You Can Win Prizes!

When you buy KriskArms weapons and munitions. Yes! We're giving away loads of stuff in our 'I'd kill for a million' prize draw. All you have to do is buy one of our weapons systems from any of the nine authorised dealers. When you register your purchase on the ident screen, you'll be automatically entered in our prize draw, where you can win one of these great prizes: A special edition Flux Beam Mark II, a brand-new Moray class scout ship, 50 Python missiles or the star prize of ONE MILLION CREDS!

The Moments We've All Been Waiting For

Today's the big day. It's hard to believe 2000 is almost here (or already here as the case may be). Stay safe this evening and we'll see you on the other side if all goes well. Feel free to drop by #Wingnut if you'd like to celebrate online.

Talk Show Temptress Blows Her Top!

Myra Kews tells no lies from Hades. Opera Whimsy, host of the hugely successful 'My Show', was under arrest last night for inciting disorder. Trouble started on the 'My Show' set when Opera initiated a discussion on whether dogs or cats are the friendliest pets. The show quickly degenerated into a slanging match between dog owners and cat lovers, and soon bullets were a-flying. 794 members of the audience are dead already, but the conflict shows no sign of abating. Planetary stocks of Firearms are at an all-time low. We asked Opera for her opinion as she was dragged off, and she replied 'Dogs. They're definitely much friendlier.'

New XWA Converstion Models Released

Steele put together some more neato X-Wing Alliance imports from Wing Commander. You can find more detailed pictures and the appropriate files at his homepage here.

Flashlight Business Torched

Industrial editor Gill Bates writes. Inhabitants of Bex awoke to scenes of devastation this morning, following a case of suspected arson at the Mr. Flashyglow photocell plant. Around 60% of the huge factory was destroyed, resulting in at least 5000 job losses. Manufacture is still continuing in the undamaged part of the plant, but new stocks of Cesium, essential in the making of photocells, is required urgently.

40 Out of 40,000 isn't Bad

Wing Commander came out as the 40th best game of the millennium in Gamespot UK's recent game of the millennium countdown. We hoped for a little better, but 40 is higher than Freespace, X-Wing and other space sims and there's a chance we could see Privateer higher up. You can find Wing Commander's page here.

We Said it Wouldn't be the Last

Stomped.com is holding a Games of the Millennium Poll and Wing Commander is among the choices. There's quite a variety of games to pick from and the site pretty much revolves around first person shooters, so you can imagine that WC isn't doing that well. But we can at least make a dent. A couple other polls that are still going are pc.ign.com's here and World Online's here. You can find the Stomped.com poll here.

Now That's GOTTA Hurt!

Dangerous Sports correspondent Hugh Pain writes. Well hello, death defiers everywhere. I'm on Anhur, reporting from the Pygohert gravel pit on the latest nerve-tingling event to hit the Cosmos. It's name? Gravel Rash. Basically, it involves the competitor removing his lower garments, leaving his nether regions 'as God intended', and then sliding down courses composed of scree and loose stones as fast as possible. Courses range from beginner (shallow gradient, limestone) to black (1:2) gradient, grainte chips mixed with broken glass). As you can imagine, Synthi Skin is in hot demand, most especially by reigning champion Arfa 'Soprano' Bellgon.

It Sure is Nice to See

Robert Bertossi also sent in this brief summary of his experience with the Movie in Germany.
I just watched the film today in a cinema in Augsburg and I think it's basically a good movie but why the hell did they change so much? The ships look completeley different and I'm sure I don't have to say anything about those strange Kilrathi. I think that's the reason why so many fans of the games don't like the film.

However, I think the movie is a good addition to the WC universe, if you just try to accept those changes. It sure isn't a blockbuster but it was nice to see a Wing Commander film on the big movie screen and not only on my small monitor.

New SETI Software Allows Sky View

Brian Fasano tipped us off about a new type of SETI@Home client that lets you highlight the area of the sky that your computer is currently analyzing. You can find out more about Distant Suns 4 for SETI@Home here and find the CIC's SETI@Home section here.

Wing Commander Gets a +

Robert Bertossi let us know that the Wing Commander movie received a + in his local "Augsburger Algemeine" from the city Augsburg, which is near Munich. The paper gives movies the ratings --, -, 0, + and ++. Not bad. They say that fans of the games will like it and call it "a rather good, but not very thrilling, film."

Food Wasting Fad Leads to Famine

Lendel H. Hill is on the spot. A new fad has found favour among the inhabitants of Hephaestus; food wasting. An old lady spoke out yesterday: 'It's terrible; all these young folk ordering food, and then throwing it straight in to the BinBot. It wouldn't have happened in my day'. President De Bargos yesterday declared a state of planetary emergency, and issued police with orders to shoot any individual who throws away food without consuming at least 57% of it. Stocks of all foodstuffs are said to be seriously depleted.

Mostly Positive German Reviews

Our first one today is from Wraith. German certaintly does seem to have a very devoted fanbase.
Yesterday I went to the movie premiere in Oldenburg. There was just one theatre to show it (in it's smallest showroom). There were at most 10 or 12 people present (definately no WC fans beside of me). No trailers, no advertising, no service and the girl that checked the tickets was ugly as hell.

The movie itself was great. The dialogue was much better than in the original and the synchronisation was excellent. The only thing that bothered me were the Kilrathi voices (by the way, they were pronounced "Kilrati" with a German `R`). They sounded like grolling Norwegian blackmetallers. But altogether it was a great space-war-movie which can compete with other current science fiction.

I was there with 2 friends who hadn't known much about Wing Commander before. They both liked it, and none of them had problems understanding the plot. In spite of it, I don't think that they'll become fans.

We sure try our best to induct new recruits though, don't we? :)

World Online Poll Already In Good Shape

World Online Gamers' Central is hosting what is surely not the last millennium poll. There are several sim topics up for vote, including space combat sims. This one's been up for a few days, so vote quick before it disappears. Wing Commander has a hefty lead at 42.1% and Privateer has 7%. Chris Roberts' Strike Commander also has 22.9% in the Combat Simulator category. You can find the poll here. Vote quick!

For the Gentleperson of Taste...

The timepiece of distinction. Tempus Ltd. present the latest piece in their acclaimed HoloTic range - the Palmster. A painless operation inserts the small implant into the base of your hand. Thereafter, every time you open your hand, the time will appear in perfect Indiholo on your palm. Tells the time on all eight planets, as well as 350 other timezones. The Tempus Palmster, only 1,000 creds. Now you'll always have time on your hands.

There's Always Room for Johnny

And don't forget about the perennial Johnny Christmas Wav! It's about half a meg and you can get it here. It's not Christmas without Johnny.

The Twelve Days of CIC Christmas

We'll start out the day with a bit of something old. You may remember our Twelve Days of CIC from last year. Stay tuned for some neato new stuff we've cooked up this year. And if you haven't noticed yet, our CIC Snowman is up now.

On the first day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. rumors of Privateer three..

