the game story, the fictional dialogue and the mission content. During the greatest portion of development, designers work through an editor called "MED" using a proprietary scripting language (that operates a lot like C++). With this editor and the powerful language associated with it, designers are able to create all of the game conditions that make for an exciting mission. On "Secret Ops" I was the Lead Designer. My responsibilities were to create the story, dialogue and mission objectives as "broad brush strokes" for the rest of the design team to flesh out later.

What kind of qualifications does one need to become a designer?

In order to become a successful designer, one will need to understand the mechanics of a good game. In this business it is easy to be confused (often intoxicated) by the memes and conventions of television and movies as an alternative to understanding the subtly complicated modes of gameplay/story interaction. Although understanding of mass media disciplines are crucial to building a believable script, they come in at a distant second to the understanding of CORE FUN. [Cinco] The most qualified game designers continually ask themselves and ask of their designs: What is the FUN THING that I do all of the time in this game? What is my production team doing to bring this FUN THING to fruition? The qualified designer is capable of eliminating the unnecessary in effort to focus on the elements of production that support the central FUN idea of the game.

ExSiting

It's (almost) the moment you've all been waiting for! The Wing Commander Movie Official Web Site is here! The page is currently a splash screen, notifying us that the full site will be available soon... and you just know Dan has something cool up his sleeves. Anyway, it's also another momentous occasion, the first new WC movie screenshot we've had in a LONG time...

Fly a Pie

Remember those way cool screenshots of an Arrow in Secret Ops we showed you way back when? Well, the ever uber-cool HCl has made his Arrow patch available to the public! Grab one right here, and read the attached readme.txt for installation info.

Interview #2

The second of our interviews with Secret Ops team members, this time with senior graphic designer/technical art advisor Damon Waldrip... read on!
What type of art do you do?

design, concept drawings, 3d modeling & texturing (both cinematic & game art), lighting, animation, pretty much everything. in the world of computer games, an artist has to be a kind of jack of trades. however, each of us has our specialties. mine are two: one is modeling, the other is more on the technical side, working closely with the programmers to ensure that the art is well and properly integrated into the game engine.

What exactly is involved in creating a new spacecraft?

at first, making many sketches to come up with a look that works. then, perhaps a 3d mockup. then a final drawing. then, generally, a cinematic model is built: a high-detail 3d spline model with high-detail textures. then the game art is built. this involves building some polygonal versions somewhat simpler than the heavily detailed cinematic version, using the cinematic model as a template. rendered images of the cinematic model are used for textures. there are usually several details levels which must be built. (these save processor time by swapping out as the camera moves closer to, or farther from the ship). then, damaged art must be made for when the ship or its component parts blow up. then, collision extents must be built. (these are simpler polygonal approximations of the ship, used for collision detection.)

Is there any particular inspiration for your WC art?

it varies. anything. everything. plants, animals, microscopic critters, all of nature, cars, buildings, and even other spacecraft. imagine that.

Have you ever designed things that don't quite make it into the final game?

oh yes. ouch. not even funny. but, thankfully, this happens far less often with experience.

Strike Team?

