Haulers Strike Starves Hermes

A report by Tony Knox. Industrial action on the part of affiliated cargo shippers on the planet of Hermes has caused a minor food shortage. The haulers, who are striking because of inadequate escorts on interplantary runs, are in negotation with bosses, but food supplies are needed urgently. Prices are said to be high.

Prinze is a People Person

WildFire noticed Freddie Prinze Jr. was recognized as one of the 50 Most Beautiful people in People Magazine this issue. You can find a special feature about him at the People website here. Yuck, he plucks his eyebrows.

Spinning Starlancer in E3 Discussion

Edward Pang found a more recent Game Spin for today that talks a bit about the effect Wing Commander cutscenes had on the overall game impact. You can find it in the April 24 Spin here.
Digital Anvil and Warthog have done a very good job of presenting us with a fun space sim, but it's just not as compelling as Wing Commander. ... It's attack, attack, attack. There aren't really those interludes that you get in Wing Commander III that help build tension and draw you into the game world.

Earth Netone's First Birthday Contest

Birthday parties are great fun and the Official Peter Telep Website's will focus around a massive contest. It's another graphical art competition. The person who does the best Peter Telep site logo gets a dozen of his novels, including the Wing Commander movie novel, junior novelization and Pilgrim Stars. There are also other autographed runners up prizes. You can find details on the contest here. The site also has its own transcript of the recent Peter Telep online chat here.

New Decoy Proves a Success

Alec Trofobe of Susan's Defence Weekly reports. Collected Military Chiefs of Staff gathered in the Vidur sector of Hades' airspace yesterday to observe the first public display of the 'Siren' class of Decoy Mk.II. It offers greatly improved defence from incoming missiles, thanks to its revolutionary 'Proactive Sensor Affector', which attempts to reprogram an incoming missile while it is in flight. Impressions from the experts was favorable, and it looks set to redefine the role of missiles in zero-G combat.

Gamecenter Puts Spin on Origin Tragedy

In his April 4 Game Spin, Mark Asher talks about the cancellation of Privateer Online, the focusing on Ultima Online and the departure of Richard Garriott. As usual, Mark uses the word 'dead' a lot. A quote:
In other words, the last vestige of Origin’s vaunted Wing Commander franchise, Privateer Online, is now dead. It boggles the imagination that the series that had a game like Wing Commander 3, which outsold 99 percent of the games released, is now being abandoned.
You can read the whole article here.

Chat Zone Ranks Profiling Upgraded

Kris and company used some of their mad hacking skills this weekend and appear to have circumvented the problems that forced us to remove chat zone ranks a couple months ago. So far things look pretty solid. We don't condone any sort of mass posting to get your numbers up, but go ahead and have fun. People who know me will know I have a fascination with those sorts of acknowledgements (see the posters list). We also have a post at the zone that explains how many posts correspond to each rank. Anyhow, when you see the neato rank insignia back up, don't be surprised.

Cargo Crash Causes Contamination

Tony Knox is on the scene. Emergency services on Hermes are working overtime to avert a disaster, following a cargo vessel crash-landing in one of the planet's main reservoirs. The vessel, which was carrying Lythia and Cesium, has entirely poisoned the reservoir, and it is possible that the contamination may infect the water supply further. Fresh Water imports are urgently required, and prices are at a premium.

The Starlancer Release Party

Lancer News is having a Starlancer release party in the #lancers IRC channel on Dalnet today. In fact, it's happening right this minute. You can win a Starlancer gameguide by playing trivia. You might still get there in time if you hurry. While you're there, drop by the #wingnut channel too, where the staff resides. If you need help with IRC, visit our #Wingnut section.

All-Stars do it Again

Sports correspondent Doug Rostrum reports. The legendary Karatikus All-Stars Basketball team have once again clinched all four titles in the inter-system championships. This season they won every single match they played - not unreasonable, considering the average height of the team is 3.06 metres (their closest rivals, the Bexian Basketeers, have an average height of 2.56 metres). Captain Burt 'Shortarse' Beckley was once again a picture of modesty, attributing his team's success to the fact that it's the only one completely comprised of mutants, who are not only significantly taller than their opponents, but can also use their telepathic powers to work out what the other teams are going to do.