On the second day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the third day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the fourth day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. four new books, the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the fifth day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. five.. Prophecies.., four new books, the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the sixth day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. movie merchandise, five.. Prophecies.., four new books, the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the seventh day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. seven new episodes, movie merchandise, five.. Prophecies.., four new books, the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the eighth day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. eight amazing updates, seven new episodes, movie merchandise, five.. Prophecies.., four new books, the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the nineth day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. a brand new poll, eight amazing updates, seven new episodes, movie merchandise, five.. Prophecies.., four new books, the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the tenth day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. ten thousand hits, a brand new poll, eight amazing updates, seven new episodes, movie merchandise, five.. Prophecies.., four new books, the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the eleventh day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. the Wing Commander card game, ten thousand hits, a brand new poll, eight amazing updates, seven new episodes, movie merchandise, five.. Prophecies.., four new books, the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. Thrakhath's severed head, the Wing Commander card game, ten thousand hits, a brand new poll, eight amazing updates, seven new episodes, movie merchandise, five.. Prophecies.., four new books, the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

The '99 CIC Christmas Album

This year we've created five amazing Christmas parodies for your reading pleasure. They're all to the tune of famous Christmas songs. You can find the words to the originals at Christmas-Tree.com here.

Super the Macintosh Wing Commander
(To the tune of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer)

You know Heart of the Tiger
and The Price of Freedom
Prophecy and Academy
and Privateer and Armada
But do you recall
The most famous Wing Commander of all?
Super the Macintosh Wing Commander
Had a very full speech pack,
and if you ever heard it,
You might even call it great.
All of the other Wing Commanders
Used to laugh and steal its graphics
They never let poor Super
Play on any normal platforms.
Then one foggy release deadline
Roberts came to say,
"Super with your speech so full
Won't you make the Armada intro?"
Then all the Wing Commanders loved it
And they shounted out with glee
Super the Macintosh Wing Commander
You'll go down in history!
Multi Player
(To the tune of Jingle Bells)
Dashing through space
In a one-manned light fighter
Through asteroid fields we go
Dogfighting all the way.
Taunts from furballs ring
Making Spirit bright
What fun it is to play a Wing
Commander game tonight.
Multiplayer, Multiplayer,
Why can't we have you?
Oh what fun it would be to play
This great game that way.
Wing Commander The Movie
(To the tune of Frosty the Snowman)
Wing Commander the Movie
Was a jolly happy film
With Freddie Prinze and Matt Lillard
and no S on Tiger's Claw.
Wing Commander the Movie
Was an awful film 'they' say
Reviews were crap
But the true fans clap
When they see that intro scene.
There must have been some confusion
On that old movie set
For when they filmed a traitor plot
It had to be cut out.
Wing Commander the Movie
Was as good as it could be
And the true fans say
It was better most ways
Then Star Wars TPM.
Away is the Manager
(To the tune of Away in the Manger)
Away is the manager, who cancelled Wing 6,
The little Lord Sivar will have his revenge.
The stars in the sky look down where he lay,
The little Lord Sivar will taste blood today.

The Strakha are cloaking, the target awaits.
But little Lord Khasra no sight does he make.
I love thee, Lord Khasra, come down from the sky
And fire your missiles so as he might deep-fry.

Be near me, Lord Melek, I ask thee to stay
Close by me forever, and make them all pay
Bless all the dear furballs in thy tender care,
And take them to Pasqual, to live with thee there.

Hull the Decks
(To the tune of Deck the Halls)
Hull the decks with balls of neutron,
Fa-la-la-la-la.. la-la-la-la
'Tis the season to fire tachyon,
Fa-la-la-la-la.. la-la-la-la
Don we now our Rapier II's
Fa-la-la-la-la.. la-la-la-la
Against a Salthi we can't lose
Fa-la-la-la-la.. la-la-la-la

See the blazing hull before us.
Fa-la-la-la-la.. la-la-la-la
Strike with torps and join the chorus.
Fa-la-la-la-la.. la-la-la-la
Follow me in merry measure.
Fa-la-la-la-la.. la-la-la-la
While I target shield generators.
Fa-la-la-la-la.. la-la-la-la

Fast away the old ship passes.
Fa-la-la-la-la.. la-la-la-la
Hail the kill ye lads and lasses
Fa-la-la-la-la.. la-la-la-la
Scratch one flat-top all together
Fa-la-la-la-la.. la-la-la-la
heedless of the wind and weather.
Fa-la-la-la-la.. la-la-la-la

Happy Holidays!

Everyone here at the CIC would like to wish everyone out there a wonderful holiday season this year. We hope everyone has a fun and and safe time in the coming year.

Ore Market Crashes

Stock market analyst Tony Knox reports. The Hermes stock market took a battering last night, following some ruthless action on the part of speculators. It seems that large stocks of different ores have been hoarded up, only to flood the market when prices were favourable. As a result, the whole value of the ores market has dropped significantly, and many traders are trying to sell their surplus in an attempt to cover losses.

Report from the Front

Here are some Wing Commander reviews from Germans who have been kind enough to submit them. The first comes from ToddMarshall@gmx.de.
Here's a short overview of my feelings about those so-called WC reviews.

"Wing Commander is based on a space combat game that's 90 per cent action and ten per cent story and characters"

10% Story and Characters? What Wing Commander did you play? WC Armada or what?

"Pilgrims are a dying race of humans that evolved to have incredible space-flying skills, but lost their 'humanity' in the process. How they managed to evolve from 20th century humans and then go extinct all in just over 600 years is never quite explained, but Darwin would have been proud"

It is explained... they got killed in the Pilgrim War.

"Maverick and Maniac fight to save the world for humans by ignoring just about every order they're given. They're so lovably independent-minded; it's amazing that any of these folks lived beyond their initial training."

That's only Maniac... and he does that since WC 1... so why didn't you recognize before ha? And Blair... he never ignored any orders... tell me where he did.

"The heart of Wing Commander isn't the story or the characters."

Again... are you crazy? We see a 8 million dollar FMV game with WC4... but the story isn't important?

"...the film degenerates into a series of space battles, ...."

Hey... what film did you watch? All WC Fans did complain about too few spacecombat scenes....and you say... its a series of them? Wow...I didn't see 'em... must have been in another WC Movie

"....there is some mistrust of these pilgrims for reasons that aren't explained."

Hey helloooo...what movie did you watch...didn't you see that chat of Blair and Paladin...or the mentioning of the Pilgrim war ha?

"Also, I didn't like the relationship between Angel and Blair. This is actually a storyline that happened in the original game, but there the pair were simply fellow pilots, and not in a superior/subordinate position. I don't buy a pilot falling for his C.O., especially in the middle of a war."

So the CAG Colonel Devereaux in Wc2 wasnt Captain Blairs superior officer or what...in THAT game we FIRST and MOST see that relationship....HEY WHAT GAME DID YOU PLAY?????

"The Tiger's Claw looks impressive from space, but inside it's cramped, with tight bulkheads and pipes snaking all along the walls, like the inside of a submarine."

That Tigers Claw was an old ship...like mentioned in WC1...hell.....do you know what WC is at all???

