Quarto reports. Since many of you will have already heard about us from previous updates, I'llbe brief. The Wing Commander Engine Source Code Release Project (WCESCRP) iscurrently collecting names for our e-mail petition to Origin, asking them torelease the source code for WC games.The project is beginning to get a lot of support, and not just from the Wing Commander community.
You can help us, simply by sending us a very short e-mail. All it needs tocontain is your name (first + last), and which e-mail address you want us towrite down (that is, if you have more than one). Needless to say, the onlyones who will ever see that name and e-mail address are us, and the personreceiving our letter at Origin.
The Project seems to be doing reasonably well, as far as gathering signaturesis concerned - though not as well as we would like to be doing. We now have168 signatures; as you can see, the influx of signatures has now become muchslower. So, if you haven't sent us your name already, please do so now. Doingthis will only take a few seconds of your time - which is absolutely nothing,compared to what you get out of it, if this Project succeeds.
Send your e-mails either to me (
firstname.lastname@example.org) or to Jumper( email@example.com). If you want more information about the Project,visit our site at wcescrp.cjb.net . Finally, we would highly appreciate it ifyou were to tell other fans about us, so they too, can send us their names.
Lum the mad and various Starlancer / Freelancer sites are doing their share. Now's as good a time as any for you to contribute. All you have to do is send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Tony Knox reports. The stock market on Hermes has unexpectedly boomed, especially in the ores trade. The sudden surge has attracted traders and miners from all across the system, looking to find good prices for their wares.
Peter Telep's official website has been updated with a picture of the cover of his upcoming novel, Red Planet. The novelization of this upcoming science fiction movie is set for an October 2000 release. The movie itself will come out in November. You can find more information on Peter's website.
Ainamacar sends word that Gamespot is running an interesting poll. They want to know which game most deserves a sequel according to you. One of the games you can vote for is Wing Commander. Wing Commander's bit was written by Desslock, who also nominated the series. Wing Commander III was a gigantic success on every level and reportedly transformed Origin from a $4 million a year company into a $40 million a year colossus. Take that, Avatar.You can read all about it here. Wing Commander is currently ranked 3rd with 12%, after Master of Magic (30%) and Total Annihilation (14%). So go vote!
Antipodean authority Professor Norm Packer reports. G'day folks, it's beauty here on Hephaestus as we celebrate the mythical annual festival of Barbie, the roots of which are lost in the mists of time. All the members of the Crian University Oztralian research group are here, following the Barbie ritual to the letter, as laid down in the legendary vid-flick Gone Walkabout and Back. We've been knocking back plenty of the amber nectar all day long, which the Sheilas have been busy putting the meat to the heat; so far they've torched a good hundred tonnes of tucker, and all that's been edible so far are three measly shrimps. So, we've blown all the Livestock, and we're down to our last few tinnies - how much can a Koala bear!
We're up and running again. Some lingering problems related to last week's crash caused our CGI to malfunction. Because of that sections like the poll, eBay script, Card of the Day and the Chatzones were down for a good 24 hours. We're inspecting the site and restoring the few files that went missing as a result of the problems. We're confident that we're out of the woods now. Again, thanks to all the concerned visitors who have contacted us.
Allen Kramer reports that Starlancer was crowned game of the month by this month's Stuff Magazine. A snippet: So what makes the mighty Microsoft think Starlancer won't just float out there into the inky blackness of anonymity? Two things. First it's produced by space-game geniuses Chris and Erin Roberts (the guys who made the groundbreaking WING COMMANDER), and second, it rocks--big time.Once again, DA receives all the credit for something Warhog created.
In his latest rambling, Desslock of Desslock's RPG News attacks Origin Systems. Some quotes: After several disappointing releases immediately after its acquisition by Electronic Arts (Ultima VIII - Pagan, Pacific Strike), Origin redeems itself with Wing Commander III and IV and the Crusader series.It's a very interesting article, definately worth reading. You can find it
Later in 1997, Wing Commander Prophecy is released but it is readily apparent that the game suffered from losing most of its initially budgeted resources.
Jane's Flight Sim division is abandoned, as are planned Wing Commander/Privateer games. The entire Wing Commander Prophecy team leaves Origin.
here. Thanks to Edward Pang.
Scandal-digger Tania Gell reports. Selton Tubsworth, Defence Secretary for Hades, revealed that he would be standing down from his position in a press conference this morning. His resignation comes two days after a former love revealed his outlandish sexual proclivities, which include penchants for fluffy rodents, rubber tubing, baths of strawberry jelly and a small bucket of molten wax. Tubsworth said he was retiring to spend more time with his menagerie.
