A Space Combat Sim Without the Space

Bethesda Software is currently making a new space combat simulation called Echelon. It's got all the classic marks of a space sim: alien invaders launching a surprise attack in an advanced peaceful future, a dozen different types of space craft, and many Wing Commander parallels. But what makes this one different is that it takes place entirely on the ground. Or in the atmosphere at least. Echelon is basically a flight sim that employs extensive space ship themes and environment. Avault has a new preview of the game and they point out it'll be a lot like intricate ground missions from Wing Commander 3 or 4. You can find the preview here and a photo gallery here.

Annual Mail Bag Trend Disrupted

What have we done? Post two mail bags in the same month! And if we maintain our current volume of email we can keep at it. It's all up to you. The August 30 issue is the first in a long long time to feature pictures, and it's also the first full bag that Death's gotten a handle of. I like it. You can find all of our old issues here and today's new one here.

Trivia Week 87 Extended

Due to our equivalent of a Snow Day yesterday and a bit of a lower turnout, I'm going to wait another week on Week 88 Trivia. So that means you have this week to finish up Privateer and Righteous Fire and get those Week 87 answers in. Not sure if these questions are harder than usual are people are just getting ready for school and such, but you get a bit of break this time.
Question 173: Who was the Gemini Sector military commander's aide in 2669?
Question 174: What was a major base/homeworld of the retro Church of Man in late 2669?
Bonus 87: Who was someone that was offering a bounty for the rogue Governor Menesch in late 2669?
You can email answers here or find out more here.

And We're Out of the Woods

You probably noticed we experienced some server glitches over the past 36 hours. Fortunately the site remained up most of the time, but one of the glitches caused our Chat Zone and Poll to malfunction and kept us from updating the news. Everything seems alright now, and it doesn't look like anything went missing (our server tends to misplace files when it crashes). We're going over the site now to make sure everything's in order.

Gamespot Redeems Themselves

You may remember that a few weeks ago, Gamespot asked "What is the Best Game Series or Franchise?" and dared to only include WC in the poll. This week's question is "What game would you make massively multiplayer?" This time WC is not just a poll option but part of the main feature! You can read the WC part of the feature which is written by their Download Deputy (whatever one of those is) here, or start from the beginning where the poll is here. Don't forget to vote! Thanks to Asterix and Jonathan Ferrer.

Bug Eyes Came in Third?

New Poll's up, I like this one. It might have a kink in it and unfortunately need to be reset, but we're working on it and it should be just fine for the coming week. The last one was fairly popular too, but what were you thinking? Not all of you, but about one in eight people thought Mr. Bug Eyes Melek was the best looking Kilrathi in all of Wing Commander? He's practically the only one in the entire game, so when you vote for WC4 that's what you're voting for. One in eight people thought that beat out even the Card Game Kilrathi? I hope it was just a healthy bias for the game in general, because WC4 Melek.. jeeze.

It's A Beautiful Sight

Did a bit of inventory before we got the prizes out and found a bunch of novels. Had to line these up and get a pretty shot. Yeah, the one in the middle is in a freezer bag..

Prizes Almost Wrapped Up

I'm hearing most everyone should have their stuff by now, except for stuff that shipped international or book rate. Somehow I'm fitting in time to get the last two books out today, so expect mysterious packages Boeman and Ladiesman. Last call Bugscratch and Dougie, drop me a line.

Picture of the Day

After posting this I realized the photo really isn't too clear, but what's done is done. I was cleaning up not too long ago and snapped a picture of most of my boxes lined up. It's probably not nearly as impressive as my Super Soaker Wall, but sitting right here looking up at it is somewhat neat. Sorry for the flash blur-out, I think most things are recognizable though.

Classic Games are Free in Italy

In one of our previous updates we reported that the ELSPA (European Leisure Software Publishers Association) forbids the distribution of complete games on magazine cover disks. That's why the UK edition of PC Gamer didn't come with Wing Commander 1 and ten other complete games. At least, that's what their CD Editor told us. Cédric Wasser got his hands on an Italian edition, and guess what? Its cover disk does carry the free classic games (in their original, English version).

Either somebody made a mistake, or their CD Editor made that up. Afterall, many magazines illegally carried Secret Ops and the ELSPA didn't seem to care about that.

World War 2 Theme Gets Picked On

I guess today is just the day for overlooked movie stuff. Salon reviewed the movie way back when and we never caught the url. Reading it today is rather weird as there are references to the upcoming Phantom Menace and some other older movies. Apparently they don't like the dialog all that much, but give it a good "whet your appetite for Star Wars" rating. One thing they picked on were the action sequences, which I thought were rather good for what they had (think the flight deck decompression scene). You can catch this one for yourself here.