"...the Kilrathi look terrible. They're supposed to be lion-like, and they end up looking like rubber suits."

Ok...but how to make good Kilrathi without good budged? Ha?

"They have shamelessly stolen from everybody. The special effects and the fighter aircraft are pure Star Wars,....."

Hahaha... and other people said the air(?)craft looked like old tin cans...but If you think their Star Wars like and even the Special Effects...wow...thanks for the compliment..."

"...the music is practically note for note The Empire Strikes Back....."

Ha?...I watched that movie...and I listened to WC Soundtrack....where is that note.....the high C or the low E?

"the dialogue is Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo......"

ah..ok..well if you mean.....

" the characters are a cross between Ferris Bueller and Bill and Ted, and a climactic scene where Lieutenant Chris Blair (Freddie Prinze Jr.) is saved by the club-headed bigot who is his nemesis, is lifted straight out of Alien."

Guy...the characters are out of a 10 year old game, so...ah...forget it...."

"make the head fighter pilot gorgeous Angel (Saffron Burrows) who volunteers to die, but is saved at the end by a method so improbable they don't even bother to explain how it could possibly have happened, and who lives to plant a passionate kiss upon the lips of our Hero Freddie Prinze Jr. - amazing, since she appeared to be stone dead only seconds before - I know! Sleeping Beauty - and you have the makings of a hit."

Yeah...but if Arnold Schwarzenegger holds himself at position at the outside hull of a aircraft in "Eraser" thats realistic ha?

"But if you want non-stop Special Effects; inter-racial suggested sex (or was it interspecies?); lots and lots of bam bam boom boom whish whoosh; bad guys who aren't really bad at heart; good guys who "have the gift," that is the Pilgrim gift; and a space ship filled with gorgeous female fighter pilots who wear skimpy, sexy nightgowns to sleep even as their world teeters on Kilrathi destruction - WingCommander is the place you want to be."

Do I have anything to say about that?

""Wing Commander" is such a mind-numbing, awful, embarrassing, idiotic, corny, ludicrous, laughable, superficial, just plain bad, movie that I almost couldn't believe my own eyes or ears most of the time. How could 20th-Century Fox, the movie's studio, have the nerve to even release this...this...I can't even think of a word awful enough to criticize it with. "

Again...please go...dont no awful enough to send you

"The biggest downfall of the movie, however, was that it sucks. No, I mean it sucks, hard. Yes, it sucks, if I would have spent my $5 on the corner of Main street I don't think I could have gotten more suckage out of someone, er, thing. Oh damn, only 487 words so far, so I guess I'll go on about why this movie sucked. Hey! It'll be just like a high school essay. "

Anything else you can say`?

"Quite frankly, I honestly think that the team in charge of all of the animation got 3D Studio Max and bought "How to Make a Movie on your Roommate's Computer: For Dummies." Not only is the computer animation downright raunchy, but the blue screen and other special effects suck as well. "

Ah yeah...go and make it better...I wanna see

"Wing Commander, well, hahahahaha! Hehehe, oh boy, hahahahaha. Bwahahahahaha; story& Wing Commander, hahahahahahahahahhahahahahaha! "

And THAT you tell a critic yeah? Ok just wanted to know...The next please....

"I don't even think they filmed it in the right order. For instance, in one scene we see Maniac having sex with his co-pilot, but a few scenes later we see them meet in a bar, which appears to be for the first time."

Ah yeah...where was that? She DIED after that scene man...."

"Who knows, maybe it's better for all of us if Hollywood sticks to making movies and not signing licenses to game companies, and if developers stick to making games and not signing licenses to Hollywood. And after all of this, I have only one question on my mind - when will they learn?"

There it is...the REAL reason...you just dont watch the movie...you say...aha that movie is based on a game....it must suck....I tell you something.....THAT SUCKS!!

Finally I have to say only one thing: "WC rocks"

Thank you

And this is from Bugscratch...
Here's a report from the opening day of WING COMMANDER in Germany. I went to see it together with two friends at the LUXOR theatre in Karlsruhe (That's the cinema where we did also see the WC trailer that I reported to you a few weeks ago). We went to the 8.30 PM showing and we were really dissapointed that there were just 14 people (including us) in the evening showing on the opening day !!! Finally, after hearing some incredibly cheesy christmas songs the film started. We cheered a lot and all of us think that Wing Commander is actually an incredibly underrated film. We think that considering the low budget of the film Chris Roberts has actually acchieved a lot. Wing Commander has received almost exclusively bad critics in Germany, and it was even used as an example for about the worst possible movie by the magazine "Moviestar": It wrote in the review of "The 13th Floor": "Rusnak filmed a [...] hardly exciting Science Fiction Thriller, that drifts into chaos towards the end, but which is sure more worthwile than celluloid trash like WING COMMANDER". I think that it's very sad that a good film like Wing Commander gets that little attention while everyone hypes Star Wars 1 or other films that would have never been that successful without their ancestors.

Aye, There's The Reference

Yesterday's quote came from the Emporer of Kilrah in Wing Commander 2, speaking with Crown Prince Thrakhath about his cousin Khasra.

1,000 Years of Computer Games

GameSpot UK (which is like normal GameSpot, except more polite) is slowly but surely publishing their 100 Games of the Millennium. Ten are announced each day... no Wing Commander's yet, but keep watching -- one is bound to turn up as they get closer to #1.

Maybe a Dingo Ate Your Video

Wing Commander has been released on video for rental in Australia! The DVD is not yet on sale. Thanks to all who have reported this.

A Talent For Chats

Beth over at the ATFW Chat Board wants to know who you want to appear at their next multi-dev space sim chat. The chats are pretty dashed cool, so go make your suggestions.

Zak Arrives on Hermes

Music reporter Tony Knox writes. Well, Zak Skintight and his band, the legendary Buttock Men, have just arrived on Hermes to play their latest gig. The excitement on the planet is palpable, with everyone thrilled to bits at the prospect of seeing the system's most famous musicians. There is a significant police presence, however, due to Zak and his retinue's notorious taste for Talcum Powder, Bex Beer and Pleasure Borgs.

Aye, There's The Reference

Here's all the asommers references we could find. Enjoy...
  • Victory Streak: On page 45 there is a letter to the editor from asommers@victory.nav.
  • WC4: Generic pilot 'Yaeger' is named Anthony Sommers.
  • Kilrathi Saga: On page 69 of the manual Bloodmist's name is given as Bhuk nar Som'Mers.
  • Prophecy Map: The Kur'u Som'Mers Quadrant in the M'shrak Sector and the Sommers System in the Hawking Sector.
  • Prophecy: The als in the 'alswantsmoreships' cheat stands for Anthony L. Sommers.

Germany's Got It

Wing Commander has finally hit the big screen in Germany! Here's to hoping that it "find the...glory...that he seeks". Identify the speaker and win a gold star. And lets hear some stories from people seeing the movie in Germany...

