EA's At It Again!

Gaming-Age, GameSpot and other sites are reporting EA's record QUARTERLY income of $1.23 billion, a 48% increase from this time last year. It's also that fateful time of year again. Each spring as the EA fiscal year comes to a close and EA realizes its massive profits, it's time for them to figure out where they can consolidate. And each year they do. It's a sad time this year for Westwood Studios, the famous makers of Command & Conquer, Earth & Beyond and many others. Their Las Vegas operations will be completely shut down by March 31. Some of their people and franchises will be moving to a new Los Angeles campus. It probably makes some sort of business sense to someone in California, but I have to wonder.. there's not many intact original studios left in EA's massive empire. Who's next? Maxis?

Wing Commander Also Showing in Argentina

Ghost reports that the Wing Commander movie is also showing in Argentina this evening. It will show on FOX at 10:00 pm. The presentation will also feature subtitles instead of previous Spanish dubbing. Apparently, "FOX ROXORS." You can discuss this item at the Forums here.

Holding The Line Turns Four

Wing Commander Aces story arc Holding the Line coordinated by ex-agwc poster Raptor turned four years old this week. They've kept it going strong for a long time now and continue to turn out exciting chapters in their PBM campaign. HTL now represents more than half of the WC Aces Club's eight year history. You can read up on this story here.

WC Movie in Brazil

According to Forums poster and ex-agwc poster Delance, you can catch everyone's favorite movie tomorrow.. but only if you're in Brazil!
Wing Commander will be on FOX this thursday 2000 hours on FOX on Brazil.

Quinta feira, 20:00 horas no canal FOX.

NOTE: In Brazil, FOX is not an open channel, but rather a Cable/DTH/MMDS subscription TV that shows TV Series and Movies

See, South America isn't all bad.

WCPolaroids: Extras (7/16)

Only extras get paid to sit around and do absolutely nothing. Extras and EA's game approving department. Yeah.

New Raiders Boards Up

CamW has posted several more storeboards for the WC Raiders project. His artwork looks really great. You can check out new and old boards here. And Cam adds that more are on the way! If you haven't been following this project, you can get a good introduction to his animated short here.

Professional Mods for your GBA

Mav23 reminded us that there is yet one more upgrade option for your GBA. A number of companies do professional Afterburner installations and sell professionally modded systems. Lan-Kwei is a good place for the predone ones, and Lik-Sang sells a special Afterburner kit that comes with a custom color faceplate that is predesigned for easier modification. These places also do preorders for the Japanese GBA SP coming out in three weeks (a month earlier than the US). There's also Goldberg for British WC fans, and All4Cell does just the mods.

WCPolaroids: Extras 6/16

Today we catch a couple extra pilots on their way to the bathroom. Lisa appears to have just burned herself on some coffee in the background.

Prophecy Delay Official?

Well our release date list from a couple of days ago already indicated that release had been pushed back from January to February, but now Nintendo's site seems to confirm the delay. The Prophecy page now lists a release of "Feb 2003". There's no official reason for the delay.

WCPolaroids: Extras (5/16)

Another lineup of some non-descript pilots. Dispassionate Guy seems no happier even though he now has a drink.

Wing Commander DVD on Sale at Fred Meyer

Did you know WingCommanderDVD.com was a valid domain? It redirects to the Fox Home Entertainment website. JustinS reports that the Fred Meyer/Kroger chain of department stores have recently gotten a stock of Wing Commander movie DVDs and is clearing them out for as low as $7.99. That's agreat price. It doesn't appear that all locations have the movie in stock, but if you have access to a few you should get lucky.

Old Gaming-Age Reviews Back Online

One of my favorite general gaming websites, Gaming Age, has recently uncovered its old review archive and put a number of classic reviews back online. You can find Wing Commander 4, Prophecy, Prophecy Gold, and each one of the Secret Ops episodes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7. With scores ranging all the way up to 98%, they definitely give WC its fair shake.
As you can probably tell, I can't heap enough praise on this game. Sure, it has its problems, but all in all Origin have done an exceptional job of recreating the series, while maintaining all the aspects that have made it such an engrossing game in the past. The new cast is likeable, and the entire feel harkens back to the Tiger's Claw in the early 90's. Don't consider this as Wing Commander 5, as it's more of the start of a new era rather than a sequel. There's so much more I'd like to say, but I can't without giving away the great plot, another area Wing Commander has always excelled in.