Blast From The Past

LeHah dug up an old letter from Chris Roberts he received around the time the Wing Commander movie was released in the US. Occassionally people ask about the prospects for another movie and if Roberts would even be interested. Although the box office results for Wing Commander weren't as high as hoped, and this could prevent such a project, these are the thoughts Roberts had. If you're in the mood for more and didn't catch it in March, we have a real audio interview with him here.
BTW David actually composed four themes; The main title theme, the "love"theme, the Pilgrim theme and the Kilrathi theme (which kind of got reduced:-()

Anyway, I hope you like the film. It's not perfect, but it's got a lot ofgood stuff in it and is better than most of the of the films that come outnowadays... Anyway I hope it does well enough to allow me to go back andtackle WC with a bigger budget (plus I've always liked the WC2 story a lot).I really want to try digital character animation for the Kilrathi.

In person he also told us he might like to spice in some Fleet Action novel elements, but at the moment this is unlikely. :-()

Latest Fan Project Attempts to Mod Half Life

A fellow by the nick of Rambo is leading a new mod for Half Life called "Space." It features a major Wing Commander component and draws from several other major franchises.
The mod is called "SPACE: A Space combat flight simulator for Half-Life." Weplan on having Wing Commander ships, Babylon 5 ships, and Star Wars ships. The current beta plan is as follows.

Beta 1 will include the following as of now:
Basic stuff coded (hud, physics, ect...)
Deathmatch mode
The Hellcat V (WC)
The X Wing (SW)
The Tie Fighter(SW)
The Starfury (B5)
Bases

Beta 2:
Team Deathmatch
Maps that take place on the planets' surface
4 new ships

Beta 3:Capital Ships
Mission Based Team multiplayer mode

We're gonna try to get the first beta out in 3 to 6 months with each betaafter that taking 2 months. This is not set in stone. The major problem isthat we need people. Right now I have one coder and one mapper. We need peoplewho can do textures, models, maps, code. Anyone interested can contact me atTexmurph@optonline.net. We also have a basic website up at http://www.angelfire.com/games2/HLspace/. That will be updated as we have more info. If you have any questions e-mail me. Thank you for your time.

Their website was just updated with newer information. There are also various screenshots and more. You can find it here.

Happy 23rd of August!

Possibly the patriotic among you are celebrating Confederation Day today. In 416 years the Confederation will be founded to do this and that here and there. A few centuries later the Kilrathi will execute a surprise attack on McAuliffe that will exist as one of the most infamous early assaults. But for now, sit back and enjoy the fireworks.

Chris Roberts Divorces His Brother Erin

That was probably our weirdest headline yet. A guy called "Bobi Roka" reviewed Starlancer for Dead Alfs 2000, and mistook Erin Roberts for Chris' wife. Apparently someone noticed the error, or a reader told them (I'm betting on the latter), because it's been corrected. So here's the corrected snippet from the article:
After wincing at the evil Microsoft logo for a few short seconds as the game starts up, we are soon reminded that this is the first game from Digital Anvil. Set up by Wing Commander creator, Chris Roberts and brother Erin, the company has had many promising titles up its sleeves for quite some time. So this is the first, and it's jolly nice to know that the game's 3D engine was partly designed by Warthog, a British team.
The game got a final rating of 8/10, and Warthog doesn't get the credit they deserve. So other than the now corrected wife mention, this is a typical Starlancer review.

No Free Games For Europeans

After PC Gamer included the Kilrathi Saga version of Wing Commander 1 on the US edition's cover disk, Pedro contacted their CD editor about the possibility of a similar cover disk for the UK edition.
Hi,

No, unfortunately ELSPA (European Leisure SoftwarePublishersAssociation) currently prohibits us from distributingfull games onmagazine cover discs.

Regards,
Trevor Witt
Disc Editor
PC Gamer
While the UK edition is easiest to find in Europe, some stores do carry the US edition. So if you live in the Old World, you'll have to either track down a US edition, or acquire its cover disk in some other way.

Trivia Reminder

Week 86 isn't composed of toughies like Week 85, but all the answers are available somewhere within the CIC. Today's pretty much your last day to get your answers together, so don't delay.
Question 171: What is a Nephilim fighter craft that has just one gun?
Question 172: What is a Nephilim fighter craft that has a default maximum velocity of less than 400 kps?
Bonus 86: What is the most destructive non-torp/mine missile the Nephilim employ?
Please email submissions here. You can find more information here.

Black Lance HQ Fully Operational

By now any last issues that may have remained with BlackLance.org should be worked out. The files they mirror for us should not have been affected over the past week, but now their main site should be fully accessible too.