Hermes in Toxin Turmoil

Tony Knox writes. CIS officials last night reported a huge increase in the amount of Nerve Toxins that were being confiscated on Hermes. The captures are thought to be only the tip of the iceberg, and a large -scale manufacturing operation is suspected to be in progress. Police patrols are on the lookout for any smugglers attempting to take advantage of the situation.

Lists, Lists, Lists

It's time to compile some new Wing Commander lists! I'm looking for obscure foods, diseases, races, characters, drugs, and weapons! You will receive credit!

Starlancer Article

Twister was kind enough to translate and type up this article on Starlancer from Power Unlimited. It compares the new game to Wing Commander...
At the beginning of the year I got a glimpse of Starlancer. Now I've gotten to play the early Beta - and it didn't look all that bad.

The Roberts Brothers
Most of you who think of the words 'Space Sim' immediately think of games like X-Wing, Freespace and, of course, the Wing Commander series. With the Wing Commander games we had a lot of fun for a long time. Chris Roberts, the creative mind behind the Wing Commander series, decided to leave ORIGIN to start his own company and with his brother Erin formed Digital Anvil. They have been working on two titles for a while, Starlancer and Freelancer - and guess what kind of games these will be. That's right, space sims! We will have to wait a while on Freelancer, but Starlancer will hit stores in Spring,2000.

Voluntary
Starlancer is set in the 21st century, and space technology is finally advanced enough that the superpowers are working hard at the colonization of the solar system. As you can expect, this brings along the usual problems - it even goes so far that a 3rd World War breaks out, the old rivals once again against each other. The west (USA, UK, France) versus the East (China, Japan, Russia). Here's the important difference compared to other space sims - in Starlancer you don't have to fight alien species or such - rather, you fire your lasers at normal human beings. In the game you play a volunteer who fights alongside other voluntary soldiers in service of the Allies. They are not taken very seriously by the professional pilots. No wonder seeing that you have to work with old junk ships and weaponry. After a few succesful missions you can really show your teeth and will slowly earn respect, better ships and better weapons.

Space-Movie
Starlancer might make you think about Wing Commander, but luckily there are differences. You have to make certain main targets, but besides that there are lots and lots of sub targets which you CAN, but do not have to, attack. Many things can happen during a mission. Sometimes the computer takes over the camera movement - this makes you feel as if you've landed inside an action packed space movie. The graphics are great! With small monitor images of your wingman, a lock on camera of your missiles (you can see what you hit), beautiful space flights, huge space stations, neutrals and planets where lots of things can happen, you don't have to blast every ship in sight. The game will run on a Direct3D engine so that Starlancer will support almost every 3D card. The game will have about 30 hard core single player missions and there are at least 100 ships in the game. Lets hope that's enough, because even though it looks super, this game offers little new. But maybe the fans don't need that and maybe this is just what they are waiting for! Wing Commander fans MUST keep an eye on this title!

Aye, There's The Reference

Congrats to everybody who found the University of Central Florida reference in Pilgrim Stars. You win a GOLD STAR. For those who didn't find it: "Ancient brick buildings with signs identifying them as Library Administration, Biological Sciences, Offworld Sciences, and Humanities and Fine Arts gridled an oval reflection pond about thirty meters across. The captain read: DESIGNATED PILGRIM SAFE ZONE: UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA, EARTH." (194).

Dream Job Advertised at the Newsgroup

Wing Commander veteran Anthony Sommers posted this Origin job request to alt.games.ultima, alt.games.wing-commander, comp.games.development.programming.algorithms, comp.games.development.programming.misc and comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.space-sim. Who knows what it could be for? Oh, and a GOLD STAR to whomever finds the most asommers references in Wing Commander for tomorrow. There are a bunch...
Origin is searching for a talented and experienced 3D Client Programmer to join us in creating our next original persistent world game.

You will be primarily responsible for coding and implementing new game content as well as extending our current code base. You will work with a team to plan and implement new features and systems, as well as evaluate current systems for optimization and bug fixes.

Responsibilities include design, implementation, tool creation, and maintenance of the real time 3D graphics system. This position also involves keeping current with the latest 3D technology, interfacing with internal and external entities, with possible travel to conferences and shows.

REQUIREMENTS:
· Proficient in C++ / Object Oriented Design
· Solid understanding of / minimum 3 years actual experience developing real-time simulations on the Windows platform
· Strong 3D and mathematical background
· Actual experience using DirectX (primarily Direct3D) or OpenGL graphics APIs
· Ability to quickly adapt existing technology and systems to meet new needs
· Practical experience debugging and optimizing graphics code for 3D graphics
· Thorough problem solver; persistent in identifying sources of problems and fixing those problems without causing additional instability in an existing code project
· Understanding of the importance of / disciplined in using versioning control software
· Team player, able to manage and respond to fast-paced input and requests from multiple levels of team and company management
· Highly documentation-oriented

HIGHLY PREFERRED:
· Shipped at least one professional title within the last 18 months
· Experience developing skeletal-based character systems
· Experience developing efficient scene/world management systems
· Experience developing efficient terrain systems

PREFERRED:
· Understanding of / experience with TCP/IP programming with Windows sockets
· General Windows SDK/MFC programming for building tools for internal use
· Design and implementation of client user interface
· Experience with third-party memory management tools
· Experience in the electronic gaming industry, preferably on the PC side

Located in the scenic hills of Northwest Austin, we offer a unique, casual work environment along with competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits package.

For immediate consideration, please send resume to:

Origin Systems
Attn: Anthony L. Sommers, Lead Client Programmer
5918 West Courtyard Drive
Austin, TX 78730
Or send E-Mail to asommers@origin.ea.com

No phone calls, please. Please indicate the job title for which you are applying. We're an equal opportunity employer. All contents ©1998 Electronic Arts, Inc. All rights reserved

Space Port Project Runs Into Difficulty

Transport correspondent Tony Knox reports. The construction of a new space port for Hermes has foundered somewhat, following an unexpected shortage of industrial materials. Prices have been upped considerably in an attempt to entice traders to bring more supplies.

Radio Spots Spotted

Sturm reports that Wing Commander advertisements are now running on the radio in Germany -- he's heard them on ffn and ndr 2. In German, they were: "Wing Commander, a whole new space adventure starring Freddy Prince jr., Matthew Lillard and Saffron Borrows! - See it from Thursday on everywhere in the cinema". Very cool.

Why Do They Still X-ist?

Saw in the latest issue of ToyFare that X-Toys is now doing Saturday Night Live action figures... Wing Commander, Wild Wild West and now this? They must have been in the shower while toy licenses were being handed out...

And a Happy New WCRPG

Iceman writes to let us know that the Wing Commander RPG will be starting off the new year with a bang -- and a brand new website. Watch for it to open up at exactly 11:59pm EST on January 1st. I might get into it this time around...

But At What Cost?