It May be a Wing Commander Clone

That's what Electric Playground fears, according to their Starlancer preview. They mention Chris and Erin Roberts' previous games of course...
Erin Roberts is no stranger to the arena of space combat. His brother, Chris, pioneered the genre with his Wing Commander series way back in the 20th century, and Erin’s experience, as head of development for Privateer II, has given him all the edge he needs to make the next great space combat sim.
Once again ignoring Warthog's efforts. And we're not in the 21st century yet. :)

Looking Back at a Memorable Classic

Federation HQ looks back at Wing Commander Privateer. A little snippet from the very positive article:
However, the game did have a linear mission-based story built-in. In bars you would be able to pick up clues and get special assignments that were related to the story line and which tied in to the mysterious alien ship that was briefly visible in the Privateer intro sequence.
It really makes you want to fire up the game. You can check it out here.

Yummiechow Competition Winners

Yummiechow representative Bill Tongita writes. A big hello to Yummiechow fans everywhere. You'll remember we asked you to come up with a slogan for our new product, Munchums. The winning entry came from Serra Mellian Bessly from Anhur, who wrote 'Crunch 'em, Scrunch 'em, Lunch on Munchums'. Well done, Serra. You win a year's supply of Munchums for your efforts. Ten lucky runners-up win a Yummiechow G-vest and a significant-unit size pack of Munchums. They are: Ser Valstov Becklin, Serrina Binky Tootles, Ser Sar Ricaud, Serra Lastra Golsin, Ser Gelt Boswell, Ser Fark Surname not known, Ser Davin Fostrum, Serra Lavinia Soxder, Serra Weslie Poggins and Ser Bolso Yimminet.

For Those of You Who Missed it

The transcript of last Friday's Tachychat with Peter Telep (author of Pilgrim Stars, among other novels) has been put online on the TachyCon website. Here's a little excerpt:

BanditLOAF: Is there any chance that you might do any more work in the Wing Commander universe?

Peter: I'd be happy to do more WC books. I've invested so much time and energy into them and made so many friends. It's up the publishers (as usual!) No one's come asking for more WC books yet!

You can read the full transcript of the event here.

New!!! From MegaGags!!! The Virtual Victim

MegaGags, 'The Generals of Japery', present their latest guaranteed Mirth Maker to make a party go with a bang: the Virtual Victim. Basically a low-level cyborg, he looks just like any other Joe Average. He can make small talk, laugh, drink cocktails and eat canapes. And then, just when everyone is used to his presence... you can kill him! Shoot him with the supplied QuasiPistol, and see blood spirt out of one of his 10 fake wounds! Hit him over the head with a blunt instrument, and laugh as pseudobrains splatter over the host's expensive wall coverings! You'll laugh until you puke with the Virtual Victim, priced at only 579 credits. Also comes in Nun and Octogenarian (35 credit supplement).

More Wing Commander Mentions

Rather late to do one of these, but the Starlancer Arena has put up a preview of Warthog's upcoming space sim. It's a stereotypical fansite preview, and of course it mentions Wing Commander and Privateer a few times.
If a poll were taken to measure the most popular space sims ever made in history, the list would be smattered with the names that would include the Wing Commander and Privateer series of games. Set in the same universe, their popularity is unquestionable with such a multitude of follow up games ranging from the original all the way up to WC IV ; Prophecy, and the two Privateer games.
You can find the article here. For once the screenshots are not too dark.

The Wing Commander Calendar

Andreas Schmitt sends word that he has finished his Wing Commander Calendar for the year 2000. Important events in the Wing Commander Universe are marked (ie August 23: Confederation Day). The calendar comes in two versions: low quality for previewing, and high quality for printing. You can find it here.

CIS Bulletin

CIS operatives are requesting information from anyone who knows who is responsible for the death of Harold Binkum, a popular singer whose most recent song, 'Old Marlene, she ain't what she used to be', has been in the charts for the last 27 weeks. Ser Binkum was found brutally strangled two days ago, his tongue having been torn out and impaled on a stick next to the corpse. A note which read 'Peace at last!' was found next to the body.