Upgrade Options For Prophecy Advance

If you've been considering a lighting mod for your GBA, you still have time. It looks like Prophecy is going to slip into at least February here, and the Afterburner internal lighting kits have gone on sale for $25. LOAF, Hades, myself and others have these wonderful things, and they really are worth the effort. I can't got back to an unlit GBA. They are not incredibly difficult to install, but it is very easy to botch your installation and ruin your display. If that's a daunting proposition, a company will be coming out with a slightly easier frontlight mod next month. The Halo Kit simply involves popping out your screen and attaching a special light directly. Sounds simple, but I can imagine you might still have some minor side effects. If you're not into modding, there's yet more options. As we've previously reported, the GBA SP and Cube/GBA Player will be out in March and May respectively. I've already modded my GBA to hook into an s-video input, and I can't wait to try it with the world's best space combat simulator.

Happy Birthday People

Lots of Birthdays this week on our front. Hadrian and Trelane turn 21 and 22 this week. Did you know you can check up on Chat Zone birthdays too? Starkey, Catkiller and PsiKid have birthdays this midweek as well. We have an interesting calendar feature enabled.

WCPolaroids: Extras (3/16)

One guy is really happy to be in Prophecy. The other guy couldn't care less. Guess which is which!

Updated Prophecy Pre-Order Sources and Release Dates

Here's an updated listing. Most dates have remained virtually unchanged, but Goblin and KB pushed it back by one and two months respectively. This is more in line with the recent Amazon listing.
Amazon - 20 Feb 03
EB Games - 25 Feb 03
KB Toys - 19 Mar 03
Magic Box Videogames Release List - 25 Jan 03
Game Rankings Release List - 26 Jan 03
Cosmo Games - 27 Jan 03
Game FAQs Release List - 26 Feb 03
Tronix - 15 Jan 03
Game Express - 25 Feb 03
Goblin Direct - 30 Jan 2003
All is still quiet on the Destination front, and it's beginning to look like the game will face a delay.

WCPolaroids: Extras (2/16)

Dallas can't decide if he's an extra or not. At least we know he's every bit as expendable as the other people in this picture.

Holding The Line: Chapter 150

Here's Raptor with the introduction to chapter 150:
Hey all, Raptor here.

HTL continues with a story called "End Of The Spiral", a TCS Valley Forge story that follows on from the events of "The Downward Spiral" and "Further Down The Spiral." As you saw at the end of FTDS, the Valley Forge had been sacrificed in order to destroy a Nephilim dreadnaught. The survivors of the crew and the flight wing, as well as those on the other ships in the battlegroup, must now regroup and recover from that disaster. This story is jointly written by all the Valley Forge team, so please send any and all comments to them via the addresses at the top of the story.

You can read End of the Spiral here.

Origin Looking for World Builders

Planet Unreal recently posted (1/14) that Origin is looking for level designers proficient in the Unreal engine. Some my be surprised to find that Origin does still make new products and is usually actively soliciting new hires. UO Age of Shadows is due out in a few weeks. But this one is a little bit unusual. They are currently looking for a 3D Artist, World Builder, and three types of programmers. You can discuss this development in a thread by DarkTower at Crius.net here.

WCPolaroids: Extras (1/16)

On to the pictures of random people. Here we have (from left to right) a man with a big camera, Hawk, "Lisa", some guy who is either fixing a chair or has a foot fetish, and two pilots whose names we are never told.

CIC Chat Zone Forums Logo Contest

As part of our ongoing changes to the Chatzone, we decided to get rid of the Chatzone! Or the name anyway. Yes, soon you'll be visiting the CIC Forums instead which is exactly the same as the Chatzone but with a different name. How modern.

The problem is we can't draw. Well, we can, but we're lazy bastards. Anyway, we need a new logo and since everyone loves a good photoshop contest, we're giving you the opportunity to design the new CIC Forums logo. Here's the details!

Testflight of the Excalibur

CamW sent us this video to demonstrate his Vampire and Excalibur models:

The Excalibur
The video is 7.6MB in size.

WCPolaroids: Patricia Drake (7/7)

According to this thing there's a cop running around somewhere with no pants on. Luckily I'm law-abiding.

And that's the last CAG picture. Next time: someone else!

Flight of the Excalibur

CamW has sent in an amazing render of an Excalibur. Even this tiny thumbnail looks incredible:

At 1600x1200 it fits on any desktop. The download is a hefty 2 megs. You can also admire a previous submission of his here. Remember to drop him a line if you'd like to lend your voice to his upcoming CGI movie.