Raxxman was kind enough to type us up a copy of an article which appears in the November issue of the UK PC Gamer. It appears that this article reveals the title of the next Wing Commander game... read on! (Another cool UK PC Gamer note... the October issue's Top 100 Games (as voted on) list includes the WC series at #42... anything's better than nowhere!)
The Wing Commander series has spawned a huge number of looky-likeys over the years and formed its own genre. The combination of compelling story line, cinematic cut scenes and space battles has been emulated - no, downright copied - in LucasArts' X-wing and TIE fighter, MircoProse's X-COM Interceptor and interplay's Conflict Freespace.
   But Origin were there first, developing a continuing story throughout the various episodes and employing a number of well-known actors, including Mark Hamill, Malcom McDowell and John Ryhs-Davies.
   The very latest episode, Wing Commander Secret Ops, breaks taboos and traditions by being freely downloadable from the Internet (http://www.secretops.com/main.html).
   "Wing Commander Secret Ops is an entire Wing Commander game that is available as episodes over the Internet," explains Producer Rod Nakamoto. "Origin is giving away the game free of charge (except for standard Internet service fees) as a way of saying thanks to all our Wing Commander fans who've supported us since the series began in 1990.
   "Wing Commander Prophecy Gold is a compilation of Secret Ops and the original Prophecy so it covers a much broader range of exciting missions than Prophecy did on its own - approximately twice as many missions in fact."
   The events in Secret Ops take place directly after those in Prophecy, setting the scene in readiness for the next instalment, Wing Commander Strike Team. The Wing Commander Prophecy missions include all the stars and live video sequences that were in the original release of Prophecy, but because Secret Ops is also available on the Internet, it uses real-time films rendered by the game engine rather than live action video. However you still play the part of Casey, and many of Prophecy's characters return.
   And what of all that competition?
   "Wing Commander is the product that defined the space simulator market and has inspired many, many clones over the years," says Rod Nakamoto. "Wing Commander has always provided the most exciting missions weaved into the most compelling stories set in the richest sci-fi universe imaginable. Combine that with lightning-fast graphics performance and audio-visual effects and you have the best space combat experience on the PC.
   "Ultimately, we let the fans speak for themselves and they have made it clear that Wing Commander Prophecy is their favourite of the recent crop of space sims."

Our Color Scheme Must Have Helped

The popular Blue's News site provided a link to our Secret Ops Guide in their September 26 news area under the heading "etc." They called our Evan "Hadrian" Adnams "Evna," but it's still a nice mention.

V-K Day

September 24 was the anniversary of the destruction of Kilrah in 2669. Then Colonel Christopher Blair delivered the Temblor Bomb that shook the Kilrathi homeworld apart. This assault brought some forty years of fighting to a close. We have footage of Blair's attack here.

Order of the Arrow

Wing Commander editing wizard HCl has sent us more screenshots from his latest project! This time they are of the Arrow, everyone's favorite light fighter from WC3 and many other games. Click the thumbnails to get larger images.

Avenger Me!

What's editing wizard HCl up to? As usual, it's something really cool... we've scored exclusive shots from a project he's working on to put ships from Wing Commander III and IV into Prophecy's vision engine! Apparently the Avenger and Darket have already been achieved and are having their bugs worked out... (not a pun!). Check out the screenshots below, and expect more on this story as it develops...

Interviews!

Exciting new CIC exclusive! For the next several days we'll be putting up responses to questions asked to Secret Ops team members. Today: WC Artist Sean Murphy (Just guess what he designed...).
What exactly is involved in creating a new spacecraft?

First step is to determine what the craft is needed for in the game - a bomber will be different from a spacecraft carrier or a fighter or a freighter. Then we begin sketches to try to come up with some initial approaches - very general ideas that will be the foundation of the design. From there we modify and tweak the look through several progressive sketches, eventually settling on something we all hopefully agree on. We then begin building the ship, a process which usually sees some final modifications and polishes to the design. And voila!

Is there any particular inspiration for your WC art?

I particularly try to create a real-world look to the art I create, to make it look like something that would logically evolve from the way things are designed and built today. I look at construction equipment, modern military craft (not just airplanes, but tanks, helicopters, even things like hovercraft), and the like. If I had to pick one movie that most closely approximated the WC feel it would be Aliens.

Have you ever designed things that don't quite make it into the final game?

All the time.

A Funny Thing Happened...

... to me on the way to the TCS Cerberus. While watching the introductory video to Secret Ops Episode 5 hit F1... you'll be transported into the cockpit of a Devestator bomber in the middle of the cut scene! You'll have a few seconds to engage several alien capships, a multitude of alien fighters, and admire a Vesuvius class carrier (which, according to the mission's comments, is the TCS Mount St. Helens...).