Must've Been A Fan

Caught an auction on eBay last night for some photographs of Freddie Prinze Jr. I don't know who buys those kinds of things, but it's not the first time similar photos have been listed. The title for the auction was something to the effect of "Freddie Prinze - Wing Commander." That's nothing special. They made promo pictures for Wing Commander and people have sold them online before. But these shots were just candids. Nothing WC in them at all. The seller must've been a fan, because even I know there are better keywords to put in your FPJ auction than Wing Commander.. (you've got to aim for that teen girl audience more). You can see for yourself here.

Dead and Buried Genres at Large

Death (quite appropriately) noted that GameCenter is running a feature on the five Dead and Buried genres of computer gaming. The piece features above average writing with characteristic pessimism on the part of GameCenter, but it nevertheless is a good read. Although don't even bother reading the small "Can it be saved?" boxes at the bottom of each section, they're no more slanted towards saving the genres than the rest of the text. But the main feature does bring up some good points about repetition and complexity in the "doomed" franchises, and what they don't suggest is that wider acceptance of the points they bring up may in themselves bring about a bit of a change. Sci-Fi Combat Sims are one of the dying categories listed and the Wing Commander and X-Wing series get the nod for being innovative and appropriately melding gameplay with story. You can find the space sim section here, but if you're hardy enough, I recommend reading the whole thing beginning here.

Most Door Prizes Going Out Today

I believe all the donated birthday door prizes have gone in the mail, and later today I'll be sending the bulk of what's left. There's still a few things that will be held up. If that's the case, I've either already emailed you or you haven't sent in your address and contact information. So, if you get a weird package in the mail some time before long it's probably from here. And it will be a weird package, I guarantee it. I also did a bit of Wing Commander inventory will I was putting the packages together and took some pictures of the amassed stuff. I'll post those when they get developed sooner or later.

Almost Privateer Online.. Startling Revelations

Wildfire found a great Avault snippet that provides key information on what the now-canceled Privateer Online would have been like.. and what EA might have in mind for Wing Commander's future. Apparently Origin was looking at possibly licensing the game Jumpgate to form the core of Privateer Online.
According to Netdevil’s lead designer, Scott Brown, the game came close to being the much-rumored but, in time, canned Privateer Online.
You can find the Avault story here. In summary, it says that Richard Garriott was impressed by what had been accomplished and Origin was thinking of buying what was there and giving it the WC treatment. Note that we believe the Richard Garriott "resignation" and Privateer Online cancelation occurred at the same time for all intents and purposes, so this begins to present somewhat of a contradiction since we know that for the first quarter of this year a team of people at Origin-Austin was also working on Privateer Online. However speculation had it that they were developing a ground based interaction engine only, with no spaceflight to speak of.
JumpGate is an online-only, massive multiplayer persistent universe for Windows 95/98. The player is the owner and pilot of a spacecraft, with the objective being to acquire wealth by engaging in trade and/or combat with that ship. Players may work on their own or together as members of a collaborative team. Players can use the funds they acquire to improve their craft in various ways, such as the typical weapon upgrades, better engines, etc.
So if Jumpgate were to be licensed sometime soon after the first quarter of 2000, the team of WC vets could have hypothetically integrated it with what they'd already created and spent some additional months adding Wing Commander elements, as was done with Privateer 2 by veteran Wing Commander designers and programmers in the last six months of P2's 1996 development. Even Jumpgate's current universe could have been morphed on to the known WC timeline without terribly much difficulty.

So where does this leave us now? Back in March when it came to light that the last Wing Commander game in production was canceled at Origin, there were a few possibilities we suggested. At the time, licensing a space sim that was already being created by a second party developer was one of those suggestions. It was a long shot of course, and still is, but we pointed out that a similar set of circumstances brought us Privateer 2. And although what has come to light in regards to his whole Jumpgate business means EA explicitly does not want to license another game for WC right now.. it also means they've recently considered it. Which is good enough to qualify as good news for me, but I'm admittedly on the upper end of the optimism spectrum. It's up to you to decide what you think. Either way, this has forced me to take a closer look at Jumpgate.. and it looks pretty cool.

Claim Your Prize

We still have several birthday party prize winners who have yet to send their addresses in to me. Don't put it off. :) You can find the list of prize winners here.

New Resources for the Mod(eling) Community

The Wing Commander Development Center is reporting that the staff of the ST Armada Wing Commander Mod (Invasion) has converted a very large set of Wing Commander models into 3DS format. I know a couple might be able to use this sort of thing and there are some people who'll be able to toy with them for fun. You can find the link to these and associated textures here.