Vega Strike Scores Big

One of the most anticipated Open Source projects has come out with a major new release:
Dear Vega Strike fans,

We have completed the release at long last for all platforms. Currently linux users can get it by checking out the tag vegastrike_0_3_0 in the vegastrike and data repositories. Windows and Mac users please click to the right. I have added many features for you to enjoy: here's a list:

# If the cockpit jitters or the engine feels choppy press F1 a few times to turn off the 3d cockpit. Other than that no reported bugs :-)
# I have totally revamped and polished the engine to support per pixel specular lighting and much-refined gameplay.
# There are plot missions as well--be sure to check out the Heinlein, Callimanchus, Adams, and Niven systems for people you may need to visit.
# Support the Revolution--or crush it...it's up to you!
# You can now talk to people in the bars for plot missions and other interesting asides. Be sure to look carefully
# Thanks to Ken Suguro and PeteyG we now have a full Vega Strike score! This adds all sorts of beauty to Vega Strike!
# To make up for the gain in size coming from music we have jpeg support for textures
# You may hire wingmen or even earn some friends if you save the right people!
# You now have the ability to own multiple starships. Beware that shipping costs 6000 credits... but if a ship is stored in the same system it's free to load it up. Use this to your advantage--get a new ship early but use the old tested one for hard runs
# A new ship--the dryad merchant vessel--has been added
# A repair button has been added to help you fix up that vessel.
# You start docked. i have no idea why so many people requested this one...
# did I mention full musical score?
# Sound effects for the standard cockpit noises
# autodocking so you must not request clearence--just press d to dock

More information and download URLs can be found on the Vega Strike website.
Vega Strike is a 3d OpenGL Action RPG space sim for Windows/Linux that allows a player to trade and bounty hunt in the spirit of Elite. You start in an old beat up Wayfarer cargo ship, with endless possibility before you and just enough cash to scrape to

WCPolaroids: Patricia Drake (6/7)

Despite my best efforts I couldn't think of anything interesting to say about this picture.

Amazon Adds Prophecy Advance to Catalog

US residents can pre-order Prophecy Advance from Amazon for $29.99. They list a February 20 release date, while many other stores have decided on late January. Only time will tell, as Destination still hasn't given us a definite release date.

Upcoming CGI Film Seeks Voice Actors

CamW asked if we could pass this around:
Raiders - The upcoming CGI film based in the Wing Commander Universe, now has a new home!

It's now located at: http://www.theartofwu.ca/...

Be on the lookout for regular updates on the site once production starts rolling!

The Raiders project also needs a few good men willing to do some voice acting for characters in the movie.

If you have a high quality mic, and are interested in performing, contact Cameron at cam@theartofwu.ca.

WCPolaroids: Patricia Drake (5/7)

A track had to be put in so an ageing Blair could be pushed around the Midway in a cart.

#Wingnut Lives!

#Wingnut regulars are probably aware that it has gotten very difficult to connect to a DALnet IRC server:
As you all know, DALnet is going through some very tough times. Day after day our servers suffer from crippling attacks while, behind the scenes, staff and employees at the companies who sponsor our servers, scramble to keep the service going for you, and to try and apprehend the criminals who are doing it.
Until this clears up you can join us on a different IRC network. Connecting is easy. Type or copy/paste the following commands in the mIRC chat client:
/server irc.craplink.net
/join #wingnut

Wing Commander Movie on Sci-FI

According to FenderMX5, you can catch the WC movie today in the US on the Sci-Fi channel at 5pm. I assume that time is EST. It's a good chance to catch the movie if you haven't bought the VHS or DVD yet.

Official Raylight Prophecy Site

An anonymous source who fancies him/herself as a bit of a hacker let us know that Raylight has a Prophecy Advance section hidden away on their server. Why isn't it available for the world to see? We don't know, but you can find this section which features a new screenshot of the game's briefing sequence and a neat video (minus sound) of a section of the game's intro here. Remember, this section hasn't been officially released so anything there might not be final.

Prophecy Pre-Order Sources and Release Dates

I had a bit of time on my hands so I decided a list of sites which list Prophecy for pre-order and their release dates would be a nice thing to have. There are also a few dates from general release date lists. So here:
EB Games - 27 Jan 03
KB Toys - 27 Jan 03
Magic Box Videogames Release List - 25 Jan 03
Game Rankings Release List - 27 Jan 03
Cosmo Games - 25 Jan 03
Game FAQs Release List - 28 Jan 03
Tronix - 15 Jan 03
Game Express - 25 Jan 03
Goblin Direct - 28 Jan 2003
What do we conclude from this? Well, not a lot. But if the game isn't out before the end of the month, that's a lot of people who got it wrong. We have no idea where those dates came from since Destination aren't giving anything away.

WCPolaroids: Patricia Drake (2/7)

Anderson tries to get in the picture but fails. Very fitting since he didn't get in front of the camera much in game either.