The Fifth Installment

Its time to head over to the Secret Ops site because the Episode 5 download is now out, weighing in at only 786k. Please note you may not be able to see the download link unless you run at 800x600 or higher.

Where's That Site?

Wondering when the official Wing Commander Movie Site is going to be done? Well, you've got too much time on your hands... but here's what Dan from Dan's Wing Commander Movie Site had to say about it at his chat board the other day...
Anyway, I've been working on the official WC page ALOT (when not doing homework), and hopefully you should see *something* up at wcmovie.com this week. :)

As for news and stuff on the movie, there isn't much, although I heard there may be some interesting news about the movie score surfacing soon..

Get The Disc

Attention UKians... the November issue of PC Zone's cover disk (on sale now!) contains the large Secret Ops episode one download. If you've been wary of downloading the large starter pack, you should grab a copy of PC Zone and start playing now... American's will be able to get SO in an upcoming issue of PC Gamer.

Better Late Than Never

The Secret Ops fiction for Monday and Tuesday is up! Due to the fact that the webmaster was unexpectedly away yesterday, both sets of fiction were released today. Now, go check it out... people complaining that SO has no story need complain no further.

One Point Five Three Mentality

Man among men Thomas Bruckner has released the final version of his much lauded WCPEdit! Grab WPEdit 1.53 here, and be sure to install the patch, available here.

Buy Now!

Interested on getting your hands on some Gold? Of course, we're all anxiously awaiting its estimated October 14 release date... if you're desprate, however, you can preorder it from Electronic Arts! Head on over to the newly re-URL'd EA Store.

15,000's a Charm

Much like the casualty numbers from the Kilrathi war, the number of times Chris Reid has posted to alt.games.wing-commander is beyond my comprehension. Anyway, a hearty congratulations on reaching the 15,000 mark to our man Crid... keep it up or we're all in trouble.

Icon, I Really Con

Responding to complaints that the SO icon could be better, Vesa Juusola designed a cool new one for everybody... check it out below, and grab it here.

InfoBursts Forth

Ace reporter and radio personality Hadrian has put up the latest Infoburst! Head on over and check out a cool interview with Wing Commander composer George Oldziey.

LAME

A shocked Death sent me a copy of PC Gamer's new "Top 50 Games of All Time" list... anyone care to guess where Wing Commander was? Amazingly enough, it'll take over 50 guesses, since not even one WC made the list. Admittably not everyone in the universe shares the same passion for Wing Commander as some of us do, but to say that it's not one of the top 50 games ever? Impossible... go find somebody to complain to.
1. Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2
2. Civ 2
3. Quake II
4. TIE Fighter Collector's CD-ROM
5. StarCraft
6. System Shock
7. Heroes of Might and Magic II
8. X-COM: UFO Defense
9. Warcraft II
10. Sam & Max Hit the Road
11. Links LS '98
12. Longbow 2
13. Unreal
14. Command & Conquer: Red Alert
15. Panzer General II
16. Battlezone
17. NHL 98
18. Ultima Underworld I,II
19. Myth
20. Red Baron
21. Lemmings
22. Alone in the Dark
23. Chuck Yeager's Air Combat
24. Beavis and Butthead in Virtual Stupidity
25. Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon
26. Interstate '76
27. Gabriel Knight: The Best Within
28. Quake
29. Duke Nukem 3D
30. Worms 2
31. EF 2000 2.0
32. Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven
33. The Curse of Monkey Island
34. Doom
35. SimCity 2000
36. Starflight
37. Ultima VII
38. D/Generation
39. Triple Play 97
40. Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe
41. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
42. Diablo
43. Close Combat: A Bridge Too Far
44. Betrayal at Krondor
45. Master of Orion
46. FPS: Football Pro
47. Tomb Raider
48. You Don't Know Jack Huge
49. Pro Pinball: Timeshock
50. The Operational Art of War

Mind More Missions?

Wing Commander fanatic Dude sent me a series of missions for Wing Commander Prophecy he's created! In a moment of uniqueness, he's also made briefings! Get the missions here and the shockwave briefing here.