Letter From Jason Bernard's Widow

Worlds of Origin recently received a letter from the wife of late Jason Bernard, who played Captain Eisen in Wing Commander 3 and 4. Eisen passed away in October of 1996 and several large memorials went up. The two remaining are WOO's and Cie Sharp's. If anyone has a copy of Origin's memorial, let us know. Anyhow, it was nice to let out our feelings of Bernard in 1996, and it's nice to know Mrs. Debra Bernard feels better because of what we said. You can find her note at WOO here. The CIC has its own Memorials section here.

QOTD's Time Up, New QOTD Pending

QOTD sure is a funny looking thing. Last week's Gamespot Question of the Week is pretty much coming to a close and next week's should be available soon. The good news is that after we reported about their last question, which asked which franchise was the best, Wing Commander jumped in the polls a couple points (and hey, Ultima did go down).Warcraft won by a healthy margin and Star Wars just barely beat out WC. Wing Commander had a really good showing at third place by beating Commander & Conquer, Civilization, Age of Empires, Sim City, Tomb Raider, Star Trek and more. You can still vote and find last week's QOTD here.

Blair Super Screensaver in the Works, Needs Help

A little while ago Filip Verstraeten announced he'd like to do a comprenhensive Christopher Blair screensaver. Apparently he wants to make it more than a glitzy slideshow.
What I need is data such as Parents, Birthday, Youth & Career. I own KS, WC III, WC IV, WC Prophecy and SO, but have none of the novels (For example, i read somewhere that Blair was almost mortally wounded sometime before WC III?). I can put all the data I find in the game booklets together, but I want it to be as correct/accurate as possible.

I'd like to ask the fans to send me as much data as possible.Gif and jpeg files from articles/screenshots/whatever concerning Blair arealso always welcome. Send your info to verstraeten@hotmail.com, and put BLAIR SCR in the subject please.

This could be really neat done right.

Time to Claim Lucky Prize Winners

I've received a number of contact emails from those who won prizes at the birthday party on Thursday, but for those who haven't emailed me yet, go ahead and include your name, address, nickname and prize won in a message. It'll be a little while before we can get everything together, but before long we'll announce here when the prizes have been shipped. Here's a list of the door prizes and who won them. Most of the prizes were various WC items, and there was an alternate prize of two Movie Promo Postcards and one CIC Magnet available. KDown and Shane also graciously donated prizes for the event. Most items awarded were given away by a random drawing, but there were a few trivia questions.
  • Two CCG Booster Packs - Primarch
  • Movie Action Figure - TyeDyeBoy
  • A Random Novel - Boeman, Jumper & Ladiesman
  • Movie Poster - Ainamacar
  • CIC Shirt - Vinman
  • MS Office (donated by KDown) - AcidRain
  • Autograph Telep Novel (donated by KDown) - WildCat
  • Freedom Flight (donated by Shane) - Grimloc
  • Burned WC Academy TV CDs - Psychopath & Joe
  • Movie Postcards & CIC Magnet - Frosty, Bugscratch, Primarch, Meson, DougieHehe, Trashcan & C777
If there were around sixty people there and almost twenty prizes, I guess people had a pretty good chance of walking away with something.

New Comic Series Begins

Hot on the heels of, Heart of the T, Byydo has put up the first issue of his new online WC comic strip, titled "Decay." I'll leave it to you to discover what it's about, but it's something close to our hearts. You can read it here.

Gamespot Now Features Forums

Kn'thrak noticed Gamespot now has forums to discuss PC Games. Apparently there is a bit on which games are the best, however you need to be registered to enter the forums. If this sort of thing interests you, you can sign up here.

Index of Totally New Items

We had a fair amount of new things for the birthday, so here's a quick summary to focus traffic through our new areas and make things easier for those who might have missed something.

Party Logs Now Available Online

Still in recovery mode a little bit here, but we've managed to put together a presentable log of our second birthday party. There are two versions. One starts way before and goes way after the official times. The shorter log begins around when we were able to take an active role in the party and ends after the last prizes were given out. You can find the longer version here, the shorter version here and our earlier logs here. Overall I believe we got around sixty people to show up with a peak of forty-five there at one time. I was actually rather surprised at that, because it matches what we got for our past parties. The comments made earlier about the remaining WC fans being the most dedicated seems to have been true. If you couldn't make it I hope you've taken the time to read our August 11 selection of updates, and don't forget we don't just hang out in #Wingnut for major parties.

Thanks!