Sci-Fi Gaming at Federationhq.net has put together one of the most Wing Commanderish Starlancer previews yet. Otherwise they hit the story basics and give the game a good rating for solid, though not particularly new, gameplay. You can find the preview here.
Asterix reports that Gamespot is running a Ten Best Sidekicks feature. One of the sidekicks you can vote for is Maniac. A snippet from his page: Maniac and Blair had a love-hate relationship throughout the Wing Commander series. He was the Maverick to Blair's Ice Man. Maniac would seem obedient before every mission, but his brash and selfish actions on the battlefield would often cause heated exchanges in the debriefing room.There are even some soundclips you can listen to. You can find Maniac's page here, and you can vote for him here.
By Zake Blackwar, mouthpiece of truth. Wide-scale armed rebellion has broken out on Karatikus, following the passing of controversial new 'sex licensing' laws. The brainchild of Senator Ray Cox, the bill is designed to tackle planetary over-population by making sexual intercourse illegal unless both participants are in possession of a 'sex licence'. Men and women of all ages have taken to the streets in protest, and are engaged in furious fire fights with local law enforcement officers. At least 30,000 people are reported dead or wounded, but no resolution to the problem seems imminent. Firearms are much in demand.
Let's begin with a snippet from Sharky Extreme's article. The Robertses are old hands at the space combat genre, but will their experience in creating the Wing Commander and Privateer series help them go above and beyond the successes of recent hits like FreeSpace II?The first thing that comes to mind here is that in fact Warthog (Privateer 2) developed Starlancer. The second is that 'recent hit' Freespace II has sold a grand total of 5 copies. The preview is brief, feels more like a first look, and the author has the annoying habit of putting in a 'DigitalANViL' in every other paragraph. The article sports a bunch of very dark screenshots. Gamelinks' preview is a little better, but it makes the classic mistake: Rendered as a fully 3D space combat Sim, Starlancer is being created under the direction of famous "fathers" of the space combat Sim genre, Chris and Erin Roberts (Wing Commander and Privateer series).The Warthog team really deserves a lot more credit than they're getting (they deserve all of it, but are getting none). You can find the article here.
Shane Mackay of the Incursion project reports. Incursion has been cancelled off an internet releasefor now because of the file sizes being of a stupidsize, we have tried all of the compression methods wecould find video and audio however the length of themovie how it is, makes files around 100+ meg so FORNOW we are cancelling internet release. We still aredoing the movie for our own interests and mabye oncecable modems become cheaper and more common place wewill release it to the net.
Special thanks to all the CIC staff for there support,plus all the people who offered advice and interest.
Maverick's Wing Commander Development Center is open for business. Among the team are Jumper of the Source Code Release Project and Thomas Bruckner of the legendary WCP Edit. Their current project is WingED, a mission designer for Prophecy with a graphical interface, making it easier to use. Maverick is recruiting, so if you have programming skills and are interested in helping out, drop him a line.
Vicky Benhur reports from Bex. A mutant strain of grub has infested most of Bex's food stores, leading to the contamination of almost all Synthi Meat and Grain. Scientists are battling to come up with a solution to the problem, although the grub has proved resistant to all known pesticides. Meanwhile, the popuation is almost entirely dependent on imports. Prices are said to have inflated considerably.
Well Rounded has a review of XBTF up now. Whomever wrote this one seems to have been in a bit of a bad mood. The game itself is called a very poor imitation of Elite.. and Wing Commander 1 gets dissed when it's compared to the game (they also got its release date off by three years). On the other hand, XBTF doesn't get a lot of sparkling reviews really. You can find this one here. Thanks to ATFW.
Mark Trzcinski found an interesting movie that stars both Freddie Prinze Jr. and Steven Petrarca (Blair from the movie, Casey from Prophecy). It didn't seem to get a lot of press when it came out, but this one might be worth checking out just to see how they interact. Petrarca isn't in a whole lot of movies. It'd be funny if "Sparkler" was what kept him from being able to voice Casey in Secret Ops. You can find a Hollywood.com info page here and the IMDB page here.
Sports correspondent Chip Senpisces reports from Crius. Well, sports fans, it's the end of another Deathball season, with the Bartville Blood-drinkers emerging victorious after a long, hard season. This glorious sport, the only game to penalise players for NOT employing gratuitous violence, will now be off our screens for six months, allowing teams to rehabilitate their stock of players with the necessary Cybernetic Limbs. For me, the highlight of the season was the Treyk Maulers - Barzon Baby-eaters game last month, which saw the first documented use of tactical nuclear weapons; it's a pity none of the players were around to pick up their survivor's medals. Or the officials. Or, indeed, the crowd. What a sport!