Secret Opsticle

He who brought life to the universe (Captain Johnny) sent me over a scan of an article on Secret Ops from an Austin newspaper. Check it out here. Below is Origin's Secret Ops team...

Just The Facts

Have you been wondering about the exact stats of the new Dust Cannon? How about the Excalibur? Needed to know exactly how many Red Manta were attacking the Transport? Your wait is over. Hades and Hadrian have been working night and day to bring you the CIC's Secret Ops Guide. Check it out here. The missions are current up through Episode Four, but we are in the process of adding new things still.

Confed Temblor Test Successful

On this day in 2669 Confed successfully destroyed a planet in the Hyperion System with the Temblor Bomb developed by a Dr. Severin. This weapon was soon to be used to destroy Kilrah. We have video of the T-Bomb test here encoded in Real Media format.

Make Your Own Missions

Yet again, HCl has performed miracles and has updated his mission compiler to make Secret Ops missions and has included a pile of extra features for good measure! It doesn't stop there: He's released his Secret Ops Mission Manager (SOMM) to aid you in installing the missions. For those of you who just want some more missions, HCl's "Recover the Maria Magdalena" and "Countdown to Extinction 2" missions are just the ticket. Thanks to Goliath on the Chat Zone for the info.

Ready For More?

It's Secret Ops episode download day again! Just go to the episode area for episode four, click the "Download Mission Data" button, and then select the episode 4 download. It's only a 660k file. Note: If you are running at a low resolution, you may be unable to see the "Download Mission Data" button, so please try changing to a higher resolution before asking where the file is.

You've Got Mail, ICIS and ISDN

As per regulation there's been another cool fiction update today at SecretOps.com. Included are four new articles, some of which varies depending on your password. Check it out...

Fiction Redux

It's that time of the day - twelve o'clock fiction! Check out today's selection, which is particularly well written. A new E-Mail and an ISDN article await you over at SecretOps.com. (Please note and fear the Crusader reference in the ISDN article).

Wider Aisles

Jumpstart, owner of the Killer Bees server, has reported that we now how more bandwidth available to access their site and download Wing Commander Academy. If you're had trouble connecting in the past, try again now. Check out our WCA Mirrors and Episode Guide here.

The Big 100k

The CIC Staff is proud to announce that we've now surpassed 100,000 hits to the main page. Our counter began on August 1st, forty-six days ago, with the initial countdown splash page leading up to our Grand Opening on August 10/11. Our visitors have come from over 85 different countries around the world. The busiest day was when the main Secret Ops package was released and we accumulated more than 10,000 hits in a 24 hour span. Thank you all for supporting us and here's to the future and continued success of the CIC. Click here to view our Stats.

Episode 4 - Day 1 Fiction

The first of the Episode 4 fiction is now up at Secret Ops. There is one new Eyes Only article and one new ISDN article. The fiction that you get is determined by what password you enter from the end of episode 3. If you enter no password you will get the default fiction.

Killer Bees Server

Some of you have reported difficulty downloading the WCA episodes, this is due to an apparent user limit on the Killer Bees server. Just try again later when the load is less. Hopefully things will clear up soon. However, the CIC's demands on the server have prevented the Killer Bees from going about their normal business. As such, Jumpstart asked me to pass this note along to the KB group:
Killer Bees Squad Meeting on Tuesday, September 15 at 9 pm EST on the irc server irc.mircx.com, port 7000, in the channel #Killer-Bees.

They're Back!

It's Wing Commander: Academy time again! Thanks to the Killer Bee's you can once again download episodes of the world's greatest TV show. Make sure you check out the Episode Guide.
EpisodePart 1Part 2Part 3
Red and Blue10211k7525k9279k
The Last One Left9250k8370k8082k
The Most Delicate Instrument9150k9926k7354k
Word of Honor11115k7678k10008k
Lords of the Sky13505k7410k11721k
Chain of Command10642k8604k12009k
Expendable12179k12414k10937k
Walking Wounded11057k8614k13896k
Recreation10893k10186k10937k
On Both Your Houses10337k11743k10763k
Invisible Enemy14001k11206k9078k
Price of Victory14063k12063k7555k
Glory of Sivar9670k8407k11552k

Pretty Music

Storm mailed me a copy of his latest masterpiece, which just happens to be a skin for everybody's favorite MP3 player, WinAMP. Grab a copy here, or preview it below.