Last, but far from least, we'd like to take some time to thank a great many people who've been critical to the site over the last two years. We're short on time but long on the list of people we need to thank, so they'll go quick in no special order: Matthew O'Neill, Joe Garrity, Johnny Guentzel, K. Downing, Anthony Sommers, Carly Staehlin-Taylor, Kevin Scholl, Beth Wasden, Peter Telep, our Chat Zone administrators and moderators, the many people who've submitted news and maintain active Wing Commander sites, and definitely our visitors. Many sites have also aided us. Thanks to ATFW, BlackLance.org, WC Space Command, Mystery Men, LancersReactor, SLVault, LancerWorld, Lancers HQ, and Lancers Alliance, among many others.

160,000 Posts and Counting

The alt.games.wing-commander Homepage has been a bit slow of late, and this has not been aided by some major problems at Deja. We're looking at alternatives to keep the posters list updated, and there should be a FAQ update soon. In the mean time Matt Shokoff has taken the time to write an addition to the Jump FAQ. He is the author of the "What is a mis-jump?" section. Keep in mind although the Jump FAQ is a genius document, it is a little bit out of date overall (it doesn't have the copious Confederation Handbook information).

SETI@Home is Out of this World

Despite little attention, our SETI@Home group has grown to more than ninety members. Combined, we've put in more than twenty-seven years worth of computer time to searching for extra terrestrial life. SETI has a new version out, 2.04, and our list stats have been updated. You can find more information on this interesting program here.

Fan Directory Overhauled

Our handy dandy Fan Directory has been updated with numerous new profile and updates. The latest slew includes three new pictures of some of your absolutely most favorite fans. ;) The ICQ List has also been updated.

Music Brings Back Memories

What would a birthday be like without something to download? Dan "Vinman" Sumner has extracted and converted a number of mp3s from the in-flight music from Wing Commander 4. Some of the clips are rather short, but it should be, literally and figuratively, "music to your ears." We've split up the twenty or so mp3s into two 2.5 megabyte chunks. You can download them here and here.

Academy TV Up For Grabs, Almost

We've been without a Wing Commander Academy episode server mirror for a while, so a few newbies have come along that don't have any of the series. So for a limited time you can check out one of our older smaller partial mirrors. It's not a complete solution, it's barely a half complete solution, but it'll get you on your way until we find another way to host the 400 odd megs of WCA. You can find the mirrors page here.

WCESCRP Petition Letter Sent!

The WCESCRP Team is proud to announce that their letter to Origin has been sent to multiple people within the company with over 500 names in support of the release of a Wing Commander engine source code. They've worked hard for six months on this project. We wish them good luck for all our sake. You can find more on the project here.

The Finger of God

The CIC has compiled many of the numerous cheats which allow you to get ahead the easy way in Wing Commander. Find out how you can cheat the Kilrathi of their victory with the press of a key. The CIC welcomes its Cheats section.

Dry Wit Was Never Less Funny

That's right, the CIC Mail Bag has returned for its annual reincarnation. This time we've got some one genuine submission plus two e-mails that the CIC received in error. You've got to see them to believe them. Hey, we're not going to leave the Mail Bag hanging this time either.. right.. So send your letters in here! You can find more, including the latest issue of the Mail Bag, in the Mail Bag section here.

Buy, Buy, Buy!

For some reason, nobody is buying anything from Amazon zShops, so there's a huge surplus of Wing Commander merchandise up for grabs. A few examples: 41 WCII Deluxes, 32 Armada's, 20 movie posters and 13 Prophecy Golds. There's more in our Where to Buy section. The prices are a bit high sometimes, but some of the items are hard to come by (Prophecy Gold has reached $100 on eBay). The quantities listed won't be accurate for long.

Tired of $40 End Runs on eBay?

This is one more for the Fan Projects section. Justin Bielawa announced today that he's surreptitiously acquired a copy of the ultra rare novel End Run (I hope his librarian doesn't read the CIC), but that's just the beginning. Before year's end he hopes to have a copy of the most sought after (however never reprinted) Wing Commander novel available online. Can we condone this sort of mischievous behavior? Why not, we've thought of doing it ourselves many times. Good luck!

Fan Projects Galore, Working Hard to Keep WC Alive

2000 is the year of the fan made game. However there are many hurdles in place that can trip up those brave enough to attempt a large scale project. In order to help these people gather support for their causes, we've put together a section on the various works in progress. We have around ten major projects listed, and there are several more pending. If you'd like to help out with one, or if you'd like to see what's already available to take advantage of, you can find our Fan Projects section here.

THE FIRST COMPLETE FAN PROJECT!

This could be the dawn of a new age for Wing Commander fans. Especially for the CIC's second anniversary, long lost Byydo has completed his Happy Secret Thingie, which he started exactly one year ago today. If we're lucky, we might catch a glimpse of him at the Birthday Party before he returns to seclusion at the peak of Mt. Everest, but this will enter the history books as "The first WC fan project ever in the history of Jesus that was ever completed." So go check it out, sucka!