Well, it looks like Wing Commander earned a few awards afterall! In fact, it made scifi.ign.com's Best Movies of 1999 list! Why the 'Best Movies' list gives awards for 'Worst Picture' and 'Worst Special Effects' is beyond me... Thanks for finding this, JediKTim!
Worst Picture
$27 million, low-budget special effects, and two leading men who's biggest roles have been the murderer in Scream and the full-eyed hero of She's All That. Built on one set with special effects by a studio that worked on PCs, everybody expected this movie to underperform, and it did, big time. There's a generic good humans vs. evil cats storyline and when "It's too big!" is the most exciting line of the entire movie, you know it's got problems.

Worst Special Effects
Wing Commander racks up another big turkey in the special effects department. Although the computer-generated effects are adequate enough to give The Last Starfighter a run for its money, it's the Kilrathi that take the prize. After a tense boarding party landing, these vicious, catlike aliens turn out to be giant foam rubber puppets that wouldn't look out of place at Disneyland. Yeesh.

Where's UE?

The question on everyone's mind this holiday season is, of course, what's going on with Unknown Enemy? They posted this update at the site, letting people know that they aren't dead! Sounds good!
It's been almost 2 months since the last update so let me fill you in on what has been happening. First of all we thought we could be finished very soon and then exams occured, my new PC wouldn't upload anything and things weren't looking good for Unknown Enemy. Recently HCl left the Wing Commander editing scene and that left us with very few programmers (I still don't know about the status of Dude ;). Anyway I had quite a few e-mails (over 25) regarding what was happening with Unknown Enemy and I wasn't quite sure what to say, to be honest I have had other things on my mind recently but don't worry since HCl's disappearance rather than the crew giving up it appears that each and everyone of us is more determined to prove that Wing Commander is not dead than ever. Thomas Bruckner sent a message in today (yes he's back as of now it seems) that we should aim for a 1999 release, how realistic this is is anyones guess but keep your fingers crossed and maybe in the last few hours of this millenium while everyone else is partying I'll be uploading episode one. It's good to be back!

Showing Some Respect

CFF spotted a report on the Wing Commander while watching Bravo TV on RTL2 in Austria. It included an interview with Freddie Prinze Jr, and was very positive about the movie. About damn time!

9 Months (Plus One)

Peter Telep's Official Site has posted a scan of an article about the man from the University of Central Florida's newspaper (point out the UCF reference in Pilgrim Stars and win big!). The good news is that it's a great review Mr. Telep's many projects... the bad news is that Pilgrim Truth apparently now has a November release date! 10 more months without Wing Commander!

Trillionaire Blamed for Flood Deaths

An exclusive report by Elspeth Caldwell on KaratikusThe palace of interplanetary playboy Richass Creesus was besieged by an angry mob yesterday, following an accident at the site of Creesus' 'A sea of my own' project. Creesus, whose intention was to build 'the largest swimming pool in the history of the system', had no comment to make. The collapse of the artifical sea is attributed to the use of low-grade Brikcrete at the deep end. A large portion of the continental landmass is now underwater, and thousands have died in the incident. Fresh water is readily available at cheap prices.

Eighty-two Cards of a Full Deck

To reap further gain from our defunct CCG project, we've gone ahead and worked up a page that displays all 82 cards of the days that were made. You can find the page linked from the CCG section or click here.

Stunt Tragedy Inflicts Famine on Anhur

A report by Jenny Vixen. Dangerous Sports fans everywhere were mourning the death of stunt flier supremo Barri Headbanger yesterday. Barri, notorious for his dangerous flying antics, met a sticky end when he crashed his prototype Tiger Shark X-Turbo III into Anhur's main food processing plant. He was trying to break his own record of 9 consecutive inverted triple Immelmans whilst drinking a glass of water. All food and water stocks were destroyed in the tragedy, and new supplies are urgently required.

Future Forstchen

Wing Commander veteran William Forstchen has worked on two upcoming non-fiction books...

It Seemed Like Good Idea : A Compendium of Great Historical Fiascoes. February 2000. Read about it here.

Hot Shots: An Oral History of Combat Pilots of the Korean War. April 2000. Read about it here.

Stop Voting!

Important note: The voting for the Wing Commander Site of the year contest is over. Please stop sending votes!

You Want the Truth?

Thanks to Richard Bowden, Peter Telep's dedicated webmaster, you'll soon have it! Keep watching Peter Telep's Official Website for a preview chapter of Wing Commander: Pilgrim Truth.

CIS Bulletin

Today is the birthday of CIS director Shiela Nabokov. Although she wn't reveal her exact age, all of us at the CIS Bulletin service would like to wish Shiela a very happy birthday, and offer her the best wishes of her colleagues everywhere. Keep on knockin' 'em dow, Shiela.

Sculpt Like a Pro

TCNPhil has kindly written this article about sculpting. It's the first in a series! You can see some of the work he's done here.
If you're like me, and have seen , and been fascinated by small, detailed, museum quality figures and have a love of Wing Commander or any other PC games, then you're a natural fit for giving figure building a shot. Although a few popular game makers have been licensing figures from their products, most still aren't, and I'll bet that one or more of your favorites will provide you with a wealth of untapped subjects for the future. But, if you really are like me, and are not an artist by education or profession, you're going to have to take the ol' crawl - walk - run route. Which leads me to a couple of thing that you'll have to get for yourself before you ever step into the art or craft store to purchase your starter supplies.

Figure building, like any other type of an art form, does take a smidgen of talent, but I'm finding that it really takes a lot more guts.....to try something that seems daunting at first glance. You cannot allow yourself, much like anything else in life, to say, "That's too tough for me", or, "I can't do that". If you do, you've failed before you can even get started, and your results will be predictably below what your talent could have ultimately achieved. My first efforts were really cruddy, as some of you may remember (Loaf), but I learn, or try to incorporate, something new every time I pick up the tools or brushes. But beware, unless you're a professional sculptor (and why would you be reading this), this is for fun and your own pleasure. Don't beat yourself up if your first several tries aren't scale models for Venetian statues. Work at your own pace, and to satisfy your own goals. Admire, observe, and learn from the pros, but while we're building our own skills, we should measure ourselves by our own yard stick.

Start using your eyes. No I don't mean trying to develop x-ray vision to see through folks' clothing. I means being very observant of the common things around you. Even the things that you think that you know. How many times have you played that game, or watched that television show, and still you cannot describe what the lead characters' costume or facial features look like. You'll need to use those observational skills for simple things like, learning and following the rules for human anatomy so you can see when something's not quite right (and knowing when to break them on purpose), choosing or matching colors, learning how fabrics drapes and fold, skin tones and musculature (for you barbarian-type RPGers), and for a whole host of other applications.

I'd also suggest that at some point, IMO preferably earlier on, you'll want to invest in some reference books. I don't just throw this out there, and you shouldn't take this lightly. If any of you know any professional writers, artists, or even scientists/professors, you've seen the shelves and stacks of books, charts, maps, pictures, etc., that they keep in their work areas, and for good reason. they use them! I can't tell you how many times I've had to go look up an approach to a particular technique, or have a look at a subject's uniform, or to see how a particular muscle group is formed, or just to get an idea. I've even kept some pages from newspaper circulars to have reference on hair and women's makeup. But here are a couple of references books that I've used for drawing, model building, and sculpting, that will start you off:

1) Building and Painting Scale Figures by Sheperd Paine. Published by Kalmbach Publishing Co., 21027 Crossroads Circle, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, Wisconsin, 53187. ISBN 0 - 89024 - 069 - 8. A great book where "Shep", one of the foremost modellers in the world, and the first elected Grand Master of the Miniature Figure Collectors of America, will provide you with soup to nuts information on how-to. He goes through all of the different, popular mediums, and will provide you with a lot more information than I can provide here. IMO, your best first stop. (Or is that "Last Best Hope.....").