Thematic Devices

Remember those cool Secret Ops CD covers that were posted a few days ago? The guy who did 'em, Lancer, has embarked on an even more exciting project and needs your help! He's working on a Wing Commander Theme for Windows 95, and is wondering if anybody out there could help him with the various elements therein: making icons, collecting nice backrounds, getting wav files and so on... if you're interested in helping with this theme, mail his team here. On a related note, Lancer has created a cool Wing Commander Movie poster-type deal... check it out here... (it's not the real movie poster, but it looks dashed cool... just don't go expecting Excaliburs)

More Coverage

Assuming the cliche is correct then our lives are well spiced (is spiced a word?). The point being, Patrick Kilian sent me another set of cool SecretOps CD covers, for those of you who are in to that sort of thing... check 'em out!

Belated Happy Birthday

Yesterday was Captain Ian St. John's birthday in the Wing Commander universe. Hunter died during 2668 in the attempt to uncover the secret Kilrathi Hakaga SuperCarrier force during the false peace armistice that culminated in The Battle of Terra. We're also celebrating one month since the grand opening of the CIC.

The Homeless...

Since the server with the Wing Commander Acadamy rm's on appears to be down, we are currently finding them a new home. We shall let you know of the new location when the files are in place. If anyone out there would like to mirror 400megs of rm's, please email the CIC with details of your server, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thanks For All The Support

I had a conversation with Jumpstart this afternoon and he has graciously offerred to donate space on the Killer Bees server to aid the CIC in regards to WCA. Thanks for all the kind words and patience while we sort this out. It does take a little while to upload something several times larger than the full Secret Ops package. We'll do what we can, stay tuned.

Darkness shall soon strike once more...

Its almost time to download the next installment of Secret Ops. As always, the folks at Origin have been busy and the last of the episode 3 fiction is now out. Get ready for the next download tomorrow, which will probably be around the size of 1 meg. On a related note, the Secret Ops site now appears to function fully with Netscape browsers.

Checking Out The New Fiction

Netscape users visiting the Secret Ops site may still be experiencing some difficulties viewing the fiction. Fortunately things are looking better under Internet Explorer now. Please be patient while Origin works these things out, the Secret Ops site is very complex.

Fun For The Whole Family

alt.games.wing-commander poster Kelvin Lim wrote a program to help those who have been trying to use multiple callsigns in Secret Ops. You can download it from the CIC here.
Even if using two copies of Secret Ops works, this can be quite taxing in terms of disk space consumption. Anyway, for those who are interested, I've written a simple little program to switch between several different pilots for Secret Ops. It's a small 20 KB download at http://home.pacific.net.sg/~kelvinlim/sopilots.zip and brief instructions are included.

Open For Business

The Episode Three area at the Secret Ops website is now available. There are no new fiction elements yet, but it's still too early to expect them. We'll have the announcement here when the new fiction is online. Thanks to Patrick Bertiaux.

Vearrier, Vearrier, Read all About It

Today's fiction is up, and Double Helix references abound! Check out all the excitement at the official Secret Ops site! Note that for some reason the 'default' fiction has an additional E-Mail, not available to people who use their passwords.

Cover it! Cover it!