Single Male LOAF Seeks Encyclopedia Co-Author

Applicants must enjoy lengthy debates about pointless minutiae and long walks on the beach, as well as have an extensive knowledge of the vast Wing Commander Universe. Send qualifications by mail to loaf@wcnews.com -- be forwarned, difficult trivia questions will be asked.

Beefy T's And Spiffy Pads

We've set up shop at Cafepress. You can get Wing Commander themed T-shirts, mugs and mouse pads for $12 US each. The "profits," a dollar from each purchase, go back into the site (hosting, domain name, bulletin board). Direct expenses here to keep the site up total hundreds of dollars each year and we don't expect Cafepress to make a huge dent in that, but every little bit helps and you get a neat item in exchange for keeping the CIC alive.

Official Wing Commander Academy Press Kit Adds to the Universe

This collection of documents was given out to people to help advertise the Wing Commander Academy TV show back in 1996. It's especially interesting because it contains a lot of background information about the Wing Commander Universe that has not been seen before! It also contains some fascinating insights into what Universal planned to do with the show, had it continued on to a second season. The guide was given to me by Joe Garrity, to whom I am eternally greatful. You can find the Press Kit online here.

Vital Information

For those of you who are interested, here are some statistics about the CIC that we've collected:

The main CIC server holds over 160 megabytes of HTMLs and images with several hundred megs of other files being kindly hosted by others. The CIC server transfers over 220 megs per day of its more than 5000 files (over 1000 of which are HTMLs) to its visitors. The CIC front page has now had well over one million hits from nearly 120 countries and at one point had over 10,000 different people in a day viewing its news. Speaking of news updates, there are now more than 2350. The most visited area of the CIC is the Chat Zone which now averages 2200 posts per month. The largest area of the CIC is the Ships Database which alone consists of 463 HTMLs and over 500 images. Aaaand... get this.. more than fifty people have reached the CIC by searching for "www.wcnews.com" in their preferred search engine!

CIC Ships Database Expansion - The Weapons Guide

By popular demand, and just because we can, we have completed a guide to most of the weapons from all WC games. This guide is part of the Ships Database which has changed a lot since it was first unveiled one year ago. Check it out!

Black Lance HQ Issues

Kdown asked us to let everyone know that the Black Lance HQ is down and not to do things such as mail to any of the @blacklance.org addresses. You can temporarily find the site here. Things should resume normally shortly.

Happy Birthday CIC!

Whew, we're finally there! After years of hard work (and about 36 hours of insane crunch time) we're officially two years old. You are our first guests as we enter our third year at www.wcnews.com. I really wish I could write something more eloquent, but it's been a bit exhaustive here. Anyhow, we're happy you could be here with us. There have been a huge number of changes in the Wing Commander community since our first birthday, and those fans that remain today are some of the toughest and most dedicated. We're proud to share our fandom with you. Everyone wants a new Wing Commander game, and by this time next year we certainly won't have one. And we probably won't by the birthday after that or the one after that. But that's no matter. We have been blessed with dozens of hours of material to enjoy already. And there is more to come. EA and Origin may have been frozen from our point of view, but there are things to look for on the horizon. Bastei Lübbe continues to convert and print Wing Commander novels in Germany, and things of that sort will provide a commercial side to the continuation of Wing Commander. More importantly for us however, is the renewed interested in fan projects and community we have here online. We have more active projects now than ever before, and they are more promising than any have ever been before. Below you'll find information on the first complete project and a new section devoted to such items in general. But we're getting ahead of ourselves and off topic. We'd like to thank you for visiting and welcome you once again, we hope you enjoy what we have to present today, our second birthday.

Like You Have To Ask

This one isn't a live-or-die fight for honor survey, but it is a chance to express your personal preference and make Wing Commander stand out once again. A Talent for War is asking space simmers this week what sort of flight model makes the best sim. The atmospheric style gets called WW2/WC-ish. If that's your bag, or if you'd like to see what other choices are available, head on over to ATFW.net.

Today's The Big Day

Sort of. When the clock strikes midnight in the GMT timezone we'll turn two years old, so for all intents and purposes we're very nearly there. To start the day off.. I have a dentist's appointment, but things go all uphill from there. There's nothing new to say yet that you don't already know, so good luck making your way into #Wingnut this evening. We'll start gathering around 4:00 pm PDT, 7:00 pm EDT and 11:00 pm GMT, but you might want to make a quick stop in earlier to confirm your time with respect to ours. Don't feel bad if you can't make it, just stop in when you can and there's sure to be some people hanging around. And the logs of the chat will be up soon. You can find past logs here.

One More Little Thing..