2) How To Build Dioramas, also by Sheperd Paine. ISBN 0 - 89024 - 551 - 7. Same publisher, Kalmbach Books, which seems to specialize in hobby books and periodicals. Another great book which was my first exposure to Paines' work. He does touch on figure building and conversions (cutting up existing plastic figures and recombining them with all sort of parts/stuff to make - your - own - Sunday kinda thing). But this one teaches you a lot about placing your figures on "dioramas"; bases and scenes which tell a story with your hard won and crafted figures. IMO, another great source.

3) The Art Of The Diorama by Ray Anderson. Also Kalmbach Books. ISBN 0 - 89024 - 092 - 2. Anderson was an automotive and aerospace industry executive until he gave that up to work full time on his historical dioramas. He has an interesting technique using existing "academy" nude figures as a base for conversion by adding facial tissue and dissolved styrene plastic. While I admittedly haven't used this technique much, it has it's applications, and some of you reading this might prefer this to Sculpey or epoxy putty for sculpting figures. He adds a lot of information and techniques on figures that are quite different from Paine's, and his results are distinctive and striking.

4) Drawing The Head & Figure by Jack Hamm. Published by Grosset & Dunlap, New York. ISBN 0 - 448 - 1587 - 0 for the trade edition. This is an art student staple for many years, as you'll see by Hamm's style. Very 1950 -ish. But this guy knows his stuff, and the clothing folds, shading, facial and body part information, makes me pull this one off the shelf regularly. Invaluable. You've got to have this type of book as well as an anatomy text book. There's a crapload of anatomy books out there, and you can occasionally find them at textbook liquidators, college bookstores (look for the used text section). You can even ask your doctor if he's got an old text in his basement that he doesn't need anymore (how I got mine). This is also a must if you plan to build scantily clad lasses for your pals to drool over, or build your run - of - the - mill, alpha male barbarian!

Make sure that you give your self plenty of time to think about your project before you even start. You can keep a piece of paper and a pencil nearby to jot down your ideas, or to make notes about your observations, and if you can, try to track down some of these books and give them a quick perusal (especially #1). Hopefully that'll suffice to really get your juices flowing to dig in and get started. Good luck.

Next time: We'll look at some basic tools, materials, and a place to work.

He's sent two more sample pieces of work: "Mekel, a member of an elite team of mercenaries with genetically enhanced mental powers (that I created for a story I've never finished), is based on a family friend named Michael, who's a psychology professor. Kohr, an alien merchant, is just a "sketch" that I made off of the top of my head, without a preliminary drawing, while I was being very bored watching t.v.."

If You Got The Money

I got the time. Of Wing Commander: Academy in Australia, that is. Fox reports that the show, which debuted Monday, is on Channel TEN in Sydney Australia, mornings at 8.

They Only Come Out at Night

The Peter Telep official site has posted a preview of one of his next books, Night Angel 9. See it here. If only he'd preview Pilgrim Truth...

Don't Let Dangerous Insects Bug You

Our galaxy is infested with all types of unpleasant creatures... Gnuflies, Hephaestan Biting Voles, Killer Thripps, the list goes on and on. Well, now you can guarantee that lethal insects will no longer be the bane of your life, with Harris' Entomort. Available from all well-stocked general booths, it comes in hi-powered spray or gas-bomb form, and mugs bugs quicker than you can say 'Ohmygodwhatthehellisthatongranny'shead'. Warning: Entomort could potentially cause fatal injuries to pets, small children and the aged.

That's Not An Animated Series...

THIS is an animated series! Madcat reports that the Australian news claims that Wing Commander Academy has premiered mornings at 8:00. Only took three years. If anyone has specifics as to what channel and days the show is on, please let us know!

X = Privateer

Fat Man over at Lanced.net posted this segment of an interview concerning X:BTF from Beta Bites. Naturally, it has nothing to do with Digital Anvil's upcoming games, but rather it compares X to Privateer...
BB: I am a big fan of Privateer and both, Privateer and X - Beyond the Frontier seem to have a similar concept/idea in play. Did Privateer have any influence on X - Beyond the Frontier? If so, how are they similar? If not, how are they different?

Bernd: Many games we played probably had some influence. Especially the original Elite is always an inspiration. Privateer is one of quite few games in this category. We never tried to copy any specific game, but of course we always look at what other games do, how they solve problems, and how we can possibly solve these problems even better. For the fiction, we probably all have the same idols...from Isaac Asimov to Arthur C Clarke, and from Star Wars to Star Trek. :)

Ultima Online 2 FAQ

The good folks at the Ultima Online 2 official site posted some new FAQ questions which could well apply to the rumored Wing Commander Online game.
How will Player Killing be controlled?
Player killing will be limited through the use of Player vs. Player zones. This will give players a chance to develop their characters and adventure without risk, and yet still give the adrenaline rush of player-vs-player combat once they have determined they are ready to face higher risks for greater rewards.

So there won't be a Player-Killing switch?
No, there will not be a 'PK switch', in the manner that other massively multiplayer games have adopted.

Will UO2 feature permanent death?
No. UO2 will not feature permanent death, as in "When you die, your character is destroyed and you must start anew". Among other issues, such permanent punishments are not well suited to an Internet game - what if your ISP were to go down while you're in the middle of the dragon's den?

They also put up a letter from the game's producer, Starr Long. You may recognize him from various past Wing Commander games...

CIS Unveils Plans for New Departmental Building

Tony Knox writes. CIS bosses yesterday unveiled plans for a new building on Hermes to house their ever expanding number of staff. CIS boss Shiela Nabokov said of the project, 'With our expanded resources, our ability to crack down on organizations such as the Kindred will improve greatly'. Industrial materials prices have risen slightly as a result of the news.

Our Daily Bread

Hey, I'm back! Where did I go? Good question... I'm not sure, but for some reason I haven't been updating lately. But I am now. Assuming I'm fine and fit, I will actually be gone early next month while driving back to school. So don't let Origin announce Privateer Online then, please. Good news: expect a new part to the timeline real soon now (tm)! Oh, and to certain crazed individuals (you know who you are) -- here's yer frickin reference to Project Gutenberg.

I Loved That Show

GameSpot recently posted the second GSAT -- a gaming test patterned after the infamous SAT's, for those who don't remember the pain and humiliation of last years edition. Anyway, true WingNuts should be able to get at least one question right -- #51: 51. Which of these game series inspired a short-lived animated television series?