Gamelinks has a review that sums up the Starlancer intro backstory pretty well. It has quite a few pictures as well.. some of them seem to have that common background with the WC Movie thing going. You can find the preview here. Thanks to ATFW.
LOAF and Trelane will be taking a retirement effective immediately to work on secretprojects. Their fellow staff wish them luck with this.
The CIC has confirmed that six Origin employees that formed the core of the Privateer Online development team are moving to Verant, the maker of Everquest and the in-dev Star Wars Online game. They will start this morning to help set up Verant Austin and as of this writing are not sure which game they will be working on. It was a good parting apparently. The six who made the move are Rich Vogel (POL Producer), Anthony L. Sommers (POL Lead Client Programmer), Raph Koster (POL Lead Designer), Nick Newhard (POL Senior Designer), Chris Mayer (POL Lead Server Programmer) and Jake Rodgers (POL Art Director). This is *not* the entire remainder of the POL team at OSI, but it is pretty much the main body that was left. CrackedNuts and Lum the Mad are also breaking this story.
Real coal! Very few people will have ever seen this rare, almost mythical, substance. Now Objects of Antiquity are offering you the chance to own your very own piece of luxuriant, black coal. Our engineers have recently located a hitherto-undiscovered seam of finest-grade anthracite. We've carefully excavated this treasure lode, and our skilled craftsmen have fashioned a range of beautiful and stylish jewellery and luxury items. Prices start at 30,000 credits for a simple wedding right, going up to 17.5 million for the ultimate piece, the coal necklace. Gold is glitzy, Platinum is passe, but Coal is sheer class.
Tom Hancock let us know that he's put together an article on the feel of Wing Commander and where it will be in the future. It's a fun read.. makes you want to go fire up Wing Commander 3 or something. You can find it at Starlancer.org here.
Peter Telep's Official Wing Commander Site at earth-netone.com is switching hosts, so that url may not work for a couple days. If you're trying to access the site, you can find it through the direct IP 22.214.171.124. Don't forget that there's a Peter Telep Chat coming up. Note that it has been moved from April 14 to April 21. You can find more information on it here.
Nik Silverworthy tries to write coherently through a drunken haze. I'm here on Anhur, host to the next year's Mr. Fatman competition, watching the specially designed stage being constructed. The gigantic reinforced structure, designed to take the train of over 4,000 corpulent competitors, is using hundreds of tonnes of Brikcrete, Plastene and Lumber. Construction employment is at an all time high, and the market for Industrial materials is excellent. Me, I can't wait till next year; looks like it's going to be a doozy.
And Gaming Age has the other XBTF review here. They give the game a C, but have some pretty positive things to say about Privateer 2 right in the beginning. There's some sharp pictures included here too.
Today can be X: Beyond the Frontier day. There were mostly brought to our attention by the Usual Suspects and regular news submissions. PC Game World has a historical thing on Elite/Privateer games leading up into their review. You can find it here. There's some pretty pictures included too.
It's very basic and brief, but here's the exact text of one of the emails that let us know the SciPubTech Tiger's Claw poster is still in the works. Although the recent messages haven't said anything about it, previously we were expecting a later spring release. We have not cancelled the poster.
It is still in production. Our website will announce it's arrival when it is done. Marty SciPubTech
CIS liason Lars Mifsud reports. Yesterday I attended Sheila Nabokov's presentation of the CIS' annual performance review. The findings seemed quite favourable; reported incidents of pirate attack on cargo vessels were down by about 15% on last year, whereas successful CIS patrol intercepts had risen considerably, something Nabokov attributed to the new model Olura patrol craft. On the down side, instances of murder were up, as was black market activity, although more smugglers were apprehended last year than ever before. Nabokov's plans for the next year included expanding the CIS' base of operations by establishing more headquarters and focusing on increased recruitment.
And finally there's an R-POV preview of the game. It's probably the best plain preview of the lot and mainly references the Beta. It hits all the major points and doesn't rely on Wing Commander until the end. You can find it here.
You'd think CanadaComputers would be a .ca, anyhow, they have a preview too. If the next preview has the best coverage, this one is the most balanced. It has the pros and cons of a number of items in the Starlancer Beta. This one suggests the minimum may be "a Pentium II or III at 300 MHz or better, plus a good 3-D card." That's a bit higher than the general concensus has been lately.
It *is* Starlancer week at Daily Radar. They've got some activities coordinated through here and an interview with Erin Roberts here. It's fairly informative. I didn't know Starlancer's targeting thingie is called Blindfire too. What a coincidence. Daily Radar has a Freelancer section here as well.