If you've having trouble connecting to irc via mirc, DALnet has a web based alternative. I wouldn't personally recommend it for regular chatting, but it'll work. Just scroll down their main page here, input a nickname and click Go!

Click Right Here

I mention the Trivia game here on the main news page a lot, and every time I provide a link or two to the trivia page with details and rules. This week's questions are the easiest yet, and this is our busiest week in a little while, so naturally I forgot the link this time. For those who play, it seems simple, but I've had a few questions. If you'd like to know more, there's a simple explanation of our game here. Pretty much all you do is email your answers to me and include a scoreboard name. I'll get back to you and your score will be added to the scoreboard the following week. Week 85 is fun and easy as pie, so if you'd like to give it a try or find out more, click here.

Offline RPG Fan Project Makes its Debut

Over at the newsgroup Michael Coe has been talking about his paper-based Wing Commander Role Playing Game that he's been working on since 1997. He's set up a website to introduce people to the work he's done and says that he's heard of another "hard copy" RPG out there.. although that would be news to us.He's still building the game as well as his web presence, so his site is one worth checking and bookmarking. You can find more information on "The Original Wing Commander RPG" here.
Once upon a time, when I was feeling particularly bored, I looked at a game system that I had created and said to myself “Hey, why don’t I see if I can make a roleplaying game out of Wing Commander?” So I did. This was in 1997...

Shining Happy Gamespot Poll

Gamespot has a new Question of the Week: What is the Best Game Series or Franchise? Those evil Editors have left WC out of the main feature once again, however they have redeemed themselves by including it in their poll. Thanks to John Childress and Jonathan Ferrer. WC is currently in third place, but lets try and get it to the top. And for God's sake don't let WC get overtaken by Ultima...

Easy Money

Well, not the money part. After three years of in-universe Wing Commander questions (wow, we started with this trivia format in August of 1997 at the original agwc Homepage), it's time for something different. It's a special week, so here's some special trivia questions..
Question 169: What was your first Wing Commander experience?
Question 170: What's your favorite Wing Commander product and why?
Bonus 85: What's a good Wing Commander trivia question?
Week 85 of Game 2 is valid through the end of this coming weekend. Go ahead and give them a try. Don't think too hard.

An Example of Things to Come

Even though Death reminded me yesterday, I forgot to provide a link to the logs from our past #Wingnut events. There are several available if you'd like to see how things go at these types of parties. Our opening party can be found here, our Secret Ops prize giveaway can be found here and a short and long version of our first birthday can be found here and here respectively. The world is a different place in 2000 and I don't think we can quite muster as many people as may have attended in past years, but the people who are around now are some of the most hardcore fans ever so this Thursday should be fun.

Last Chance to Sign up with WCESCRP

The dedicated team trying to petition Origin to release some sort of Wing Commander source code has received its five hundredth signature and is virtually ready to contact OSI this Thursday. If you'd like your name and email added to the list for that little extra oomph, now's pretty much your last chance. At their website you can also find a copy of the draft letter that they're preparing to send. You can sign the petition here and find out more information here.

How To Make The Best Mod

With the summer resurgence of Wing Commander fan projects, we thought that Something Awful's Guide to Mods would make a good read. If you're working on or considering a fan project, or even if you're not, this might be the thing for you. Not that any of it applies to any Wing Commander fans.. You can find the guide here. Yeah, the focus on FPS games, but funny is funny.

Star Trek Armada Wing Commander Mod In Development

David James is currently progressing with a Mod for the RTS Star Trek Armada, one of the seemingly two dozen Star Trek games being released in the short period of time from last year through next. It also happened to be the game I bought, so I'm anxious about this fan project. They're still in need of some staff however, especially people who can extract ship meshes from WC4 TRE files. The Mod, WC Invasion, has been in business for a little while here, but is in the process of increasing their web presence and moving at a better pace in the near future. You can find more information here.

Good Old CIC Crunch Time

There are just a few more short days before we turn two years old, so it's time to recap and mention a few specifics. On Thursday evening at 4:00 pm PDT/7:00 pm EDT/11:00 pm GMT we'll start getting together in #Wingnut. We'll be counting down for an hour until midnight the morning of August 11 GMT, which will mark the two year anniversary of our original opening. When coordinating any event of this sort it's easy for there to be confusion between time zones and event happenings. I encourage people to test our their mirc and confirm times with us in #Wingnut any time this week.

Not surprisingly, we're still working on specifics, but in the queue are a few downloads, numerous section refreshes and a number of new features. We will also be giving away door prizes during the party. There might be a few early on, but primarily they'll center around and after the actual opening time (5:00 PDT/8:00 EDT/midnight GMT). They'll likely include CIC magnets, promotional WC movie postcards and Wing Commander action figures, as well a few higher grade items like software, books and shirt(s). We like random drawings, but there's a possibility of some brief simple contests for items. We hope you join us not only to see what we have, but to get together with other Wing Commander fanatics, make new friends and meet up with old friends you may not have seen in a while. See you Thursday!