Capt. Johnny's Incredible Screensaver

Once again, the creator of things such as Capt. Johnny's Christmas Message and other things you may have heard of never ceases to amaze. This time he has sent us a screensaver featuring WC ships flying around the screen accompanied by music from Privateer, and it even features multi-monitor support. You can grab this 300k gem from here. Be sure to read the readme file enclosed in the .ZIP for installation instructions.

Can't Make a Rash Decision?

You've heard of Gravel Rash, the sport that's sweeping the system, and you want to have a go, right? But it's so damn expensive, isn't it? All those executives and rich types hogging all the gravel slopes, their well scrapped behinds glistening brightly in the sun. Well, fear not! With the Chafeco. Laceration 2000, you can rehearse your skills in the safety of your own dormi-cube. Featuring 8 different settings, from pumice to extra-gouge, you too can have the kind of bottom scars that even reigning champion Arfa Bellgon would admire. The Laceratron 2000 from Chafeco. - Buy one, and be the butt of your friends' envy.

Peter Telep Chat Tonight

Tonight at 8 PM EST Peter Telep will be chatting online at CyberTown in the TachyChat section. You can read more about it here.

The interface is a little icky, so here's how you get there. I recommend that you register. If you don't, you won't be able to say anything and you'll show up as 'visitor'.

  • Go to cybertown.com
  • Click the 'immigrate' button on the right and follow the instructions
  • Click the TachyChat button under the Jump Gate (won't be available till just before the event)

Zak Says... 'No Butts'

NEW from Zak Skintight and the Buttock Men, their long-awaited album, 'No Butts'. Featuring smash hits like:
  • Show me your scars
  • Kiss the ring
  • Ain't got no nostrils, baby
  • I'll give you a million [if you touch me there again]
Out NOW from Startled Productions, only 49 creds.

Lancer News States the Obvious

There's no denying that Starlancer borrows heavily from the Wing Commander universe. The intro for instance is like watching the opening scene of Wing Commander IV. The Lancer News crew also discovered some striking similarities between the game and the WC Movie. Some of the movies' scenes were copied, and they even recycled some of the 3D models. You can see for yourself on Lancer News' Easter Eggs page.

WCESCRP Progress Update

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.

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 (mmajewski@usa.net) or to Jumper(jumper@wcescrp.cjb.net). 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.

Quarto

The project is beginning to get a lot of support, and not just from the Wing Commander community. 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 mmajewski@usa.net or jumper@wcescrp.cjb.net.

Shares Boom on Hermes

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.

Red Planet Novelization Update

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.

Does Wing Commander Deserve a Sequel?

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!

Hot Digger-ty Dog!

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!

Stand Down From Red Alert

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.

Back Pain and Bad Chinese Food

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.

They Used to be so Golden

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.

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.

It's a very interesting article, definately worth reading. You can find it here. Thanks to Edward Pang.

Defence Secretary Resigns After Sex Shocker

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.

Hey, It's Not a Star Trek Site

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.

Ten Best Sidekicks Feature

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.

The Sexual Revolution!

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.

Two Starlancer Previews For The Price of One

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.

Incursion Project Takes a Break

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.

Super Grub Ravages Food Supplies on Bex

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.

Fake 3D Was Good in 1987

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.

Prinze and Petrarca Playing Together

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.

Teams Count Cost of Deathball Season

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!

Have The Pictures Been Getting Brighter Lately?

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.

A Mystery in Enigma

LOAF and Trelane will be taking a retirement effective immediately to work on secretprojects. Their fellow staff wish them luck with this.

POL Core Moves to Verant

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.

Objects of Antiquity Present

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.

Nostalgic Look at the Past & Present

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 Site Temporary New URL

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 216.205.66.43. 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.

Pre-Flab Construction

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.

P2 Beats Out XBTF at GA

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.

Real Pretty XBTF Pictures at PC Game World

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.