A New Ship List

There's another new version of the ships list up now -- it now lists unnamed stations and some specific fighters, plus a whole bunch of obscure stuff... Stag class Police Craft anyone? Anyway, I'm interested in doing a whole Joan's Fighting Spacecraft sort of a deal and am looking for someone who'd be interested in working on that with me. I'm thinking about an offline project, like the SO Guide, that would be done completely from an in-universe point of view. You know where to contact me!

Works of Art

TCNPhil has made some very cool -- well, he says it best himself...
I started doing these little people just as the movie came out, doing about a figure or two a month, but not all of them based on WC. I've done my friends and family as Trek, Star Wars, B5, sports and literature characters and given them to them as gifts, which is a really big hit! I value and price my time out as about $15.00 an hour, like for handyman work, so that can kinda factor the value of the gift. But one of you reading this may be a future garage kit, figure sculpting, genius, enroute to internet business fame and fortune (well, maybe).

Anyway, I made the little WC1 Blair to celebrate that movie coming out, which was after all, mostly based on events around WC1. But I wanted to make him appear much like some of the little cartoons that I sometimes sketch, trying to capture and emphasize the fun, simple, cartoonish-ness of the original game characters. You know, with the short little legs and larger upper body that are called "deforms" in the garage kit industry. But after sculpting up that first WC1 Blair, I decided that I wasn't really quite satisfied with that kind of look in 3D too very much. It was fun to do, gave me a direction in which to go, but was a little too extreme for what I wanted. I decided to still keep trying to develop my own style of deform figures, but tone it down a little (compare the WC1 Blair to the WC2 figures).

I'd always felt that those first two games had a special place in my heart and were actually some of my fondest WC memories Not only because of the technological advances that those games had ushered in, but because of the then novel storytelling aspect, and the uncomplicated simplicity (read that: just plain ol' fun) of WC1 and 2. It was natural that they would jump to mind as a great starting point for WC figure sources, and how I got the idea to do my own version of WC figures in this style for 1 and 2, who are all but forgotten to the newer WC fans. Then, maybe later, I'd move on to a popular selection of the more realistic, 7.5 to 8 heads tall (artists' measure) figures for WC3 through Prophecy.

Once I get some good photos, I'll break down some of my figures, how I do them (tools and paints) and encourage you fellow wingnuts to get started and give it a shot, finding your own style along the way. How much time it will take you is variable: based on your wiilingness to practice, natural talent, level of subject detail/difficulty, and personal work preferences. But really, how much time it takes is how much time it takes. This is not a business, it's supposed to be fun, after all. Right now, I probably average about 6 to 8 hours per figure (faces, details, and clothing folds take the most time. Then, it's another 4 to 8 hours painting, etc., with a variety of mediums and materials, but mostly craft acylics. I'd only done about ten or twelve figures myself, before I even started these WC guys. That includes the Arrow, Hellcat, and Blair I did a couple of years ago, and I'm now close to about 25-30. If you can draw or sketch, you can do this. Even if you can't, you can have some fun, and what could be better for subject matter?

He's sent quite a few pictures -- and we're hoping he'll send more -- so I've set up a separate page to show them all. See it here.

Men of War

William Forstchen's 8th and final Lost Regiment book, Men of War, has been released! It's a great series -- I hope to pick up a copy soon, and I'll let you all know what I think. Check out the book's entry at Amazon... the man himself commented on it.

A Vision of Things to Come

A special preview chapter of Sol 17, one of Peter Telep's upcoming books, has been posted to his web site. You'll need Acrobat to view it. Look for the book this spring!

Lacking Truth

Still waiting for news of Pilgrim Truth? Don't worry -- we are all. I checked with Peter Telep, and there has been no announcement as to when it will be released yet. Keep your fingers crossed and hope it'll be soon!

A Sad Farewell

The Wing Commander online community will never be the same, for HCl has decided to leave it. His goodbye and reasoning can be found at his editing site. You were a great man who cared immensely about improving the games through your immense talent and skill -- you will be missed by all. From all of us here at the CIC I wish you good luck in your future endeavours.

That's Rich!

Daniel Jepody knows what's going down. The system's wealthiest man, Richass Creesus, unveiled his latest scheme yesterday: to carve Hermes Largest mountain into a 150,000-1 scale model of his recently deceased fluffy rodent Chipsy. The project, which is estimated to take over five years to complete, calls for considerable quantities of BioPolys, Enviro Suits and Power Loaders, the prices of which have risen by a moderate amount. Richass said yesterday. 'I miss that damn rodent', before leaving the scene in tears.

X-Wing Alliance Conversion Preview Pics

Over at the Chat Zone Nob Akimoto posted some preview pictures of his X-Wing Alliance WC total conversion. They're pretty neat. You can find more on them here.

Party Chairman Loses out in Reshuffle

Yurt Nemble writes. The long-predicted reshuffle among Hermes' ruling Global Socialist party was reported to have taken place early this morning. The Ministry of Sport and Leisure goes to Lucan Vasage, previously Minister for Defence. Global Drainage Secretary Lemsly Gopno gets an unexpected promotion to Party Chairman, a position vacated by Wilbert Strumford, who, unsurprisingly following his disasterous 'Wart Tax' plans, has been made teaboy.

Lost Universe Fan Project 25% Complete

Blackwolf sent us a note to let everyone know that his Lost Universe Wing Commander project is approximately 25% complete now. He reports that after Christmas he should have some screenshots of the various ships and weapons.

We Knew it was Great

Mufasa posted over at agwc that there's a new article in the latest edition of PC Gamer on the "Hottest Games of Then and Now." Wing Commander Armada ranked in the top ten of the "Then" category.

Kick Up the Ass!

Arts correspondent Nik Nak Noo writes from Crius. Avant-garde artist Drestin Blakk embarked yesterday on his most ambitious project to date - the construction of a 300 kilometre long 'space donkey'. The project, which will have no practical use whatsoever, save to greet visitors to Crius with the sight of a large equine, is being financed entirely by the Artist's Support Society, who are calling for vast imports of Industrial products to furnish Blakk with necessary raw materials. Drestin had this to say about the project: 'Basically, uh, it's, like, a tangible projection of the diametric paradox of life in space, and a metonymic representation of the quintessence of transport, you know?'. Precisely.

Random CotD Script Implemented

A couple of our scripting geniuses put together another spiffy thing to look at on the main page. Back when we were working on our CCG project we had Cards of the Day and those have been going to waste for the most part since we got too busy to keep that up. But now we've got them randomly coming up when you reload the main page. At this time we're not planning to add new cards, but maybe we will someday when there's more time.

Maiden Oeuvre

Qualified writer Warkin Perbeck wishes he could get a proper job. This month I've been asked to review Maiden Interactive's new game 'The Icarus Meeting'. It boasts the latest Virtua-Stim technology, which means that you can't play it unless you have a NeuroStim set-up, and features well-known stars such as babe-from-Janus Lea Ferarri. However, all this window-dressing cannot hide the fact that this is a poorly made and shoddily presented piece of commercial tat masquerading as entertainment, on its own a claim which the producers should be tortured for making. If you dare buy this over-priced excrement, it will merely confirm that you are the kind of mindless, gullible cretin I always suspected you were.