Vincent 'Lancer' Formosa has made up some graphics for all you SecretOps fans that just scream cool... the artwork is designed for people who've made their own SO CD's, to be put in the CD cases! (And hey, if I had a CD burner I'd have made myself a SO CD a long time ago...). Anyway, here's what Lancer has to say:
"S1 is the back cover, s2 is the front cover. Both are saved at 2X the normal jewel case size so people can shrink them down if they prefer or make a cd writing programme squidge it down to size. S2 is sized on the basis of a cover peice being 12.2 cm W x 12 cm H in size S1 is sized on the basis of a back piece being 15.1cm W x 11.8cm H in size. Both of these files are doubled up from this size basis. Even the side peices for the jewel case are there for people to see what they got if it's on a rack."
So check 'em out below, even if you can't burn a copy of SO they still look damned impressive...

Where's The Poster?

Reddie's Wing Commander Movie Page asked PR Director Henry Eschelman for information about the movie poster, and got the following response: "Actually, there is probalby not a lot of key artwork being done on the film; they are making a decision in the next couple of weeks on the release date; it will come up on the studio's radar after that."

Crazy, for Feeling So Blue

Locke has released a new version of his acclaimed WCPCrazy! As always WCPCrazy allows you access to unlimited guns, missiles and decoys. So what's so special about this version? It also works in Secret Ops! Grab a copy here.

Language Problems

Whoops, in regards to the Bugs speaking Croation post the other day, the correct translation is 'cattle of a Bandit' and not 'castle'. Sorry about that... (thanks to all the people who wrote in... which is strange, because the counter says nobody from Croatia visits... stupid counter...).

Just The Beginning

The CIC has put up a new Wing Commander Secret Ops Frequently Asked Questions list in the Secret Ops area to complement some other minor section updates today. The FAQ is just the beginning of some minor and very major upcoming Secret Ops section upgrades.

Novel Ideas

Death walks among us, and that aint a bad thing, 'cause it means he was able to send us a report from DragonCon. Baen rep Toni Weisskopf was on hand to answer a few Wing Commander novel questions! Apparently they're considering reprinting End Run, depending on the success of the Wing Commander Movie... but even more exciting is the fact that False Colors is now scheduled for a November release! (rather than the previously reported January)

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

Some readers have reported that the CIC has been rather slow over the past few days. The problem was identified as a faulty ethernet port, it should be fixed now.

0.4% As Big..

There are some out there who haven't downloaded Episode Two of Secret Ops fearing another large download such as the main package that included Episode One. This is not the case however. Episode Two is only 482 kilobytes, a very manageable download. Find it in the Episode Two area of Secret Ops, you do not need your password to download it.

Smallest Review Yet?

PCGamer (IGN PC) put up a small blurb about Episode Two of Secret Ops yesterday evening. No new information, but if you're curious, you can find it here. Thanks to Nighthawk. If you find something you think might be newsworthy, click on the "Report News" link above.

Confed Field Tests Behemoth

Today in 2669 Confed destroyed Loki VI in a field test of the Behemoth. Unfortunately she was fated to never leave the Loki System intact.

Times and Zones

Online many people are wondering when the Episode Two download for Secret Ops will be available. This is a reminder that Origin operates in Central US time. The missions should be available around noon CST on Thursdays. We'll have the news here when they become available.

Two Up, Five To Go

The episode 2 download is now available from Secret Ops!Download the file from the Secret Ops download page, and simply run the file to install.

Burning The Midnight Oil

A number of people had difficulty accessing the Episode Two fiction for Secret Ops Tuesday afternoon and evening. Around midnight the situation should have been resolved and everyone should have access now. If you have a problem viewing the fiction in the future, it's most likely temporary, so just check back again later. Hopefully that shouldn't be a problem.

Never "Two" Late

The downloadable missions for Episode Two of Secret Opsare fast approaching. If you haven't downloaded this amazing game yet, the CIC has a list of mirrors here. For those of you who do not know, follow-up Episodes to Secret Ops are only in the singular megabyte range, not anywhere near the size of the main engine.

The Last of the Fiction

The third installment of the episode two fiction is now up, and there are new Eyes Only and ISDN articles at Secret Ops. Again, the fiction is slightly different depending on what password you enter. Tomorrow, the episode two missions will be available so the CIC will let you know as soon as the download becomes available.