Exact SciPubTech Words About the Poster

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 Publishes Annual Report

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.

R-POV Hits All The Bases

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.

Canada Computers Balanced Preview

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.

Daily Radar Coverage

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.

Seems Like Starlancer Week

It's Sunday and I heard Starlancer may have gone gold recently, so today I'll take some time here today to cover the recent Starlancer previews that include Wing Commander all at once. These have been sent in by numerous people and seen at ATFW.

Tricky Brickies

Construction editor Adam Reefer writes. Construction workers who had been labouring on the Wilson Towers development on the planet of Karatikus were shamefaced this morning: it seems that, after topping off the project yesterday, the builders went on a drinking spree, having over nine months of back pay in their pockets. They awoke this morning, somewhat painfully, to ashenfacedly confront the fruits of their behavious: the entire project reduced to rubble, the result of an inebriated game of bulldozer chicken. Labour starts again today, and Brikcrete is in great demand.

Marine Corps Fan Game Reactivated

Dear Wing Commander fans,

I know you feel let down by Origin for (probably) discontinuing the Wing Commander saga, so do I. As you may or may not know I (TAFKAW) was making the half-life add-on Wing Commander Marine Corps. Quite honestly this project has been dead for some time and I have lost contact with my crew. I was just on the verge of abandoning the project when I read that Origin might discontinue the Wing Commander series. I have therefore decided to restart the project in about 8 - 10 weeks (once my exams are done). I have no idea how long the project will take to complete but I will put a (temporary) date to October 2000. This will probably take longer. I hope to help Wing Commander fans by doing this and strongly urge other fan projects to pick up their work. I hope Wing Commander fans around the globe will enjoy this (free) project once finished, and enjoy many more hours of Wing Commander as they have done untill now. If you have any questions, remarks or anything else, don't hesitate to email me at ac.noordegraaf@quicknet.nl or noord241@wx.

Sounds like there might be a few fan projects reviving for this summer.

WCESCRP Progress Update

Things have been busy over at the project to petition Origin to release the source code to old Wing Commander(s). Here's something Jumper had to say..
The Wing Commander Engine Source Code Release Project is happy to annoucebreaking 100 signatures! We now have at least 110. Thanks for all yoursupport! A major web site update is planned for this weekend, with a minorone (mostly small fixes to existing stuff) being uploaded ASAP. Visitwww.wcescrp.cjb.net for more info.
For those who haven't been following the project, this is a sharp increase in support over the last week. Looks like now is a good time to chip in your name if you haven't done so yet. You can email either mmajewski@usa.net or jumper@wcescrp.cjb.net.

Now that's What I Call Death Metal

Says our music correspondent, Jose Qire. Scenes of chaos abound at the Tinnitus Stadium, host to the last performance of The Buttock Men's Rock Icon tour of Bex. Over 350,000 eager fans descended on the stadium in the hope of getting tickets; only 120,000 were successful, and the lucky ticket-holders were immediately set upon by desperate fans. What started as an undignified scuffle has degenerated into a full-blown armed conflict, and planetary stocks of firearms are low. The band have been trapped in the stadium for two weeks, though I managed to interview lead singer Zak Skintight while he sat in his dressing room, sipping a pint of Bexian Brandy. When asked what he thought of the conflict, he replied 'It's a bit of a larf, innit'. Way to go, Zak.

Business as Usual

Things are almost back to normal. The Chat Zone is fully functional again, and the few files that had gone missing after the crash have either been restored, or will be shortly. Again, thanks to all the concerned people who have contacted us on the matter.

Mech Ball Championship Delayed

Alternative Sports correspondent Gerald Hopkins reports. This year's Mech Ball Finals, to be held on the planet of Hades, has had to be delayed due to a shortage of Power Loaders, the game's most important piece of equipment. The game, which involves two teams of 15 wearing Power Loaders trying to score a 'go' by carrying a two tonne Brikcrete ball across the opponent's go line, can only be started once more imports of Power Loaders have arrived. 'Ye canna git a suit fa love naw money', wailed Chunky Stewart, captain of the reigning champions Jambo Pagger.