Test Your Privateer Knowledge

Just another quick reminder here. There have been about ten times fewer trivia submissions this week compared to last. Trivia's a funny thing like that sometimes. So in case it's just one of those busy weeks (it is for me) and you've forgotten, here's your reminder. You can reach the trivia page here.

Opthalophagia Epidemic on Hermes

Medical correspondent Tony Knox reports. There has been a huge surge in reported cases of Opthalophagia, a fast-acting degenerative eye disease, on Hermes. Hospitals are working overtime to deal with the afflicted, and Optic Nerve supplies are running out. New supplies are urgently required, and prices have soared considerably.

Untitled Work

Shawn Furniss sends this request for help with his Wing Commander sequel script.
I need the help of the fans of WC. It's been reported that I am working on a WC sequel script, which is true, however I don't have a solid title yet. So I would like to know what the fans think and see if there are any suggestions for title.
As reported before the first half of the story revolves around the pilots of the Claw training in a new variant of the Rapier before being sent out to cover Hobbes' defection and return his cruiser safely to Naval Intelligence. The second half of the story brings Blair to disgrace for allowing the 'apparent' destruction of the Tiger's Claw at the hands of Kilrathi ships, which later turn out to be Strakha. He is sent to his back water assignment before being snapped up by Paladin, and NI, for a secret Op aimed at stopping the Sivar Eshrad on Firekka.
This whole story will probably end up being about the length of a mini-series, but hey that would be cool. Anyway I have three potential titles so far they are:
Honor Bound (thanks to Blackwolf for this one)
Sivar Eshrad
Vengeance of Sivar
Let me know what you think at shaggy@ohmss.com, also if there are any other title suggestions I'll consider them. They need to be fairly short, four words max-unless it's a really damn good title, and the title needs to be somewhat descriptive of the story without carrying to many expectations, that's mainly why I didn't want to name it Vengeance of the Kilrathi- the name carries to many story expectations to the game.
Anyway, let me know what you think!

Vote for the Best!

The first round of votes are in! The best eight of the many entered sites have been selected as nominees -- and now it's your turn to vote! E-mail us here and let us know which of these eight you like best! The voting period will end next Wednesday. A number of other entered pages have been given runner-up status and been listed below -- check them out, they're all excellent.

Nominees

Runners Up

Beverage Company in the Drink!

Business editor Mark Larx reports from Bex. Lythia stocks are bound to increase in value, following an upset at the manufacturing plant of the soft drink Opi-Ola [motto: 'Opi-Ola, the religion of the masses!']. It seems that staff at the plant over-carbonated a batch of the galaxy's best loved beverage, causing a minor explosion. The plant is now uninhabitable due to the presence of Chlorine, Carbon Dioxide and other noxious substances. Lythia, a highly absorbent substance required for the manufacture of Atmo-processors, is at an absolute premium.

You're Shiplisted

An all new heavily updated version of my Wing Commander Ship List is now available. It now includes fighter classes, as well as a number of new capital ships and features. Keep mailing me corrections!

Telephotography

Photos from Peter Telep's latest book signing are now available at his web site. Check 'em out here. Added incentive: the Barnes & Noble manager woman is really cute...

Ritual of Pukcal

Today is the annual Ritual of Pukcal, the Kilrathi ceremony of atonement. All members of the Sivar-Eshrad Cult who are able must attend services located at the Temples of Sivar.

Huge Medical Surplus as Conflict Ends

War correspondent Tony Knox reports. There are scenes of jubilation on Hermes at the moment, following news that the fared conflict between rebelling army divisions and government loyalists has been resolved peacefully. Huge amounts of Medical Supplies, which had been stockplied to treat any casualities, are now surplus to requirements, and are being sold off cheaply to freelancers.

Cool New eBay Script

At the bottom of the current days news, you will now find a listing of the latest 5 Wing Commander auctions at eBay. This is possible thanks to the mad skills of Trelane, who's pretty much responsible for anything complex here at the CIC. Important note: it is refreshed once every half hour.

Seeing the Future

Game Daily has published an interview with Richard Garriott which talks about Origin's future. Of note is this bit about Ultima Online...
When we launched the game, it sold so fast that it became Electronic Art's and Origin's fastest selling game in history. We actually had to stop selling it because we filled our worlds to capacity within the first couple of months. It really took us a year before we could build servers faster than the demand; so we filled the demand in the U.S. Only after a year did we begin selling it in foreign territories because we couldn't support them until then. The net result of all that was that we decided that with such a small company as we were, the only way we could master online was to devote the entire company to it.

Movie in Germany

Bugscratch reports that he's spotted the Wing Commander trailed in front of Fight Club in Germany. He reports that the trailer was different -- like "an extended version of the 30 sec. US TV trailer", and that the poster tagline has been changed to "Space will never be the same".

A Chance to Coin it in!

A report by Col Digger, editor of Entrepreneur magazine. A big hello to all my entrepreneurial acquantances out there. Top tip for this month involves the Hephaestus Planetary Mint. My contacts report that a new edition of Platinum Standards, coins much in demand by collectors, is being planned. Now, I know for a fact that this process calls for two materials; Platinum, obviously, for the bulk of the coin, but Rhodium is also required to make the hardened Platinum alloy required for coins. My advice to any merchant with an eye for the main chance: fill your holds with alloys and get there pronto.

Police Baffled by Rodent Popularity

Demi-monde doyenne Tony Knox reports. CIS investigators following drag queen diva Julienne and her alternative retinue, now on Hermes, are perplexed. It seems that whereever the transvestite tribe go, Fluffy Rodent sales increase dramatically. However, CIS agents report that they never see Rodents in the possession of the free and easy cross dressers. 'I just hope they're not eating them', one puzzled agent said yesterday.

Time's Up

Sorry folks, but we are no longer accepting nominations for the Best Wing Commander Fan Site of 1999 award. Phase 2, the voting, will begin soon.

Calling all Floridians

Anyone from Florida? If so, get down to Barnes and Noble in Oviedo Market right away! Peter Telep is there today between 12PM and 6PM signing books to promote Descent : Equinox. If you be nice to Mr. Telep, maybe he'll sign your WC Movie and Pilgrim Stars novels.

Where Can I Buy...?

The CIC's new "Where To Buy" section is now online. This section can help you locate the Wing Commander merchandise you're still looking for. It's also a kind of summary of all the merchandise that's available today.

Flower Show Ends on a High

Gardening journalist Tony Knox reports from Hermes. Well, this month's Flower and Vegetable Festival is over, and as usual enthusiasts from all planets have provided an enthralling display. All that's left now, though, are bare plasteen tables and boxes full of discarded entries. Some entrants are still here, selling off their produce at low prices to traders and merchants.

The Clock Ticks

There's just one day left to submit nominations for the Wing Commander Site of the Year award! Be sure to send in your favorite... voting amongst those nominated will take place soon. Important: please remember to include the URL with your submission!

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