Check Out Our Thermometer

We had a couple brief hours of downtime late last night. If you can't access the CIC in the future and want to confirm it's not on your end, you can come by #Wingnut or wait it out a little bit. Usually problems come in waves, so if things exhausted themselves this past week hopefully we'll be clear for our birthday next. This was the issue recently.
KHAKI has been experiencing intermittent hardware errors. Technicians are now trouble shooting and replacing the hardware, repair ETA 6 Hours. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our customers.

Karyo Really is Talented

I finally got around to seeing the The Patriot. Tchéky Karyo, who played Paladin in Wing Commander, had a particularly large role. At first I didn't recognize him, but he talks the same. The movie was pretty good, and the familiar voice was neat. Both of his roles (Jean Villeneuve and Paladin) are somewhat similar in nature as he plays a slightly disconnected man that has special knowledge, so his presence provided even better immersion.

You Probably Didn't Notice, But..

Seems like every few months we have some server issues, and each time we get a flurry of questions about what's going on from a few people who log in during downtimes. It's normal (unfortunately) and the worst is over by the time you're reading this (probably). Each time we go down for a little bit our host also likes to randomly delete a few files, so if you notice anything still missing, please let us know.

Old Franchise Anew on the Horizon

One of the producers of the Wing Commander Movie, Todd Moyer, is now working to possibly bring back Battlestar Galactica after twenty years. There's a big article on it at AnotherUniverse that focuses primarily on the prospects of the Battlestar franchise, but also makes numerous references to the production of the WC movie. You can find the article here. It's a good summary of the Battlestar situation over the last quarter century. Thanks to Dennis Weidner.

PC-DVD Encore 12x Provides WC4 DVD Solution

If you picked up a WC4 DVD off eBay and didn't have a DVD drive or a drive that will play the game, the playability market has grown another notch. Creative Lab's new 12x DVD drive has been released and it should be compatible with the Daylight Productions version of WC4. This should make the older Encore sets cheaper, so playing the game should be more affordable for those who want to do it. If you're still looking for the DVD game, some are occassionally on eBay, and they are included with the (now rare) 2x and 5x Encore kits. After a quick glance I didn't notice what games were included with the 12x, but you can find Creative's page for it here.

I'm Sure Excited..

With one week left, we're finalizing what we think we'll have for next Thursday's Birthday Party. More people have been dropping by #Wingnut and asking about the event, so hopefully we'll have a good turnout next week. This weekend we should have a list of some specifics to expect.

Interactive Update - The Sequel

In response to yesterday's WC Interactive update, Jack Hogan wrote to tell us that the story is reaching the end, and so the story will soon be wiped. It will be restarted, but before things get wiped, a contest! Jack wrote the start of the current story, and now you have the chance to write the introduction to the next story. Send your story submissions to Jack, and the best submission will be the start of the next story. In case you missed it before, you can find WC Interactive here.

WCESCRP Update

Quarto wrote to us with an update on the WCESCRP's status. I'll let him tell you about it...
After a lengthy period of hibernation due to heavy university and schoolworkloads, the Wing Commander Engine Source Code Release Project is now backat work.

We now have completed the draft of the letter to be sent to Origin. However,we will not be sending it immediately. There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, we feel that the rest of the community should get a chance to offertheir input to us if you wish to do so. For this reason, our letter willbecome available for viewing at the WCESCRP site either today or tomorrow, and will stay there for about eight days. Please,feel free to come by, read, and comment.

The second reason for this delay is that we still don't have 500 signatures.We are 13 signatures short! If you haven't signed our petition yet, pleasecome by the site and do so, using our on-line form. All we need from you isyour name and your e-mail address. And it's for a very, very good cause :).

The final date for submitting any comments or signatures (or both) is August9th. We will send the letter to Origin on August 10th, which is of course avery significant date for us WC fans :).

For more information on the WCESCRP, please visit the WCESCRP site athttp://www.wcescrp.cjb.net.

Trivia Week 84

Wow, CIC trivia has been going a while, and now has well over 100 people on the score board and it's never too late to start so for those of you who want to start or play already, here are this week's questions.
Question 167: What is the name of a planet in the Kilrah System besidesthe Kilrathi homeworld?

Question 168: What is the name of a planet in the Troy System?

Bonus 84: What is the name of a planet in the Hom System?

As usual, please email your answers to Chris. The answers to last week's questions can be found on the trivia page.

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