Closed for Construction

It appears that the Episode Two area of Secret Opshas been temporarily closed. This is most likely to fix some problems with the new fiction. Should be nothing to worry about, check the Secret Ops website throughout the day Tuesday or read the CIC here for more information as we get it.

For those who like to know everything...

3D Gaming has constructed its own Secret Ops strategy guide. It contains all the episode one information you could ever wish for, and will be updated with new stuff as each episode becomes available. It makes for very good reading so check it out here.

Open for Business

The Episode Two area of Secret Ops it now back open with today's new fiction! It appears that today's fiction depends on your password from the end of Episode One, so make sure to remember it.

It Just Never Stops

To anyone who hasn't checked SecretOps.com since this morning, they've added several more pieces of fiction. The new fiction includes several E-Mail messages and a new Eyes Only message.

Deja Vu

Just like we knew he would, HCl has released a Secret Ops editor! Grab a copy of his technology switcher here! The techswitcher allows you to use Secret Ops weapons in Prophecy, and includes a new version of the 'Confed Gauntlet'. It requites an additional patch as well.

And Trailing...

Cool note, the second trailer at SecretOps.com has been changed -- it now reads 'Orsini System' rather than 'Orsini Sector'. Good job, trailer people...

More Cheating

Dagger dropped me the URL for a replacement executable file for Secret Ops, which lets the player have unlimited missiles and chaffpods. Grab a copy here.

Where's Trivia?

Trivia has been delayed a week, because server problems last week may not have allowed everyone to play.

BugSpeak

Wizard dropped me a line to tell me about an interesting Secret Ops egg... apparently one of the Nephilim language taunts (when they die) is actually a curse in Croatian! Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. The message, 'STOKO BANDITSKA', apparently means 'cattle of a bandit' in Croatian, which is some sort of curse (that just doesn't translate directly into English). How unusual...

Amazing Archive

Wow, what a cool update... Chris McCubbin dropped us a line, to let us know the following about the rumored 'Wing Commander Fact Book'... THIS is the sort of product I've waited years for.

I promised Chris Reid a few weeks ago that as soon as I got the go-ahead from our publisher I'd give fans the lowdown on the Wing Commander Combat Archives, the "fact book" based on the Wing Commander movie, that IMGS is doing for Harper Prism.

First, for those who might need them, introductions. Incan Monkey God Studios is the company formed by the writers and editors that used to be ORIGIN's publications department. Our people have been doing the documentation and official guides to Wing Commander games from WC2 through Prophecy, so when Harper came to us and said, "We have a great idea for a book ... it should be a collection of documents from various sources that describes the world of the film," we said, "You know, it's funny you should mention that..."

The movie book has the working title Wing Commander Combat Archives. It's a 128-page, large trade paperback (Harper Prism's Aliens Technical Manual is another book in the same line, although our book is going to have a somewhat different look and feel). I don't know the exact price or order numbers yet, and of course the release schedule depends on the movie. It's being written by myself and Melissa Tyler, designed by Sharon Freilich and Jennifer Spohrer, and edited by David Ladyman.

The book will include articles about
- History of the Kilrathi war and other significant events.
- Pilot and senior officer performance evaluations.
- Kilrathi psychology and tactics.
- Protocols for carrier flight decks and marine boarding parties.
- The physics behind the jump drive.
- The first encounter between humanity and the Kilrathi
- The secrets of Blair's past.
And of course full performance stats on the fighters and cap ships of the Wing Commander Universe. Plus lots more cool, behind-the-scenes stuff about the 27 century world of Wing Commander.

This isn't a "making of" the movie book, it's a reference guide to the world of the Wing Commander movie. We've been working closely with Peter Telep, the author of the movie's novelization and subsequent Wing Commander fiction, so expect to see concepts from the Archives reflected in the novels, and vice versa.

There are lots of things I can't give away, of course, but if anybody has any questions about the book, drop me a line at cmccubbin@incanmonkey.com

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