GameBoy Advance SP Announced

I'd be excited about this even if Prophecy weren't coming out at about the same time, but Nintendo has gone ahead and done it again. On the heels of their GBA/GameCube player announcement, very soon there will be a special edition of the GBA produced. It's half the size of the original with a flip-up protected screen, now is fully lit internally and includes cell phone style lithium-ion batteries for 18 hours of normal play time or 10 hours with the light.

GBA and GBA SP
So that means just one more cool way to play come Dragon*Con (Advance Wars 2 was also announced). I have a feeling these will be a hit for compact flight suit pockets. Now all we need is a way to link these wonderful devices up online.

Holding The Line: Chapter 149

Here's Raptor with the introduction to chapter 149:
Hey all, Raptor here.

After that interlude to look at what was happening elsewhere in the universe, we're now going back to the battle in the Loki system. HTL continues with part 15 of the Tiger Hunt series, "A Good Day To Die". When we left Loki, the Union's Battlegroup Valkyrie had been cornered in the Loki VI debris field by Nephilim forces. They had beaten off a massive attack, but their sister carrier had been lost in the fighting, along with several escorts and many dozens of fighter. This story picks up from there as the Border Worlders fight to survive. This chapter is written by yours truly, so please send any all comments back to me.

The story is at: ../ch149.htm

Best, Raptor

Chris Roberts Continues in Film Industry

AD over at the Chat Zone noticed Chris Roberts has taken his Point of No Return film company one step further with a collaboration called Ascendant Pictures. This seems to be a strategic alliance to ensure focus and completion of their entertainment projects.
With its cinematic quality, clearly developed storylines and well-known actors, the Wing Commander series created a whole new genre within the gaming industry known as the "interactive movie." By 1995, the Wing Commander series had generated well over $110 million in revenues, and from 1990 to 1995, the series accounted for more than 60% of OSI’s revenue. In addition to selling more than 3 million units worldwide by 1995, the Wing Commander series won a record setting number of gaming awards. In 1990, Wing Commander was named “Game of the Year” by both Omni and Computer Gaming World. A year later, Wing Commander II was awarded similar honors, winning “Game of the Year” from Tilt magazine (France) and “Best Action/Adventure Game” from Computer Game Review. To date, the Wing Commander series has generated over $400 million in revenues.
You can find out more here. Contrary to the original post, the PNR website is still online and still contains the teaser line about the upcoming Wing Commander television series.

LOAF Must be an Insider

LOAF got snagged in one of the photographs from IGN's Freelancer inside look. You can catch him here. That's a mighty square box of tissues. IGN and the CIC's Freelancer previews are both still available here and here.

A New Mod for Operation Flashpoint

Luke is beginning a Privateer-themed OFP Mod. Here's what he had to say.
"We are a new MOD not for Wing Commander, but for OFP based on Privateer. We need modelers and texture artists although we are a mod for another game we will give people the finshed models to make a privateer MOD for wing commander (if they want to). E-Mail me at ralph.steel@btinternet.com. More info at www.OpFlashpoint.org "

Patches On Their Way

Many apologies for the delay, but Joe from the Origin Museum reports that the WCIV patch plaques awarded at the CIC's birthday party have now been sent to their new owners.

WCPolaroids: Dallas (3/3)

If you found out that your character was going to die really early on, you'd look like this too.

Happy New Year!

Happy 2003 everyone! Thanks for taking time out of your holiday to visit us. Kris and Hades are working on some housecleaning as I write this, so you should notice a few changes. This should improve our organization and navigation quite a bit. Believe it or not, traffic-wise, you guys made 2002 one of our busiest years yet. Visits per day are down just a few percent compared to 1999.. and back then we had the benefit of being linked to from a number of major news sites, Origin portals and major hard copy publications. That's all thanks to your enthusiasm for Wing Commander. We've recently expanded our server capabilities once again, so you can look forward to more exciting things in 2003. And stay tuned for details about our Prophecy launch party in #Wingnut shortly before the game's release. We'll be giving away some cool prizes and discussing some of the major WC items and events coming soon.

Happy Halloween!

Better late than never. Here's a picture of a top Confederation pilot doing a little charity work in uniform.

New Poll/Old Poll

Kris is putting the finishing touches on our customary New Years poll. And here's the results of our latest outing.

And Privateer has it with a bit over a quarter of the vote! WC1 came in second with WC4 in third. It's interesting to contrast this with our "Favorite WC Game" poll from years ago. Back in 1999, people rated WC4 their favorite with Privateer and Prophecy in second and third. WC1 came in sixth place. I wonder if people's sentiments have changed or if these are just fundamentally different questions. I do agree WC1 would be a good place to "restart" the series on the GBA, and Privateer would just be all-around awesome.

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