Major Gaming Site Origin Coverage

Several major gaming sites have posted articles on Richard Garriott's departure from Origin and the changes in their games lineup. Avault contacted David Swofford and tried to clarify the situation. You can find their feature here. There's one unbelievable comment in that one. They say Avault just learned a month ago Privateer 3 was canceled. That's whacko. Gamespot's news network says that good news came about from the shifts: UO3 should be released more quickly that it otherwise would have been. I can't wait. You can find that article here.

You May Now Unfasten Your Seatbelts

We should be coming out of a bit of server turbulence now. Thanks to a whole big bunch of concerned people sent us emails about the site today. Apparently there were some disturbing server glitches midday Wednesday. Some sections are still missing, and the Chat Zone may still be giving an error message when people try to post. Hopefully we can get that one fixed later today and we have backups of everything else. Just sounds like lightning struck our machine in Texas.. Kris dug up a couple error messages.
(Server) is experiencing connection problems due to an OS corruption. Repair ETA 1-1.5hrs.

(Server) is experiencing intermittent MySQL connections problems. System admins are working on the issues. Repair ETA 1-2hrs.

Probably sounds worse than it is.

Vision Engine Feedback Appreciated

We're running a little project here and would appreciate it if some people thought about various tweaks/improvements that would be good for the Prophecy/Secret Ops engine. Slightly technical things such as capship explosions are what we're looking for, not plot/story suggestions. Please send your ideas here.

Fatbink Reveals their Latest Shield System

Defence correspondent Tony Knox reports. I've just come from the launch party of Fatbink Systems' brand new Shield Generator, the Halo Mk III. First impressions are very favorable; demonstrations showed much greater resistance to projectiles, concussion and energy weapons than any other model I've seen. If defense rather than offense is your priority, then I'd highly recommend it.

Nod Roundup - And This isn't C&C

Now week week from Thursday's news, there's a number of larger info sites that have gone into what happened and/or credited us here at the CIC. Stomped covered the topic, Voodoo Extreme was a major referrer to the news here and AGN3D hit the major points, credited us and provided some commentary here.

It's Still a Contender

Gamespot CGW is rerunning the Top 40 Games feature. They've had the same 40 for a while here, so that leads me to believe the results are invalid. People who voted previously also still cannot vote. It's an odd thing, but who knows. If you haven't voted there yet, it wouldn't hurt.

Ghost Guide in German

SK1xPRC was searching around for various Wing Commander stuffs and found a weird variation on the long since canceled Privateer 3 Official Guide. This one's specificially a German walkthrough of the game. Very odd. It also carries an odd release date, August 2000. There's no way this could actually be a real product slated for August 2000 release, but it's something to check out nonetheless. You can find it at Computer Universe here. There's even a place to publish an opinion on the product.

Contamination Hits Synthetic Foodstuffs

Agricultural commentator Tony Knox writes. Unnaturally wet weather has lead to all synthi-food production on Hermes being affected with premature rotting and mould growth. Large quantities of both fertilite and Synthi Meat have been affected, and prices have shot up. Imports are required to supplement the production of other foodstuffs.

Trivia Reminder

This week's Trivia questions have been released:
  • Question 141: Who was someone on McAuliffe that survived the initial planetary bombardment in 2634?
  • Question 142: Who was someone that survived the Kilrathi assault of Pegasus Base in Vega Sector in 2654?
  • Bonus 71: Who was a Kilrathi in the Kilrah System when the Temblor was launched that survived the planet's destruction in 2669?
Mail your answers to ChrisReid@wcnews.com before this Sunday (April 9). If you haven't played trivia before, it's never to late to start. Visit our trivia section for more information.

We Ain't Going Nowhere

After reading Thursday's rather upsetting update, you may have gotten doubts over the CIC's continued existence. We assure you that this site will remain up, and that we will continue delivering news and content to Wing Commander fans. LOAF is making good progress on the encyclopedia, and we have several other projects planned and in the works.

Everyone's Favorite Grease Monkey

Brent Moellering reports that Ain't It Cool News has interviewed Ginger Lynn Allen, who played the part of Chief Tech Rachel Coriolis in Wing Commander III and Prophecy. She briefly mentions Wing Commander:
JOAD: How did you land the INDEPENDENT? Did you meet with the director beforehand?
GINGER: Nicole and Joy, the casting directors who brought me in for this also brought me in for 'Wing Commander', both for 'Prophecy' and 'Heart of the Tiger'. They also brought me in for "Casino."
You can read the whole article here.

Team Selachian Wins GroB Preis

Racing correspondent Mint Strider reports. It's been a day of high drama here at the Hermes-Crius GroB Preis. Tournament Leader Michael Schmeichel stated in pole position, only to have his Thoreau Spectre develop afterburner problems, effectively putting him out of the race. This left the way clear for Rosmery Mount in her Duress Selachian to cruise through, closely followed by her team-mate Daniel Toughroan. Third place went to Vampire Lichten pilot Freddi Jorkel, although he was never a serious contender for the two Selachian pilots. All in all, a great day's racing, and one that promises much for the Bex-Janus race in two weeks time.

Austin 360 Reports on Recent Events

Austin 360, a local news site, has put up an article on the departure of Origin founder Richard Garriott and the cancellation of Privateer Online. An extract:
Garriott founded Origin in 1982 with his brother Robert, anchoring it with his Ultima game and the hugely successful Wing Commander series created by developer Chris Roberts. Ten years later, in 1992, California-based gaming giant Electronic Arts Inc. bought Origin for $30 million.
You can find that article here.

Poster Makes a Comeback

Over the past few days we have received numerous reports from people who contacted SciPubtech that the company is still working on the Tiger Claw Cutaway Poster. We don't have a release date yet, but this is one WC product that's worth looking forward too.

Power Station Project Given Go Ahead

Power correspondent Tony Knox writes. Planning authorities on Hermes yesterday gave the all clear for the construction of a new fusion power plant. Stock markets reflected the news, with a considerable increase in the share price of industrial material importers.

April Fools!

Hey, everyone else is spending precious news space to reiterate their coverage yesterday was fake, so here we go. Some two hundred people followed the links to the false eBay auctions. :)

Some Gracious Nods to our Fellows

After the memo got out last Thursday, a number of sites were quick to follow up and research the incident. A Talent for War, The TNFST Network and The Lancers Reactor were a few of the local (often supporting space sims and Wing Commander) sites that were quick to action. TNFST even had a Wing Commander oriented April Fools joke yesterday (the reverse of the Richard Garriott moving to DA joke that went around).

Source Code Project Redoubling Efforts

In an interesting twist, the halting of POL has caused various fan projects to be infused with a new energy. Our Chat Zone mod Quarto has been championing a drive to have the source code of a Wing Commander game released for some time. It's a real long shot, but you never know..
The Wing Commander Engine Source Code Release Project (now that's a mouthful :) )... the name is fairly self-explanatory. In essence, we're writing a petition to Origin, asking that they release the source code for at least some WC games. To be taken seriously, however, we need lots and lots of "signatures" (names + e-mail addresses) to add at the end of the petition.

Right now, all we have is aroud 45 signatures. That is not enough by a longshot. We need YOUR help. All we ask is that you send us a very short e-mail - essentially, it only has to contain your name (first and last). So, you're not losing anything if this fails; but you stand to gain a hell of a lot if it succeeds.

Send your e-mails either to me (mmajewski@usa.net) or to Jumper(jumper@wcescrp.cjb.net). If you want more information about the Project,visit the site at wcescrp.cjb.net.

I know that some of you have doubts whether Origin would ever listen to such a petition. I'd be lying if I was to say, "Of course they will." But if we put enough pressure on them, they just might budge. On the other hand, if you don't support us, then we really can't expect Origin to do anything.

So please, even if you think that this has no chance whatsoever - send us your name anyway. You never know...

Those addresses are mmajewski@usa.net or jumper@wcescrp.cjb.net.

The Road Ahead

A number of fans have expressed their wish to contact Origin over the recent events. Letter writing campaigns and petitions are difficult to correctly execute and have an even harder time succeeding. And unless some Wing Commander fan has a spare $10 million, we think there's relatively little that would change the current events at Origin at the present time. There are several possibilities for Wing Commander to come back on its own accord in the future, and a dedicated consistent fan base does more to help that than an angry fan base right now. That's where we're going to focus for the immediate future. With all this in mind, many may still want to express their disappointment with the changes. We only encourage mature thought-out correspondence, and the two addresses below should be appropriate for that.
marketing@origin.ea.com

Origin Systems Inc.
5918 West Courtyard Dr
Austin, TX 78730-5036
US

Akkbar Wants Some!

Former CIC/WCHS staff member Dan Hadwicke has been eagerly awaiting April Fools day all year! Akkbar commented last month: "Oh, boy, I can't wait for April first! That's when there'll be an update to insult me! It can't come soon enough!" Sources close to Hardwicke dimsissed these comments as either stemming from a desire NOT to have an April first update about himself or as being somehow related to the fact that his pathetic life is still completely unsatisfying.

A Real Winner!

The winner of this year's Heistand Trophy, an award given annually to the outstanding college marketing executive in the United States by the Downtown Marketing Club of New York City, has been announced! Mike Gallagher of the University of Massachusetts will be given the award for his suggestion that they make "lots more Ultima Onlineses." Commented the head of the Heistand Committe: "We're all really proud of this young man... he has truly taken marketing to the next level!".

Wing Commander Discussed!

As part of what was later termned "the year's biggest coincidence" IRC's infamous #W-C chat channel mentioned Wing Commander itself.
*** Sk8er58 has joined #W-C
<Beagle-1> I kiss you!
* Beagle-1 welcome.mid
<Sk8er58> did u see richard garriot left origin???????
<Sk8er58> and they dropped wing commander too
<Dana_Katelyn_Scully> I'm special!
<Trelana`> What? It's a damn spy!
*** Sk8er58 was kicked by Trelana' (Trelana')

Ask Mark Asher

Dear Mr. Asher,
My ninety year old father recently passed away. He was a good man who lead a full life... but now that he's gone, I'm not sure how to continue to go about my life without him?
Sincerely,
Confused

Dear Confused,
It's important to remember this: HAHA! You're such a loser! He's dead! HAHAHA! I'll bet you think he's still alive! HAHA! LOSER!

Ask Mark Asher is the CIC's weekly advice column. Ask Mark Asher's Mark Asher is in no way related to that other Mark Asher who works for Gamespot or something. That guy's a *real* jerk!

Military Scandal!

CNN has reported on a recent shake up in the United States Navy's chain of command, following allegations that Captain Johnny is "not a real Captain." Said an anonymous source at the Judge Advocate General's office: "It's a tricky situation... if he's a real Captain, then he can be in serious trouble for pretending to be a Captain. But if he's not in the Navy, it's outside our jurisdiction..." Admiral Frederick Long refused to comment on what he termed "an ongoing investigation."

Origin Announces Seventeen More!

At a press conference this morning Electronic Arts announced that their subsidiary, Origin Systems Inc., will immediately begin development of seventeen more Ultima Online products. Said one Origin rep: "The current market for massively multiplayer products set in the Ultima Universe is huge! Just one or two Ultima Online games is sure to miss out on a large percentage of the people who want to play an Ultima game online! We need at least eighteen of them!"

Sweeping Changes for the CIC

In an effort to cut costs, streamline our efforts and ensure the longevity of the CIC, we'll be soon be moving to yet another server. That's right, wcnews.com will soon redirect to my personal computer! The staff has been conducting a variety of bandwidth stress tests over the past few weeks and we've determined that my 33.6 modem hooked up through AOL should be sufficient to handle most aspects of the site. Delance was ecstatic: "Finally the CIC will be hosted on a computer with real Wing Commander experience!" There's been talk about cable internet service appearing in my area, but that should be unnecessary at this time. We may be interested in hosting subsites as well, contact us for more info.

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